Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
–Harry S. Truman
Apparently, CA Assembly Speaker, Karen Bass believes that the voice of dissent is an act of terrorism. In an in terview with the Los Angles Times on Saturday, Ms. Bass expressed her opinions about conservative talk radio critics.
Q: How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?
A: The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.
Quite a profound statement and telling statement, which gives insight to either her lack of understanding, or her total disregard for The First Amendment. But, the next question and answer also shed light on Ms. Bass and her politics.
Q: Do you get especially exasperated when your own people — Democrats — don’t agree with you?
A: You know, I was a community activist, so I’m used to standing out in front of an elected official’s office and protesting.
A community activist, the first cousin of the community organizer. Hmm, where have we seen this scenario? So, as a community activist, dissent whether by protest or speech, was just fine with Ms. Bass. Just make sure you’re on her side of the debate. it certainly seems that Ms. Bass is emulating the political tactics of the Obama Administration. SignOnSanDiego.com has a list of reasons why Ms. Bass’ attitude is “mind-boggling”,
This is mind-boggling for many reasons. The short list:
1. It is anti-democratic to liken criticism of elected officials and organized, peaceful attempts to hold them accountable for their decisions to “terrorism.” Bass would prefer a state full of sheep who just dutifully accept tax hikes and union payoffs. Earth to Karen: This is a democracy. If you want an obedient public, move to Pyongyang.
2. The “terrorism” remark makes the utterly idiotic presumption that conservative talk-radio hosts are the only reason there is anti-tax sentiment in California. Earth to Karen Bass: Voters of all parties don’t like tax hikes. Measure 1A failed in San Francisco, for God’s sake. Talk about being in a bubble. Karen Bass and George W. Bush: peas in a pod.
3. The “terrorism” remark is pathetic on a personal level. Karen Bass’ biggest critics are two talk-radio conservatives in her hometown, John & Ken of KFI-640 in Los Angeles. Instead of just trotting out the usual cliches used to knock such hosts — they just want to create controversy to boost their ratings, etc. — she calls them “terrorists.” This is obnoxious. It’s a lot closer to hate speech than what John & Ken are doing to Republican turncoats like Anthony Adams.
4. Finally, it could not be more obvious that Bass (and her interviewer, too) think she has firm grasp on the moral high ground.
This from an elected official who went along with blatantly dishonest ballot language on Prop. 1A hiding its $16 billion in new taxes.
This from an elected official who lets union leaders write legislation so it prevents fraud from being investigated in huge programs staffed by private union members.
This from an elected official whose party blocked attempts to let hundreds of thousands of needy families use the Internet to sign their kids up for free state health care because it might have led to the loss of jobs for clerks in county welfare offices.
This from an elected official whose party has blocked almost every last single education reform over the past decade except the one — classroom-size reduction — that vastly increased the size of the California Teachers Association. (And hasn’t worked.)
This from an elected official whose party blocked attempts to stop sleazy lawyers from using nuisance lawsuits alleging violations of trivial state rules to extort small businesses, especially those run by minorities with poor English skills.
I could go on and on and on in this vein. I could also offer at least 80 harsh adjectives to describe Bass’ repellent remarks. But I will settle for this conclusion:
Karen Bass should be ashamed. Likening people who loudly object to the Sacramento status quo to terrorists is as obnoxious and contemptible as it gets.
The Audacity of Arrogance continues in the Obama Administration. It seems that if you are an Inspector General and diligently carry out the duties of your office, you may be rewarded with a pink slip by Dear Leader if you are inspecting one of his supporters. Gerald Walpin the Inspector General for Americorps had just conducted an investigation into misuse of funds by Sacramento mayor, and Obama supporter, Kevin Johnson. The former NBA star was forced to repay Americorps $400,000. Additionally, Walpin had just completed an investigation on Americorps’ biggest program at the City University of New York, which revealed extensive misuse of funds.
His reward for his hard work on behalf of the taxpayers was a resign or be fired ultimatum. He was given one hour to clean out his desk and vacate his office. This may come back to haunt the Obama Administration and the President himself, as the very law which Obama co-sponsored may have been violated. Byron York explains,
The method of Walpin’s firing could be a violation of the 2008 Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice, plus an explanation of cause, before firing an inspector general. Then-Sen. Barack Obama was a co-sponsor of that legislation. In the case of Walpin, Eisen’s efforts to force Walpin to resign could be seen as an effort to push Walpin out of his job so that the White House would not have to go through the 30-day process or give a reason for its action. When Walpin refused to quit, the White House informed Congress and began the 30-day countdown.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance is not letting this get swept under the rug. In a stinging letter to Alan Solomont, head of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, Grassley demanded answers.
Dear Mr. Solomont:
As a senior member of the United States Senate and as the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee), it is my duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight into the actions of the executive branch, including the activities of the Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation). In this capacity, I must ensure that the Corporation properly fulfills its mission of addressing a critical community need as the nation’s largest grantor supporting service and volunteering organization, as well as maintaining adequate accountability of millions of dollars in Federal funds.
An issue was recently brought to my attention by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which concerns the misuse of Federal grant funding by St. HOPE Academy, a grantee of the Corporation. The investigation conducted by the OIG found evidence of the misuse of $850,000 of Federal grant funds provided to St. HOPE Academy from 2004 to 2007. It was reported that this particular investigation was contentious. Furthermore, according to some recent reports this investigation may have been a contributing factor in the decision to remove Inspector General Gerald Walpin. I am very concerned about the appearance that the IG’s communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal. Inspectors General have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to Members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated. This is especially true when such concerns are as legitimate and meritorious as Mr. Walpin’s appear to be…
…After conducting the investigation into the grant fund misuse and then referring the case to the USAO, the OIG was excluded during the settlement arrangement. The OIG subsequently objected to the settlement arrangement by the USAO for obvious reasons. Moreover, according to documents in my possession, St. HOPE Board members ignored a Federal subpoena and erased Mr. Johnson’s emails during the course of investigation. This was discovered after Mr. Johnson’s replacement as Executive Director of St. HOPE, Rick Maya, resigned on the same date of the Settlement Agreement because of various improprieties and potential obstruction of justice issues by St. HOPE Board Members.
In light of the removal of the Inspector General, it is vital that Congress obtain a full understanding of the role that you and your colleagues at CNCS played in these matters. Accordingly, please provide any and all records, email, memoranda, documents, communications, or other information, whether in draft or final form, related to:
the performance of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General;
the removal of Gerald Walpin as the Inspector General;
contacts with the United States Attorney’s Office;
contacts with officials in the Executive Office of the President;
contacts with officials in the Office of the First Lady;
St. HOPE Academy;
No records related to these matters shall be destroyed or otherwise made inaccessible to Congress. Subsequent to the production of the documents requested above, I request that you provide a detailed briefing to my staff regarding what steps you are taking to ensure that funds are not similarly misused in the future.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you by no later than June 19, 2009…
Charles E. Grassley
Committee on Finance
So, Obama gets to write a law, but doesn’t have to follow the law. And just when was the First Lady granted the power to select Inspector Generals? This is starting to make Tricky Dick look like a choirboy. Any bets on Congress taking action on this abuse of power?
Here’s an interview that Glenn Beck had with Walpin.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Obama Absolutely Broke The Law In Firing Inspector General
“But if the government undertakes to control and to raise wages, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to care for all who may be in want, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to support all unemployed workers, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to lend interest-free money to all borrowers, and cannot do it; if …. ‘The state considers that its purpose is to enlighten, to develop, to enlarge, to strengthen, to spiritualize, and to sanctify the soul of the people’ — and if the government cannot do all of these things, what then? Is it not certain that after every government failure — which, alas! is more than probable — there will be an equally inevitable revolution?”
-Frederic Bastiat, “The Law,” June, 1850
The pace of America’s march towards Marxism is quickening, and yet the majority of Americans sit idly by and do nothing. But, others around the world have taken notice and are now reporting on this transformation. A recent Op-Ed in, of all places Pravda, makes note of this transformation and what lies ahead. (Emphasis mine)
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.
True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.
Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.
First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.
Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.
The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?
These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.
Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.
So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.
Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.
So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.
The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.
The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.
Step One – The Moral Agument Of Something For Nothing.
The moral argument that we can finally solve poverty, pain, sickness, and hunger with “free” money seems just to good to be true. It usually is but it sells to the public. To fund these allegedly moral programs, the assets of the gentle citizens must be quietly taxed in the name of the public good.
Step Two – The Silent War Between Government And Its Citizens
At some point, the unwashed masses suspect their politicians aren’t really gentle any more much less benevolent. This is where a silent war between government and people erupts. It’s a blurry transition through never-never land when the politicians still claim to be gentle but the people sense that they have gone from being protectors of the public good and private property to a plunderers of it; from morality to immorality
Step Three – A Day Of Wrath And Mourning
Ultimately the dragon cannot keep its promises. This last stage is where events turn nasty and chaotic. It is a dangerous time. It is a time no country should ever wish to reach.
Politicians are perceived as ravenous wolves. Blame and finger-pointing frenzies among politicians erupt to deflect responsibility for the chaos they have caused as they attempt to hold onto their privileged status.
Faith in government dissolves along with faith in the currency. Widespread flouting of law is common and tax payments quit. If it gets bad enough, crime flourishes, both organized and random. The domestic economy collapses into a depression and the currency just collapses.
Two different views with one scary end game. Loeffler does point out in his analysis that the end result can be avoided if the proper actions are taken.
No country trapped in socialism goes through all the events described above, which is a composite of past histories. It can turn itself at any time providing it is prepared to discipline itself the undergo the pain required to get off the public dole, much like coming off an addiction. Few societies ever want to face that, so they condemn themselves to all three stages. And the longer they wait to enact the necessary changes, the worse the pain becomes.
From currency, to energy to property rights, issues today are clouded with so much static and partisan bickering that the average person has little real comprehension of what is happening. Frequently Democrats and Republicans blame each other when often they’re both responsible and fiddle while Rome burns.
America is truly at an economic and moral crossroad, having already started into Stage Two of the sad road to socialism. Whether or not we plow through all three stages remains to be seen. It takes great moral courage to prevent this but politicians tend to be neither moral or courageous.
Thus it is up to what actions are moral, legal and necessary to see us, our families and friends safely through the tempest. But as a ray of hope, it is here where Americans in times past have always shown themselves most noble.
President Barack Obama continued his “Blame America First” world tour continued in an Op-Ed which was published today in 15 Caribbean, Latin American and United States newspapers. Here is the English translation which appears in the Washington Post: (emphasis mine)
Choosing a Better Future in the Americas
By President Barack Obama
As we approach the Summit of the Americas, our hemisphere is faced with a clear choice. We can overcome our shared challenges with a sense of common purpose, or we can stay mired in the old debates of the past. For the sake of all our people, we must choose the future.
Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My Administration is committed to the promise of a new day. We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.
In advance of the Summit, we have begun to move in a new direction. This week, we amended a Cuba policy that has failed for decades to advance liberty or opportunity for the Cuban people. In particular, the refusal to allow Cuban Americans to visit or provide resources to their families on the island made no sense – particularly after years of economic hardship in Cuba, and the devastating hurricanes that took place last year. Now, that policy has changed.
The U.S.-Cuba relationship is one example of a debate in the Americas that is too often dragged back to the 20th century. To confront our economic crisis, we don’t need a debate about whether to have a rigid, state-run economy or unbridled and unregulated capitalism – we need pragmatic and responsible action that advances our common prosperity. To combat lawlessness and violence, we don’t need a debate about whether to blame right-wing paramilitaries or left-wing insurgents – we need practical cooperation to expand our common security.
We must choose the future over the past, because we know that the future holds enormous opportunities if we work together. That is why leaders from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City are focused on a renewed partnership of the Americas that makes progress on fundamental issues like economic recovery, energy, and security.
There is no time to lose. The global economic crisis has hit the Americas hard, particularly our most vulnerable populations. Years of progress in combating poverty and inequality hangs in the balance. The United States is working to advance prosperity in the hemisphere by jumpstarting our own recovery. In doing so, we will help spur trade, investment, remittances, and tourism that provides a broader base for prosperity in the hemisphere.
We also need collective action. At the recent G-20 Summit, the United States pledged to seek nearly half a billion dollars in immediate assistance for vulnerable populations, while working with our G-20 partners to set aside substantial resources to help countries through difficult times. We have called upon the Inter-American Development Bank to maximize lending to restart the flow of credit, and stand ready to examine the needs and capacity of the IDB going forward. And we are working to put in place tough, clear 21st century rules of the road to prevent the abuses that caused the current crisis.
While we confront this crisis, we must build a new foundation for long-term prosperity. One area that holds out enormous promise is energy. Our hemisphere has bountiful natural resources that could make renewable energy plentiful and sustainable, while creating jobs for our people. In the process, we can confront climate change that threatens rising sea levels in the Caribbean, diminishing glaciers in the Andes, and powerful storms on the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Together, we have both the responsibility to act, and the opportunity to leave behind a legacy of greater prosperity and security. That is why I look forward to pursuing a new Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas that will help us learn from one another, share technologies, leverage investment, and maximize our comparative advantage.
Just as we advance our common prosperity, we must advance our common security. Too many in our hemisphere are forced to live in fear. That is why the United States will strongly support respect for the rule of law, better law enforcement, and stronger judicial institutions.
Security for our citizens must be advanced through our commitment to partner with those who are courageously battling drug cartels, gangs and other criminal networks throughout the Americas. Our efforts start at home. By reducing demand for drugs and curtailing the illegal flow of weapons and bulk cash south across our border, we can advance security in the United States and beyond. And going forward, we will sustain a lasting dialogue in the hemisphere to ensure that we are building on best practices, adapting to new threats, and coordinating our efforts.
Finally, the Summit gives every democratically-elected leader in the Americas the opportunity to reaffirm our shared values. Each of our countries has pursued its own democratic journey, but we must be joined together in our commitment to liberty, equality, and human rights. That is why I look forward to the day when every country in the hemisphere can take its seat at the table consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter. And just as the United States seeks that goal in reaching out to the Cuban people, we expect all of our friends in the hemisphere to join together in supporting liberty, equality, and human rights for all Cubans.
This Summit offers the opportunity of a new beginning. Advancing prosperity, security and liberty for the people of the Americas depends upon 21st century partnerships, freed from the posturing of the past. That is the leadership and partnership that the United States stands ready to provide.
So if I understand his message, the U.S. is to blame for putting U.S. interests first, no need to debate the merits of free markets vs. communism, we’d better hurry (just like with “Porkulus”, we must act “collectively” (isn’t that the model for Soviet era agriculture), we going to leave a legacy of prosperity (by running up a $14 trillion debt), we’re going to reduce the demand for drugs (the President has sworn off the blow), we will curtail the flow of cash and weapons across our southern border (we’ll keep raising taxes and sorry law abiding citizen, we don’t believe in the Second Amendment), and Hugo Chavez “you da’ man”!
This graphic, courtesy of Red State pretty much sums up the Obama Game plan thus far:
Throughout the campaign and on into January of this year:
Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, posts his analysis of the controversial DHS report on “Right Wing Extremests”. The analysis titled, “Six Things You Should Know About the Homeland Security Report on Rightwing Extremism”, can be found at The Fox Forum. The most significant, and quite frankly the most frightening point he makes is:
My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.
If the Judge is correct in his analysis, and I for one agree with him, then the current state of of nation is becomes ever more fragile. Our founding fathers would be ashamed at how we have let their work in founding a nation where the people controlled the government devolve into a nation where the government controls the people.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you and good evening. The sponsor has been identified, but unlike most television programs, the performer hasn’t been provided with a script. As a matter of fact, I have been permitted to choose my own words and discuss my own ideas regarding the choice that we face in the next few weeks.
I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines. Now, one side in this campaign has been telling us that the issues of this election are the maintenance of peace and prosperity. The line has been used, “We’ve never had it so good.”
But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn’t something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents out of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector’s share, and yet our government continues to spend 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in. We haven’t balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We’ve raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations of the world. We have 15 billion dollars in gold in our treasury; we don’t own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are 27.3 billion dollars. And we’ve just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.
As for the peace that we would preserve, I wonder who among us would like to approach the wife or mother whose husband or son has died in South Vietnam and ask them if they think this is a peace that should be maintained indefinitely. Do they mean peace, or do they mean we just want to be left in peace? There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We’re at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it’s been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.
Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.
This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: [up] man’s old – old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the “Great Society,” or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a greater government activity in the affairs of the people. But they’ve been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves; and all of the things I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say, “The cold war will end through our acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism.” Another voice says, “The profit motive has become outmoded. It must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state.” Or, “Our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century.” Senator Fulbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the President as “our moral teacher and our leader,” and he says he is “hobbled in his task by the restrictions of power imposed on him by this antiquated document.” He must “be freed,” so that he “can do for us” what he knows “is best.” And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as “meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government.”
Well, I, for one, resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as “the masses.” This is a term we haven’t applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, “the full power of centralized government” – this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don’t control things. A government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.
Now, we have no better example of this than government’s involvement in the farm economy over the last 30 years. Since 1955, the cost of this program has nearly doubled. One-fourth of farming in America is responsible for 85% of the farm surplus. Three-fourths of farming is out on the free market and has known a 21% increase in the per capita consumption of all its produce. You see, that one-fourth of farming – that’s regulated and controlled by the federal government. In the last three years we’ve spent 43 dollars in the feed grain program for every dollar bushel of corn we don’t grow.
Senator Humphrey last week charged that Barry Goldwater, as President, would seek to eliminate farmers. He should do his homework a little better, because he’ll find out that we’ve had a decline of 5 million in the farm population under these government programs. He’ll also find that the Democratic administration has sought to get from Congress [an] extension of the farm program to include that three-fourths that is now free. He’ll find that they’ve also asked for the right to imprison farmers who wouldn’t keep books as prescribed by the federal government. The Secretary of Agriculture asked for the right to seize farms through condemnation and resell them to other individuals. And contained in that same program was a provision that would have allowed the federal government to remove 2 million farmers from the soil.
At the same time, there’s been an increase in the Department of Agriculture employees. There’s now one for every 30 farms in the United States, and still they can’t tell us how 66 shiploads of grain headed for Austria disappeared without a trace and Billie Sol Estes never left shore.
Every responsible farmer and farm organization has repeatedly asked the government to free the farm economy, but how – who are farmers to know what’s best for them? The wheat farmers voted against a wheat program. The government passed it anyway. Now the price of bread goes up; the price of wheat to the farmer goes down.
Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights [are] so diluted that public interest is almost anything a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes from the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a “more compatible use of the land.” The President tells us he’s now going to start building public housing units in the thousands, where heretofore we’ve only built them in the hundreds. But FHA [Federal Housing Authority] and the Veterans Administration tell us they have 120,000 housing units they’ve taken back through mortgage foreclosure. For three decades, we’ve sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. The latest is the Area Redevelopment Agency.
They’ve just declared Rice County, Kansas, a depressed area. Rice County, Kansas, has two hundred oil wells, and the 14,000 people there have over 30 million dollars on deposit in personal savings in their banks. And when the government tells you you’re depressed, lie down and be depressed.
We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they’re going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer – and they’ve had almost 30 years of it – shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn’t they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?
But the reverse is true. Each year the need grows greater; the program grows greater. We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well that was probably true. They were all on a diet. But now we’re told that 9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than 3,000 dollars a year. Welfare spending [is] 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We’re spending 45 billion dollars on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you’ll find that if we divided the 45 billion dollars up equally among those 9 million poor families, we’d be able to give each family 4,600 dollars a year. And this added to their present income should eliminate poverty. Direct aid to the poor, however, is only running only about 600 dollars per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.
Now – so now we declare “war on poverty,” or “You, too, can be a Bobby Baker.” Now do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add 1 billion dollars to the 45 billion we’re spending, one more program to the 30-odd we have – and remember, this new program doesn’t replace any, it just duplicates existing programs – do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain there is one part of the new program that isn’t duplicated. This is the youth feature. We’re now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps [Civilian Conservation Corps], and we’re going to put our young people in these camps. But again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we’re going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person we help 4,700 dollars a year. We can send them to Harvard for 2,700! Course, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.
But seriously, what are we doing to those we seek to help? Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who’d come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning 250 dollars a month. She wanted a divorce to get an 80 dollar raise. She’s eligible for 330 dollars a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who’d already done that very thing.
Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we’re denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we’re always “against” things – we’re never “for” anything.
Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.
Now – we’re for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we’ve accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.
But we’re against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those people who depend on them for a livelihood. They’ve called it “insurance” to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified it was a welfare program. They only use the term “insurance” to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is 298 billion dollars in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble. And they’re doing just that.
A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary – his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee 220 dollars a month at age 65. The government promises 127. He could live it up until he’s 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now are we so lacking in business sense that we can’t put this program on a sound basis, so that people who do require those payments will find they can get them when they’re due – that the cupboard isn’t bare?
Barry Goldwater thinks we can.
At the same time, can’t we introduce voluntary features that would permit a citizen who can do better on his own to be excused upon presentation of evidence that he had made provision for the non-earning years? Should we not allow a widow with children to work, and not lose the benefits supposedly paid for by her deceased husband? Shouldn’t you and I be allowed to declare who our beneficiaries will be under this program, which we cannot do? I think we’re for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we’re against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples, as was announced last week, when France admitted that their Medicare program is now bankrupt. They’ve come to the end of the road.
In addition, was Barry Goldwater so irresponsible when he suggested that our government give up its program of deliberate, planned inflation, so that when you do get your Social Security pension, a dollar will buy a dollar’s worth, and not 45 cents worth?
I think we’re for an international organization, where the nations of the world can seek peace. But I think we’re against subordinating American interests to an organization that has become so structurally unsound that today you can muster a two-thirds vote on the floor of the General Assembly among nations that represent less than 10 percent of the world’s population. I think we’re against the hypocrisy of assailing our allies because here and there they cling to a colony, while we engage in a conspiracy of silence and never open our mouths about the millions of people enslaved in the Soviet colonies in the satellite nations.
I think we’re for aiding our allies by sharing of our material blessings with those nations which share in our fundamental beliefs, but we’re against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world. We set out to help 19 countries. We’re helping 107. We’ve spent 146 billion dollars. With that money, we bought a 2 million dollar yacht for Haile Selassie. We bought dress suits for Greek undertakers, extra wives for Kenya[n] government officials. We bought a thousand TV sets for a place where they have no electricity. In the last six years, 52 nations have bought 7 billion dollars worth of our gold, and all 52 are receiving foreign aid from this country.
No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So, governments’ programs, once launched, never disappear.
Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.
Federal employees – federal employees number two and a half million; and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation’s work force employed by government. These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man’s property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury? And they can seize and sell his property at auction to enforce the payment of that fine. In Chico County, Arkansas, James Wier over-planted his rice allotment. The government obtained a 17,000 dollar judgment. And a U.S. marshal sold his 960-acre farm at auction. The government said it was necessary as a warning to others to make the system work.
Last February 19th at the University of Minnesota, Norman Thomas, six-times candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said, “If Barry Goldwater became President, he would stop the advance of socialism in the United States.” I think that’s exactly what he will do.
But as a former Democrat, I can tell you Norman Thomas isn’t the only man who has drawn this parallel to socialism with the present administration, because back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his Party was taking the Party of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his Party, and he never returned til the day he died – because to this day, the leadership of that Party has been taking that Party, that honorable Party, down the road in the image of the labor Socialist Party of England.
Now it doesn’t require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the – or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.
Our Democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men – that we’re to choose just between two personalities.
Well what of this man that they would destroy – and in destroying, they would destroy that which he represents, the ideas that you and I hold dear? Is he the brash and shallow and trigger-happy man they say he is? Well I’ve been privileged to know him “when.” I knew him long before he ever dreamed of trying for high office, and I can tell you personally I’ve never known a man in my life I believed so incapable of doing a dishonest or dishonorable thing.
This is a man who, in his own business before he entered politics, instituted a profit-sharing plan before unions had ever thought of it. He put in health and medical insurance for all his employees. He took 50 percent of the profits before taxes and set up a retirement program, a pension plan for all his employees. He sent monthly checks for life to an employee who was ill and couldn’t work. He provides nursing care for the children of mothers who work in the stores. When Mexico was ravaged by the floods in the Rio Grande, he climbed in his airplane and flew medicine and supplies down there.
An ex-GI told me how he met him. It was the week before Christmas during the Korean War, and he was at the Los Angeles airport trying to get a ride home to Arizona for Christmas. And he said that [there were] a lot of servicemen there and no seats available on the planes. And then a voice came over the loudspeaker and said, “Any men in uniform wanting a ride to Arizona, go to runway such-and-such,” and they went down there, and there was a fellow named Barry Goldwater sitting in his plane. Every day in those weeks before Christmas, all day long, he’d load up the plane, fly it to Arizona, fly them to their homes, fly back over to get another load.
During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer. His campaign managers were understandably impatient, but he said, “There aren’t many left who care what happens to her. I’d like her to know I care.” This is a man who said to his 19-year-old son, “There is no foundation like the rock of honesty and fairness, and when you begin to build your life on that rock, with the cement of the faith in God that you have, then you have a real start.” This is not a man who could carelessly send other people’s sons to war. And that is the issue of this campaign that makes all the other problems I’ve discussed academic, unless we realize we’re in a war that must be won.
Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy “accommodation.” And they say if we’ll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he’ll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer – not an easy answer – but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right.
We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, “Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we’re willing to make a deal with your slave masters.” Alexander Hamilton said, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.” Now let’s set the record straight. There’s no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there’s only one guaranteed way you can have peace – and you can have it in the next second – surrender.
Admittedly, there’s a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face – that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand – the ultimatum. And what then – when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we’re retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he’s heard voices pleading for “peace at any price” or “better Red than dead,” or as one commentator put it, he’d rather “live on his knees than die on his feet.” And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us.
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin – just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it’s a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” “There is a point beyond which they must not advance.” And this – this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits – not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.
We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.
The 2001 audio tape of Barack Obama describing the Constitution as a document of “negative liberties” reveals an utterly Orwellian Obama. How can liberty be anything other than negative? Liberty is the absence of external control. Only in our age of collective thinking and untidy language could such a thing as “positive liberty” be conceived. The state power to coerce is not liberty.
Notions like “positive liberty” are part of the web of thought control by language manipulation which Orwell described in 1984. If Obama cannot think of “positive liberty” as a contradiction in terms, then he simply cannot think. The conscious surrender of language to the needs of the party creates a self-made prison from which escape is, quite literally, inconceivable. These unguarded remarks by Obama display a mind trapped in a reality in which words are phantoms.
Obama could have spoken about the limited value of liberty. Government does some things which reduce our private rights and yet which increase the common good. Politics is all about where the boundary between broad notions of promoting the general welfare by state coercion and preserving liberty should be. Politicians on the Left have often argued that liberty should be reined in more tightly so that “the people” can live better. But implying that more state power somehow increases liberty is beyond mere Leftism. It is entry into that dead realm of Newspeak in which language is pureed into nonsense, and then nonsense is presented as argument.
Obama could also have spoken about the private duty of charity, that moral imperative which makes the virtue of liberty pure. Charity, though, is private. True charity is always a free act. That does not make the moral duty of charity any less, but it means that it is a function of liberty. But it seems as if Obama’s mind cannot grasp this sort of distinction.
Is the Orwellian character of Obama’s mind a surprise? No. He is a man young enough to have grown up in a cocoon of semantic babble. The subliminal contradictions of popular entertainment, the indoctrinary quality of his education, the pandemic use of “politically correct” language, the nonexistence in Obama’s universe of any need for critical thinking, his absorption into a parish filled with surreal anger which numb his conscience — almost every single aspect of the life of Barack Obama dovetails into someone for whom the word “liberties” has no authentic meaning.
This is the newness of Obama in our history. Leftists like George McGovern and Jimmy Carter lived real lives. Both served in the military. Both seemed to have been genuinely religious. Both worked in private business. Both came from states that were conservative, and so they had to defend their political philosophies. Barack Obama, by contrast, has lived a life of utter sameness. There are no bumps or rough edges or hints of individuality at all.
It is not just his life, so marinated in rote theory, that makes Obama unique. He is an early prototype of a new creature in our lives: Orwell’s children, if you will. These are the people who can honestly believe that September 11th was an “inside job” or that the CIA invented crack cocaine to hurt blacks. This is the generation which has grown up with no intellectual or cultural system of checks and balances.
Iron and dull control of education, destruction of the nuclear family, disappearance of religion in public life, degradation of art and entertainment into tasteless mush, and, most of all, the politicization of everything in life — these forces have created a new sort of human being, a person who lacks from life any tools of discernment or devices to describe life outside of the realm of collectivist political rhetoric.
There is something about Obama, many of us sense, which is different from any other politician. Socialism is inadequate to explain Obama. He is both more and less than that. The Left with all its odd menagerie of causes and claims is not enough either. Obama is part of that but part of something more disturbing. He is someone who can say “negative liberties” unaware that he is saying nothing at all.
Connect the dots in any direction and they all lead to associations with radical-left and anti-American organizations that Obama has had for over twenty years. Each day that passes brings out more evidence of these and other associations that should trouble all Americans regardless of political affiliation.