Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Video: Holocaust Survivor Cursed Out By Ground Zero Mosque Supporter

Video: Holocaust Survivor Cursed Out By Ground Zero Mosque Supporter

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Friday, August 20, 2010

The New Elite: Public Servants Become Public Masters

The New Elite: Public Servants Become Public Masters

Why layoff policemen, firemen or teachers first? Why indeed!

In case you haven’t noticed, America is broke…..really broke. Not only do we not have anymore of our own money, but we are fast running out of China’s and Japan’s money as well. As we continue to pile more and more debt on the backs of our great grandchildren, there are those who want us to continue deeper down the rabbit hole.

We are dealing with a government, from the federal all the way down to cities/towns, committed to trickle down ruination. Like crack addicts looking for their next fix, our representatives (a term I use loosely) will not stop the spending on their own; they need to be removed from the addiction. Translation: separate them from the money (or more bluntly, vote them out!). But politicians have willing allies in this collective downfall: public servants. The politicians and the public servants share a symbiotic relationship, one that is not favorable to the people both groups are sworn to serve, the public.

The latest crisis (never let one go to waste) we have to deal with is one that we are told will affect our firemen, policemen, and teachers. President Obama is calling for another $50 billion dollars in deficit spending to ‘save’ (translation: bailout and reward poor behavior) troubled States and municipalities. If this money is not thrown at the crisis, cities and states will be forced to lay off thousands, if not millions of Obama’s union buddies. President Obama made it a point to mention this measure was to ensure that we did not layoff vital public servants such as firemen, policemen, or teachers. In his ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ mentality, President Obama made this proclamation late on a Saturday, when no one was watching. As if you can ‘sneak’ $50 billion dollars past the America people without them noticing (not in this climate).

But why the firemen, policemen, or teachers? Why not the librarian, the part-time city clerk, or the street sweeper? Because those cuts will not scare us enough to open our wallets! Politicians are so transparent you can see the ‘lack of a spine’ on almost any given issue. Worse yet are the willing participants who immediately write letters to the editor or appear before the city council/school board (often at the urging of the very groups that would rather see us go bankrupt than give up one precious taxpayer penny), in support of reckless behavior that has jeopardized the stability of our nation and our communities. In the name of compassion, we have placed a yolk of financial servitude around the necks of the very people we profess to be helping. Compassion without discipline is merely the actions of an irrational do-gooder, and sometimes the uninformed do-gooder is their own worst enemy.

We hear tired old mantras - “It’s for the kids, It’s a tough job, they deserve a million dollars, It’s only $30.00 more a year – per household, It’s for the kids (that one deserved repeating).” There is no shame and no exaggeration that won’t be exploited. In a time when most people have not only not seen raises (including cost of living), but salary and benefit reductions, many public servants feel that are entitled to keep feeding from the taxpayer trough, and even demand that more and more be added.

The problem with public servant salaries and unfunded liabilities (healthcare and retirement funds) has been at epidemic levels for decades, but the matter only seems to garner our attention during a bad economy. Additionally, past attempts to bring our financial relationship with public employees into proper prospective has been met with a full-frontal attack by the unions that represent them. One only needs to look at every major city in America, or the chaos in Greece, to know that public employees are only concerned about their own self-interest.

The relationship between unions/public servants and the tax payer reminds me of the old fable ‘The Scorpion and the Frog.’ In the story the scorpion convinces a frog to take him across the river. At first the frog refuses, fearing he would be stung. But reluctantly the frog agrees, only after the scorpion promises not to sting the frog, proclaiming that the sting would doom them both. You know the rest. Half-way across the river the scorpion stings the frog. When ask why, the scorpion replied – “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.” Both sink beneath the water. Like the fable ‘The Scorpion (unions/public servant) and the Frog (the tax payer),’ the unions seem all too willing to sting the tax payer, knowing full well that it will spell doom for the both of them. And when asked why, unions reply “We are a union; it’s in our nature.”

In his 2009 book Plunder, Steven Greenhut, did an outstanding job at detailing how the mutually beneficial relationship between our elected officials and our public servants is not beneficial to the taxpayers who have to pick up the tab. Mr. Greenhut illustrates how public servants are the new elite, and how their compensation packages are unsustainable. Public servants are no longer the servants. We have made them the masters.

When these deals were first negotiated, they seemed balanced. Public employees would earn lower salaries than those working in the private sector, but the trade off were that public employees would receive a somewhat better retirement and more days off. Now, public employees get higher average pay than those in the private sector, much better benefits, and many more days off. The selfishness of many public servants (and the unions that represent them) is perverted, and shows a willful lack of understanding as to the collective crisis we all share. We are stealing from future generations and we don’t care. The questions is not how much longer will it take before we are like Greece, but how much like Greece are we already.

Live Free or Die

Reference articles:

Public employees living larger than ever as economy struggles

Public Pension Cuts, Once Unthinkable, Now On The Table

Even in Europe: Millions in the public sector to pay more for pension

For feds, more get 6-figure salaries

Why the fireman?

Budget Crisis, States Take Aim at Pension Costs

Government employees now take higher salaries than private workers

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dismantling America

Thomas Sowell
Dismantling America

"We the people" are the familiar opening words of the Constitution of the United States-- the framework for a self-governing people, free from the arbitrary edicts of rulers. It was the blueprint for America, and the success of America made that blueprint something that other nations sought to follow.

At the time when it was written, however, the Constitution was a radical departure from the autocratic governments of the 18th century. Since it was something so new and different, the reasons for the Constitution's provisions were spelled out in "The Federalist," a book written by three of the writers of the Constitution, as a sort of instruction guide to a new product.

The Constitution was not only a challenge to the despotic governments of its time, it has been a continuing challenge-- to this day-- to all those who think that ordinary people should be ruled by their betters, whether an elite of blood, or of books or of whatever else gives people a puffed-up sense of importance.

While the kings of old have faded into the mists of history, the principle of the divine rights of kings to impose whatever they wish on the masses lives on today in the rampaging presumptions of those who consider themselves anointed to impose their notions on others.

The Constitution of the United States is the biggest single obstacle to the carrying out of such rampaging presumptions, so it is not surprising that those with such presumptions have led the way in denigrating, undermining and evading the Constitution.

While various political leaders have, over the centuries, done things that violated either the spirit or the letter of the Constitution, few dared to openly say that the Constitution was wrong and that what they wanted was right.

It was the Progressives of a hundred years ago who began saying that the Constitution needed to be subordinated to whatever they chose to call "the needs of the times." Nor were they content to say that the Constitution needed more Amendments, for that would have meant that the much disdained masses would have something to say about whether, or what kind, of Amendments were needed.

The agenda then, as now, has been for our betters to decide among themselves which Constitutional safeguards against arbitrary government power should be disregarded, in the name of meeting "the needs of the times"-- as they choose to define those needs.

The first open attack on the Constitution by a President of the United States was made by our only president with a Ph.D., Woodrow Wilson. Virtually all the arguments as to why judges should not take the Constitution as meaning what its words plainly say, but "interpret" it to mean whatever it ought to mean, in order to meet "the needs of the times," were made by Woodrow Wilson.

It is no coincidence that those who imagine themselves so much wiser and nobler than the rest of us should be in the forefront of those who seek to erode Constitutional restrictions on the arbitrary powers of government. How can our betters impose their superior wisdom and virtue on us, when the Constitution gets in the way at every turn, with all its provisions to safeguard a system based on a self-governing people?

To get their way, the elites must erode or dismantle the Constitution, bit by bit, in one way or another. What that means is that they must dismantle America. This has been going on piecemeal over the years but now we have an administration in Washington that circumvents the Constitution wholesale, with its laws passed so fast that the public cannot know what is in them, its appointment of "czars" wielding greater power than Cabinet members, without having to be exposed to pubic scrutiny by going through the confirmation process prescribed by the Constitution for Cabinet members.

Now there is leaked news of plans to change the immigration laws by administrative fiat, rather than Congressional legislation, presumably because Congress might be unduly influenced by those pesky voters-- with their Constitutional rights-- who have shown clearly that they do not want amnesty and open borders, despite however much our betters do. If the Obama administration gets away with this, and can add a few million illegals to the voting rolls in time for the 2012 elections, that can mean reelection, and with it a continuing and accelerating dismantling of America.

Thomas Sowell's Biography
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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©Creators Syndicate

Newsbusted: In Over His Head

Obama’s Divine Comedy

Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost. – The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

America is living its own ‘Divine Comedy,’ and as with Dante’s original story, there is nothing to laugh about. The right path has been lost to us because we lack direction. We are half-way through our collective journey with President Obama, and our country has strayed from the righteous path; we have wandered into a darkness of mystification that Obama cannot see through because he lacks the vision of a principled leader .

Leaders do not employ ‘hope’ as a methodology to enact ‘change’ at a time of crisis. Leaders put priorities into play and translate words into deeds. Leaders do not always see the exact crisis, but experience tells them what works and what does not work. Leaders know that sometimes their public perception should reflect the importance of the crisis. And for those of us who have been blessed to witness great leadership first hand know that one person’s calm is merely another person’s cluelessness. What America is witnessing with Obama is a community organizer, who is armed only with a na├»ve temperament, who has suddenly been thrust into a world consumed with peril.

For far too many, the gift of leadership is a greatly under-appreciated asset. The presidential election of 2008 is a perfect example of how artificial leadership skills can be greatly exaggerated to win over voters who lack insight of the true character of leadership, and recent events make it crystal clear that real, proven leadership is needed for the Office of the President of the United States. An unproven academic theory applied by untested underachievers does not make for great leadership; it only makes for dismal failure.

Leading up to the general election in 2008, time after time people pointed out that candidate Obama had never led anything, and time after time Obama supporters proclaimed that he is running a great campaign. It should be of no surprise too many that President Obama is failing at almost every crisis. Leading a campaign and leading a country are two uniquely different beast. Just because you own a cat doesn’t make you a lion tamer, and just because you convince enough people to vote for you does not mean you are ready to lead. Candidate Obama ran a seemly good campaign; President Obama is in way over his head. What would it matter if President Obama ‘showed some emotion (as some have suggested)’ when all it would be is misdirected irritation, and in no way an indication of leadership.

Watching President Obama these past few months trying to deal with the BP oil spill, North Korea’s overt acts of war, Iran’s continued defiance, the international community’s ‘ganging up’ on Israel, misspeaking (or butting in where it does not belong – Cambridge Police, Arizona immigration law), and an economy in chaos, one almost feels sorry for President Obama…almost. President Obama own narcissism and arrogance, fueled by willing enablers (from birth to oath), is how we find ourselves off the pathway of righteousness.

There are many people like President Obama. The halls of academia and the streets of despair are crowded with those who look at the world through the prism of underachievement, and believe that success can be achieved if only the bar was really as low as they thought it was. Ask the ‘you’ of 21 and the ‘you’ of 40 what it means to be a leader, and the answers would astound you. Is it any wonder that Obama’s resume of mediocrity was seen by fellow underachievers as the resume of a proven leader.

Every generation or so, America mistakenly tries to redefine what virtues make a great leader; and every time we realize that virtues such as integrity, commonsense, self- reliance, real world experience, confidence – balanced with humility, and a commitment to a cause higher than oneself are the intrinsic worth that makes a great leader.

America deserves a great leader every time they elect someone as President. But what Americans have failed to realize for far too long is that the President is nothing more than the extension of the country, and that it is the citizens that are the true leaders. In the end we must remember the straightforward path is our way out of the darkness of the forest, and as we have demonstrated in the past, leadership grows and gathers it strength from the people. It is time once again for the people to lead.

Live Free or Die