Friday, July 2, 2004

E-Mail of the Day

A friend takes me to task for passing along the Scrappleface parody of Senator Clinton's comments about confiscating wealth for the common good:

Well, I will try it again. In the "If Only It Were True" piece you again offer this unhelpful parallel to critique Senator Clinton's not-so-shocking notion of having the wealthy pay taxes for the common good. By passing on this not-even-all-that-funny parody (of Ms Clinton's publisher deciding not to pay her her royalties from her book but rather giving it to the "common good") you seem to be again missing the point.

Collecting and distributing taxes is part of the God-required task of the State (and as Bill pointed out in his lengthy piece, is surely, if done properly, part of the founder's vision of what our government was constituted to do.) For a publisher to renege on a contract, say, violating a private business exchange is altogether a different matter. No social institution is set up to do that kind of thing except the state, which is precisely the sort of thing governments are called upon to do. But you make is sound that since Hillary surely wouldn't want that--har, har, har--her tax policy is therefore discredited.

Worse, you make it sound like nearly any tax policy would be unfounded. (Unless, maybe you think the poor should be taxed in order to benefit something other than the common good!) This is just so odd I cannot understand your point. Surely you don't think that Hillary was suggesting, a la St Francis or Dorothy Day, that we are to be voluntarily poor? You don't think that, do you?

No her comments were not about that, although perhaps that is a discussion worth having. And surely you aren't an anarchist who opposes the right of the state to do good stuff by taxing citizens. And you surely aren't opposed to spending said taxes on the common good, are you (what's the alternative?) To wit, your complaint seems to make no sense. Where's the beef? Or is it, not unlike the liberals you so often (and often properly) skewer for allowing their ideology to lead them to meanly mock anyone and everything "on the other side of the isle", just some uncivil carping going on.

I've come to expect that from the blogs and pundits you troll each day, but I wouldn't expect that from you. It looks to me just an excuse for cheap Hillary-bashing.

Documendacity, etc.

Michael Moore has created quite a controversy with his new film Fahrenheit 9/11. has two reviews, one by former New York mayor Ed Koch and one by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball. Both reviews take the film to task for being wilfully dishonest.

Also at FrontPage is a must read piece by Lee Kaplan documenting how he underwent training by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to aid Palestinians in their intifada against Israel. One thing that becomes obvious to the reader is how different, how much more humane, the Israeli soldiers and police are from any other such force in the Middle East and how the left exploits this as a weakness. Another thing that leaps off the page is how incredibly dishonest and deceitful the left is in working to prevent the Israelis from defending their women and children from suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks. Kaplan writes about some ISM tactics:

Such means include the hiding of terrorists like Shadi Sukiya, who was arrested in an ISM office in the West Bank. An arms cache was also found in an ISM office. Two suicide bombers gained entry for their murderous agendas under the auspices of the ISM. These Pakistani Muslims from Great Britain entered Israel through Jordan as clients of the Alternative Tourism Group, an operation set up by Andoni to aid ISM volunteers coming to Israel. They then met with the ISM at their offices for an entire day in Gaza before proceeding on to Tel Aviv where they bombed a popular beach bar, Mike's Place, killing three people.

The ISM are accomplices to murder, but for leftists the end of facilitating the ultimate victory of the Palestinian radicals, which entails destroying the state of Israel, justifies any means, even aiding the deliberate, willful murders of innocent women and children. Consider this:

When one of the trainees asked if we as ISM volunteers favored a two-state solution to secure peace, Brian Malovany, another senior trainer from Oakland who had just joined us explained, "The idea of a two-state solution is pretty much dead." This was an interesting dismissal of all the peace plans ever proposed by the United Nations, the United States, or the official negotiating parties of the Palestinians themselves. "There can only be one state called Palestine," explained Molvany echoing the line of Hamas and other terrorist organizations. "And the Right of Return is non-negotiable. If people ask you about a two-state solution just tell them it's a human rights issue. Whatever you do though, do not dictate to the Palestinians what they should not do."

In other words, Israel must cease to exist. Please read the whole article. It's an eye-opener. Totalitarian communism is dead, but the people who passionately defended and promoted it throughout the twentieth century haven't gone away. They've simply mutated into another virulent form adapted to fight on the turf of the twenty-first century Middle East.

If Only it Were True

Power Line directs us to a humorous parody of Senator Clinton's claim that the Democrats are going to take money from those who have it on behalf of the common good. At Scrapple Face we learn this:

(2004-07-01) -- In the same week that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, told a San Francisco audience that future President John Forbes Kerry will take money away from wealthy Americans "on behalf of the common good", the former First Lady's publisher announced it would not pay the $5.3 million deferred advance it owes for her book Living History.

"To get the publishing industry, and our company in particular, back on track, we're going to cut that short and not give it to you," a spokesman for Simon and Shuster reportedly told Mrs. Clinton. "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Mrs. Clinton's office released a statement saying she was "delighted to help cover the publisher's losses from unpopular books by other authors, bad management decisions and bureaucratic waste."

She suggested that her husband, who served with her in the White House during the 1990s, would like to do the same with his $10 million advance from Knopf.

Well, it could happen. Or not.

A Voice in the Wilderness

A high profile African-American is saying what a lot of people, black and white, have thought for a long time, but have been prevented from saying by an intimidating politically-correct culture. The unfortunate thing is that a white person could still not say the things Bill Cosby is saying without being branded a racist bigot, and most blacks can't say it without being labelled an Uncle Tom or a sellout. Maybe that's changing. Let's hope so.

Some excerpts:

"Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n------ as they're walking up and down the street,"

"They think they're hip," the entertainer said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."

"You've got to stop beating up your women because you can't find a job, because you didn't want to get an education and now you're (earning) minimum wage," Cosby said. "You should have thought more of yourself when you were in high school, when you had an opportunity."

Wise Guys

"The French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are." Francis Bacon from Of Seeming Wise

I think Bacon got the countries mixed up, although after the last election in Spain, where the voters succumbed to terrorist pressure, maybe the wisdom of both is in question.

Another View On Taxes

The piece Doing Good with Other Peoples' Money (June 29) elicited a couple of replies including the following from my brother Bill. See the Feedback section for another. Bill writes:

It appears that the discussion of taxes misses a most important point that, once recognized, may lead anyone who is interested to a different perspective on the subject. There are taxes and then there are income taxes.

According to the Constitution of the United States: "Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." But the founding fathers who crafted the Constitution had no idea that the above section would lead to an income tax. And it wasn't until the 16th amendment that income tax was instituted, almost 140 years later.

The XVI amendment states that: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." It was ratified in 1913, the same year that the Federal Reserve was established. Prior to this time, there was no Federal Income Tax. There's a connection here but that's probably best left for another post.

It's also interesting to note that under the Federal Reserve, the dollar has lost approximately 98% of it purchasing power since 1913. This is the hidden tax known more commonly as inflation, the true rape of the American people and that fact isn't open to interpretation. Consider the following from economist John Maynard Keynes:

"By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose... If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course, essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer."

So when talking about taxes, it really doesn't matter if you are a Republican or Democrat. Both parties are analogous to vehicles on a superhighway..the Republicans are in the right lane, knowing that they will eventually get to the destination..absolute socialism. The Democrats are in more of a hurry and are in the left passing lane determined to reach their destination as soon as possible. The income tax is the way they will accomplish their goal because it enables the politician to reach into your pocket, take your wealth, and redistribute it to those they want to be beholden to them, and Hillary (the Socialist's Socialist) has no problem telling you so.

If you were to look at a demographic map of the US showing the density of the population that voted in the 2000 election you would see that it shows a concentration of Gore voters around urban areas while the George Bush constituency was more rural. Why is that? Because many of the people living in urban areas live there precisely to take advantage of the largesse Alexander Tyler speaks of in the following quote:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses from poor fiscal responsibility, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage."

The loop-hole in the Constitution that makes this possible is the phrase "The Congress shall have power to .. provide for the general welfare of the United States" in Section 8 of the Constitution. Surely the founding fathers never expected it would be exploited as it is today.

When this country was founded, it was established as a republic, and as such, the individual was considered a sovereign entity, hence the Bill of Rights. The individual states also shared that status but over the years, the Federal Government has gradually morphed the U.S. into a democracy which is what Mr. Tyler laments in his quote above. A democracy pays no consideration to sovereignty of the individual or the state and as a democracy, the Federal Government has usurped the freedom and legitimacy of both the individual and the state. A democracy is about majority rule. A democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what they're going to have for dinner.

For more on this topic, see here.