To be clear, all socialism is disaster socialism. But there is socialism that coincides with dictatorship, as socialism and dictatorship are practically one in the same. But what countries like North Korea and Cuba have seen are disaster socialism, and america might be next. The first step of dictatorship is to unarm your people, so there can be no fight. With all the anti-constitutionalists out there, who believe that the second amendment should be repealed, an unarmed populous is closer than you think. Furthermore, over printing currency causing extreme inflation and Obamacare are just two examples of a socialist path. Combine the two and you have Disaster Socialism. Don’t let the USA become Cuba. Call your congressman.
Found the above HERE.
This is believed to be the iceberg that sank the Titanic on April 14-15, 1912.
The photograph was taken from the deck of the Western Union Cable Ship, Mackay Bennett, commanded by Captain DeCarteret. The Mackay Bennett was one of the first ships to reach the scene of the Titanic disaster. According to Captain DeCarteret, this was the only berg at the scene of the sinking when he arrived. It was assumed, therefore, that it was responsible for the sea tragedy. The glancing collision with the iceberg caused Titanic’s hull plates to buckle inward in a number of locations on her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea. Over the next two and a half hours, the ship gradually filled with water and sank. (United States Coast Guard)
Honestly assessing the Benghazi disaster would not have been pleasant for the pre-election Obama team. Anyone could sense that there might be no firewalls — as the media could jump to a resurgent al-Qaeda that had been declared moribund after the hit on bin Laden; or the shattered dreams of the Arab Spring; or the politicization of our embassy security that led to deliberate neglect of proper defenses; or a Libyan intervention gone bad. Almost all those narratives have subsequently emerged in post-election inquiries or from the State Department’s official internal investigation.
Yet the Obama administration offered an exegesis — a sole Egyptian-American filmmaker, a Coptic Christian, who had offended Muslims with a two-month-old Internet video to the point that they rioted abroad and stormed our consulate — that was completely irrelevant to the murder of Ambassador Stevens, but might circumvent all of the above difficulties, while giving the president a natural occasion to blast an illiberal, bigoted filmmaker whose intolerance had cost good men their lives. The video narrative was as incidental to the killings as it was apparently attractive to the Obama team — and so Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a footnote to the tragedy, continues to sit in jail long after we know that an al-Qaeda affiliate had targeted our consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi.
Every day of his first term, Barack Obama has overseen $3 billion per day in borrowing, which has added at least $5 trillion to the national debt — with trillions more still to be borrowed. The extraordinary figure is largely a result of unprecedented federal spending. The first 42 presidents ran up about one-third of the present $16 trillion in aggregate debt; George W. Bush in eight years nearly matched their total; and Barack Obama, before his first term is even completed, has already trumped Bush’s total and accounted for the final third of the national debt.
Obama’s current trajectory is not sustainable, and yet the president has not proposed spending cuts that would reduce the annual deficits in any meaningful way. Like Louis XIV, the Sun King, he knows that his spending is bankrupting his country and, if unchecked, will destroy generations to follow — and yet he knows even more strongly that he cannot quit. Instead, he fixates on upping the top rates on the 2 percent who currently pay over 40 percent of all federal income-tax revenues; his proposed hikes, however, would add only $80 or $90 billion in additional revenue, or about 8 percent of the aggregate borrowing each year. Additional income might derive from suggested changes in the nature of deductions, and from raises in capital-gains and inheritance taxes, but would supply only a fraction of what is needed to balance the budget.
The president, however, knows that his vast increases in federal spending, which have helped create loyal constituents, at some point must come to an end. (No doubt, Barack Obama will be as critical of “unpatriotic” deficit spending after he leaves office as he was before he entered it.) There simply are not enough “millionaires and billionaires,” “fat-cat bankers,” “corporate-jet owners,” and people who did not know when to quit profiting, or at what point they had made enough money, or that they did not build their own businesses. What then is the point about the obsession with earners in the top brackets — given that more taxes on them will do nothing to stop the fantastic rate of spending and very little to raise enough general revenue to service it? Answer: Obama’s attack on the upper brackets is a resonant talking point, but otherwise a mere political anecdote that has nothing to do with good governance. Raising taxes across the board or vastly cutting spending or both would start to solve the problem, and so, as real options, must go unmentioned.
The same irrelevancy surrounds the trumpeting of the DREAM Act. There are somewhere between 10 and 14 million illegal aliens currently in the United States. No one knows how many are eligible for the proposed amnesty — how many, that is, were brought here as children, currently are in high school or college or have completed high school and enlisted in the military, are not on public assistance, and have not been convicted of a crime — but estimates range widely, from 50,000 all the way to 1 million. Even the smaller of those is a sizable number, but this all leaves unanswered the question of what to do about the other 90 to 99+ percent of those who are residing illegally in the United States, and who came here after age 16 or do not meet all the other criteria. In other words, the ability to quantify a DREAM Act by definition entails a similar ability to address a non–DREAM Act scenario — the messy, controversial, and nearly thankless task of confronting an issue that has festered for some 40 years, where anyone who offers solutions will earn only acrimony. So in response we are left with Obama and the anecdotal version of the DREAM Act.
The president has made numerous references to the horrific Connecticut school shootings, from a promise to address the banning of certain sorts of semi-automatic assault guns and magazines to citing the killings as a reason for his political opponents to accept his tax proposals. We do not know exactly what causes mentally disturbed suburban youths to shoot and kill innocents in large numbers, but most doubt that simply outlawing semi-automatic assault rifles will stop such evil, at least in and of itself. It is just as likely that post-1960s attitudes about the mentally ill that make it much harder to hospitalize any who display dangerous tendencies, or the recent spate of violent and deviant video games, or the sick culture that Hollywood so often romanticizes contributed equally to the evil of the recluse Adam Lanza. Fixating on assault rifles is an easy thing to do, given the caricatures of camouflaged redneck militiamen blasting away in the Georgia pinewoods, but taking on the mental-health industry, civil libertarians, and the entertainment industry — that would win Obama only abuse from the liberals and from interests far more powerful than the NRA. So we fixate instead on assault rifles.
The Obama presidency is one of anecdotes in lieu of solutions. It might be a comforting thought that jailing a reactionary filmmaker, or raising taxes on the suspect few, or providing amnesty to the college undergraduate, or taking away Ted Nugent’s guns will solve our mounting problems, but such anecdotes mean little in the real world of difficult choices that would offend friends as well as opponents.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former White House chief-of-staff for Obama, recently condemned the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre for suggesting that armed guards in schools could be appropriate in some situations. Yet, it appears that Rahm sends his own children to a school protected by an armed policeman. At a press conference last Friday, LaPierre had said:
If it’s crazy to call for armed officers in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy…I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. It’s the one thing that would keep people safe.
It’s outrageous and unsettling that the NRA would choose to address gun violence not by taking assault weapons off our streets, but by adding more guns to our schools… That is not the right answer for our society, our schools and most importantly our children.
People across this country, from small towns to big cities, are united and ready to pass common-sense gun control legislation. The time has come for the NRA to get on board or get out of the way.
Yet, a report from Second City Cop, further investigated by Rebel Pundit, reveals that the University of Chicago Lab School, the elite private school where Mayor Emanuel sends his children, has its own armed guard. Not only that, Second City Cop reports that Mayor Emanuel’s children have an armed escort to and from school.
Yet two troubling questions linger. The first involves the airport workers’ specific grievances. They complained of making only $8 an hour. Why so low, you wonder, especially compared with what union workers in security-related jobs get. The guards, hired by the contractor Air Serv Corp., were so angry that one of them even expressed a warning that those in safety fields often don’t make explicit: that a labor action could compromise the public’s security. “They will be completely unsafe,” said the guard, Prince Jackson.
The second question is why the nation now confronts the prospect of more labor trouble that could inconvenience the public, or possibly jeopardize safety, whether in Camden, New Jersey, where firemen are warning of the danger of closing engine companies, or in Long Beach, California, where a clerical employees’ strike delayed the movement of goods worth $1 billion a day in a recent work stoppage.
The answer to both questions lies in the failure of an old grand bargain made in the very name of safety.
Back in the early days of the labor movement, the idea of public-sector unions seemed absurd to trade unions and governments alike. Calvin Coolidge, as Massachusetts governor, led in the firing of policemen after riots that took place during a labor walkout. The future president said, “There is no right to strike against the public safety.”
Even Franklin Roosevelt, the father of our most aggressive labor law, the Wagner Act, drew the line at public-sector unions.
“The process of collective bargaining as usually understood cannot be transplanted to public service,” Roosevelt said.
Roosevelt also made explicit why: “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct or prevent the operations of government until their demands are satisfied.” This was, Roosevelt said, “unthinkable and intolerable.”
Other political leaders identified more specifically what was out of balance about a public-sector union and a government employee negotiating at a table. The public-employee representatives were paid by the unions, and thus beholden to them. But the politicians across the table were also beholden to unions, for their campaign contributions or votes. The interests of the average non-union American, the public, were not represented.
Gradually, however, the concept of public-sector unions became accepted. As the political scientist Daniel DiSalvo notes, New York Mayor Robert Wagner Jr., the son of the senator who sponsored the first great labor law, gave city workers their own “little Wagner Act,” which permitted public-sector bargaining.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order affirming the rights of federal workers to bargain collectively. Workers exercised those rights, as those who lived through the disruptive school strikes in New York or other public-sector strikes recall.
Eventually a bargain was struck, and it, too, involved safety. Public-sector employees would reduce disruption at schools, police stations and fire stations. They wouldn’t leave cities to riot. And the government employers, whether federal, state, city or town, would pay them a premium for that: a little more pay, a little extra overtime, more job security, the kind of safety we think of day to day.
This bargain appeared to work. The strikes abated. Yet the bargain eventually caused the very result the skeptical commentators had predicted years before. Politicians in office and public-sector union officials both had an interest in pushing compensation to the heavens.
Concerns that might have checked the city and state treasurers, such as the fiscal future of their town or state, paled in comparison with the immediate need of handing a packet across that table. Over and over again, public officers deluded themselves into believing that future economic growth and the attendant revenue would pay for dream packages.
The eventual result, as a Bloomberg News series has detailed, was absurdly high packages for public employees. The California state trooper with the $484,000 compensation package is only an extreme example of a national trend. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages JFK Airport, has 13 employee unions. Some longtime officials of those unions are paid more than $200,000 a year each, as the Empire Center for New York State Policy has revealed. In the meantime, of course, the economy grew far more slowly than predicted, rendering such payments prohibitive.
One consequence has been to divide workers into two classes. First are the older workers who enjoy the sweetheart deals. The second class consists of the workers hired more recently, whether in unions or outside of them, often through contractors. Cash-poor government offices such as the Port Authority turn to companies such as Air Serv because the Air Servs will pay less, those $8-an-hour wages, and offset some of the egregious labor costs generated by top union jobs.
In short, the real opponent of the underpaid, benefit-poor newbie is not the employer. It is fellow overpaid workers. The taxpayer can “afford” to pay public-sector wages higher than $8 an hour, but not $200,000 a year. What this Christmas story tells us is that the grand bargain demands a rewrite. After all, as the furious security guard’s statement reminds us, the bargain no longer functions — and we may not be safe.
By Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge:
On this lackluster Boxing Day dominated by illiquid moves in every asset class, we thought a few succinct minutes spent comprehending the US and European government policies of social welfare and their outcomes was time well spent. Canadian MP Pierre Poilievre delivers a rather epic speech destroying the myths of US and European ‘wealth’ noting that “Once the US citizen is in debt, the US government encourages them to stay in debt,” noting that “the US government encouraged millions of Americans to spend money they did not have on homes they could not afford using loans they could never repay and then gave them a tax incentive never to repay it.” His message, delivered seamlessly, notes the inordinate rise in the cost of all this borrowing, adding that “through debt interest alone, soon the US taxpayer will be funding 100% of the Chinese Military complex.” From Dependence to Debt to the Welfare State and back to Dependence, this presentation puts incredible context on the false hope so many believe in the US and Europe. Must watch.
“By 2020, the US Government will be spending more annually on debt interest than the total combined military budgets of China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel.”
“Through government spending the indulgence of one is the burden of another; through government borrowing, the excess of one generation becomes the yoke of the next; through international bailouts, one nation’s extravagance becomes another nation’s debt”
“Everyone takes, nobody makes, work doesn’t pay, indulgence doesn’t cost, money is free, and money is worthless.”
I haven’t been blogging much lately, because I haven’t had many thoughts that haven’t been better expressed elsewhere. But I have to draw attention to a remark of Glenn Reynolds, which seems to me to express an important and little-noticed point:
The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.
I dub this Reynolds’ Law: “Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.” It’s easy to see why. If people don’t need to defer gratification, work hard, etc., in order to achieve the status they desire, they’ll be less inclined to do those things. The greater the government subsidy, the greater the effect, and the more net harm produced.
This law is thus a relative to Murray’s third law in Losing Ground, the Law of Net Harm: “The less likely it is that the unwanted behavior will change voluntarily, the more likely it is that a program to induce change will cause net harm.” But Reynolds’ Law rests on a different and more secure foundation. It focuses on character as fundamental.
Since the time of Woodrow Wilson, Democrats—but not only Democrats—have fretted that the middle class is shrinking due to the power of large corporations, and that only government action to “level the playing field” can save the middle class. The “middle class is being more and more squeezed out by the processes which we have been taught to call processes of prosperity.” Obama? Hillary? No, that’s Woodrow Wilson in 1913 (The New Freedom). It’s striking to realize that progressives have been playing the same tune for a century, no matter what’s actually taking place in the economy—indeed, in the midst of the greatest expansion of affluence in the history of the world—with the same set of proffered solutions: greater government power, regulations, higher taxes, and subsidies for the markers of affluence.
Reynolds’ Law thus strikes at the heart of progressivism as a political ideology. Progressivism can’t deliver on its central promise. In fact, it’s guaranteed to make things worse in exactly that respect. It’s not that it sacrifices some degree of one good (liberty or prosperity, say) to achieve a greater degree of another (equality). That suggests that the choice between conservatism and progressivism is a matter of tradeoffs, balances, and maybe even taste. Reynolds’ Law implies that progressivism sacrifices some (actually considerable) degrees of liberty and prosperity to move us away from equality by undermining the characters and thus behavior patterns of those they promise to help.
Not coincidentally, progressives accumulate power for themselves, not only by seizing it as a necessary means to their goals but by aggravating the very social problems they promise to address, thus creating an ever more powerful argument that something has to be done.
I want to go over in considerable detail the fundamental issues of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution: the right to keep and bear arms.
There is a great deal of emotional commitment in the United States to one of two extreme positions: (1) the right of every non-felon adult citizen of the United States to own any weapon he chooses, and (2) the right of the government of the United States to outlaw the ownership of firearms.
I am hard core. I would extend this right to convicted felons who have served their time or have made restitution to their victims. I would not let the federal government revoke this fundamental right of citizenship.
To understand the Second Amendment, we need to go back to something like the beginning.
FEUDALISM AND POLITICAL SOVEREIGNTY
In English common law in medieval times, meaning as late as the 13th century, the feudal legal system limited ownership of military weapons to members of the knightly class, and those classes over the knights. In other words, the ownership of weapons had to do with legal status.
The common man, meaning a peasant, could not be called into military service. Military service was a matter of inheritance of land and status, and this inheritance mandated military training, which created a military mindset. Thus, the weapons associated with this class, which was also a matter of social status, were not to be shared with the peasantry. This placed the peasantry at an obvious disadvantage in terms of military power. It also extended to political power. They had little political power. They were represented mainly by priests.
One of the marks of the knightly class was the right to wear armor. Armor was heavy. So, a peasant who had a simple walking staff was in a position to knock a knight off his horse. A knight in shining armor who was lying on the ground could not get up by himself. He was defenseless. So, the fact that a peasant was not allowed to carry a sword, or a bow and arrow, did not necessarily place him at a complete disadvantage, one-on-one, when dealing with a knight on horseback. It all depended on the tactics of surprise. The knight who was not expecting to be knocked off his horse might be at a disadvantage.
Peasants early on learned how to use walking sticks as weapons. Peasants could not be deprived of their walking sticks. So, they retained a degree of power which was not legally associated with their class. The movie scene of Robin Hood, an outlaw from the knightly class, battling Little John on a log over a stream was unlikely. Little John would easily have killed him. Knights were not trained in the use of staffs.
Anyone who possessed expensive weapons began with a competitive advantage in the use of power. The knightly class was careful to guard its legal rights. Magna Carta was a document created by the barons to defend their rights against the king. These rights were jealously guarded both against intrusions of power from below, as well as any intrusions from above. It was part of a hierarchical social and legal social order.
There is no question that, under most circumstances, the knightly class could deal with the peasants in the field of military battle. There were peasant rebellions from time to time. But, over the centuries, the knightly class did prevail against attempts by the peasants to overturn the legal status of the knightly class.
One of the advantages of this system was that civilians, meaning peasants and the people who lived in towns, were to be left alone by the warriors. They were not to be slaughtered in a military confrontation. Warriors were to do battle with other warriors. Warriors were not to use the specialized implements of warfare against civilians. This was a good arrangement for civilians.
Gunpowder signaled the end of feudalism. It did not cause this decline, but it accompanied it. Armies became professional. Mercenaries appeared. Legal access to weapons was no longer based on birth and legal status. With the demise of the feudal order after the 14th century, and the rise of professional armies, which were funded by taxation rather than by a grant of land by the king to specific families, access to military training became available to common men. The more that the armies depended upon conscription, or payment by the central government, the greater the demands for the right to vote by the lower classes.
This demand became open during the Puritan revolution of the 1640s in England. Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army was made up of commoners as well as members of the higher social orders. Puritans believed in the exercise of the franchise in their local congregations. English Puritans were Congregationalists. They did not believe in a hierarchy of bishops, nor did they even believe in the hierarchy of presbyteries.
Presbyterianism was a Scottish concept, not an English Puritan concept. So, with the triumph of Cromwell and the New Model Army, the issue of the franchise became an important political issue. Debates were held in 1647 within the New Model Army over what constituted the right to vote. The Levelers, who were not Communists, believed that the franchise should be extended to members of the New Model Army, irrespective of their wealth. This was opposed by the upper classes, including Cromwell, but there was an open debate over the issue. Cromwell’s son-in-law, Ireton, argued for wealth, meaning personally owned land or money, as the basis of the right to vote. Rainsboro, a representative of the Levelers, argued that mere residence in the land should qualify a man to vote.
With the coming of the rifle in the 18th century, it became possible for independent farmers — “peasants” — to purchase the implements of war. These could be used for hunting. Civilians were still not part of the warrior class, but as the price of weaponry fell, beginning in the early 18th century, a shift of political power also began to take place.
In the second half of the 18th century, the common citizen in the British colonies of North America possessed a rifle. In most cases he was a man of the countryside. He had the ability to use it. For the first time, weapons that were available to common people had equal firepower to weapons available to the central government.
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
So, the central government faced a crisis. The colonists in North America were in a position to resist the King’s will. After 1763, resistance against the King’s representatives increased, and the ability of the King to impose his will on these upstarts became more a matter of finances than technology.
The American Revolution was a revolution of common people who were armed with weapons. The long rifle, fired from a distance, was a formidable weapon. A man who could shoot straight at a distance of several hundred yards could kill an officer on horseback. Officers wore special uniforms. This enabled their troops to identify who was in charge. They rode on horseback, above the troops. There was a universal agreement among the warriors of Western Europe that they would not target the officers. This, of course, was an agreement among officers.
The Americans honored no such agreement. Americans would target the officers from hundreds of yards away. The chain of command of British troops was disrupted by the American rifle. This was considered unsportsmanlike. But the Americans did not honor the same rules and sportsmanship.
This is why the militias were the formidable opponents of the British Army. George Washington only had two major victories, Trenton in 1776 (won by surprise) and Yorktown in 1781 (won by the French Navy). His army was usually unable to make direct confrontations in the field with the British Army. In contrast, militia units, firing from a distance against massed armies, and then running into the woods, could not be dealt with by British Army tacticians. The British armies were always tied to the cities. They could not venture far into the countryside to get food, because too many of them would be gunned down by militia members. They were dependent upon the British Navy to deliver supplies to them.
It was therefore impossible for the British to win that war. For as long as the Americans would stay in decentralized units, firing from a distance into the organized troops of the British, the British could not extend military control, and therefore political control, over the Americans. The Americans kept fighting until British taxpayers grew weary of funding the war, and until the French, during one 30-day period, provided the naval support to block the British Navy from resupplying Cornwallis’s Army. George Washington got the credit, as did the centralized army under his command, but it was the militia that had kept the British at bay for the previous five years.
Americans fully understood this when the leaders wrote the Bill of Rights in 1790. This is why the Second Amendment was inserted into the Constitution. The voters understood that it was their ability to fight any organized army, through the organization of the militia, which was basic to their concept of citizenship. It was the citizen warrior, armed with a rifle that was every bit as good as that possessed by members of the Army, who was perceived as possessing final political sovereignty. The whole concept of “we the people,” which introduced the Constitution, rested on the well-known ability of the American citizen warrior to grab his rifle and fight.
DEMOCRACY AND WEAPONS
Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University was an expert in the history of armaments in Western Europe. He is famous among conservatives for about 20 pages late in his book, Tragedy and Hope, in which he discussed the influence of the Morgan banking interests. Very few conservatives have ever read all of this book.
In chapter 2, “Western Civilization to 1914,” on page 34, Quigley wrote a very important assessment of the relationship between weaponry and political power.
In a period of specialist weapons the minority who have such weapons can usually force the majority who lack them to obey; thus a period of specialist weapons tends to give rise to a period of minority rule and authoritarian government. But a period of amateur weapons is a period in which all men are roughly equal in military power, the majority can compel a minority to yield, and majority rule or even democratic government tends to rise. . . . But after 1800, guns became cheaper to obtain and easier to use. By 1840, a revolver sold for $27 and a Springfield musket for not much more, and these were about as good weapons as anyone could get at that time. Thus, mass armies of citizens, equipped with these cheap and easily used weapons, began to replace armies of professional soldiers, beginning about 1800 in Europe and even earlier in America. At the same time, democratic government began to replace authoritarian governments (but chiefly in those areas where the cheap new weapons were available and local standards of living were high enough to allow people to obtain).
The American Civil War transformed military tactics.