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Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Via mondieu2u2, Belle Grove
Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings, then get a job.
Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.
In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a "government" job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good..”
Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules.. Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin their "self esteem," consider that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
AND While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.
Michelle’s back, and she’s madder than ever. She was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything. As her husband wrapped up the Democratic nomination in 2008, she let fly her real feelings: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” A few months into her job as first lady, her French counterpart asked how she liked the gig: “Don’t ask!” she reportedly spat. “It’s hell. I can’t stand it!”
She even seems to be mad at her silver-tongued husband. When the two were to set off on a luxurious 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, she left early - four hours early - and flew up alone. And those private vacations. She’s traveled to some of the world’s most plush resorts, taking 42 days off in the past year - that’d be eight weeks of vacay time if she held down a normal job.
Now, she is ready to spew her bilious disgust with America on the campaign trail. A dignified, transcendent first lady? No chance. Michelle is going to break with a hundred years of tradition and play the role of attack dog, heaping derision on her husband’s political opponents like no other first lady before her.
The NCLB bipartisan rewrite was undertaken by Republican Michael Enzi (Wyo.) and Democrat Tom Harkin (Iowa) who presented the Senate’s education committee with a 1000-page bill that they wanted action on inside of two hours. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) objected and asked for a three-week read and ended up having to use a procedural technique to get just a bit more time before the Senate panel voted. Paul also offered over 70 amendments, the first of which was to completely repeal NCLB but that was defeated. It has now moved out of committee with a 15-7 vote; 3 out of 10 Republicans supported the bill.
Currently, the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 (ESEA) -- the No Child Left Behind title was considered to have a bad connotation -- now reduced to 860 pages, does not contain the Adequate Yearly Progress provision that measures schools and school districts’ achievements based on standardized tests. It would enshrine into law President Obama’s Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation programs that some see as selecting winners and losers through creative grant-writing awards. For those schools labeled “failing,” one of six government options would need to be adopted for expected improvements, and although alternative school improvement strategies could be allowed, this would be with the Education Secretary’s approval, only.
What is contained in the bill is a huge set of rules and regulations that boggle the mind, and the federal government’s huge imprint on public education. As Sen. Paul noted, there are great similarities between the NCLB rewrite and ObamaCare wherein no one will know exactly what’s in the bill until after it’s passed. As with ObamaCare there are already 37 states lining up to get waivers from the Obama administration. These waivers will only be granted to states that agree to change their educational programs in ways that the Obama administration views as favorable. Even Democrats are a bit leery of the waivers, while Republicans see them as an executive branch circumvention of legislative branch authority.
A filibuster could be attempted in the Senate, but Harkin reports that it is Republican Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) who has come up with a “very good idea of how we would handle it on the floor. I thought it was quite ingenious.” Congressional Quarterly noted that one way to shut down any filibuster attempt would be to have Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attach “the entire bill as an amendment to legislation that has already passed both chambers but has not yet been signed into law. The leaders would still need 60 votes to end debate, but that would circumvent the cloture vote needed to end a filibuster of a motion to proceed.” There’s also a move afoot by Republican John Kline (Minn.) to reauthorize NCLB/ESEA through the piecemeal technique -- three bills, one bite at a time.
These questionable technical procedures show the serious intent of those whose aim it is to increase federal red tape and control of education. It’s not about reform; it’s about centralizing more power into the hands of politicians, absolutely destroying local decision-making authority over education policies.
Contact your Representative and Senators with a prewritten, editable message and tell them to dismantle and completely eliminate NCLB/ESEA requirements. The devil is not in the details for this legislation, neither is it about the colossal failure to meet the stated goals of NCLB. Instead it is the unconstitutionality of federal intrusion in education. The Constitution never gave the federal government authority to be involved in education; however, the federal Education Department now spends many tens of billions of dollars each year. Tell your congressmen to return educational authority back to where it belongs, according to the Founding Fathers ‘intent,' to the local community and never higher than the state level.
Your friends at The John Birch Society
The amount of monthly crimes by illegal aliens in NC is staggering. These crimes are not compiled in any statewide database and that tends to make the problem look smaller than it really is. By issuing these reports, our goal is to draw attention to the size and scope of the problem in NC. This is not ALL of the crimes by suspected illegal aliens in NC, it is just the ones we could gather and post in one month's time. We do not report on every NC county each month simply because we don't have a staff large enough to cover the magnitude of the problem.
This ongoing and worsening crime wave on our citizens by illegal aliens has got to stop. It is killing us: financially, emotionally and physically.
North Carolinians For Immigration Reform and Enforcement
NCFIRE Hotline: 1-888-885-0879
Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe Announces Lawsuit Against NCAA Alleging Civil Rights Violations And Copyright Infringement
Sock it to them.Speaking at the tribal headquarters of the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation, attorney Reed Soderstrom announced a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging copyright infringement and civil rights violations. The Sioux tribe supports the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, but the NCAA has deemed them to be “hostile and abusive.”
“Today, the Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians, by and through its Committee of Understanding and Respect, and Archie Fool Bear, individually, and as Representative of more than 1004 Petitioners of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association in direct response to their attempt to take away and prevent the North Dakota Sioux Indians from giving their name forever to the University of North Dakota,” said Soderstrom in prepared remarks.
Soderstrom alleges that the NCAA has violated “the religious and first amendment rights of the Dakota Sioux tribes.” He also alleged a double standard in the application of the NCAA’s policy against the use of Native American names and imagery.
“Though the NCAA has decided ‘Fighting Sioux’ is derogatory, the NCAA supports the University of Illinois’ use of the name ‘Fighting Illini,’ and the use by Florida State University of the name ‘Seminoles’ along with the Seminole mascot – someone dressed in Native American attire who rides into the FSU stadium on a horse and throws a flaming spear before every home football game,” said Soderstrom. “The NCAA claims these are not derogatory depictions because the Illini people and the Seminole people approve of the use of the name and mascot. Inexplicably, the NCAA fails to accept the tribal vote and the sacred religious ceremony as endorsements of the name ‘Fighting Sioux’ by the North Dakota Sioux Nation.”
Sarah Maid of Albion
At the beginning of October I posted an update regarding the murder of the Viana family at their smallholding in Walkerville south of Johannesburg. The story being reported at the time was gruesome enough, Mrs Viana had been raped prior to her murder while her husband and 13 year old son had been tied up and killed. The family dog had also been killed.
Brutal as the crime had been, the police and the media continued to report that the family had been shot dead. However, as more information is coming out, it is becoming clear that, as usual in these circumstances, the police and the media lied, and in fact there was a significant degree of torture in the killings.
Piecing together the various reports, the following appears to be what actually happened.
The family were chased around their home being hacked at with pangas (machetes) as they ran, leaving blood smears and splashes in every room of their house.
Mr Tony Viana was overcome, tied up and then hacked to bits. His 46 year old wife, Giraldine, was raped repeatedly, before having a broken bottle inserted into her vagina. A similar method of torture was used against 76 year old Helen Lotter in a similar killing only last year.
Their thirteen year old son, was tied with his hands behind his back, and drowned in a bath, a bath which by some accounts contained boiling hot water.
The sequence of events is not entirely clear as to whether the child died before his parents or whether he was forced to watch their fate before he too was dispatched.
The family pet was hacked to pieces.
The suspects, are all black Africans, and one of whom is the 20 year old son on a family who had worked for the Vianas for many years.
(Many commentators at this blog are critical of white South Africans who employ black domestic staff in the current climate, however, this ignores the fact that under the racist employment laws currently in force in South Africa, it is all but impossible to employ whites in any capacity)
An equally horrific murder of a family of three was the killing of the Potgieger family back in December 40 year old Attie Potgieger had been stabbed and cut 152 times and took "many minutes to die", his wife and two year old daughter had also been cut, the tiny child finally killed, execution style with a bullet to the back of the head. (shockingly the careless newspaper reporting appears to refer to the little girl as as a son)
Massacres such as this are now commonplace in South Africa and the horrors reported here are merely the tip of a huge and bloody iceberg, yet, with a few very rare exceptions the world remains silent. The Western media remains silent, and so do most politicians. Brave Dutch politician Martin Bosma is currently under ferocious attack by the left wing and their craven supporters in media for daring to warn that the Afrikaner people are being destroyed (is Holland the only European nation which still breeds honourable men?) but his is but one voice drowned out by the baying apologists for genocide.
By their silence the western press and our contempt worthy politicians are accessories to what is taking place, I hope they will one day be held to account.
This just in from the Issa Committee:
WASHINGTON- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced the introduction of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (H.R. 3289). The legislation will strengthen provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act, originally enacted in 1989, for federal government employees who expose abuse, mismanagement, or criminal activity in federal agencies and programs.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is an original co-sponsor of the legislation, as are Rep. Todd Platts, R-Pa., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who sponsored whistleblower protection enhancement legislation last congress. Similar legislation was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last month. You can read a copy of the House legislation here.
“Whistleblowers play critical roles in exposing wrongdoing in government,” said Issa.“Federal employees who discover waste, abuse and mismanagement in their agency need to be able to alert agency leaders and Congress without fear of reprisal from supervisors, and within the confines of the law. This legislation establishes new protections for those who seek lawful ways to address abuse of taxpayer dollars.”
When enacted, the legislation will: close judicially-created loopholes in existing whistleblower protection law; extend whistleblower protection rights to some 40,000 airport baggage screeners; increase avenues for intelligence community whistleblowers to safely and legally expose waste, fraud and abuse at intelligence agencies; create specific protection in the law for scientific freedom; ensure a permanent anti-gag statute to neutralize classifications like “classifiable,” “sensitive but unclassified,” “sensitive security information” and other poorly defined security labels; establish consistency with other remedial employment laws; strengthen the Office of Special Counsel’s ability to seek disciplinary accountability against those who retaliate, and provides the OSC with authority to file friend of the court briefs in support of whistleblower rights cases appealed from the administrative level; create a pilot program to extend whistleblower protection to non-defense contractors.The legislation will be considered at a business meeting of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday November 3rd at 9:30 a.m. For more information, visit http://oversight.house.gov.
Are you listening, Van Jones? Precious few moments in America’s story have offered an opportunity like the one we have before us to realign politics and bend the long arc of history toward liberty. Occupy Wall Street activists decry the bank bailouts just as Tea Partyers have since 2009. Fine. If the occupiers really mean it, they should join the fight to finally end not just bailouts to banks, but all forms of corporate welfare.
The mainstream media has failed miserably to convince America that the Occupy protesters are anything like the Tea Partyers. Despite alarmist reporting over the past two years, Tea Party rallies have had no reported clashes with police. There has been no public defecation or masturbation. No Tea Party speakers have claimed that violence is necessary to achieve their goals. No Tea Partyers have suggested “we lop heads off a few white kids” so that people will “fall in line.” Nor have any Tea Partyers sought investigation of “Wall Street Jews.” No Tea Partyers have been arrested for rape, kidnapping or pimping out 16-year-olds for prostitution.
Occupy Wall Street has attracted interesting friends along the way. It garners support from such illustrious groups as the Communist Party USA, American Nazi Party, Socialist Party USA, Marxist Student Union, Black Panthers and the white supremacist group White Revolution. Sympathetic foreigners include Hezbollah, the North Korean government, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (the supreme leader of Iran), the Communist Party of China and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. American leaders who have expressed support for Occupy Wall Street include President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke. Wow. Imagine those gatherings.
Jacobin: in the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary far-left political movement. Wikipedia
Reign of Terror: The Committee of Public Safety came under the control of Maximilien Robespierre, a lawyer, and the Jacobins unleashed the Reign of Terror (1793–1794). According to archival records, at least 16,594 people died under the guillotine or otherwise after accusations of counter-revolutionary activities. A number of historians note that as many as 40,000 accused prisoners may have been summarily executed without trial or died awaiting trial. Wikipedia
Founding Father, Fisher Ames made some interesting observations in his time, which are quite relevant to today. Wherever you read “Jacobin” in Ames’ remarks, substitute “Marxist” or “Socialist.”
… whether it is envy that sickens at the fame of superiors, cupidity that seeks political power for the sake of plunder, or ambition that considers plunder as the instrument to get power; whether their characters are formed by the weak facility of their faith or their faith, determined by the sour, malignant, and suspicious cast of their temperament, yet all agree in this one point, all are moved by some fixed prejudice or strong passion, some powerful spring of action so blended with self-interest, or self love, and so exalted into fanaticism, that the ordinary powers of the man and the extraordinary powers conferred on the enthusiast, are equally devoted to their cause of anarchy.
Ames was referring to the Jacobins in France, but his observations ring startlingly true for today’s OWS crowd and the politicians who seek to make use of them. Ames feared the anarchy of a mobocracy,
A mobocracy, however, is always usurped by the worst men in the most corrupt times; in a period of violence by the most violent. It is a Briareus with a thousand hands, each bearing a dagger; a Cerberus gaping with ten thousand throats, all parched and thirsting for fresh blood. It is a genuine tyranny, but of all the least durable, yet the most destructive while it lasts. The power of a despot, like the ardor of a summer’s sun, dries up the grass but the roots remain fresh in the soil. A mob government, like a West India hurricane, instantly strews the fruitful earth with promiscuous ruins, and turns the sky yellow with pestilence. Men inhale a vapor like the sirocco, and die in the open air for want of respiration. It is a winged curse, that envelops the obscure as well as the distinguished, and is wafted into the lurking places of the fugitives. It is not doing justice to licentiousness to compare it to a wind which ravages the surface of the earth; it is an earthquake that loosens its foundations, burying in an hour the accumulated wealth and wisdom of ages. Those who, after the calamity, would reconstruct the edifice of the public liberty, will be scarcely able to find the model of the artificers, or even the ruins. Mountains have split and filled the fertile valleys, covering them with rocks and gravel; rivers have changed their beds; populous towns have sunk, leaving only frightful chasms, out of which are creeping the remnant of living wretches, the monuments and the victims of despair. This is no exaggerated description. Behold France, that open hell, still ringing with agonies and blasphemies, still smoking with sufferings and crimes, in which we see their state of torment, and perhaps our future state. There we see the wretchedness and degradation of a people, who once had the offer of liberty, but have trifled it away; and there we have seen crimes so monstrous, that, even after we know they have been perpetrated, they still seem incredible.
Little more than 100 years later, the Bolsheviks would triumph in Russia, ushering in a regime that would result in the deaths of millions through collectivization and artificial famines. Countless more would die under the communists in China.
Instead of these analogous movements, some apologists for the OWS crowd try to make comparisons with the Tea Party. They say that both are clamoring for change, and some even criticize the Tea Party for not joining the ranks of the unwashed in Zuccotti Park. But there is no comparison. The Tea Party would change and limit government, not destroy it. The Tea Party would revert to the rule of law and the Constitution, the nation’s supreme law. The OWS protestors would destroy it and replace it with Socialism. Too harsh?
A score of absurd cant opinions must be scouted, all which tend to make us like the jacobin designs a little more, and to dread and abhor their agents a little less. Take a specimen of the proselyting logic; the Jacobins, they tell us, are many of them honest men, but misled. Whether they will long remain honest, yet the associates of knaves and their fellow workers of iniquity, may be doubted. If the invectives against those who insist on being called honest, among the jacobins, are “too harsh and acrimonious” today, they will by tomorrow, or the next day, be sufficiently assimilated to the company they keep, and the designs they pursue, to merit them; they get a character for life only one day too soon.
And what is this company they are keeping? It’s a diverse crowd of really terrific groups like the Neo-Nazis in Phoenix, and CAIR, a front for the terrorist group, Hamas. These groups are not necessarily running the show, but they are undoubtedly comfortable with this crowd. Like it or not, one is judged by the company one keeps.
The press and many of the municipalities hosting Occupy protestors are doing all they can to manipulate public opinion in favor of the OWS movement. A Virginia-based Tea Party organization is suing the city of Richmond for a refund of the fees it payed (over $10,000) to legally assemble in plaza on three separate occasions. They haven’t charged the Occupy crowd anything and seem content to let them camp indefinitely. The press is very selective in its coverage of OWS. How much has the average person heard about stats like these?
Here are the 17 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Tuesday, November 1, 2011:
- Pomona CA police are being sued by the family of a man who was apparently unarmed when he was fatally shot be police 4 months after he filed an excessive force complaint involving an incident partially caught on video where he was allegedly tasered and punched while cuffed.  bit.ly/vZhUse
- Dolton IL cop was arrested on civil rights & obstruction charges for allegedly beating 2 people. He then allegedly threatened the police chief with bodily harm for cooperating with the federal investigation into the incident.  bit.ly/tmrAiV
- 4 Houston TX cops are under investigation as a man plans to file a lawsuit claiming he was beaten by the officers after stopped by police while riding his bicycle late at night.  bit.ly/rEJzdW
- New York NY police detective was convicted for planting drugs in order to arrest innocent people to meet his quotas. The judge in the case expressed his shock about just how pervasive this activity is within that department’s “cowboy culture”.  nydn.us/uWqxcc
- Burns Harbor PA police lost an excessive force suit but only had to pay $2000 to a man claiming an officer injured him when he yanked him from his car and kneeled on him after he was in a crash caused by his low blood sugar, which the officer mistook for drunk driving.  bit.ly/t3mMdN
- Louisiana state trooper was arrested on a rape charge after an investigation into an alleged incident that occured while he was on sick leave.  tnsne.ws/vdDxz0
- Largo FL plans to settle suit for $65k to a woman claiming a MADD award-winning cop arrested her on a false DUI charge then broke her ribs when he slammed her into a wall. The DUI charges were dropped, probably in part due to evidence her lawyers say includes a video from another DUI stop earlier that same evening where that officer tells another officer “I didn’t smell any alcohol, but just say I did.” The officer in question no longer works there though… He moved on to the Tampa FL PD.  bit.ly/t2KIs7
- Citronelle AL cop was convicted possession of stolen goods for stealing firearms he confiscated from motorists during traffic stops.  bit.ly/unCAg2
- Bethlehem PA cop fired for sparking a manhunt for an imaginary shooter after he lied about discharging his gun in a police HQ bathroom, the officer filed suit in response.  bit.ly/twmUAJ
- US FBI agent convicted for making false statements in an effort to help an informant that he had sex with avoid conviction on identity theft charges.  bit.ly/v4dNTX
- McIntosh Co GA sheriff was indicted on an obstruction charge and 2 of his deputies were indicted for illegally removing files from the sheriff’s dept  bit.ly/snXoCc
- Caledonia MN police chief was suspended for 2 weeks w/o pay for unspecified misconduct and officials refuse to discuss why.  bit.ly/s4Smir
- Seattle WA police are being criticized for refusing to reveal whether a police detective who crashed his unmarked police SUV into a car while he was allegedly drunk was on duty at the time or not.  bit.ly/tZ4on0
- Canton MO police chief was sentenced to 5mo house arrest & probation for lying when he filled out paperwork to buy a gun that he then gave to a known felon.  bit.ly/smADah
- Philadelphia PA judge threw out evidence in a politician’s DUI case after one cop changed his testimony and another testified that only 1/2 of the people he’s arrested for DUI ended up being drunk.  bit.ly/rpKHC1
- Twin Rivers CA school police union apologized for selling t-shirts that had a picture of a jailed child that was captioned “You raise em, we cage em”. This came on the heels of outcry over the death of a suspect in police custody and allegations the department has been overstepping their authority beyond the schools they work for.  bit.ly/tJBGEJ
- Ohio state trooper involved in 2008 MLK Day KKK prank cited for DUI while off duty, tried to claim he wasn’t driver  http://bit.ly/ufsGPd
In an update to a report already tracked, Buena Park CA brutality suit was settled for $100k to a man claiming he was beaten & tasered for giving a cop a “man hug”. The report previously cited the settlement sum as unspecified. bit.ly/vfHg7n
“I’ve been trying to think what rational explanation there could be for creating and doing Fast and Furious the way that they did it where they let these guns walk away. And I can’t come up with anything short of thinking that this was a political ploy to bring gun trafficking into Mexico into the news to support some sort of anti-firearm agenda.”
-- Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), July 13, 2011The fallout over the Obama Administration’s gun running scandal -- known as Operation Fast and Furious -- continues to pick up steam. The national media continues to reveal how more and more people in the Administration knew that guns were “walking” south of the border.The latest revelation came this week when Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer admitted that he was familiar with the “gun walking” tactic, and that he supposedly regrets not having taken action.Breuer made this confession while testifying before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Tuesday.Next week, Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the full Senate Judiciary Committee. And, as in the House, Senators will want to know: “What did Holder know, and when did he know it?”As more information comes to light, it seems all too clear that Operation Fast and Furious was simply a way for the administration to make a case for more gun control restrictions.Rep. Farenhold demonstrated that he “gets it” when he noted that Fast and Furious was simply a “political ploy to bring gun trafficking into Mexico into the news to support some sort of anti-firearm agenda.”And considering the number of agencies that were involved in this operation (ATF, FBI, IRS, DEA and ICE), it seems implausible that Attorney General Holder was ignorant of what was transpiring, especially when one considers that he was receiving regular updates from his subordinates.Holder has claimed he only found out about Fast and Furious this year. But House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa says:How is it that the Number Two, Three, Four at Justice all knew about this Program but the Number One [Attorney General Eric Holder] didn’t? Is it because he said “don’t tell me”? Is it because they knew what they were doing was wrong and they were protecting their boss? Or is it just that Eric Holder was so disconnected ….As we have stated all along: Either Holder is lying about the fact he didn’t know early on about Fast and Furious or he is inept. Either way, Eric Holder needs to step down.ACTION: Please Click here to urge your Senators to join the *17 Representatives who have already called for Eric Holder’s resignation.
* I read yesterday that there are now 28.
“How would you like to have both of your arms cut off?”
The Union War by Gary W. Gallagher
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 2011
215 pages, $27.95
Of the more than one hundred and fifty names applied to the conflict that tore apart our nation a century and a half ago, Gary Gallagher’s new book, The Union War, makes a strong case that his title is perhaps one of the more accurate we can ascribe to our most uncivil war.
Shedding the evolved, often comfortable (and yes, PC) reinterpretations that 15 decades hence have burdened on modern America, Gallagher explores the motives and musings of contemporary accounts, rediscovering what the Boys in Blue wrote home, what the headlines heralded, what the speeches touted. And what the President really said.
In a robust challenge to established academia, Gallagher notes that “beginning in the 1970s, historians embarked on a massive reevaluation of emancipation and black military participation as elements of the Union war effort." (and concluded that) "The effect has been to illuminate many hitherto hidden dimensions of the war while at the same time creating a new set of distortions.”
In the very next sentence, Gallagher reminds us of our roots, offering both warning and wisdom to all who follow this path: “Any attempt to comprehend the roles of slavery and emancipation must differentiate between the war’s causes and goals for which most loyal citizens fought.”
For those needing a reminder on what the war’s true purpose was, Gallagher cites Lincoln’s famous 1862 reply to Horace Greeley:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.
Indeed, contemplate what might have happened had Robert E. Lee not resigned and joined the Confederate war effort, but instead accepted Washington’s offer to lead the Union army? Or if George McClellan had taken Richmond in 1862? Victory then would have restored the Union … but kept slavery intact.
Still, what about Union war aims post Emancipation Proclamation? As late as the summer of 1864, Lincoln, enduring enormous stress and with just eight months to live, bluntly restated his war purpose to visiting Wisconsin Governor Alexander Randall and journalist Joseph T. Mills:
My enemies say I am now carrying on this war for the sole purpose of abolition. It is & will be carried on so long as I am President for the sole purpose of restoring the Union. But no human power can subdue this rebellion without using the Emancipation lever as I have done.
Gallagher keeps us focused on the reality of those years:
Eventually, most loyal citizens, though profoundly prejudiced by twenty-first century standards and largely indifferent toward enslaved black people, embraced emancipation as a tool to punish slaveholders, weaken the Confederacy, and protect the Union from future internal strife.
Using what is regarded today as the war’s most famous speech to make his point, Gallagher criticizes a number of mainstream academia's most prominent, warning us for example, that in Garry Wills’ Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America, Wills’ "soaring claims for the Gettysburg Address can seduce the unwary into connecting the speech to wartime conceptions of what was at stake. In fact, Wills allocates almost no attention to contemporary reaction."
Gallagher levels similar critiques at James Oakes, Douglas L. Wilson, and especially Eric Foner, citing numerous sources that show "none of these authors established any direct connection between Lincoln’s remarks at Gettysburg and the loyal citizenry’s ideas about the war’s overarching purpose."
Might Gallagher be exposing a classic example of historians reshaping history to fit perceived contemporary needs?
The Union War is a breath of fresh air, a balanced, documented reminder to all Americans of this conflict's primary purpose, drawing upon the words not only of the commander-in-chief, but the soldiers and citizens themselves to tell us what it was they were fighting for.
Gregg welcomes your comments and suggestions and hopes you’ll become a regular subscriber. Just click on the subscribe link at top to receive online Gregg’s articles when they are published.
Gary Gallagher's The Union War
Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members' financial disclosure forms.
Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress.
Two years ago, Roll Call found that the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. Roll Call calculates minimum net worth by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities.
According to financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress this year, the minimum net worth in the House has jumped to $1.26 billion, and Senate net worth has climbed to at least $784 million, for a Congressional total of $2.04 billion.
These wealth totals vastly underestimate the actual net worth of Members of Congress because they are based on an accounting system that does not include homes and other non-income-generating property, which is likely to tally hundreds of millions of uncounted dollars. In addition, Roll Call's tally is based on the minimum values of assets reported by Members on their annual financial disclosure forms; the true values of those assets may be much higher.
While wealth overall is scattered fairly evenly between the two parties, there is an interesting divide in the two chambers. Democrats hold about 80 percent of the wealth in the Senate; Republicans control about 78 percent of the wealth in the House.
In 1992, the Clinton Administration ordered the Boston Federal Reserve Bank to undertake a study of racial discrimination in mortgage lending and appointed the investigative staff to undertake the study. The study showed that blacks and Hispanics were rejected for mortgage loans more frequently than whites. On that basis the Clinton Administration launched the most costly and far-reaching social crusade in American history. New precedents were set in the exercise of government power over private lenders and their underwriting criteria.
Private banking analysts and economists quickly established that the study was flawed in the extreme The Clinton Administration study did not take into consideration the net worth, debt burden, and employment record of applicants. Also omitted from the study were factors such as the size of the down payment and the loan to value ratio. Moreover, it did not consider whether borrower submitted information could be verified. When this missing data was factored in, it was found that the mortgage lenders were exercising normal business judgment rather than the alleged racial discrimination.
Nevertheless, in early 1994, the Clinton Administration claimed that racial and ethnic discrimination by mortgage lenders had caused racial disparity in homeownership rates and declared political war on “racist lenders.” On April 15, 1994, the White House issued an ultimatum backed by all the power of the Federal Government that mortgage lenders had to ease credit standards for lower income minorities or face investigations of racial discrimination, adverse publicity, denial of access to secondary mortgage markets, fines, and other penalties. In short, the Clinton Administration bullied the banks and mortgage lenders into lowering—in fact, practically eliminating—credit standards for minorities.
This unprecedented Federal license for bullying and despotism was codified in a 20-page document called “Policy Statement on Discriminatory Lending.” Clinton also set up an interagency Task Force on Fair Lending backed by no less than ten federal agencies. Signing this edict were such notables as Attorney General Janet Reno, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Henry Cisneros, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig, and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) warned the banking industry that they should be proactive in making “multicultural” loans, and that even unintentional discrimination was against the law. It also warned lenders that they must be prepared to prove to federal regulators and prosecutors that rejection of minority applicants, even those with high debt ratios and low credit scores, was not racial discrimination. This was accompanied by a Justice Department statement threatening “the full range of its enforcement authority.”
Some of us older folks remember the days when our liberties were held in higher esteem. We remember when the burden of proof was on the government to prove a crime and when running a business was not burdened by government regulations that made a crime of what were formerly important economic freedoms.
Thus the Federal Government, in the name of “affirmative action,” virtually intimidated the banking industry out of exercising sound credit and business practices. In 1996, only about three percent of Fannie Mae mortgages were made with down payments of five percent or less. By 2007, it had risen to over 25 percent. HUD’s so-called “affordable-housing loans” as a percent of total mortgages went from less than 40 percent to 55 percent in the same period. There was rejoicing in Washington that government housing and lending policies were lifting the poor into the middle class. Wiser voices were silenced by a full-court-press of legislation, regulations, government propaganda, and mandated political correctness. The actual results have been to perpetuate poverty and crush middle class prosperity.
A tree is still best known by its fruit, and bad policies eventually have bad consequences. Like termites, the accumulating damage of foolish government policies may take years to become visible to most of the public—government secrecy, propaganda, and ardent campaigns of political correctness often suppress the truth of their results. Unfortunately, the G. W. Bush administration elected in 2000 embraced Clinton’s misguided affirmative action lending mandates as a sacred cow until their malignant results became impossible to ignore.
Eventually, government mandated sub-prime loans began defaulting in numbers that should have been expected by sound banking analysis. But to politicians who seem never to anticipate consequences beyond the immediate, it was shocking. The bankers were decried as the greedy villains who must be punished. They were actually accused of exploiting the poor by giving them the loans that the government demanded be given to them. Those who exploited the public by selling them bundles of highly risky mortgages were guilty of terrible business judgment and ethical irresponsibility, but it was primarily political vote buying and government bullying that seeded the financial disaster. The panic that followed led to spending trillions of dollars on bailouts and stimulus plans that did not work. Honest and reasonable economic analysis would have predicted their failure and subsequent more serious economic consequences. Now we are in a terrible economic mess that has cost millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in individual investment savings.
Throwing gasoline on the fire, we have a President schooled only in Marxist political tactics and rhetoric, who is clueless on how a capitalist economy works and why it works much better than a socialist economy. We have a President who is determined to replace economic freedom with bigger and more coercive government.But smile, you can feel good about yourself and America. All the financial and economic pain we are suffering is for good causes—affirmative action mortgages, multiculturalist social engineering, and limitless government power.
Representatives of “the 99 percent” have been camping out in lower Manhattan to protest economic inequality since late September, but the riches on display at some of their home addresses clearly came from “1 percent” families.
We searched Google Maps and the real estate Multiple Listing Service for the home addresses police collected during the arrests of less-than-law-abiding New York City “occupiers,” and found dream homes aplenty. These opulent houses include in-ground swimming pools, manicured lawns, and golf course access.
Frustrated with the rich? Tell a protester. Isn’t life rough?
Being a dictator must be an amazing intoxicant.
Given the choice between keeping his throne or living a life of lavish luxury in exile, Muammar Gaddafi chose to stay “in power” and live like a rat. When discovered, he was found in a sewer drain looking very undictatorlike.
That had to be tough for Gaddafi, the man who set the standard for dictator couture. Yet he surrendered all the glitter and glam to remain in Libya until the bitter end, clad in tatters and funkier than a fat man’s drawers.
But Gaddafi gave up more than his coif. He also chose to relinquish his bevy of beautiful babes. Though he had few wives by Muslim standards, Gaddafi was a ladies’ man. His nurse had been a voluptuous blonde Ukrainian woman named Galyna Kolotnytska. Until recently she was at his side 24/7. Kolotnytska abandoned Gaddafi in February when a Ukrainian defense ministry aircraft flew 185 people out of Libya.“How do I know he was crazy? Because he hadn’t FLED THE COUNTRY WITH HIS AMAZON WOMEN and his BILLIONS OF DOLLARS!”
Her departure didn’t put a dent in his entourage, as Gaddafi always had gorgeous amazon bodyguards at his side. Can you imagine super-tough runway models surrounding you 24/7? Ladies, can you picture having deadly Chippendale dancers at your beck and call? Having that type of protection should compel the average dictator to retire in luxury. With all that pleasure, who needs power?
Gaddafi’s bodyguards were supposedly required to be virgins, and each would give her life to protect Gaddafi. These women were willing to sacrifice orgasms in order to protect that wrinkly old loon. Yet when Gaddafi was captured, his amazons had vamoosed.
I suspect they were somewhere getting laid, as they realized he was crazy, and they’d better make up for lost time. How do I know he was crazy? Because he hadn’t FLED THE COUNTRY WITH HIS AMAZON WOMEN and his BILLIONS OF DOLLARS!
Gaddafi was warned. But when the insurrection began, he was still hanging on like a hair on a biscuit.
The same is true of Saddam. He had more than enough warning to move mad money into other accounts and set up lavish residences almost anywhere, even if he had to use one of his crazy kids’ names. Yet at the end of his rule, there he was, hiding like a rat in a hole. Saddam went from using gold-plated toilets to copping a squat in the desert sand.
I don’t know how dictators think, and I would be a sorry dictator, as I can’t even get my dogs to sit longer than a pregnant woman can hold her pee. So far be it from me to get inside a dictator’s head. But can you really become that drunk with power?
What did Gaddafi expect to accomplish by hanging around? The chance of reclaiming his throne at age 80?
Let’s see what’s behind the two doors:
Door #1. Living in exile surrounded by luxury for the rest of my life.
Door #2. Being dragged out of a sewer hole, shot, and having a stick shoved up my butt in public. I also get to have the people I formerly oppressed drag me through the streets ridiculing me, spitting on me, and pummeling the crap out of me.
America has a lot of Congressmen who act like Third World dictators. Many have held office beyond what should be a reasonable limit and certainly beyond their usefulness. But like Gaddafi, America’s Congressmen believe they can stay for life. The only possible way a Congressman resigns in America is from shame. Even those who we know have committed crimes are rarely sent to jail.
America could learn something from Gaddafi’s undignified end—pardon the pun. Voters may not put Congressmen in fear for their lives for their abuses of power. But there has to be something we could do to keep them in check.
Anybody got a STICK?
You know that something is fundamentally wrong with the world when the President of the United States supports the supremacist movements that lead to incidents like this, and never says a critical word about the ideology of hatred and violence that forms their foundation. He turns a blind eye to the Muslim persecution of non-Muslims -- Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Bahais, Buddhists, and so many others -- wherever they are living in proximity to Musims, while at the same time pressuring the Jewish people of Israel to sacrifice precious land to Islamic invaders. Free people are besieged everywhere, and their former protector -- America -- has abdicated.
Muslims Stone Catholic Festival-Goers in France Islam versus Europe October 29 (hat tip Jack)
Muslims have attacked Christians attending a Catholic celebration in southern France.
The Joyeuse Union Don Bosco [Joyous Union Don Bosco] takes place in Nîmes, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady the Virgin of Santa Cruz, built by French people repatriated from the Algerian city of Oran following Algerian independence. These people were driven out of the place they grew up in by Muslim aggression. Now they face it in France too!After a day of welcoming and reunions, around 7 pm, the participants were leaving in their cars and vehicles when "young Arab immigrants" from the city started to throw stones at the vehicles descending from the sanctuary.
The local police, whose station is in this area, were immediately notified and the event organisers had to arrange a diversion to another route to protect the occupants of the vehicles from the savage attacks which continued.