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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moral imagination is not distributed equally

Gov.: Drones over Va. 'great'; cites battlefield success

Tuesday - 5/29/2012, 2:25pm  ET
(WTOP/Paul D. Shinkman)

    Ask the Governor

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks with WTOP's Mark Segraves
    Paul D. Shinkman,
    WASHINGTON - Police drones flying over Virginia would be "great" and "the right thing to do" for the same reasons they are so effective in a battlefield environment, the state's chief executive said Tuesday.
    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, says he is open to any technology that makes law enforcement more productive. The use of drones, which was recently endorsed by the police chiefs of Fairfax County and D.C., would make better use of valuable police resources.
    Increased safety and reduced manpower are among the reasons the U.S. military and intelligence community use drones on the battlefield, which is why it should be considered in Virginia, he says.
    "It's great," he said while speaking on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program. "If you're keeping police officers safe, making it more productive and saving's absolutely the right thing to do."
    A proposal to purchase drones hasn't yet reached his desk, he says, but state law enforcement agencies are looking for the the most current ways to fight crime.
    That sentiment was echoed last month by David Rohrer, chief of police for Fairfax County, one of the state's most affluent areas.
    "Drones will certainly have a purpose and a reason to be in this region in the next, coming years," hetold WTOP. "Just as a standpoint as an alternative for spotting traffic and sending information back to our VDOT Smart Traffic centers, and being able to observe backups."
    D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, a national security expert, told WTOP in early May that the use of drones is ideal for "a sprawling county" such as Fairfax.
    Unmanned aerial aircrafts were first proven in combat environments over Afghanistan and Iraq as a part of the military and CIA presence there. Police forces in Arizona first employed them domestically to help monitor illegal immigration and trade over the U.S.-Mexican border.
    McDonnell added Tuesday it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans' civil liberties, such as privacy, if it adds drones to its law enforcement arsenal.
    The Federal Aviation Administration released a list in April of agencies and organizations currently cleared to use drones, which includes Virginia Tech. Virginia Commonwealth University had been cleared, but its permit has expired.
    Drones over U.S. soil has turned some heads in Congress.
    "The potential for invasive surveillance of daily activities with drone technology is high," wrote Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., in an April 19 letter to FAA. "We must ensure that as drones take flight in domestic airspace, they don't take off without privacy protections for those along their flight path."
    Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said in the same letter he "proudly supported" the FAA Modernization and Reform Act that allowed for the domestic use of drones. There are many institutions in his home state that FAA has cleared for drone use, including Texas A&M University, and the police forces in the city of Arlington outside Dallas-Fort Worth and in Montgomery County near Houston.
    WTOP's Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow PaulMarkand WTOP on Twitter.
    Learn more about what the governor thinks of tolls on Interstate 95, how long he expects to be governor, and an openly gay prosecutor whose nomination to a Richmond bench was rejected by the Virginia General Assembly, in our live blog:
    Here's what he has to say:
    10:54 a.m., speaking about prospects as vice president:
    I am not being vetted by his campaign.
    I have two goals: Elect more governors nationally, because they do a better job than Democratic opponents, and to get Mitt Romney elected.
    "I think we need a new president, and that's why I'm supporting Mitt Romney."
    "Hope and change" is now "recession and fear." This is a very divisive president.
    "I'm absolutely planning to finish my term as governor."
    10:53 a.m., speaking about craft breweries selling their own beer:
    You see suds, I see jobs. Our wine industry is the fifth largest in America. These small microbusinesses are where the jobs are created anyway.
    10:51 a.m., speaking about uranium mining:
    If we can do it safely, we should. It will create a lot of jobs. If we can't, we shouldn't.
    The General Assembly is going to study if it's safe.
    Environmental groups complaining they don't have a seat at the table are "wrong." They don't want us to mine at all.
       1 2  -  Next page  >>

    Bishop E.W. Jackson, Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate pt 3 (on d...

    Sink Holes of Washington, D.C.

    Peter Schiff on the Obama recession I

    Peter Schiff on Obama's depression I

    Rand Paul on UN gun ban

    Dear fellow Patriot,

    Gun-grabbers around the globe believe they have it made.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced the Obama Administration will be working hand-in-glove with the UN to pass a new "Small Arms Treaty."

    Disguised as an "International Arms Control Treaty" to fight against "terrorism," "insurgency" and "international crime syndicates," the UN Small Arms Treaty is in fact a massive, GLOBAL gun control scheme.

    I'm helping lead the fight to defeat this radical treaty in the United States Senate and I want your help.

    Please join me by taking a public stand against this outright assault on our national sovereignty by signing the Official Firearms Sovereignty Survey.

    Ultimately, the UN Small Arms Treaty is designed to register, ban and CONFISCATE firearms owned by private citizens like YOU.

    So far, the gun-grabbers have successfully kept the exact wording of their new scheme under wraps.

    But looking at previous versions of the UN Small Arms Treaty, you and I can get a good idea of what's likely in the works.

    If passed by the UN and ratified by the U.S. Senate, the UN Small Arms Treaty would almost certainly FORCE the U.S. to:
    *** Enact tougher licensing requirements, making law-abiding Americans cut through even more bureaucratic red tape just to own a firearm legally;
    *** CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL "unauthorized" civilian firearms (all firearms owned by the government are excluded, of course);
    *** BAN the trade, sale and private ownership of ALL semi-automatic weapons;
    *** Create an INTERNATIONAL gun registry, setting the stage for full-scale gun CONFISCATION.
    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this is NOT a fight we can afford to lose.

    Ever since its founding 65 years ago, the United Nations has been hell-bent on bringing the United States to its knees.

    To the petty dictators and one-world socialists who control the UN, the United States of America isn't a "shining city on a hill" -- it's an affront to their grand designs for the globe.

    These anti-gun globalists know that so long as Americans remain free to make our own decisions without being bossed around by big government bureaucrats, they'll NEVER be able to seize the worldwide power they crave.

    And the UN's apologists also know the most effective way to finally strip you and me of ALL our freedoms would be to DESTROY our gun rights.

    That's why I was so glad to hear that the National Association for Gun Rights is leading the fight to stop this assault on our Constitution!

    The truth is there's no time to waste.

    You and I have to be prepared for this fight to move FAST.

    The fact is the last thing the gun-grabbers at the UN and in Washington, D.C. want is for you and me to have time to mobilize gun owners to defeat this radical legislation.

    They've made that mistake before, and we've made them pay, defeating EVERY attempt to ram the UN Small Arms Treaty into law since the mid-1990s.

    But now time may not be on our side.

    In fact, we're likely to only have a few weeks to defeat the treaty when they make their move.

    And we definitely don't have a President in the White House who will oppose this treaty.

    So our ONE AND ONLY CHANCE to stop the UN Small Arms Treaty is during the ratification process in the U.S. Senate.

    As you know, it takes 67 Senate votes to ratify a treaty.

    With new pro-gun champions joining me in the Senate, rounding up enough votes to kill this thing should be easy, right?

    Unfortunately, that couldn't be further from the truth.

    Even with the Republican tidal wave in 2010, there still isn't a pro-gun majority in the Senate to kill ratification of the treaty.

    You know just as well as I do how few Senators are truly "pro-gun."

    Not only that, but many Senators get "queasy" about killing treaties for fear of "embarrassing" the President -- especially with "international prestige" at stake.

    They look at ratifying treaties much like approving the President's Supreme Court nominees.

    Remember how many Senators turned their back on us and voted to confirm anti-gun Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor?

    A dozen more only voted against Sotomayor after receiving massive grassroots pressure from the folks back home.

    So if we're going to defeat the UN Small Arms Treaty gun owners have to turn the heat up on the U.S. Senate now before it's too late!

    Do you believe the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment are the supreme law of the land?

    Do you believe any attempt by the United Nations to subvert or supersede your Constitutional rights must be opposed?

    If you said "Yes" to these questions, please sign the survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you.

    Your survey will put you squarely on the record AGAINST the UN Small Arms Treaty.

    And along with your signed survey, I hope you'll send a generous contribution of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35 to help finance this battle.

    With your generous contribution, the National Association for Gun Rights will continue contacting Second Amendment supporters to turn up the heat on targeted U.S. Senators.

    Not only that, but they're preparing a massive program to launch the second this treaty is brought before the Senate.

    Direct mail.  Phones.  Email.  Blogs.  Guest editorials.  Press conferences.  Hard-hitting internet, newspaper, radio and even TV ads if funding permits.  The whole nine yards.

    Of course, a program of this scale is only possible if the National Association for Gun Rights can raise the money.

    But that's not easy, and we may not have much time.

    In fact, if gun owners are going to defeat the UN Small Arms Treaty pro-gun Americans like you and me have to get involved NOW!

    So please put yourself on record AGAINST the UN Small Arms Treaty by signing NAGR's Firearms Sovereignty Survey.

    But along with your survey, please agree to make a generous contribution of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35.

    And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can onlychip in $10 or $20, it will make a difference.

    Thank you in advance for your time and money devoted to defending our Second Amendment rights.

    For Freedom,

    Rand Paul
    United States Senator
    P.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the Obama Administration will be working hand in glove with the United Nations to pass a new GLOBAL, "Small Arms Treaty."

    If we're going to defeat the UN Small Arms Treaty gun owners have to turn the heat up on the U.S. Senate now before it's too late!

    Please return your Firearms Sovereignty Survey and put yourself squarely on the record AGAINST ratification of the UN Small Arms Treaty.

    And if you can, please make a generous contribution to the National Association for Gun Rights of $250, $150, $100 or even just $35 right away!

    And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can only chip in $10 or $20, it will make a difference.

    Should You Need the Government's Permission to Work?

    Efforts to Dismantle Obamacare are Ramping Up!

    As House Republicans ramp up efforts to dismantle Obamacare over the next few weeks, Americans for Tax Reform wanted to highlight some of the more egregious portions of President Obama’s “signature issue.”
    The first provision scheduled to be voted on for elimination is the medical device tax. Obamacare imposes a new tax of 2.3% on medical devices, including braces, pacemakers, wheelchairs, and other costly medical devices. While these taxes will be paid by the device manufacturer, you can bet the tax will be passed along as a higher cost of the product, ultimately forcing seniors, parents, and veterans to pay more for these life sustaining devices. To find out more about this tax, click here.
    In an effort to draw particular attention to this tax, we encourage you to check out our Facebook page where we’ve created three graphics for you to share with friends and family to help get the word out. An example of the graphic is below. Please consider sharing these images as Congress gets set to vote on repeal of the medical device tax.
    Repeal the Medical Device Tax!
    Grover Norquist
    Americans for Tax Reform

    Stephen King Wants “Charity for Me, Taxation for Thee”

    by Logan Albright | May 9, 2012
    Photo by Jasper van der Meij on Flickr
    In a crudely-titled op-ed published on the Daily Beast last week, author Stephen King joined the ranks of the super-rich demanding higher taxes. After taking several cheap shots at Governor Chris Christie’s, R-N.J., weight, King expresses frustration at the governor’s suggestion that rich people concerned about tax revenue should simply write voluntary checks to the IRS.
    King argues that the majority of rich people are far from generous with their money, and that voluntary contributions are insufficient to solve the world’s problems. This may or may not be true, but it dodges the point that Christie was trying to make. Of all the billionaires complaining that their tax rates are too low, we have yet to hear of a single one actually contributing voluntary taxes. If they really believe what they are saying, why should this be so?
    Regarding his own contributions, King, just like Warren Buffett before him, avoids the question entirely, responding angrily that he gives money to charity. For someone who has made millions from his cunning use of words, King seems oddly unaware that his actions contradict his words. By giving money to charities of his choice rather than straight to the IRS, he’s tacitly acknowledging what conservatives have known all along: the individual is better suited to direct his money than is the collective.
    Apparently, even arch-liberals don’t trust the government more than they trust themselves.
    The implication of King’s statements and actions—that rich people give too little, but that government is ineffective in allocating tax dollars—suggests a better system. Rather than outright taxation, this system would be one in which the amount given would be mandatory, but the recipient could be chosen by the individual. The left could decline to fund wars while the right could direct their tax dollars away from abortion clinics and medical marijuana facilities. Why then, has such a system not been proposed by the likes of King and Buffett?
    Because to them, freedom of choice is a luxury only they should enjoy, whereas those of differing opinions must be told what to do, for their own good of course. King knows best what to do with his own money, but those other rich folks—particularly the Republican ones—cannot be trusted with such responsibility. While the IRS may not be the intellectual equal of the mind that gave us The Tommyknockers, it is more than a match for the rest of that ignorant mass that is the American people.
    The richest Americans, while crying loudly from the op-ed pages for higher taxes, do not themselves want to support the Federal Government with their money any more than does the average citizen. If they truly believed in the benevolence and competence of the federal government, they would give to it in the spirit of charity.
    Logan Albright is a writer in Washington, D.C.

    Elizabeth Warren questioned by Cherokee group

    To Explain Our Purpose, Goals and Who We Are

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    The real life of Julia

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    The Commencement Speech

    The Commencement Speech


    Neal Boortz - The Commencement Speech photo
    Neal Boortz - The Commencement Speech
    By Neal Boortz
    I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration.

    You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. This isn't the first time you're not going to like what someone has to say … your bosses, for instance. Things change today. There will be a lot less pandering to your every whim, and a lot more demands for performance. You will remember what I had to say though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, of course, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees … or as college professors.

    You've heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

    By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.
    OK .. it's time for you to hear something – to learn something – that may, but should not, come as a complete surprise.
    You are the victims of a terrible fraud. You have just completed your travels through an educational system that had no real intention of educating you … at least not too much.
    You're pretty hot at research right now, aren't you? While those skills are still with you, perhaps you would like to put them to work studying the start of compulsory government education in the early part of the last century. Do you really think that the goal of our compulsory government education system has been to actually educate you?
    Did you study H. L. Mencken? In 1924 he wrote an article for the American Mercury where he defined the true aim of our then-fledgling system of education. Listen carefully:
    The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is the aim in the United States and that is its aim everywhere else.
    Think about this. Who owns the schools? The government. Who mandates attendance? The government. Who staffs the schools? The government … with government workers. Who directs the work of the schools? The government. Can you see where it is in the best interests of government to suppress dissent and originality? Can you understand why government would want a standardized citizenry? Those who dissent; those who produce originality of thought; those who exceed the standards are a threat to what? The status quo, that's what … and government likes the calming influence of the status quo.
    There's an amazing book that you need to put at the top of your reading list … now that you don't have to focus on college texts any more. The book is by John Taylor Gatto, and it's called "The Underground History of American Education." Gatto was the teacher of the year in New York City. He wrote an extraordinary letter to the Wall Street Journal in 2001. Let me share the first part of that letter with you:
    I've taught public school for 26 years but I just can't do it anymore. For years I asked the local school board and superintendent to let me teach a curriculum that doesn't hurt kids, but they had other fish to fry. So I'm going to quit, I think.
    I've come slowly to understand what it is I really teach: A curriculum of confusion, class position, arbitrary justice, vulgarity, rudeness, disrespect for privacy, indifference to quality, and utter dependency. I teach how to fit into a world I don't want to live in.
    I just can't do it anymore. I can't train children to wait to be told what to do; I can't train people to drop what they are doing when a bell sounds; I can't persuade children to feel some justice in their class placement when there isn't any, and I can't persuade children to believe teachers have valuable secrets they can acquire by becoming our disciples. That isn't true.
    Just google "I quit, I think" and you can read the rest of Gatto's letter to the Wall Street Journal. You've been had .. big time. Read the letter. You'll see how ---- and how bad.
    Can you see why government would want to keep you dumbed down and placated? Gatto's book explains it all. He talks about the effort to bring the Prussian style of education to the United States in the early 1900s. He describes his shock that Americans were to eager to adopt what he calls "one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture … an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens in order to render the populace "manageable."
    So … do you think you know enough to be a threat to the ruling class?
    How many of you can name your two US Senators? How about the Vice President? Who is your congressman? How often is he elected? Can you give me the gist of the 10th Amendment?
    Am I trying to insult you here? No, I'm trying to illustrate something.
    What are the three branches of government? Who officially represents the government of this state – not the people, the government -- in Washington?
    How strong is your economic knowledge? Do you believe that the rich should pay their fair share? If so, can you tell me what percentage of total income the hated top 1% earns and what percentage of income taxes they pay? If you can't, don't worry too much. I've interviewed presidential candidates who can't tell you.
    Here's a toughie …. What is the difference between a profit and a profit margin? Do corporations pay taxes? If so, where do they get the money?
    A person who cannot answer virtually all of these questions is a person who is going to present absolutely no threat at all to current political thought. This is a person who will repeat government feel-good slogans and political mantras .. and then turn to a discussion of the last episode of "Lost."
    Feeling pretty good about your education now, aren't you?
    Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

    So here are the first assignments for your initial class in post-graduate reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers – as long as we have newspapers -- and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups --The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

    That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics and the principal of looting. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual – individual worth and achievement.

    Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

    In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. This group identity nonsense needs to go away … now. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity should begin immediately.

    There's a chance that, over the next eight to ten years, the lessons of life will not have brought you to the rational thinking processes of a libertarian or a conservative. If you find that to be your reality when you reach the age of 30 … 35 tops … then you need to rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

    Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You're going to actually get a full time job! You're also going to find that you have a partner. This partner isn't going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort -- just your earnings.

    Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every single mother raising an illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor aging hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist ... but who just can't manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

    Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills; for every person who ignored all proffered educational opportunities, for every loser dreaming of nothing more than a job at City Hall. Your partner will be an agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

    That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive Imperial Federal Government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, will have or should have. This agent has the legal power to use force – deadly force – to accomplish its goals.

    You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla with a gun. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

    Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, this looter, and you can't decrease it's share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

    Does it bother you that I'm not particularly fond of our government? Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Oh yes, I know it's a necessary evil, but it is dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

    Now – let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.

    First – that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity!

    You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. Yes – it's that liberal group identity thing again.

    Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, one of the fourteen different classifications of sexual proclivities, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.

    Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. Unless, of course, you are working for the government or academia.

    From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

    We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

    You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer, for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

    Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and you have a right to whatever wealth you are able to produce with your labor. You'll be disappointed to learn that you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

    You may think, for instance, that you have a right to health care. After all, the president said so, didn't he? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to any portion of his or any other person's life.

    You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? What if he doesn't need your services? I can't wait for you to point that one out for me in our Constitution. I sure would like to be a fly on the wall when some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.
    And while I'm on the subject of jobs … let's straighten out a bit of a misconception you may have. Jobs belong to the employer, not to the employee. You will go "look" for a job. Well, if the job belonged to you wouldn't have to look very far would you? Businessmen create those jobs. The jobs belong to them, not you. They will, with conditions, offer you that job if they believe them to be capable. And guess what? They're not going to pay you what you're worth. They're going to pay you less. Know why? Because if every employer out there paid every employee exactly what that employee was worth, where is the profit for the employer? You are there to make money for the person who gave you the job. To do that you have to produce wealth. You get a good portion of it … but some must go to the employer. There is simply no other reason to hire you. And another thing … there is no "shipping OUR jobs overseas." They are the employer's jobs, not yours. They can do with them what they wish. Get used to it.

    The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

    By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen and the poor, poor, pitiful, pathetic poor? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

    To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street instead of education and personal responsibility.

    If the Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income seizure and redistribution schemes. After all, you didn't work for the money, did you? You were just lucky, and here we are just evening out the odds a little bit, aren't we?

    This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. One time Democrat presidential candidate Richard Gephardt liked to refer to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wanted you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky; all they did was buy the right lottery ticket. What an insult this is to the man or woman who works that 60 hour week to provide for a family.

    It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."

    That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S.O.B.! You did this to me!"

    The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

    Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

    Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.

    Quite a few people have followed that tragic path.

    The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

    Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.

    Envy is a powerful emotion. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.'

    The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

    You have heard, no doubt, that in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor ... there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

    Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor in America. So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $900,000 paid-for home and a new $160,000 Bentley, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $10 million in a checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

    How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."

    This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it?

    Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. just remember all this the next time Katie Couric puffs up and tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

    And please remember this: The average person in this country described as "poor" has a higher standard of living than the average European. Not the average "poor" European, the average European.

    Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

    Well, it looks like I'm about to be given the hook. The faculty looks a little angry. Come to think of it … some of you look a little ticked off too. Are you starting to get it? The fun times are fading … it's time to get down to business, and the people you will be working for have a much tighter grip on reality than these people who have been teaching you for the past years have. Why don't you try occupying the boss's office the next time something doesn't go your way. Let us all know how that works out for you.
    Well … I'm guessing that they've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I still have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. You're about to start studying for yours. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal with life, or the truth. So, get over it.
    1. Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.You need to register to vote, unless you're part of the moocher class. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again. While we're paying the bills you can keep your gripes to yourself. As long as we're taking care of you we would appreciate it if you would just sit down, shut up and get a skill. Or have the decency to just stay out of our way so we can get the job done.
    2. When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there. Try to put as much importance on learning your congressman's name as you do remembering the name of your aerobics or yoga instructor.
    3. Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.
    4. Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What you manage to earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.
    5. Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.
    6. Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.
    7. Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,

      1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
      2. Use wisely your power of choice.
      3. Go the extra mile ... drive home in the dark.
    Care as much about America's future as you do about American Idol.

    Oh, and put off buying that flat screen as long as you can.

    Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.

    Class dismissed. 

    Illinois Gov't Pensions Over $100,000 Up 27% Since Last Year

    Illinois Gov't Pensions Over $100,000 Up 27% Since Last Year

    May 30, 2012
    Contact: Jim Tobin (773) 354-2076 or (312) 427-5128
    CHICAGO—Retired Illinois government-employees pull in huge pension payments while Illinois taxpayers bail out the floundering government pension plans with the 67% increase in their state personal income tax, according Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of Illinois (TUA). Tobin added that the number of retired government employees in Illinois getting annual pensions over $100,000 jumped 27% from last year.
    The number of government retirees in the Illinois state pension funds getting over $100,000 a year in pension payments rose from 5,294 to 6,706.
    Tobin projected that by year 2020, 25,000 government retirees will be getting annual pensions over $100,000.
    “The Teachers Retirement System (TRS) pension fund had 3,499 retirees pulling in over $100,000 a year in pension payments as of April 1, 2012,” said Tobin. “The State University Retirement System (SURS) pension fund had 2,108 retirees getting more than $100,000 a year.”

    Click here to view the top 100 Illinois State pensions as of April 1, 2012.
    “In the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), 84 of the top 100 are retired State Troopers, including 28 troopers who retired at age 50 and are getting over $100,000 a year.”
    “The largest pension of all retired Illinois government-employees again is Tapas Das Gupta, formerly of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Gupta’s annual pension (as of April 1, 2012) is an astronomical $426,885 -- $35,573 a month. So far, Gupta’s pension payout to date is a whopping $3,001,481.”
    “With lavish, gold-plated pensions like these, it’s no wonder that the Illinois government pension programs are going broke, and that Springfield politicians are trying to bail them out with tax increases on Illinois citizens whose annual incomes often are lower than what these guys get a month.”
    “Immediate and real pension reform is long-overdue. Ending pensions for all new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions,” said Tobin. “New government hires should plan for their own retirements by being placed in Social Security and 401(k) plans.”
    “Furthermore, if each government employee were required to contribute an additional 10% toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save $150 billion over the next 35 years.”
    “Finally, requiring Illinois government employees and retirees to pay for one half of their healthcare premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”
    For more information, visit

    The Tyranny of the “Fairness” Cliché

    by Sonny Bunch | May 8, 2012
    Jonah Goldberg’s latest book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, is a quick and breezy read. A series of essays on the ways in which buzzwords are used to short-circuit debate, Goldberg lets slip the dogs of snark and has a good time doing so, dropping zombie jokes (three in the first ten percent of the book alone, according to my Kindle) and thoughts on Weltanschauung with equal aplomb.
    Progressives “hide their ideological agenda within Trojan Horse clichés and smug assertions that they are simply pragmatists, fact finders, and empiricists who are clearheaded slaves to ‘what works,’” Goldberg writes. He adds “saying you’re being empirical, and wielding numbers like so many stage props, doesn’t make you empirical, any more than me wielding a giant hammer and speaking Norwegian makes me Thor.”
    Goldberg takes a whack at “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” “violence never solves anything,” “social Darwinism,” and other smugisms hurled by the left. He also takes on a few of the right’s favored tools for shutting down debate, including “slippery slope” arguments.
    Of particular interest to me was the section on “social justice,” easily the least-meaningful phrase in the English language. As Goldberg notes, “A cry for social justice is usually little more than an assertion ‘for goodness.’ ‘Progressive’ has become a euphemism for ‘all good things.’” Employed with equal vigor by labor unions, the American Nazi Party, and universities of all stripes, the idiotically empty pairing of words is the close relation of that other phantom ideology: fairness.
    We are often told that the rich must pay their “fair share,” even by the wealthy themselves. Stephen King recently wrote, “It’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-f***ing-American is what it is.”
    What it really is is “Un-f***ing-believable.” As in, not true. As in, the wealthiest already pay much, much more than their “fair share,” certainly if we’re talking about proportions. Stephen King’s a smart guy and a great writer and I love the Dark Tower books to death, but c’mon: He knows better than this. He must: The facts are pretty stark. Here’s the Mercatus Center’s Jason Fichtner on the subject:
    For 2009, the most recent data available, to be included in the top 1 percent you had to report Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of just under $344,000. That same year, the top 1 percent paid 37 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent … paid 70 percent, and those in the top half paid almost 98 percent of all federal income taxes. That means the bottom half paid about 2 percent. In fact, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 47 percent of households pay no federal income taxes.
    Some feel that businesses are keeping more than their “fair share” in earnings. Like caricatures straight out of an Ayn Rand novel, a group of elected mediocrities have proposed the creation of a “Reasonable Profit Board”:
    According to the bill, a windfall tax of 50 percent would be applied when the sale of oil or gas leads to a profit of between 100 percent and 102 percent of a reasonable profit. The windfall tax would jump to 75 percent when the profit is between 102 and 105 percent of a reasonable profit, and above that, the windfall tax would be 100 percent.”
    It simply isn’t “fair” that some businesses make more money than others, you see.
    The doctrine of “fairness” undergirds the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance companies not refuse coverage for those with preexisting conditions, one of the (few) popular provisions of Obamacare. It’s so unfair that those with long-term health problems are denied access to health insurance that government interference is necessary.
    As Andrew Sullivan recently put it, “the current dysfunctional and stratospherically inefficient U.S. healthcare system impedes economic freedom. … In my own case, I would definitely gain freedom with the ACA.”
    In the pursuit of “fairness” and “freedom” and “liberty,” however, supporters of this provision end up limiting freedom by requiring one party to contract with a second party. Sullivan’s freedom comes at the expense of insurance companies who are forced to offer him insurance. They are then burdened with extra costs, meaning that, really, healthy members of whichever insurance plan he might join are burdened with higher costs.
    It is at least slightly Orwellian to describe stripping contract rights from an entire class of private enterprises as a freedom-enhancing endeavor.
    (And yes, Hayek found no conflict between “individual freedom” and the state’s “organiz[ing] a comprehensive system of social insurance,” but what he meant by “organize” is unclear. It’s fair to question whether he thought the government should force private businesses to sell their products to individuals—or require private individuals to purchase a product, for that matter.)
    Fairness is the ultimate conversation stopper: No one opposes fairness, per se, we just have different conceptions of it. Given that the world is an inherently unfair place, perhaps it’s time we stop using “that’s not fair” as a gag to silence our ideological opposites. The tyranny of fairness—or, really, “fairness”—must be overthrown.
    Sonny Bunch is managing editor of The Washington Free Beacon. He blogs about culture and politics at

    Libertarian Leanings of Young Voters Dampen Obama's Appeal

    Libertarian Leanings of Young Voters Dampen Obama's Appeal

    John Zogby @
    Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Universi...
    Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    Mitt Romney has spent months selling himself to the Republican base. Now, Barack Obama is working overtime trying to re-sell himself to his base of voters age 18-29.TeamObama knows that hard times and the growing libertarian leanings of young voters will make them a more difficult target than four years ago.
    Just as there is no doubt Romney will easily carry reluctant Tea Partiers and social conservatives, Obama will again win the age cohort I call First Globals. But it seems unlikely he will again win 66% of their votes, or that they will equal their turnout of 2008, which matched the historic high set in 1972, the first year the voting age was lowered to 18. Four years ago, First Globals made up 18% of all voters. In 2010, that fell to 12%.
    Very few of Obama’s young supporters from 2008 are likely defect to Romney. Some may not vote, and I see the possibility of others abandoning both parties and instead choosing the Libertarian candidate.
    My most recent polling with JZ Analytics found Obama’s approval rating among the 18-29 group in the high 50 percentile, up from where it had been a few months earlier. Approval rating is a good indicator of whether voters will support an incumbent, so you can see Obama is behind where he needs to be among younger voters. Obama’s youth vote problem is most acute among those 18-24 who entered the job market since he took office and are not finding work that meets their expectations.
    Last week, Harvard’s Institute of Politics released an online study of more than 3,000 U.S. adults ages 18-29. This exhaustive look at the policy priorities of First Globals finds the economy and jobs are far and away their highest concern. That data point and others show why support for Obama has slipped since 2008. They favor Obama over Romney, 43%-26%. There is an 11-point difference in Obama’s margin between those 25-29 (23 points) and those 18-24 (12 points.) Congressional Democrats have a higher approval than Republicans, 39%-25%.
    However, on some key issues, majorities of First Globals are not doctrinaire liberals. The poll found less than majorities agree with liberals on   some of their most cherished beliefs.  For example: 44% agree health insurance is a right government should provide for those who can’t afford it, 43% agree with the same statement about food and shelter, 37% agree government should spend more to reduce poverty, 20% agree government spending is an effective way to economic growth and 28% agree government should do more to curb climate change even at the expense of economic growth. (That last number has to hurt environmentalists.)
    Lest Republicans get too giddy at those findings, they should also know less than majorities agree with these conservative and neo-con ideals: 22% agree it’s sometimes necessary to attack potentially hostile countries rather than waiting until we are attacked, 23% are willing to give up some personal freedoms for the sake of national security, 39% agree cutting taxes is an effective route to economic growth, 24% agree we should eliminate all barriers to trade, 25% agree recent immigration has done more harm than good, 21% agree religious values should play an important role in government and 25% agree homosexuality is morally wrong.
    These attitudes betraying both the traditional left and right fall generally within the bounds of libertarianism. Live and let live.  Individual responsibility is as important as collective responsibility. Avoid military interventions. Distrust both government and corporations. Protect civil liberties.
    Young voters have been the energy behind Ron Paul (remember him?) He is still in the GOP race for President, apparently looking to impact the party platform. Had Paul chosen to be the nominee of the national Libertarian Party, he would have had the biggest impact of any third party candidate since Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996. Libertarians meet this week to choose their Presidential ticket. Gary E. Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, who briefly ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is the most likely nominee. He wants to legalize marijuana, and that is what the media will likely most focus on. Johnson expects to be on the ballot in all 50 states. That will be his chief resource. I don’t expect the debate commission will give him a chair alongside Obama and Romney. But the I
    nternet will give him access to the many First Globals who aren’t keen about either major party choice.
    Should any battleground states be decided by one or two points, the Libertarian candidate could tip the balance. In an interview with the New YorkTimes, Johnson said he expects to take more votes from Obama than Romney. We’ll see.
    It’s for sure Obama will continue campaigning on college campuses, and in live and media settings where voters under 30 can be found. He is now drumming Republicans over the head about keeping student loan rates from going up. Democrats will go all out to paint Republicans and Romney as out of touch on social issues and in the pockets of the infamous 1% vilified by Occupy Wall Street.
    Those are good themes for Obama, but he must frame his appeals to young voters’ libertarian impulses or risk falling short of the margins he needs for re-election.