Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MSNBC's Attack On Romney Child Exposes Left's Racism

MSNBC's Attack On Romney Child Exposes Left's Racism: Media Bias: In the season when charity for our fellows should be in our hearts, MSNBC mocks Mitt Romney's family Christmas photo for prominently featuring his black grandson. The real bigots are on the left. MSNBC talking head Melissa Harris-Perry, whose tastelessness extends to wearing a pair of tampons as earrings on-air in support of abortion rights, hosted a year-end segment on Sunday that soon sank into the gutter. Showing a family photo of

Chart of the greatest and most remarkable achievement in human history, and one you probably never heard about

Chart of the greatest and most remarkable achievement in human history, and one you probably never heard about:
The chart above illustrates one of the most remarkable achievements in human history: the 80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years, from 26.8% of the world’s population living on $1 or less in 1970 to only 5.4% in 2006, according to a 2009 NBER working paper “Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income,” by economists Maxim Pinkovskiy (MIT) and Xavier Sala-i-Martin (Columbia University).
What accounts for this great achievement that you never hear about? AEI president Arthur Brooks explains in the video below, summarized here:
It turns out that between 1970 and 2010 the worst poverty in the world – people who live on one dollar a day or less – that has decreased by 80 percent (see chart above). You never hear about that.
It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.
80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years. That has never, ever happened before.
So what did that? What accounts for that? United Nations? US foreign aid? The International Monetary Fund? Central planning? No.
It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.
I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world. It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.

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When Risk Is Separated From Gain, The System Is Doomed

When Risk Is Separated From Gain, The System Is Doomed:
Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
If the gambler has no feedback from his bets because the casino reimburses his losses, then he will continue gambling wildly and losing spectacularly.
Risk is an ever-present characteristic of life; it cannot be eliminated, it can only be masked or hedged. We know this intuitively, yet we blithely accept official assurances that risk can be eliminated by the monetary machinations of the Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of China, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.
To confuse masking risk with the elimination of risk is the acme of hubris and the perfect setup for disaster. In my view, the global central bank response has been directed at masking risk and presenting this as the "solution" that has sent risk back to its lair, defeated. But cloaking risk does not eliminate it; official obfuscation merely pushes risk beneath the surface where it accumulates unseen.
Once the built-up risk reaches criticality, it explodes in "unforeseen" volatility that is often triggered by a seemingly unimportant event.
One way that risk is systemically and deliberately hidden is by separating it from the gain or loss that results from taking the risk. This is also called "moral hazard," and the example everyone now knows is private banks that "privatized profits and socialized losses" by keeping their outsized profits skimmed in the go-go years and transferring their staggering losses to the public ledger.
From the point of view of risk analysis, the risk of losses from malinvestment and speculation were separated from the gains. The banks kept the gains but then diverted the losses (risk) to the taxpayers via the $14 trillion TARP bailout and $16 trillion in "secret" subsidies and give-aways only revealed by a FOIA release of 30,000 pages won by Bloomberg.
We can understand this disconnect as the severing of the feedback loop from risk to gain. If the gambler has no feedback from his bets because the casino reimburses his losses, then he will continue gambling wildly and losing spectaularly. After all, why not?
This explains why the Fed and the Obama administration will not just fail, but fail spectacularly: not only are they individually distant from the risks incurred by their policies, those entities they are protecting (the banking sector, the higher education cartel, sickcare, etc.) are also protected from risk.
Without feedback (we might also call it the possibility of loss or defeat), the players and the system are both intrinsically doomed to failure. There is no other end-state possible if you start from this initial condition.
Thanks to globe-trotting correspondent Toby B., who sent me the book and several other fascinating histories, I have read a deeply insightful history of the pivotal battle of Midway, June 1942: Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway.
The book is unique among war histories in that it explores the culture and internal conflicts of the Japanese Imperial Navy which contributed (as initial conditions) to the unexpected defeat at Midway by the inferior forces of the American Navy.
Having studied Japanese history, language, geography and literature in university, the culture of the Imperial Navy was not entirely new ground. But the internal conflicts over differing strategies in the Japanese central command and Imperial Navy were new and of great interest, for they reflected not just Japanese culture but (not unexpectedly) human nature.
Japan's remarkably decisive successes in the first months of the Pacific war left the high command with the unusual problem of "what do we do next?" Having achieved all their tactical goals, debates raged over what to attempt next.
Admiral Yamamoto, the chief architect (though by no means uncontested) of Japan's strategy, opted to draw out America's aircraft carriers into a "decisive battle"--the heart of Japanese Naval doctrine. He devised the Midway campaign to do exactly this.
After such an amazing string of victories over the American, Dutch and British navies following Pearl Harbor, the idea of defeat did not enter the computations or the debates, nor did the idea that all the various strategies proposed were highly risky.
The denial and disorientation caused by the catastrophic loss of Japan's four finest aircraft carriers in a single day did not deter the Japanese commanders from pressing on to Midway; their mindset did not allow for defeat, and so they had no choice but to press on to victory.
Eventually Admiral Yamamoto conceded the campaign had failed to reach its objectives--destroy the U.S. aircraft carriers and capture Midway Island, and that pressing on would only endanger what was left of the Japanese fleet.
All of this struck me as absolutely telling in regards to the Fed's campaign to restart the U.S. economy by lowering interest rates to zero and flooding the system with free, cheap money (liquidity). The strategy is simple: drive the cost of borrowing money so low that people will once again buy homes with 3% down payments and huge mortgages, and plow their money into the stock market, the asset class (along with real estate) which is inflated monthly as an official Fed policy.
This is the Fed's strategy: drive "risk assets" like stocks up until some magical point is reached and households feel wealthy and confident again, and start borrowing and spending with abandon. The fact that only 10% of U.S. households own enough stock to expereince this "wealth effect" simply doesn't register in the Fed's mindset: risk has been eliminated and thus victory is assured.
The idea that this strategy is flawed does not occur to the Fed leadership; this mindset is so narrow and atrophied that the Fed has no alternative but to "press on to victory," even as the ship is sinking beneath them.
The same can be said of President Obama, who appears unable to grasp that his policies have been catastrophically misguided.
I suspect 2014 will be the year--after five long years of the same battle plan--that the total and complete failure of this strategy will be revealed to all. The Fed and Obama administration are steaming their flagships toward the booming guns on the horizon, confident of victory even as the undetected squadrons of risk are high above, setting their bombsites on the foaming white wakes of hubris below.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Austerity Isn't Negative--It's Essential to Good Planning and Decision-Making

Austerity Isn't Negative--It's Essential to Good Planning and Decision-Making: Austerity and crisis are not negative--they are the only dynamics that force smart thinking and the re-alignment of values, resources and strategic goals.

Unsurprisingly, the status quo position on austerity (real or imagined)--that it's terribly, horribly negative--is precisely backwards: austerity is the one essential positive motivator of productive strategic planning, prioritization and decision-making.

By austerity, I mean a broad-based definition: when resources are not up to the demands of the status quo. In other words, austerity is a relative term; for the household accustomed to a lifestyle that requires $15,000 a month, a cut to $10,000 a month is a drastic austerity budget, even though the $10,000 per month budget is insanely bloated to those managing on $3,000 per month.

The dynamic of austerity being required to force productive planning, prioritization and decision-making is scale-invariant: that is, it applies to every bit of the spectrum, from individuals to couples to households to small enterprises to communities to corporations to government agencies to nation-states.

For a military machine accustomed to expanding outlays and a $700+ billion annual budget, a cut of $50 billion is viewed as extreme austerity--even though it wasn't that long ago that the Pentagon budget was well under $500 billion.

An insightful article in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs describes how austerity has in the past forced the U.S. military to realign resources with goals via hardnosed, realistic, productive strategic thinking: How Budget Crises Have Improved U.S. Strategy.

When there is funding for every program and response to every potential threat, money is thrown around without regard to strategic planning, which is the process of assessing and ranking risks and threats and formulating a strategy that prioritizes resources and goals: in other words, smart planning.
the author of the essay neatly summarizes this process:

"In World War II, the paucity of the resources on hand actually forced U.S. policymakers to make tough but smart choices. A combination of austerity and crisis helped forge a core strategic concept, a new threat assessment, an appreciation of the indissoluble links between interests and values, and a calibration of priorities."
The dynamic of austerity coupled with crisis is the key driver of smart, strategic planning for individuals, households, communities, organizations, enterprises and nations; without austerity/crisis-driven assessment, prioritizing and planning, resources are squandered on impractical, low-yield distractions that have been jumbled up with key priorities by muddled, politically-expedient thinking.

If you have enough borrowing power to fund everything that every politically potent constituency wants, you are ontologically (inherently) ill-prepared for crisis. Muddled strategic planning leads to a confusion of competing priorities, none of which are integrated in a grand strategy with clear goals, priorities and planning.

Historical analogies abound; here is one. In a previous Musings (When Risk Is Separated From Gain, The System Is Doomed, Musing Report 47, 2011), I discussed Japan's muddled plan for the Midway campaign in World War II, a convoluted political marriage of competing Army and Navy plans. Rather than clarify the goal and prioritize the means to accomplish it, the Japanese high command attempted to please every key power center by combining each constituency's ideas and goals into a complex tactical plan that worked politically but which was militarily diffused and internally inconsistent. Junior officers' well-founded critiques of the plan were suppressed by top brass fearing political blowback.

The end result was a completely avoidable military catastrophe that essentially ended Japan's hope of prevailing in the war: four aircraft carriers sunk, the cream of the Navy's carrier pilot cadre lost. These losses forced a shift of strategy from expansion and victory to defense and a vain hope for a favorable settlement of hostilities.

This failure to force clear strategic thinking was the natural result of Japan's string of early victories, which generated a widespread hubris in the leadership, i.e. the belief that available resources could magically accomplish any goal conjured by central command.

This is a precise analogy to the U.S., not just militarily, but every facet of its society and economy: politically expedient, kick-the-can-down-the-road "no limits on anything" means no strategy, no priorities, no planning and ultimately, no clear thinking at the top, which then guarantees complete failure.

This perfectly captures the essence of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) monstrosity: a program intended to satisfy or placate every politically powerful constituency is a muddled, complicated mess doomed to systemic failure on multiple levels.The ACA was ultimately a political plan which ignored (thanks to a complete absence of austerity) the actual resources of the nation and its bloated, inefficient, perverse-incentivized healthcare system.

Austerity and crisis are not negative--they are the only dynamics that force smart thinking and the re-alignment of values, resources and strategic goals. Trying to fund everything to please or placate every powerful constituency ends up failing everyone in catastrophic fashion.

This essay was drawn from Musings Report 51, one of the weekly reports sent exclusively to subscribers and major contributors (i.e. those who contribute $50 or more annually). 

The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy:
The Revolution in Higher Education

Reconnecting higher education, livelihoods and the economy

With the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down? College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market.

It is no surprise everyone is asking: Where is the return on investment? Is the assumption that higher education returns greater prosperity no longer true? And if this is the case, how does this impact you, your children and grandchildren?

go to Kindle edition
We must thoroughly understand the twin revolutions now fundamentally changing our world: The true cost of higher education and an economy that seems to re-shape itself minute to minute.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy clearly describes the underlying dynamics at work - and, more importantly, lays out a new low-cost model for higher education: how digital technology is enabling a revolution in higher education that dramatically lowers costs while expanding the opportunities for students of all ages.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy provides clarity and optimism in a period of the greatest change our educational systems and society have seen, and offers everyone the tools needed to prosper in the Emerging Economy.

Kindle edition: list $9.95 

Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

Kindle: $9.95       print: $24

Go to my main site at www.oftwominds.com/blog.html for the full posts and archives.

War on ‘Free Exercise’ of Religion

War on ‘Free Exercise’ of Religion:
by Phyllis Schlafly: Americans who believe in God had better wake up and realize that a well-orchestrated campaign is moving to fundamentally transform the United States into a scrupulously secular nation. If this succeeds, we will no longer enjoy our First Amendment right of “free exercise” of religion but will be forbidden to speak or display any prayers, Bible quotations, or other evidences of religion in any public place or event.

The major strike force working to accomplish this consists of the ACLU plus various atheist groups. They are always ready to file lawsuits to get some supremacist judge or school superintendent to restrict religious expression and even religious music.

This effort is magnified by two other organizations that have a major impact on our culture: the military who feel the temptation to be politically correct and the liberal bureaucrats in public schools who now feel free to teach their leftwing views. Barack Obama’s fingerprints are not on most of these acts, but his anti-religious attitudes are widely enough known to encourage those on the public payroll to charge ahead with extremist politically correct policies.

We’d like to know if Pentagon officials have met with any Christian leaders to balance the aggressive lobbying by those who want to silence all religious expression by members of the military. Nine senior Army or Navy officers were dismissed this year, and some wonder if this was a purge of senior officers suspected of not toeing the Obama party line.

A U.S. Air Force chaplain has come under fire for posting a column in the Chaplain’s Corner section of his base’s website entitled “No Atheists in Foxholes; Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” An outfit called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation sent an irate letter to the base commander claiming that 42 anonymous airmen had complained. Col. Kenneth Reyes was then ordered to remove his article. The anti-religion group wasn’t satisfied; it then called for further punishment of the chaplain, complaining that the title “No Atheists in Foxholes” is a “bigoted, religious supremacist phrase,” and the article is an “anti-secular diatribe.”

You may be wondering what exactly was in Col. Reyes’s column. The answer is it was a very innocuous message. He summarized the World War II origins of the “no atheists in foxholes” phrase and commented that faith could be religious or secular. There was no mention of atheists outside of the historical phrase or to any particular religion. There was no implication that faith has to be in any particular God. Col. Reyes’s column merely implied that everyone has faith in something. Incidents like this build a climate of intimidation and discrmination against Christians in the military. It is really the atheists attacking Col. Reyes who are spreading a climate of hate.

A Young Marines program in Louisiana, which has been helping at-risk youth for 25 years, lost its federal funding because its graduation ceremony mentions God. The oath says simply, “I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines.” Graduation also includes a voluntary and non-denominational prayer that, in 25 years, no one ever complained about. But Obama’s Department of Justice discovered the oath and prayer in a random audit and then demanded that both be removed or else the government would cut off its $15,000 in federal funding.

The U.S. Air Force Academy has ordered the removal of the phrase “So help me God” from the Cadet Oath, the Officer Oath, and the Enlisted Oath in the Academy Cadet Handbook. Parents are attacking this move as a disservice to the men and women who want to include the oath as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and their country. As Chaplain Ron Crews said, “This phrase is a deeply rooted American tradition which George Washington began as the first president of the United States, and many who take an oath of service to our Country still state it.” Parents are calling on the Air Force to restore the oath so that cadets who come from faith backgrounds would be supported in solemnizing their oath with the words that generations of officers before them have used.

Some public school busybody bureaucrats are trying to suppress any and all religious mention on school property. Their orders are far more extreme than anything courts have ever held to be violations of the First Amendment.

Sports are a favorite target of the anti-religious crowd. A high school football coach, Marcus Borden, was forbidden even to bow his head or “take a knee” during voluntary student-led prayers before the games. In Texas, a boy’s track relay team ran its fastest race of the year and defeated its closest rival by seven yards, which should have enabled it to advance toward the state championship. The team’s anchor runner pointed to the sky to give glory to God as he crossed the finish line, but someone didn’t like the gesture so the authorities disqualified this winning team because of it.

In North Carolina, a high school junior knelt for a brief two-second prayer before a wrestling match, and the referee penalized him a point for doing so. High school officials in Kountze, Texas, and a Wisconsin atheist group called Freedom From Religion made a tremendous effort to stop the cheerleaders from displaying a banner before a football game that read: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

The ACLU and an atheist group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued a little school district in Jackson City, Ohio, to force the school to take a picture of Jesus off the school wall. The picture was one of 24 famous historical figures displayed in small frames ever since 1947. The school agreed to remove the picture of Jesus, but the school is now required to pay the ACLU $80,000 for its attorney’s fees plus $15,000 to reward five anonymous plaintiffs.

A senior at Tomah High School in Wisconsin was given a zero on an art project because he added a cross and the words “John 3:16 A Sign of Love” to his drawing of a landscape.

Christmas has come under attack in many schools, trying to ban Christmas observance far beyond what supremacist judges have ever called for. The choir director in Wausau West High School in Wisconsin told the press that he was given three choices by school officials. He could eliminate all Christmas music, he could cancel all December performances, or he could perform one religious song for every five secular songs at all performances, and the district had to approve every selection. The choir director said he would cancel all performances. Parents and the public were outraged. After a stormy school board meeting, the obnoxious orders were rescinded and the kids sang their Christmas carols.

The ACLU in Rhode Island filed a lawsuit to force Cranston High School to remove a prayer banner in the auditorium, even though there had been no complaints in 38 years. The banner reads in part: “Our Heavenly Father: Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship, help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School.” The sad part of this lawsuit is that it will cost the city of Cranston and Cranston High School a lot of money to pay the attorneys to defend the banner.

An atheist tried to cancel Christmas in the small town of Shreveport, New York this year. The town had hosted “Christmas on the Canal” for 17 years. The event included carols, a tree-lighting, a nativity scene, and a visit from Santa. After the atheist threatened to sue, the major asked the committee of volunteers who organized the celebration to change the name to “Holiday on the Canal” and remove the nativity scene. The committee refused, the town denied funding, and the event was cancelled. The committee then went public with the story, donations poured in, and Christmas on the Canal went ahead as planned. Congratulations to Shreveport for understanding the value of keeping Christ in Christmas and not being intimidated by the atheists.

You can laugh at the following rule issued by the principal at Heritage Elementary in Madison, Alabama, but she was downright serious. She allowed Easter observances including a costumed rabbit, but she issued this imperious warning, “Make sure we don’t say ‘the Easter bunny’ because that would infringe on religious diversity.”

America was founded on very different beliefs about government actions. As Alexis de Toqueville, the Frenchman who traveled around our country in the mid-19th century, wrote: “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. . . . 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.”

Barack Obama has repeatedly shown his disdain for any public acknowledgment of God, Christianity or religion. This year when he recorded his reading of the Gettysburg Address on the 150th anniversary of that famous speech, he purposely omitted Abraham Lincoln’s famous words “under God” after “one nation.” In at least one of his Thanksgiving Day addresses, he thanked a lot of worthy people, but somehow God didn’t make the cut.

Obama’s goal seems to be to shrink our First Amendment right of the “free exercise” of religion to what he calls “freedom of worship,” which means it would still be OK to go inside your church, shut the doors and say a prayer; but you would be prevented from speaking about your faith or religion at any public meeting, event, or school. The best source for more information about this is No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom by Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr.
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: War on, free exercise of Religion, Obama's War on Religious Freedom, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Government-Media Complex: The Greatest Threat To Freedom

The Government-Media Complex: The Greatest Threat To Freedom:
A free society does not only become unfree at the point of a gun. It becomes unfree when its mechanisms of freedom are jammed, when the institutions that are meant to provide power to the people are taken over by unelected forces and twisted into the apparatus of a new tyranny. When undemocratic institutions seize control of democratic institutions then democracy dies, strangled by men and women who keep on smiling while they tighten their grip.
_ Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish 
If I could be granted one wish for my fellow Americans, it would be that they would read, understand, and think about the brilliant essay written by Daniel Greenfield linked above. We conservative/libertarians lament the low information voters with regularity. Daniel Greenfield writes about the deliberately misinformed voters. Deliberately misinformed by what he calls the mediacracy.
A nation where governments are elected by the people is most vulnerable at the interface between the politicians and the people. The interface is where the people learn what the politicians stand for and where the politicians learn what the people want. The bigger a country gets, the harder it is to pick up on that consensus by stopping by a coffee shop or an auto repair store. That’s where the Mediacracy steps in to control the consensus.
The media is no longer informative, it is conformative. It is not interested in broadcasting events unless it can also script them. It does not want to know what you think, it wants to tell you what to think…
Remember the presidential “Town Hall” debate where candidate Mitt Romney was expected to take President Obama to task for the Benghazi disaster? Greenfield has some thoughts about Candy Crowley’s performance:
Candy Crowley, in true Mediacrat style, was not there to facilitate a conversation, but to tell us what to think. Unlike Obama or Romney, Crowley had no legitimate reason for being there. She was not a political candidate and had not passed any of the democratic tests that Obama and Romney had to be able to sit there. Her influence had no basis of any kind in the voice of the people. Instead she was there as a representative of the powerful and unelected Mediacracy which was determined to have its say. She was there to remind the pols that even in a Two Party system, the Fourth Estate acts as the third candidate, never running for office but always winning by controlling the conversation.
The vast majority of the media in America are owned by a handful of large corporations. They are acting as the traffic cop controlling the flow of information about the government to the people and about the people to the government. Jesus said: “…the truth will set you free.” But, the Government-Media Complex does not want Americans to be free. To which, Greenfield wrote:
The Mediacracy has directed all its efforts into hijacking the public dialogue, turning elections into a cheap sideshow accompanied by sneering commentary. It has insisted on being the third candidate in every election and turned its corporate shills into the pretend voice of the people. It has stomped all over the traditions of this country, its independent institutions and its freedoms with thousand dollar shoes while wrapping itself in any available flag. And it cannot be allowed to get away with it.
Those who write and those who read conservative/libertarian blogs are the primary source of truth today. MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?
Original Post: Asylum Watch
The post The Government-Media Complex: The Greatest Threat To Freedom appeared first on Conservative Hideout 2.0.

The Pathetic Irrelevance of Jesse Jackson

The Pathetic Irrelevance of Jesse Jackson:
In a desperate attempt to stay relevant, Jesse Jackson has sunk the civil rights movement he represents to the absolute bottom of self-parody by denouncing Phil Robertson as “more offensive” than the bus driver who asked Rosa Parks to give up her seat.
Once the civil rights movement did good in America by erasing vestigial remnants of the long-ago days of slavery. Despite his communist associations and personal flaws, Martin Luther King Jr.’s basic message was positive: We would be much better off if our society judged us by the content of our character, as he advocated.
However, we are increasingly less judged by our character than our ethnicity, thanks to a racial hierarchy based on phony victimhood that has been imposed on us in part by demagogues who hijacked the civil rights movement.
Prominent among them is Jackson, who smeared King’s blood on his shirt in his eagerness to claim his mantle. But the moral capital he inherited was quickly squandered on mau-mauing operations, which allowed Jackson to enrich himself by collecting massive extortion payments from business entities in return for not denouncing them as racist.
Overshadowed by the still more shameless and cartoonish Al Sharpton, and beset by sordid scandals, Jackson is no longer the center of attention. So he has needed to yell ever louder, making ever more of a fool of himself and of the dwindling few who regard him as an authority. Finally, after Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was sandbagged for expressing his conventional Christian view of homosexuality, Jackson has come to this:
“These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago,” Jackson said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
What could Rosa Parks possibly have to do with GQ being able to drag out of Robertson that like all Bible-believing Christians he regards homosexuality as a sin?
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law.”
Live and learn. I didn’t realize there are state laws against being Christian:
“Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”
The white privilege card is officially worn out. Leftists have overplayed it to the point that no one could possibly take it seriously. Nothing in the controversy A&E and the rest of the liberal media ginned up to tear down Phil Robertson has anything whatsoever to do with being white:
In his statement, the 72-year-old civil rights leader demanded to meet within 72 hours with A&E executives and Cracker Barrel’s CEO to discuss the future of Duck Dynasty memorabilia.
A&E has already indefinitely suspended Phil Robertson for his thought crime. But apparently that isn’t good enough for the righteous Jesse Jackson, who as a self-appointed representative of homosexuality, demands further punishment. Maybe they can bring back crucifixion.
Jackson is likely to have a long sit in the A&E waiting room. The dog still barks, but it will no longer hunt.

Dave Blount has been exposing the excesses of the Left at Moonbattery.com since 2004.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Feds Won’t Let Isolated Alaska Town Build One Lane Gravel Road Through Wildlife Refuge

Feds Won’t Let Isolated Alaska Town Build One Lane Gravel Road Through Wildlife Refuge:
A small Alaska town wants to build a one lane gravel road through a wildlife refuge so residents will have access to things like hospitals. The Obama administration won’t let them because, well, birds.
After four years of study, the Obama administration has decided on that the isolated community of King Cove, Alaska may not build a 22-mile, single-lane gravel road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the town of Cold Bay.
The decision, announced on Dec. 23 by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, has infuriated the people of King Cove, where the proposed road has been discussed since the 1980s.
The road would have given them access to emergency medical and other services by way of the all-weather airport at Cold Bay.
“Are birds really more important than people? It seems so hard to believe that the federal government finds it impossible to accommodate both wildlife and human beings,” the Associated Press quoted Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack as saying.
The proposed deal included a lopsided land swap: In exchange for using 200 acres within the wildlife refuge for road construction, the State of Alaska and the King Cove Corporation offered to add 55,000 acres to the Izembek Refuge. (Read More)
This is the same administration that has no problem with solar panels burning birds or windmills hacking them to pieces.

Mona Charen on Obama’s executive caprice, undermining the rule of law, and dangerous new level of government by decree

Mona Charen on Obama’s executive caprice, undermining the rule of law, and dangerous new level of government by decree:
In an excellent article in today’s National Review Online, Mona Charen warns us that even more dangerous than the fact that Obamacare is now throwing one-sixth of the US economy into chaos, is the reality that Team Obama has undermined the rule of law in the process of implementing the Unaffordable Care Act, and they’ve gotten away with it:
Regarding Obamacare, the administration has issued 1,231 waivers to unions, businesses, trade associations, and others. In a display of government by decree, the administration has delayed or altered the law no fewer than 14 times.
After a string of denials, HHS announced that employers would not be required to offer health insurance until 2015 instead of 2014 as the law provides. Next, Obama decreed that small businesses would not have to enroll in online exchanges next year. HHS high-handedly ruled that next year’s enrollment deadline for individuals would be November 15, not October 15 (can’t imagine why). After the outcry over canceled policies, the president unilaterally allowed that insurers could go ahead and offer last year’s policies. Accelerating retractions and corrections come daily now — most without legal foundation. Individuals can take an extra week to sign up for plans; those who’ve had their policies canceled can sign up for “catastrophic” policies. It all depends upon Obama’s whim.
This last bit of executive caprice creates the illogical and utterly unjust outcome that people who could not afford insurance at all in 2013 are still subject to the mandate, whereas those who did have insurance but saw their plans canceled are not. The law contains a “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate, which had included the homeless, members of Indian tribes, those who’d filed for bankruptcy within the previous six months, and so forth. Now, according to the White House, having your insurance plan canceled because of Obamacare is itself a hardship. They’re getting warmer.
The president and his secretary of HHS seem to be playing a federal version of Whac-A-Mole. No sooner do they bat at one problem with the law than another pops up.
This isn’t just a problem with Obamacare. It’s a dangerous new level of government by decree. Adhering to the rule of law isn’t just a tradition — it is the essence of American liberty and success. Nations without it (look at Egypt, Venezuela, or Russia) have difficulty achieving stability and prosperity even if they are blessed with natural resources and other advantages.
Obamacare has thrown one-sixth of the economy into chaos — with results that are still incalculable. It’s even more dangerous that Obama has undermined the rule of law and gotten away with it.
HT: Dwight Oglesby

Legalized Plunder & Today’s Ruling Class

Legalized Plunder & Today’s Ruling Class:
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it”
― Frederic Bastiat
We have reached a point in time, where treading water is useless, we are going to drown in “talking points “and other types of deception if we don’t make strong strokes toward a safe haven. Our nation is drowning in debt simply because the Permanent Elite Political Class in Congress and the White House has lined their own pockets with wealth; while continually taxing the poor.
President Obama and Congress have created for themselves a legal system, that plunders the taxpayer, these disrespectful thieving scoundrels, accept bribes, and repel the needy.  We need to stop-look-listen or we are going to be run over and destroyed by the political train wrecking our economy. Congress and the President’s time have been taken up with scandals. Eric Holder Attorney General was held in Contempt of Congress after refusing to release all documents which the House of Representatives had demanded concerning the Fast and Furious gun walking operation. (2012)…Then there is Benghazi, will we ever truthful know what happened there? Do we need the appointment of a special prosecutor? There is the NSA spying scandal, with so many White House scandals—and new ones popping up every day— there is no time left to address the important issues. And the reality of what’s going on is kept form the average citizens. Wouldn’t it be nice if the biggest threat to our nation and national security could be discussed? That threat being our annual federal budget and our national debt.
Meanwhile, while congress and the president play the blame game, and get nothing done; we the citizens blame each other. Like small unruly children, we throw fits and tantrums scream and holler about, gay rights, my rights, his rights, her rights, group rights, civil rights; a kind of conduct that separates us all from who we really are. Right or wrong we are all Americans and we need to stick together. The average American citizen goes along, to get along, living from paycheck to paycheck, and doesn’t care less about scandals, until everybody is hit hard in the pocketbook; Or when a relative or friend needlessly dies in a corrupt war.
Benghazi and Obamacare should be a wake-up call. The questions we need to ask ourselves are – Where lives needlessly lost in Benghazi? Is Obamacare destroying jobs and ruining our economy?
The strong strokes we need to swim through to that safe haven I mention in my opening paragraph is
Direct Democracy. Electoral democracy has self-destructed, it’s past time to give “We the People” a chance. Direct democracy is the only way we can change Washington, we need honest upstanding people in congress and the presidency. We need a congress and a justice department that will prosecute and impeach the president if necessary. The corruption will not stop as long as we have rigged elections, elections where only the wealthy can run for high office. Our government is run by plutocrats and socialistic progressives.
Photo Credit: Standard Compliant

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ann Coulter: Kwanzaa is another ‘boneheaded liberal idea’

Ann Coulter: Kwanzaa is another ‘boneheaded liberal idea’:
Via AnnCoulter.com:
I had hoped to write about “Duck Dynasty” this week, but that will have to wait. I have too much Kwanzaa shopping left to do. (Is it just me, or is Kwanzaa getting way too commercialized?)
Contrary to pundits sniping about Ted Cruz’s campaign to repeal Obamacare, even the most boneheaded liberal ideas never “collapse on their own,” which is why we still have public schools and President Obama. If nothing is done, Kwanzaa will join these horrors in the firmament of American life.
It is a fact that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge, Ron Karenga — aka Dr. Maulana Karenga — founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers. He was also a dupe of the FBI.
In what was ultimately a foolish gambit, during the madness of the ’60s, the FBI encouraged the most extreme black nationalist organizations in order to discredit and split the left. The more preposterous the group, the better.
By that criterion, Karenga’s United Slaves was perfect. In the annals of the American ’60s, Karenga was the Father Gapon, stooge of the czarist police.
Continue reading…
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Obamacare ‘not designed to reduce costs or … to make health insurance coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans’

Obamacare ‘not designed to reduce costs or … to make health insurance coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans’:
A day-after Christmas present of Obamacare truth from USA Today:
More than half of the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that’s affordable — by the government’s own definition — for 40-year-old couples who make just a little too much for financial assistance, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
Many of these counties are in rural, less populous areas that already had limited choice and pricey plans, but many others are heavily populated, such as Bergen County, N.J., and Philadelphia and Milwaukee counties.
More than a third don’t offer an affordable plan in the four tiers of coverage known as bronze, silver, gold or platinum for people buying individual plans who are 50 or older and ineligible for subsidies. …
The prices of exchange plans have shocked many shoppers, especially those who had plans canceled because they did not meet the ACA coverage requirements. But experts are not surprised.
“The ACA was not designed to reduce costs or, the law’s name notwithstanding, to make health insurance coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans,” says health care consultant Kip Piper, a former government and insurance industry official. “The law uses taxpayer dollars to lower costs for the low-income uninsured but it also increases costs overall and shifts costs within the marketplace.”

College Speech Codes Are Ridiculous

College Speech Codes Are Ridiculous: Many colleges and universities have published speech codes to spell out rules to force students to use only politically correct language. These policies have gotten so ridiculous that a student at Modesto Junior College in California was barred from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution. The student, Robert van Tuinen, is an Army veteran who decided to distribute small copies of the U.S.

No More Backing Down

No More Backing Down:
By Vox Day
Have you noticed something has changed recently in the way the political Right now responds to public criticism and personal attacks? It used to be that when faced with charges of racism, bigotry, or even being insufficiently polite to the Left, right wingers who found themselves in the media cross hairs fell all over themselves apologizing, denying their previous statements, and rejecting their previously held beliefs.
Not that this cowardly behavior often saved their jobs or their reputations, and yet one public figure after another persisted in responding to criticism by cringing and assuming the fetal position.
Not anymore. When attacked by GLAAD and suspended by A&E, “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson stood up before God and Man and continued to fearlessly preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, a timely celebration of the birth we Christians celebrate tomorrow. His words were wise.
“Jesus Christ was the most perfect being to ever walk this planet and he was persecuted and nailed to the cross, so please don’t be surprised when we get a little static.”
Phil Robertson wasn't the only man of the Right who demonstrated courage last week. After being taken to task by National Review managing editor Jason Lee Steorts for showing insufficient gentility to the homosexuals rabidly attacking Robertson, Mark Steyn not only refused to back down or retract his words, but openly called Steorts own courage and commitment to conservatism into question.
"When attacked by GLAAD and suspended by A&E, “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson stood up before God and Man and continued to fearlessly preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, a timely celebration of the birth we Christians celebrate tomorrow."
This was perhaps braver than it might sound, considering that National Review has a long and sordid history of purging genuine conservatives from its ranks, usually for a failure to adhere to mainstream liberal orthodoxy. It is too soon to say if Steyn will be joining Joe Sobran, Ann Coulter, and John Derbyshire in the distinguished ranks of purged National Review writers, but regardless of what the consequences turn out to be, Mark Steyn has shown that he will not cower before the thought police who relentlessly patrol the mainstream media in order to enforce their left-liberal political dogma.
Both Robertson and Steyn are providing a new model and drawing a new line in the sand for a newly invigorated Right. It is now obvious that there is no amount of surrender that will suffice to appease the Left.

Every victory for them is rapidly followed by the opening of a new front in the unending cultural war they declared on Christianity and traditional America. It is now entirely apparent that moderation is doomed to failure and tolerance is nothing more than waving a white flag. To restore America, to save the nation, it is necessary for millions of conservatives to not only support, but follow the lead of these two bravely outspoken Americans.
Vox Day is a national libertarian and the author of "The Return of the Great Depression" and "The Irrational Atheist." He is a former columnist for WorldNetDaily, Chronicle Features, and Universal Press Syndicate, and is a member of Mensa and IGDA. He also is the first writer in the history of the Science Fiction Writers of America to be expelled from the organization. Visit his blog, Vox Popoli.

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(Unknown title):

Are libertarianism and conservatism totally different?

We occasionally see some rather poorly informed claims to the effect that libertarianism and conservatism are totally different -- e.g. an article by Walter Block here.  I think therefore that a little clarification is required.  The truth can be very simply put:  Libertarianism is ONE ELEMENT in conservative thinking.  More precisely, Libertarians and conservatives share an attachment to individual liberty.

Libertarians are in some ways like Leftists.  Leftists tend to have very simple formulas for what is wrong with the world.  Ask them and they will say:  inequality, poverty and (more amusingly) intolerance.  When you realize that leading Leftists are usually well-off and are totally intolerant of dissent, you can see how uninsightful and oversimplified leftist reasoning is.   And aside from being mostly poor, libertarians are like that too.  They oversimplify enormously:  Get government out of the way and a  new Eden will dawn.

Conservatives, on the other hand see everything as complex.  They see that there can be other influences on human welfare than freedom.  For instance, when a country seems threatened by foreign aggression (as Britain was in WWII) a conservative may see national security as an important consideration that may need balancing against individual liberty  - hence conservative governments may introduce a whole range of "wartime measures" that reduce the liberties of citizens to some extent.  Conservatives try to balance competing principles.

Another revelatory case is immigration.  Since libertarians dislike governments and their restrictions, they usually favour open borders.  If libertarians had their way, most of Mexico would end up in the USA.  But conservatives see other issues as being involved -- such as pressure on welfare programs and other systems,  and the importation of the dumb political ideologies that have kept most of the Americas South of the Rio Grande mired in poverty.  What the immigrants have in their heads is important, not just the fact that they are a person. And conservatives also see it as a matter of property rights. If I have the right to say whom I will have living with me in my own home, surely groups of people (nations) also have the right to say who will live among them?

Libertarians also tend to ignore genetics.  When proposing remedies for poverty,  Leftists will say: "give the poor more money" while libertarians will say "Give the poor no money".  Neither system will usually be practical so conservatives tend to say:  "The poor ye always have with you".  With no ideology to explain everything, conservatives can simply accept reality.  As one of Britain's most prominent Conservatives recently said, some people are equipped mentally to do well and some are not.  Leftists usually cry "racism" when genetics are mentioned so the conservative response is usually implicit rather than explicit these days.  That people are born different underlies a lot of conservative thinking even though it can be risky to say that out loud.

Similarly with homosexual "marriage".  Leftists see it simply  as an equality issue, libertarians see it simply as a liberty issue while conservatives see it as impacting on many other things  -- such as morality and the family and a general devaluation of marriage.

So conservatives try to align their thinking with the complexity of reality while libertarians have a "one size fits all" explanation and solution for all problems.  Conservatives value liberty but don't think it is the answer to everything.  And the  only liberty Leftists value is your liberty to do what they say -- JR.


Encouraging Lessons from the "Duck Dynasty" Imbroglio

David Limbaugh, below, is inclined to see the Duck Dynasty affair as a turning point.  I think it may be an even bigger turning point than he suspects.  I think it marks the end of kneejerk bans in response to shrieks of "homophobia", "racism"  and the like.  Fox will gladly grab the show if A & E don't back down soon.  They are in a no win situation:  Stick with political correctness or lose one of their top money-spinners.  So it would be amazing if they didn't grovel to the people they have offended.  They now know that "offence" works both ways.  Others are going to see that too.

Something similar has just happened in England.  A checkout chick at a tony department store chain (M&S) refused to put through a bottle of champagne because she is a Muslim.  The buyer had to line up at another checkout.  The firm initially backed the Muslim but got such a barrage of abuse over it that they did a u-turn and said they will no longer use Muslims  in that role.  So after all the accommodation that has been given to Muslims a limit has been  reached.  There is a lot of synchrony between what happens in Britain and what happens in the USA so I supect that we have seen the end everywhere of automatic obedience to political correctness  -- JR

A&E's suspension of Phil Robertson for expressing his politically incorrect, Bible-based opinion on homosexual behavior has turned out to be a blessing in disguise and serves as an object lesson for Christian and other social conservatives, as well as other lovers of liberty.

The politically correct left has built a culture and network of intimidation against all who refuse to accept their views and especially those who are vocal in standing their ground.

Among the encouraging lessons from this brouhaha are that people are waking up to the tyranny of uncompromising leftist groups and realizing that they don't have to cower before them and cave to their bullying demands. We're seeing that courageous individuals, secure in their beliefs, can make a difference and by speaking out motivate like-minded people to stand up and fight back.

Conservatives are recognizing that they don't have to sit back and continue to be victims of the left's domestic economic sanctions, that sometimes it's necessary to fight fire with fire by reciprocating with economic sanctions or support of their own.

The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain learned this lesson the hard way. It announced it would stop selling certain "Duck Dynasty" merchandise because of Robertson's statements. The backlash from its customers via social media was immediate and so overwhelming that it issued an apology and reversed its decision, which teaches us another lesson. While the conventional wisdom is that the left owns social media, the reality is that people, including millions of conservatives and Christians, own social media and can use it to combat the left's tyranny and otherwise engage in the culture war.

A similar phenomenon occurred in reverse when customers of Chick-fil-A flocked to its restaurants throughout America to support the chain when CEO Dan Cathy came under attack for saying he supports traditional marriage. The mayors of Chicago and Boston lambasted the company, and D.C.'s mayor said it was peddling "hate chicken."

People who want to mind their own business are finally grasping that certain militant leftists, especially gay activists, won't let them. They don't want to live and let live; they don't just want equal rights and respect. They want to stamp out opposing viewpoints and suppress the liberties of those who disagree.

Robertson and Cathy are not the first to be demonized. Some who worked on the Prop 8 ballot initiative in California were told they would be vilified as anti-gay and would never work again. That's right: If you express your support for traditional marriage, the militant gay movement slanders you as "anti-gay." They can't win in the marketplace of ideas, so they have to take out their opponents -- assaulting their character and reputation and destroying their credibility and courage to fight back.

These bullies are threatening lawsuits against churches that refuse to perform same-sex weddings. They are forcing the normalization of the homosexual lifestyle into our public schools via Common Core. They have sued a baker for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. They sued to compel a Christian photographer to take pictures at a same-sex ceremony.

People are also witnessing the militant gay lobby engage in calculated deception in its quest to impose its views and suppress the opposition. This deception is primarily found in the deliberate distortion of terms, such as "anti-gay," "hate," "discrimination," "bigot," "homophobe," "bullying" and "intolerance."

To oppose same-sex marriage or even to subscribe to the Biblical declaration that homosexual behavior is sinful is in no way anti-gay or hateful. Most people who oppose same-sex marriage have good will toward homosexuals but don't want society to be forced to alter the thousands-year-old understanding of marriage. They want to preserve their constitutional freedoms of expression and religion to believe and state their opinions even if they offend certain people.

On the other hand, an abundance of hatred flows from many militant activists toward those who disagree with them, and especially those who actively oppose them.

Phil Robertson voiced his opinion about homosexual behavior. In doing so, he and others like him neither discriminate nor advocate discrimination against homosexuals in any way.

Those who oppose these practices are not bigots; they do not seek to mistreat homosexuals. Even those who believe the behavior is sinful are not being hypocritical if they admit their own sinful behavior, as well. They aren't advocating that society impose punitive sanctions against homosexuals. Nor are they homophobes, meaning they fear homosexuals. That's outright absurd -- period. But this has not prevented the term from insinuating itself into the common cultural vernacular.

Bullying and intolerance? Here again the accusers are projecting. They have demonstrated they will not countenance opposing viewpoints and will seek to bully, intimidate and suppress the liberty of those who wish to express them.

All in all, freedom lovers should be invigorated with these developments. They are waking a sleeping giant: those Americans who did in fact want to live and let live but who are now realizing that sitting out the culture wars they didn't start is not an option.



The Biggest Lie Of All.... "Doing something" about Income Inequality

In the last few days Barack Obama has attempted to change the subject of public discourse from healthcare to income inequality,  which he has dubbed “the defining challenge of our time.”  Now he tells us!

Since POTUS hasn’t paid much attention to this problem for the first five plus years of his administration, even with African-American unemployment through the roof and the middle class disappearing from American economic life,  and with Rand Paul (of all people) the only one to come up with a concrete suggestion of how to elevate people out of poverty, as he has recently with Detroit, this should come as some surprise.

But it doesn’t.  The fight for “income inequality” is and has been for a long time the defining lie of modern liberalism.

This is not to say that income inequality does not exist.  Of course, it does.  But what liberalism does is pretend to do something about it, to whine and complain about it, in order to ensure the support of the poor, the semi-poor and minority groups, while doing nothing that changes the substance of their inequality in any permanent way.  Indeed, it often exacerbates it.

Consciously or unconsciously, these liberals may actually want the lower classes to remain the lower classes.  After all, if they bettered themselves, they might leave the Democratic fold.  That wouldn’t do.  So the system goes on.

Meanwhile, for all their pious progressive talk, George Soros gets to keep his palazzo in Katonah (among many others),  Jeff Katzenberg his beach shack in Malibu, and Obama the beach shack that some say awaits him on Oahu.  And we all know about Al Gore’s many eco-friendly homes.  (Oops, I think that one’s now Tipper’s house.)

So, on the surface, all this income inequality chatter is nothing more than hypocrisy, that “homage that vice pays to virtue,” as La Rochefoucauld put it.  But it’s really worse.  It’s cynical and mean because all these so-called liberal solutions to poverty, solutions that have been tried hundreds of times since the Great Society, and probably before, to no avail,  suck the energy from the room, befuddle the media and the body politic and make it impossible for other methods to be tried, as with the Rand Paul idea referenced above.



Kwanzaa: The Holiday Brought To You By the FBI

Ann Coulter

It is a fact that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge, Ron Karenga -- aka Dr. Maulana Karenga -- founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers. He was also a dupe of the FBI.

In what was ultimately a foolish gambit, during the madness of the '60s, the FBI encouraged the most extreme black nationalist organizations in order to discredit and split the left. The more preposterous the group, the better.

By that criterion, Karenga's United Slaves was perfect. In the annals of the American '60s, Karenga was the Father Gapon, stooge of the czarist police.

Despite modern perceptions that blend all the black activists of the '60s, the Black Panthers did not hate whites. They did not seek armed revolution (although some of their most high-profile leaders were drug dealers and murderers). Those were the precepts of Karenga's United Slaves.

United Slaves were proto-fascists, walking around in dashikis, gunning down Black Panthers and adopting invented "African" names.

In one barbarous outburst, Karenga's United Slaves shot to death two Black Panthers on the UCLA campus: Al "Bunchy" Carter and John Huggins. Karenga himself served time, a useful stepping-stone for his current position as a black studies professor at California State University at Long Beach.

Kwanzaa emerged not from Africa, but from the FBI's COINTELPRO. It is a holiday celebrated exclusively by idiot white liberals. Black people celebrate Christmas. (Merry Christmas, fellow Christians!)


For the best Christmas address ever, go here.  Such is the incredible rightness of what he says, Ronald Reagan still brings tears to my eyes.  I hope he does that for you too.  How much America has lost since his passing!


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