Ammo purchases could support a 30 year war
It began on Tuesday in Woolwich, London, when two young men in a car deliberately ran over an off-duty British soldier who was walking to a nearby military installation, then “hacked and chopped” at his body and attempted to decapitate him as they shouted “Allah akbar!” They forced witnesses to film the scene, saying: “We swear by Almightly Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day.” When police arrived, the murderers “charged at them wielding firearms, knives and a machete.” They were apprehended alive, and are now in hospital. It has since emerged that one of them, a son of Nigerian immigrants, was born in Britain as Michael Olumide Adebolajo, converted to Islam in 2003, changed his name to Mujaahid (i.e., jihadist), and for several years attended meetings of the group Al-Muhajiroun, founded by terrorist preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed. Late Thursday afternoon, U.K. time, the murdered soldier was identified as 25-year-old Lee Rigby, a drummer in the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the father of a two-year-old son.
Just like this week’s nightly riots by “youths” in Stockholm, the brutal slaughter in Woolwich was plainly a jihadist act. Yet just as the Swedish elites are continuing to dance around that uncomfortable core truth, their British counterparts are engaged in some fancy footwork of their own – led by Prime Minister David Cameron, who described Tuesday’s atrocity as “not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life” but “also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.” (Does it need to be said that for a British leader to haul out this ragged, repulsive lie in the year 2013 is itself a betrayal – a shameless, craven betrayal of precisely what Cameron pretends to be standing up for, namely “Britain and…the British way of life”?)
The papers were full of the standard-issue stuff. The Muslim Council of Britain made the usual assertion that the latest heinous act committed in the name of Islam had “nothing to do with Islam.” Baroness Warsi, a Pakistani-English Muslim who serves as “Communities Secretary” in the current government, painted the familiar pretty picture of “faith communities coming out together” in the wake of said heinous act “and showing a unified condemnation of this.” The Guardian ran the obligatory hand-wringing article about the “fear of backlash” against Muslims in the wake of the heinous act in question. (The headline of another Guardian article actually indicated that there had been “Anti-Muslim reprisals after Woolwich attack”; it turned out that one man was “in custody on suspicion of attempted arson after reportedly walking into a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Essex,” and that “police in Kent were called to reports of criminal damage at a mosque in Canterbury Street, Gillingham.”) And Ken Livingstone, the loathsome ex-mayor of London (which he described as “the most successful melting pot in the history of the world and the city of the free”), warned those less evolved than himself not to “scapegoat entire communities for this barbaric act.” This from the sometime host, defender, and chum of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is famous precisely for encouraging such barbaric acts.
Newspaper commentaries on the atrocity added up to a depressing profile of the pathetic, obstinately reality-challenged psychopathology of the British elite when confronted with Islamic violence. The prize for sheer inanity of approach must go to Laborite Dan Hodges, who spent a whole column in the Telegraph elaborating on the theme that “for me, yesterday’s barbaric act of terror in Woolwich was literally senseless. None of what happened actually made any sense.” The murder, he asserted, was “confusing, horrific, bizarre.” He proceeded to repeat this refrain in one paragraph after another: “none of it made sense….Still none of it made sense….It didn’t make sense….It didn’t make any sense….Yesterday was the senseless day.” Reading this feeble, embarrassing nonsense, one could not help wondering: was Hodges equally stumped by 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Bali, Beslan, the Boston bombings? One of the things that didn’t “make sense” to Hodges was that one of the murderers spoke of “our lands,” meaning the Muslim world, even though “he had a south-east London accent.” It was as if the Woolwich killers were the first “home-grown terrorists” to ever come to Hodges’s attention. How remarkable that during all these years when the non-Muslim world has been racked by one death-dealing jihadist assault after another, Hodges’s contemplation of these incidents has apparently yielded absolutely nothing in the way of awareness or insight.
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How many times have you heard President Obama express concern for the middle class? More than you can count. Even his website begins “Learn more about Barack Obama and why he’s fighting for the middle class.”
But if we look at Obama’s actual record rather than his rhetoric, it is plain that the middle class has been one of the leading victims of his presidency.
The decline in median family and median net worth that began during George W. Bush’s presidency has continued under Obama. Citing recent Census Bureau data, the Pew Research Center published data showing that the only one of nine income levels whose net worth increased in the 2009-2011 period was the highest-earning cohort—those earning over $500,000 per year.
Income, too, showed a similar pattern: During Obama’s first term, the wealthiest 20% of households eked out a 2% gain while incomes for the rest fell. Obama may talk tough about “the rich,” but they have been the only group that have gotten richer on his watch.
Further evidence of Obama’s silent war on the middle class is the explosion in the number of Americans receiving food stamps. When Obama took office in January 2009, there were approximately 32 million Americans on food stamps; as of April 5, 2013, that numbered had swollen by nearly 50% to 47.3 million. Poor Americans already had been receiving food stamps before Obama became president; the increase came from members of the middle-class Americans that his policies had initiated into hard times.
Another dramatic indicator of economic hardship has been the unprecedented increase in the number of Americans receiving federal disability payments—8.8 million, a 19% increase in only four years. Working conditions haven’t become more dangerous; the disturbing rise in these numbers means that many have found it easier to get on disability than to get a job. The 1.4 million net increase in disability enrollments is five times greater than the growth in net jobs during the same period—a meager 291,000 jobs.
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Confidence in Government is being destroyed
Bigger than just the IRS: The machinery of Government used to suppress conservatives
It appears the Republican Party establishment and some conservative commentators have come up with another mistaken tactic to woo the low information and undecided voters. With the avalanche of scandals swirling around the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, the political message promoted by these politicians and pundits is that these scandals are the outcome of a government that has grown too large to control and should therefore be dramatically cut back.
The Republican Party landscape is littered with the carcasses of failed strategies and this approach will also not succeed. First, it is nearly impossible to explain in simple and easily understood terms why the government is too large and how that aided in creating the scandals and economic difficulties the nation faces. Particularly when the largely uninformed target audience is either dependent on government or has been led to believe government is the ultimate arbiter of prosperity. Second, while there is no question that government must get smaller, the exponential growth of government is not the cause of the scandals. Rather it too is an end-product of a process whose origin is basic and easily grasped.
The American founding fathers understood that government expands and becomes tyrannical not because it is inherently corrupt, but government, because of its unique role in the affairs of a nation, can easily be transformed into an overwhelming instrument of oppression and self-aggrandizement. That transformation occurs over an extended period of time primarily as a consequence of political and national leaders who are devoid of character, honor and integrity seeking to amass power and ego gratification, regardless of the long-term implications to the well being and future of the country.
This process, while slowly evolving over the past eighty years, has hit the crisis point with the most corrupt and ideological administration in American history, coupled with the massive infiltration of government agencies and the mainstream media by those motivated by ideology, greed and narcissism. Thus the scandals presently monopolizing the headlines are not the direct result of out of control government but the near total lack of ethics, honesty and integrity among those in government and increasingly throughout society in general.
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Photo Credit: Standard Compliant
RE: The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (AKA: the Farm Bill) is working its way to the House floor for a vote. The total estimated cost of the bill is almost a trillion dollars! In 2008 a similar bill cost $604 billion-over a 50% increase in just four years. Speaker Boehner voted against farm bills in 2002 and 2008-this year’s bill is even worse.
ISSUE-in-BRIEF: In a free society, we should not be protecting and shielding one industry, when others are expected to take risk and absorb loss as a cost of doing business. Perhaps nothing represents the “business as usual” approach to politics and policy like the Farm Bill. Every few years, a grab-bag of welfare programs, special-interest corporate handouts, protectionist policies, agriculture subsidies, and entitlement boondoggles are thrown together into a trillion dollar spending package that Washington politicians call the “Farm Bill.”
How bad is this “Farm Bill”? Here are just a few examples:
· It contains a new welfare program called “Price Loss Coverage.” This program pays farmers when prices fall below a certain threshold. With crop prices at historic highs, this is like building a slot machine geared for a jackpot. Once prices fall, farmers will be hitting the jackpot every year at the expense of the American taxpayer.
· The “Revenue Loss Coverage” in the House bill and the “Shallow Loss Coverage” in the Senate bill insures against revenue losses greater than 15% and 10%, respectively. With historically high crop prices and a $16 trillion debt, if we can’t eliminate these costly, anti-free market policies now-when will we ever have the courage to do so?
· The House bill extends something called the “Conservation Reserve Program” that pays farmers not to farm 25 million acres of land in America. It extends a sugar program, complete with import quotas that lead to Americans paying 40% more for sugar than the rest of the world.
· The House bill makes no changes to what Speaker Boehner has correctly referred to as a “Soviet-style” dairy program. This program’s market-distorting price controls and production limits are completely antithetical to the free market principles that conservatives cherish.
· The bill funds the Food for Peace Program and the Market Access Program that have long been opposed by conservatives.
THIS IS A FARM BILL LIKE SOLYNDRA IS AN ENERGY COMPANY!
This “Farm Bill” is not really a farm bill at all. Roughly eighty percent of the trillion dollars of spending is on social welfare programs, namely food stamps. Under President Obama, food stamp spending has doubled and today, 1 out of 7 Americans receives food stamps. Conservatives should be outraged that our country is being turned into a European-style social welfare state that is trapping millions of Americans into a cycle of government dependency. Instead, this bill maintains the status quo, missing a chance to fix a program that is robbing our country of the opportunity to earn our success. Surely we can do better.
In recent years, the conservative movement has united against these trillion dollar takeover bills that seek to expand the federal government’s role into nearly every sector of American life. Whether it was opposition to Wall Street or auto industry bailouts, the cap and trade schemes of radical environmentalists, President Obama’s failed “stimulus” bill and his health care takeover, and the misguided Dodd-Frank bill -we recognize the expansion of government when we see it.
The so-called “Farm Bill” is an attack on free enterprise and personal liberty.
Photo Credit: site.gov / creative commons
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