Too bad it isn’t illegals they’re ordering to register. Otherwise, we might be able to get our government to condemn this. And actually mean it.
Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.
Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.
The leaflets bore the name of Denis Pushilin, who identified himself as chairman of “Donetsk’s temporary government,” and were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue and other areas, according to the reports.
Pushilin acknowledged that fliers were distributed under his organization’s name in Donetsk but denied any connection to them, Ynet reported in Hebrew.
Emanuel Shechter, in Israel, told Ynet his friends in Donetsk sent him a copy of the leaflet through social media.
“They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flier and told them to obey its instructions,” he said.
The leaflet begins, “Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,” and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and “register.”
It says the reason is because the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, “and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk,” a name adopted by the militant leadership.
The leaflet then described which documents Jews should provide: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles.”
Consequences for non-compliance will result in citizenship being revoked “and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.” A registration fee of $50 would be required, it said.
Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, told Ynet she never experienced anti-Semitism in the city until she saw this leaflet.
“We don’t know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it’s serious that it exists,” she said. “The text reminds of the fascists in 1941,” she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.
The Jewish community in Donetsk issued in a statement saying the flyers distribution “smells like a provocation.”
“Who is behind this is an open question,” Rabbi Pinkhas Vishedski said in the statement, according to CNN. Vishedski said they are a provocation “and should be treated accordingly … full stop and end of topic.”
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, the oldest pro-Israel group in the USA, said the leaflets should be seen in the context of a rising tide of anti-Semitism across Europe and the world, and that it should prompt a strong response from the White House.
“This is a frightening new development in the anti-Jewish movement that is gaining traction around the world,” Klein said.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt called the leaflets “the real deal,” and not representative of the Ukraine’s government in Kiev.
Secretary of State John Kerry called the incident “grotesque.”
Would that be the same John Kerry who has consistently berated Israel and spoken of its recalcitrance, aiding those who paint it as an apartheid state? The same John Kerry whose progressive allies here in the US have been engaging in almost ritualized hate of Jewish organizations on university campuses? The same John Kerry who was appointed Secretary of State by a President who spent 20-years listening to his spiritual mentor blame Jews for the plight of poor blacks, who spoke glowingly of Edward Said and other terrorists, and who has welcomed — and defended — the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is the destruction of the West? The same John Kerry whose party embraces with reverence people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, both of whom have shown the same kind of anti-semitic streak as the Klan who once ran their party in the South? The same John Kerry who shares an ideological kinship with Jimmy Carter, who has yet to find a repulsive despot he wouldn’t fluff, or turn down an opportunity to paint Israel as a “racist” state?
I’ll tell you what is “grotesque”: it’s that the left — with Obama as its figurehead — who has overtaken our government has sent the signal worldwide that Jew hatred, in the course of the Greater Good, is perfectly okay, be it through divestment or through going after “big banking,” etc. And they have been aided by the leftists in academia, who stir up anti-Zionism, along with all the self-hating Jews who vote Democrat in order to assure the cosmopolitan Jew haters that they’re sufficiently nuanced in their thinking to recognize the repugnance of their own heritage.
Never again? Perhaps.
But that doesn’t mean that some leftist or nationalist movement in need of demons won’t attempt to use the Jews as its scapegoat. And I wouldn’t count a lick on the US, in its current state, to stop them.
Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it’s unclear whether the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group operating within the pro-Russian camp.
But the Russian side has used the specter of anti-Semitism in a cynical manner since anti-government protests began in Kiev that resulted in the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych. Russia and its allies in Ukraine issued multiple stories about the the threat posed to Jews by Ukraine’s new pro-Western government in Kiev, Salberg said.
Those stories were based in part on ultra-nationalists who joined the Maidan protests, and the inclusion of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party in Ukraine’s new interim government. But the threat turned out to be false, he said.
Svoboda’s leadership needs to be monitored, but so far it has refrained from anti-Semitic statements since joining the government, he said. And the prevalence of anti-Semitic acts has not changed since before the Maidan protests, according to the ADL and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, which monitors human rights in Ukraine.
Distributing such leaflets is a recruitment tool to appeal to the xenophobic fears of the majority, “to enlist them to your cause and focus on a common enemy, the Jews,” Salberg said.
And by targeting Donetsk’s Jews, they also send a message to all the region’s residents, Salberg said.
“The message is a message to all the people that is we’re going to exert our power over you,” he said. “Jews are the default scapegoat throughout history for despots to send a message to the general public: Don’t step out of line.”
And despotism comes from totalitarianism, which is the natural endpoint of leftist politics. Whether it’s racial collectivism or some other form, the necessity to purify the citizenry on the road to Utopia is a common theme. One that Bill Ayers, a guy from Obama’s neighborhood, took quite seriously, to boot.
Is this just a provocation? Possibly. But history teaches us we best take the threat seriously. Which is why the left so often needs to whitewash or rewrite history in the first place.
Once too many people learn they can vote themselves other people’s money / labor / liberty, well…
Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.
That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.
These are the people who built America, and these are the people who can sustain it as a free country. The liberal media have not made them famous like the polar bear, but they are truly a threatened species.
It is not a rancher with a few hundred head of cattle that is attacking their habitat, nor an energy company developing a fossil fuel. It is big government and its primary weapon — an ever-expanding welfare state.
First, let’s look at the basic taxonomy of the full-time, year-round American worker.
In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. “A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round),” said the Census Bureau. “For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall.”
Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.
The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.)
At first glance, 86,429,000 might seem like a healthy population of full-time private-sector workers. But then you need to look at what they are up against.
The Census Bureau also estimates the size of the benefit-receiving population.
This population, too, falls into two broad categories. The first includes those who receive benefits for public services they performed or in exchange for payroll taxes they dutifully paid their entire working lives. Among these, for example, are those receiving veteran’s benefits, those on unemployment and those getting Medicare and Social Security.
The second category includes those who get “means-tested” government benefits — or welfare. These include, for example, those who get Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Women, Infants Children.
Let’s examine this second category first, which the Census Bureau reports as “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.”
In the last quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 82,457,000 people lived in households where one or more people were on Medicaid. 49,073,000 lived in households were someone got food stamps. 23,228,000 lived in households where one or more got WIC. 20,223,000 lived in households where one or more got SSI. 13,433,000 lived in public or government-subsidized housing.
Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on “one or more means-tested program.”
147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.
How much more can the 86,429,000 endure?
As more baby boomers retire, and as Obamacare comes fully online — with its expanded Medicaid rolls and federally subsidized health insurance for anyone earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level — the number of takers will inevitably expand. And the number of full-time private-sector workers might also contract.
Eventually, there will be too few carrying too many, and America will break.
– Either that, or those who do pay taxes engage in civil disobedience and make the IRS came after every last one of the nearly 86.5 million who are among the actual owners the government, but who seem to be losing their representation when it comes to matters of taxation — thanks to an ever-expanding welfare state into which Democrats and Republicans alike (in an act of love, naturally) want to give citizenship to an additional 20 million illegals, many of whom are probably already on some sort of public assistance, and who will further drain the system once they can apply for all benefits legally.
That, too, would break America, but it would do so in a way that showed just who exactly is in charge.
Meh, who are we kidding. The government would just print itself more money and cause hyperinflation. Because it’s appetite for spending is insatiable, and the fact that the money it’s spending doesn’t exist isn’t going to stop it from splurging anyway.
After all, the Weimar Republic was just another bump in the road to Paradise, amiright? I mean, lots of carbon polluters were retired in that golden age of purification.
And who better to throw out this particular trial balloon than Think Progress. “Why Air Pollution Is A Racial Issue“:
A study produced by the University of Minnesota concluded that race is a determining factor in who is most affected by air pollution. Specifically, non-white people breathe air that is substantially more polluted than the air that white people breathe.
According to Julian Marshall, who led the University’s research, race outweighed income in regards to who is most affected by poor air quality. When low-income white people were compared to high-income Hispanic people, the latter group experienced higher levels of nitrogen dioxide. Altogether, people of color in the U.S. breath air with 38 percent more nitrogen dioxide in it than their white counterparts, particularly due to power plants and exhaust from vehicles.
“We were quite surprised to find such a large disparity between whites and nonwhites related to air pollution,” Marshall told the Minnesota Post. “Especially the fact that this difference is throughout the U.S., even in cities and states in the Midwest.”
Some other evidence has also pointed to disproportionately high levels of air pollution in low-income and non-white communities. A 2012 study conducted by Yale University researchers revealed that “potentially dangerous compounds such as vanadium, nitrates and zinc” exist in locations with high concentrations of people of color, including African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Unfortunately, people of color contribute the least amount of air pollutants, despite being the most heavily impacted by them.
Air pollution is not the only health issue that race factors into, as public health is riddled with racial implications on a broader level. Racial bias plays a role in doctor-patient interactions, and some groups, namely African-Americans, live with chronic diseases stemming from racial discrimination.
Leave it to the left to come up with such a preposterous unified theory of racism, but hey, they are who they are and they do what they do. So it’s really not surprising that they want us now to believe global warming, disproportionately caused by whites, is a racist plot.
But that aside, let’s see if we can figure out what’s going on here: Even assuming the air quality data accumulated is the result of whites stealing the better, cleaner air from people of color — this includes low-income whites, who connive in some racist manner to get better air than high-income Hispanics, eg., a result that cannot possibly be accounted for by way of other variables (like, for instance, choice of living space, genetics, geographical locale, etc., vocation, an outsized love of spray paint, etc) — or that the health care data has nothing to do with ability to pay, insurance, lifestyle choices, or other factors, but is rather decisively proof that racism is rampant in both the private health care field and the very geographical layout of the United States (both of which, I’m just going to say candidly, is one of the single stupidest things I’ve ever read), the question the left wants us to consider is what can “we” (read: government) do about this rampant racist violation of civil rights?
I noted here some time back that the feds under Obama, specifically via HUD, were tracking neighborhood “diversity” with an eye toward “fixing” the “problem” of segregated neighborhoods through some future social engineering policies that would most likely look to create neighborhood quotas based on race. And now it’s clear how they plan to do this: by appealing to “public safety” (air quality among minorities is worse than air quality in places where air-stealing whites are coughing out their poisonous CO2) and a more pristine “environment.” Call it “air-quality inequality,” have Nancy Pelosi (and Colin Powell) declare it almost certainly racist, and run with it!
Add to that the throwaway bit about the racism of health care providers — who, I take it, are going to be forced to take on a certain percentage of patients “of color” in order to end the institutionalized racism that causes, say, sickle cell, or heart disease in higher numbers among blacks — and we have essentially the rationale for a “civil right” to use racial quotas and demand that doctors, in order to obtain licenses, agree to just such a government mandate.
Forget the fact that social engineering created the kind of low-income, racially-divided housing projects that have been a blight on so many “liberal” cities. Because that was then, and shut up, racists! Now, the progressives are again the “civil rights” champions who will fix what they started out in good conscience to do — create a safe, affordable space for people of color — that it turns out has been a failure precisely because of the racism they now find embedded in global warming. Which they are alone willing to fight.
Back in 2007, I wrote that the Obama presidency would set race relations back 50 years, if not more. Because far from a uniter, Obama has always been a hard-core leftist and agitator, a polished-up version of the race and poverty pimps who pretend to champion the little people while enriching themselves by sowing divisions. His entire past — at least, what we could gather from it — told us who he was. All we had to do was open our eyes and not fear the inevitable cries of “racism” that to this day, after his two popular vote wins as President, are still thrown out should anyone dare to question him on policy. As if his policies are themselves “of color,” rather than part of a all-encompassing ideology that embraces racialism in order to exploit it.
Pointing this out was, naturally, “unhelpful” at the time — after all, Obama was just a garden variety Democrat and a Good Man who wanted what was best for the country, and besides, he was HISTORIC, and we couldn’t be seen as being hostile to HISTORICITY — but now it’s apparently cool to do so. Though the chances you’re reading about it here rather than from one of the many many many many big right sites that marginalized me for saying then what they are finally saying now, are sadly quite slim.
Lick your finger and follow the winds! Only then will you be taken seriously as a political commentator. Or at least, land some cushy gig.
Or, you can do what I did: tell the fucking truth and live with the fucking consequences. Which is a bunch of knives in your back. None of which were able to kill me. Because I’m hard like that.
– which purports to be a pro-Second Amendment site. And it appears to be just that, too: in fact, it looks like a pro-gun group claimed the name on facebook, something I’m sure the progressives who run the social media site will find is a violation of some term of agreement, once Bloomberg — who started an organization by the same name (as I noted here yesterday) — throws a tantrum and then writes a big check to have this perfidy “fixed.” Like he fixed obesity. And the Colorado legislature.
In the meantime, I encourage you to go to facebook and like the usurped page. If only to show Bloomberg — and others of his anti-liberty ilk, who like to use emotional appeals and distorted data to set his own public policy preferences — that we who are truly constitutionalists won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and certainly never quietly.
And then if you have the means, drink a giant-ass Coke out of a giant-ass Styrofoam takeout cup. While cleaning your side arm.
And as you would expect, one of its first releases relies on a contrived emotional appeal, as if accidental death from handguns were reason enough to take away our unalienable right to secure our lives and property, as outlined in the Second Amendment.
This reminds me of the infamous anti-Goldwater ad, as well as the legion of ads run against Ronald Reagan — or “Ronny Raygun,” as those clever wags on the left thought so amusing. And who ran those? LBJ, one of the most deplorable men ever elected, and Jimmy Carter, whose anti-semitism and feckless foreign policy, combined with his moronic economic endeavors, left us with radical Islam, stagflation, and an avuncular suggestion that we embrace the new normal of communism and layer up in sweaters.
It’s excruciatingly forced and cynical. Mostly because the same kind of ad can be run for just about every product, including, say, unsecured feather dusters used to tickle siblings, who then fall down stairs and break their necks. Or distracted Bloomberg body guards, who accidentally shoot the prick in the back of his limo because they mistake him for an intruder, and his lobster fork for an assault knife.
We’re treated as easily manipulable morons by people like Bloomberg, who seems to believe his intelligence is so transcendent that it simply must find a way to be dumbed down so that ordinary hicks can appreciate it. And I tire of it, just as I tire of so many wealthy leftists who believe wealth is evidence of genius, such that they should have control over important national and even Constitutional authorities.
From The Truth About Guns (h/t geoff B and serr8d):
“Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence,” nytimes.com reports, unfamiliar with the expression “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” Apparently Everytown will be “an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.” How’s that you ask? “The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.” [...]
[...] Not to put too fine a point on it, Mayor Bloomberg’s a nasty piece of work. Americans don’t like big city bullies, which is as good a description of Michael Bloomberg as I can muster. But don’t take my word for it . . .
Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.
“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”
He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.” . . .
What gives this story life: Bloomberg’s money. Specifically, he’s switching his anti-gun financial focus from campaign-related ads to “often-unseen field operations that have been effective for groups like the N.R.A. in driving single-issue, like-minded voters to the polls.” And you thought a boat was a hole in the water into which you dump money. No way is that enough cash to affect change in the political landscape regarding firearms freedom. The Times is less incredulous.
The $50 million could be significant: In recent years, the N.R.A. has spent only $20 million annually on political activities. The political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, who are seeking to help Republicans take over the Senate, have spent about $30 million in the last six months
The group will zero in on 15 target states, from places like Colorado and Washington State, where gun control initiatives have advanced recently, to territory that is likely to be more hostile like Texas, Montana and Indiana. They have set a goal of signing up one million new supporters this year on top of the 1.5 million they already have.
Wait, what? Bloomberg’s gun control groups have 1.5 million supporters? I don’t think so – unless you define “supporters” as Facebook Likes and names on a mailing list. Combined. Multiplied by 10. Seriously, why would the Times repeat that obvious lie? For the same reason they end their announcement article with this gem:
Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.
But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
That’s as close to a dictionary definition of hubris as you’ll find. No matter how much money you have, pride goeth before a fall. And for that may the Lord make us truly grateful.
I think the NRA has just been given a wonderful gift by one of its most arrogant nemeses, namely, that quote, which they — along with all lovers of liberty and choice — should annotate and spread as indicative of the leftist nannystate mindset, which reeks of assignation of itself to a kind of secular godhead: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. [By infringing on the liberties of my fellow man, because I know better than they, and they need to have someone like me teach them how to be responsible humans] I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
Well, Mr Bloomberg, thanks for your service to the Church. For that, you can have yourself buried in a platinum casket. And yet you’ll still moulder in the ground like the rest of us — your enormous, ego-driven tombstone a testament to your own self-aggrandizement and unbridled arrogance.
Run all the ads you want. You won’t take our guns. The efforts in Colorado you pushed led to a pair of recalls and a movement to break from the state by large swaths of the population living outside the regions lorded over by lying Democrats who were willing to break their campaign pledges for the Cause.
In the end, maybe “immigration reform” will be the undoing of the Second Amendment as a legal imperative. But it won’t get guns out of the hands of those who know how tyrants operate. So go ahead, turn us all into outlaws.
Chicks dig outlaws almost as much as ordinary humans hate pompous, presumptuous, arrogant would-be gods like Bloomberg.
Conflict of interest, you say? Why, balderdash. Twas but a simple misunderstanding, surely. An accidental oversight. Of which we’ll be told Cantor had no direct knowledge. PJM:
On a local website co-managed by Shaun Kenney, the newly appointed executive director of the Virginia GOP, a colleague of Kenney’s admitted last night that Kenney’s political fundraising and consulting firm is employed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Cantor is now campaigning to retain his seat in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Cantor’s challenger for the GOP primary on June 10 — Dave Brat — is politically on Cantor’s right, and is thus receiving national interest from conservative/Tea Party groups that are disappointed with Cantor’s record as majority leader.
The magnitude of the revelation can not be overstated: GOP voters in Virginia’s 7th District have just learned that the person appointed to manage the primary election season for the party is being paid by one of the candidates. And, in addition to the disqualification of Kenney as a fair arbiter of the primary, the financial ties obviously raise the question of whether Cantor, the most powerful Republican in Virginia, had Kenney installed as executive director.
Further, the article revealing the financial ties attempts to describe a longstanding relationship between Cantor and the partners at K6 Consulting. However, this appears to be irrelevant. Cantor’s own financial disclosures for 2013-2014 do not include any records of payments made to K6 Consulting or any other entity tied to Shaun Kenney. The article claims that the upcoming FEC financial disclosure will reveal that K6 is employed by Cantor.
Unless Cantor’s financial disclosures were incomplete, K6 Consulting signed a contract with Cantor just in the past few weeks or months, as Kenney was being selected as executive director.
Indeed, this matches with what I have heard from multiple sources.
Last week, I was told that in recent weeks Shaun Kenney was overheard on more than one occasion — and at two different locations — claiming that “he had landed the big fish, Cantor.” The two locations were the Republican Party of Virginia Headquarters and the Richmond General Assembly Building.
Notes Brat, in response to the article (and listed in one of several updates):
“Since no Democratic challenger has emerged from that party’s own primary process, the GOP primary election on June 10 will result in the next U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.
Yet with this revelation, any pretense of fairness regarding that June 10th election has been dashed.
We now ask Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins to explain how and why Shaun Kenney was appointed Executive Director.
We are also calling for an independent investigation into the financial relationship between Eric Cantor, Shaun Kenney, and the Republican Party of Virginia.”
Question: will there be blowback — with Cantor’s establishement cronies, attendant remoras attached to one of the apex predators in the House, willing to break their sucking, sycophantic grip and form their own school of hide and retreat? Or will they just try to ride this out as the bombast of a primary challenger who hasn’t any right to challenge one of the foremost members of the House leadership in the first place? Because, well, that’s just not done, you see. Regardless of how corrupt and manipulative the incumbent sonofabitch is, and regardless of how he fails to truly represent his base constituency once he makes it to DC.
He’s a sure thing, and we need to win to fight.
I know this because Ann Coulter and Karl Rove, among others, keep telling me this — just as they kept telling me that Mitt Romney was conservative, or that Chris Christie was the future of the party, whereas rabble rousers like the Jr Senator from Texas and the Jr Senator from Utah need to stop harming the party with their idealism and inexperience in negotiating the Ways of DC.
But here’s the thing about GOP establishment politicians: make the fire hot enough, and they’ll begin to realize that they are indeed frogs in a pot, and — because they are nothing if not committed to their own political survival (the left’s pols will take one for the team, because to do so promotes the Cause) — they may just hop away. Or swim away. Depending on which of my metaphors you prefer. If either.
So. Time to turn up the heat.
I’m convinced the GOP lost the Virginia Senate race because they would rather see Terry McCauliff in the Senate than someone like Cuccinelli. The same can be said of Richard Mourdoch in Indiana. And countless others. There is, after all, a reason the GOP leadership and its big money donor hold conclaves to discuss how they can neuter and defeat the TEA Party conservatives, not how they can effectively combat big government statism. Because the truth is, they like big government statism, and they can raise money by setting themselves up as the only viable option to run against it.
It’s a shell game. And we’re the suckers on the street corner who are never supposed to find the pea.
On his show last night, Mark Levin referenced a fascinating 2002 study by Ron Utt, PhD, that — using the government’s own data — showed developed land in the US was, at the time, 5.2 % in the contiguous 48 states; and that even that figure was likely high. From the study:
According to the most widely available land use survey/report recently published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),16 only 5.2 percent of the land in the 48 contiguous states is considered developed, and this figure may overstate the scope of residential and commercial development, since other federal surveys suggest that the true amount of such land may be under 4.0 percent. [....]
But even the NRI estimate may overstate the true scope of the amount of developed (human-occupied) land in the United States. USDA’s definition of “developed” land also includes the amount of land in rural areas devoted to highways, roads, railroad right-of-ways, power transmission lines, pipelines, etc., which represent ribbons of developed land use traversing otherwise undeveloped and unoccupied rural areas to connect one urbanized area to another, or a farm house with a major road. In and of themselves, such uses do not represent “development” as the term has come to be defined, as denoting areas of permanent human habitation and occupation. When such uninhabited forms of public infrastructure are removed from the USDA’s tally of “developed” land, whatever land remains is technically referred to as “urbanized.” In providing a measurement of the amount of urbanized land in the continental United States, the federal government offers a choice of two estimates derived from two separate federal surveys of land use patterns.
Using the land use estimates reported by the NRI survey for 1997, urbanized areas accounted for just 4.0 percent of the land in the continental United States (3.2 percent if Alaska is included).17 Moreover, that 4.0 percent of the land was home to approximately 75 percent of the population. Adding to this total the amount of rural areas identified as containing residential housing (which the USDA defines as one housing unit per 10 acres or more) brings these loosely inhabited areas of the continental United States to 7.3 percent.
Other federal land use estimates suggest that urbanized areas account for an even smaller amount of land than found in the NRI survey. The USDA conducts another land use survey, called the Census of Agriculture, every five years. Unlike the NRI survey, which is based on a national sample of land use patterns (and therefore potentially more prone to error),19 the Census of Agriculture is conducted as an enumeration, and the use to which every bit of land is put is measured, tabulated, and reported. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, in 1997 this survey found that “urbanized” land accounted for no more than 3.4 percent of all of the land in the continental United States.[...]
Thus, after nearly 400 years of unmanaged development and rabbit-like population growth, somewhere between 3.4 percent and 5.2 percent of land in the continental United States has been consumed, according to the several federal surveys measuring the use of that land.
Those with a skeptical view of the federal findings on land use patterns may argue that the inclusion of the vast empty spaces of America’s mountainous West and the sparsely populated farmland in the Midwest tend to make the national average look better than it is. In their view, the older and heavily urbanized states on the East and West Coasts would show unacceptably high levels of developed land and fast-disappearing woods and meadows. But that perception is largely untrue. Many of the states whose settlement goes back for most of the four centuries of the American experience still maintain very large shares of undeveloped land [...].
In both New York and Virginia, which were settled in the early 1600s, nearly 90 percent of the land is still undeveloped, while in Pennsylvania the share is over 85 percent, and in Maryland it is over 80 percent. In contrast, both New Jersey and Rhode Island’s developed shares hover at around one-third of the available land–some of the highest shares in the nation but still leaving both states with about two-thirds of their land undeveloped or in agricultural use.
Despite the evidence on land use, and for reasons hard to explain, the contrived crisis in land use has become an object of worry for some federal Cabinet-level departments. It has also become a high policy priority for environmental groups and academics, a concern of journalists, a reason for Senators to encourage a federal land planning program, a justification for local officials to violate property rights and discourage homeownership, and a rationale for terrorism on the part of a lunatic fringe obsessed with trees and dirt–all of this because just 5.2 percent of America’s land has been developed.
However trivial the pace of development thus far, as revealed by the data, the aggressive promotion of smart growth policies by some in the media and a gross misrepresentation of the facts by many environmentalists threaten the freedom of ordinary Americans to choose living arrangements that best suit their needs. In a growing number of counties and states, Americans’ preferences are being pre-empted as restrictive land use practices are imposed in order to redirect lifestyle choices. Their decisions are confined by rules promulgated by environmental and artistic elites eager to save American families from their pedestrian tastes and philistine choices.
A prominent new urbanist advocate, James Howard Kunstler, spoke for many of the elites eager to save ordinary Americans from their graceless state of fashion-impaired lifestyles when he complained:
When we drive around and look at all this cartoon architecture and other junk that we’ve smeared all over the landscape, we register it as ugliness. This ugliness is the surface expression of deeper problems–problems that relate to the issue of our national character. The highway strip is not just a sequence of eyesores. The pattern it represents is also economically catastrophic, an environmental calamity, socially devastating, and spiritually degrading.20
Of course, one might counter “urban advocate” James Howard Kunstler’s argument with a pithy retort along the lines of, “and we give a fuck what informs your own particular aesthetic because…”? But why bother. As one of our betters, he’s not answerable to us. We are just individual strokes of the landscape that he and his like wish to move around on their “spiritual” and “social” canvas. And we need to be corralled, centralized, stacked, and controlled. For the Greater Good. Of themselves.
What we have here, as Levin noted last night and as you’ve read me and others argue for quite some time now, is an attempt by the academic, leftist, bureaucratic elite, through the pretense of “environmental protection” or “protecting natural resources,” to nationalize private property.
Which is why this standoff between a rancher in Nevada is so compelling to so many of us: it’s not that we are opposed to rule of law; it’s that we’re opposed to the unfair and essentially capricious and / or vindictive usage of laws that are unequally applied, defiling the basic foundation of our country’s founding, equality before a (stable) law. Not to mention, exculpatory elements within federal land ownership claims that favor people like Mr Bundy.
The original pretense for the federal government turning the federal land on which Mr Bundy’s cattle has grazed for nearly a century and a half into “conservation land” — land that could not be used by humans, for the most part, be they off-roaders or ranchers or farmers (solar farms? Well, that’s a different story. Because PROGRESS!) — was the supposed endangerment of the desert tortoise. But because that species is no longer endangered, by what authority does the BLM and its federal partners in the environmental protection movement, claim to keep restrictive control over that land? And the answer is simple: government moves in only one direction, left, and we have no countervailing force in power to check it. Which is why we either use a convention of the states to rob these extra-legal bureaucracies of their powers; or else we elect enough strict constitutionalists who would be able to articulate the danger to private property we are facing, and then have the support of enough of the populace to defund entire segments of the administrative state.
As we watch governmental bureaucracies go after rain buckets and puddles or stock ponds on people’s private property (all water leads to other water, which eventually leads to “navigable waters” over which they claim jurisdiction) or try to have spilled milk and dust labeled ecologically sinister and therefore justifiably ended through lawsuits or outright takeovers of private land, what we are really seeing is the Marxist long game to rid the country of private property (save for the sprawling acreage owned by the elites themselves).
But if you listen to the prevailing narrative, regurgitated by politicians and the media alike, we’re eating up all our resources, littering the country with the “blight” of “urban sprawl” or “strip malls,” and that but for the noble bureaucrats, we’d soon be out of space, and we’d all be facing shortages of food, water, etc.
The truth, however, is precisely the opposite: federal control over land, which is being used to take land from private owners who produce food, or energy, etc., is creating a completely phony and economically unnecessary burden on citizens of the US.
This land is your land; this land is my land. This land is not the Interior Department’s, or the EPA’s, or NOA’s.
Say what you want about the civil disobedience being deployed by Mr Bundy in the slimy world of cronyism that marks so much of Nevada politics; but the fact is, the stand he’s taking, while it may eschew federal court rulings, is nonetheless worth supporting, if only because it draws attention to the draconian means the federal bureaucracies are prepared to use to harass individual private property owners — even as the amount of undeveloped land in the US remains at about 95%, a staggering figure. As was the 200 armed enforcement officers with weapons the government deployed to try to neutralize this heretic.
Conservationists, it turns out, are nothing more than hoarders. Only they’ve been able to justify it by selling the nobility of their cause to a gullible public, using as its source of narrative transmission politicians from both parties, and the demagoguery of the media and the academy.
On the plus side, when shit hits the fan, 95% of the country is a lot of undeveloped land to try to police. But then, maybe that’s why the left is so keen on drone usage.
A lawsuit? How about just cutting to the chase and pass a bill abolishing the goddamn thing in favor of a flat tax — at least until we can get a convention of the states convened wherein an amendment for a repeal of the income tax and its replacement with a fair tax can gain momentum.
This agency is the partisan police arm of an horrific health insurance charade that fundamentally changes the relationship between the individual and the government. I don’t want it ticked off at its “tormenters.” I want it gone. Sleeping with the fishes. Leave the gun, grab the cannolis.
But, baby steps, I suppose.
Isn’t that always the way?
Following remarks Senate Majority leader Harry Reid made at the University of Nevada, Reno on Monday, the Nevada Democrat told Reno’s KRNV TV his thoughts on the cattle controversy in Gold Butte. “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid said.
There is no question that there were a lot of things going on down there with breaking the law,” Reid said. “And that is not over yet. We can’t let that continue. So I’m sure it is not the end of it.”
Translation: only Congressmen, Attorney’s General, IRS employees, NSA employees, Secretaries of State, Presidents, and those who make law are allowed to be above it.
Well, that, and illegal aliens.
Uppity ranchers? Time to put a boot on their throats. Because Yes We Can.
Gee. What a shocker.
Of course, here, elites are classified by wealth, giving he whole study a kind of Marxist feel, with undertones that speak to “income inequality” (read: a condition of liberty) — whereas if there weren’t politicians willing to be directed or “nudged” by bribery or other favors from cronies in our current corporatist system, money wouldn’t much matter.
The problem is not money. The problem is that government has more and more of a say over who can get it and how, and who cannot and why. And this is the case because we now have a class of professional politician, something the founders and framers, who advocated for rotational citizen government, couldn’t possibly foresee. (Carrier air conditioning may have inadvertently given us this fresh hell, even as it is one of the greatest inventions of all times, insofar as DC was for the longest time just a horribly humid bit of swampland outside Maryland and Virginia, a place people went to pick up mosquito-borne illnesses and small paychecks as servants to the people).
Reinstituting our Constitutional protections and returning to a true free market system would greatly alter what I’m going to now start referring to as “input inequality.” Which is far more crucial to representative government than the Marxist claptrap that underpins the softened language of radical egalitarianism being sold to us by the progressives and some timid Republicans.