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Archive for the ‘Progressives’ Category

Liberalism Fails Society and Those Most in Need

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 7, 2017

Since the early 1960s liberals have promoted the narrative that people on the Left are more compassionate than those on the Right. This proposition was based on a motion, not empirical evidence. It emotionally seems right that the government should give to those in need. Conversely, those who would withhold government’s largess from the less fortunate lack compassion.

While a governmental safety net has been a part of American society since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration, it advanced significantly under President Lyndon Johnson. Given we are now a half-century into Johnson’s Great Society, it is reasonable to determine efficacy of the programs.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley recently published some important statistics since the initiation of the Great Society:

  • In 1962 the percentage of the Americans receiving government assistance in the form of cash transfers was about 12%. Today this has nearly doubled to 21%.
  • In 2012 over 48% of Americans resided in households receiving some form of government benefits. This number was only 30% in 1983.
  • By 2011 the US published property rate remained flat compared to 1965. During the same period, US governmental expenditures on poverty rose by 900% per receiving person (after inflation adjustments).
  • The Heritage Foundation marks 2014 as the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s Great Society. They calculated that federal government spending increased by 16 times, adjusted for inflation, for means tested welfare during this period.

Cause and effect are often difficult to prove. However, in the case of the Great Society Programs and their offspring, the evidence seems convincing that at the very least, much of the spending was wasteful and have not benefited those most in need over the long-term. At the same time, these programs significantly benefited certain industries that serve the programs and distributed their benefits. Those industries offer significant resistance to fundamentally changing governmental spending habits.


 

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Bloomberg Attacks Ivy League Liberals

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 4, 2014

Last week former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the commencement speech at Harvard University.  With some refreshing candor, Bloomberg castigated Ivy League schools for their censorship of those with conservative views.  Bloomberg’s comments in the video below included:

  • There’s a word for that idea: censorship.  And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism.  Think about the irony:  In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas.  Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species.”
  • There was more disagreement among the old Soviet politburo than there is among Ivy League donors”.
  • Neither conservatives nor liberals have a “monopoly of truth or God on its side.”
  • After saying that 90% of Ivy League employees’ contributions in the 2012 presidential campaign went to Obama, Bloomberg concluded “you really have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer”.

The facts that Bloomberg states should be enough to cause concern as to the direction free speech and thought in our institutions of higher education.  The fact that they are repeated by the very liberal Michael Bloomberg is telling.  They may indicate a man concerned with his own constituent’s close-mindedness. On the other hand, Bloomberg may be concerned that inhibiting free speech has dangerous consequences for his liberal views when the inevitable occurs and the Right once again becomes the prevalent power in the country.  As history has shown, after the genie is left out of the bottle, re-corking it becomes problematic.

Posted in Political Correctness, Progressives | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Radical Islam Creates Conundrum for Liberals

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 12, 2014

The Democratic Party of John Fitzgerald Kennedy bears little resemblance to its contemporary configuration.  What was once the Party of the middle class and working Americans has morphed in to a conglomeration controlled by special interests groups, some of which are radical.

While the special interest groups of the Democratic Party often have competing demands for the People’s assets (taxpayer funds) doled out by the government, they have remarkably held the coalition together.  No better proof is the two successful elections for president of Barack Obama, whose policies are far to the left of many Americans.

The Progressives in the Democratic Party often promote multiculturalism as an important tenant.  This, connected with political correctness has created a taboo in the Party relating to criticism of the significant threat from radical Islam.  This is remarkable given the power of the feminist movement within the Democratic Party and the importance of the female vote for its success.  Yet there are few things so diametrically opposed as women’s rights and Sharia law, a significant legal tenant for many Muslims throughout the world.

The recent publicity concerning the abduction of 300 young girls in Nigeria to be sold in the sex trade by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram is straining one part of the Democratic Party’s coalition.  This schism came to the forefront in a recent airing of Bill Maher’s “Real Time”.  During the show, Maher, an unapologetic Leftist, made strong statements about the problem within Islam.  Two of the shows liberal guests, Arianna Huffington and comedian Baratunde Thurston, took offense to Maher’s statements and when they tried to make the terrorism problem broader than Islam, Maher said: “If this was the 14th century, I would be coming down on the Christians because that’s when they were too violent.  Religions and cultures change.”

However, Maher was not finished and continued stating that “something like 80 or 90 percent” of kitchen Muslims agreed that the death penalty is appropriate for leaving the Islamic religion.  He finally scolded his Leftist associates saying: “Where it becomes dangerous is that liberals like yourself do not stand up for liberalism.  Liberalism means, one, mostly, equality of women.”

The video clip below includes an instructive and important discussion on the dangers emanating not only from radical Islam, but also from liberals who “do not stand up for liberalism”.  Is it possible that Libertarians and liberals who stand up for liberalism might find common ground?  The thought is intriguing.

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Liberals Mistake Dislike for Obama’s Policies for Hate

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 26, 2014

Liberals fear intellectual debate.  An often used tactic to quell such discussion is to claim that those who oppose Progressive ideology are intellectually inferior.  Going back to the 1950s Liberals attacked President Eisenhower for being lacking and too often playing golf.  They offer no such concern relating to the current president.

In the early 90’s Dan Quayle was attacked for lacking intellect due to mistakes he made in public forums.  No such attacks are made by the media or their Leftist allies on the inept Joe Biden.

In more recent years the Left’s attacks on the opposition have become even more vicious.  Those who disagree with Progressive dribble are either anti-women, anti-gay, or racist or a combination of these deficiencies.  Those who dare disagree with President Obama are often accused of racist motivations.

While the Left’s personal attacks on those who disagree are not only anti-intellectual and anti-democratic, they have also been successful.  The fear of being labeled anti-woman, anti-gay or racist has put a muzzle on political debate in the Country.  The fear created is reminiscent of the anti-Communist and McCarthyism purges that were so effective quelling political discourse in the 1950s.

Below is a collection of video clips from the Progressive’s mouthpiece, MSNBC.  Notice how many times the word “hate” is used to define disagreement with Barack Obama policies.  This false narrative would be bad enough if it was by mere coincidence.  However, the sheer volume proves it to be a talking point promoted by the Left.  With over one half of Americans America disappointed with Obama policies, propagandists such as MSNBC are losing any semblance of journalism.

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2014 World Events Eerily Mimic Those of 1914

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 20, 2014

Lee sent in the email posted below that shows he is a student of history.  The issues he refers to led to the First World War and the death of millions.  That war ended with the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 during which Progressives basically re-created the map of the world, changing boundaries of many countries and creating new ones that previously did not exist.  These actions were ultimately catastrophic and led to the Second World War, a mere 20 years later, with even worse consequences for mankind.  Remarkably, Progressives are rarely blamed for the tragedy of their creation.

It is interesting to consider how history may have played out had World War I not ended with an armistice, but instead the total defeat of Germany with the victors marching through the streets of Berlin.  At the very least this would have eliminated the argument of those who sided with Hitler and other German nationalist who blamed the surrender on German minorities and traders.

Many of problems and confrontations between countries today are the result of the misplaced Progressive interventions in the world order.  While the problems of the Middle East are often presented by Progressives as merely the confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians, these two entities are but bit players in the overall problems.  The events in many Arab countries since the Arab Spring are the result of Progressive map redrawing.  The Arab Spring was but the beginning of a fragmentation and undoing of the Progressive’s interventions.  The 140,000 killed in the Syrian Civil War can be attributed to these lame interventions.

There are many parallels today to the early part of the 20th century.  Smaller groups of people are becoming nationalistic.  The world has a tyrant in Russia that is beginning to exert himself in other countries, similar to the actions of Kaiser Wilhelm.  There is a relatively new power in the Pacific, China, which is mimicking the increasing power and militarism of Japan in the early 20th century.  The English Empire was at its pinnacle, similar to the current situation of the United States.  Finally, the United States has a radically Progressive president that matches the logic of President Woodrow Wilson.  Like Wilson, Obama does not want to exert American influence on a worldwide basis, believing that somehow the goodness of man will take the place of such intervention.

A great history of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference is available in “Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World” by Margaret MacMillan.  It is doubtful that Barack Obama read this book.

History is a wonderful guide for problem avoidance.  Unfortunately, its message is often critical of human behavior, a reality that Progressives cannot tolerate.

Lee’s comments:

WSJ letter to Editor today is sobering.

The writer recalls why, in 1914, the progressives knew that war with Germany was impossible.  They all believed that the European economy was dependent on relationships.  Wrong.

England was the dominant power, with a web of colonies and resources that spanned the earth.  France and Germany were jealous and aggressive toward this tiny seafaring island.  One murder triggered the death of millions.  What followed created a century of conflict.  That fact that history has been kind to the progressive movement is a puzzle.  I am convinced the answer is simple.  Progressive types are convinced of their superiority and seek power because of ego.

If Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, et al, had met an early death, other ego driven types would have written only a slightly different history.

Students of history understand progressive/aggressive monsters, but are powerless against their endless rants that set fire to the masses.  The silence of the American people against our current progressive tyrant is shameful.   Each outrage lowers the bar for the next lie.  Shovel ready work in 2008 is now digging the grave of our long lost Republic. 

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American Psychiatric Association Significantly Expands Definition of Mental Disorders

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 4, 2013

Attorney Fiona Ong with the labor law firm Shawe and Rosenthal LLP, Baltimore, posted an interesting (troubling) piece concerning the definition of Mental Disorders (Caffeine Withdrawal a Psychiatric Disorder- Seriously?) and included below.  According to the posting, the American Psychiatric Association recently released its fifth definition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) used by the medical and legal community to diagnose/define mental disorders.  It includes 15 new disorders such as caffeine withdrawal, hoarding disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, binge eating disorder, restless leg syndrome, and social (pragmatic) communication withdrawal.  Yikes!

Given Ms. Ong’s labor-law background it is not surprising that she correctly points out that the expanded definition for psychiatric disorders opens up a whole new host of problems for American businesses since the “new disorders” may fall under the auspices of the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA).  This will increase the cost and complexity of doing business in the United States.

There are interesting issues raised by the American Psychiatric Association’s expanded definition of mental disorders.  Are these disorders actually new?  If so, what in society has caused them?  If they are not new, then why did the APA misdiagnose them for so long?  Shouldn’t any misdiagnosis open their industry up to malpractice claims?

It is also troubling that the psychiatric industry (along with the pharmaceutical industry), which has so to gain financially from expanding the defined disorders, has the ability to make judgments that involve subjective reasoning.

The definition of “disabilities” in the United States has been expanded significantly in recent decades.  Our society that has seen increasing influence from the Progressive governing class with the exploding number of disability claims.  CNNMoney reported the following:

  • Since 2003 there has been a 29% jump in Americans with little or no work experience getting disability payments.
  • Since 2003 there has been a 44% increase in disability claims by people formerly in the workplace.
  • Disability claims from veterans are up 28% during the past five years
  • The federal government spent $250 billion in 2011 paying more than 23 million Americans some form of disability claim.
  • In 2011 7% of the overall population and 16% of the workforce in the United States received some form of disability payment from the federal government.

The numbers are staggering and indicate an unsustainable trajectory.  However, even these numbers are understated since they do not include those individuals out of work on workers compensation claims or receiving short-term disability payments.

The US government’s disability claims are managed by the Social Security Administration.  According to CNNMoney the disability fund under this program will run out in about two years.  This will require either Social Security to cut benefits, raise taxes, or dip into its general funds, none of which are desirable.

The Progressive governing class is hell-bent on making more Americans dependent on the government.  While purportedly done for the good of recipients, in fact, this class/industry benefits greatly by offering its services to those in “need”.  And let us not forget the governing class themselves that maintains power through the use if the handouts and their promise to keep them coming to the dependent class.  This gig, however, will run out when those governing no longer can print money due to the ravages of inflation.  This tune has played out many times in “advanced” civilizations throughout history.

Caffeine Withdrawal a Psychiatric Disorder- Seriously?, By Fiona W. Ong on October 28th, 2013

I often say (only somewhat flippantly) that we are all disabled, but the newly released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) seems to really go out of its way to make that point.  The DSM-5, which is produced by the American Psychiatric Association, serves as the authoritative guide on the diagnosis of mental disorders.  This most recent edition includes more than 15 new disorders.  These include such humdingers as caffeine withdrawal, hoarding disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, binge eating disorder, restless leg syndrome, and social (pragmatic) communication withdrawal. (?!!! I am having an attack of caffeine withdrawal right now.)

Well, that just greatly expanded the number of people who can now claim psychiatric disorders, meaning that they may be disabled within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA).  And if so, employers may see an increase in the number and types of accommodation requests.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that not every psychological disorder is considered a disability under the ADAAA.  The law specifically exempts some disorders – such as sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania and pyromania – from coverage.  Others may not qualify as disabilities because they do not affect a major bodily function or major life activity, or may be only temporary in nature.  And even if the condition does constitute a disability, it may not need to be accommodated.  Accommodations are only required to the extent that they enable the employee to perform his essential job functions, and such accommodations must be reasonable in any case (meaning that they do not impose an undue hardship for the employer).

I am now going to get some coffee.

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Left Blames Oklahoma Tragedy on Climate Change

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 21, 2013

Even before the dead have been buried in Oklahoma, Progressives are attempting to use this horrific tragedy for political gain.  Last night, CNN’s Leftist commentator Piers Morgan was interviewing climate scientist Bill Nye and asked:

Piers Morgan – “As a scientist, when you hear about the size, scale, power, devastation of this tornado, what does it tell you about the ongoing debate about climate change?

Bill Nye – Instead of offering a straightforward answer which would have had been that he did not know, the scientist responded: “Thunderstorms are driven by heat and a tornado is a super thunderstorm — result of a super thunderstorm. So you’ve got to figure that if there’s more heat driving the storm then there’s going to be more tornadoes.  Now this is the kind of thing that is worth investigating,” This is but a weasel worded way of saying he did not know.

If Piers Morgan wanted an honest response concerning any connection between the tornado and global warming he could have asked the scientist if the amount of tornadoes and their ferocity have changed over the decades.  But question might lead to an inconvenient truth.

It is not surprising that the Left would use human tragedy to further political aims.  It is a hallmark of their modus operandi.  Whether the event be the shooting of children in Connecticut or the death of Oklahomans by tornado, the Left never lets a crisis go unused.

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MSNBC’s Harris-Perry Claims Children do not Belong to Parents

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 10, 2013

The Left is fully coming out of the closet.  There radical belief in collectivism, which is the hallmark of the Progressive movement, was once hidden in camouflage.  The bad news is they recently feel emboldened enough to take their view public.  The good news about this bravado is that they can no longer obtain their way politically through trickery.  This places the decision in the hands of the electorate to determine if the Left’s radical agenda is the direction middle America wants to travel.

There is no better representation of the Left’s belief in collectivism than an MSNBC promotional video put out with anchor Melissa Harris-Perry who remarkably says in the video posted below that the country must get over the old-fashioned view “… that kids belong to their parents …”:

“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children.  Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility.  We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children.  So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”

It would be tragic enough if the views expressed by Harris-Perry were done so because of stupidity and lack of logic.  However, there are insidious goals behind the philosophy of moving child-rearing responsibilities to the state.  First, it allows the state and those that run it to brainwash children into belief systems that are not only different from the parents, but also help perpetuate the power of the political elite.  In addition, removing parental responsibility from child-rearing fits the narrative promoted by Progressives that marriage and committed relationships are not important in child-rearing.

The road proposed by Melissa Harris-Perry to fundamentally change America is in keeping with that promised by Barack Obama six days before being elected to his first term as president.  For those Americans who like the direction that in America is heading get ready to give up your parental and other rights to the state.  For those that disagree with the direction being traveled, the Country is at a tipping point.  Only with a game changing politician of the stature of Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher and a concerted effort by middle-of-the-road Americans can individual rights once again become a part of the American culture.

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Guns, Race and Murders

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 8, 2013

Both sides side of the gun debate agree that the killings using guns is a tragedy of epidemic proportion in the United States.  However, missing from the simplistic narrative created by the Left are reasons behind the increasing violence in our society.  For self-serving reasons the Left often blames the tools of violence instead of the criminals pulling the trigger.  They avoid intellectual discussions as to what is causing the increasing carnage for fear that such discussion may bring into question social programs and values promoted by Progressives over the decades.

Juan WilliamsSome of the Left, while in favor of gun control, have shown enough backbone to also have an open discussion into deeper issues behind the growing violence.  One is syndicated columnist, Juan Williams, an African-American columnist for the Hill and a Fox News analyst.  He recently published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled Race in the Gun Debate that raises important questions and offers staggering statistics that include:

  • Gun murders are the No. 1 cause of death for African-American men between the ages of 15 and 34.
  • In 2009 54% of all murders committed are of black people who only make up about 13% of the population.
  • Blacks are six times more likely than whites to be murdered and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicides.
  • In the past 34 years, over 44,000 black children were killed by guns, 13 times more than all the black people killed by lynching in 86-years between 1882 and 1968.

The disproportional number of minority victims to gun violence raises troubling questions concerning the current attack on gun rights by the Left.  Why was America so silent for so long on gun violence until recently when a white person murders white schoolchildren in basically an all-white town?  Why is the Left currently making the assault-style rifle the villain of guns when it is not the weapon of choice killing minorities in the inner cities?

While Juan Williams is an advocate of more stringent gun control, he at least has the courage to raise other significant issues that are needed in any realistic discussion of gun violence.  As William says:

“The shame and silence is enforced by civil-rights leaders who speak in support of gun control, but never about a dysfunctional gangster-rap culture that glorifies promiscuity, drug dealers and the power of the gun.”  And,

Almost 50 years ago, when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, the national out-of-wedlock birthrate was 7%.  Today it is over 40%.  According to the CDC, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for white children was just 2% in the 1960s.  Today it is 30%.  Among black children, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has skyrocketed from 20% in the 1960s to a heartbreaking 72% today,” correctly suggesting that deeper societal problems are at play in the growing violence.

Williams castigates Rev. Jesse Jackson for attacking the President when Obama suggested in 2008 that the black community must take on more personal responsibility.  While this Blog concurs, Obama, with the most important bully pulpit in the Country, should have the courage shown by Williams and open up a broader discussion on the violence and breakdown of family in the United States.  Unfortunately, political courage has not been an attribute shown by this President.

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A Country Founded By Geniuses But Run by Idiots

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 25, 2013

Food For Thought, by Junius P. Long

 

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally …you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got here is evolution, but the government stops a $15 million construction project to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote who runs the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. 

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher’s “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested “homes”… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

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