Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Racial Violence that Dare Not Speak Its Name (American Thinker)


By John T. Bennett

Recent flash mob violence has alerted Americans to a troubling wave of sadistic racial mayhem.  A notable outbreak occurred in Denver in 2009, setting a pattern of delay, denial, and silence.  Now that same scourge has returned to Denver, among many other places. 

In 2009, a four month wave of mayhem broke out in Denver. There were at least 26 violent robberies committed by two black gangs.  The victims were -- without exception -- whites and Hispanics.  When the dust settled from that initial spate of violence, victims were left with injuries ranging from a skull fracture to broken noses and shattered eye sockets.  The local Denver ABC news affiliate summarized the crime spree:

Black gangs roaming downtown Denver often vented their hatred for white victims before assaulting and robbing them during a four-month crime wave, according to interviews and court records obtained by 7NEWS.

That is not the language of a conservative commentator; it's simply a mainstream local news report from an American city that has witnessed widespread racial violence.

The first-hand accounts and surveillance videos of the 2009 attacks are shocking. These weren't sucker punches or fair fights -- the attackers swing madly and rapidly with a viciousness that can only come from blind cruelty.  The victims, who can be seen in interviews, were kind-looking, ordinary people.  The victims were mostly either gay or straight couples. They didn't provoke the attacks in any conceivable way.  The attackers sometimes fractured skulls, or broke eye sockets, and left one victim in a coma.  There were a total of 26 attacks from July 17 to Nov. 17. 

An incredible 38 people were arrested in connection with this campaign of racist violence. Thirty  were ultimately charged, all black.  Has this number of arrests been made against any violent white supremacist or right wing organization in the last 50 years?

The story first came to light in 2009 when a source inside the Denver police department said that the department was "keeping the public in the dark" about the attacks.  Court documents show that the police did indeed have knowledge of a pattern of racial attacks, but remained silent for 27 days.  One victim complained that, had the police informed the public sooner, he could have protected himself.  The same group responsible for that violence is suspected in the murder of Andrew Graham, a young graduate student who was senselessly shot in 2010. 

Late last month, Denver saw a possible return to violence, as couples leaving restaurants were being attacked by a group of black men with baseball bats. The Denver Police have renewed warnings of those attacks.

The brutality  in Denver is disturbingly similar to violence occurring elsewhere, nationwide.  In the last few months alone, a young white lady named Shaina Perry was taunted and beaten in Milwaukee.  A young white man named Carter Strange had his skull fractured by a mob in South Carolina.  Dawid Strucinski was beaten into a coma by a mob in Bayonne.  Anna Taylor, Emily Guendelsberger, and Thomas Fitzgerald were beaten and kicked to the ground in separate Philadelphia flash mobs.  Every weekend in July, mobs have attacked in Greensboro, NC.  In a mostly-white suburb of Cleveland, witnesses reported large groups of "teens" walking through the streets, "shouting profanities and racial epithets," and one man was viciously beaten while leaving a restaurant with his wife and friends.  In all of those cases, the victims were white and the attackers were black.

Then there are the ominous stories that no one has ever heard about. For instance, a mob of 150 "young people" descended on a small, predominantly white NJ town named Winfield Township during a firefighter's carnival. Perhaps the townspeople are merely lucky that there wasn't violence. Isn't the racial mob mentality scary enough that we shouldn't have to wait for violence before we take it seriously?

It cannot be emphasized enough that these attacks often occur in suburban areas where the black groups have to leave their own neighborhoods and purposefully travel to areas that are predominantly non-black, to attack non-black victims. For instance, in one of the many flash mob attacks in Chicago, Trovulus Pickett, 17, is part of a group that attacked and robbed several victims, including a 68-year-old doctor. The attacks occurred in the North side, which is 15 miles away from Pickett's home. This indicates a serious level of planning and potential racial targeting. If these were just run-of-the mill robberies, it wouldn't be too surprising. But the social problem we're looking at is large groups, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, sometimes armed, engaging in racially-focused violent crimes.

There is quite simply no way for a politically correct society to grasp these events, much less effectively deal with them. Liberals have reached the depths of self-deception and self-censorship in response. The Washington Post, New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, have all openly stated that they will refuse  to report on the racial facts of these violent crimes. The Los Angeles Times explains that they don't want to "unfairly stigmatize racial groups." They prefer the soft bigotry of low expectations instead.

These flash mobs have turned the comfortable narrative of racism on its head. Politicians, the media, academics, and the legal community do not have the capacity to face the issue. The reigning dogma of white racism is too deeply entrenched. There is a small grievance industry built around condemning white racism and intolerance, real or imagined. Indeed, the welfare state itself is in large part based on the assumption that whites need to give more to achieve racial equality, as reflected in President Obama's lament that the civil rights movement didn't focus on economic redistribution. Legal treatises complain that the racist white power structure grows into the bitter fruit of anti-minority racist violence. For instance, the work of Mari Matsuda and Richard Delgado is featured in countless undergraduate courses, and is ubiquitous in graduate and law school courses. They argue that hate speech is a severe social problem and that such speech, along with other tools of racism, keeps minorities in an inferior position (1). While academics dwell on hateful speech, the actual violence continues. We all pay the price, as racial guilt is used to extort tax money for the welfare state, which fosters the mobs. The PC status quo will not acknowledge the fact that the worst form of racism today is black mob violence.

John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, MAPSS '07) is a veteran, writer, and law student at Emory University living in Atlanta, GA.

1. Matsuda, Mari J., Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story, 87 Michigan Law Review. 2320, 2362, note 10 (1989); Richard Delgado, Words That Wound: A Tort Action For Racial Insults, Epithets, and Name-Calling, 17 Harv. Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. 133 (1982).

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/08/the_racial_violence_that_dare_not_speak_its_name.html at August 30, 2011 - 08:37:21 AM CDT

What Liberals Fear More Than Obama Losing (American Thinker)

What Liberals Fear More Than Obama Losing

By Geoffrey P. Hunt

The left are now wringing their hands fearing their agenda is overripe, blaming everyone else for their own spoiled pickling.  While Obama's sinking prospects for re-election are disquieting, the real source of liberals' despair is their sudden, unexpected realization that the progressive agenda is dead in its tracks and will likely be in full retreat after 2012.

Obama is finished, but the demise of their identity politician is neither the main event nor surprising.  He was a lame duck after he returned from Copenhagen empty handed in September 2009, expecting the mere presence of his electro-magnetic glow would secure the 2016 summer Olympics for Chicago.

He cannot claim a single success.  His resume is a bibliography of failure.  His signature achievement, the dubious namesake ObamaCare,  was designed by someone else.  Its central feature, the individual insurance mandate,  is destined to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

We will have our fill of post mortems, ad nauseam, about how The One broke their hearts; his considerable skills, now considered overrated,  were just no match for the enormity of the clean- up needed after Bush's mess; a victim of his opponents' entrenched racism.

Obama was only a convenient vessel, a mere tool. But enough about Obama; even the Congressional Black Caucus is ready to Move On.

The end of the Progressive Era, eclipsing Obama, has come from two places -- one fiscal and pragmatic, the other ideological and visceral.  First, the debt crisis and persistent economic woes have made it clear that the progressive agenda is unaffordable and unsustainable.  The money pumps in the forms of more borrowing and taxes cannot possibly keep up with the tons of green water spending coming aboard.

"Short-handed" by Lionel Smythe, National Maritime Museum, UK

Second, beyond the limited government ideology now gaining real traction, Americans without an ideology are finding that central planning madness from Washington is making their lives worse, not better.

The tipping point provoking the libs' worst nightmare was contained in Rick Perry's speech announcing his candidacy to be the Republican nominee for president.  Perry proclaimed his mission was not to make government more accountable, effective, or efficient -- that's standard issue bromide from populist reformers.  No, Perry was bold enough, and as his critics will assert reckless, to suggest government should be irrelevant -- his words "as inconsequential to your lives as possible."  This may be the most radical anti-government posture since Calvin Coolidge, leaning on the likes of Lord Acton:

There are many things the government can't do, many good purposes it must renounce.  It must leave them to the enterprise of others.  It cannot feed the people.  It cannot enrich the people.  It cannot teach the people.

The liberal press are frightened out of their wits.  Whether Perry is an authentic purebred limited government advocate may be debatable.  No matter, he's close enough.

Perry's credibility as a governor, his disdain for Washington, his unapologetic and outspoken defense of conservative principles, his jobs and business climate record, all despite occasional lapses and rhetorical excesses -- in short his popularity and substance overcoming his defects -- make him the candidate the Dems fear most.  Perry, more ruthless, pragmatic, and plain spoken than any of his rivals is the most likely to lead the coming dismantling of the federal government monstrosity.

MSM's Jeff Greenfield nearly soiled his pants describing Perry's brand of extremist limited government:

It is a formulation of a brand of current conservative thinking that breaks radically with two centuries of American history. There is no mission - other than defense against foreign foes - that is the proper task of Washington...

To argue that there is nothing of moment that Washington should be doing marks a version of that argument that is nothing short of astonishing.

Read all of it here.  Greenfield seems to believe whatever the federal government does is equally momentous -- fighting wars, ending slavery, enabling westward expansion beyond the Alleghenies, and mandating rules on low flow toilets and energy saving light bulbs.  Greenfield commits the increasingly commonplace liberal fallacy of conflating real with surreal.  How absurd to suggest that by rejecting job killing global warming taxes and denouncing EPA regulations crippling business expansion and economic growth, Perry would also have opposed the Homestead Act and desegregation.

It doesn't require a PhD in economics or history to sort out the origins of the progressives' inevitable downfall.   During the past 60 years we've rung up deficits in 51 of them.  Democrats controlled both the US House and Senate in 38 of those years.  The Democrats, increasingly  dominated by the ideology of redistributive economics, welfare state largesse, and central planning elitism,  have simply engorged themselves without restraint, spending us into oblivion.

Spend, spend , spend some more...of someone else's money. Then threaten to take more of it while libeling those who protest financing this bottomless pit.

The liberal vision of the ideal state is fat, sloppy and lazy.   Why exert yourself if someone else will buy you food stamps and school lunches?   Why bother learning to read, write, do simple algebra, or acquire any employable skills when you'll get free health care and subsidized housing?   Why eat right and keep fit when obesity and diabetes is a protected disability?

Americans are finally fed up with the Democrats' value system:  no personal accountability; moral equivalence; belief that success is derived from exploiting everybody else; everybody else is a hapless victim; we are all racists and xenophobes, consigned to endless acts of contrition where reparations and open borders would be the only relief.

Here's a story of a public school janitor describing the obscene waste in his school's cafeteria.  An apt metaphor for the trillions of social program spending since LBJ's Great Society:  taxpayer dollars shoveled onto a compost pile with nothing to show for it.  Far from a bed of roses, instead fostering a culture of depravity, dependency, and entitlement.   The writer of this piece wonders out loud what many of us think in private.  Is poverty real with such bounty?   Certainly poverty of spirit is real.  We are an impoverished nation when it comes to intellectual honesty, denying that self- reliance and sweat equity, not government handouts, enabled American exceptionalism.

The liberal legacy soon to visit America has been displayed writ large in the London rioting.  The consequences of the welfare state combined with illiteracy and a moral vacuum were predicted nearly 50 years ago by Daniel Patrick Moynihan's infamous "Report", The Negro Family: The Case For National Action. Moynihan focused his attention on urban black society, the fatal breakdown of the family unit, and was vilified by the left for doing so. Moynihan's insights should not confined to the black community. His observations would equally apply to Britain today and throughout much of post-modern America.

Today's black unemployment rate ranges from 20-40% depending on who's counting and where. What have the trillions devoted to our welfare state achieved for them? More illiteracy, more broken single parent families, more crime, more dependency, more rage. And now, we're bankrupt. What next?

What next is not more of the same. The welfare, entitlement and central planning state is a perpetual resource sink paying no dividends.  Flush Obama and turn out the lights on the Progressive Century.  The party is over.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/08/what_liberals_fear_more_than_obama_losing.html at August 30, 2011 - 08:27:04 AM CDT

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Recognition of Reality (Karl Denninger–market-ticker.org)


It would be a good idea to become grounded in it folks, because it's coming, and it's not going to be fun if you're not well-grounded in the facts.

Let's take a few examples, some of them from the forum and some from my own personal experience, and flesh them out.

Take many if not most allegedly "middle-class" and "upper middle-class" business owners and managers.  They live in a nice 3,500 sq/ft house in the suburbs with a manicured lawn and the service that comes once a week.  Their home is immaculate and full of granite counter tops and Viking appliances.  There are two $50,000 automobiles in the driveway - and perhaps another one, or some sort of recreational vehicle (a boat or RV) in the garage or a nearby storage area.

Now look at how much actual wealth they have, on a balance-sheet basis.  Their home is likely underwater or has limited equity - 10 or 20% of the current market value at most.  Their vehicles are not owned outright, they all have notes on them.  There's $100,000 or less in their retirement accounts, but they're middle-aged - in their 40s.

On the spending side they have a $200/month cellphone bill for themselves and their kids ($2,400 a year), spend $300/month on utilities ($3,600 a year) and pay $5,000 or more in property taxes and hazard insurance.  Between these there's more than $10,000 that goes out the front door, plus their income tax burden.  This family also eats out a couple of times a week ($200/month or $2,400 a year) and in general treats money and credit as though it's something they have access to and thus will use.

This prototypical family manages to make it work predicated on being paid by the government for the use of leverage through the mortgage tax deduction.  This has induced them to (among other things) refinance serially, since as a loan amortizes the interest percentage drops and so does the tax write-off. To keep that "extra" $3,000 a year in deduction the family has buried itself in debt - intentionally - through serial refinances, while stripping every dime of equity they could get their hands on to spend on their lifestyle.  What they don't admit to is that they're simply pyramiding debt upon debt, goaded on by a tax system that has encouraged profligacy, immaturity and a mathematically-inevitable economic collapse.

As they head toward "retirement age" their children have gone off on their own.  They treated their kids as chattel during the time they were kids, smothering them and yet at the same time showering them with "things."  A car at 16.  An extravagant prom experience.  Travel-team soccer at hundreds of dollars a month.  New clothes from the latest trendy place - several times a year.  A college that costs $20,000/year.  None of this was earned by Junior, it was "deserved" because the little darlings "should have the best."

These people will argue, to the last man and woman, that they've done "everything right all their lives."

They're deluded, and if you're reading this you're probably one of them.

The fact is that the bubble that made possible the appearance of rapid accumulation of wealth was just that - a bubble.  It was a fraud.  This prototypical family, and the majority of Americans live like this even today, having learned nothing from the last few years,  is literally one disruption in the ability to put leverage upon leverage from a full-blown economic disaster.

But bubbles always pop.


It's not a bubble eh?  Care to rethink that in light of this chart?

If you want to know where that came from, look right here:

When did the market start to take off?  Right after 1980, right when the government, industry and you set forth upon the path of borrowing more and more money to spend beyond your means, saving nothing, investing nothing.

This drove asset prices higher.  But this game must eventually end, because every dollar you borrow comes with interest, and eventually you are unable to borrow any more, since your borrowing has outrun your earnings capacity.

That's what happened in 2007.  It is why all the games with QEx have failed - all they did was create more "excess reserves" that could be loaned out, but the economy's ability to absorb more loans and pay more interest has been exceeded.

Pressing that bet further and further will not work.  It cannot work.

Now we're in trouble, and lots of it.  We're faced with the reality of what we've done because when that leverage comes out of the system and it will the market is likely to go right back where it started - or fairly close to it.  Contemplate that, and read the Ticker I posted yesterday, because that's the macro economic impact of that leverage being removed.

But on a personal note the impact is going to suck too. In no particular order you might want to consider all of the following:

  • Americans have levered themselves up to the gills.  Despite claims in the media, that leverage has not been taken down.  Think about yourself, your family, neighbors and friends. Would you be ok if you had no credit cards, in fact no credit of any sort, no government handouts and no job - for six months.  Very few families would be able to survive such a thing without ending up in the street, yet without that ability you have excessive financial leverage in your life.  You have not removed that leverage.  You had better start - now.  If you didn't believe in the risk in 2007 when I started writing about this, the 2008/09 market collapse should have convinced you.  If that wasn't enough this latest swoon should have underlined the point.  If neither of those two events has made clear what you must do - right now - then like it or not you deserve what's going to happen to you, despite the fact that I'm sure I'll get hate mail for saying it.

  • Can you make it in "retirement" - by whatever means, including continuing to work, without government support?  If not, you're not unlevered.  You've simply believed the lies told to you by the political establishment that it could lever itself up on an indefinite forward basis and give the benefits to you despite the fact that the demographics - that the Baby Boomers were going to retire en-masse and overload the Medicare and Social Security systems - has been known for more than 30 years.  The government did nothing about it because fixing this would have meant curtailing forward promises of benefits or massive tax increases thirty years ago.  Today, that problem cannot be solved with tax increases as the money is not there and cannot be extracted from the economy.  As a consequence major benefit cuts are going to happen, irrespective of the political demands placed on the government.  You must be prepared to survive and continue onward without any government support.  Figure it out, right now and alter your lifestyle today, or suffer the consequences.

  • Did you successfully transition your relationship with your children (if any) from one of dependence to one of mutual respect?  This doesn't always work, by the way.  Kids are independent human beings, and no matter how you parent them some percentage will be anti-social jackasses as will some parents.  This is reality.  However, it doesn't help if you treated your kids as chattel or worse, abused them or worse, or showered them with all sorts of "entitlements" as kids, because now they'll expect the same as adults!  Historically the solution to getting older meant living in extended family units.  It will again - if you didn't ruin those connections with your children.  If you did, I hope you're wealthy - truly wealthy - or you're in lots of trouble.  Begging sucks as does apologizing for your previous acts along with repairing broken family relationships but it beats the hell out of starving and/or freezing to death.  Choose wisely and choose today.

  • Got faith?  There may or may not be a God, but it's a fact that there's a congregation in the corner Church on Sunday.  Consider that if the Zombie Apocalypse comes knocking your local faith community may be the best option for mutually-arranged self-defense, the patching of any holes that might get made in places you'd rather not have them, and the provision of basic human needs, including most-particularly something hot to put down the pie hole.  Is faith practical?  You decide, and consider this along with the following indisputable fact: Once you know for sure if there's a God it's too late to change your mind.

  • Resolve self-regulation issues - now.  The majority of Americans are overweight or obese.  A minority exercise three times a week for 20 minutes at a moderate to intense level of activity.  One of the Christian "seven deadly sins" is gluttony, and it's not just found in the bottle or the dope bag - it's also found in the grocery store, at the fast-food joint and on the couch.  America has enjoyed the ability to call "911" any time and have an ambulance magically appear to whisk you to the hospital when you feel that nasty tightness in your chest.  In fact, an amazing number of municipalities have managed to vote into place ridiculous tax increases (including my local area) to pay for exactly that.  Instead, a volunteer fire department would be sufficient without the "ALS" ambulance service at a quarter of the cost - and the average homeowner, who pays $250 a year or more for that "enhanaced" level of service, could buy more than enough running shoes and save five times that much or more on food not consumed - and not need the EMS!  The same thing happens in the doctor's office every day: "Doc, do you have a pill for that?"  Guess what - we can't afford to pay for your pills, the EMS, or the hospital - you can't cover it individually and we can't cover it as a society.  Therefore, either solve your self-regulation issues or suffer the inevitable consequences.  It's time to grow up America.

  • Come to grips with your mortality.  If you prefer to use faith, that's fine.  If you don't believe in God, that's fine too - Darwin will do as well.  Nonetheless we are all mortal and we are going to have to deal with the fact that we cannot have medical services we are unable to personally pay for.  This is a major shift after the idiotic moves of the last 30 years, but it is nonetheless a fact.  Leverage enabled the pulling forward of demand for medical services into today that were promised to be paid for tomorrow, but now tomorrow has come and there's no more ability to pull that demand forward.  See the "Self-Regulation" bullet point above and consider that your success or failure in dealing with that will materially change your interaction with this point, then choose.  If you believe that with the global finance ponzi collapsing you'll be able to demand a pair of $100,000 hips, a $90,000 prostate cancer treatment or $250,000 for bypass surgery from "society", you're wrong.  The money doesn't exist any more, which means you either earn and stash it yourself during your productive years, do what you need to so those things are unnecessary (to the extent you can), or face the fact that we all die and your time might be now.

If you'd like the above in a "religious" format someone on the forum posted a link to the a sermon tracking much of the above.  Yeah, it's 45 minutes.  But it's pretty much spot-on in Christian terms.

Time is short; choose wisely.

Monday, August 22, 2011

To Understand The US Current Mess (From Investopedia.com)

What Was The Glass-Steagall Act?

Reem Heakal

Contact | Author Bio

In 1933, in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash and during a nationwide commercial bank failure and the Great Depression, two members of Congress put their names on what is known today as the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA). This act separated investment and commercial banking activities. At the time, "improper banking activity", or what was considered overzealous commercial bank involvement in stock market investment, was deemed the main culprit of the financial crash. According to that reasoning, commercial banks took on too much risk with depositors' money. Additional and sometimes non-related explanations for the Great Depression evolved over the years, and many questioned whether the GSA hindered the establishment of financial services firms that can equally compete against each other. We will take a look at why the GSA was established and what led to its final repeal in 1999.
Reasons for the Act - Commercial Speculation
Commercial banks were accused of being too speculative in the pre-Depression era, not only because they were investing their assets but also because they were buying new issues for resale to the public. Thus, banks became greedy, taking on huge risks in the hope of even bigger rewards. Banking itself became sloppy and objectives became blurred. Unsound loans were issued to companies in which the bank had invested, and clients would be encouraged to invest in those same stocks.
Effects of the Act - Creating Barriers
Senator Carter Glass, a former Treasury secretary and the founder of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, was the primary force behind the GSA. Henry Bascom Steagall was a House of Representatives member and chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee. Steagall agreed to support the act with Glass after an amendment was added permitting bank deposit insurance (this was the first time it was allowed).
As a collective reaction to one of the worst financial crises at the time, the GSA set up a regulatory firewall between commercial and investment bank activities, both of which were curbed and controlled. Banks were given a year to decide on whether they would specialize in commercial or in investment banking. Only 10% of commercial banks' total income could stem from securities; however, an exception allowed commercial banks to underwrite government-issued bonds. Financial giants at the time such as JP Morgan and Company, which were seen as part of the problem, were directly targeted and forced to cut their services and, hence, a main source of their income. By creating this barrier, the GSA was aiming to prevent the banks' use of deposits in the case of a failed underwriting job.
The GSA, however, was considered harsh by most in the financial community, and it was reported that even Glass himself moved to repeal the GSA shortly after it was passed, claiming it was an overreaction to the crisis.
Building More Walls
Despite the lax implementation of the GSA by the Federal Reserve Board, which is the regulator of U.S. banks, in 1956, Congress made another decision to regulate the banking sector. In an effort to prevent financial conglomerates from amassing too much power, the new act focused on banks involved in the insurance sector. Congress agreed that bearing the high risks undertaken in underwriting insurance is not good banking practice. Thus, as an extension of the Glass-Steagall Act, the Bank Holding Company Act further separated financial activities by creating a wall between insurance and banking. Even though banks could, and can still can, sell insurance and insurance products, underwriting insurance was forbidden.
Were the Walls Necessary? - The New Rules of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
The limitations of the GSA on the banking sector sparked a debate over how much restriction is healthy for the industry. Many argued that allowing banks to diversify in moderation offers the banking industry the potential to reduce risk, so the restrictions of the GSA could have actually had an adverse effect, making the banking industry riskier rather than safer. Furthermore, big banks of the post-Enron market are likely to be more transparent, lessening the possibility of assuming too much risk or masking unsound investment decisions. As such, reputation has come to mean everything in today's market, and that could be enough to motivate banks to regulate themselves.
Consequently, to the delight of many in the banking industry (not everyone, however, was happy), in November of 1999 Congress repealed the GSA with the establishment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which eliminated the GSA restrictions against affiliations between commercial and investment banks. Furthermore, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allows banking institutions to provide a broader range of services, including underwriting and other dealing activities.
Although the barrier between commercial and investment banking aimed to prevent a loss of deposits in the event of investment failures, the reasons for the repeal of the GSA and the establishment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act show that even regulatory attempts for safety can have adverse effects.

by Reem Heakal

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/071603.asp#ixzz1VlF2q8J2

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Britain's liberal intelligentsia has smashed virtually every social value (DailyMail)


By Melanie Phillips

Last updated at 8:33 AM on 11th August 2011

So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.

The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society.

Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age.

Looters in Peckham. The riots have been fuelled by moral collapse says Melanie Phillips

Looters in Peckham. The riots have been fuelled by moral collapse says Melanie Phillips

Now we can see what they have brought about in the unprecedented and horrific scenes of mob violence, with homes and businesses going up in flames, and epidemic looting.



Should rioters have their benefits taken away from them?



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Clearly, there is some as yet unidentified direction and co-ordination behind the anarchy. But what is so notable and distressing is that, after the first day when adults were clearly involved, this mayhem has been carried out in the main by teenagers and children, some as young as eight.

The idea that they should not steal other people’s property, or beat up and rob passers-by, appears to be as weird and outlandish to them as the suggestion that they should fly to the moon.

These youths feel absolutely entitled to go ‘on the rob’ and steal whatever they want. Indeed, they are incredulous that anyone should suggest they might pass up such an opportunity.

What has been fuelling all this is not poverty, as has so predictably been claimed, but moral collapse. What we have been experiencing is a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour among children and young people straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord Of The Flies.

Looting in Manchester

Looters in Manchester

Trouble in Manchester last night. Melanie Phillips says youths feel absolutely entitled to go ‘on the rob’ and steal whatever they want

There has been much bewildered talk about ‘feral’ children, and desperate calls upon their parents to keep them in at night and to ask them about any stolen goods they are bringing home.

As if there were responsible parents in such homes! We are not merely up against feral children, but feral parents.

Of course these parents know their children are out on the streets. Of course they see them staggering back with what they have looted. But either they are too drunk or drugged or otherwise out of it to care, or else they are helping themselves to the proceeds, too.

As David Cameron observed yesterday, there are clearly pockets of society that are not just broken, but sick.

Melanie Phillips said every problem was instituted or exacerbated by the Labour government under Tony Blair

Melanie Phillips said every problem was instituted or exacerbated by the Labour government under Tony Blair

The causes of this sickness are many and complex. But three things can be said with certainty: every one of them is the fault of the liberal intelligentsia; every one of them was instituted or exacerbated by the Labour government; and at the very heart of these problems lies the breakdown of the family.

For most of these children come from lone-mother households. And the single most crucial factor behind all this mayhem is the willed removal of the most important thing that socialises children and turns them from feral savages into civilised citizens: a father who is a fully committed member of the family unit.

Of course there are many lone parents who do a tremendous job. But we’re talking here about widespread social collapse. And there are whole areas of Britain, white as well as black, where committed fathers are a wholly unknown phenomenon.

In such areas, successive generations are being brought up only by mothers, through whose houses pass transitory males by whom these women have yet more children — and who inevitably repeat the pattern of lone and dysfunctional parenting. 

The result is fatherless boys who are consumed by an existential rage and desperate emotional need, and who take out the damage done to them by lashing out from infancy at everyone around them. Such children inhabit what is effectively a different world from the rest of society. It’s a world without any boundaries or rules. A world of emotional and physical chaos.

A world where a child responds to the slightest setback or disagreement by resorting to violence. A world where the parent is unwilling or incapable of providing the loving and disciplined framework that a child needs in order to thrive.

Yet instead of lone parenthood being regarded as a tragedy for individuals, and a catastrophe for society, it has been redefined as a ‘right’.

'The riots have been fuelled by moral collapse'

When Labour came to power in 1997, it set about systematically destroying not just the traditional family but the very idea that married parents were better for children than any other arrangement.

Instead, it introduced the sexual free-for-all of ‘lifestyle choice’; claimed that the idea of the male breadwinner was a sexist anachronism; and told girls that they could, and should, go it alone as mothers.

This was the outcome of the shattering defeat of Tony Blair, in the two years or so after he came to power, at the hands of the ultra-feminists and apostles of non-judgmentalism in his Cabinet and party who were determined, above all, to destroy the traditional nuclear family.

Blair stood virtually alone against them, and lost.

One of these ultra-feminist wreckers was Harriet Harman. The other night, she was on TV preposterously suggesting that cuts in educational allowances or youth workers had something to do with young people torching and looting shops, robbing and leaving people for dead in the streets.

But Harman was one of the principal forces in the Labour government behind the promotion of lone parenthood and the marginalisation of fathers. If anyone should be blamed for bringing about the conditions which have led to these appalling scenes in our cities, it is surely Ms Harman.

And this breaking of the family was further condoned, rewarded and encouraged by the Welfare State, which conceives of need solely in terms of absence of money, and which accordingly subsidises lone parenthood and the destructive behaviour that fatherlessness brings in its train.

Criminal wrongdoing was excused on the basis that the criminal couldn't help himself says Melanie Phillips

Under Labour criminal wrongdoing was excused on the basis that the criminal couldn't help himself says Melanie Phillips

Welfare dependency further created the entitlement culture that the looters so egregiously display. It taught them that the world owed them a living. It taught them that their actions had no consequences. And it taught them that the world revolved around themselves.

'Punishment became a dirty word'

The result of this toxic combination of welfare and non-judgmentalism was an explosion of elective lone parenthood and dysfunctional behaviour transmitted down through the generations at the very bottom of the social heap — creating, in effect, a class apart.

Phillips: If anyone should be blamed for bringing about the conditions which have led to these appalling scenes in our cities, it is surely Ms Harman

Phillips: If anyone should be blamed for bringing about the conditions which have led to these appalling scenes in our cities, it is surely Harriet Harman, pictured

Once, children would have been rescued from their disadvantaged backgrounds by schools which gave them not just an education but structure and purpose to their lives.

But the liberal intelligentsia destroyed that escape route, too. For its onslaught upon marriage — the bedrock institution of society — with a tax system that penalises married couples with a wife who doesn’t work, was replicated by an onslaught upon the understanding and very identity of that society. Instead of transmitting knowledge to children, teaching was deemed to be an attack upon a child’s autonomy and self-esteem.

Thus it was that teachers adopted the ‘child-centred’ approach, which expected children not only to learn for themselves but also to decide for themselves about behaviour such as sexual morality or drug-taking.

The outcome was that children were left illiterate and innumerate and unable to think. Abandoned to wander through the world without any guidance, they predictably ended up without any moral compass.

All of this was compounded still further by the disaster of multiculturalism — the doctrine which held that no culture could be considered superior to any other because that was ‘racist’.

That meant children were no longer taught about the nation in which they lived, and about its culture. So not only were they left in ignorance of their own society, but any attachment to a shared and over-arching culture was deliberately shattered.

More from Melanie Phillips...

Instead of forging social bonds, multiculturalism dissolved them — and introduced instead a primitive war of all against all, in which the strongest groups would destroy the weak.

Closely related to this was ‘victim culture’, in which all minority groups were regarded as victims of the majority. So any bad behaviour by them was excused and blamed on the majority.

In similar vein, all criminal wrongdoing was excused on the basis that the criminal couldn’t help himself, as he was the victim of circumstances such as poverty, unemployment, or as yet illusory cuts in public spending. The human rights of the criminal became seen as more important than the safety and security of his victims. Punishment became a dirty word. So the entire criminal justice system turned into a sick joke, with young hoodlums walking off with community sentences or Asbos which they held in total contempt.

Mr Cameron has declared that all those convicted of violent disorder in these riots will go to prison.

Really? Isn’t it more likely that they will end up on some community penalty which will see them taken on trips to Alton Towers to make up for their disadvantaged upbringing? This is the normal response of our sentimentalised and addle-brained criminal justice officials.

In short, what we have seen unfolding before our horrified gaze over the past four days in Britain is the true legacy of the Labour years.

The social and moral breakdown behind the riots was deliberately willed upon Britain by Left-wing politicians and other middle-class ideologues who wrap their utter contempt for the poor in the mantle of ‘progressive’ non-judgmentalism.

These are the people who — against the evidence of a mountain of empirical research — hurl execrations at anyone who suggests that lone parenthood is, in general, a catastrophe for children (and a disaster for women); who promote drug liberalisation, oppose selective education (while paying for private tutors for their own children) and call those who oppose unlimited immigration and multiculturalism ‘racists’.

And the real victims of these people ‘who know best’ are always those at the bottom of the social heap, who possess neither the money nor the social or intellectual resources to cushion them against the most catastrophic effects of such nonsense.

Britain was once an ordered society that was the envy of the world — the most civilised, the most gentle and law-abiding. 

Can Broken Britain be put together again? David Cameron is commendably talking tough: but will he have the stomach for tough action?

Will he, for example, remove the incentives to girls and women to have babies outside marriage? Will he dismantle the concept of entitlement from the Welfare State? Will he vigorously enforce the drug laws? Will he end the kid-glove treatment of ‘victim groups’, and hold them to account for their behaviour in exactly the same way as everyone else?

Repairing this terrible damage also means, dare I say it, a return to the energetic transmission of Biblical morality.

Anyone heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury about the riots? Anyone care to guess what he will eventually say about them? Quite.

When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilisation, and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilisation rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then — and only then — will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.

Until then, within the smouldering embers of our smashed and burned-out cities, we can only look upon the ruins of the Britain we have so dearly loved; the Britain that once led the world towards civilisation, but is now so tragically leading the way out.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2024690/UK-riots-2011-Britains-liberal-intelligentsia-smashed-virtually-social-value.html#ixzz1UjkLdRPi

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Civilization’s End (sultanknish.blogspot.com)

Civilization's End

 The flash mobs in America or the Blackberry mobs in London have one thing in common. It isn't race, though they tend to predominantly be minorities. It's identity.

The counterculture has not changed dramatically since the 70's, but it has tossed aside any appearance of idealism. The new counterculture draws in two groups, disaffected upper middle class white youth and lower class black youth. Their goals are purely materialistic, looted iPods and government subsidies for housing, education and anything else they can think of.

These are the children of the welfare state with little in common except a rejection of the commercial way of life. Neither the entitled white university brat or the posturing ghetto teenager has any interest in working. The businesses they smash are an alien thing to them. Small businessmen do not go about smashing stores. The people who do think of commodities as something they trick or intimidate others into giving to them. And that covers everyone from municipal unions to thugs driving around BMW's.

Rand's looters take on a more literal meaning in Tottenham. Smashing store windows and grabbing what's inside is only the protest for more government handouts taken directly to the businesses who fund it without the bother of a government middle man.

This lawless materialism is the essence of the welfare state. "Loot as much as you can, or someone else will." If you don't grab government benefits or sneakers in store windows, someone else will. The rich are grabbing, the pols are grabbing-- time to queue up and loot your share. Communism made this way of thinking so commonplace that all of Russia became one black market. And we are not far behind.

What kind of people behave this way? Those who have come to think of wealth as an infinite pile from which everyone grabs as much as they can. This is where the ethos of the socialist left and hip-hop comes together. Obama gleefully spending millions on himself and trillions on national giveaways for his donors and supporters is the most obnoxious fusion of this phenomenon.

Technological savvy melded with barbaric behavior, the 21st century mobile devotee turned raider is a wake up call in more ways than one. These are not mere race riots, they are the self-organization of the end of our civilization.

The classic raid has come to the cities of West, its hallmarks are not frustration but careful planning, followed by a violent rush. The raids may have a profit motive, but often they are there only to terrify.  Mostly there is no larger political agenda, only the emergence of an old way of life that most people think died with the Vikings.

The law banished the raider back into the dim pages of history,  but law depended on a civilization which is now collapsing. Police officers alone won't be enough to stem the ride. Law enforcement depends on the fear of the average person to step out of line and break the law. The lone criminal pits himself against the well-oiled machine of the police and the federal authorities. But when gangs defy the authorities, then it's the beginning of a civil war.

An understated civil war is already raging in Europe, between Muslim and African immigrants and the society they have penetrated. The conflict has made a mockery of the social controls of Europe. Put surveillance cameras on every street, and we'll don masks and turn out in numbers. Run your DNA banks and see how much luck you have when entire streets are burning. Outlaw knives and we'll bring our Molotov cocktails.

The United States managed to offer enough economic growth in the last two decades that riots were mostly limited to angry white college students protesting for some radical cause. But the economic engine is off and the flash mob is here. Black unemployment is at an all time high and teenagers with thousands of dollars, but without the steadying effect of full time employment are getting their kicks.

The situation is worse in the UK, where middle class brats and African youth are equally furious at Cameron's cuts, and eager for the looting to resume. The shooting of a criminal is a common signal to riot, but not out of outrage, but opportunity. Political outrage always transmutes into loot. The looters are not bothering to wait until some commission suggests directing more money to social programs. Their looting is more direct and more immediate. For a gratification as instant as the tech that they use to organize their banditry.

Divestment is the common denominator. Neither the middle-class white or lower-class black rioter is invested in his society. The white rioter is a globalist, the black rioter is an outsider. Neither are invested in the city and country they are busy trashing.

The traditional raider saw himself as part of an outside group. The modern raider has global identities that are at odds with the country he lives in. He may see himself as a citizen of the world, a member of the Muslim Ummah, as black or a Marxist or any number of other wider identities. And these identities are more primal than being an Englishman or an American. When he joins a raiding party, it is as a member of one of those groups looting a society whose welfare is of no interest to him. 

Civilization depends on a consensus. The fundamental base of that consensus is that the civilization is a worthwhile thing which must endure. We follow the law not only because the law is right, but even when it is wrong, because law is the safeguard of civilization. But why should people who do not value the civilization follow the law?

The left's motives for rebelling are different than those of minority looters. But the end result is similar enough. A disregard for the civilization becomes a disregard for its laws. And that leaves self-interest as the only hedge against anarchy. But what interest do people who do not work for a living have in preserving the businesses of others? None at all. As far as they are concerned, smash a store, it will collect the insurance, and reopen, or another will open up in its place. And even if it doesn't, then so what? It's not "our businesses" anyway.

Small business is the backbone of human freedom. The small businessman is able to negotiate commercial arrangements with individuals and groups outside the dominance of larger authority. But small business is on the decline. The corner store is likely to be run by outsiders, in Detroit as in London. And around it are chain stores, franchised or not, that are primary targets of looters. Loot them enough and all that's left is a hopelessly unrecoverable ghetto.

The bigger the institutions get, the more they are cut off from the street, and the more fragmented the society becomes. Nations become giants unable to see or fend off the gnomes hammering at their feet. And their corrective solutions inevitably lean toward more social gigantism. Violence rewarded often enough becomes a habitual tool of politics until the looter matters more than the ballot box. When the authorities show that they will reward violence with social benefits, the welfare state will grow fangs.

That process was aborted in the United States, but it is still commonplace in Europe, which has not learned the American lesson that the worst way to respond to riots is with bribery. America put an end to the riot by cutting welfare benefits and bulking up police forces. The modern NYPD and LAPD may be ugly creatures, at times downright vicious, but they are far more useful than their metropolitan police counterparts. And the black entrepreneur is a far more common figure today than the rioter.

Of course the underlying problem cannot be solved with better police forces or economic growth, only temporarily suppressed. The underlying tensions are cultural, ideological, racial and religious. The university student taught that his civilization is an illegitimate construct employed for the benefit of a few that deserves to be torn down will retain the same mindset whether he is looting an electronics shop or teaching at a school. And that mindset is contagious.

The commercial tribalism of the rapper who conflates casual violence and criminality with honor follows a pattern of glorifying crime that predates and postdates race, its ubiquity dating back centuries, from the highwayman to the 1920's bank robber, and is almost as socially disruptive and even more contagious.

The narrative is the same. Its idealism and honor covers up the blatant materialism and greed that its lawbreaking enables. And the message is also the same. Civilization's end.

The return of the raider as an instant message enabled gang is a phenomenon at odds with progress. It is a warning that darker times are returning, that while everyone may pack phones that have more processing power in one inch than a room of computers did 30 years ago, the march of progress is moving backward. Civilization isn't over yet, but it is badly endangered. It has become an undefined thing held in largely in contempt. It is a structure that everyone takes for granted, but few respect.

It has been a long time since Vikings raided English shores, but the new Vikings don't need to take boats to get there. The barbarians in our civilization are already among us. They are already here.
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Anticipating the Coming Convulsions as the Welfare State Dies (biggovernment.com)


Posted By Kurt Schlichter On August 8, 2011 @ 4:38 am In 2012 Budget, 2012 Election, Congress, Featured Story, Federal Spending, Politics, Tea Party | 45 Comments

It’s already happening – the liberal dream of a perpetual social welfare state where deadbeat liberal constituencies feed off of the work of productive conservative citizens in perpetuity is dying.  There’s no doubt about that; the only question left is how long and hard the process will be as the hideous leviathan the utopian liberal establishment has created convulses and dies.

It’s going to die hard.  And ugly.

The collapse is well-underway in Europe – Greece has gone from the cradle of democracy to a cesspool of union-fueled mobs – but America faces the same trauma.  As the contradictions inherent in the vision [1] of a societal plan based on the notion that an ever-expanding pool of Democratic-voting serfs sucking the wealth away from the mostly Republican-oriented producers who labored to create it become more apparent, the reactions and rear-guard efforts of the terminal liberal elite will grow more extreme.

We are already seeing the liberal elite lash out in anger and frustration at what is a perfect storm of failure.  Glenn Reynolds, the legendary Instapundit [2], chronicles the daily disintegration, while the brilliant Mark Steyn’s cheery new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon [3], drops on August 8, 2011 – I’ll race you to Amazon to get a copy.

As the three components of the liberal establishment – the media, the unions and politicians – rage at the dying [4] of the liberal light, the insanity meter will swing far into the red.  It’s already begun.  The Tea Party has dared to speak the truth, and the uncomfortable realities it has pointed out have destroyed the bogus consensus that has allowed the debt Titanic to sail giddily on toward the iceberg.  That’s why the establishment response is to demonize the popular movement.  We’re “terrorists” or “lunatics” or, bizarrely, “hobbits.”  Our crime is telling the truth.

Never mind that the Tea Party candidates were absolutely clear about their debt crisis solution when running for election – the voters spoke.  Apparently, the only polls that matter get taken around the tables at Manhattan and Georgetown dinner parties – and, oddly, the results are always unanimous in favor of a “compromise” that tries to shore-up the crumbling status quo.

The problem with the Tea Party is not what it does – at best, right now, it can only make a moral and political case; it does not have the numbers to make anything happen without non-Tea Partiers joining it.  The problem with the Tea Partiers, in the eyes of the liberal establishment and the pet moderate GOP enablers, is that it dares to point out the indisputable truth that must be hidden at all costs:  That the social welfare state is unsustainable and will collapse.

But the demonization campaign does not seem to be working as expected – amazingly, the Tea Party caucus was able to provide the missing spine to the go-along/get-along gang running the House and present a primary-based incentive to the collegial Senate Republicans who have to face the voters next year and don’t want to join booted squish ex-Utah senator Bob Bennett in his new sinecure as the MSM’s go-to, slam-the-conservatives, pseudo-GOP nobody.  While the resulting deal was terrible, it was still a massive humiliation for the liberal establishment.  They are not in a forgiving mood, and it’s easier to hate on the Tea Party than face the fact that they’ve driven us to bankruptcy.

So when demonization doesn’t work, government lifers like Senator Kerry advocate silencing the opposition [5].  One might think that a United States senator demanding that the media refuse to report the views of his political opponents because too many people are accepting them might stir some outrage in the media.  But then, if you did, you probably might believe in unicorns, leprechauns and global warming as well.

Instead of a chorus of outrage at this creepy fascism, the media elite seem to think this is a great idea.  But that should not be a surprise.  The media – at least the old media (call it the MSM) – is dying, killed off not only by technology that allows conservatives to evade the gates it used to defend to prevent the political discourse from being contaminated with ideas that challenge its foundational liberal premises [6].  It is grasping at a life preserver, trying to take in a few more lungfuls of air before it sinks under forever.

With the establishment politicians far “out of their depth [7]” in response to the coming crisis, watch for more moves by the Left not to resolve the situation but to kill the messenger.  Do not put it past the elite to actually try again to limit debate using law and/or regulations.  They still salivate at the notion of killing off conservative radio by resurrecting the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine [8], and the government at one point argued that it had the right to criminally prosecute citizens for publishing a book critical of politicians [9] until it backed down.  Note that the MSM strongly supports these forays into fascism – not surprising since they think that the Constitution that allows conservatives’ voice to be heard is a “problem.” [10]

But it will be impossible to regulate conservative opposition out of existence – not just because of the First Amendment but because the coming reckoning will be so severe that it can no longer be swept under the rug.  Yet, rug sweeping will become their next strategy.  Playing off the demonization tactics, they will continue to attempt to engage moderate – read “squishy” – Republicans toward some sort of “compromise” that will give them just a bit more time before everything comes crashing down.  Watch for this when the “Super Commission” comes back with its plan.  Their goal – get past November 2012 then hopefully use the crisis to their advantage to turn the ship of state even harder to port.

But that’s a fool’s errand.  The DC establishment can ignore math, but math won’t ignore it.  There is simply not enough wealth that exists or can be imagined into existence through borrowing to support the redistributionist utopia they seek.  Greece is a harbinger of the future.  The EU will cobble together a bogus bailout that will keep the Hellenic rowboat afloat just a bit longer before it is swamped, but Zorba best learn to swim because it is going under.

Then the other failed states of Europe – Ireland, Spain, Italy, Portugal – will collapse too, taking with them Europe’s banks and our banks along with them.  The only reason we won’t fail first – S&P did not act too early but, rather, far too late in downgrading the US – is that Europe’s social democratic elite is even more delusional than ours.

It’s over.  The system must crash and reboot.  The choice is a hard landing or a harder landing.

The prescription is clear to anyone looking at the situation, except for the establishment that will not see it because to admit what must be done and embrace it means to wave goodbye to its members’ power, prestige and position.  We need to slash spending to less than the revenue we take in – the difference going to pay off the $14 trillion-plus tab.  And we need to do it now, not in some hazy future where some other Congress will have to make the tough calls – though reality may just make them for it.

That means a radical return to Constitutional government where the federal government goes back to what it was formed to do – those things set forth in the Constitution and nothing else.  The relatively easy part will be zeroing out the cowboy poetry slams, largely unwatched government TV networks and creepy shrimp-on-a-treadmill study grants. [11]

The hard part is the entitlements all of us were promised and none of us will ever see.  It means repealing Obamacare, but moreover returning the responsibility for health care to where it belongs – the individual.  The same with retirement – Social Security is a ponzi scheme and everyone knows it.

Government student loans, farms subsidies, corporate bailouts, food stamps, Section 8 housing  – none of these are federal responsibilities.  These should be eliminated not only because they are counterproductive, ineffective and soul-crushing for recipients but because if we don’t do it on our own terms fiscal reality will do it for us cold turkey.  And let’s not forget eliminating vast swaths of federal regulations – something that will both free up business and have the added benefit of dumping hundreds of thousands of government loafers off of Uncle Sam’s payroll.

There is a major change coming, and it could get ugly.  Union members will do their masters’ bidding with the support of the MSM, threatening violence and maybe committing some.  Look for well-planned and carefully-coordinated “spontaneous” mass marches on public buildings by scores of public employee union slugs demanding we keep subsidizing their retirements at full pay at age 50.

Fortunately, again as observed by Glenn Reynolds [12], the present crop of union activists aren’t the hardscrabble blue collar bruisers of the storied past.  Today, most seem to be skinny green tea-sipping public school teachers, naggy Department of Weights & Measures diversity officers, or massive welfare-dispensing office drones clad in form-fitting purple size-XXXXL SEIU t-shirts that were made in China.  Not exactly a fearsome crew, unless you’re between them and a muffin.

The Tea Party did not cause what will be a brutal reckoning.  It only pointed out the truth  and said, “No more” – an unforgivable crime to the people who caused this disaster and want to keep milking the system for as long as possible.  The key to getting through the coming trauma – and it will be traumatic, as the social contract the liberals unilaterally imposed is rewritten by an implacable reality – is for the productive citizens of the United States to stand firm and stand fast.  In other words, just the way Americans have gotten through every other crisis we’ve faced before.

America’s greatest days need not be in the past.  Guided by the Founder’s vision and the principles of the Constitution, we will find that they lie ahead, over just one more hill.


Article printed from Big Government: http://biggovernment.com

URL to article: http://biggovernment.com/kschlichter/2011/08/08/anticipating-the-coming-convulsions-as-the-welfare-state-dies/

URLs in this post:

[1] contradictions inherent in the vision: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/janetdaley/8685945/If-we-are-to-survive-the-looming-catastrophe-we-need-to-face-the-truth.html

[2] Instapundit: http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/

[3] After America: Get Ready for Armageddon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596981008/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0895260786&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=10WMQX340X23NMF037HT

[4] rage at the dying: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/raging_at_the_dying_of_their_light.html

[5] advocate silencing the opposition: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/05/john_kerry_media_has_responsibility_to_not_give_equal_time_to_tea_party.html

[6] foundational liberal premises: http://biggovernment.com/kschlichter/2011/08/05/keeping-on-the-offense-more-lessons-for-our-side/

[7] out of their depth: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100099792/in-this-grave-crisis-the-worlds-leaders-are-terrifyingly-out-of-their-depth/

[8] Fairness Doctrine: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123508978035028163.html

[9] criminally prosecute citizens for publishing a book critical of politicians: http://www.campaignfreedom.org/blog/detail/kagan-campaign-finance-and-banning-books

[10] they think that the Constitution that allows conservatives’ voice to be heard is a “problem.”: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/08/07/cokie-roberts-problem-we-have-here-constitution-united-states-america

[11] creepy shrimp-on-a-treadmill study grants.: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/treadmillrunning_shrimp_is_a_y.html

[12] as observed by Glenn Reynolds: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/06/sunday-reflection-hard-get-good-goons-these-days#ixzz1OPX3VnrI

[13] Image: #

Lessons from a Milwaukee Mob (American Thinker)


By John F. Di Leo

On August 4, 2011, the opening night of the Wisconsin State Fair, the worst race riot in Wisconsin history occurred.  As darkness fell over the amusement park area known as the Midway before closing time, hundreds of young blacks swarmed out into the parking lot, seeking out white fairgoers to attack -- pulling people off their bikes, out of their cars, to knock them to the ground and beat them: with fists and whatever blunt instruments they had handy.

Now, this wasn't the worst ever in America.  The race riots of the Red Summer of 1919, for example, sometimes involved thousands of people at a time.  But it is certainly something new and terrifying for the Wisconsin State Fair, which, like all state fairs, is normally a peaceful and traditional celebration of the state's agricultural heritage.  It's pure Americana with an extra helping of capitalism, as the ten-day celebration at State Fair Park injects the small suburb of West Allis with its most significant jolt of commercial activity every year.  Homeowners and businesses in all directions rent out parking spaces on their lots, driveways, and yards to the overflow crowds of families who travel hundreds of miles to attend.

Midway, Wisconsin State Fair, 2005.  Photo by Sulfur

A hugely popular statewide event, the fair's tranquil history and suburban location left it unprepared for the events of August 4.  Police jurisdiction is in three tiers: the local West Allis police force first, Wisconsin state troopers second, and the Milwaukee police force third, because only a tiny portion of the expansive fairgrounds fall in the City of Milwaukee proper.  Overwhelmed by the flash mob nature of the unexpected wilding, West Allis apparently never even made time to place a call for mutual assistance from Milwaukee.  At least seven of the dozens injured were the outnumbered and unprepared local police trying to protect fairgoers.

In the public debate the next day, the fair management reported that they would have an increased police presence for the rest of the fair, and they would institute a curfew for the first time; no one under 18 would be admitted without parent or guardian after 5:00pm.  This would likely prevent repeat occurrences in this venue, but of course that is only a partial response (and an unfair insult to the tens of thousands of non-troublemaking teens who attend without incident.  Preventing it from happening again isn't enough; society needs to explore why such barbarism could occur in the first place.

In his very thorough coverage of the event on his WISN talk show, radio host Mark Belling made special note of the demeanor of the mob. Contrary to the traditional liberal assumption that mobs turn violent out of anger and poverty, numerous reports indicated the maniacal grins, the ferocious smiles, the sheer happiness of the attackers.  They were joyful, not angry; this was fun for them.  These thugs engaged in horrific unprovoked violence against innocent, unarmed, unsuspecting bystanders, just because they got a kick out of doing so.

There is much that our society must do to deal with this problem, and police presence is only a very small part of it.  If we treat this as merely a security issue, we will miss the forest for the trees.  For it's larger than just the Wisconsin State Fair; it's just a symptom of a number of significant social cancers.

Americans have always been solidly against mob action, ever since our founding era, when revolutionary student Alexander Hamilton stood down a crowd to protect Loyalist Miles Cooper from the rebel horde.  Our revolution was the opposite of the French Revolution, for example -- a campaign for prosperous tranquility, rather than a campaign for vengeance and anarchy (see Ann Coulter's marvelous treatment of this issue in her new book, Demonic).

But the left has spent some fifty years advocating the use of mob action -- the protest marches of the 60s, the sit-ins of the 70s, even the virtual takeovers of public buildings such as college halls a generation ago, and state capitols this very year -- which brings us back to Wisconsin.

Who participated in the State Fair riots?  This was no single organized gang of trade unionists or a political party, like many mob actions have been in our past.  These were young blacks, mostly male, some of whom obviously knew each other, but many of whom were previously unacquainted with their fellow marauders.  Why did they join in?  What could possess a person to commit vicious attacks on perfect strangers, in public, no less... joining other lawbreakers and becoming -- depending on whether you held the victims for the beating or threw the punches and kicks -- either accomplices to the crime or a criminal yourself?

There are many reasons, and all must be considered to get the full picture.

The warping of our criminal justice system:

For fifty years, the nation's legislatures, and especially the nation's judiciaries, have changed the legal framework's approach to crime.  Until the modern liberal era of the 50s and 60s, the legal structure was designed to protect the innocent from the guilty criminal class, even as individual trials were designed to protect a wrongly accused innocent from being incorrectly lumped in with the guilty.  In the past two generations, however, this framework was overturned, and now protects the criminal at the expense of the law-abiding citizen.  Criminals are caught and released without trial, or tried but released on a technicality, or tried and convicted but released into the community early.  The system has forgotten that it's there to protect the rest of us, not to process the criminals.

The culmination of this tragic migration in jurisprudence is occurring in California even now, as the state contends with a pending judicial order to give early release to some 40,000 convicted prisoners because the jails aren't comfortable enough to satisfy some distant black robe.  How many of the instigators and other participants in the State Fair wilding already had a rap sheet a mile long?  How many had already been caught and released too soon, free to terrorize their society again, or free to jump into the fray and join others, once it was begun?

The toxic political climate

It is unfortunate that there had never been a non-white president before now, but one unexpected minor benefit can now be seen from that history.  When every president was a white male, one could hardly blame political disagreements with one or another on matters of race.  The current president was always a white male; so too were his predecessor and successor.  One could claim that opposition was based on party, or ideology, or perhaps even region, but one could hardly say that opposition was simply because of the guy's race.

Until now.  Many in the mainstream media have been pushing the narrative that all opposition to Barack Obama was driven by anti-black bigotry, ever since he began contending for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Never mind the fact that Obama is a half white American and half Kenyan national, having virtually nothing in common with the life experiences or family history of an American black.  The media has christened him an American black, and have done everything in their power to convince America that public opinion toward Obama is a bellwether for how Americans feel about American blacks in general -- a moronic position, but nonetheless, it is sticking.

The media has successfully ginned up an utterly unjustifiable assumption in the black community that anti-Obama political positions and activity are entirely racially based.  Outrageous as it is, this toxic claim is out there, polluting the minds of a gullible electorate and an impressionable community.  Real anti-white bigotry is arising, a response to non-existent anti-black bigotry imagined and decried by our malicious left-wing chattering class.

The collapse of the urban black community

Half a century ago, census and poll results agreed:  the black community was more responsible, from a social perspective, than the white community.  Generally speaking, in the first half of the 20th century, unwed motherhood, cohabitation, unemployment, divorce, church attendance, and criminal convictions all showed proportionately worse statistics among America's whites than among America's blacks.

This all changed with LBJ's Great Society.  Since the government began to reward cohabitation, sloth, and irresponsible childbearing with a warped welfare system, and since the public schools began their simultaneous attack on morality and religion in the curriculum and discipline in the halls, the community most under the thumb of city governments have suffered the most.

Note that this is not true in rural areas or suburbs, or even in the good neighborhoods of larger cities, where blacks and whites alike own farms, blacks and whites alike own businesses, go to church, obey the law, and serve as honorable and productive members of society.  And of course, like any generality, it doesn't go for everyone in the bad neighborhoods either; there are mixed neighborhoods. But it is undeniable that this cultural destruction  has become most severe for the generations of blacks locked into this dependence.

The warping of the black church

America was settled by immigrants of every race, color and creed.  While we owe our roots to the English settlers who designed our culture and our government, today's Americans are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow.  All these groups arrived with the cultural prejudices of "the old country" and have depended upon the civilizing force of our instruments of assimilation -- the schools, the churches, the employment community -- to soften, or hopefully even eradicate, those prejudices.

An Irish parent might badmouth the English at the dinner table; a Neapolitan parent, the Sicilians... a Lutheran, the Catholics... a Protestant, the Jews... a white, the blacks.  Such once-pervasive bigotry has been largely diminished over the last century, by the media, and by attendance at diverse schools and churches, where the authority figures actively work to minimize that inherited bigotry in support of racial, ethnic and religious tolerance.

It has therefore been with little short of terror that religion-watchers have noted the appearance of "black liberation theology" in recent decades, spreading like a cancer through the black urban churches of the United States.  While still a minority view, this perverse twisting of religion uses the structure of the church to intentionally spread anti-white bigotry, especially through such outrageous lies as the claims that the government invented AIDS to kill blacks, that the Jews run all the businesses so that blacks can't get jobs, and any number of other outrageous conspiracy theories -- all to poison the malleable young congregations' minds until they hate whites as much as they have been told that whites hate them.

After a century of progress, it's only in recent decades that we have seen this "black liberation theology," as practiced by such pastors as President Obama's old minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, grow in popularity and bear such poisonous fruit as the Wisconsin State Fair mob.  Instead of religion civilizing the next generation, we now have more and more churches and madrassahs that consciously set out to barbarize them.

So where do we stand, as a society? 

We have armies of children, raised more by gangs than by parents, without a proper moral compass.  The society releases criminals into their midst to be role models, discouraging employment by refusing to prepare children for jobs... discouraging marriage by rewarding single parenting, discouraging morality by granting tax-exempt church status to buildings that are little more than breeding grounds for hatred.

As Milwaukee's Sheriff David Clarke and entertainer Bill Cosby have been saying for years, much of the problem is for the black community to correct on its own.   Decent, honorable blacks have been fleeing the slums for decades, to raise their children right in the suburbs and small towns, and who can blame them?  But by doing so, they abandon their cousins to the clutches of the rappers, the gangbangers, and the Jeremiah Wrights.

From outside, the non-black community cannot help with everything, but we can pitch in a little. We can set higher standards for our schools, making a taxpayer-supported school a safe environment in which to learn again.  We can return to the 1990s era welfare reforms that were finally beginning to overturn the Great Society's destruction of the family unit.  We can redirect our criminal justice system to again support the innocent victims and give the benefit of the doubt to longtime incarceration of criminals so that they can't as easily return to their communities and warp young souls.

All these disparate causes -- religion, education, economics, criminal justice  -- have only one thing in common besides the destruction they have wrought:  they are all the province of modern American liberalism.

It is the American left that favors corruption of traditional religion, corruption of the safety net, corruption of the prison system.  Only the left, which has ruled the Democratic party for decades, and virtually every city government where these problems occur, is virtually unanimous in their support of all the very different changes that have undermined a once vital, responsible, and honorable community to render it stagnant, regressive even, feared by outsiders for the very real threats they pose.

Just as affirmative action cheats the accomplished blacks like Clarence Thomas (read his memoir on this subject!), just as the perverse rap industry cheats talented black performers like Darius Rucker (who had to change genres to record good music), all these changes have poisoned the public debate - any commenter is accused of racism for addressing the issue - as well as endangering our communities and contributing to the decline of our entire society.

The needed corrections cannot happen overnight; it will take decades to replace the wrongheaded judges and racism-teaching civic leaders, and it will take generations to get past the lost generations currently at issue.

But it all begins with acknowledging the truth, throwing out the Democrats in federal, state, and local government who have promulgated these toxic policies for so long.

The right has been warning that undermining civilized behavior in the cities will have a societal cost... and in so many circumstances - the wildings and flash mobs all over the country, of which the State Fair mob was just another ghastly example - the right has been proven to be, sadly, absolutely correct.

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based international trade lecturer; his column appears weekly in Illinois Review.