Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Kennedy, Midler say disagreein…

30.09.2009 (1:30 pm) – Filed under: My Tweets ::

Kennedy, Midler say disagreeing with health care plans could lead to civil war. If so, wouldn’t those agitating for change be responsible?

Linking ACORN and President Obama

29.09.2009 (1:23 pm) – Filed under: Politics ::

Stanley Kurtz, perhaps the most dogged investigator of President Obama’s checkered past, recalls to mind Mr. Obama’s past association with ACORN.  It’s not pretty, but it ought to be required reading for those who persist in providing the president with the cover of “moderate” and “mainstream” labels.

There’s been a good deal of attention to ACORN of late, and deservedly so. Yet for all the fuss, what is arguably the most important Obama-ACORN tie of all has gotten short shrift. During the 2008 election, Obama’s close links to the far-left New Party were revealed and explored (although not by the mainstream press). Yet many seem to have forgotten that the New Party, particularly in Chicago, was dominated by ACORN (and by an ACORN-controlled SEIU union local). During the campaign, I detailed Obama’s New Party ties in two pieces, “Something New Here,” and “Life of the New Party.” Important evidence of Obama’s pursuit of the New Party endorsement can also be found in the September-October 1995 issue of “New Ground,” newsletter of the Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Obama’s New Party ties matter because they show that his links to ACORN went far beyond shared on-the-ground organizing, legal representation, training, or even funding (although all of those ties existed and were important). By running for office with the New Party, Obama was effectively indicating that he shared ACORN’s radical political goals.

We know that Mr. Obama shares ACORN’s goals of wealth redistribution and a fundamental shake-up of the country’s economy.  The evidence of this claim is based solely on his actions since taking office:

  • essentially nationalizing GM over objections of some stockholders
  • driving massive reorganizations of the financial market
  • borrowing hundreds of billions to create make-work government programs
  • attempting to jam unpopular health care reform down the throats of working Americans
  • kowtowing to our foreign adversaries in front of the U.N. and others
  • threatening energy companies economy-crippling environmental reform

And the list goes on.  We should bear Stanley Kurtz’s missives in mind when considering our votes in 2010’s mid-term elections.  A destructive force like President Obama must be countered by a skeptical, determined opposition to ensure that mainstream Americans’ rights and lives are protected.

More on Liberal Entitlement

26.09.2009 (3:09 pm) – Filed under: Health,Liberalism,Politics ::

Ron Lieber of the NY Times has a new piece up detailing Congress’ thoughts about halving the amount of pre-tax dollars that American families can set aside in their flexible spending accounts.

Most of the piece is devoted to running down the facts of the case, such as Max Baucus being the grinch behind the plan to take this benefit away from families, an outline of some of the problems with FSAs, etc.

It is true that most Americans would benefit much more from medical savings accounts than from the typical employer-sponsored FSA, primarily because savings accounts are not subject to the same inane year-end confiscation of unused funds as FSAs.  Any health reform bill Congress passes should result in the expansion of medical savings accounts; sadly, that doesn’t seem to be on the radar of anyone important.

Nevertheless, it’s frankly unconscionable that Congress would contemplate taking medical benefits away from American families, even the modestly important and hassle-filled FSA plans, in these difficult economic times.

But what’s even more galling – and revealing – about Lieber’s article is his final send-off to the issue, which I quote:

Use that tax break before you lose it, because many of you probably don’t deserve to have it in the first place.

Of all the pompous, arrogant, elitist horse manure I’ve ever read, this statement is one of the most egregious examples of liberal entitlement syndrome that I’ve seen.

The taxpayers don’t deserve a small tax break to pay for medical expenses?  Ridiculous.  What we deserve is to have every dollar of our earnings in our own pocket rather than funding the bloated, inefficient federal and state government entities and their massive set of welfare expenses.

Lieber’s asinine liberal non-think is an outrageous slap in the face to American taxpayers everywhere.  Left-wing politicians who think like he does – and there are a large number of them – need to be voted out of office before it’s too late.

The True American Virtue

25.09.2009 (8:42 pm) – Filed under: Society,Taxation ::

David Brooks summarizes Michael Kazin thusly and captures the true American virtue in print almost by accident:

The idea is that free labor is the essence of Americanism. Hard-working ordinary people, who create wealth in material ways, are the moral backbone of the country. In this free, capitalist nation, people should be held responsible for their own output. Money should not be redistributed to those who do not work, and it should not be sucked off by condescending, manipulative elites.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  And I truly mean that.

Perfecting Man, the Impossible Dream

25.09.2009 (6:05 pm) – Filed under: Conservatism,Liberalism,Society ::

Thomas Sowell thinks the difference between conservatives and liberals has to do with their views about the perfectability of man.

Sowell argues that when it comes to the culture wars, each of us will be drawn to a specific trench not because of policies or parties but rather because of the vision we may hold of human beings and how they are constructed.

Michael van der Gailen agrees, to a point:

Liberals believe in the perfectibility of man, conservatives do not.

But I wonder whether it’s all as black and white as it appears – some conservatives may believe, for instance, that man can improve himself significantly but that there are (biological and spiritual) limits to this personal  evolution.

The same goes for society of course.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Thomas Sowell – he’s a brilliant guy who makes me look like an intellectual plodder.  And while I think that there are fundamental differences in the way libs and cons view mankind, I don’t think that Sowell has identified the right root cause behind those views.

In fact, liberalism is based not on the assumption of man’s perfectability but rather on the impossibility of human perfection.  Hence the emphasis on sharing of wealth, resources, and risk in the form of government programs and financial redistribution.  Liberalism is all about the collective at the expense of the individual, precisely because the core leftist belief is that men need to be helped into achieving satisfactory outcomes.  Moreover, those few individuals who do achieve greatly must be penalizing and forced into helping raise their beaten competitors to a higher plain of existence.

Conservatives, on the other hand, prize individual achievement much more than social equality and parity of outcomes.  I believe this is because right-wing thinkers have both more faith in a Creator and more faith in individuals’ ability to provide for their own needs, reach their goals, and achieve great things.  The evidence is everywhere in conservative thinking, starting with the tenet that individuals should be allowed to create their own wealth and, having earned it, to keep it for their own purposes.

Perhaps what Sowell means is that liberals believe in the perfectability of society as whole.  That is certainly true, as demonstrated by the left’s continued agitation for social change, regardless of of the actual negative effects their thinking and programs have had on western culture.

Laissez Faire capitalism is, in fact, the natural state of mankind in an environment in which basic personal safety is relatively assured.  Modern western political and social systems vary in their methods and levels of restricting unbridled competition; the essential question dividing liberal and conservative is to what degree capitalism should be constrained.  The answer each of us gives depends in large part on whether we believe society can engineer itself to a higher level or not.

The facts of the last 40 years speak plainly to me and say that the answer is, “No.”

Highlighting a 1st Amendment Hero

25.09.2009 (6:34 am) – Filed under: Free Speech,Islam ::

Mike Adams says that Dr. Indrek Wichman is a First Amendment hero and proceeds to prove it using Wichman’s own words:

Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called “whores” in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France. This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile “protests.” If you do not like the values of the West–see the 1st Amendment–you are free to leave. I hope for God’s sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans. Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Predictably, Wichman’s letter was followed by the expected coercion and legal threats against his free speech rights and his career.

Michigan’s CAIR Executive Director Mr. Dawud Walid said it was “unconscionable for a professor to use his university e-mail account to foster a hostile learning environment for Muslim students.” He added, “The University needs to take appropriate disciplinary action in this case to demonstrate through its actions that anti-Muslim bigotry will not be tolerated on campus.”

Adams had this to say:

CAIR and MSA’s public call upon MSU to take “disciplinary action” against Wichman’s “Islamophobic” email was a classic example of Muslim cowardice.

I’d like to agree, but I cannot.  It’s important to realize that the Muslim groups’ actions, while cowardly, do not originate in cowardice.  Rather, these strident demands for special treatment are carefully designed strategies intended to force outcomes favoring their special interests at the expense of ordinary Americans, including true heroes like Dr. Wichman.

It is therefore imperative that these groups be resisted at every turn, including the legal and electoral: Exercise your right to free speech, even when it’s inconvenient; refuse to let your jury give in to un-American demands; vote for judges and representatives who will uphold the existing rules of law, common sense, and American values; at all times remain vigilant in your defense of the American way of life.

ACORN Sues Over Truth

23.09.2009 (9:38 pm) – Filed under: General News ::

ACORN, the activist organization accused of voter fraud in the 2008 presidential election and various other unsavory deeds, is now suing the reporters who exposed some of the group’s outrageous actions.

Since when did telling the truth about a group dedicated to defrauding the American people become a crime?

Missourah’s You Might be a Racist Flowchart

19.09.2009 (7:13 pm) – Filed under: Humor,Politics ::

Missourah’s take on the whole “if you dare to disagree with President Obama then you’re a racist” shtick that defines the Democrats these days would be a riot if it weren’t mostly true.

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Comment to Matt Yglesias

13.09.2009 (6:41 am) – Filed under: General News ::

I left this comment on Matt Yglesias’ snarky post which said, per the standard liberal playbook, that this year’s anti-tax tea parties are all about racism:

“your basic tea party crowd isn’t the sort of crowd in which a Confederate flag is unwelcome”

Matt, tell the black lady who headed up our communities’ tea part all about your accusations of racism at the core of the resistance to Obama. I’d pay to watch her laugh at you.

I quote her: “We’ve got African-Americans in this country. I just dropped the African because that’s what I am. That’s what we all are.”

That, my friend, is rational, inclusive thinking of the sort that liberals would be well-advised to attempt to undertake.

Should be fun to watch his readers come unglued in response. 

Nevertheless, there was something truly inspiring about watching this black, American lady (whose name escapes me at the moment) get up on stage and make this statement.  I wish that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had been there to witness her putting them to shame.

Why We Protest

12.09.2009 (2:17 pm) – Filed under: Conservatism,Politics ::

image The streets of Washington D.C. are filled with citizens who want President Obama and the Democratic leadership to reconsider the massive government-sponsored reorganization of the nation’s healthcare system.

These protesters, many of them politically involved for the first time in their lives, have come from across the nation with a purpose: to let the federal government know that they do not want any further expansion of federal authority or spending, particularly in the sensitive area of personal health.

Some liberals in Congress and in the media are still trying to spin this massive protest against the left wing’s agenda as artificial, “astroturf-ed” into existence by Big Business and rich Republican fat cats.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

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