On Sunday, I spoke with a college professor friend of mine who gave me an inkling the of the madness that has overtaken the university system in this country. What he said was so shocking that he shall remain nameless because I don’t believe he truly understands the implications of his “vision”–and doubtless that of his academic colleagues–for America.
Barack Obama will raise your taxes. All of them. Income taxes. Capital gains taxes. Dividend taxes. Payroll taxes. Death taxes. Cap and trade taxes. Natural resource taxes. Global Poverty Taxes. And more.
In news that should come as a surprise to no one, pollsters have found that Democrats are less happy then Republicans. The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that 37 percent of Republicans are very happy, compared to 25 percent of Democrats. More tellingly, only 9 percent of Republicans are “not too happy,” compared with 20 percent disgruntled Democrats.
At a IMPACT 08 session Henry Kissinger outlined the state of the world facing the next president. He was much more sparse with his recommendations. You will find his comments in capital letters. My observations on them in black.
What is happening to us? What explains the boorishness, hate and even violence that increasingly mark our politics?No, this isn’t another prissy commentary on “negative” ads — another high-sounding homily on how we ought to focus on “the issues,” by which the writer means “the issues that I think voters should focus on.” Nor is this a screed against demonstrations, however boisterous, or some young fools’ lawn-sign stealing. There’s no interest here in trampling on free-speech rights or spitting into the wind of what must be a rite of passage.
In the early months after the September 11 attacks, Democrats began to complain that the Bush administration was muzzling them. They whined about not being able to criticize the administration’s policies or risk being called “unpatriotic” or “undermining the war effort.” Of course, the Bush administration did no such thing. There was legitimate concern that newspapers such as The New York Times were publishing national security secrets on the front page, thereby endangering our men and women on the battlefield and our broader national security. But dissent was never discouraged or punished.
An Obama Panic? Pollsters tell us that the world is enamored with Obama but the markets certainly are not. The closer an Obama presidency comes to materializing, the lower the markets drop. The phenomenon has become so obvious that pundits can no longer avoid mentioning it even if only to downplay it importance as the WSJ editorial does:
Check out The American Culture, a winning blog by “one of us”–a smart guy who understands how important it is for conservatives to understand popular culture. Interesting articles, unique opinion, stuff you don’t find anywhere else. You’ll like it, you really will.
Most of today’s jokes are so politically incorrect that, well, I can’t post them here. Seriously. So… if you like your humor like you like your chocolate–bitter and dark (and occasionally offensive, but hey, that doesn’t fit the “chocolate” metaphor, so skip it)–then you really ought to sign up for my brother’s jokes-by-email delivery. It’s free. See the link at the bottom. And now, for the jest I can show you:
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a “warm body” democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction…. [O]nce a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome. — Robert Heinlein, from “To Sail Beyond the Sunset” (h/t to Andy McCarthy at NRO’s The Corner)
Barack Obama has made a not unreasonable strategic decision to sit on his lead and hightail it to Hawaii to visit his ill grandma (this would be the same white grandma he implied was a racist in his Philadelphia speech on Reverend Jeremiah Wright.)
Forget “Joe the Plumber.” That Joe, after all, isn’t running for office, and his only claim to fame is managing, when approached by Barack Obama, to get the Democrat to reveal his philosophy of taxation (”spread the wealth around”). For having the audacity to actually elicit information that told us something about Obama, poor Joe was promptly vetted by a media claque that hasn’t been keen on vetting the first-term senator from Illinois.No, it’s “Joe the Senator” who should concern us. Our text today is what the ever-voluble vice presidential candidate said about Obama at a Seattle fundraiser last weekend. I quote at length to do Biden full justice:
If you are wondering why the deluge of information about Obama’s shady past has not eliminated him from the presidential race; If you are wondering why Obama may become America’s next president despite voluminous evidence of his being a liar and a fraud; Let me reveal the secret underlying this grotesque state of affairs. We are living in a postmodern world where truth and falsity are no longer relevant.
I just realized that the 1999 Kosovo war ended (at least officially) on June 10th, ushering in the occupation of Kosovo by NATO the next day. June 10th was the date of the League of Prizren meeting in 1878, when the decision to create a Greater Albania was made. (More deliberately, June 10th was also the date that Bush’s historical visit to Albania occurred last year.) [End.]
I wish we could come up with a significant number of conservatives (and liberals, for that matter) who would agree to give the same answer to pollsters and thus wreck their ability to affect a race. For instance, if most of us agreed this time around to tell pollsters–especially exit pollsters–that we voted for Obama, the ridiculous percentages that resulted would render the data useless. It’s not that I think all pollsters are dishonest brokers (though some certainly are), polling results tend to reinforce themselves–kind of a snowball effect. A portion of the trouble McCain is having right now is from the disheartening effect of the piling-on effect of polls.
“All conservatives are bilingual — we have to be. We speak both liberal and conservative. But liberals are monolingual — they don’t have to be anything else. They speak liberal, and are completely ignorant of the conservative tongue.” — John Podhoretz, quoted by Peter Robinson
If you do (and maybe it’s you), please let them know about a couple of Harry Potter discussions we are sponsoring at St. Stephen’s Church in McKeesport. My good friend John Granger, who has written several wonderful books about the Harry Potter novels, will be our guest speaker. John has just finished a book about the deeper theological and philosophical themes in Harry Potter. He is also writing a book about the many ways in which J.K. Rowling has incorporated the great themes of English literature into her stories as well. Instead of the Harry Potter books becoming ‘gateways’ to the occult or youth culture rebellion, they turned out to be ‘gateways’ to William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Dante and Plato.
BenchMark Financial has asked me to do a presentation and to lead a discussion about our current economic turbulence. The event will he held in downtown Pittsburgh at the Rivers Club on the evening of October 23rd. Even though it is sponsored by BenchMark you are quite welcome to attend even if you are an advisor or client with another firm.
You don’t hear many references to the New Testament in financial journalism these days. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Larry Kudlow is a notable exception. Over the past week in the midst of numerous pieces of bad news, Larry has made continual reference to ‘financial mustards seeds of hope’ in our financial markets. What does that mean?
Forget the pundits — look at what happened to the Intrade political futures market, tracing Sarah Palin withdrawal futures in real time, as Palin debated Joe Biden. They are now lower than Biden withdrawal futures.