What Democracy Doesn’t Look Like

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

At an Occupy Atlanta event Friday night, the cult-like group of demonstrators refused to allow U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights Icon John Lewis to speak to the crowd.

While Rep. Lewis told CBS Atlanta he was not angry over the group’s decision and still supports them, some who came to attend the Occupy Atlanta event are now disassociating themselves from the splintered movement.

“I am angry because this is not what democracy is all about,” said Michelle Williams to CBS Atlanta. Williams had came to support the movement but left in disgust after seeing the treatment of Rep. Lewis.

“This is Marxist more Stalin like. Your movement, you’re just riff-raff. You’re an organized mob.”

This is what Liberal “democracy” looks like. 🙂

An Iranian military leader says the protests spreading from New York’s Wall Street to other U.S. cities are the beginning of an “American Spring,” likening them to the uprisings that toppled Arab autocrats in the Middle East.

And the approval from the Iranian Military means a lot…

I wouldn’t think it would be worthwhile to draw attention to the Occupy Wall Street “movement,” or its list of demands that wouldn’t pass muster in an average kindergarten class.

But if America’s president and vice president choose to talk about it, and give it credibility, then it’s news.

According to VP Joe Biden, demands such as free college, pay independent of work, a $20 minimum wage (why not $100 or $1000?), and a nation with open borders have legitimacy and “a lot in common with the tea party movement.”

President Obama sees these demonstrations against corporate America as reasonable protest toward “the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this situation to begin with.”

This should provide perspective to what our most fundamental problem is today.

We have an endangered species in America whose loss threatens our future. That species is called the American adult.

Can someone please explain to our vice president the difference between a screaming infant not getting what he wants, when he wants it and an adult who understands personal responsibility, humility, work and service to others?

A functioning free society requires citizens who are adults capable of overseeing and administering a government which enforce laws that protect life and property.

Once government simply becomes a playpen for those who believe they run the universe and make its basic laws, and that the rest of us must submit to their hallucinations about what is just, we wind up where we are today.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that, according to the latest census data, 48.5 percent of American families now are on the receiving end of some sort of government program, the highest percentage in our history.

To provide some perspective, this figure was 10 percent in the 1920’s and a little over 30 percent in 1980.

During the 1960’s, a watershed decade when the infantile culture of narcissism began to subsume free adult culture in America, more government programs were born than in any other period. By 1980, four of these programs of the 1960’s – food stamps, Pell grants, Medicare, and Medicaid – accounted for 164 billion dollars in annual spending. Today these four programs swallow almost an additional trillion dollars.

No, Mr. Biden. Occupy Wall Street has nothing in common with the Tea Party Movement.

The Tea Party Movement is protest against abuse of political power and the increasing marginalization and disrespect for truths, such a protection of life, liberty, and property, that define American freedom.

Occupy Wall Street is about lust for political power, about defining what others should have, and redistributing and spending what belongs to some else. (Star Parker)

Herman Cain:“Part of it is jealousy,” said Mr Cain on CBS television. “I stand by that, and here’s why I don’t have a lot of patience with that: my parents, they never played the victim card.

“My parents never said, ‘We hope that the rich people lose something so we can get something’. No, my dad’s idea was, ‘I want to work hard enough so I can buy a Cadillac – not take somebody else’s’. “

AMEN!

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You May be a Criminal before you’re a Criminal

The Department of Homeland Security is building a “prototype screening facility” that it hopes will use factors such as ethnicity, gender, breathing, and heart rate to “detect cues indicative of mal-intent.”

DHS calls its “pre-crime” system Future Attribute Screening Technology <http://epic.org/privacy/fastproject/>, or FAST.

FAST is designed to track and monitor, among other inputs, body movements, voice pitch changes, prosody <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosody_%28linguistics%29> changes (alterations in the rhythm and intonation of speech), eye movements, body heat changes, and breathing patterns. Occupation and age are also considered. A government source told CNET that blink rate and pupil variation are measured too.

A field test of FAST has been conducted in at least one undisclosed location in the northeast.

Although DHS has publicly suggested that FAST could be used at airport checkpoints–the Transportation Security Administration is part of the department, after all–the government appears to have grander ambitions. One internal DHS document (PDF <http://epic.org/privacy/fastinstallation.pdf>) also obtained by EPIC through the Freedom of Information Act says a mobile version of FAST “could be used at security checkpoints such as border crossings or at large public events such as sporting events or conventions.”

Or a Criminal even when you’re not in the Country.

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they’re carried out. H.R. 313, the “Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act of 2011,” is sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA,

The law could also potentially affect academics and medical professionals. For example, a U.S. doctor who works with overseas doctors or government officials on needle exchange programs could be subject to criminal prosecution. A U.S. resident who advises someone in another country on how to grow marijuana or how to run a medical marijuana dispensary would also be in violation of the new law, even if medical marijuana is legal in the country where the recipient of the advice resides.

The Thought Police are watching.

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Fundraising by Shame

The Obama campaign is testing a new approach to fundraising, blasting out emails that ever-so-gently shame supporters into donating.

An email sent to a New York recipient read as follows: “Here’s something you don’t have in common with 15,049 other supporters of this movement who tell us they live in New York, NY.”

Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush.

In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters.

When asked by The Daily Caller to comment about President Obama’s credibility when it comes to criticizing Wall Street, the White House declined to reply.

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says the distance between the president’s rhetoric and actions makes him look hypocritical.

“It’s almost as if President Obama won’t cross across a Wall Street picket line except to get inside with [his] hand out, so he can raise money,” Fleischer told TheDC, referring to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who the president has been encouraging over the past week. “That sort of support causes him to look hypocritical.”

Fleischer continued by saying that President Obama and Democrats, such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who has received approximately $8.7 million from Wall Street since 1989, should stop taking campaign donations from Wall Street banks if they are so offended by their actions.

“They can’t say we hate Wall Street, but we love their money,” Fleischer said.

An examination of the numbers shows that Obama took in $421,242 in campaign contributions in 2008 from Bank of America’s executives, PACs and employees, which exceeded its prior record contribution of $329,761 to President George W. Bush in 2004.

“The securities and investment industry is Obama’s second largest source of bundlers, after lawyers, at least 56 individuals have raised at least $8.9 million for his campaign,” Massie Ritsch wrote in a Sept. 18, 2008 entry on the Center for Responsive Politics’s OpenSecrets blog.

By the end of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, executives and others connected with Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, poured nearly $15.8 million into his coffers. (DC)

Don’t do as I do, Just give me the money!!

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The Food Police
Last month, Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke at a United Nations meeting on non-communicable diseases. And a large focus of his speech was — you guessed it — encouraging governments around the world to enact strict, NYC-style regulations on food. “Government’s highest duty,” Bloomberg said, is to make healthy foods the “default” option.

On October 1, Denmark instituted a tax on foods containing saturated fat — the first of its kind. This is on top of a tax the Nordic country slapped last year on “junk” food, like ice cream and chocolate. The left-wing coalition that runs Denmark has even talked about doubling the tax.

And in the long term, there are a number of foods containing saturated fat that are associated with better health. One is dark chocolate (linked to heart health); a second is eggs (a good source of nutrients, according to Harvard); a third is Atlantic salmon (omega-3s are linked to heart and cognitive health). Taxing these foods could drive down these health benefits.

More to the point, nutrient taxes fail to consider overall good nutrition. According to the American Dietetic Association, there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Just good or bad lifestyles.

Further, it’s ludicrous for the government to set dietary policy with the tax code when our understanding of diet and nutrition is always changing.

Not too long ago butter was “bad” and margarine was “good” because trans fat was better than saturated fat. Then margarine became marginalized because it contains trans fat. People fretted about cholesterol in eggs; now eggs are considered a great health food. And remember the government’s low-fat campaign to improve our diets? Obesity rates ballooned after that. It seems that some people see the “lower fat” as permission to eat more. (DC)

But the main thing, for liberals, is government is in control of you. That’s all that really matters. Common sense and reasonable moderation are completely foreign to them because you can’t be trusted!

Nevertheless, the food police take an overly simplistic shoot-first, ask-scientific-questions-later approach. And lest you think these bone-headed policies will stay in the Old World, Bloomberg and his figurative comrades-in-arms are working to spread them across the globe. The challenges of getting people to eat healthy, Bloomberg told the UN, are “too vast and complex for individual governments to overcome alone.”

Imagine you’re sitting in your office wondering what you’ll grab for lunch. If you’re in a city, there are literally dozens of places you could go. How do the food police expect, in a free market, to make the “default” choice the healthy one?

Will they shut down pretzel carts? Will every restaurant have to offer one salad cheaper than everything else on the menu? Or perhaps there will be a “calorie tax” on all food, so the more you eat, the more you pay Uncle Sam. That’s along with a tax based on the food’s saturated fat, sugar, and sodium content.

Of course, some people can eat more than others based on their body size, so diners will have to be weighed to make sure their tax is proportional. (Take a number, and step up to the scale.)

Starting to get the picture?

The last thing we need is even more bureaucracy such as the UN and the World Health Organization assuming they have the moral authority to manage what we eat. When these international organizations get involved in “non-communicable” diseases, what it really means is that unelected, unaccountable activists in Switzerland will be attacking choices across the world.

The fabulously beautiful planet Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from you body weight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.  (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
So be very careful, you may be a pre-criminal for thinking about going about to Wendy’s for a burger or talking about pot in Denmark (where you’ll be taxed for that fat anyhow!).
And that’s what freedom looks like. 🙂

The Party of No!

Imagine this reversal of polarity:

The magnificent turmoil now gripping statehouses in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and others marks an epic political moment. The nation faces a fiscal crisis of historic proportions and, remarkably, our muddled, gridlocked, allegedly broken politics has yielded a singular clarity.

At the federal level, President Obama’s budget makes clear that Democrats are determined to do nothing about the debt crisis, while House Republicans have announced that beyond their proposed cuts in discretionary spending, their April budget will actually propose real entitlement reform. Simultaneously, in Wisconsin and other states, Republican governors are taking on unsustainable, fiscally ruinous pension and health-care obligations, while Democrats are full-throated in support of the public-employee unions’ crying, “Hell no.”

A choice, not an echo: Democrats desperately defending the status quo; Republicans charging the barricades. (Charles Krauthammer)

The Democrats are the Party of “No” now. 🙂

And not only that, but they celebrate the “heroic” Senators in Wisconsin and Indiana who fled their state to prevent government from functioning. Effectively, crippling the democratic process and a partial government shutdown. The Liberals and the Ministry of Truth have a “tingle up their leg” over it.

Imagine what the Ministry of Truth would have said if this had happened during the ObamaCare debate?

In the private sector, the capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largesse in the next election. It’s the perfect cozy setup. (CK)

Unions only want what’s best for them. Screw you. Screw your kids. Screw everything. But don’t screw with them!

Government unions stymie education reform to protect their narrow interests — interests that don’t represent America’s students, parents and taxpayers.

America’s taxpayers want quality education at a reasonable cost. Education unions want guaranteed job security and the best benefits they can get.

So education unions have used their political clout to block the reforms that would most benefit the teaching profession: performance pay for teachers, tenure reform, and alternative teacher certification that allows more mid-career professionals and those without traditional teaching degrees into the classroom. They don’t want competition or the pressure to perform.

Education unions have also lobbied to prevent public-education employees from chipping in to cover the cost of their health insurance premiums. They prefer to leave that burden to taxpayers. They’ve also secured pension and health benefits that far exceed what most private-sector workers make.

These special-interest handouts don’t serve children or taxpayers, but unions fight fiercely to protect them. For example, the American Federation of Teachers spent more than $1 million last year to ensure that Vincent Gray — someone it knew would protect the failed educational status quo — defeated D.C.’s incumbent mayor, education reformer Adrian Fenty.

Education unions also continually oppose letting parents choose the school that best meets their child’s needs. Union political pressure resulted in the voucher program in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, being phased out by the Obama administration. The scholarship program, which is now on life support, significantly improved graduation rates for low-income students in D.C.

Education unions are the most powerful force blocking meaningful education reform. They get the money to do this from millions of dues-paying members. In 28 states, teachers must pay union dues or lose their jobs. Unions spend these involuntary dues with little regard for teachers’ wishes.

The NEA’s own polling of public-school teachers found that 55 percent identified as more conservative than liberal. Yet more than 90 percent of the union’s campaign and political contributions go to Democrats — and we’re not talking chump change. The NEA and AFT spent more than $71 million on politics and lobbying in the 2008 election cycle. That’s roughly equal to public funding for a presidential campaign.

The result? Enormous amounts of money flowing into political campaigns to block education reforms. The good news is that some state leaders are beginning to push back on education unions and special interests. (DC)

And this special interest group gets to fund the people who are going to be sitting across the table from them in “negotiations” for “collective bargaining” and those people are dependent on them for re-election.

Sounds “fair” doesn’t it.

There are other states where this is rumbling, namely Ohio, Tennessee and Alabama.

The MoveOn.org “American Dream” rally in Sacramento produced one of the day’s more volatile moments. A man wearing a  Teamsters Local 439 jacket launched major body-check action on a Tea Party member. The union man with a bullhorn,was yelling across the street at the Tea Party activists, calling them “fascists.” Then one of the Tea Party activists, also bullhorn equipped, replied, “We pay your salary!”.So the “civil” union thug crossed the street and physically pushed the tea party member.
Because of it, Sacramento Police officers cited Richard Andazola for battery.

But don’t worry, it’s the Tea Party that is full of Racists and violent nutjobs. 🙂

The Mainstream Media/Ministry of Truth will see to it. Just ask the writers and producers of CBS’s The Good Wife where they just aired an episode where the Tea Party “bad guy” was also a “racist” and then a Democrat strategist on FOX defended it (paraphrase-because I was watching it- “there are just some people in the tea party that just can handle the fact the president is black”)

It just an accepted truth by many on the left that the Tea Party is racist simply because the president is Black. It can’t be anything else!

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/megyn-kelly-hosts-fiery-debate-over-racist-portrayal-of-tea-party-in-cbs-drama/

So just remember children, Raising taxes is good, Class Warfare is the only Politically Correct warfare allowed by the Left, Public Sector Unions funding Democrats with taxpayer money is good and if you disagree you’re a racist!! 🙂

Another Great Union Moment: What should we do to get America’s economy back on the road to prosperity? Raise taxes, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka suggests.

Trumka is a frequent guest at the White House.

In 2009, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor and Democratic Legislature passed legislation that raised taxes and fees by about $1.2 billion over three years. State lawmakers approved the bill on the very day it was introduced, with no public hearing. (Townhall)

This would be the crew that left a massive budget deficit for Gov. Walker but now blame him for trying to deal with it! And have complained bitterly that he wanted to “cram” the bill down their throats!

Hmmm..something vaguely familiar about that…. 🙂

Move.ong Org (co-founded by Socialist Billionaire George Soros) had their Whine & Cheese Saturday yesterday were they were going to make you afraid of cutting of their drugs (taxpayer’s money).

I Liked this one:

Rally in Los Angeles kicks off with union member screaming, “Let’s hear it for Obama!” ::crowd cheers:: “It rhymes with ‘yo mama!” ::confused silence::

Another speaker: “Tax the rich, not the workers! Tax the rich, not the workers!”

Class Warfare and Civil War are a very healthy on the LEFT.

ST Paul, MN: “You can’t have a democratic society without a strong union in the workplace,” one speaker notes.

These would be the same people who want to eliminate secret ballots and also “negotiate” with the people they put in power. Very “democratic”.

‘Ticked Turbin’: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., praises Caesar Chavez for fighting for human rights.  Collective bargaining is a “basic human freedom,” Durbin says, a “right” Americans have “died for.”

So why then, Dick, were Federal Employees Unions banned from collective bargaining by Democrats in 1978??  (see yesterday’s blog for details).

Former Obama campaign employee and political appointee stands to speak in D.C. “This is not about Republicans and Democrats.  This is about a handful of billionaires… trying to take away all of our rights and all of our income.”

Just gotta drink from the sweet milk of Class Warfare.

By the way, the D.C. demonstration was organized by the International Socialist Organization.

Be afraid:

Jon Stewart is a significant source of news, particularly for younger viewers, although he insists he is simply a comedian. According to Pew Research, 16 percent of American said they regularly watched the Daily Show or it’s spin-off, The Colbert Report, and these viewers scored in the highest percentile of knowledge of current affairs.

Be afraid!

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Brought to you by the brain trust at the SEIU, the public sector union that visits the White House more than any other. (Notice the spelling)

SEIUAmerica

Obama’s Democrats have become the party of no. Real cuts to the federal budget? No. Entitlement reform? No. Tax reform? No. Breaking the corrupt and fiscally unsustainable symbiosis between public-sector unions and state governments? Hell no. (CK)

Armageddon awaits.

In the Democrat view, it’s all about them.

In the Republican View, it’s timidly about the future.

What is it in your View?

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers