Will The Detroitization Of America Change Anything?

As the Detroitization of America continues with the official bankruptcy of Detroit itself, many conservative economists, like my friend Steve Moore, believe that it might be the best thing that could ever happen to the Motor City. The thinking is that Detroit’s corrupt politicians and public employee piggies may finally be forced to realize that reality yields to no one.

Lots of luck. The sad fact is that the greed and avarice of the public sector is insatiable, which is why it never learns anything. Just as the Federal government committed a crime by stealing from shareholders and handing over a big chunk of General Motors stock to the very workers who bankrupted the company in the first place, then took your money to make sure that those same workers could continue living the good life, so, too, will the Federal government not hesitate to take your money to bail out the entire city of Detroit.

Oh, it might result in some minor, temporary adjustments for public employees; but, long term, nothing will change. In fact, supposedly free-market economist Larry Kudlow says that Detroit should eliminate or drastically cut back on its highest-in-the-country property taxes on homes, highest-in-the-country commercial property taxes and second-highest-in-the country industrial property taxes. And, for good measure, Michigan should drastically lower its corporate tax rate.

All of that sounds good, except for one problem: Kudlow is only advocating that these cuts be temporary — perhaps three to five years! Then, once the reduced theft allows both Detroit and Michigan to get back on their feet, bring on the high taxes again and let the taxpayer-funded public-employee party swing back into full gear.

In other words, do what produces solvency only temporarily — until you get back to the point where you can afford to once again do what doesn’t workIt reminds me of the RINOs who keep insisting that you don’t raise taxes during a recession, implying that it’s fine to do so when times are good. The reason you don’t raise taxes in a recession is because higher taxes are bad for the economy. So if they’re bad for the economy, why would you want to raise them during a healthy economy? To make it unhealthy?

We already know that handing people free stuff doesn’t break the poverty cycle; and Detroit and San Bernardino and Stockton, Calif., are just the tip of the bankruptcy iceberg. Wake up, Americans: The entire country is broke! The best-kept economic secret in the world — and those who have figured out the power game work hard to keep it a secret — is that the best hope by far for the masses escaping grinding poverty is through capitalism.

All this should remind do-gooders once again that the world runs on individuals pursuing their self-interest. It has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with human nature. Thus, self-interest drives things in both communist and capitalist countries.

Self-interest is simply a basic human trait — perhaps the most basic of all human traits — and is neither good nor bad. It is, in fact, neutral. The only question is whether it is used to create or destroy. Those who use it to create are a benefit to society. Those who use it to destroy cause both pain and poverty.

Henry Ford helped make Detroit what it once was — a thriving metropolis of 1.8 million people by 1950 (down now to a beleaguered city of about 700,000) — by revolutionizing the automobile industry. But he didn’t do it for altruistic purposes. He did it to build a successful company for himself and his family. He succeeded and, thanks to that omnipresent invisible marketplace hand, everyone in Detroit, the State of Michigan and throughout the country was better off for his success. His was a positive example of using one’s self-interest to create.

Of course, the far left will never accept the verdicts of history or any kind of empirical evidence that threatens their grip on power. So they employ their self-interest for social-engineering purposes.

Bankrupt cities come into being through the implementation of an arrogant, destructive self-interest idea — that some people are more qualified than others to organize society in a way that assures “social justice” will prevail. Social justice is, of course, an abstract — and a subjective one at that. One person’s idea of social justice might be equal material well-being for all, while another person’s idea is a society where everyone keeps 100 percent of what he earns through voluntary transactions in the marketplace.

Government grows primarily by redistributing wealth. Armies of workers are needed to administer redistribution programs, and government makes sure they are highly paid and highly pensioned (not to mention highly perked). These armies of workers — recipients of stolen loot from taxpayers — ultimately bankrupt their cities. Then, of course, they cry foul when the money runs out.

While it is true that the United States could slip into a dictatorship as a result of runaway inflation or a massive Great Depression (whether a result of an impeccably carried-out Cloward-Piven plan or through sheer stupidity), the likelihood is that the public-employee redistribution game will continue indefinitely.

That means Detroit will not change its ways after making its way through bankruptcy court — nor will San Bernardino, Stockton, nor bankrupt States like California, New York and Illinois. Because so long as their socialist allies in Washington are in control, they can simply extract the money from the good folks in places like Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas and bail out the same States, cities and municipalities over and over again.

Not to worry, though. Remember what Lord Keynes told us about the long run. At least he gave us a certainty we could all look forward to.

–Robert Ringer

Why Dick Morris Fears Ron Paul

It’s been quite humorous watching Dick Morris switch modes, from dismissing Ron Paul as a nut and a crackpot to hysterically warning people how dangerous he is. In one of his recent lunch videos, Morris ranted nonstop about Paul, going so far as to say: “He is the most radical, liberal candidate running.” Then, on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Morris said: “I think that he is absolutely the most liberal, radical, left-wing person to run for president in the United States in the last fifty years.”

Funny, but I’ve known Ron Paul for more than 30 years, and I see him as one of the purest conservatives in Washington — and certainly the most conservative person in the current field of Republican candidates. I’m talking about true conservatism, which Ronald Reagan accurately described when he said: “The very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

So what, specifically, does Morris not like about Paul? For starters, he says that Paul “has this crazy idea about returning to the gold standard.” Hmm… I never thought of a return to sound money as being a crazy idea. With all due respect, Morris, I think I’ll stick with Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises on that one.

Other Ron Paul sins, according to Morris, include his desire to:

  • Get rid of the Fed.
  • Legalize drugs. (Sorry, pseudo-conservatives, but the unpleasant reality is that the war on drugs has caused even more violence than the war on alcohol did.)
  • Stay out of other countries’ affairs (which would make it possible to slash our military budget without weakening our national defense).
  • Repeal the Patriot Act, which would reduce government’s ability to snoop on American citizens.

Morris even claimed that Paul favors abortion on demand, paid for by the government.  That’s one I’ve never heard before. Paul has always been adamantly pro-life. Furthermore, he believes the issue of abortion comes under the auspices of the States, not the Federal government.

Why is Morris so worried about a guy he has repeatedly referred to as a nutcase, a crackpot and worse? Because, he says, he is afraid that Paul will run as a third-party candidate and “hand the election to Barack Obama.”

First of all, Paul has never been the nutcase his detractors have tried so hard to label him as. Second, he is one of the most morally sound individuals I have ever known, and he is intellectually sound as well.

In fact, the “crazy uncle” remarks that the fearful media pundits keep throwing out about Paul couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, if Paul has one weakness, it’s that he’s intellectually above the average voter’s head, which sometimes makes it difficult to understand him. 

I admit that a handful of comments purportedly made in Paul’s newsletters in the 1980s and 1990s were over the line, but they certainly were not hardcore racist. More important, he unequivocally renounces them today. Often, Paul’s problem is that he is very uninhibited when it comes to being precise about the law and what he believes to be the truth. Unfortunately, a majority of the population is more interested in political correctness than the Constitution or the truth.

I can speak only from my own firsthand experience. Behind closed doors, I have never heard Paul say anything that even mildly bordered on racism. Nor is he anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. As he explained it to me on a couple of different occasions, he just happens to believe that Israel would be better off without having to answer to the United States.

Putting aside the mudslinging, the bottom line is that, more than any other candidate, Paul stands for freedom. But is such a strong advocate of freedom electable? Morris and other establishment Republicans say absolutely not. And they could be right. But there’s a part of me that wonders if they might just be wrong.

If Paul ran as a third-party candidate — especially if Mitt Romney were the Republican nominee — he would attract not only Tea Party voters, but independents, moderate Democrats and anti-war people of all stripes. While the contrast between Obama and Romney is marginal from a long-term point of view, the contrast between Paul and Obama can be measured only in light years.

Romney is John McCain. Romney is George W. Bush. Romney is Bob Dole. Romney is George Herbert Walker Bush. Romney is Thomas Dewey. Romney is Herbert Hoover. That is why I believe that millions of disgusted and desperate Americans, rather than swallowing McCain Light or accepting four more years of Obama’s anti-American policies, might consider casting their vote for a candidate who stands for pure, unadulterated freedom.

Even if Paul did not win, it would be a Presidential race like no other. And if it resulted in Obama’s re-election, I’m fine with that if it keeps Romney from taking the reins of power and feeding us small doses of socialism day in and day out.

Longtime readers will recall that I took the exact same position in 2008 when it was McCain versus Obama. Early on, I said that I preferred Obama over McCain because his Marxist agenda would finally wake up millions of apathetic Americans. And that’s precisely what happened. In fact, by scaring the hell out of the American electorate, Obama brought the Tea Party into existence.

Unfortunately, the Tea Party has not kept the heat on either Obama or Congress. But if Obama is re-elected, maybe Tea Partiers will be jolted into rising up in earnest — 365 days a year — and will get serious about taking back America.

While Morris says that “Ron Paul is just an absolute nightmare,” I say he would be the perfect person to lead the charge against Obama’s march toward Marxism.

Maybe it’s Morris who’s the crazy uncle?

Robert Ringer

A Better Idea For National Defense

If there’s one thing that bothers me this time of the year, it’s seeing ex-servicemen in wheelchairs or sporting titanium arms and legs on television. If peaceful, rational humanoids from another galaxy landed in the United States, I have to believe they would be appalled. I can just hear them asking, “Who sent all these healthy young men and women off to be maimed and killed?” And, “Did the people who sent them lead the charge into battle?”

Many people argue that having the lives of thousands of young adults destroyed — or lost — is the price of preserving our freedom. During World War II, when America was a very different Nation, most people had no trouble buying into that proposition. But in today’s corrupt, semi-socialist America, the biggest threat to our freedom comes not from abroad, but from the criminal class in Washington — and, unfortunately, no one is talking about invading the Nation’s capital.

It’s time to skip the political-correctness silliness and face up to reality: Most wars are transfer-of-wealth scams — transferring money from you and me to the companies that build the planes, tanks, bombs, uniforms, drones, etc. that politicians say they need to protect us. The military-industrial complex has been dominant in all advanced civilizations throughout history, and it’s never been in better health than it is today.

We’re talking very big business here. It’s so big that those who benefit the most from it are willing to have people killed in order to keep the war assembly lines moving ahead at full speed.

As a third-generation tyrant (Kim Jong Un, a.k.a. “Chublet II”) steps to the fore in North Korea, one can’t helping thinking about the infamous Korean War that ended without victory in 1953 — even though victory was in the palm of General Douglas MacArthur’s hand.

Or the infamous Vietnam War that ended in defeat in 1975 — even though the United States could have won that war years earlier had it been willing to use overwhelming force.

Or the infamous Gulf War that ended, curiously, with Saddam Hussein still in power in 1992.

If you want to be ahead of the curve, you can add the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War to the above list as well. Bet the farm on this one: The Iraq story is going to have a very unhappy ending. The only question is whether the country will be overwhelmed by civil war or by an Iran takeover.

As to Afghanistan, it will end the same way that all Afghan wars end — meaning never. Its latest attackers — the Americans — will go back home with their tails between their legs, just as the Russians did before them. And the Afghans will continue to do what they have always done — fight.

It’s not possible to win a war against Afghanistan, because it’s not a real country. It’s a down-and-dirty suburb of the moon, filled with tribesmen who get up every morning, put on their skirts, and do what they have been doing for thousands of years — fight anyone who is willing to enter the ring with them. If there are no takers, they are happy to fight each other.

I don’t doubt the courage or patriotism of the young Americans for whom wheelchairs or prosthetics are now a way of life. They acted in good faith and did what they thought was right. They believed they were being patriotic and defending our freedom.

But it makes me angry that their lives have been shattered because corrupt men and women in Washington got them to believe they were fighting for a noble cause. They were not. That will become obvious to all in the coming years as we watch events unfold in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, along the way, $1 trillion got transferred from the pockets of taxpayers into the coffers of the military-industrial complex.

With drones, bunker busters and, in a pinch, nuclear weapons, war should by now be passé. It isn’t necessary to risk the lives of young men and women in far-off lands. If I were a hawk (which I most definitely am not), I would free the North Korean people in about 17 minutes — without harming any young Americans. Iran might take a week — just long enough to turn things over to the pro-Western youths in that country whom Barack Obama was so pleased to see crushed.

But, as I said, I’m not a hawk, so I wouldn’t take either of the above actions.  I’m just your average libertarian-centered conservative who is tired of war … tired of seeing young people’s lives shattered … tired of seeing American taxpayers forced to hand over their money to politicians so they can pursue never-ending overseas military adventures.

That said, let me make it clear that I’m a big advocate of having a strong national defense. My message to rogue nations would be simple: Mess with us and yesterday will always be remembered as the best day of your life. And, yes, we use nukes if that’s what it takes to make you behave.

Imagine all the lives and money that could have been saved had we hit the Tora Bora mountain range with a string of nuclear bombs in 2001. No U.S. casualties, no trillion dollars wasted, no decade of political posturing. And, best of all, from Russia to China, from North Korea to Iran, the rest of the world would live in fear of what might happen to them if they messed with the Great Satan. How much more comforting it is to be feared rather than liked.

The holiday season is a good time to reflect on how nice it would be if young Americans didn’t lose any more arms or legs and taxpayers would not have to fund a military-industrial complex with such a voracious appetite.

Strong national defense: Yes! Unwarranted wars and wars that we’re not serious about winning: No!

Robert Ringer

Obama And The Failure Of Capitalism

Oops! The Presidential pretender went and did it again. A lot of red ink has passed over the socialist dam since he unthinkingly told Joe the Plumber that he wants to “spread the wealth around.”

Or since he told Charlie Gibson that “It’s a matter of fairness” when Gibson repeatedly asked him to explain why he would want to raise the capital-gains tax when the historical evidence proves that higher capital-gains taxes actually decrease government revenues.

Of course, there have been endless not-so-subtle clues as to Obama’s impeccable collectivist credentials since then, but, on the whole, he tends to choose his words carefully so as not to awaken the sleeping frogs. One must always be mindful not to let the water get too hot.

But last week Obama let it all hang out in a speech at a Kansas high school when he said, “[T]here is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, ‘Let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger.”

Moving in for the kill, he went on to say, “And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. … I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory. We simply cannot return to this brand of you’re-on-your-own economics if we’re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country.”

That’s right, folks, capitalism had nothing to do with the United States becoming the most prosperous country in the history of the world. It had nothing to do with millions of ambitious people starting with nothing and becoming millionaires and even billionaires. And it has nothing to do with the fact that “poor people” (as defined by the Census Bureau) in the U.S. live better than middle-class people in most other countries.

When Obama says that cutting taxes and regulations doesn’t work, what in the world is he talking about? Everything works. The question is, for whom does it work, and how well? Collectivism works exceedingly well for politicians whose chief objective is to stay in office, but it destroys the lives of millions of people on the dole who might otherwise become productive citizens.

True to his favorite tactic of turning the facts upside down, when Obama says “it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory,” it sounds as though he’s referring to communism rather than capitalism. Communism has been tried throughout the world — from Cuba to Russia, from North Korea to China — and it’s worked wonderfully for guys with names like Castro, Stalin, Kim Jong Il and Mao. But for the masses it has consistently delivered poverty, loss of freedom and death.

Capitalism, on the other hand, has worked for the masses — whenever and wherever it has been tried. Even in its impure state (i.e., not laissez faire) it has delivered spectacular wealth and a high standard of living to all those who are willing to work.

“You’re on your own economics” is a cute catchphrase — the kind of dismissive ridicule the left loves to employ — but the truth is that being “on your own” is a good thing. When the government leaves people alone, it makes it easier for them to innovate and create wealth. And when wealth is created, it accrues to everyone’s benefit, whether it is reinvested, spent on goods and services, or saved (which adds to capital formation and, in turn, spurs economic growth and job creation).

But what about those who are truly unable to care for themselves; e.g., quadriplegics, the blind and the mentally ill? What would happen to them in a truly free society? Fortunately, the Western way of life is based on a code of ethics and morality that motivates Americans, in particular, to be remarkably charitable.

No civilized person wants to see those who are seriously health challenged or mentally challenged suffer, so the question is not whether or not such people should be helped. The question is, who is best equipped to help them — politicians, whose chief aim is to perpetuate their own power, or free individuals, who have a genuine desire to be charitable to those who are incapable of fending for themselves?

If the scam of politicians taking from those who produce and giving the stolen loot to those whom they deem to be “in need” worked, the poverty rate would not be about the same today (14.3 percent) as it was when the Great Society was launched back in 1965. What Lyndon Johnson’s “generosity” proved is that it doesn’t matter how much of other people’s money you give away, it does nothing to lift people up. The hard evidence shows that it is government’s redistribution-of-wealth policies that have not worked.

The far left has succeeded in perpetuating a cult of dependency that keeps career criminals like Chuck Schumer, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in power. And, unfortunately, those who claim to be in favor of capitalism — primarily Republican career politicians — have consistently gone along with welfare programs that have bankrupted the country and stripped millions of people of the motivation to tap into their true potential and better their lives.

If one assumes that a community organizing ne’er-do-well like Barack Obama — who has never built anything in his life — sincerely wants to help the middle class, he would have to simultaneously believe that Obama’s an ignoramus.

  • How does increasing America’s debt by $4 billion a day help the poor?
  • How do more than 40,000 pages of tax regulations — regulations that take time and money away from job creators — help the poor?
  • How does an $800 billion “stimulus bill” — which turned out to be nothing more than a wish list of political pork — help the poor?
  • How do regulations that prevent oil drilling and coal mining — activities that could create a massive number of jobs and reduce our dependency on foreign oil — help the poor?
  • How does destroying the housing market through government-created failures like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac help the poor?

Yes, we do need to be on our own. More regulation is the last thing in the world we need. The greatest regulator is, and always has been, the marketplace. Those of us who have engaged in entrepreneurship know that the marketplace is a brutal, unforgiving regulator. But how in the world can you expect a community organizer to know that when he’s never started or operated a business? You have to experience the brutality of the marketplace, firsthand, in order to appreciate just how well it works.

Maybe Obama and his supposedly sincere leftist pals should study Galveston, Texas and try to understand why opting out of the Social Security system has worked so well for its citizens. Or why job-creating companies are stampeding out of anti-business, high-tax States like New York and California and escaping to business-friendly States such as Nevada, Florida and Texas that have no State income taxes.

The truth is that, throughout history, the vile left has never been interested in lifting people up. Instead of focusing on income inequality, their focus should be on setting people free — to be on their own! — to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

Sorry, Barack, but your socialist and communist mentors — from papa Obama to Frank Marshall Davis, from Saul Alinsky to Jeremiah Wright — had it all wrong. It is collectivism, in all its ugly incarnations, that doesn’t work. So-called trickle-down economics, on the other hand, does work — and always will. It’s built into the system.

Barack Obama would do well to listen to a once starry-eyed collectivist named Bill Clinton, who recently said, in an interview with Newsmax’s Chris Ruddy, “We don’t have a lot of resentment against people who are successful. We kind of like it, Americans do. It’s one of our best characteristics. If we think someone earned their money, we do not resent their success. That’s why there’s been very little class conflict in American history.”

We’re less than a year away from finding out who is right in his assessment of the average American — Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.

-Robert Ringer

On Running ‘The Most Electable Candidate’

Even after three years of thugocratic government, there are still many conservatives and libertarians who cannot bring themselves to believe that Barack Obama is anything more than a “big-spending liberal” who is simply misguided. It’s true that some have finally thrown in the towel and sparingly use words like “socialist” and “socialism” to describe Obama and his policies, but terms like “communism” and “dictatorship” are uttered only by those whom the establishment considers extremists.

Much to my fascination, most conservative media pundits continue to scratch their heads and insist that “Barack Obama is just in over his head” when talking about his “failed policies.” The idea that he is actually trying to destroy the last vestiges of the free market and freedom in America is such a radical thought that their mainstream minds will not allow them to even consider it.

But, in the end, Obama’s motives don’t really matter. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that he really is just a lazy, unqualified dunce who is totally devoid of leadership skills. Even if that were the case, the bottom line is the same, i.e., he has spent the first three years of his Presidency primarily focused on three tasks:

  1. Pushing Obamacare through Congress against the will of the American people.
  2. Piling on as many economy-killing regulations as possible.
  3. Getting re-elected, primarily by conjuring up hatred toward the rich.

Now, with elections less than a year away, BHO has shifted most of his efforts to task number three: getting re-elected. He has laid out his strategy for all to see, and it’s clear that he intends to wage a vile campaign straight from the sewers of Chicago. Not the business-as-usual dirty tricks and lies that are par for the course in most political campaigns, but really slimy stuff that has its roots in the criminal world of community organizing.

What’s so disconcerting about this is that Republicans (1) have fielded the worst group of candidates of my lifetime and (2) have a large number of very strong, highly principled, appealing party members who are not running. Ten who come to mind quickly are Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Jim DeMint, Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, Sarah Palin, John Thune, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio (who instead will be anointed as the Vice Presidential candidate).

I believe that any of these people (yes, including Sarah Palin) could have beaten Obama and, once in office, done a good — even great — job of cutting the size of government, rolling back job-killing regulations, lowering taxes and getting the country back to its Constitutional foundation.

In South Carolina last week, Newt Gingrich admitted he “isn’t the perfect candidate” but is “a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney and a lot more electable than anybody else.” In their zeal to topple the Obama regime, Republicans have become obsessed with the idea of electability.

But their emphasis is misplaced. What they should be focused on is finding a candidate who not only has conservative principles but can be trusted to stick to those principles throughout the campaign and beyond, because the most principled candidate would be the most electable candidate.

Unfortunately, Republicans never seem to believe that. After all, it’s only through the grace of Jimmy Carter that Ronald Reagan managed to win the Presidency in spite of the Republican establishment’s unhappiness with his being the party’s nominee. Republicans feel much more comfortable with names like Dole, Bush (1 & 2) and McCain.

As a result, it appears that it now may be down to Romney and Gingrich. Gingrich would be a great President if he governed according to (most of) what he’s been saying on the campaign trail. But that’s a huge if.

Remember, Obama still has the entire mainstream media not only supporting him, but blatantly lying to the public in an effort to continue the ruse that he is a thoughtful, self-critical, mainstream, patriotic American who is being thwarted by a mean-spirited Republican Congress. Nevermind that Democrats controlled the House and Senate through the first two years of his socialist policies, and that the Senate is still controlled by Democrats.

Obama increasingly may try to sound as though he’s a moderate, but no one — neither on the right nor the left — seriously believes that. The reason nearly half of voters still rate him favorably is not because they believe he’s a centrist. On the contrary, it’s because they want more redistribution of wealth, and they realize that he is determined to make that happen.

That is why Republicans cannot win if they try to Romneyize or McCainize their positions. The conventional wisdom is wrong regarding this issue. Independents — who, as usual, will decide the 2012 election — will be much more inclined to vote for a highly principled candidate with whom they may disagree on a number of issues than for another phony conservative.

If there were any doubts about what the dirty Dems have in store for a RINO Republican nominee, they should have vanished after their early shot across Romney’s bow: the “Mitt versus Mitt” ad that posits Romney’s candidacy as “the story of two men trapped in one body.”

Early on, I didn’t believe that BHO and the Dems actually would try to win the 2012 election by pounding away at the income-inequality theme, because any fool knows that it has nothing to do with the economic problems the United States faces. If anything, focusing on this canard is the cause of the economy’s death spiral, because it motivates politicians to increase taxes, increase regulations and increase government control over both people and the economy.

Interestingly, Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, every Republican’s two favorite Democrats, have been urging the Obamessiah to bow out of the 2012 race. Recently, they wrote: “He should abandon his candidacy for reelection in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but, more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

Yikes! The thought of Hillary back from the dead is enough to give conservatives chest pains. With Obama, there is no doubt about who the enemy is. But it would take several years for those smitten with the new-and-improved happy-face version of Hilla the Hun to come out of their stupor. By that time, she would have enacted every policy BHO wanted to foist on the American public — and then some. (Remember, Hillarycare preceded Obamacare by more than 15 years.)

As much as I hate to say it, given the alternatives, maybe we’re better off with an unprincipled, flip-flopping Republican in the White House. I mean, it’s not like we aren’t used to it. Still, in all, it sure would be nice if someone with strong and consistent conservative convictions broke through the pack and won the Republican nomination — or ran as a third-party candidate.

–Robert Ringer

The OWS-Black Friday Connection

The shopping mantra for American consumaholics this year is, “We know the future is hopeless, but we’re not going to allow the bad economy to ruin our holiday season.” If you doubt their determination to let the good times roll, just ask the crazed Black Friday shoppers who were pepper-sprayed at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart by a woman who wasn’t about to miss out on one of the most sought after necessities of life: an Xbox.

Of course, those who were merely pepper-sprayed got off easy. Being at Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart or Kohl’s last weekend made Kandahar seem like a safe haven. During the three-day Thanksgiving shopping marathon, some consumaholics were punched, elbowed, stabbed and even shot. You have to admire the brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to get their fair share of discounted playthings that they desperately need to keep their gray matter anesthetized.

You could just picture many of them taking their electronic toys back to their Occupy Wall Street tents and falling into a peaceful slumber, thinking to themselves, “Mission accomplished.” And today, you can bet they’re right back on the front lines fighting those evil guys on Wall Street. You know, the ones who have given Barack Obama more money than any candidate in history.

If none of this phases you, try imagining what these lost souls will be like when they’re on the hunt for the basic necessities of life: little things like food, water and weapons. But that could be two or three years away; there’s no sense in their getting exercised about it right now. Today, focusing on discounted Xboxes takes all the energy they can muster.

I do not mean to imply that all Black Friday shoppers are Occupy Wall Streeters or that all Occupy Wall Streeters are Black Friday shoppers. But the two groups have at least three things in common: They are very materialistic, they are angry about what they don’t have and they have no qualms about resorting to mob violence.

When I use the word “materialistic,” I’m referring to wealth. To be clear, wealth is not what someone earns. Wealth is what someone “owns.” Wealth is comprised of cars, buildings, computers, television sets and iPods.

But wealth has to be created. It takes money, management and labor to produce all of those cars, buildings, computers, television sets and iPods. The predicament that America now finds itself in is that there’s a lot of money and management around, but not enough labor. At least, there’s not enough labor at a cost that allows companies to manufacture goods at prices consumers are willing to pay.

Of course, there’s plenty of labor in places like China, India, Pakistan, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Haiti, Thailand and many other countries. So it’s no mystery why these countries now produce a great deal of wealth.

The reason the Western world is broke is because it doesn’t have a workforce that is willing to work at wages that are competitive with non-Western nations. And the reason workers are unwilling to accept internationally competitive wages is because they can afford to be choosy. Unemployment benefits, food stamps and other forms of welfare remove the motivation to work at any job that is available to them, at whatever wage is being offered, in order to feed and clothe their families.

Speaking from personal experience, the two threats that motivated me to work so hard early in my career were homelessness and starvation. But these two factors no longer motivate people who are unemployed, because the government forces those with wealth to provide food, clothing and shelter to those who don’t have the necessities.

With these factors removed from the survival equation, people can afford to camp out at Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart for days on end and elbow, stab, shoot and pepper-spray those who would stand in the way of their getting their fair share of stuff at the lowest possible prices.

There’s no way to prove it, but I’d be willing to bet that a disproportionate number of those who had nothing better to do than camp out in front of superstores for several days prior to Black Friday are classified as “poor” by the Federal government. But how in the world can poor people afford to go shopping for electronic toys?

That’s a good question. Here are some facts about people whom the Census Bureau defines as “poor” that may help to answer it:

  • Forty-three percent own their own homes.
  • Eighty percent have air conditioning in their homes.
  • Almost 75 percent of poor households have a car, and 31 percent have more than one.
  • Ninety-seven percent have a color television set and 62 percent have cable or satellite TV.
  • Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens.

Clearly, being poor in America is much better than being middle class in many countries. In fact, so-called poor people in the United States live as well as those in the median American household of the early 1970s. When you get right down to it, poverty is relative. But as the living standards of the poor rise, vote-hungry politicians simply make those rising standards the new baseline for poverty.

The problem is that the Western world — from Greece to California, from Italy to New York — is running out of wealth. That being the case, the masses are fully prepared to vote for politicians who will assure them that their benefits will not be cut — provided they aren’t drunk, stoned, dead or in jail on Nov. 6.

Now hear this: There is no constituency for cutting entitlements!

What does that mean? It means a worthless U.S. currency, which in turn means that, ultimately, the masses will not have the resources to take part in those midnight pepper-spray riots on Black Friday. And that’s when the Occupy Wall Street crowds will swell, and the anger and violence will ramp up to French Revolution proportions. Mob violence is already programmed into our future.

But, as I said, that probably won’t happen for at least several more years. In the meantime, eat, drink and be merry and enjoy the holiday season. And, for goodness sake, be sure to get an Xbox. When all hell breaks loose, you might just be able to get some OWS loon to take it in exchange for a 9 mm Glock — or at least a hunting knife.

Robert Ringer

The Supercommittee Farce

The past couple of months, I’ve taken to biting my nails again, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. In fact, the media have me on the verge of a nervous breakdown with their coverage of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the supercommittee).

I can’t tell you how stressed I’ve been thinking about the gut-wrenching task these hardworking, upstanding men and women have been facing. The thought of them having to find a way to cut spending by $1.2 trillion by Nov. 23 or face automatic, across-the-board spending cuts has caused my anxiety level to go through the roof.

I’ve tried to console myself by recalling that John Maynard Keynes assured us that, in the long run, we’re all dead anyway. But I still find myself hyperventilating, breaking out in cold sweats and having to fight off deficit headaches.

Buddha, who was a cut above Keynes when it came to wisdom, said that all unhappiness is caused by attachment. Reflecting on his words, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the essence of my problem. I simply became too attached to the supercommittee crisis, and the thought that those admirable public servants might fail has been more than I can bear.

Now that judgment day is upon us, the anticipation has become so nerve-racking that I find myself… hmm… well, to tell you the truth, I find myself yawning a lot. Sort of like watching an old movie that I’ve seen many times before — a movie that I didn’t much care for the first time I saw it.

OK, enough. Let’s get real here. Only the play-along-to-get-along media could hype a business-as-usual non-event like the supercommittee’s thumb-sucking task into sounding like the Cuban missile crisis — or at least the lead-up to the Super Bowl.

Does anyone really take this stuff seriously? Sadly, yes. In fact, I have it on good authority that millions of political junkies can get aroused over the most mundane news coming out of the Capitol Building or the White House. And according to the ads I’ve seen on TV, all of them would be wise to consult their doctors.

Sorry, but the truth is that the media’s hand-wringing over the supercommittee’s deficit-reduction work is nothing more than a monumental farce. By getting the public to focus on the choice of cutting $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years or triggering automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion, Congress is once again able to distract from what really needs to be done

And by “really needs to be done,” I mean cutting a minimum of $1.5 trillion from the budget next year. Why $1.5 trillion? Because that’s what it would take to balance the current budget, which is already 10 times greater than it should be.

It’s all part of the same old Washington game, and the rules of the game are very simple: Democrats never agree to any serious spending cuts, and Republicans always give in (while pretending to be victorious, of course).

In other words, from the Democrats’ point of view, it’s: “Heads, I win; tails, you lose.” And from the Republicans’ point of view, it’s: “Just let us continue to eat in the Congressional dining room, work out in the Congressional gym and have access to insider stock-trading information, and we’ll go along with just about anything you ask of us.”

It never really mattered whether the so-called “spending cuts” came from the supercommittee or as a result of “automatic, across-the-board spending cuts.” Either way, the budget, the deficit and the national debt were guaranteed to continue to rise — and at an accelerating rate, at that.

What does this mean in terms of next November’s elections? Well, if the Republicans run a progressive candidate like Mitt Romney, once again allowing themselves to be intimidated by the Democrats’ constant admonishments that “voters want Democrats and Republicans to come together,” then they will have learned nothing from their Mush McCain mistake in 2008.

It’s scary to think about, but even Ann Coulter has fallen into the ageless trap of believing that conservatives should once again set aside their principles and nominate a candidate who can win. Not only is such a position unprincipled, it also yields either a losing Presidential race or a Republican President who does nothing more than carry the water bucket for Democrats. (Think George W. Bush.)

Perhaps the biggest tip-off that Romney has Democrats licking their chops at the thought of his winning the Republican nomination is that their liberal media cheerleaders keep insisting he is the candidate Democrats fear most. That’s a dead giveaway for just how badly they want him to be the Republican nominee. Trust me, the thought of running nonstop ads that feature Barack Obama thanking Romney for creating the model for Obamacare has them both salivating and cackling.

Of course, if voters bypass Romney and flee into the arms of Newt Gingrich, Democrats would also have a ball with some of Gingrich’s more infamous positions — supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program, global-warming couch sessions with Nancy Pelosi, favoring an individual mandate for healthcare, and, worst of all, referring to Paul Ryan’s serious budget-cutting plan as “extreme right-wing social engineering.”

The important question of the day is not whether the supercommittee will “compromise” and work out a spending-cut plan or take the easy way out and allow automatic spending cuts to be triggered. Either way, you can be sure there will be no significant cutbacks in government spending.

A far more important question is: Will conservatives be smart enough and tough enough to understand that promising to cut the size and scope of government and put an end to the criminality in Washington is what got them elected to Congress in 2010?

Or will they misread the political climate once again and run scared — right into the arms of their socialist pals across the aisle — and hand the only Marxist President in American history a default victory that will give him the time he needs to finish the job of destroying what is left of the U.S. economy?

Robert Ringer

The Happy Valley Football Altar

The Penn State scandal is so disturbing that it’s hard to even write about. When I first heard Joe Paterno had been fired, I thought perhaps it was an overreaction on the part of Penn State’s board of trustees. But as I read about some of the details of the case, I quickly realized I was wrong. As it turns out, Paterno is a split legal hair away from being guilty of covering up a heinous crime spree that staggers the moral imagination of the average American.

As we all know by now, in 2002, assistant football coach Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant at Penn State, allegedly saw defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the locker-room shower. To McQueary’s credit, he immediately reported the incident to Coach Paterno.

However, one of the questions people are asking is: Should McQueary, who was then 28 years of age, have gone to the police instead of, or in addition to, telling Paterno? Probably. But I’m willing to stretch my moral slack cutter enough to believe that the youthful McQueary was probably panicked about witnessing such an unfathomable crime and rationalized that he had done his duty by reporting it to the head coach.

Paterno, in turn, reported the incident to Athletic Director Timothy Curley. The same question applies: Should Paterno have gone to the police instead of, or in addition to, telling Curley? Here I have a problem with cutting JoePa much slack.

At the time, Paterno was a 73-year-old prominent role model who had been the head of one of the most prestigious college football programs in the United States for nearly four decades. I’m at a loss to understand why he didn’t follow up, and follow up, and continue to follow up in an effort to find out what action was being taken against Sandusky. (According to the grand jury indictment of Sandusky, “it was within The Second Mile Program that Sandusky found his victims.” Sandusky founded the charity to help troubled youths.)

If Paterno did not follow up, he is an accomplice to the cover-up of a horrific crime. On the other hand, if he did follow up and was told that the university was not going to press charges against Sandusky, he had a moral obligation to take action on his own. And, again, if he did not take such action, he was guilty of repressing information about a serious crime.

Curley and Gary Schultz, Penn State’s senior vice president for finance and business, did not report the incident to the police, but did ban Sandusky from bringing children into the Penn State locker room. By definition, not notifying the authorities amounted to obstruction of justice, a felony that has put many a high-profile person behind bars.

The Penn State embarrassment brings back memories of another iconic football coach, Woody Hayes, who was fired from Ohio State University the morning after he shocked the sports world by punching a Clemson player during the 1978 Gator Bowl. What was different in the Hayes case, however, was that there was no crime charged and his inappropriate behavior was witnessed by a stadium full of fans and millions of television viewers.

The issue is much bigger than coaches like Paterno and Hayes, who believe that winning football games is the most important thing in life. The broader issue is the deification of college sports by millions of mindless fans, which sends a bad signal to students who are supposed to be focused on getting a good education.

A kid who gets straight A’s has to wonder why a guy who can run with a football is more deserving of a letter sweater than he is. I’m more impressed by a learning-challenged student who manages to rise above his learning deficits and graduate with a 3.0 GPA than a 7-footer who can dunk a basketball.

Personally, I don’t believe athletes should receive any kind of reward for their athletic accomplishments. But I do believe that students who excel at academics should be held up as role models by a university’s hierarchy. There’s nothing wrong with being a good athlete, but sports should be kept in proper perspective. Winning a football or basketball game is not a major accomplishment in the grand scheme of things.

I remember shaking my head in disgust when CBS News anchor Dan Rather opened one of his broadcasts in December 1999 by saying excitedly, “There’s joy once again at Columbine High School.” He then went on to tell how Columbine had won the Class 5A state football championship in Colorado.

The implication was that winning a football championship somehow made things right at Columbine. As usual, Rather got it completely wrong. The exaltation of jocks is a major part of the out-of-control bullying problem at schools like Columbine. The jubilation over the school’s football championship only perpetuated the “jocks rule” atmosphere that purportedly still prevails at that school.

I doubt it will ever happen, but I would like to see all sports scholarships eliminated and have the rosters of college athletic teams filled by grade-qualifying students. Sports played by real student athletes would bring in just as much money as the semiprofessional college teams we have today. If everyone is playing at a lower skill level, it looks pretty much the same as when super jocks are playing against each other on a higher level.

The Penn State tragedy and the broader issue of deifying college sports are really just symptoms of a much larger problem: We have discarded the certitudes and values that once made America the greatest country on Earth. Without certitudes and values, it’s easy for people to do unspeakable things such as looking the other way in order to protect a revered college football program. After all, the secular progressives have taught us that everything is relative.

May God be with those innocent kids who were sacrificed on the Happy Valley Football Altar. And may they all become wealthy as a result of the avalanche of lawsuits that is about to shake Penn State to its core.

Robert Ringer

Perpetual Revolution

As the election season revs up, bull-slinging, the favorite sport of the criminal class east of the Potomac, is in full bloom. Some of the best zingers we’ve been treated to lately include:

  • Che Obama, at the G-20 in France, saying, with a straight face: “I have to tell you, the least of my concerns at the moment is the politics of a year from now.” Sure, Barry.
  • Nancy Pelosi, at a recent press briefing, saying, with a straight face: “If President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment.” Sure, Nancy.
  • Joe Biden saying, with a straight face, that if Obama’s $447 billion “jobs bill” (i.e., stimulus package) is not passed, there won’t be enough police to prevent rapes and robberies. Sure, Joe.

Do they really believe any of this nonsense? No, of course not. But they do know, through experience, that slinging a decorative array of fecal matter against the wall can win over a significant portion of the electorate — particularly those who don’t know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

But let’s put the sleepwalkers aside for a moment. They’re pretty much already owned by the left anyway. I’m more concerned about the supposedly conservative media types who are hopelessly trapped in the Beltway Paradigm.

By Beltway Paradigm, I’m talking about those who believe the far-left zealots will ultimately fail because, in the end, the free market will overrule their desires. They are fond of saying that socialism is simply not in the American DNA; thus, in the next election voters will root out those on the far left.

Their problem is that they do not understand how the left-wing revolutionary mind works. Lefties know that communism makes the masses worse off, but they also know they can override that reality through the use of force.

Media mainstreamers, even those who are usually on target, simply cannot grasp a scenario that is so far outside the Beltway Paradigm. In their minds, they naively assume there will always be a next election.

And, even more naively, they assume the government would never use violence against U.S. citizens. Underlying this naiveté is that they cannot bring themselves to believe there is a serious revolution afoot in this country — and throughout the world.

In that vein, a year ago I participated in a panel discussion with three staunch Republicans, one of whom was a high-profile Fox News contributor. At one point in our discussion — and without giving it a second thought — I happened to mention Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama in the same sentence, which caused the Fox News contributor to frantically blurt out, “I didn’t say that!” to make certain the audience knew the comment had not come from him.

His knee-jerk attempt to distance himself from my comment took me aback, because I sometimes forget that mainstream guys never stray from the comfortable thoughts contained within their Beltway Paradigm. And, rest assured, revolution is not within that paradigm.

Whether it’s the Occupy Wall Street protesters, rioters in Greece, public workers defacing the State Capitol building in Madison, Wis., or thugs tearing down the city of Oakland, Calif., brick by brick, they are all focused on the same objective: equal distribution of wealth and a classless society. They may not use the word communism, but communism is precisely what they yearn for.

Do I believe every person in these rowdy mobs is consciously involved in a communist revolution? No, of course not. A majority of them, in fact, are probably nothing more than “useful idiots” who are hopelessly addicted to the idea of less and less work coupled with more and more entitlements. I doubt they realize that the system they long to see implemented is communism — or ultimately leads to communism.

In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote:  “In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against… existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”

The key words here are “support every revolutionary movement against… existing social conditions.” When you use these words as a filter, it’s easier to understand the connection between such seemingly disparate events as those in Egypt, Libya, Greece, Wisconsin and Lower Manhattan. After all, the only thing that matters is that workers must always revolt against “existing social conditions.”

The result is perpetual revolution, because there are always “existing social conditions.” That’s why most rioters who have been interviewed don’t seem to be able to coherently explain exactly what they’re rioting about. For the left, mob violence is an end in itself. To paraphrase the witch Ursula in the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid,” it’s what they live for.

One of Vladimir Lenin’s more infamous statements was when he said, “We say that our morality is wholly subordinated to the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat.” Translation: Anything goes, because the communists’ noble end justifies any means, including lying, stealing, cheating or even murdering innocent people. From whence comes the kind of absurd bull-slinging we hear from committed lefties like Obama, Pelosi and Biden.

Marx and Engels viewed the world as divided into two classes: the exploiters, who own the means of production; and the exploited, who have no choice but to sell or trade their physical labor in order to survive. Based on the worldwide uprisings we’ve seen over the past year, nothing much has changed in the 163 years since Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto. Isn’t it amazing that the revolution they called for is still going strong so long after the collapse of the great social experiments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe?

Above all, Marx and Engels fervently believed that the root of all evil is private property. They cared little about freedom; because, clearly, freedom is impossible without private property. Property is an extension of a man’s life. Thus, if everything he creates can be taken from him, he has no incentive to create.  If everything he buys with his earnings can be taken from him, he has no incentive to earn.

I don’t believe it was so much that Marx and Engels didn’t understand this self-evident reality. I believe it was more a case of their choosing to ignore it. In their narrow, somewhat childish, view of the world, workers deserved to receive all of the proceeds from the sale of whatever was produced by their labor. Management, they believed, was incidental to the production of a product; thus, management and owners deserved nothing.

From Greece and Portugal to California and Wisconsin, from Italy and Spain to Illinois and New York, the socialist model is collapsing under its own weight. Economic and demographic forces are shining a spotlight on the reality that the combination of ever-bigger government financed by an ever-smaller tax base is doomed to failure.

Nevertheless, Obama and his class-warfare pals can win. The more obvious their failure becomes, the more angry and panicked the wealth redistributors, especially in Washington, D.C., will be. Their bull-slinging is easy enough to laugh off, but if it doesn’t work — if it becomes clear that the Democrats are going down to defeat in 2012 — look for them to go to their weapon of last resort and use brute force to “temporarily” suspend elections.

Of course, the least of my concerns at the moment is suspension of the 2012 elections. Sure, Robert.

–Robert Ringer

The Rise Of The Entrepreneur

Increasingly, it appears that the far left has found a straw dog to replace its long-cherished, but now embarrassingly discredited, global-warming hoax: “unequal distribution of wealth.”

Of course, class warfare has been around for thousands of years, so it was just a matter of reviving a tired old idea. And, unfortunately, it’s an idea that works nearly 100 percent of the time — at least with those who are ignorant of history and unwilling to study or think.

But as the ne’er-do-well in the White House and Congressional Democrats continue to cast the entrepreneur as a greedy, avaricious villain whose success comes at the expense of the working man, a healthy backlash is occurring. With the word entrepreneur becoming increasingly popular with media pundits on both the right and the left, more and more people are coming to realize that entrepreneurship was the driving force behind America’s widespread prosperity — prosperity that few Americans could have imagined as recently as the mid-20th century.

After all, many of the Founding Fathers were entrepreneurs, and perhaps the two most famous in that regard are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They also are good examples of just how far apart the results of individual entrepreneurs can be. Though they were both farmers, Washington was one of the richest men in America, while Jefferson struggled financially throughout his life and died broke.

Jefferson’s financial difficulties are a reminder that there are no guarantees for the entrepreneur, who labors away without the luxury of a safety net. In fact, perhaps the single greatest attribute of an entrepreneur is his willingness to take risks — including the risk of losing everything if he fails.

By everything, I’m not just referring to savings, stocks, bonds and collectibles. I’m talking about his house, his furniture, his cars — everything he owns — not to mention his credit and his self-esteem.

In this vein, ultra-liberal Barbara Walters, of all people, did an excellent special last week on self-made billionaires. The slant of the show belied the rhetoric of left-wing politicians who frantically try to convince the public that being rich, of and by itself, is evil. Their words clearly imply that rich people somehow prevent others from getting ahead financially. The truth, of course, is that most wealthy people achieved their success by creating products and services that others want.

Walters’ first guest was Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil. Laliberté, who has a net worth of $2.5 billion, struggled early in his career as a street performer in Montreal before venturing out as an entrepreneur. Today, his multibillion-dollar business showcases in 271 cities worldwide, employing tens of thousands of people in the process. His costume shop alone, the biggest in the world, employs more than 400 people who design and produce the wardrobes for his troupes.

Do down-with-the-rich proponents really believe that the thousands of people Laliberté employs would be better off today if he had not used his entrepreneurial talents to create and operate Cirque du Soleil? I wonder.

Most important, when Walters asked him if he still takes risks, Laliberté quickly responded, “Every day.” Wall Street Journal Wealth Reporter Robert Frank, who added his insights throughout the show, then explained, “Part of the risk-taking personality is the ability to overcome failure. … One of the things that makes billionaires successful is their reaction to failure.”

Unfortunately, the true-believing progressive who spews out class-warfare rhetoric is clueless about the risks the entrepreneur takes in his quest for success. Or about the self-evident principle: The greater the risk, the greater the potential reward.

As a result, lefty politicians have a stubborn habit of stepping in and trying to curb the natural rewards of the marketplace, insisting that “it’s unfair” for the super rich to make so much more than the average working person. That’s right, no other explanation other than “it’s unfair.”

It goes without saying that from a moral point of view, their position is indefensible. If people are truly free, they should be free to become as wealthy as their talent, creativity and hard work can take them, so long as they do not use force or fraud against anyone else. And, fortunately, we already have more than enough laws on the books to bring to justice those who commit fraud or use uninitiated force against others.

And from an economic viewpoint, it’s a no-brainer. Contrary to what progressives would like us to believe, it’s impossible for anyone to become rich without creating jobs. Wealthy folks start and expand businesses and, in the process, employ others — not just by hiring people, but through the jobs that are created indirectly by those who furnish the raw materials, parts, transportation, etc. that their businesses require.

But what about someone who spends hundreds of millions of dollars indulging himself in such luxuries as mansions, private jets and yachts? It doesn’t take a Ludwig von Mises to explain that workers are needed to build those mansions, private jets and yachts, not to mention to produce the materials and thousands of parts and accessories that go into them. Then, once built, it takes people to operate and service those mansions, private jets and yachts — which means long-term employment.

Thus, economic reality makes it clear that the entrepreneur is not the villain progressives tout him to be. On the contrary, he is a bona fide hero who creates jobs and wealth for everyone who is willing to work. As such, entrepreneurs who accumulate great fortunes should be admired rather than scorned. To vilify someone for having “too much” is the height of asininity and self-destructiveness.

The single most important fact about entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and the recently deceased Steve Jobs is that their great wealth not only does not prevent others from becoming successful, it actually gives their customers the tools to become wealthy themselves. Think computers, hand-held electronic devices and cell phones, to name but a few of the more obvious of such tools, all of which are easily available to even the most financially challenged among us.

The optimistic side of me wants to believe that truth may be on a roll here. If so, it needs all the help it can get. As the angry socialist from the mean streets of Chicago continues to preach about lame abstracts such as social justice and fairness, those of us who know the truth need to spread the word.

We need to explain to all who will listen that the entrepreneur who aspires to great wealth by creating products and services people want is not the cause of America’s problems, but, rather, the solution to its problems.

And what about hope and change? I’m all for it. When people focus on hard work, resourcefulness and wealth creation — and are willing to take risks — it gives them a lot more hope than being on the dole. Specifically, it gives them hope that positive change in their lives is inevitable.

–Robert Ringer

Tyranny Of The Majority

As liberals go, I actually had a touch of like for Joltin’ Joe Biden in his Senate days. But since he got in bed with the Marxists in the Executive Branch, it’s become increasingly difficult to give him a pass. Even so, I feel compelled to cut Joe some slack by blaming his maniacal remarks on mitigating circumstances — the fact that he’s a bona fide idiot.

Thus, when the Delaware Dimwit said that paying taxes is the most patriotic thing an already overtaxed American citizen can do, it wasn’t out of malice. Truth be known, I don’t believe he has any idea why he says such things. As near as I can tell, he simply appears to be on progressive autopilot.

Now Biden wants to increase the national debt even more by insisting that Congress pass the latest mini-stimulus, warning that if it doesn’t, there won’t be enough police to prevent rapes and robberies. Hmm… how weird. Offhand, I can’t recall a single instance where a law enforcement officer prevented a rape or robbery… but, hey, there’s always a first time.

In any event, whether nonsensical statements like this are the result of stupidity, lack of knowledge or malevolence, be prepared for them to come at you in torrents over the next 12 months. With Republican Presidential candidates taking bites out of each others’ arms, imagine what it’s going to be like when the Democrats take aim at the Republicans’ soon-to-be-known compromise candidate, whoever that might be.

The question no Republican seems interested in asking is: What gives any elected official the authority to increase taxes on American citizens whenever he has an urge to hand money to selected groups of his choosing? The Constitution doesn’t say that it’s the duty of the American citizen to play the role of a docile cow waiting to be milked whenever politicians decide they need more money.

One of the Democrats’ favorite new talking points is that recent polls show that 80 percent of Americans favor a new tax on millionaires and billionaires. Gosh, really? I would never have thought the average person would favor taxing America’s wealthiest citizens. Duh… of course most people would like to see a tax on someone other than themselves. Why not, so long as the government doesn’t tax them?

But, guess what? The Founding Fathers set up the rules of the game in such a way as to specifically prevent America from becoming a tyranny-of-the-majority nation, which is why polling questions about increasing taxes are irrelevant. Every person on this Earth has unlimited desires, but those desires don’t give anyone claim to the assets of others.

Lest anyone forget, America is supposed to be a republic. And in a true republic, the fact that 80 percent of the population favors committing aggression against a minority — including the minority of people who are the most financially successful — should carry no weight when it comes to legislation.

The fact is that majority rule violates the rights of others if it forces them to go along with actions with which they do not agree. Progressives would like us to believe that majority rule is morally virtuous. The reality, however, is that majority rule is moral cannibalism, because it makes it possible for one group of people, simply by being in the majority, to do whatever it wishes to those in the minority. In fact, theoretically speaking, majority rule could validate literal cannibalism.

The basic premise of majority rule is that good is defined as “that which is best for the greatest number of people.” Such a premise, however, is so vague as to be meaningless. Every individual has a unique set of circumstances, unique needs and desires, unique personality traits, unique fears and unique ambitions.

And it is each person’s uniqueness that dictates which actions are best for him. That’s why progressive terms such as social justice and the common good are nothing more than red herrings.

The same moral logic holds true for corporations, since they are the property of individuals, often large numbers of individuals. But some folks in Lynchburg, Tenn., don’t see it that way. Charles Rogers, a 75-year-old retiree and self-described “concerned citizen” of Moore County, where distillery giant Jack Daniel’s is located, recently created a stir when he said: “We are entitled [my emphasis] to more money from the only industry in the county — Jack Daniel’s distillery.”

To which Tommy Beam, general manager of Jack Daniel’s, responded: “That’s not free enterprise, and that’s not what this country was built on. I saw a quote the other day that said that a person used to look at a successful person and say, ‘Now, what do I have to do to become like that?’ Whereas now they might look at him and say, ‘What can I do to get what they’ve got?’”

Well said. Nevertheless, the Moore County Council passed a measure asking the Tennessee Assembly for enabling legislation to put the question of a per-barrel tax on Jack Daniel’s whiskey on the ballot. That’s right, the entitlement crowd in Moore County is coming after its No. 1 benefactor, Jack Daniel’s, the company that put Lynchburg on the map over the past century.

It’s a classic case of tyranny of the majority. Forget the fact that Jack Daniel’s is by far the biggest employer in Moore County. Forget the fact that it’s a magnet that draws 250,000 tourists (who spend money!) each year to Lynchburg. Forget the fact that the company already pays 60 percent of the price of a bottle of whiskey in taxes.

Clearly, the class-warfare battle-cry in the hinterlands is pretty much the same as it is 900 miles to the more sophisticated northeast in the Occupy Wall Street protest: “I want more, so you have to give it to me.” Sounds rational to me.

Move over Greece, here we come.

Robert Ringer

Surviving The Republican Establishment

There are at least two conflicting views of the Occupy Wall Street mob. One is that the media are overplaying the protests and that they are much ado about nothing. The idea is that the protesters are primarily a bunch of idealistic kids living out their fantasies of the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out crowd of the 1960s.

At the other extreme is the view that the protests are the start of a worldwide left-wing revolution promoted by communists, union Mafiosos and a variety of down-with-the-rich misfits. While I believe that the goofy, confused kids — who can’t seem to coherently explain why they are protesting — are being used by the heavyweight, behind-the-scenes players who are funding the protests, that’s beside the point.

What’s more important is to understand that these kinds of protests are nothing new. Class warfare has been a fact of life throughout most of modern history. Whether we like it or not, envy fuels a never-ending, contentious relationship between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” It’s always been that way, and it always will be. The “Kumbaya” stuff is nice for dreamers who love to Twitterpate, but it’s not reality. Human nature is what it is.

Just as the mid-1950s represent the pinnacle of Western civilization, the French Revolution has always served as the gold standard for aspiring left-wing revolutionaries. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which came on the scene nearly 130 years later, is often held up as a model for would-be revolutionaries, but it didn’t have the passion and romanticism of the French Revolution.

The reason those on the far left have always held a special place in their hearts for the Maximilien Robespierre-inspired guillotine crowd in France is that the riffraff of that country transformed their angry fantasies into the spilling of blood — lots of it — and did so without mercy or discretion. Even the revolution’s leader, Robespierre, ended up losing his head!

That brings us back to today and the Fleabagger protests. While some may be hesitant to attribute too much power to the nation’s most famous community organizer, the sad truth is that the driving force behind the current movement is none other than Chairman Obama.

Between playing the role of venture capitalist with your money and instructing fellow radical Eric Holder to double down on the Fast and Furious cover-up, he has been stoking the fires of revolution since the day he arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Those who don’t get this are naïve to the core.

At first, of course, BHO was careful to carry out his plans in a stealth manner. But in recent months, as it became clear that he and his fellow radicals in Congress were going to suffer sweeping defeat in 2012, he began bringing his revolutionary game into the open.

With the clock ticking down on “this progressive moment in history” (credit, Paul Krugman), there’s no time for stealth. No sooner than he had finished his “Can we all get along?” speech following the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., Obama quickly took off the gloves, put on his Che Guevara T-shirt and took aim at capitalism’s jugular.

I have repeatedly warned about a possible trumped-up crisis that could be used to suspend the 2012 elections. Hopefully, it won’t happen, but it would be wise to be on the lookout for it. Those caught in a Bill O’Reilly Naiveté Warp should remember that the mantra of the left has always been, and still is, the end justifies the means.

The “Occupy” protests may seem incoherent to many, because they lack both substance and message. But to a keen observer, the driving force behind the protests is quite clear: envy-based anger. Envy — one of the basest of human traits — is, unfortunately, a dangerous fact of life that will always be with us.

Let’s be very clear here. Envy is not about leveling the playing field, nor is it about helping people lift themselves up. It’s about providing an outlet for one’s hatred. Envy is about inflicting punishment on those who are perceived to be too well-off.

The modern-day buzzword for this envy is class warfare (a.k.a. plunder), but, regardless of what you call it, it’s been around since the beginning of recorded history. Since there’s no nice way of branding it, the left has long referred to it by the mother of all abstracts, social justice. It’s sort of like a bottle of snake oil: “good fer what(ever) ails ya.”

Who would be dumb enough to buy into a catchall bromide that has no meaning except that which each individual assigns to it? Answer: Roughly 50 percent of the population. Why? Because it feels so good to hate. Yes, it really is that simple. My detractors call it ranting. I call it acknowledging reality.

Though politicians have been playing the class-warfare game quite openly since at least the early part of the 20th century, the father of modern social justice was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Once FDR managed to get the unConstitutional Social Security Act through Congress, progressives became ever bolder in pushing through additional vote-buying programs that were — and are — equally unConstitutional.

In his 1936 presidential campaign, with the Great Depression getting worse by the day, FDR blatantly focused on creating conflict between the haves and the have-nots. He pounded away at the theme that one-third of the nation was “ill-housed,” “ill-clad” and “ill-nourished.” And it worked. That’s right, in the midst of the Great Depression — a depression which he himself had deepened and prolonged with his big-government policies — FDR beat Alf Landon in a landslide, carrying every state but Maine and Vermont.

I thought about this last week when Sean Hannity asked Thomas Sowell if he thought Barack Obama could win re-election on a class-warfare platform, to which Sowell, with a concerned look on his face, responded, “Unfortunately, I believe he could.” Sowell, one of the greatest free-market minds on the planet, started out as a communist, so he is all too familiar with how anti-freedom revolutionaries think and operate.

Having said this, Republicans had better wake up. The establishment is maneuvering behind the scenes to put yet another Republican progressive — Mitt Romney — in the White House. The going wisdom is that Romney has the best chance of beating Barack Obama, but those who are focused on only that aspect of the election are ignoring the lessons of history.

What I’m getting at here at is that even if Romney wins, he is likely to put us right back on a George W. Bush track of gradually moving the U.S. to the left, which is what opened the door for the 2008 left-wing takeover of the Presidency and the Congress in the first place. The last person freedom lovers should want to see in the White House come January 2013 is Mitt Hoover.

I’m not naïve. I understand that at this point in time it’s impossible for a true defender of individual rights to be elected President, but I’ll settle for someone who will at least make a serious attempt to start repealing socialist legislation now in place and start moving the U.S. to the right.

Several candidates fit that description, and the $64 million question is not whether they can survive the Democrats’ smear machine. It’s whether they can survive the Republican establishment’s unrelenting efforts to destroy them. The next in line to be tested on that question is Herman Cain. It will be fascinating to watch how he handles the challenge of being the prime target.

Robert Ringer

Welcome To The American Autumn

The dreams-from-my-father moment appears to be nearing as riots, sit-ins and protests grow throughout the country. “Social-justice” miscreants — a whole new generation of hippies — have escaped their cages and are running wild in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and other U.S. cities. And make no mistake about it: They’re looking for red meat.

This weird mixture of commies and cuckoos are ecstatic over what BHO’s policies have done to the U.S. economy in less than three years, and they must surely be drooling over the thought of five more years of economic destruction. They believe, or at least they believe they believe, in the greatest of all contradictions — that by destroying wealth, there will be more wealth to share with “the masses”… you know, like in Mao Zedong’s China, Vladimir Lenin’s and Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, and Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

As you would expect, high-profile radicals — led by the Radical-in-Chief in the White House — are now crawling out of the woodwork and cheerleading the rabble-rousers. Some examples:

  • Frances Fox Piven, of Cloward-Piven fame, has waited four decades for a far-left savior to finish the job of destroying the U.S. economy and getting a majority of Americans dependent on the government for survival. Piven and her late husband, Richard Cloward, wrote an infamous article in 1966 titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” In it they advocated pushing more people into social-welfare programs, which they believed would collapse the system and force reforms that would lead to a guaranteed annual income. This ugly little slice of Marxist cunning is commonly referred to as the “Cloward–Piven strategy.” In an interview at one of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, Piven said, “I teach at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. I am here because I am so enthusiastic about the possibilities of this sit-in, over the marches that are occurring over postal-worker issues, the sister demonstrations that are starting in Chicago and Los Angeles, and maybe in Boston. I think we desperately need a popular uprising in the United States.” I agree. We do need a popular uprising in the United States, but the Tea Party is already addressing that need. Tea Partiers just have to become more aggressive in pushing back against big government.
  • Van Jones, the first known self-avowed communist appointed to a major position (Green Jobs Czar) by an American President, praised the Wall Street hippie occupiers as the start of an “American Autumn.” Jones has instituted something called the “American Dream Movement” that, as far as I can tell, seeks to destroy the American dream and replace it with an equality-of-results society. Jones says he wants to “build a progressive counterbalance to the tea party” and take back the American dream. Sounds a bit strange — take the American dream? I wonder how you do that. After all, the American dream is about freedom. Does Jones mean that he wants to take freedom away from those he deems to be too successful?
  • Even Rosanne Barr, a one-time comedienne who was not very funny even in her prime, recently came back from the dead to offer up this Mao-like solution to the grievances of the social-justice crowd: “I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount… of that amount… then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps. And if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded.”

Sounds like fun to me. Maybe the government will start subsidizing guillotine manufacturers and refer to them as creators of “red jobs.”

Of course, no one comes close to stirring up hatred like the great uniter in the Oval Office.  While the others vie for attention, Barack Obama just keeps cruising along at the front of the revolutionary pack with his redistribution-of-wealth rhetoric, sounding more and more like a hysterical kid whose angry roots are exploding into the open for all to see.

It goes without saying that none of this is new. Those of us who are halfway informed and clearheaded have seen and read about this down-with-the-rich gibberish many times before. It’s the same old tired mantra of the left, going all the way back to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and later Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Today, the anti-capitalists in Congress are preaching the mantra louder than ever.

These Constitutional usurpers carry the misleading banner of compassion, while chuckling at an opposition that doesn’t have strong enough convictions to challenge them. Clearly, they view these conviction-lacking capitalists as useful idiots who can be manipulated into helping them achieve their goals.

If I were asked to give one piece of advice to students majoring in political science, I would tell them to beware of the individual who preaches endlessly about compassion, “shared prosperity,” “collective salvation” and other such abstract tripe. Such preaching has led to the deaths of at least a couple of hundred million people over the past two centuries, and the atrocities continue to this day.

Henry Grady Weaver put it well in The Mainspring of Human Progress when he wrote:

Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. …

The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional “do-gooders,” who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others — with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.

Nobel Prize novelist and poet Anatole France put it more simply when he said, “Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.”

But perhaps the best and simplest of all is to be found in the aphorism, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Of course, this statement assumes that an individual has good intentions to begin with, but that’s another article for another time.

With that, let’s all sit back and enjoy Van Jones’ American Autumn — now in progress. I have to believe Maximilien Robespierre would have loved it.

Robert Ringer

Throwaway People

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I had an appointment in Arlington, Va. As we were walking toward our destination, we noticed a thin, elderly lady standing near the street corner. She was exceptionally well groomed, and she was dressed in a colorful, neatly pressed outfit.

Leaning on her cane, she was looking around in what appeared to be a confused manner. We were concerned, because it was a very hot and humid day. As we approached her, my wife asked if she needed any help. She smiled sweetly and said that she was looking for her bank, but was not certain she was walking in the right direction.

She went on to explain that she had glaucoma and could not see very well. When she gave us the name of her bank, I told her that it was just on the other side of the street and said we would be happy to help her across. She appeared to be pleased by the offer.

My wife and I took hold of her arms, waited for the streetlight to change, then slowly helped her to the other side. As we approached the curb, she explained that even though she was not totally blind, she could not see the curb clearly enough to be sure she wouldn’t trip and fall.

We carefully guided her up over the curb and onto the sidewalk in front of the bank. She assured us that she could make it into the bank on her own, so we wished her a nice day and began to turn away. But as we did, she began talking to us about her life and her family. She said she was 90, and her eldest sister was still alive at age 99. She also mentioned that she had another sister who had passed away.

Several times, I said that we had to be running along to avoid being late for our appointment. Each time, she went on to another subject: her deceased husband, her osteoporosis, her medical-doctor son. She seemed genuinely excited to have someone to talk to, and she clearly did not want the conversation with two strangers to end.

It was obvious that she was very lonely. One side of me wanted to stay and talk to her for as long as she wished, but the other side of me was thinking about our appointment. Awkwardly, we finally ended the conversation.

As my wife and I walked away, we turned around and watched that adorable little lady walk, with considerable difficulty, toward the door to the bank. I couldn’t help wondering if her doctor-son knew that his mom was walking by herself to the bank in the hot, humid weather.

As a result of that unexpected encounter in Arlington, many thoughts drifted through my mind during the remainder of the day. First and foremost, I thought about my own elderly mother. She was the ultimate housewife/mom at a time when such an occupation was considered noble. She spoiled the heck out of me, and I loved every minute of it. More important, I loved her dearly… and still do.

I remembered how, from the time I was about 6 years old, whenever I spotted the smallest bit of debris on the floor, I would pick it up and throw it in the wastebasket because I didn’t want my mom to have to bend over. Now, with six children of my own, I’m still in awe of the fact that merely by being who she was, she motivated me enough to want to spare her any unnecessary work.

I also thought about how long it’s been since I visited my mother. And I thought about the time, when my brother-in-law’s mother died and I offered my condolences, he said, in a reflective tone, “You only have one.” As we go about our day-to-day lives, I guess it’s pretty easy to forget the obvious.

Hugh Downs, now 90, has often expressed his belief that there is more prejudice against the elderly than any other group in our society. He is especially offended by the cry to get “older, dangerous” drivers off the road. As he puts it, “We should get all dangerous drivers off the road.”

I believe one of the chief reasons we tend to brush aside the elderly is that not only is the society we live in drowning in materialism and narcissism, but it is a throwaway society as well. No one fixes anything anymore. When something is broken, you just throw it in the trash can and buy a new and better model.

So it’s only natural that we do the same thing with old people, right? After all, they can’t be fixed, so why not just throw them away? It’s too bad we place so little value on the elderly, because, on the whole, they have so much to offer: wisdom, purity of thought and, above all, tranquility. If the medical community could transplant an 80-year-old brain into a 21-year-old skull, one can only imagine how much better the life of the young person who owned that skull would likely turn out.

I believe it’s healthy to be conscious of the fact that we’re all on our way to the same destination: old age (provided we’re luckier than the Tim Russerts and Tony Snows among us). And when we arrive at that destination, let’s hope that we won’t be walking down a street alone, cane in hand, barely able to see the curb… and that our children will visit us often.

As Katharine Hepburn once said, “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.”

Robert Ringer

 

Splitting The U.S. In Half

Every year or two, progressive New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually says something I agree with, like when he recently warned that there could be riots in the streets of America if the economy doesn’t improve. On his weekly radio show, Bloomberg said that a lack of jobs is causing people to become desperate.

“The damage to a generation that can’t find jobs,” explained Bloomberg, “will go on for many, many years.”

But Bloomberg and I parted ways when he praised Barack Obama for offering a proposal to create jobs and improve the economy. “At least he’s got some ideas on the table, whether you like those or not,” he said. “Now everybody’s got to sit down and say we’re actually gonna do something, and you have to do something on both the revenue and the expense side.”

None other than debonair Michael Moore echoed Bloomberg’s sentiments with his recent Occupy Wall Street protest. In an interview with never-say-die wannabe journalist Keith Olbermann, Moore said, “… the smart rich know they can only build the gates so high, and, and sooner or later history proves that people, when they’ve had enough, aren’t going to take it anymore, and much better to deal with it nonviolently now through the political system than what could possibly happen in the future, which nobody wants to see.”

Moore is right in the first part of his run-on sentence, but wrong in the last part. Those who long for a left-wing dictatorship do want to see a violent revolution. Why do you think they keep encouraging worker uprisings — out of boredom? Violent uprisings are an excuse for government to implement a state of emergency and suspend habeas corpus.

The truth, of course, is that the United States, like Europe, is socially and economically beyond repair. Yet, the answer from the left is always the same: Take more money from small businesses and working people and redistribute it to handpicked corporations, special-interest groups and government employees and bureaucrats.

The problem is that there soon will be no wealth to redistribute. Sure, progressive politicians can keep the redistribution vote-buying scam going for a while longer; but, ultimately, a Greek ending is unavoidable. And when that happens, rioting in the U.S. will be much more violent than the rioting in Greece, because people have gotten used to a considerably higher standard of living than working people in Greece and the rest of Europe.

Here’s where it gets complicated. While the left continues to rev up its class-warfare strategy, there are tens of millions of Americans — primarily Libertarians and conservatives — who want the government to butt out. Specifically, they want to drastically cut back on government’s usurped powers to regulate, tax, redistribute wealth and interfere in the economy and people’s lives.

This is what the Tea Party movement is all about. Early on, it became such a threat to the aspirations of those in the big-government crowd that they began belittling it as a hatemongering fringe movement. Thus far, however, the name-calling hasn’t worked.

In fact, it has backfired, even though those on the left still refuse to believe the movement is for real. They can’t accept the fact that ever since the Tea Party came on the political scene, the freedom revolution has been competing with, and beating, the more-free-stuff revolution that lefties like the Michaels — Bloomberg and Moore — have been warning us about.

I saw this coming more than 30 years ago when I first wrote about the possibility that the U.S. might ultimately fracture into many pieces — perhaps as a result of states seceding from the union, which they have a natural right to do. But the philosophies of the two sides are now so irreconcilable that a more peaceful solution might be for them to just split the country in half and agree to part ways.

Those who believe in big government could take one half of the country and regulate, tax and redistribute wealth to their heart’s content. Within a few short years, of course, it would become a U.S. version of North Korea, devoid of civil liberties and mired in poverty. But, hey, we all get the government we deserve.

After giving the left first choice, conservatives and Libertarians could then take the other half of the country — any half would be just fine — and implement a free-market economy that would be as close to laissez-faire capitalism as possible. In a short period of time, it would become a U.S. version of South Korea (or the U.S. itself in the days of yore), with explosive wealth creation and maximum freedom for its citizens.

Failing a peaceful split, it is difficult for me to see how a second civil war in the United States can be avoided, unless the left is successful in getting a large majority of the sleepwalking masses to buy into the notion that socialism is the most humane and just system known to man. In such a boil-the-frog-slowly scenario, the voices of the Tea Party movement might then fade into the background over time and be relegated to a historical footnote.

Mark Steyn sums up where the United States is at this point in time in his great new book After America: Get Ready for Armageddon:

Even as America’s spendaholic government outspends not only America’s ability to pay for it but, by some measures, the world’s, even as it follows Britain into the dank pit of transgenerational dependency, a failed education system and unsustainable entitlements, even as it makes less and less and mortgages its future to its rivals for cheap Chinese trinkets, most Americans assume that simply because they’re American they’re insulated from consequences.

In paraphrasing the words of Cecil Rhodes and Bernard Shaw, Steyn continues:

In our time, to be born a citizen of the United States is to win first prize in the lottery of life, and, as Britons did, too many Americans assume it will always be so. Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favor of America because you were born in it?

What Steyn is saying is that Americans are victims of the normalcy bias, a state of mind that stops people from taking seriously the possibility of a crisis that is outside their normal, day-to-day experience. My fellow Americans, it’s time to wake up. James Dean, The Platters, Mickey Mantle and the post-World War II baby boom are gone.

The problem, however, is that while the boom is gone, the boomers are not. They are retiring en masse, and they expect — nay, demand — that the artificial prosperity of their spoiled childhoods continue.

I say split the country in half and let the demanders argue about it with their left-wing dictatorship. As for me, I look forward to trading with you on a strictly voluntary basis in the free-market half of the country.

–Robert Ringer

The Revenge Of The HillBillies?

Early in 2009, I started writing about the possibility of the HillBillies — the world’s first and only two-for-the-price-of-one political combo — challenging Barack Obama once it became obvious to a majority of the anesthetized public that the would-be emperor had no clothes.

Don’t get me wrong. BHO has accomplished almost everything I expected of him: universal healthcare; a trillion-dollar stimulus giveaway; debt-ceiling increases that have brought the United States ever-closer to default; business-crushing regulations intended to bring the private sector to its knees; encouraging union thugs to engage in violent uprisings from coast to coast; appointing far-left radicals to important positions in the White House; sending a thumbs up to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the PLO, while constantly chastising Israel. There’s no need to go on, as your own list is probably longer than mine.

But now Chairman Obama is in danger of stumbling before he can carry the ball across the left goal line and declare victory over America. Witness the humiliating Democratic defeats in Nevada and New York City’s District 9. The Solyndra scandal is threatening to spin out of control. Obama refuses to utter a word about Jimmy Hoffa’s introducing him at a union event in Detroit by saying, “Let’s take these (Tea Party) sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.” The list goes on. The next thing you know, the world may even find out that Laura Ingraham was right about the White House garden being just another example of Obama razzle-dazzle.

As James Carville said in his recent warning to Democrats, “It’s time to panic.” And that, I think, is where Obama’s weakness lies. When panic sets in, he comes across as a frustrated, tantrum-throwing child; and each time he does, it awakens another batch of “independents” from their “yes we can” coma. To put it mildly, it’s childish to go on tour and shout “Pass this bill” to audiences of college kids, but when you yell it out more than 100 times in a week, it’s beyond childish; it’s pathetic.

Enter the HillBillies — and, yes, when you buy one, you do get the other one for free. It’s getting late in the campaign game and, granted, it’s a tough decision for them to make, but they have to do it relatively soon if they really want to have the opportunity to finish trashing the White House (i.e., when they move out for the second time).

If Hillary announces, it will be one of the biggest bombshells in modern political history. It will also tear the Democratic Party apart. Nevertheless, I believe she would beat the current White House Grand Mufti rather handily.

Why? Because there are enough rational Democrats out there who know that not only is their party going to lose the White House in 2012, they also are in danger of losing their own seats. That creates a strong motivation to distance themselves from Obama and fall in line behind savior Hillary.

Now for the bad news: If Hillary did secure the Democratic nomination, she would probably beat either Rick Perry or Mitt Romney in a landslide. Like Obama in his stealth 2008 campaign, she now has most of the public completely fooled. The majority of Americans no longer see her as a radical 60s hippie who came to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue focused on implementing her own version of universal healthcare but, rather, as a moderate, well-meaning liberal.

They forget that she’s the sweet little gal who once said, in a campaign speech, that she would take $5 billion from oil companies — that’s right, take it (as in, force) and use it for whatever. And if she can take money that belongs to oil companies, she certainly can take it from you.

The public has already forgotten her abstract progressive rants about “environmental rights,” “I can create shared prosperity,” and “It takes a village.” Hillary would still move to the left if she got into office, but slower and smarter than the current Emergency-in-Chief. She may not have gone to a church for 20 years where the pastor shouted such goodies as “G__ damn America” week in and week out, but she is a dyed-in-the-wool believer in the collective over the individual.

That said, I hasten to add that she is also something else: totally amoral. Hillary and hubby have clearly demonstrated that they will do anything, anytime, anywhere, to anybody if it’s in their best interest.

A lot has happened in the movie-like saga of the HillBillies over the past decade, not the least of which is the discovery of how nice the payoff can be when you succeed in the capitalist system — in fact, more than $100 million worth of nice.

On the road to weaving hippie values into government at the highest levels, the Clintons found that wealth and prestige are not all that hard to get used to. Hobnobbing with the rich and famous among Washington’s elite and on New York’s Upper East Side is something one learns to tolerate, even if he or she starts out as a genuine flower child.

What I’m saying here is that when push comes to shove, Hillary’s ego and materialistic instincts might just win out over her desire to be a model “new American progressive.” After all, that “shared prosperity” schmaltz is really just for the dolts who are looking for more government handouts. I’ve always believed that, behind the flowery phrases, Hillary actually harbors an enormous contempt for the lower echelons of society.

What I’m talking about here is a $3 million wedding for daughter Chelsea, $250,000 speaking fees as far as the eye can see and invitations to royal dinners as a normal way of life. Speaking of $250,000 speeches, you and I may have thought that we’d never live to see it, but the fact is that Hubby Bubby, the first of two world-class bull slingers from Hope, Ark., is now the face of the Democratic Party.

People have short memories. They’ve apparently convinced themselves that his cigar tricks in the Oval Office were nothing more than a collective aberration. Groper Bill is now a revered elderly statesman. Like it or not, he and Hillary have morphed into an elite establishment couple.

All this means that if Hillary does challenge Obama and ends up back in the White House, she might just drop the “taking from the oil companies” blather and posit herself as the great middle-of-the-road state capitalist. Sort of a female version of John McCain or Orrin Hatch.

Sure, the U.S. will still eventually go under, because neither the mathematical realities nor the entitlements that drive them can be overcome by anyone — especially a politician. But if businesses are fooled by Hillary into believing otherwise, the free market is so robust that entrepreneurial activity could postpone the inevitable for another couple of decades.

That’s important, because in a couple of decades the world will look much different than it does today. Depending on how things unfold with the Tea Party, we might even have a civil war that ends with the good guys winning. Or perhaps there will be some other solution — preferably one in which government is relegated to a minor role in society — that we can’t see from our present vantage point.

The Marxist crowd knew from the moment they gained control of both houses of Congress and the White House that they were unlikely to get another opportunity to finish the job if they didn’t move quickly. That’s why the left’s leading nut case, Paul Krugman, recently said, “I’m trying to make this progressive moment in American history a success.”

Ironically, it was none other than James Carville (the guy who now is warning the Dems that it’s time to panic) who predicted after the Democrats won it all in 2008 that the Democratic Party would rule for 40 years. For a long time, I thought he would have to eat his words, but if Hillary challenges Obama for the Democratic nomination, he might just turn out to be a prophet — albeit via a route he probably didn’t think possible.

Having said all this, for those of us who are still intent on resisting a left-wing police state in America, I think we would be wise to be careful what we wish for. Obama can be beaten, but probably not Hillary.

Robert Ringer

Reclaiming The American Dream

One of the many patriotic slogans that has become popular as the 2012 election campaigns swing into full gear is “reclaiming the American Dream.” But in order to reclaim something, you must first understand what it is, and I can tell you with certainty that the American Dream is not what power-focused politicians would like you to believe it is.

It is not about “socially progressive” judges promoting “social justice.” It is not about government micromanaging people’s lives. It is not about punishing success. And it certainly is not about politicians divvying up an imaginary financial pie in a way that they believe is most likely to keep them in power.

The American Dream is about self‑responsibility — about an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the only way he can pursue those rights is if the government leaves him alone.

No government has a right to interfere with the sovereignty of any individual. “American Government,” said Rose Wilder Lane, “is not an Authority; it has no control over individuals and no responsibility for their affairs. American Government is a permission which free individuals grant to certain men to use force in certain necessary and strictly limited ways; a permission which Americans can always withdraw from American Government.”

People who believe they need big government, run mostly by those who have never worked a day in their collective lives, to “reclaim” the American Dream for themselves are sadly mistaken. Government has nothing to do with the American Dream. The American Dream is a way of life that can be experienced only by free individuals.

Those who believe in the real American Dream cannot be distinguished by race, religious belief, nationality, occupation or sex. They can be distinguished only by their common belief that liberty must be accorded a higher priority than all other objectives.

The American Dream means the freedom to pursue a better life, and it was that freedom that inspired millions of people to cross the oceans to reach America. Those millions of immigrants were not looking for government handouts. They were looking for opportunity, and that’s what the American Dream gave them.

In The Federalist Papers, James Madison warned, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Madison’s warnings were not heeded. The government did not, and does not, “control itself.” “Government by the people” has come to mean government by those in power. Ironically, the way this is accomplished is through a sleight of hand called “representative government,” which gives people a false sense of control.

As Alvin Toffler pointed out 30 years ago, representative government is but an illusion. Letting people vote every few years is the equivalent of throwing them a piece of raw meat. Once the election circus is over, they learn once again that they have virtually no power.

As early as 1857, Thomas Macaulay, the British historian, predicted what the inevitable results of majority rule would be when he said:

The day will come when [in the United States] a multitude of people will choose the legislature. Is it possible to doubt what sort of a legislature will be chosen? On the one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism and usurers and asking why anybody should be permitted to drink Champagne and to ride in a carriage while thousands of honest people are in want of necessaries. Which of the candidates is likely to be preferred by a workman? … When Society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and vandals will have been engendered within your country, by your own institutions.

Macaulay’s powers of prophecy were incredibly accurate. Our democratic republic has destroyed itself through an excess of democracy. Majority rule has evolved into a free‑for‑all stampede of citizens appealing to politicians to give them an ever greater share of the plunder. And there is never a shortage of vile human beings who are willing to resort to euphemistic slogans like “reclaiming the American Dream” in an effort to accommodate them.

Rational people know there is something very wrong with our once-proud culture. We live in an age of tension and uncertainty. Ill will and fear are all around us. In the 1970s, Eric Hoffer observed that “the feeling of doom is stronger now. There is a widespread feeling that our economic system and our civilization are nearing their end. In the 1930s we still had values, ideals, hopes, illusions, certitudes. In the 1970s many people see life drained of meaning, and there is hardly a certitude left.”

Which begs the question: If those were Eric Hoffer’s thoughts 40 years ago, what would he have to say about today’s state of the union? I kind of doubt he’d buy into the notion that the promise of more government control over people’s lives equates to “reclaiming the American Dream.”

Even if we are successful in evicting the nation’s first anti-American President from the White House in 2012, people must understand that a new face in the Oval Office is not the solution to their No. 1 problem: a continuing loss of freedom. Freedom will always elude those who are not willing to fight for it.

Thus, the dominant question that confronts us is: Do moral, self-responsible individuals in this country harbor a great enough love of freedom to fight to reclaim it? Regardless of how the 2012 elections turn out, we will get the answer to that question fairly quickly because we are just now arriving at the tipping point.

–Robert Ringer

Make Way For The Marco Rubio Birthers

My, my, look what we have here: Marco Rubio Birthers crawling out from under their collectivist rocks, sensing it’s payback time for the Birthers who have been challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility for more than three years.

But there’s a huge difference between these two Birther groups. Notwithstanding the insistence of even Fox News commentators to wave aside the question of Obama’s birth certificate, the reality is that to this day, no one has seen proof that Obama was born in the United States.

For a long time, I rated it about 75 percent to 25 percent that Obama was born in Kenya, for one reason and one reason only: If his citizenship were such an issue, there was no plausible reason for him not to do everything possible to make certain that representatives of all media outlets had access to his original long-form birth certificate. Instead, he stonewalled — hard — for nearly three years.

If you or I were President of the United States and millions of people were questioning our birth status, is there any doubt in your mind that we would demand that our birth certificates be made available for everyone to see in order to put the issue to rest once and for all?

But it got worse. When Obama suddenly decided, just a few weeks before Jerome Corsi’s book Where’s the Birth Certificate? was due out, to publish his long-form birth certificate on the Internet, my 75-25 odds shot up to 95-5.

That’s right, while many Americans embraced a “See, I told you so” attitude, I became more suspicious rather than less, because I asked myself: “Why the sudden urgency? Why did Obama choose this moment in time to make available what millions of people had been asking to see for three years?”

As to the dispute about whether the PDF image of Obama’s purported birth certificate is layered or was in any other way tampered with, I’m not hi-tech enough to opine on that issue. I’d prefer to just stick with the most obvious question: Why would Barack Obama not be eager to make a hard copy of his birth certificate available for all to see?

For whatever it’s worth, in April of this year, Barack Obama actually requested, and received, two certified copies of his original certificate of live birth from the Hawaii Health Department. I won’t speculate on the reason for this… just calling it to your attention.

Look, I’m neither a Birther nor a believer, but I am a skeptic whenever I smell smoke — and smoke is something that perpetually comes out of Obama’s mouth. Based on his track record of telling the biggest whoppers imaginable with a completely straight face, why should I believe anything he says?

Nevertheless, I’ll leave it on an even-handed note and admit that future investigations — perhaps years after you and I are gone — may prove that Barack Obama was a legitimate citizen of the United States or may prove that he pulled off the biggest scam in U.S. presidential history.

Now, back to the Marco Rubio Birther issue. Unlike Barack Obama, Rubio doesn’t have a mysterious past filled with unanswered questions. He has also been consistent in preaching the gospel of capitalism, entrepreneurship, low taxes, less regulation, less borrowing and the greatness of the American way of life.

In other words, Rubio has never even so much as implied that he wants to fundamentally change America. If anything, his words indicate he favors returning the United States to its founding roots.

Whether Rubio is eligible to be President of the United States gets down to a Constitutional interpretation, which is always a tricky issue. The problem is that the Constitution does not define the term “natural-born citizen.” Though both Bobby Jindal’s and Marco Rubio’s parents were legal residents of the United States at the time of their sons’ births, none of them became citizens until after their sons were born.

All this reminds me again why I believe the Constitution needs to be redrafted, for clarification purposes only, by Constitutional scholars, preferably strict constructionist constitutional scholars.

Among the items that need clarification are the general-welfare clause (Article I, Section 8, not to mention the use of the term general welfare in the Preamble to the Constitution), the 2nd Amendment (needs an “and” before “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”), and the 14th Amendment (clarifying that it was intended to cover the children of former slaves, not illegal aliens).

Realistically, however, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon, and, if it did, I would be concerned about who would be doing the redrafting.

In the meantime, pundits and politicians will have a field day if Marco Rubio is selected as the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican Party. And Chairman Obama might not be eager to see that happen, because it would, quite naturally, bring his own birth issue back into the limelight.

My hope is that Herman Cain will get the nod if he can’t win the nomination, which not only would put the Marco Rubio Birther issue on the back burner for now, but would surely be a fatal blow to Obama’s hopes to finish the job of fundamentally transforming America into a collectivist hell.

Hmm… why do I have this feeling that if Maxine Waters were to read this article, she would tell me, in that soft and gentle voice of hers, that I can go straight to hell? Probably just a bit of paranoia on my part.

Robert Ringer

Earthquakes, Hurricane Irene And Evolution

If you like excitement, it doesn’t get any better than this past week in Washington, D.C. — an earthquake and a hurricane in the space of five days. We already had our hands full with a manmade disaster known as the Federal government.

Though both of these natural disasters were highly unusual for the nation’s capital, the truth is D.C. and most of Maryland and Northern Virginia escaped two bullets. The earthquake did very little damage, and Hurricane Irene could have been much worse. We had a lot of rain and winds in the 25-mph range in our area; but, overall, we were lucky compared to what happened to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, New York City, Long Island and much of the Northeast.

What amazed me was how closely scientists and weather experts were able to track Hurricane Irene with almost pinpoint accuracy. People who experienced the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 could not have imagined sitting in their living rooms and watching a minute-by-minute update on the hurricane’s path for days on end. (Remember, only Joe Biden thinks television existed when FDR was President.)

As impressed as I was with how much scientists now know about hurricanes and how far we’ve come technologically (e.g., being able to able watch natural disasters unfold in minute detail on television), I also thought about how helpless we are when it comes to natural disasters.

What will we do when a magnitude 8.0 earthquake rocks Manhattan or a Category 5 hurricane hits the Big Apple head on? Such a disaster would bring the U.S. to its knees for months, and the economic effects would be felt for years. According to scientists, such major disasters will occur. It’s only a matter of when.

Hurricane Irene also made me think about the evolution question again. The feedback on my last article Is Evolution a Crazy Idea? was the kind of thing that makes writing a fulfilling occupation. I was expecting a lot of nasty comments; but, with the exception of a few out-of-hand dismissals of my irrational thought processes, the feedback was surprisingly civil.

A number of comments were so good that they could have been mistaken for articles in a major publication. Clearly, there was a lot of deep thought put into them. I bring this up because there’s a connection between my evolution article and last week’s earthquake and hurricane. They all relate to the question of whether there is a Conscious Universal Power Source at the controls or whether everything that happens here on Earth is random.

Those who believe in a random Universe really believe in what I would call “atheistic predestination.” That would mean that the so-called Big Bang — the massive explosion from whence evolved today’s known Universe — somehow happened without the aid of a Supreme Power.

If there was, and is, no Supreme Power in the Universe, everything that has been, is or will be said and done throughout the eons of time was precisely determined approximately 14 billion years ago by the nature of the Big Bang. At the first instant of that unfathomable explosion, every atom was sent flying on an eternal voyage that was predetermined by the intricacies of the explosion itself.

If there is no Supreme Power to intervene, then nothing can be changed by anybody or anything. Every detail of every event has already been set on an unalterable course. This is the ultimate fatalistic view of the Universe. There is no one in control and there is no purpose to life.

Thus, every aspect of last week’s earthquake and hurricane was predetermined by the Big Bang. Ditto with evolution. I get it. But logic always forces an intellectually honest person to get back to that annoying little question that refuses to go away: What caused the Big Bang? Maybe I’m too simplistically logical, but my mind cannot process the idea of a consequence without a preceding action.

Some readers argued that the first-cause argument doesn’t fly because it leads to the question of what caused the first cause. I see this unanswerable question as evidence of a Supreme Being — a Conscious Universal Power Source that has always existed and will continue to exist throughout eternity. How can infinity be explained away simply by saying that everything is random?

Did this Power Source intervene and cause last week’s earthquake or hurricane to occur? I have no idea. Though millions of people would never admit it, neither does anyone else. As I said earlier, it’s amazing what scientists know about earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. But, even with their vast knowledge of how these events occur, not one scientist has any idea as to why they occur.

For example, science can explain how gravity works, but it cannot explain why it works the way it does. We know that gravity makes the planets, stars, galaxies and other cosmic bodies act on each other in certain predictable ways, but this does nothing to explain how the principle of gravity came into being.

You can offer endless scientific explanations for a natural disaster like a hurricane — high-pressure systems, low-pressure systems, unusually warm ocean water, etc. — but eventually you get to what I call the “Why Wall?” Why do these phenomena occur?

It’s kind of like Jim Carrey in the movie “The Truman Show.” At some point in time, Truman managed to reach a wall with a door in it. After pondering whether to venture out of his capsule, he finally opened the door and stepped into the real world.

Could it be that we simply haven’t found the door that leads to the real world, so we continue to live in a secular humanistic world where we are more comfortable explaining away everything as “random?”

–Robert Ringer

Is Evolution A Crazy Idea?

While making a point about how stupid Americans are, Bill Maher once mockingly said, “Sixty percent of people don’t believe in evolution in this country.” Perhaps Maher should consider supporting Jon Huntsman, who recently tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

You’re not crazy, Governor. In fact, I might just agree with you on both points. I, too, trust a lot of scientists on global warming, but they are the ones who have overwhelmed the scientific community with so much hard evidence against the theory of manmade global warming that the whole notion has become something of a joke.

As to evolution, we might have something in common there as well. I found it quite interesting to watch that shameless liberal mom in New Hampshire prompting her little boy to ask Rick Perry about evolution, to which Perry responded: “I hear your mom was asking about evolution. That’s a theory that is out there — and it’s got some gaps in it.”

I don’t have a religious dog in the evolution fight; so from a very young age, I came at the theory of evolution from an intellectual, commonsense point of view. Even though I was predisposed to believing in evolution, what I found when I began reading up on the subject was that virtually every book began with the premise that evolution was a fact. In other words, it appeared that the theory of evolution had been given a dispensation from the requirement to present evidence.

To my surprise, the more I read, the more evolution began to sound like something out of Aesop’s Fables. Inanimate matter “evolving” into an animal, and an animal evolving into a human being? It seemed to me to be an idea that required a size extra-large imagination.

As Guy Murchie pointed out in his book The Seven Mysteries of Life, an intellectual, long-standing argument for a random universe wherein a seeming miracle such as evolution could take place on its own is that, given enough time, anything — including the evolution of human beings from inanimate matter — is possible.

This argument, said Murchie, is based on the premise that if you could sit enough billions of chimpanzees in front of computers for enough billions of years, random chance would allow them to write all the great works of literature.

It’s a fascinating thought until you consider the mathematics involved. There are about 50 possible letters, numbers and punctuation marks on a computer keyboard, and there are 65 character spaces per line in the average book. Therefore, a chimp would have one in 50 chances of getting the first space on the first line correct.

Since the same is true of the second space on that line, the chimp would have one chance in 50 x 50, or 502, of getting both spaces right (meaning just the first two letters of the first word of just one of the great works of literature). For all 65 spaces on the first line, the figure would jump to 5065, which is equal to 10110.

How big is 10110? According to physicist George Gamow, said Murchie, it is 1,000 times greater than the total number of vibrations made by all the atoms in the universe since the Big Bang!

Conclusion: It doesn’t matter how many chimpanzees or how much time you allow, not even one line of one great work could come into existence through pure chance. Given that you are infinitely more complex than a single line in a book, what are the odds that you, with all of your billions of precise, specialized cells, accidentally evolved from “primordial soup” over a period of a few billion years?

Thus, evolution in a random universe — i.e., a universe without a Supreme Power Source — would appear to be a mathematical impossibility. When sold on the basis of “natural selection,” evolution seems to require a leap of faith that takes the brash arrogance of a Bill Maher.

As with such phenomena as wind and gravity, it would seem that the only way evolution could have come into existence is through the work of a Higher Power that is beyond human understanding. Not an old man in the sky, as atheists like to mockingly portray this Power, but an invisible, conscious source of power that man can never hope to comprehend.

The coup de grace for me was when I read a book in the mid-1990s titled Ever Since Darwin, written by Stephen Jay Gould, who was one of the world’s leading paleontologists and evolutionary biologists. Like virtually all pro-evolution authors, in Ever Since Darwin Gould discussed evolution in an a priori fashion — i.e., stated as a fact rather than a theory — yet, when he reached the last page of his book, he felt compelled to state the following:

I hope that… Darwin’s own work will permeate more areas of evolutionary thought, where rigid dogmas still reign as a consequence of unquestioned preference, old habits, or social prejudice. My own favorite target is the belief in slow and steady evolutionary change preached by most paleontologists… The fossil record does not support it; mass extinction and abrupt origin reign [my emphasis].

Gould’s admission that all known evidence suggests that most, if not all, species have suddenly appeared on Earth suddenly stunned me and gave me a great deal of respect for his intellectual honesty. It supported the scientific findings that Cro-Magnon man suddenly and mysteriously appeared, about 40,000 years ago, and populated the Earth “like a bolt of lightning.”

But, Cro-Magnon man’s sudden appearance aside, even if the theory of evolution were ultimately proven to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, there is still the problem of the billions of chimpanzees pecking away at computer keyboards for billions of years; i.e., evolution in a random universe would still appear to be a mathematical impossibility.

That being the case, a religionist has no reason to fear evidence that supports evolution. For it is almost certain that evolution, if there really is such a thing, is not powered by randomness, but by a Supreme Power Source that we can never hope to understand.

This should come as no surprise; because over the past several decades, the chasm between theologians and scientists seems to be narrowing toward a middle-ground belief that science is not in conflict with God, but, rather, is a gift of God.

Having said all this, it is also possible that a Higher Power created both animals and man in pretty much their present forms. The truth is that no one knows, but, to paraphrase Guy Murchie, you are the most improbable collection of molecules in the Universe. Whether you’re an atheist or someone who believes in a Supreme Being, the one thing on which we can all agree is that man does, indeed, exist. That fact alone is either a figurative miracle or a literal miracle; take your pick.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I put on my flak jacket and prepare for the backlash that is sure to come from angry readers who either view belief in a Higher Being as a sign of an irrational mind or believe that I’m an apostate for not sticking more closely to scripture. Or, to borrow from Jon Huntsman, just call me crazy.

–Robert Ringer

Achieving A ‘Grand Bargain’

In picking the last three members of the new super committee on deficit reduction, once-relevant Nancy Pelosi said: “We must achieve a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

The devil is in the details — or, in this case, the details are in the devil’s words. Socialist-turned-fiscal-conservative Pelosi, who has previously said she believes unemployment benefits are the greatest job creator known to mankind, is a true believer in her religion — a strange religion that centers around one objective: spending other people’s money.

So what, exactly, does Fancy Nancy mean by a “grand bargain?” Clearly, it’s code for Republicans caving in again and doing what Democrats want them to do to avoid being called obstructionists: increase the deficit even more.

Likewise, what in the world does Pelosi mean by “strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security?” In any event, why are we “strengthening” programs that are unConstitutional? Why are we not working on a plan to completely phase out these programs over a long period of time, while making certain that people above a certain age (say, 50 or 55) still receive all their benefits?

Republicans now boast that they have “changed the debate” in Washington. But the appointment of the new super committee on deficit reduction makes it clear that Americans are in for more of the same: more committees, more accounting tricks, more regulations, more redistribution of wealth and, above all, more B.S.

It’s no wonder that a recent Fox News poll showed that 81 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress, while only 10 percent approve. Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy probably could have achieved better poll numbers at the height of their careers.

But that 81 percent number is misleading, because it’s a good bet that about half of those people want government spending to be cut to the bone, while the other half want even more government handouts. Thus, the results of the poll question don’t really tell us much.

The real debate should be about the real problem: the size and scope of government. Do we want to live in a society where we share a collective, psychotic mixture of guilt, arrogance, victimization, envy, anger and demonization so all-encompassing that it motivates us to destroy the wealth-producing capacity of our Nation? Or do we want to live in a society where self-reliance is the hallmark of our cultural identity?

The reality is that the entitlement policies that left-wingers have succeeded in implementing over the past 70 years comprise one big scorched-earth policy. If they don’t get their way, they will take to the streets and turn us into Great Britain or Greece. If they do get their way, Atlas will shrug, the good life will disappear (even more than it already has), and, again, they will take to the streets and turn us into Great Britain or Greece. Heads, we all lose; tales, we all lose.

The late Isaac Asimov, the renowned science-fiction writer, once alluded to this suicidal conundrum when he pointed out that the danger in demanding special favors from government is that you risk the ultimate destruction of freedom and free enterprise, which necessarily means the destruction of your own special interest as well. Asimov emphasized his point by suggesting the following analogy: “If my right arm decided to stab my left arm to death, my right arm would die, too.”

The right arms of Great Britain, Greece, Portugal and most European countries are stabbing their left arms to death, and their right arms are dying in the process. Class warfare has wealth destruction built into it.

We can listen to the pudding heads on television and pretend as though we really believe that the big question is whether we’re headed for a “double-dip recession” when, in fact, we’re in a depression — and have been for a long time.

We can delude ourselves into believing that Congress just passed a deficit-reduction plan, even though the reality of that plan is that the U.S. will be increasing its deficit by at least another $7 trillion over the next decade.

We can continue to pretend we are offended by Standard & Poor’s recent credit downgrade of the U.S. to AA+, even though the truth is that our creditworthiness is rapidly heading toward zero.

We can continue to pretend the chances of a U.S. hyperinflation are nonexistent, when the historical evidence makes it clear that hyperinflation is a virtual certainty.

But worry not. We will soon have a super committee on deficit reduction composed of people with superior intellects who realize that: “We must achieve a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

Now, if I could just figure out what all that means, I’m sure a feeling of American exceptionalism would sweep over me.

Robert Ringer