Thursday, January 30, 2014
Liberalism Embraces the Soul of the Soviet Union
American liberalism, like all such political philosophies that ultimately rely on coercion for policy implementation, has completed its historical journey from altruism to totalitarianism.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), like the Obama Administration, recommends that the Internal Revenue Service be used to suppress the activities of the Tea Party because its members engage in political speech with which he disagrees.
Schumer proves that it is not unintentional bureaucratic malpractice, but brute governmental force perpetrated by one political party against those holding alternative political beliefs in order to restrict free speech and impose its own ideology on the country.
Liberals, deeming themselves morally superior, have developed the capacity to ignore a record of consistent failure because they mistakenly equate intentions with results. For liberals, public policy becomes an extension of their own self-deception and intellectual dishonesty.
Like the Soviet politburo i.e. "just one more five-year plan and we will be there, comrade," liberals are driven to retain power in order to prove that if extensive government intervention is tried often enough the results will eventually match their intentions.
It is a form of fanaticism which leads liberals to adopt an ends justify the means mentality and to apply an increasing amount of force to elicit outcomes that are not possible using the strategies they employ.
Liberals cannot win arguments on the basis of empirical evidence or logic. In a debate, they must resort to lying about their own policies, personally discrediting their opponents or suppressing the truth.
To explain their policies liberals speak in euphemisms, vague expressions or outright lies used to disguise their intent and obscure the harsh reality that will result through the implementation of those policies. It is the expropriation of language as a prelude to the expropriation of property and individual liberty. It is the fictional "Newspeak" of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four come to life, a political construction to make lies sound truthful and tyranny appear acceptable.
Liberal morality is based on the selective exploitation of, but not a belief in words like "justice" and "rights." Whether it is social, economic, racial, immigrant, reproductive or whatever faux-noble camouflage is required, it is little more than a means to leverage the politics of tribalism.
Liberal policies can only succeed in an atmosphere of totalitarian uniformity of thought and behavior, where we celebrate our collective indoctrination and genuflect at the altar of leftist orthodoxy.
Common Core, for example, is being marketed as a national standard for educational excellence, not the lowest common denominator for socialist brainwashing and homogeneity.
Abortion becomes reproductive rights, racial quotas become diversity, illegal aliens become undocumented workers, socialized medicine becomes healthcare reform, taxes become investment, propaganda becomes news, lies become spin and free speech becomes hate speech.
In Mountain of Crumbs, a memoir of childhood in the 1960s and 1970s Soviet Union, Elena Gorokhova explains the meaning of "vranyo", the Russian word for a lie or half-truth:
"In Russia we played the ‘vranyo' game on a daily basis. The government lied to us, we knew they were lying, they knew we knew they were lying, but they kept lying anyway and we pretended to believe them. "
During the Soviet era, "vranyo" became the de facto way of life, an instrument of governmental coercion as well as a coping mechanism to endure both unbearable calamities and trivial annoyances of life in a totalitarian state.
A society cannot be built on a foundation of lies. In America today we are asked to accept Liberalism's promises of a bright future, which bear no resemblance to its disastrous present.
It is time to puncture that delusion.
Obama’s Ambassador to Norway Knows Nothing About Norway
Norwegians are not happy about the next U.S. ambassador to their country—and for good reason; he’s a top Obama bundler that knows absolutely nothing about Norway, a country he admitted he's never even visited.
Asked by Senator John McCain what he thought it was about the "anti-immigration" Progress Party that appealed to Norwegian voters, Greek American businessman George Tsunis seemed unaware of the party's role in the ruling coalition.
"You get some fringe elements that have a microphone and spew their hatred," he said in the pre-appointment hearing. "And I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce them."
McCain interrupted him, pointing out that as part of the coalition, the party was hardly being denounced.
"I stand corrected," Tsunis said after a pause. "I would like to leave my answer at... it's a very,very open society and the overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount of people in parliament don't feel the same way."
The blunder came after a faltering, incoherent performance from Tsunis, in which he made a reference to Norway's "president", apparently under the impression that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy.
The New York businessman and lawyer donated $50,000 to McCain in 2008 before switching parties and bundling nearly $1 million for the president in 2012. So his performance during the recent Senate confirmation hearing is utterly unsurprising but infuriating nonetheless. Tsunis is glaringly unqualified for this position and didn’t so much as read Norway’s Wikipedia page to know the slightest bit about the country’s history, politics, and culture before the hearing.
“The nomination (of Tsunis) is nothing less than an insult against Norway,” one Norwegian wrote in an online debate on document.no, NewsInEnglish reports. “This makes it clear that the US kisses up to its enemies while it’s condescending towards its friends.”
Money talks, folks, and Harry Reid’s new rules for the Senate mean there’s no possibility of a filibuster, either. Perhaps this is why McCain sarcastically signed off the way he did: “I have no more questions for this incredibly, highly qualified group of nominees.”
British voters now as worried about immigration as the economy
Immigration is now the most important issue of concern to the British people, a poll has revealed. It came joint top with the economy in an Ipsos MORI poll of the public’s priorities for the Government.
Strikingly, in a single year, the proportion identifying immigration in their top priorities to Ipsos MORI has nearly doubled.
In the same period, the number citing the economy as their main concern fell by 11 percentage points, as unemployment and growth have picked up.
The poll is a double-edged sword for David Cameron. He will be boosted by confirmation that worries over the economy are declining. At the same time, it will embolden both his backbench opponents, who want much tougher action to reduce migrant numbers, and Ukip.
Earlier this week the Prime Minister was accused of complacency over immigration after he said the numbers arriving from Romania and Bulgaria were ‘reasonable’.
It later became clear that Mr Cameron has no idea how many are coming into the country because official figures will not be available until May.
The poll found that 41 per cent of those questioned raised immigration or race relations in their first two answers when asked: ‘What do you see as the most important issues facing Britain today?’ The economy was raised by the same proportion.
In the past 12 months, the number citing the economy has fallen by 11 points, from 52 per cent. Immigration, by contrast, has risen from 22 per cent to 41 per cent.
It is the first time since 2008 that immigration has come out on top, Ipsos MORI said. The economy has remained at the top since then.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘This is a most remarkable outcome. At last people feel free to give their true opinion about the impact of mass immigration on this country.’
The poll emerged as Mr Cameron was engaged in last-minute negotiations with rebel Conservative MPs demanding changes to the Immigration Bill when it returns to the House of Commons tomorrow.
Backbencher Nigel Mills is calling for rules restricting access to British jobs for workers from Romania and Bulgaria, which expired in January, to be restored.
Last night, government whips were said to be backing a compromise set of amendments proposed by another Tory backbencher, Stephen Phillips – which would give a vague duty to the Home Secretary to assess whether EU immigration is excessive in future.
A further rebel amendment, proposed by Tory MP Dominic Raab, would beef up laws on booting out foreign criminals. Last night, a Home Office memo blew a hole in the Government’s case for blocking his amendment.
Ministers have been resisting the amendment, which would make it all but impossible for overseas convicts to claim they have a right to a ‘family life’ in the UK.
They have insisted that the rules would flout the European Convention on Human Rights because they do not include sufficient safeguards.
Home Secretary Theresa May warned Downing Street last March that it could lead to a huge number of appeals being logged at the European Court of Human Rights.
She predicted the court could respond by issuing ‘a Rule 39 injunction’, which would halt up to 4,000 deportations a year for several years while all the appeals were heard.
But a memo prepared by the Home Office’s own officials, seen by the Mail, states that this is not the case. Officials working on the Bill say: ‘We do not expect interim measures under Rule 39 to be issued routinely, if at all.’
In the wake of her warning, Mr Raab failed last year in his attempt to get the amendment passed.
Last night, he said: ‘I welcome the fact that the earlier legal objections have been overcome. I hope this clears the way for the Government to accept this practical, common sense amendment, which will stop killers, rapists and drug dealers from running rings around our border controls.’
But the amendments face being defeated by being ‘talked out’. There are only around four hours set aside tomorrow to debate the Bill, including a raft of Home Office amendments.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are already passing legislation in the Bill to ensure judges don’t regard the right to a family life as an absolute and unqualified one.
‘Those who commit serious crimes have no place in Britain and we are determined to see more of them kicked out of the country.’
Meet Ukip, Britain's most working-class party
Ukip have been a firm feature on the electoral map for several years now, but they remain badly misunderstood by their fellow politicians, pundits and the media. This week, we kick off UkipWatch with a series of posts dispelling the five most popular myths about the party. We start today by looking at the politics of Ukip's supporters.
Myth No 1: Ukip's supporters are all grumpy Tories
It is certainly true that new recruits to Ukip are more likely to have voted for the Conservatives in 2010 than any other party. But portraying the Ukip rebellion as simply a split on the Right glosses over two important facts.
First, focusing on trends since 2010 is misleading. Ukip has only recruited most strongly from the Conservative Party since the Cameron-led government began. When Labour were in charge of the country under Tony Blair, and then Gordon Brown, Ukip picked up more support from Labour than from the Tories. Our chart below, which shows the previous vote choices of new Ukip recruits in the Labour and Coalition governments, illustrates this.
This is important, as it provides evidence that this revolt on the Right can mobilise hostility to whoever is in charge. Labour may currently be smiling as Ukip drains support from the Conservatives, but the tables may soon turn if Ed Miliband enters 10 Downing Street in 2015, and his party again becomes the focus of voter resentment. Even now, around one third of new Ukip recruits report backing someone other than the Conservatives at the last election – a fifth of their new support comes from former Lib Dems.
New Ukip voters' recalled vote in the previous general election: Labour government 2004-10 (light bars) and Coalition government 2010-13 (dark bars)
Focusing only on vote choices at the last general election is also misleading for another reason. The media like to portray Ukip as a revolt among traditional grassroots Conservatives, who feel neglected by Cameron's more centrist and socially liberal approach. But not everyone who backed Cameron's Conservatives in 2010 was a "true blue Tory", committed to the party for life. Many, for example, were former Labour voters who had steadily lost faith in the party over its long term of office, and who by 2010 felt willing to give Cameron’s Conservatives a try.
Framing Ukip’s voters as disillusioned former Tory loyalists misunderstands the movement. Some of these voters are certainly ex-Conservative "true believers". But others are people with much weaker links to Cameron’s party.
This leads us to our second point: the social background of Ukip supporters (and we’ve looked at thousands of them). Their profile is very different to the popular image. If Spitting Image were still around they would most likely portray the average Ukipper as a ruddy faced, middle-class, middle-aged golf club bore, who lived in a suburban semi-detached house in the Home Counties, wore lots of tweed and bored his neighbours to death by droning on about the evil Eurocrats in Brussels. But this stereotype could scarcely be further from the truth.
Ukip's supporters look more like Old Labour than True Blue Tories. Ukip's supporters tend to be blue-collar, older, struggling economically, and often live in poorer, urban areas, with big pools of support in the Labour heartlands of the North. Middle-class suburbanites do not dominate Ukip. They shy away from it.
In fact, Ukip are Britain’s most working-class party. Blue-collar workers are heavily over-represented. Middle-class professionals are scarce. Such voters often express as much hostility to the Conservative party as they do to Labour. This news should not be surprising. Earlier research on Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in the mid-1990s found that they too came from across the spectrum. But despite this research the “disaffected Tory thesis” has become entrenched in the Westminster village, and now dominates misguided coverage of the party.
Why is the myth of Ukip as an army of angry, middle-class suburbanites who are obsessed by Europe and having a referendum so widespread and persistent, when the reality is so different? Most likely because of the difference between Ukip's activists and their voters.
Committed activists and politicians, the kind of Ukipper the media are most likely to encounter, very often are middle-class, Southern and suburban former Tories (particularly the Ukippers you are likely to stumble across in the Westminster village, where most journalists congregate). Add to this the continual fascination in the media with Conservative splits over Europe and it is easy to see how the “Ukip = angry Tories + Euroscepticism” formula has taken hold.
But political activism, in any party, is a minority pursuit, and those who engage in it often look very different to the voters they represent. Most Westminster journalists have been around long enough to know that the figures who loiter in the halls of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative party conferences look, think and behave very differently to the voters who back these parties. Ukip are in many respects different from the established parties but this basic political rule – don't mistake the activists for the voters – applies to them too.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.