Thursday's 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission gives corporations, labor unions and other wealthy agglomerations of narrow economic interest the green light to expand their already disproportionate influence over governmental policy in health care, nutrition, financial regulation and every other realm in which corporations stand to make a buck at the expense of the public interest.
Up until this Supreme Court decision, none of us had to worry about special interests influencing government policy. It just didn't happen. We were protected. But don't worry, the Free Press is calling on the government to save us, in spite of the Supreme Court, to save us.
But Congress must not abandon the fight to regulate corporate spending in candidate elections, and Michigan's congressional delegation and state legislators must push for tougher disclosure rules to assure that voters can at least observe the corrupting impact of corporate campaign cash in real time.
Yes, that's right folks, only Congress can protect us from corporate predators. And they will take care of our medical, energy, and financial needs . . . even though the only working experience most of these people have is in politics and government. They will get advice from smart people . . . who aren't considered special interests?
Today though, in this article, it seems there is a slightly different point of view to the effect of special interests in government.
Dozens of current and former corporate executives have a message for Congress: Quit hitting us up for campaign cash.
Roughly 40 executives from companies including Playboy Enterprises, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, the Seagram’s liquor company, toymaker Hasbro, Delta Airlines and Men’s Wearhouse sent a letter to congressional leaders today urging them to approve public financing for House and Senate campaigns. They say they are tired of getting fund-raising calls from lawmakers — and fear it will get only worse after Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling.
Congressional candidates who find themselves attacked by a flood of special-interest TV ads in the 2010 elections will likely reach out to their party’s biggest donors for money to help them counter the blitz.
“Members of Congress already spend too much time raising money from large contributors,” the business executives’ letter says. “And often, many of us individually are on the receiving end of solicitation phone calls from members of Congress. With additional money flowing into the system due to the court’s decision, the fundraising pressure on members of Congress will only increase.”
So remind me, whose fault is again that deep-pocketed special interests are running roughshod over us regular Americans? Do members of Congress have some sort of disability that limits their ability to take responsibility for their actions and outrageous mistakes? Maybe Congress needs to pass laws protecting corporations from unscrupulous politicians.
Well, nobody actually said that, but I was faced with a room full of hungry students this morning and no breakfast. I've written previously about how in my district, every student is given a free breakfast (of sorts) every morning . . . if they want it. I've also remarked about how a few parents have now stopped feeding their children breakfast because it's no longer their responsibility.
Usually breakfast is already there when students arrive. Today, it wasn't. It was suggested that we send somebody down to the lunchroom to check on it. I had breakfast, so I was calmer than my students. I asked how many did not have breakfast at home this morning, and 19 of 22 hands went up. Seven were out today because we had a half day, so I will assume that most of them would not have had been fed at home either. I asked who gets their morning meal at home on weekends and during the summer and almost all hands went up. So parents will feed their children when nobody else will.
Breakfast did arrive about 10 minutes into class. Students were treated to a TRIX bar and a carton of milk. Students also bring snacks every day, to go along with their "breakfast", so there were the usual chips, pretzels, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, Tabasco flavored Cheez-Its, candy bars, cookies, mini-bagels, canned fruit, and other items full of empty calories. I gave up the fight for healthy snacks years ago. The parents were against me.
Am I the only one who sees a problem in this situation?
That Darn Zionist Entity! Now Look What it's Doing!
Get all of your Israel bashing friends to watch the following CNN video. It's short. It won't take up that much of your life. Most of us waste more time changing the TV channels looking for something that might be barely entertaining.
Now answer this question: What has the Islamic world done to help alleviate the suffering in Haiti? Yeah, we really haven't heard much about zakat, have we? But don't worry, Debbie has some answers.
The Detroit News and others who are sympathetic to the Islamic community are making a big deal of the fact that an estimated 150 Muslims protested against terrorism at the arraignment of the latest high profile Islamic terrorist.
Muslims, Arab-Americans and Nigerian-Americans stood together Friday outside the federal courthouse downtown to speak out against terrorism and Islamic extremists.
An estimated 150 people attended a peaceful demonstration, carrying large American flags and signs that read, "Not in the Name of Islam" and "Not in Our Name."
The rally was held during the U.S. District Court arraignment of terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Christmas Day.
Majed Moughni of Dearborn said he hopes Friday's rally leads to a "movement" by Muslims to become more vocal in standing up to Islamic radicals who invade their schools and mosques.
"We are not going to let these terrorists hijack our religion," said Moughni.
"We've been trying to recover from (the Sept. 11 terror attacks) for nine years. (This) comes right in our backyards, right over the heads of the largest Muslim population in North America."
There are other article about how outraged local Muslims are over recent Islamic terrorist attacks, but they could only muster 150 for an anti-terror rally? That's it? This was pretty well publicized too, so there are no excuses for not showing up if one is a true opponent of terrorism.
As a contrast to this pathetic, limp-wristed attempt to garner public sympathy, let's take a look at a previous rally (actually rallies) held by local Muslims. Back in the summer of 2006, Israel was forced to go to war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. How did local Muslims feel about terror back then? According to this NPR report:
Daily protests occur in Dearborn. At one recent demonstration, organized by the Congress of Arab-Americans, about 1,000 people attended. College-age men asked, in call and response fashion, "Who is your army?" Protestors responded: "Hezbollah." "Who is your leader?" they were asked. "Nasrallah," the chanters responded. Many carried placards of the Hezbollah leader. A few days earlier at an even larger demonstration, more than 15,000 turned out, about half of Dearborn's Arab community.
Those who regularly attend the demonstrations tend to be the most strident.
"Oh, Jews, remember Khaibar," the marchers chant. "The army of the Prophet will return."
The line is a reference to Khaibar, a Jewish town north of Medina that, according to Islamic tradition, was overtaken by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. Once defeated, the surviving Jews of Khaibar were forced into serfdom. Two decades later, they were expelled from the Arabian peninsula.
Hmm, let's review: 150 show up to condemn terrorism and they're lauded. 15,000 show up to support terrorism and outright Jew-hatred, and they are forgotten.
Final thought: Out of the 150 protesters, how many really meant it? I bet the high profile names were there only for show.
Here in today's Detroit Free Press is a lengthy article on the failings of airport security. They do use the word "terrorist", but nowhere in the entire article are the words that should be in any article on protection against modern day terrorists. Yes, the words "muslim" and "Islam" are absent. But wait. If that weren't dumb enough,
But one risk is that in the rush to protect the flying public, vigilance could mean widespread profiling of race, age and gender, raising civil liberty questions.
"When it comes to safety, I am willing to do just about anything. You've got nuts going around," she said. "But profiling may get a little trickier. I have a family member with a common name, and he is a dark-complected African-American man. He is constantly getting stopped at the airport. They stopped him several times just going to Vegas. I have to remind him to just stay calm and answer the questions."
No, why bother profiling Muslims? After all, we're constantly told that terrorism is unIslamic. And we must believe that at the cost of creating new terrorists or something like that.
On the other hand, there is this article that demonstrates that even Democrats can sometimes learn new things.
Some Democratic lawmakers who support closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say the U.S. should reconsider whether to repatriate suspected terrorists from Yemen, given the al-Qaida activity in the poor Arab nation.
But stupidity is a tough thing to beat.
Yemen has freed the six Yemenis who were released from Guantanamo Bay and returned to the country on Dec. 20, security officials and a lawyer for the men told the Associated Press.
The lawyer, Ahmed al-Arman, said the six were freed from Yemeni custody over the last week, with the last two freed Saturday night. They were handed over to their families.
Security officials held the six for questioning and investigation since their handover by the United States, but they found no evidence of involvement in terrorism or other crimes, Yemeni security officials said. The six gave guarantees that they would not leave the country, would not associate with terror groups and would report regularly to the police, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
The aspect of today's liberalism, or progressivism as it is sometimes referred to, that helped shove me toward a more conservative political point of view, in fact it is the thing that outraged me the most in this post 9/11 world and actually began my move rightward, is the knee jerk anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian stance among so many progressive adherents. It shocked me at first. I was used to seeing anti-Semitism coming from the right. I was always under the impression that those on the Left fought for the underdog, while those on the Right were for the rich and powerful. If there is one group who has been the historical underdog, it's been the Jews. And Israel, that miniscule strip of land on the Mediterranean, surrounded by five hundred million Arabs who nurse genocidal dreams against the Jewish state so foul that murderers are celebrated and lionized, while children are sacrificed if it means killing even one Jew, is the feistiest of underdogs, facing attacks unprecedented in history.
Yes, there is anti-Semitism on the right of the political aisle too, but except for Pat Buchanan and a few others, it isn't nearly as mainstream as that coming from the left. For the most part, it is still reviled on the right as a mental disorder and the sign of a twisted mind.
Due to some fancy propaganda from Islamic nations and a moral weakness among Progressive leaders, Israel has been absurdly portrayed as the the aggressor in this situation with no regard as to how many violent, unprovoked attacks it's had to endure over the years. The inversion of good and evil that has taken place in Progressive groups and media runs counter to the facts and counter to reality. There is a general acceptance of the Palestinian "narrative" as a replacement for objective (or as objective as it can be) history. And no matter how they try to deny it, or dress it up as anti-Zionism, or bring up the fact that there are some Jews who buy into this madness, in its rewriting of history and inversion of morality, it is anti-Semitism, pure and twisted.
Even those who aren't anti-semitic have bought into the current anti-Semitism being promoted throughout the Islamic world. They don't dig into their beliefs to see where they come from. Their self-willed ignorance gives them the strength of their convictions. For those who do plunge into the history of Islamic and European Jew-hatred and notice the ancient blood libels being updated, the explanation is that it is the fault of Israel, you know, that tiny sliver of land, about the size of New Jersey, population of around 7 million, a country that under normal circumstances would scarcely be noticed except for the fact that it is the only majority Jewish nation on Earth. But anti-Semitism, like other dysfunctions, is blamed on who? Why, as always, it's blamed on the Jews, or now, since Progressives refuse to take responsibility for their irrational hatred, it's blamed on the Jewish state.
The second unforgivable sin of the Israelis is the fact that they have created wealth through the adoption of Capitalism in the midst of dysfunctional dictatorial Islamic cultures. Notice, I did not say that Israel has amassed wealth. They created that wealth where previously there was very little. And they did it in spite of almost universal condemnation and continuous violent attacks from their Jew-hating, dysfunctional neighbors.
One of the more twisted and offensive tactics of the anti-Semitic left is the attempted relabeling of people which goes beyond confounding good and evil. Some of the more deranged have gone so far as to equate Israel with Nazis and name the Palestinians as the new Jews. But over time, this got me thinking about the way these people think. I'm going to do a lot of generalizing (as if I haven't already), but I think my generalizations are correct . . . in general.
Those who demonize Israel imagine themselves on the side of goodness and morality, no matter how ignorant they force themselves to be. I'm guessing that they imagine that if they lived in Germany back in the 1930s that they would have been part of the brave few that spoke up against the Third Reich. I bet they really believe that they would have bravely hidden their Jewish neighbors, that they would have risked their lives to do what was right.
But they wouldn't. They would have been boycotting Jewish businesses, turning in their Jewish neighbors, cheering as they were being carted away, and ignoring the awful truths of the death camps.
And here's why.
Progressivism, due to the Marxist leanings of . . . well, of . . . Progressives, is also profoundly, proudly, and stupidly, anti-Capitalist. And Marx was profoundly anti-Semitic. How that stance leads to progress of any kind is beyond me, but that's not what I'm writing about today. In Germany of the 1930s, there were wealthy Jews, doctors, lawyers, merchants, who wanted nothing more than to be accepted as Germans. Many downplayed their Judaism. Some even converted in order to be more a part of mainstream German society, and to spare their children the hatred they faced their whole lives. Did it work? Well, according to Nazi racial policy, you were Jewish if one grandparent was a Jew. So there really was no escape. And if you were wealthy besides, well what a scapegoat you could be.
Not all Jews were or are wealthy, but that's one of the age old stereotypes. And if one rich Jew can be found, then they all must be rich. They are rather clannish, we're told. And we know that according to the Progressives who condemn Capitalism, wealth is never earned, it is always stolen. From whom is it stolen? It is stolen from the poor. Do the poor really have anything one can steal? They must have at one time. When? Who knows? Maybe before the Jews, or Zionists, or Capitalists stole it from them.
Just as they hate Israel today for being Jewish, strong, and wealthy, they would have hated Jews back in the 1930s for the same reason. Strong and wealthy is bad. Poor and weak (in appearance if not in reality) is good. They worship (in retrospect only) the poor, weak Jews of the Holocaust. That is how their brains work. Just as they accept every anti-Israel canard, no matter how ridiculous and unprovable, they would have accepted every piece of propaganda coming down from the Third Reich. The lies are the same. Nazis fraudulently claimed that Jews "stabbed Germany in the back" during WWI. They were outraged over the fact that some Jews became wealthy. They accused Jews of trying to control the world (not just the Middle East) They were -ahem - anti-Zionists. Remind me. Who takes those positions these days? I don't think most Israelis do. And don't forget the ancient blood libels, now resurrected throughout the Muslim world and in mainstream Swedish newspapers.
There is no logic behind the Israel hating stance, there is only a burning hatred that comes from envy and a strong desire to make sure that nobody is allowed to become too wealthy or as the term is used, "obscenely wealthy," especially if they're Jewish. It's the same burning hatred that ran rampant through Germany in the 1930s, the demonization, the calls for boycotts of Jewish businesses, the personal attacks on Jews and their property. I'm not claiming that Progressives are in favor of reopening the death camps. I am claiming though, that when Jews are murdered in Israel, or anywhere for that matter, when synagogues are vandalized, the silence from the Left demonstrates that they care as much as the average German citizen cared when those oppressive Jews of Berlin, and Frankfort, and Hamburg, were forced to wash the streets to cheering crowds and later carted away. And who in the West is demanding divestiture from and the boycotting of Israeli businesses and the country of Israel itself? As I recall, it's those loving, human-rights-demanding Progressives.
All of the excuses the "good Germans" made are made by today's Progressives. But in order to be able to face themselves when they look in the mirror, they have to create a morally inverted world where terrorists who gleefully murder children are called "freedom fighters" and the society that raises them and cheers these murders is called "oppressed". The one country in the Middle East that has allowed its citizens to create a decent standard of living is condemned in the stupidest and most offensive manner. But then again, it is the Jewish country. And as much as they deny it, that is what it comes down to when Progressives decide who their devil is.
They've taken the same positions that Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Nazis take. They fail to see the hypocrisy in their position which claims Muslims can murder Jews as a basic human right while Jews who fight back are oppressive. And as one last thought, let us not forget that Nazis were officially known in Germany as National Socialists. That's kind of far left, isn't it?
"No one can find a safe way out for himself if socety is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result." -- Ludwig von Mises