Sunday, November 23, 2014

Caesarism — Obama’s Executive Order is an open invitation to the teeming masses around the world: we are paying people to come here illegally


As “Emperor Obama”—to cite a title applied to Barack Obama by House Speaker John BoehnerSenator Jeff Sessions, and others—proceeds with his plan to trample the Constitution by issuing an Executive Order on amnesty for illegals 
writes Breitbart's Virgil (hat tip to Joe Miller),
perhaps it’s worth looking back to see how the authors of the Constitution might have reacted to such a crisis.

The short answer is that the Founders worried about presidential power-grabbing, and so wrote a proper response into the Constitution. However, the longer answer is that Emperor Obama might be setting in motion a process that actually undermines the Constitution. Although he was defeated at the polls in 2014, Obama could be initiating a process that consolidates Democratic power for the rest of the century.

In Philadelphia, in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the just-completed Constitutional Convention, presided over by George Washington, had created. “A republic,” he replied. Then the great patriot quickly added, “If you can keep it.”

And that was the key point: If Americans can keep it. The following year, 1788, James Madison wrote in Federalist #51, arguing for the ratification of the Constitution, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” But since men are not angels, Madison continued, it was necessary to create a Constitutional system of checks and balances; as Madison put it, “divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other.”

Yet where would ultimate power reside? In any kind of Constitutional showdown which of the “several offices” would be decisive? Would it be the executive branch? The judicial branch? The legislative branch? In the same Federalist #51, Madison had a ready answer: “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.”

The Founders were quite deliberate in their determination to restrict executive power, and for a very good reason: They knew their history. They fully expected that some future American president would seek to upend the Constitutional order by seeking to concentrate power in the executive branch.

The Founders had a word for it: Caesarism.

To many contemporary American ears, the word “Caesar,” as in Julius Caesar, is sort of cool. He was, after all, a high-living, swashbuckling conqueror, an action hero of the first century, BC.

To the Founders, Julius Caesar was a figure to be feared: He extinguished the Roman Republic. A successful general in foreign military campaigns, Caesar decided that he liked being a dictator. So he brought the war home to Rome; in 50 BC he launched a bloody civil war to consolidate his dictatorship. And so, 1800 years later, the “ism”—that is, Caesarism—was still to be guarded against.

The Founders were steeped in history, and they sought particular meaning in classical allusions, which they knew would resonate with readers and listeners. As a result, they often took Roman pen names, including Cato, Publius, Agrippa, and, perhaps most poignantly, Brutus.

That would be Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, who helped assassinate Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The Founders knew that Brutus and his comrades described themselves as liberatores (liberators), and they were all about liberty.

It should be noted immediately that the Founders were not lawless men. They believed in the rule of law, but they were also realists about the potential for its abuse. As Thomas Jefferson wrote grimly in 1787, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Indeed, to this day, the words sic semper tyrannis (“thus always tyrants”; more loosely, “death to tyrants” ) appear on the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Once again, the Founders did not believe in assassination. However, as Cornell Law School professor Josh Chafetz has explained, Franklin and the other Founders were eager to see impeachment provisions inserted into the new Constitution, precisely because they wanted to fend off any possible murderous impulses; that is, they hoped that the legal proceeding of impeachment would take the place of the illegal act of murder.

Since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, fear of Caesarism in America has waxed and waned. For most of the 19th century, the legislative branch did, in fact, predominate—just as Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, had intended.

Yet in the 20th century, the presidency gained enormous power. In 1959, the conservative historian and journalist James Burnham published a worried tome, Congress and the American Tradition, lamenting the rise of presidential power since Franklin D. Roosevelt in the New Deal. The “soaring executive,” wrote Burnham, brought with him the risk of Caesarism.

Burnham himself was a pessimist: The Caesarism that he saw in the middle of the 20th century was unlikely, he thought, to be reversed. Indeed, in the 1960s and early 1970s, it seemed that the “imperial presidency” was destined to gain more and more power.

Then came the Watergate scandal of the mid-70s; Congressional investigations, spearheaded by Democrats, forced the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. At the time, not every Republican was happy, but Burnhamite conservatives should have cheered at the sight of legislative predominance being affirmed.

Since Watergate, of course, the struggle among the three branches has continued.

And so here we are today, in 2014: President Obama, having lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, is now issuing a sweeping Executive Order, effectively suspending immigration-law enforcement. In so doing, he is belatedly doing something that he himself has said, on at least 22 occasions, that he didn’t have the authority to do.

In addition, Obama lacks popular support for his initiative; an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that a clear plurality of Americans oppose his plan.

In other words, as he issues his Executive Order, he is practicing Caesarism—Mike Huckabee was one contemporary figure who made the comparison—of a peculiarly weak kind: He has no majority, either on Capitol Hill or among the general public.

Newt Gingrich recently made a mordant comparison; the former House Speaker compared the 44th President to the 28th President, Woodrow Wilson, who pursued his vain plan for the League of Nations, ignoring the Republican-controlled Senate. And, as Gingrich observed, the Senate, in 1919, rejected Wilson’s treaty, thereby shattering what remained of his two-term presidency.

Of course, Obama might think that he has finessed the issue of foreign treaties; his new “global warming” deal with China, for example, is not formally a treaty, but simply an agreement between Obama and the Chinese leader—so it’s questionable if it will have any force at all, at least on the Chinese side, in the decades ahead.

Indeed, among the problems with both of these presidential dictates—first China, now illegal aliens—is that they have no enduring force. Yes, the President can use his executive power, but his actions can be all undone, almost as easily as they have been done.

If the results of the 2014 midterm elections are any guide, the path ahead for the Democrats in 2016 is rocky. If Republicans can win statewide gubernatorial elections in such blue states as Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, there’s plenty of reason for the GOP to be optimistic that it can undo the Democrats’ recent advantage in the electoral college.

Yet Emperor Obama still has a card to play—a card way outside of the Constitution. And that card is the demographic card.

As Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News tonight, Obama’s Executive Order is an open invitation to the teeming masses around the world: If they can get to the US, most likely, they will be able to stay. And, as Breitbart NewsMatthew Boyle has pointed out, those that are here will likely receive government benefits; in other words, we are paying people to come here illegally.

So the Obama immigration order can be seen as a demographic play: Not only does the venture solidify the Democratic base, but it also offers the prospect of expanding that base, by bringing in new immigrants, whom the Democrats obviously hope, one way or another, will be able to vote. (And even if they can’t vote, their mere presence on US soil will change the composition of Congress through reapportionment.)

Surely Democrats have noticed, for example, that one state that proved to be exempt from the pro-Republican trend of the 2014 midterm elections was immigrant-heavy California. In fact, amidst historic losses nationwide, the Democrats actually gained a House seat in the Golden State; no doubt that local success was one reason why Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco felt emboldened to seek a seventh term as Democratic leader of the House.

Perhaps Emperor Obama has an effective plan. It’s not a Constitutional plan, and it’s not really even an American plan—but it could be a strong plan for tyranny, based on new imported demography
As we have seen, the Founders worried greatly about Caesarism, and they did their best to safeguard against it. But back in the 18th century, they couldn’t be expected to foresee every possible subversion of their new Republic. Today, in the 21st century, it’s our job to assess the new threat to our Constitution, and to make a new strategy to preserve and defend it.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

John Quincy Adams in 1819: "This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights"; Immigrants "come to a life of independence, but also to a life of labor"


We often hear about the glory days of immigration when America threw open her arms to the huddled masses 
acknowledges The Federalist's D.C. McAllister,
but one thing you don’t hear about is how those people had to make it on their own without a government safety net. There was plenty of private charity, which was highly encouraged, but health care, a minimum-wage job, college entrance, housing, legal representation, and education certainly weren’t promised—not like today.

In 1819, John Quincy Adams wrote a letter as secretary of State under President James Monroe to a man named von Fiirstenwarther, who had written a report about emigration in Germany and wanted the U.S. government to give him a job if he immigrated to the United States from his native country. The letter gives great insight into attitudes about immigration at a time when it was becoming a serious issue; the nation was in a financial crisis because banks were printing too much money, and the country was expanding at an overwhelming rate. Jobs weren’t as easy to come by as they had been in the past (sound familiar?). The idea of immigrants receiving government subsistence was nonsensical. The borders were open, but it was up to each individual to make his or her own way in the New World. Americans then valued personal responsibility and liberty more highly than security and public welfare.

Adam’s letter reveals this fact like nothing else. It is difficult to find (it was printed in Niles’ Weekly Register, Volume 18, in 1820), and it would be a surprise if most politicians today have even read it—but they should.
 
Here it is … (italics added). Let its wisdom be a lesson for today as we throw open our borders to the poor in an age of government largesse.

The Letter from John Quincy Adams

Sir—I had the honor of receiving your letter of the 22nd April, enclosing one from your kinsman, the Baron de Gagern, and a copy of your printed report, which I hope and have no doubt will be useful to those of your countrymen in Germany, who may have entertained erroneous ideas, with regard to the results of emigration from Europe to this country.

It was explicitly stated to you, and your report has taken just notice of the statement, that the government of the United States has never adopted any measure to encourage or invite emigrants from any part of Europe. It has never held out any incitements to induce the subjects of any other sovereign to abandon their own country, to become inhabitants of this. From motives of humanity it has occasionally furnished facilities to emigrants who, having arrived here with views of forming settlements, have specially needed such assistance to carry them into effect. Neither the general government of the union, nor those of the individual states, are ignorant or unobservant of the additional strength and wealth, which accrues to the nation, by the accession of a mass of healthy, industrious, and frugal laborers, nor are they in any manner insensible to the great benefits which this country has derived, and continues to derive, from the influx of such adoptive children from Germany.

But there is one principle which pervades all the institutions of this country, and which must always operate as an obstacle to the granting of favors to new comers. This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights. Privileges are granted by European sovereigns to particular classes of individuals, for purposes of general policy; but the general impression here is that privileges granted to one denomination of people, can very seldom be discriminated from erosions of the rights of others.
Emigrants from Germany, therefore, or from elsewhere, coming here, are not to expect favors from the governments. They are to expect, if they choose to become citizens, equal rights with those of the natives of the country. They are to expect, if affluent, to possess the means of making their property productive, with moderation, and with safety;—if indigent, but industrious, honest and frugal, the means of obtaining easy and comfortable subsistence for themselves and their families.

They come to a life of independence, but to a life of labor—and, if they cannot accommodate themselves to the character, moral, political, and physical, of this country, with all its compensating balances of good and evil, the Atlantic is always open to them, to return to the land of their nativity and their fathers.
 
To one thing they must make up their minds, or, they will be disappointed in every expectation of happiness as Americans. They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity, rather than backward to their ancestors; they must be sure that whatever their own feelings may be, those of their children will cling to the prejudices of this country, and will partake of that proud spirit, not unmingled with disdain, which you have observed is remarkable in the general character of this people, and as perhaps belonging peculiarly to those of German descent, born in this country.
Yes, Europeans must must cast off the European skin, never to resume it — i.e., it is the total opposite of what leftists say, that Americans must start acting like all other nations, especially those oh-so-wonderful Europeans.
That feeling of superiority over other nations which you have noticed, and which has been so offensive to other strangers, who have visited these shores, arises from the consciousness of every individual that, as a member of society, no man in the country is above him; and, exulting in this sentiment, he looks down upon those nations where the mass of the people feel themselves the inferiors of privileged classes, and where men are high or low, according to the accidents of their birth.
Indeed, the disparaging image the leftists trot about Republicans, or conservatives, or flyover country, or Americans generally, is a centuries-old image that comes precisely from those very "strangers", the — offended — upper classes of Europe.
But hence it is that no government in the world possesses so few means of bestowing favors, as the government of the United States. The governments are the servants of the people, and are so considered by the people, who place and displace them at their pleasure. They are chosen to manage for short periods the common concerns, and when they cease to give satisfaction, they cease to be employed. If the powers, however, of the government to do good are restricted, those of doing harm are still more limited. The dependence, in affairs of government, is the reverse of the practice in Europe, instead of the people depending upon their rulers, the rulers, as such, are always dependent upon the good will of the people.

 … We expect therefore very few, if any transplanted countrymen from classes of people who enjoy happiness, ease, or even comfort, in their native climes. The happy and contented remain at home, and it requires an impulse, at least as keen as that of urgent want, to drive a man from the soil of his nativity and the land of his father’s sepulchres. Of the very few emigrants of more fortunate classes, who ever make the attempt of settling in this country, a principal proportion sicken at the strangeness of our manners, and after a residence, more or less protracted, return to the countries whence they came.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The media have “got to open up a gateway,” says Gruber videos unearther, to receive more information

  … if not for one slightly obsessed citizen, we wouldn’t have the videos of Jonathan Gruber saying the health care law was deceptively designed and its passage depended on the stupidity of the American public.
Thus writes Howard Kurtz in a Fox News article that can ring a bell with many bloggers.
And it is about his frustrating struggle to get that information out to the media.

 … Rich Weinstein, a Philadelphia investment adviser … is up front about the fact that his motives were personal. His insurance policy was canceled, he says, because of the Affordable Care Act, and his premiums wound up doubling.

He started out searching for another administration adviser and then switched to Gruber. He sat through hour after tedious hour of video taken at academic conferences and in other settings.

This helps explain why a self-described regular guy was able to unearth what the media could not. Few news organizations could afford to have a reporter spend a long period searching for a needle in an online haystack, especially without a tip that the needle existed at all. Maybe everything that Gruber had to say about the law he helped devise was boring. But Weinstein kept at it, although he did give up the search for awhile during his kids’ lacrosse season.

Last December, Weinstein found one video in which Gruber, an MIT professor,  said that ObamaCare subscribers wouldn’t get tax benefits if their states didn’t set up health care exchanges, meaning they would be losing out to those in states that did create the websites.

That’s when Weinstein used every means he could think of, from Facebook to phone calls, to get the attention of journalists. He says he tried getting messages to Fox News, Forbes, National Review, Glenn Beck and a network affiliate in Philadelphia where a friend worked. Nobody bit. Nobody called back.

“It was so frustrating,” Weinstein said. “I tried really hard to give this to the media. I had this and couldn’t get it to anybody that knows what to do with it.” All he wanted, Weinstein says, was a train ride to D.C. for him and his lawyer, and “I was going to give them everything for nothing, no money, all I wanted was autographed pictures of the people I was working with to hang on my office wall.”

Crickets.

He finally posted a comment on the web page of the Volokh Conspiracy, a group of conservative lawyers whose blog is hosted by the Washington Post. A conservative activist picked it up, and Forbes wound up carrying a piece by contributor Michael Cannon, dubbed by the New Republic “Obamacare’s Single Most Relentless Antagonist.”

It wasn’t until shortly before the midterms that Weinstein found what came to be known as Gruber’s “stupidity” video. He plastered it on his Twitter feed days later, sometimes inserting the names of journalists to try to grab their attention. This time, the news was quickly picked up by Fox, the Daily Caller and other media outlets (but not the broadcast networks or major newspapers).

 … he had a parting thought about the press and citizen journalists. There must be more Weinsteins out there, maybe one in each state, and they need a forum. The media have “got to open up a gateway,” he said, to receive such information.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

What If Someone Told You That "Homosexuals" Do Not Exist? And What If They Were Right?

Alternative title:
If You Are Using the Word "Homosexual", You Are Already Losing the Battle

Long Alternative:
If You Are Using the Word "Homosexual" (as Well as Derivatives, Positive, Negative or Other, such as "Gay" and "Fag" etc…) — by that very act — You Are Already Losing the Battle.

What battle?

A battle in the alleged war against homosexuals, or perhaps that, more general (and more real), against liberals and the left?

No.

The battle to see the truth, pure and simple, and to (warning: gay double entendre ahead) get to the bottom of things.

And it applies to whether you are pro-gay, anti-gay, or neutral; and whether you are conservative, liberal, or independent.

It sounds extreme, doesn't it?

Surely in this day and age, just about everybody would agree, the terms gay and homosexual are part and parcel of modern-day discourse, and should thus be accepted. No?

One (straight) pickup artist's approach technique involves asking a girl whether she is: a folder, a roller, or a tosser. Wondering what identity of hers he is asking about gets the conversation going (it concerns how one… packs one's clothes in one's suitcase!) — which is the whole point, needless to say. A whole conversation begins and continues forever — just as it has, on a nation-wide scale, on a worldwide scale, regarding oppressed homosexuals, oppressed African-Americans, oppressed women, oppressed individuals who pour hot coffee on their laps at McDonald's, etc etc etc…

The other day, I was telling a liberal how I was sorry, but — compared with their lot in foreign countries — blacks and the poor have perhaps not suffered as much in America as they like to think…

He immediately interrupted me: "You've never been black!"

Of course, his being a (close) member of my family, he wasn't black either and had never been so.

But that is of no matter, needless to say, because he is of the tolerant-generous-humanistic-new-agey sort and so he empathizes with minorities and wants the government to interfere on their (alleged) behalf. 

Another time, I was told — by leftist Jews — that I was not a Palestinian and could not comment on the conflict because I had no idea of their suffering at the hands of Israel. (Guess what: they — obviously — weren't Palestinians either.)

The answer to all those issues is, I am a human being, and therefore I can understand (or make a decision to refuse to understand) blacks (black human beings), Palestinians (Palestinian human beings), women (female human beings), etc, etc, etc, as well as homosexuals (gay human beings)…

Wouldn't this seem to go along with Martin Luther King's "Judge them not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"?

And so we get to "homosexuals" and to "their [gays'] dignity as human beings"; "recognizing the gay and lesbian population in the United States is a contemporary civil rights issue."

No, it's not.

To put it simply:

Homosexuals do not exist.

Really. It's true. Gays, or gay people if you prefer, do not exist.

Nor do lesbians.

Never have.

It sounds radical, doesn't it? Extremist, even.

Retarded. Obtuse. Dense.

To tell the truth, it sounded so to me too a few months or so ago when the thought first popped into my head.

Actually, it is neither extremist nor dense. Nor is it hate speech or anti-gay (nor is it in any way pro-gay, for that matter).

Believe it or not, this post is in no way a moral judgment of any kind on homosexuals, nor indeed on heterosexuals, or on sex (or the lack thereof) of any kind.

It is simply a fact — a neutral, objective fact: Homosexuals do not exist.

What passes for (a) homosexual is a particular person's search for a particular pleasure — whether it is temporary or life-long. (A pleasure which, most of the time, is different from the mainstream's.)

Most people, gay or other, pro-gay or anti-gay, would probably laugh or snort if I said that homosexuals do not exist, meaning homosexuality does not exist, and they could then, f'r'instance, link to a gay sex site and ask what kind of dork says that this (pointing) does not exist?!

Are you crazy?! they (you?) would ask disbelievingly (whether you are gay, straight, leftist, rightist, or anything else). Have you never seen a gay porn video? Two gays (male or female) ought to stand right in your face and soul kiss each other, with their hands down each other's pants. Asshole!

But this entire post could have been written without once addressing gay themes, and being entirely focused on conventional (mainstream?) heterosexual (man-woman) sex.

Because heterosexuals do not exist, either.

A man's pursuit, or a woman's pursuit, of (what we might call) hedonistic pleasure — or of any pleasure at all — should not be the way we identify him, or her. Nor should his or her particular pursuit of pleasure (hedonistic or other) — i.e., homosexuality — be used to classify that person's activity.

By speaking about homosexuality, we extend it to a given person's identity as a homosexual and classify him as such, whether in positive, negative, or simply neutral terms. He or she is different. And lately, he or she deserves special privileges.

All the debate about homos is one way of elevating (what ostensibly is) a private activity, a way of seeking pleasure (perverted or other, inside the mainstream or outside), into a personal identity. As it happens, this is no more wrong than identifying "normal" people as heterosexuals, i.e.,  elevating "banging chicks" (for a male) into a personal identity — or even refraining from sex (for reasons valid or other) into an identity (a non-sexual?).

For centuries, for millenia, people have been primarily identified by their occupation — what they did for the benefit of their neighbor(s) and their community (soldier, farmer, worker, businessman, plumber, etc) — and not what they did for leisure, "for fun", for themselves, whether inside the home or elsewhere (certainly not in the privacy of the bedroom) — unless, of course, they were a prostitute (but in that case we would indeed also be speaking of that woman's, or of that man's, occupation).

Just as we should not be identified, primarily, with our skin color, or with our nationality, so we should not — any of us — be identified with (the amorphous and ill-defined concepts of) sexual orientation and gender identity. Or indeed, with attraction or with pleasure-seeking of any sort of all. Whether homo or hetero. Leisure, within the bedsheets or outdoors (neither are we Disneyland-goers or Six Flag park-attenders), is not our primary identity. It is not his — or her — true self. (Unless it is a person's occupation, such as a prostitute or — I am not saying they are the same — a musician or a professional baseball player.)

You might ask (indeed, you might sneer), who are you, Erik, who are you conservatives, to tell me how I am to identify myself, who am I to describe myself.

And that, whether you are gay, straight, man, woman, "African-American", white, Palestinian, Scandinavian, or other.

You may identify as you wish. Absolutely.

Just as I may not choose to identify you as other than a human being.

Indeed, isn't having all members of a country identified equally the meaning of republic? Not as part of subsets, and subgroups?

What the problem here is, is asking, requesting, the government, and the authorities, and the culture,  that it, and that we all, identify you as such.

So, to the question, Why should this be of any business of mine?

The answer is: The issue is not me, us, refusing something to some minority: it is gays and their sympathizers imposing their will on us, with the backing of the government — and on the laws of the land (see bakers and photographers, not to mention the Ku Klux Klan).

The people in society we admire are no longer business leaders and warriors and those who work hard and have made a sacrifice.  They are movie stars and pop musicians and Olympic athletes and transvestites. In France, a girl demands, "Je veux m'exprimer sexuellement!" I want the freedom to express myself freely — that is, express my sexuality freely (i.e., sleep around). Fine. No problem with that. But notice that all our society's freedoms and liberties and admiration have dwindled to being reserved for the field of what can generally be described as entertainment and personal pleasure-seeking.

All the modern liberal state's "progress" has been towards the field of the citizen's entertainment (who cares about foreign affairs? just pretend the foreign governments are not as bad as the "paranoids" claim) — with the epitome being the state that takes care of all citizen "needs" (health care, etc) while spending money on several levels of entertainment (making cities pedestrian-friendly, e.g., tourist-friendly, by shutting down ever more car-friendly, i.e., worker-friendly, roads) — the citizen keeping only one "freedom", the freedom to retain some level of control over what types of personal pastimes (sexual and/or other) he or she engages in.

The progressive dream is to make the nation, and indeed the entire world, a playground.

(At the same time, the fun-seekers (gay or other) can assuage any guilt they might have by their (basically effortless) joining of righteous causes — such as the battle against homophobia or racism (one in which they basically make little effort except bring up, when needed, the correct opinion, the one supporting the censors (the guilt-mongerers, nannies, authoritarians and far-Left agitators as well as the crowing, cackling, censorious battle-axes, male and female, of the third-wave feminist and social justice causes).  Conversely, a great deal of the opposition, indeed the bitterness, to Bush and his Iraq War was the reluctance to have to face up to moral considerations and take money, and time, away from the various countries' respective playgrounds. Indeed, one has to wonder if the entire concept of the United Nations does not lie on the presumption that with that international talking shop in place, all nations can engage in their respective playground antics — blast demonizing broadsides at the moralizers Bush and Blair while hoping for a president who would mirror the Europeans' taste for play…)

As you can see, we have not taking a step forward — for gay rights or for rights in general — nor have we come out of the dark ages.

No. On the contrary. We have gone back in time. Two thousand years back in time.

We have gone back to the time when the Republic of Rome was transformed into the Roman Empire.

To build on the words of Benjamin Franklin, the citizens of the Republic could not keep it (their Republic).

The Empire came during a time when government took over the citizens' private pleasures, such as with the public building of immense bath houses and huge coliseums, along with free circuses, and when citizens became contented as long as they had their "bread and circuses" (not to speak of the famed Roman orgies (straight or other)), i.e., as long as their private pleasures, as their sensual pleasures, were taken care of.

We have gone back in time. Two thousand years back in time.

Have Democrats Taken Their Talking Points and Tactics From French Waiters?


The unwritten rule book on how "garçons" from Paris and the rest of France manage to lengthen diners' bills without raising their hackles has been set in stone by the rue89 website
writes Henry Samuel in a Daily Telegraph post that makes one think of America's Democrats.
In an article headlined: "Seven serving tips to increase the bill", rue89 claims that waiters or waitresses are taught skills such as [employing] closed questions like: "Will you have an aperitif or move straight onto wine?", steering customers away from cheaper options like free water.
Among the more subtle techniques is that of listing wines from cheap to expensive, such as "Sauvignon, Chardonnay or Chablis?" as customers tend to remember the last wine mentioned and don't dare to ask for a waiter to repeat the list.
One golden rule is never to place bread on the table before an order, as diners are likely to get full too fast for several dishes. "My boss wants me to give it after bringing the dish, even if it means forgetting it entirely so customers will be hungry for dessert," Romain, one waiter in Montparnasse told the website.

 … An old trick to pull in a bigger tip is to cheerily inquire whether "everything is OK?" when collecting the credit card or ensuring there is plenty of small change instead of a banknote in case of a cash payment.

Sylvain, a waiter interviewed by rue89, said he always recalls advice from a manager at the Costes restaurant group, who told him: "Waiters are here to screw the clients, not physically but by taking his money."

"Everything is codified, thought out down to the smallest details to sell the most products."

But Aurélie Viry, a teacher with AV-Conseil, which offers catering and hostelry courses, said there was more to the art of serving than simply taking orders.

"Everything that can be sold means more profits. It's all about how it's proposed. We're not forcing the customer, who can always say no," she said.

Above all, the customer must associate the experience with pleasure, she said. "Hence, you must say: 'Would another coffee give you pleasure?' rather than "No more coffees?" she said.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The most efficient way to set the various family members in opposition to one another is to encourage every kind of selfish behaviour

A century ago, it was not at all uncommon to have an entire extended family — one or two sets of grandparents, parents, at least a half-dozen children — all in one house.
Thus wrote a Catholic by the name of Skellmeyer in a highly interesting Fifth Column post a few years back (via Instapundit).
Families like that used to pose an enormous problem to modern economies.

Think about it. A dozen or two people living in one house find hand-me-downs virtuous, they only need one set of cook pots, they only have one toaster. Large households are not good for the economy because they consume fewer goods.

If there were some way to split those people up so they inhabit three, four, five or six households, then we can sell five or six toasters, five or six sets of cook pots, five or six sets of dishes or cars or houses. From a capitalist’s point of view, it would be best if every one of our 300 million Americans lived in a separate house since that would maximize both purchases and profit.

However, as one might expect, while there are enormous economic advantages to creating this level of social disintegration, there’s a downside as well. In order to break up the multi-generational family, sowing social dissension between the members of the family is absolutely critical. The most efficient way to set the various family members in opposition to one another is to encourage every kind of selfish behaviour. If each person thinks only of his own best interests, then each person will spend his income on himself, saving none of it for anyone else.

Unfortunately, this selfishness bleeds over into the workplace. A selfish worker is more likely to steal, to use up sick days and similar benefits at the highest possible rates, in short, s/he will have little loyalty to the company.

Part of the cost of doing business is precisely the controlled anarchy that tends to be engendered in the larger society as each person looks out primarily for number one. As experience shows, anarchy can be managed so as to produce significant profits for particular people.

But, to be fair, most businesses don’t do well in total anarchy. Rather, they do best at a level just below total anarchy, a situation in which everyone invests their money in goods and services that will protect them from the various kinds of physical, emotional, and social harm which the larger society so willingly inflicts on the weak.

Unmade in America

Since World War II, the United States has been the pre-eminent leader in creating an economy whose citizens tremble on that knife edge between maximum profit-generation and general anarchy.

We do this by placing enormous obstacles in the way of every personal relationship. Early daycare, year-round schooling and the perceived need for a two-income family effectively separates parents from their own children for as long as possible each day, guaranteeing that the family is essentially composed of strangers living at the same address. Better yet, the schools teach children how to be consumers: needy, unable to solve their own problems, always looking towards the external authority: peer pressure.

We encourage pornography and contraception, and thereby divorce, by transforming every person into an object of use. Easy access to abortion and euthanasia encourage family members to destroy one another at the first sign of burden. Homosexuals become the icons for our generation because they (1) rise rapidly on the corporate ladder through assiduous attention to their own good and (2) spend all their money on their greatest love, themselves. Homosexuals are the darlings of the media because homosexuals have far more per capita disposable income than a married couple with five children.

But, even as the corporate world encourages homosexuality precisely because it is profligate, encourages contraception/abortion precisely because it is an abdication of responsibility and encourages euthanasia precisely because it does cut costs, Christian faith attempts to undercut these movements. America’s economy works well because it has harnessed two opposing forces: integration and disintegration, and kept both from gaining majority control.

We Need a New Quarry

But there’s a problem in paradise. You can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin him once. … In its endless quest for profits, too many sheep have been skinned. American corporations are running out of families to exploit. There are fewer and fewer families to break up, fewer and fewer children to dispossess.

But not to worry. We still have Mexico.

 … Hispanics … are Christians who still tend towards multi-generational households, households whose piggy banks are growing through the money sent home by immigrant workers. The American economy needs Hispanics not just because they do jobs Americans will not, but also because their unbroken families are as untilled fields to us, their Catholicism is strong enough to maintain the necessary tension against anarchy. Like a new granite quarry, they can be tunneled into, mined, and blown apart. These are sheep we know how to shear.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What Obama and his Democratic allies are attempting to do is to completely remake America into a government-dependent society, and importing millions of low-skilled low-educated aliens is central to that goal


“The very illegal aliens [Jeanne Shaheen] wants to help Obama grant amnesty to—and steal your job—are in many cases also violent criminals, driver’s without licenses, members of gangs, or are in some way endangering the welfare of New Hampshire families,” … Maria Espinoza, the national director of The Remembrance Project, told Matt Boyle of Breitbart News.
Conservative HQ explains how the Democrat party, and how the administrative state, wins if the average American gets poorer.
 … illegal immigration is not a victimless crime as countless American families have learned, most recently through the murder of two California law enforcement officers at the hands of an illegal alien.

But as important as keeping criminal aliens out of America is, what may be even more important is keeping American jobs for Americans.

As Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has observed on numerous occasions an executive order on immigration would increase by millions of people the nation's workforce pool — and further hurt the opportunities of American citizens to get jobs.

"We have the lowest percentage of people in America today who have been working in 40 years. This is a stunning statistic. Almost every person who's gotten a job in the last 10 years is going to an illegal immigrant," he recently told NewsMax.

As Senator Session wrote in an op-ed for FOX, “A nation’s first loyalty must be to its own citizens.”

But the immigration policies of President Obama and Congressional Democrats help only billionaire special interests, amnesty activists, and the citizens of other countries – while reducing jobs and pay for our own.

Every single Senate Democrat voted for the Obama-backed plan to provide immediate work permits to 12 million illegal immigrants – allowing them to compete for any job in America. This legislation would also double the rate at which low-wage guest workers are brought into the U.S. to fill jobs throughout the economy.

Further, the legislation would triple the rate of permanent immigration, giving lifetime work permits and citizenship to over 30 million immigrants over the next ten years.

America already has the world’s most generous immigration policy. The foreign-born population is at record levels, quadrupling since 1970. Since 2000, the U.S. has issued nearly 30 million lawful visas to foreign guest workers and permanent immigrants. During that time, all net employment gains among the working-age went to immigrant workers.

This large surplus of labor has also pulled down wages – family incomes are down more than $3,000 since 2009 alone.

Imagine then what will happen if we double the supply of foreign labor. For many Americans, who will be pushed out of the workforce altogether, their wages will be reduced to zero.

What Obama and his Democratic allies are attempting to do through both legal and illegal means is to completely remake America into a government-dependent society, and importing millions of low-skilled low-educated aliens is central to that goal.
As Instapundit writes regularly, They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Photos of US army tanks and shipwrecks off the coast of Ireland


Following a 12-year survey of the offshore waters and coastal seas around Ireland
writes Irish Central's Dara Kelly,
the Irish government launched an illustrated book entitled “Warships, U-Boats & Liners - A Guide to Shipwrecks Mapped in Irish Waters.”

The coffee table book features stunning shots of wrecks on the seabed including the Lusitania off the Cork coast and US army tanks on the seabed 17 miles off of Donegal. Many of the 300 shipwrecks featured in the book where not known about before this survey.

The book [by Karl Brady, Charise McKeon, James Lyttleton, and Ian Lawlor] includes details on the background of the vessels alongside the photograph and sonar images.

The publication was launched in 2012 by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, together with Fergus O'Dowd TD, Minister of State, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

  … According to Minister O'Dowd, the collaboration has "truly made Ireland a leader in this field of endeavor."

 … [The Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU)] have built an extensive database of shipwrecks, Afloat Magazine reported.

It's actually against the law in France to pass a boulangerie without stopping to buy one of their lovingly crafted entremets

One thing about life as an expat in rural France that I always warn people about is the need to keep moving and staying active, otherwise things start to head south and outwards very quickly
writes Mark Johnson.
This is mainly because hospitality is still a way of life out here. If you stop by a neighbour to ask a question about something, or even just to say hello – the offer of an aperitif won’t be far off. Drop into the village bar to ask about a reservation – it’ll be discussed over a Pineau for sure.

And, in case you didn’t know, it’s actually against the law in France to pass a boulangerie without stopping to buy one of their lovingly crafted entremets.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Obama "is destroying this country and it’s what he intended to do"; More Hatred From Racist Americans Who — Wait a Minute!

The frustration with the the leftist Democrats who support Barack Obama's agenda, notes Christopher Agee,
was on full display when a self-described “82-year-old black senior citizen grandmother” named Joyce called C-SPAN to explain why she voted for the Republican candidate in every race on the ballot this cycle.

“I voted straight Republican because I have noticed for years what the Democrat Party has done to my people,” she said. “Unemployment is higher in the black community that it is — double with unemployment than it is anywhere else.”

 … Clarifying that she supports government assistance for those truly unable to provide for themselves, she noting that “with so many getting help that doesn’t need help, it prevents the people that really need help from getting it.”

 … Before wrapping up her remarks, the octogenarian set her sights on those who allege any criticism of Barack Obama is rooted in racism.

“We need to stop that foolishness,” she said. “This man is destroying this country and it’s what he intended to do. He said he would transform America and that’s what he’s doing.”
View more instances of conservatives' unbelievably hateful racism here

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Army Sergeant: “I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq. There were plenty.’"

Last month the New York Times reported that US troops had in fact discovered chemical weapons in Iraq after all
writes Iraq War veteran Benny Huang.
Five thousand munitions containing nerve and blister agent were uncovered between 2004 and 2011. The revelation made headlines for a day or two before vanishing again.

As it turns out, the Bush administration knew about these weapons and, counter-intuitively, chose to keep them secret. Conjecture abounds as to why Team Bush would choose to withhold vindicating evidence. Some have suggested that no one wanted to look backwards at yesterday’s controversy.

 … “The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale,” write Pulitzer Prize winner CJ Chivers.

I can’t decide whether Chivers is deceitful or just another lazy journalist. Actually, those were exactly the weapons we were looking for. In November of 2002, President Bush asked the UN for, and received, Resolution 1441, which found Iraq in material breach of Resolution 667, the 1991 ceasefire agreement that ended the Gulf War. Resolution 667 demanded that Saddam destroy all of his chemical weapons and document the process to the satisfaction of UN weapons inspectors. He failed to do this.

 … The diplomatic push of 2002 was the world’s final warning to the dictator that he had to forfeit those weapons known to be in his possession in 1991. The resolution is crystal clear. Over and over again it refers to Saddam’s failure to discard his pre-Gulf War weaponry. CJ Chivers is not just moving the goalposts, he’s rewriting history.

The idea that Saddam didn’t have any WMD was a little wacky, and yet it was those of us who insisted that he did who were portrayed as conspiracy theorists grasping at straws. He used those weapons against Iranians and Kurds. We know that they existed in 1991. Did they simple evaporate?
We now know that they did not. Quoted in Chivers’s story was Jarod Taylor, a former Army sergeant who handled some of the weapons. He remarked, “I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq. There were plenty.’”

 … when the Times revealed that Saddam’s WMD were in fact not phantasmal, as we had been led to believe, I wondered if it was worth dredging up an old debate.

Yes, I decided. Because the truth matters.

The public deserves to know what really happened though it may never hear it because the Iraq War narrative is now so thoroughly rehearsed that it actively resists change. Tomorrow’s history books will probably tell an oversimplified and basically inaccurate story about an evil Texas oil man who sent his troops on a fool’s errand. That’s not the case and it’s important that the lie doesn’t become the “truth” because of constant repetition.

 … The leadup to the Iraq invasion may seem like ancient history now. Heck, most kids in high school today can’t even remember it. It’s not too late however, to insist upon the truth because truth has a value of its own.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tea Party-Backed Black Republican Wins Senate Landslide in Southern State

Among the Republican winners of the 2014 mid-terms is Tim Scott, the black South Carolinian who won his Senate seat in a landslide, making history in the process.

But even the Daily Mail seems to report on this landslide (!) victory mainly to report on America's alleged racism, i.e., to comment how "shocking" it is that Tim Scott is the first black man elected to the Senate. (Never mind the congressmen, the governors, the mayors, the business leaders, the sports stars, the movie and TV stars, the music stars, the occupant of the White House (!), etc, etc, etc…)

But isn't it possible that the true racism comes from the left — including the mainstream media itself? (There are quite a number of pretty outstanding comments in the comments section of the Guardian.) As I wrote in a post one year ago, a plethora of "inconvenient facts must be ignored or belittled by media people … in order to push the narrative that America is an intolerant hell hole of prejudice populated by hordes of despicable racists":

Witness the Unbelievable Amount of Racism That Exists Among Conservatives and in the Tea Party
    Every time I read a column [in which a member of the MSM] laments the racism he constantly finds among conservative groups … I wonder if he has ever heard about Tim Scott.  Given that for awhile, the legislator from South Carolina was the only member of the United States Senate who is African-American, one would think that his name might be — almost — as renowned as Barack Obama's.

    The explanation for Scott's relative obscurity is that he is a Republican — one who is backed by Tea Partiers (endorsed by Tea Party favorite Jim DeMint, Scott's Senate predecessor) and one from a Southern state to boot.  And were Scott better known, it would be far more difficult for people like Krugman to bewail the racism of Republicans and Tea Partiers, not to mention Southerners. 

    You would think that this black pauper's rise from rags to the halls of the U.S. Senate is a living memorial to Martin Luther King's dream.  But because leftists (conveniently and self-servingly) define themselves as the valiant fighters against the racism they (conveniently and self-servingly) constantly find throughout the ranks of the Republican Party, it comes as no surprise that South Carolina's conservative Senator did not even receive an invitation to participate in the 50th anniversary commemorations of MLK's Lincoln Memorial speech.

    Should Krugman need more evidence of his own prejudices, one could also mention Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal, Republican governors (both of Indian heritage) backed by the Tea Party whose skin is about as dark as, if not darker than, that of Barack Obama. Yes, they too were elected in states from the former Confederacy.

    As for blacks who are favorites of the Tea Party, either nationally or locally, they include Herman Cain, Allen West, and Mia Love as well as Thomas Sowell (the Stanford economist who deserves the Nobel Prize in Economics at least as much as Krugman), Walter Williams, and Larry Elder.  But all these African-Americans must be ignored, because for the Left, the only good "Negro" is the martyred "Negro" — the one who constantly thinks he and his like are victims and therefore votes for the victimization party (i.e., the Democrats).

    Currently, one favorite of the Tea Party crowd for presidential candidate in 2016 is Dr Benjamin Carson, a neurosurgeon who is offering a free-market alternative to Obamacare that would keep prices down and Washington's brand-new army of bureaucrats out of the health care system.  His skin, too, is darker than Obama's.

    But all these inconvenient facts must be ignored or belittled by media people like Krugman in order to push the narrative that America is an intolerant hell hole of prejudice populated by hordes of despicable racists.

Related — Right on cue: Libs spew ‘Uncle Tom’ hatred after S.C. GOP Sen. Tim Scott’s historic win

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Science Is Settled — The MSM Is Always the Place to Go To For Valid, Trustworthy Information


The science is settled, or so we're told: conservative media is always wrong, ridiculous, and off the charts.

You have to turn to the liberal mainstream media, such as the New York Times, to get a correct view of the world…

Or… Really?!