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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for December 15th, 2010

Patheos Magazine on ‘Palin Enragement Syndrome’

Posted by iusbvision on December 15, 2010

By Timothy Dalrymple

The fight over Sarah Palin is about a lot more than Sarah Palin. It’s about what America means. It’s about what things are truly good and trustworthy. It’s about the worldview and the values that will guide our government and society.

Neither the ferocious outpouring of hatred and derision she has received from the Left, nor the enthusiastic support she has received from the populist ranks of the Right, is caused by her actual record. Many of my liberal friends, whose contempt for Palin outstrips even the contempt they felt for George W. Bush, know little of her record. And half of what they know is wrong, as election-season falsehoods and exaggerations have hardened into “fact” in the minds of Palin’s cultured despisers. And many of my fellow conservatives know more about Barack Obama’s record than they know about Sarah Palin’s.

That’s for good reason. It’s not really about her past. Neither is it about her policies. Her conservative stances are a necessary but not sufficient explanation for why the Right loves and the Left loathes her. Many others who defend the same policies evoke nowhere near the same reaction.

Why, then, does every Sarah Palin item at the Huffington Post fill up with thousands or tens of thousands of hateful comments? Why have we seen, ever since she appeared on the national scene, articles like, “Why They Hate Her,” “Why They Hate Sarah Palin,” “Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin,” “Why Elite Women Hate Sarah Palin,” “Why Feminists Hate Sarah Palin,” “Why Do Liberals Hate Sarah Palin,” “Why Jews Hate Palin,” “Why Do Jews Hate Sarah Palin So Much,” and even “Americans Hate Sarah Palin”? Why do we find “Hate Sarah Palin Days” at The View and t-shirts professing hatred for Palin and not for Bobby Jindal? The mere sight of her is enough to raise the hackles of most progressives, and the recent success of her daughter on Dancing with the Stars drove many to fits of apoplexy.

So what is the reason for Palin Enragement Syndrome?

The loving and loathing, at least for most, have little to do with her past or her policies. They have to do with her persona. For the populist Right, Sarah Palin is a personification of all that is still good about America: rugged individualism and bootstrapping success, toughness and pluck, firm devotion to Christian family values, a commitment to the cause of life, and the kind of folk wisdom that cannot be gained through graduate degrees but is packaged in common sense and reinforced through the experience of a hardscrabble life. Palin also represents the blue-collar and no-collar ideal of a leader who comes up from the general ranks in a time of great trial in order to restore sanity and common-sense clarity to a government gone mad.

For the cultural elitists on the Left, Palin lacks everything they pride themselves on possessing, possesses everything they pride themselves on scorning, and stands for everything they pride themselves on opposing. She lacks cosmopolitan tastes and elite university credentials, a well-worn passport and fluency in foreign tongues, a blueblood vocabulary and literary speech patterns, not to mention a fashionable address and a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. She possesses a beauty-queen title and the wrong kind of good looks, a large brood of lily-white children with outdoorsy names like Track and Piper, a commoner’s cadence and a steady supply of you-betcha folksy phrases, and a background in conservative white evangelical and even Pentecostal churches. And she stands for the defense of the unborn, for heterosexual marriage, for premarital abstinence, for the extraction of our natural resources, for small government and second amendment rights, for conservative Judeo-Christian traditions and for American exceptionalism.

 

Patheos makes a good point here, especially for those who suffer from Palin Derangement Syndrome or have some type of emotional negative reaction to her I have noticed one thing that every last one of them I have encountered has in common, they are almost completely ignorant of her record as  a governor, regulator, mayor, city councilman and small business owner.

Take the emotionalism and the attitude that the media has attached to the Palin name ans ask them if they would consider voting for a candidate who did the following:

Oversaw the Growth of a small city  by a factor of four as mayor while keeping services at a level to meet the challenge and while maintaining low taxes.

Rooted out the corruption of bought off Republicans in state government and sent many bad actors packing. [For which much of the Alaska GOP hates her for and opposed her every step of the way. For Example GOP Senate leader Lyda Green tried to have the Alaska State of the State address moved an hour later so that Palin could not catch the last flight out of Juneau so that she would miss her sons high school graduation the next morning. Juneau is an on island so you have to fly out.  How much Chicago machine corruption did Obama root out?]

Cut the state budget while maintaining state services.

Cut the governors personal expenses by 80% over the previous governor.

Implemented a plan to begin weening the state off federal “earmarks”.

Pass sweeping ethics reforms and reform a state contract bidding process that was rigged and controlled by cronies.

That is just a sample of the Sarah Palin governing record. This also shows why the elite media and the Democrats do not wish to engage her on the facts and are primarily interested in smearing her.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Palin Truth Squad | 1 Comment »

My son’s school soccer team loses every game because his coach tries to force equality. So I took over the coaching duties for a day …

Posted by iusbvision on December 15, 2010

This is a great and inspiring read which also is a microcosm of what is wrong with public education.

By Barry Rubin

It‘s something of a stretch to compare a soccer game among eleven-year-old boys with the fate of the democratic world, but I’ve always managed to see big issues in small things.

My son is playing on a local soccer team which has lost every one of its games, often by humiliating scores. The coach is a nice guy, but seems an archetype of contemporary thinking: he tells the kids not to care about whether they win, puts players at any positions they want, and doesn’t listen to their suggestions.

He never criticizes a player or suggests how a player could do better. My son, bless him, once remarked to me: “How are you going to play better if nobody tells you what you’re doing wrong?” The coach just tells them how well they are playing. Even after an 8-0 defeat, he told them they’d played a great game.

And of course, the league gives trophies to everyone, whether their team finishes in first or last place.

I’d even seen an American television documentary about boys and sports which justified this approach, explaining that coaches were doing something terrible by deriding failure, urging competitiveness, and demanding victory. So were the kids really happier to be “relieved” of the strain of trying to win, “liberated” from feeling bad at the inequality of athletic talent?

Or am I right in thinking that sports should prepare children for life, competition, the desire to win, and an understanding that not every individual has the same level of skills? A central element in that world is rewarding those who do better, which also offers an incentive for them and others to strive, rather than thinking they merely need choose between becoming a government bureaucrat or dependent.

The playing field was perfectly even, but the boys were clearly miserable. They felt like losers, their behavior rejecting the claim that everything was just great, or that mediocrity was satisfactory as long as everyone was treated identically. They knew better than to think outcomes don’t matter.  In a truly sad gesture, one boy had suggested before still another losing game that they form a circle, put their hands in, and cheer themselves: “Like the good teams do.” Halfway into the season, the kids had even chosen a nickname for the team that expressed their sense of being weak losers.

When the opportunity came to step in as coach for one game, I jumped at the chance to try an experiment. I’ve never coached a sport before, and am certainly no expert at soccer despite my son’s efforts. Still, I thought the next game could be won by simply placing players in the positions they merited, and motivating them to triumph.

For the starting line-up, I put the best players in and kept them in as long as they didn’t say they were tired or seem fatigued. Of course, I adhered to the league rule that everyone play at least half the game, but I didn’t interpret that to mean that everyone should play precisely the same amount of time.

I didn’t put terrible players in at forward or in the goal. It didn’t take any genius to do so, just basic sports common sense. You don’t need Ayn Rand to tell you which way the wind blows.

Before the game, I gave them a pep talk, with the key theme as follows:

Every week you’ve been told that the important thing is just to have a good time. Well, this week it’s going to be different. The number one goal is to win; the number two goal is to have a good time. But I assure you: if you win, you will have a much better time!

And that’s just what happened. They took a 1-0 lead and held it, in contrast to the previous week when it was scoreless at the half but turned into a 3-0 humiliation when someone ill-suited was made goalkeeper just because he wanted that job.

When kids with fewer skills didn’t want to play defense, I pointed out that these were critical positions, since winning required preventing the other team from scoring. At the end, they performed heroically, holding off repeated attacks on their goal.

I worried that the boys who played less of the game and were given seemingly less significant positions would be resentful. But quite the opposite proved true.

With the team ahead, they were thrilled. One shouted from the sidelines something I thought showed real character: “Don’t let the good players do all the work!” Instinctively, he recognized that some players are better, but he wanted to bring everyone’s level up rather than down. I’m tempted to say he was going against what he was being taught in school.

They played harder, with a bit more pressure and a less equal share of personal glory than they’d ever done before. But after the victory, they were glowing and appreciative, amazed that they had actually won a game. Yes, winning and being allowed to give their best effort as a team was far more exciting and rewarding for them than being told they had done wonderfully by just showing up, that everyone should be treated equal as if there were no difference in talents, and that the results didn’t matter.

Suddenly, I noticed that one boy’s mother was really angry at him, claiming he hadn’t showed good sportsmanship because he was too happy over the victory. Not seeing anything that might have provoked her outrage, I wondered whether this was a suggestion that one should apologize for winning. Still, the bawling out didn’t put a damper on his big smile.

Next week, of course, they will be back to losing. But I think that perhaps they learned something useful to counter the indoctrination they are getting in school. If you don’t care about winning, you’re merely handing triumph to the other side. In a soccer league that might not matter, yet in personal life, your level of achievement and satisfaction is going to depend on giving your best effort.  If a country is indifferent to succeeding, the opposing team’s success might be very costly indeed.

As I said at the start, perhaps not too much should be read into this little parable. Yet the broader question may be the most significant issue of our time: why should Western democratic societies abandon the techniques and thinking that have led to such great success, in order to embrace failure as glorious or victory as shameful?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition, Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth about Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). The website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »

Photo of the Year: Sarah Palin Stalking a Caribou on the Alaskan Plain

Posted by iusbvision on December 15, 2010

Sarah Palin Stalking a Caribou

Sarah Palin Stalking a Caribou

She stalked her prey, shot it square in the neck, field dressed it and took it home to freeze for dinner.

Liberals freaked ;)

Tonight’s hunting episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska “controversial”? Really? Unless you’ve never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight’s episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy. :) – Sarah Palin

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »

Video: More Teachers Gone Wild – You will never think the same of the teachers’ union again.

Posted by iusbvision on December 15, 2010

James O’Keefe at Project Veritas strikes again.  Are government unions really necessary? Pay special attention to the union’s statements about how they will protect teachers who touch students inappropriately.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild | Leave a Comment »

City councilman calls cops on boys’ cupcake sale

Posted by iusbvision on December 15, 2010

Pinhead of the Year: New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn (D-NY)

 

I have seen some pretty dumb politicians in my time, but when you think you have seen it all, another comes along just to remind you that there is still room to sink lower. On a side note, I could not find one elite media news outlet that mentioned Wolfensohn’s political party. Is it just that a Democrat hates the idea of any private business going on unless he gets a cut?

Lower Hudson Valley.com:

NEW CASTLE — When Andrew DeMarchis and Kevin Graff, two 13-year-olds from Chappaqua’s Seven Bridges Middle School, set up shop at Gedney Park on a fall weekend last month, they were expecting a tidy profit.

Instead, the two wannabe entrepreneurs selling cupcakes, cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie treats baked by them for $1 apiece got a taste of cold, hard bureaucracy .

New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn came upon the sale and called the cops on the kids for operating without a license.

The boys’ parents are incensed and can’t believe a Town Board member would handle the situation that way.

“I am shocked and sad for the boys. It was such a great idea, and they worked hard at it,” said Laura Graff, Kevin’s mother. “But then some Town Board member decided to get on his high horse and wreck their dreams.”

DeMarchis and Graff, along with two other classmates, Zachary Bass and Daniel Katz, had a simple, if half-baked, business plan: sell their treats at Gedney Park for a couple of years and save up enough to open a restaurant.

Their first day was wildly successful, the boys said. They netted $120, of which they invested $60 to buy a cart from Target and added water and Gatorade to their offerings on their second day, the next Saturday, Oct. 9.

After about an hour of brisk business , during which DeMarchis and Graff — Bass and Katz were not with them — said they made $30, police arrived at their stand and asked them to shut it down.

“The police officer was extremely pleasant. He said he was sorry to have to do this, but that he was following up on a report filed over the phone by a Town Board member,” said Suzanne DeMarchis, Andrew’s mother, who was called to the scene. “Kevin was so upset, he was crying all the whole way home. He was worried if he was going to get arrested or have a criminal record.”

The boys, all of whom had bar mitzvahs this year, had done projects to benefit charities in the community, their parents said. The projects included collecting books for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and raising money for Haiti earthquake victims.

“These are good kids who haven’t once gone to the principal’s office,” said Laura Graff, Kevin’s mother. “This was a very scary experience for them.”

This month, after receiving a complaint from a friend of the DeMarchis family, The Journal News filed a New York state Freedom of Information Law request for the police report. The report, received Wednesday, listed Wolfensohn as filing the complaint.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »