Liberalism

Does This Mean Hillary’s Presidency Would Last Eight Seconds?

Via The Hill, here’s presumptive 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, former U.S. Senator, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton riffing on people who oppose the government’s many intrusions into private life, and on The Future of American Society™ (emphasis added):

“When people diss the government — we’re really dissing ourselves and dissing our democracy,” Clinton said. “This is my last rodeo, and I believe that we can leave not just the country in good shape for the future, but we can get a deep bench of young people to decide that they want to go into politics.”

Obama believes regulations are good…

…and in breaking news, the sky is blue!  President Obama, speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce, tried to put forth the idea that regulations are a good thing.

From the Fox News report:

Speaking on matters that concern the business community with which the president has had a rocky relationship, Obama said, “The perils of too much regulation are matched by the dangers of too little.”

But, he said, regulations also serve a purpose.

“Already we’re dramatically cutting down on the paperwork that saddles businesses with huge administrative costs,” he said. “But ultimately, winning the future is not just about what the government can do to help you succeed. It’s about what you can do to help America succeed.”

He added, “We cannot go back to the kind of economy — and culture — we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth and gains in productivity just didn’t translate into rising incomes and opportunity for the middle class.”

The president took the opportunity to defend two of his primary legislative achievements — a Wall Street banking bill and health insurance reform.

“I know you have concerns about this law,” he said of the health law. “But the nonpartisan congressional watchdogs at the CBO estimate that health care tax credits will be worth nearly $40 billion for small businesses over the next decade.”

Of course, he neglects to point out that the “nonpartisan congressional watchdogs at the CBO” are hamstrung in how they can figure up their numbers, so you can trust what they say about as much as you can trust Paris Hilton to score perfect on the SAT.

Why Does Change Taste So Bitter?

So this is what change tastes like…pretty much the same as what we were being fed before, except more bitter and by force; like castor oil, except it makes us worse, not better.

At nearly 11PM on Sunday, March 21, 2010, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the culmination of generations worth of liberal ideological dreams, a year of contentious debate, and months worth of open bribery, extortion, arm-twisting, vote-buying and the use of arcane parliamentary tactics such as reconciliation and “deem-and-pass”, all in order to pass a bill that no one had a clue would end up looking like when it was signed. Why? Because the bill that was signed is not the one that will be implemented. That comes with the passage of the Senate amendments to make the House Democrats happy.

Why would so much time and effort be put into passing a bill that became more unpopular the longer it was in the public eye? Quite simply, because it is not about health care, it is about power. Power of 1/6th of the American economy, which conveys an enormous amount of influence for those charged with allocating those resources and privileges, and power over the health (and therefore life and death) decisions of over 300 million people.

President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi both came into power campaigning on a promise to end the Republican “culture of corruption” in Washington. Instead they doubled down. They promised us the most ethical and transparent Congress and administration in history. They promised debates on major legislation would be broadcast on C-SPAN, and that everything would be out in the open. They promised us a new way of doing business in Washington. We have a new way, alright…the Chicago way. Al Capone would be proud.

A libertarian ethnography

Recently I was prompted by an anthropology student at the University of Washington to answer several questions about libertarianism. The exchange was great, and provided a means to clarify several things that have been otherwise muddled.

Basic Questions:

1. How do you define a libertarian?

To me a libertarian is someone who believes in a limited government, which provides basic needs that most people believe to be necessary but does not try to stuff ideology down the citizens’ throats, the freedom of the individual to become whatever it is they want to be and a free market that allows great deals of mobility and ingenuity.

2. What influenced you to become and/or remain libertarian?

I love this country (for the ideals it was founded on, not because of nationalism, regionalism or nativism), and when I entered college, it became very clear that other students and professors didn’t. A bit of a blanket statement, I know, but it’s relatively true. I found myself defending slanderous left-wing statements about this country’s history, and in that process I realized I was libertarian. Liberty is the foundation of American society and government, and even if they don’t call themselves such, I think most Americans who love their country and find it exceptional are libertarians to a certain extent.

Beyond Defeat: Conservative Renewal (hopefully)

With only one month until the election and an Obama win looking more solid with every passing day, it is hopefully becoming clear to Republicans that their future success does not lie on the road they are currently taking. The road of big government “conservatism” has worn thin and Americans have had enough.

Socialist “single-payer” healthcare crashed and burned in America’s most liberal state

Vermont Single-Payer

Bill O’Reilly sent Jesse Watters to Vermont over the summer to see just how liberal the Green Mountain State is. The state legislature has a handful of elected officials from the “Progressive Party,” a political party further to the Left ideologically than even the most liberal Democrats. In Congress, Vermont sends an avowed Socialist and one of the most liberal Democrats to the Senate. And, of course, Vermont is well-known for having elected Howard Dean, a laughably-liberal governor-turned-presidential candidate.

So when Vermont went even further than Obamacare and enacted a single-payer system for health insurance, liberals nation-wide looked to that state as a beacon of hope for socialized medicine.

Writing in The Atlantic in December 2013, Sean McElwee notes:

Governor Peter Shumlin signed a revolutionary single-payer plan, Green Mountain Healthcare—the culmination of decades of work by progressive politicians in the state—into law in May 2011. The new system aims to guarantee universal insurance coverage, improve benefits for those who are currently underinsured, include universal dental care and vision care, and increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors in order to avoid cost-shifting.

Could Elizabeth Warren’s populist, organized Left steal the nomination from Hillary Clinton?

Hillary Clinton v. Elizabeth Warren

There have been rumblings for months that inevitable 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton isn’t the liberal champion Democrats need to defeat Republicans in the next election.

The New Republic, a liberal publication seemingly on the outs, published a lengthy piece in November 2013 about Elizabeth Warren — the populist liberal Senator from Massachusetts whose rising star in Washington hasn’t gone unnoticed by left-wing groups. TNR suggests the Democrat electorate will be comprised of two distinct factions:

Radical environmentalists want us to live in dirt mounds and reject capitalism

Al Gore

Statists are gonna state. It’s just how they do it. They see the power of government as a force for good…so long as the right people are calling the shots. The thing is, it’s really not enough for a lot of statists to just tell us what we have to do. They’re not content telling people they can’t accept a wage below the federally mandated minimum. They’re not content trying to tell people what they can do in the privacy of their own bedrooms either.

No, there’s also this overriding desire by these very same people to tell us what we’re supposed to actually like.

From a site called Eco-business.com, an article called “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it” says the following:

When one first hears calls for degrowth, it is easy to think that this new economic vision must be about hardship and deprivation; that it means going back to the stone age, resigning ourselves to a stagnant culture, or being anti-progress. Not so.

Degrowth would liberate us from the burden of pursuing material excess. We simply don’t need so much stuff – certainly not if it comes at the cost of planetary health, social justice, and personal well-being. Consumerism is a gross failure of imagination, a debilitating addiction that degrades nature and doesn’t even satisfy the universal human craving for meaning.

Degrowth, by contrast, would involve embracing what has been termed the “simpler way” – producing and consuming less.

Wow. I’m really glad I have statist jerks to tell me what gives my life meaning. I won’t get into the economics of that article right now, but instead I want to focus on this “meaning” thing for a moment.

Free to Obey

Josh Barro
(New York Times’ Josh Barro)

For years, a variety of secular liberal causes have campaigned for “tolerance,” “personal freedom,” or some variant of those things. It is ironic that as they have advanced their agenda, particularly in the areas of LGBT and abortion policy, they have become increasingly intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them.

Theologian Ravi Zacharias has spoken about the paradox of tolerance in America, noting that Americans pride themselves on living in a culture that values autonomy. Autonomy values the idea that every individual should have the right to make their own political and theological choices. America, seeking a model that would allow a pluralistic people to coexist, became the first autonomous model of the modern era.

The alternative to an autonomous culture is a heteronomous culture, where a small group of people direct the masses what to believe and how to live. Heteronomous models have governed most of the world for most of history. Secular Marxism and radical Islam are modern examples of the heteronomous model.

Secular liberals want a heteronomous culture where an elite few dictate the values that everyone else must hold. But in selling it to Americans, they refuse to own the heteronomous label. So they use different names for it. “Tolerance” and “acceptance” are common choices. They claim they only want to be left alone, and provided that, will allow everyone else to go on with their lives. Yet they are lying, and Zacharias points that out:

You’re Funding Hollywood Liberalism to the Tune of Billions

Hollywood Liberals

Politicians are sending your tax dollars to Hollywood, and it’s happening in the most unexpected places.

One popular (and often bipartisan) way state legislators send your money to Hollywood is in the form of film tax credits or other movie production incentives (MPI). According to a study by the Tax Foundation, nearly every state in the U.S. offers some sort of tax break or compensation at the expense of taxpayers to Hollywood studios in order to produce films, documentaries, or television shows.

Of course, we would expect this sort of behavior from liberal states like Maryland, where the popular Netflix program “House of Cards” is filmed, or California, where Hollywood’s liberal stronghold is located.

Media Rights Capital, the production company that films “House of Cards,” threatened to move their operation elsewhere for season three if they didn’t get even more than the $26 million in tax breaks they’ve already received from Maryland taxpayers for the first two seasons.

In response to MRC’s threat, the Maryland House of Delegates threatened to seize the means of production (cameras and other equipment) for the show if MRC attempted to pack up and leave. The proposal didn’t make it out of the State Senate.


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