Politics Scrambles Common Sense + More

Posted on Mon 11/22/2010 by

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The Patriot Post Brief

The Foundation

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

Liberty

Should the federal government mandate cell phone scramblers in cars?

“America is in debt past its eyeballs. Unemployment remains stuck near double digits. Small and large businesses, unions and insurers are clamoring for Obamacare waivers in droves. Jihadists are making a mockery of homeland security. And border chaos reigns. So, what’s one of the Obama administration’s top domestic policy agenda items this month? Combating distracted drivers. What? You missed the Million Anti-Distracted Drivers Protest March on Washington and the Great Grassroots Groundswell for federal intervention on our highways and byways? Don’t worry. You weren’t the only one. Making the cable TV rounds to unveil a public service announcement campaign against ‘epidemic’ cell phone use and texting on the road, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood revealed bizarre and alarming plans on Wednesday to install devices in cars that would block a driver’s ability to communicate. ‘There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones, and we’re looking at that,’ he threatened. LaHood — a liberal Republican and pork-addicted Chicago crony who embodies Obama ‘bipartisanship’ — envisions centralized government mechanisms to shut off commuters’ BlackBerries and iPhones. … Like the rest of Obama’s radicals, the Transportation Department’s self-appointed cell phone czar is a power-hungry busybody hiding behind children to expand government’s reach. If only federal agencies came equipped with anti-big government ignition breathalyzer locks.” –columnist Michelle Malkin

Opinion in Brief

“The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice. Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. ‘When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees,’ Mica writes. ‘TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy. I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law.’ In addition to being large, impersonal, and top-heavy, what really worries critics is that the TSA has become dangerously ineffective. Its specialty is what those critics call ‘security theater’ — that is, a show of what appear to be stringent security measures designed to make passengers feel more secure without providing real security. ‘That’s exactly what it is,’ says Mica. ‘It’s a big Kabuki dance.’ Now, the dance has gotten completely out of hand.” –columnist Byron York

Don’t miss this story about the TSA taking nail clippers from an armed soldier.

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“Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions.” –George Washington

The Gipper

“Two hundred years ago, the Congress of the United States issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation stating that it was ‘the indispensable duty of all nations’ to offer both praise and supplication to God. Above all other nations of the world, America has been especially blessed and should give special thanks. We have bountiful harvests, abundant freedoms, and a strong, compassionate people. I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom. Our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness, and freedom. Today we have more to be thankful for than our pilgrim mothers and fathers who huddled on the edge of the New World that first Thanksgiving Day could ever dream. We should be grateful not only for our blessings, but for the courage and strength of our ancestors which enable us to enjoy the lives we do today. Let us reaffirm through prayers and actions our thankfulness for America’s bounty and heritage.” —Ronald Reagan

Government

“In 1920, when the top tax rate was 73 percent, for people making over $100,000 a year, the federal government collected just over $700 million in income taxes — and 30 percent of that was paid by people making over $100,000. After a series of tax cuts brought the top rate down to 24 percent, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income tax revenue — and people making over $100,000 a year now paid 65 percent of the taxes. How could that be? The answer is simple: People behave differently when tax rates are high as compared to when they are low. With low tax rates, they take their money out of tax shelters and put it to work in the economy, benefitting themselves, the economy and government, which collects more money in taxes because incomes rise. High tax rates, which very few people are actually paying, because of tax shelters, do not bring in as much revenue as lower tax rates that people are paying. It was much the same story after tax cuts during the Kennedy administration, the Reagan administration and the Bush Administration. The New York Times reported in 2006: ‘An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.’ Expectations are in the eyes of the beholder — and in the rhetoric of the demagogues. If class warfare is more important to some politicians than collecting more revenue when there is a deficit, then let the voters know that. And spare us so-called ‘deficit reduction commissions.'” –columnist Thomas Sowell

For the Record

“In the future, historians may likely mark the 2010 midterm elections as the end of the California era and the beginning of the Texas one. In one stunning stroke, amid a national conservative tide, California voters essentially ratified a political and regulatory regime that has left much of the state unemployed and many others looking for the exits. … This state of crisis is likely to become the norm for the Golden State. In contrast to other hard-hit states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada, which all opted for pro-business, fiscally responsible candidates, California voters decisively handed virtually total power to a motley coalition of Democratic-machine politicians, public employee unions, green activists and rent-seeking special interests. In the new year, the once and again Gov. Jerry Brown, who has some conservative fiscal instincts, will be hard-pressed to convince Democratic legislators who get much of their funding from public-sector unions to trim spending. Perhaps more troubling, Brown’s own extremism on climate change policy — backed by rent-seeking Silicon Valley investors with big bets on renewable fuels — virtually assures a further tightening of a regulatory regime that will slow an economic recovery in every industry from manufacturing and agriculture to home-building.” –columnist Joel Kotkin

Faith & Family

“It has become an annual tradition: The days grow shorter, the holidays approach, and the American Humanist Association rolls out an ad campaign promoting atheism and disparaging religion. Last year, the organization placed ads reading ‘No god? No problem!’ on billboards and buses in more than a dozen cities. Its theme in 2008 was: ‘Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.’ This year, the association is taking a more combative tone. It is spending $200,000 to ‘directly challenge biblical morality’ in advertisements appearing on network and cable TV, as well as in newspapers, magazines, and on public transit. … Can people be decent and moral without believing in a God who commands us to be good? Sure. There have always been kind and ethical nonbelievers. But how many of them reason their way to kindness and ethics, and how many simply reflect the moral expectations of the society in which they were raised? In our culture, even the most passionate atheist cannot help having been influenced by the Judeo-Christian worldview that shaped Western civilization. ‘We know that you can be good without God,’ [executive director of the American Humanist Association Roy] Speckhardt tells CNN. He can be confident of that only because he lives in a society so steeped in Judeo-Christian values that he takes those values for granted. But a society bereft of that religious heritage is one not even Speckhardt would want to live in. For in a world without God, there is no obvious difference between good and evil.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

Culture

“I’ve long held that Hispanics owe a debt of gratitude to African-Americans. They, more than any group, have shown us what allegiance to the Democrat party can bring: The disintegration of the African American family, the targeting of black mothers for abortions by left-wing groups like Planned Parenthood, the lowering of the bar for African American students in state-sponsored schools. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Oddly enough, I have the Reverend Al Sharpton to thank for my current view. Back in 2003, when the good Reverend was seeking the Democrats nomination for president, he said this, “We must no longer be the political mistresses of the Democratic Party.” It was a rare moment of honesty and admission that he and compatriot Jesse Jackson may have made a mistake in taking the African American community down the road of victimhood, represented by the Democrats, instead of the road of empowerment, represented by the conservative wing of the GOP. Sharpton’s words changed my life. I was bound and determined that I, my family, and any other Hispanic that would listen, would never become victims and reliant on an all-powerful government for my existence. But I knew I had powerful force aligned against me. I saw many leftist Latinos seeking to take the Hispanic community down Sharpton’s road of victimhood.” –talk-show host Chris Salcedo

Reader Comments

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PS: I continue to pass out copies of Essential Liberty to anyone I think has a chance of ‘getting it.’ What a terrific little book!”

“We should really be encouraged by Mitch McConnell’s Damascus Road experience this week. His office said his phone lines were really lit up the day he turned around. Mark Alexander’s essay is a great rallying cry for Republicans in the months to come. Let’s not let up.” –Jim

“We wouldn’t need earmarks for our representatives ‘to bring home the bacon’ if they would leave the bacon at home.” –Wayne

“Interesting how the federal government wants to save our lives by scrambling cell phones in automobiles yet scrambles to pay for the abortion of innocent children.” –Bob

The Last Word

“After Muslim terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria tried to detonate explosive material in his underwear over Detroit last Christmas, the government began requiring nude body scans at airports. The machines, which cannot detect chemicals or plastic, would not have caught the diaper bomber. So, again, no hijackers were stopped, but being able to see passengers in the nude boosted the morale of airport security personnel by 22 percent. After explosives were inserted in two ink cartridges and placed on a plane headed to the United States from the Muslim nation of Yemen, the government banned printer cartridges from all domestic flights, resulting in no improvement in airport security, while requiring ink cartridges who traveled to take Amtrak. So when the next Muslim terrorist, probably named Abdul Ahmed al Shehri, places explosives in his anal cavity, what is the government going to require then? … Only because the terrorists are Muslims do we pretend not to notice who keeps trying to blow up our planes. … If the government did nothing more than have a five-minute conversation with the one passenger per flight born outside the U.S., you’d need 90 percent fewer Transportation Security Administration agents and airlines would be far safer than they are now. Instead, Napolitano just keeps ordering more invasive searches of all passengers, without exception — except members of Congress and government officials, who get VIP treatment, so they never know what she’s doing to the rest of us.” –columnist Ann Coulter


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(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)

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