Posts Tagged ‘Marxism’

Stupak and the Blue Dogs caved / drank the Kool-Aid / got bought off — don’t hold your breath for that executive order, Bart — and the Senate’s bill passed the House. Now what?

Painting of the Battle of Waterloo

Famous painting of the Battle of Waterloo, by Robinson (c. 1820)

Some on the Left (and part-time Republicans like David Frum) are saying that the passing of Obamacare signifies a “Waterloo” moment for the Republicans & conservatives. Now, I don’t know much about the Waterloo Campaign, but I understand that Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo marked the end of the war and the end of Napoleon’s rule. So, I guess this is supposed to be it for the Republican Party as we know it — the end of any meaningful resistance to Obamacare and the end of the days of influence/relevance for the GOP and its supposedly heartless, hatemongering, “Right Wing Conspiracy” cheerleaders.

Naturally, I disagree with the sentiment. For one thing, the poll numbers for Obamacare were clearly in our favor — somewhere between 60% & 70% were/are against it. Other surveys indicate that America still leans conservative. We may be down, but we’re not out. If I was a better student of military history, I might be able to come up with a better metaphor. I’m thinking maybe something to do with George Washington and his battered & beleaguered troops in the American Revolution. There were many battles, and they suffered many defeats. Yet, through a combination of “luck”, Providence, perseverance, bravery & skill, and the overconfidence & arrogance of their enemy, the American colonies won their independence against the superior numbers of their elitist, tax-obsessed oppressors. See the parallels?

Of course, this wasn’t just any fight, this “battle for healthcare reform”. It was one where the larger opponent tied the smaller opponent’s hand behind his back, took his gun and left him with a knife. And, as the fight progressed, the larger opponent kept changing the rules. (OK, I could try to carry this analogy out further, but it’s late, so I’ll stop.)

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine combined the radicalism of Alinsky, the corruption of Springfield and the machine power politics of Chicago. Sunday was a pressured, bought, intimidated vote worthy of Hugo Chavez but unworthy of the United States of America.

[But,…] This is not the end of the fight; it is the beginning of the fight…. The American people will not allow a corrupt machine to dictate their future. Together we will pledge to repeal this bill and start over. Together we will prove that this will not stand.”

Newt Gingrich

General Washington pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. So, what can we do? A number of things are already underway or in the works:

1) Republican Senators are doing all they can (within the rules) to fight the “reconciliation” maneuver being used to pass the House-required “fixes” to the bill. (For example, there is still the issue of whether “reconciliation” rules can be bent far enough to pass non-budgetary proposals.) From what I can tell, the “fixes” have to be passed as is, as a package. So, if any changes are made to the “fixes”, it will have to go back to the House for a vote. (Or, whatever Pelosi & Co. can cook up to get around a vote, if they don’t think it will go their way.)

2) Republicans in both houses are releasing “repeal” bills. It’s a longshot, and it won’t happen anytime soon — not with our current, Democrat-dominated legislature, of course. And it probably won’t have a chance until at least 2012. But, the reasoning is that a) talk in Congress, the media, & the public will keep the idea alive and “get lawmakers on the record” before upcoming elections; and, b) the bills will be in place for if/when Republicans regain the majority (see below). Some Republicans in Congress see such efforts as a distraction and an unrealistic goal. But, as Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said, “Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go after it.”

3) Over 3 dozen state governors and their attorneys general are suing Congress — 14 have already filed — for passing an unconstitutional law. Of the two main issues that come up, the first is the mandated health insurance. The argument (with which I agree) is that the Constitution gives no authority to the federal government to force any citizen to purchase any good or service, let alone from any particular merchant/source(s). The other concern is the unsubsidized billions of $ the states will have to come up with to support the millions of additional people being put into the Medicaid program. Most states are already casting about for ways to meet their budget; they can’t afford to have this thrown on top, too.

Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho

Gov. "Butch" Otter of Idaho (AP)

4) Meanwhile, a few states (beginning with Idaho and Virginia) are passing legislation to exempt their citizens from parts of Obamacare like “being forced to purchase government-approved health insurance.” As with the above lawsuits, the matter of federalism is also at issue. By instituting these federal laws, is the federal government infringing on the states’ sovereign rights?

5) It doesn’t really matter now, but had the “deem and pass” strategy been utilized by Speaker Pelosi to force Obamacare through without a House vote, Mark Levin — popular conservative talk-show host and constitutional law scholar — had already drafted a lawsuit to be immediately filed against President Obama, Att. Gen. Eric Holder, Sec. of Treas. Timothy Geithner, & Sec. of HHS Karen Sebelius for allowing such an “unconstitutional contrivance” to be used. (Not sure why Pelosi and Reid weren’t included.) Sort of a moot point now, but I am glad someone was prepared to challenge that ridiculous maneuver in court. There may still be opportunity for a similar challenge….

6) Stay Active! We need to continue to write; call; sign petitions; attend rallies; volunteer & donate to conservative candidates, PACs, Tea Parties, and other groups; etc. Let the current administration and its cohorts know that we will not stand idly by as they transform us into the European Union West. The rhetoric from the Right must be challenging and forceful, yet respectful (of persons & offices, not ideas). Marxist thought may be tolerated in America — people are free to read, say, and believe what they want — but it is, arguably by definition, NOT American and should have no part in our government.

7) Take back Congress and Take back America! In November 2010, we can begin voting out/against any candidates who aren’t & weren’t fully against Obamacare. We cannot let a few months’ time wash from our memories the stain that they left on the Constitution and our freedoms. We must vote solidly conservative leaders into office, so that they can begin repealing Obamacare, either in pieces or as a whole, if possible. We must replace it with REAL healthcare reform — common-sense, patient-centered, market-driven, and not under Big Brother’s control.

Let’s make Washington proud. George Washington, that is — as well as the rest of America’s Founding Fathers and the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. Let’s get America back on track! Can we do this? With the right people, the right strategy & tactics, with focus and perseverance, and with blessings & guidance from God above… “Yes, We Can!”

As the late Adrian Rogers said, “You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

Some of you may have seen this, already. It was emailed to me a couple weeks ago, and I finally decided to include it here. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a true story, but it illustrates the point beautifully:

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade, so no one would fail and no one would receive an ‘A’….

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a ‘B’. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride, too, so they studied little. The second test average was a ‘D’! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an ‘F’.

The scores never increased, as bickering, blame, and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Outside of South America, I would be willing to bet that most people think of Chile as just another developing, “third-world” country with a handful of (relatively) wealthy people lording it over the peons. And, a few years ago, that would have been a fairly accurate description. Inflation was skyrocketing, the people were dirt poor and many (most?) of them unemployed — sort of like pre-quake Haiti.

Map of Chile (general)

Map of Chile

But, surprise! Last month, Chile became the first South American country asked to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), consisting of the (now) 31 wealthiest and most stable economies of the world. Chile has also now moved into the Top 5 in the Cato Institute’s ‘Index of Economic Freedom’, outranking even the U.S. [Note: The U.S. ranks a close 6th, not #17 as Glenn Beck (who got it from an IBD editorial) mistakenly reported a few weeks ago.]

What happened?

In the mid-1960s, center-left President Eduardo Frei Montalva initiated widespread social & economic reforms, focusing on housing, education, and agriculture. But, due to ever-increasing resistance from the political Left AND Right, Frei was only able to achieve some of his goals, while his country fell into an economic depression. When Socialist Salvador Allende took office in 1970, Marxist policies including nationalization and collectivization were instituted, resulting in decreased worker productivity, price freezes & wage increases, withdrawal of bank deposits, and runaway inflation. Then, in 1973 the U.S. assisted in a military coup by General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet turned out to be a brutal dictator of an oppressive regime. But,…

If one good thing can be said about Pinochet, it is that he recognized the failures of socialist economics and he resolved to do something about it. Pinochet gave de facto control of the Chilean economy to the “Chicago boys”, a group of 10 economists who had studied the theories of John Locke (not the one on Lost), F.A. Hayek, & Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. Beginning in the late 1970’s, they were authorized to begin implementing a long-term plan based on free-market principles — not an easy thing to do in a corrupt regime, under a dictator’s rule (even with his OK), and surrounded by similarly “difficult” neighbors. Chile began deregulating markets, opening up trade and courting agreements with multiple countries around the world. The economy was de-politicized and bureaucratic red tape was eliminated (well… somewhat). They cut taxes and removed wage & price controls. A balanced budget was instituted and private property once more respected. Eventually, the rule of law took root, as well, thereby greatly improving the safety and freedoms of the Chilean people.

The past two decades since Pinochet was defeated in 1988 have seen several left-wing presidents, but they have pretty-much stayed the course — while expanding government-sponsored social services, as well — and Chile’s economic growth has continued. Once a “closed” economy dominated by labor unions, Chile is now one of the most open economies in the world. Foreign trade with the Americas, Asia, and Europe brings in tens of billions of dollars to the Chilean economy. Chief exports include copper, wood products, fresh fruit, seafood, and wine. Many government-run enterprises have been sold off. (Some, like copper giant CODELCO, are still owned by the state, and there remains one government-owned bank.) Foreign investments, banking reform, increased personal and corporate savings, and the privatization of pension plans have all contributed to strengthening Chile’s financial stability. Poverty rates have dropped by more than half, and Chile’s per capita GDP has risen from $1300 (1980) to $15,000.

In addition to terrific economic growth, Chile now gets high scores for political & civil liberties, democratic governance, safety & security, etc., by groups like Freedom House and the Legatum Institute.

Chile's new President-elect Pinera

Chile's new President-elect Pinera

Following closely on the heels of its induction into the OECD, Chile’s people elected self-made billionaire Sebastian Pinera as their new president. Pinera is the first truly conservative leader Chile has had in decades. The current global financial woes have affected Chile, with unemployment inching up and a “contracted” economy, but the government has been able to dip into reserves from its copper revenues. With Pinera’s great personal success in media, sports, & airlines, some think he can bring even more financial & economic wisdom into the government, guiding Chile out of its current slowdown. The president-elect has vowed to be an “entrepreneurial president”, working to improve efficiency in the government by cutting red tape and demanding bureaucratic accountability, encourage private investment (e.g., partially privatizing CODELCO), revise employment law, make the business environment more attractive for local start-ups. Oh, and he’s got some ideas about fighting crime, too. (Do they include a cape & cowl, I wonder?) In short, he wants to make Chile “the best country in the world.”

So, obviously Chile’s economy still has problems. (Most countries do, especially these days.) There is room for improvement. But, it is still inspiring to see the amazing progress this once-impoverished and bankrupt nation has made in just 30 years. It is a case study of how Marxist theories and policies simply don’t work, whereas free-market capitalism and conservative policies bring people out of poverty, giving many (not just an elitist few) the opportunity to become quite wealthy, and improving the standards of living for all who participate. Or, as one expert on Latin American politics & economics, Andres Martinez of the New America Foundation, put it:

If trends continue, Chile will soon be considered one of those rare countries that has graduated out of the developing world, according to plenty of living-standard indices. The country is also the poster child for those who believe globalization and free trade can lift living standards, as Chile’s economic course has long been anchored in its free-trade agreement with the U.S. and its dynamic export sector. It also stands out among South American countries in that its governing socialists have pragmatically been the ones embracing this pro-business, market-oriented economy.”

I’ll support this kind of growth and progress over Leftie “hope and change” every time.

OR…

Bad America! Long Live Marxist Socialism!

Radical far-Leftist Howard Zinn, first-among-equals among the ‘Blame America’ academic crowd, is at it again — this time with the help of Hollywood and The History Channel. The controversial professor is author of the popular A People’s History of the United States — a darkly revisionist work if ever there was one — and its follow-up Voices of A People’s History Of The United States. Up until now, his anti-America works were pretty much limited to colleges & universities. But, now Zinn has teamed up with some left-wing actors and producers (and a host of active socialists on his Teacher Advisory Board) for some new projects whose chief aim is to indoctrinate pre-K thru high school students into his factually-challenged, pessimistic version of American history.

Patrick Courrielche reports here at BigHollywood….

For more details, read Michelle Malkin’s article at TownHall.

This post may not seem at first like it fits with the 3 main topics that this blog is about. But, when you think about it, the cultural impact of this sort of anti-America garbage that our kids and young adults are being fed constantly really does have serious political repercussions. We are hearing it in some of Obama’s rhetoric and from some of the ‘czars’ and other appointees in the administration. I hate to think what will happen if such thinking continues to spread and our nation really is taken over from within by Zinn’s “America is Evil”, neo-Marxist acolytes. Keep your eyes and ears open for this stuff in your kids’ schools and raise heck if ya find it!