"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama's Ideological Budget

Among other disturbing items in the Obama budget is the cap on deductions of charitable donations. The editorial staff of National Review Online have their take here. They quite correctly point out that this seems to say the government decides where to best spend charitable money. "The message is clear: Turn more of your money over to us, and we'll give it away for you."

Now aside from the nonsensical spending increases and the short-sided and wishful sources of income and savings (covered by better observers here and here-- both recommended reading), Obama's budget seems to reflect a desire to realign the nation's priorities. It's the government's sense of right that needs to be instituted, the government will take the lead and show the moral way. I've written a previous post about these dangers of government morality being used as a compass and I will not restate the argument. Obama's budget reflects much of his previous rhetoric which places the government in a morally superior position to the citizenry.

Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed opposition to his budget, especially to the reduction of charitable contributions write-offs. This is of little consequence however, as Obama has thus far been able to push through massive spending despite vocal public opposition and a total of 3 Congressional Republican votes.

This budget must be seen and addressed as the socialist policy it is. Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post correctly points out the three great goals of Obama's budget.

1) Universal health care (bad and impersonal service to all, plus bureaucracies telling doctors what to do-- keeping it cost-efficient at the expense of lives)
2) Taxpayer-funded college educations (turning colleges into public high schools...)
3) Government funded and guided energy (can you say astonishing energy bills with brownouts?)

At the moment Obama can publicly lie about his opposition to big government, can use his ethnicity to silence many critics, can reach into his bag of rhetorical tricks and try to sell lead for gold. But this can last only so long, before moderates wise up and understand the intent and outcome of his policies and downplayed socialist ideology. His budget proposals should be resisted and protested with at least the same vigor as his "stimulus" bill.

There is a mood in this country, largely heralded by the MSM, that Obama is unstoppable and has been given a public mandate. Simply and ignorantly voting for vague change does not justify unworkable socialist mandates. We should not forget the truth of Ellis Washington's entreaty to not give into this currently popular lie: "Free-market capitalism, conservatism, Christianity are all failed ideologies. We've got to evolve beyond these anachronistic and exclusionary ideas of the past and chart a bold, new course for the America of the 21st century."

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Obama Damages

Check out Charles Krauthammer's analysis of Obama's recent speech in The Washington Post. I think his analysis is largely accurate.

Why the US would wish to follow largely unsuccessful European policies that depend on both American capitol and markets is something of a mystery to me. I think it's mainly due to ignorance and wishful thinking-- hallmarks of the Obama administration so far.

The fact is that America cannot survive this way. There is no one else to provide a vast market for American goods (as America has for European goods) to support the domestic economy, nor is there anyone to shoulder military defense enabling the US to drastically cut defense spending (as most of Europe has done for decades). History has shown that socialistic governments cannot remain viable without either outside support or aggressive expansion. These policies simply will not work left on their own, though they can hobble along for decades, and will eventually have to be largely reversed. How much of our own personal prosperity or independence that can be regained is unknown.

The question simply seems to be how much damage can Obama do in the meantime if we allow him to. And the answer is plenty.

Recommended Global-Warming Article

Check out this article by Marc Sheppard on AmericanThinker.com. Sheppard explores the global warming scientific method and history. Very interesting.

It illustrates the superfluousness of truth when dealing in all things political. Does anybody else want to just get off the world at this point?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bay Area Homeowners Want Mortgage Bailout

Check out this post at Michelle Malkin.com.

It appears that Congress wants houses costing up to $729,750 to qualify for bailouts. I guess we need to keep those California housing prices up and up and up! Even though the Cali economy is going down, down and down... Soon taxes will be paying for their SUVs and coffees. I mean how else are going to afford these things as companies continue to flee California?

Just for Fun...

Check out this video on gawker.com. The NYU's food court occupation has apparently met its Waterloo. Annoyed and put-upon looking school officials and campus police ended the crisis and it looks as though detentions are forthcoming. Somehow this just doesn't remind me of student protests in South Korea or Greece...

"But we want a consensus!" *snort*

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fear-mongering Continues... and not Just for the Economy

Check out this article from NewsBusters.com by Warner Todd Huston as he dissects an anti-gun editorial from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. And while you're at it try this other NewsBusters.com article also by Huston about the reemerging phantom menace of crazy, gun-toting militias.

Is anybody seeing a pattern here? Obama's far-left views are becoming more and more evident to an increasingly disappointed public. He has a track record in Illinois of anti-gun rights legislation. Pelosi is from San Francisco which has tried to ban handguns within its city limits. Now elements within the media are starting to stir up fear about crazy gun owners paying "outrageous prices" to arm themselves, as well as bringing back the 1990s fear of far-right militias infesting the red states. I'm already hiding under the bed... beseeching the great Obama to spare me from the wrath of "hordes of overwhelmingly white, middle-aged men from suburban and rural areas." After all Obama is "an exotic other occupying the White House." Both quotes are from Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com.

It's only been about five weeks into the Obama administration, but I wonder if we are starting to see a strategy here: create fear, declare a "crisis," pass sweeping left-wing legislation very quickly and then move on with obligatory lip-service to "patriotism" and vague promises of better days ahead.

This strategy is a familiar one. A Ukrainian and a Czechoslovakian friend of mine have both remarked that "they know what comes next" with Obama. Repressive socialist governments such as the Soviets, Yugoslavia and other Eastern Bloc countries, Mao's China, and even (though I am hesitant to breach the ultimate evil in a blog entry) the Nazis used similar inward-looking fear tactics to sell oppressive policies and unpopular laws to the general public.

Please, understand that I'm not suggesting that Obama is another Hitler, Lenin, Mao, or anything like that. Nor am I concerned about a repressive Socialist regime being instituted even as we speak. What does concern me is using tyrannical but proven methods to push across leftist agendas into law and bring about a more intrusive, wasteful and inefficient federal government. It bothers me to use unjustified and manufactured fear to bring about quick political change.

It should be interesting to see how Obama's administration handles itself in the future. While espousing bipartisanship, Obama has been anything but bipartisan in its handling of the "stimulus" bill. Will he stay in de facto silence as the far-left continues to fear-monger the right's opposition-- continues to paint them as enemies rather than opponents? Will he utilize the left portion of the media's fear-mongering to adavance political "unity?" Will he continue to exaggerate, spread fear and declare "crises" (as he has done with the economy) to advance his agendas? Will he continue to blame others' "worn out dogmas" for continued economic unrest and instability? If so, he is among very poor company.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

US Governement Promises $900 Million to Hamas

The U.S. pledges $900 million dollars to help rebuild Gaza. The U.S. seems intent on providing Hamas with a greater number of missile platforms and more effective ways to use human shields. This must be part of this fiscal responsibility Obama's been trumpeting. Supporting clearly aggressive enemies of our ally Israel in times of "dire economic crisis." More audacity, I suppose...

While I'm all for helping those in need, Gaza does not need the UN to build more schools and hospitals into which Hamas will place rocket batteries. The terrorist tactics used by Hamas has no regard for anyone's lives (Israeli or Palestinian) and has effectively turned Gaza into a tragic and deadly propaganda showpiece. Launch rockets randomly into Israel from schools, run, watch as Israel retaliates, then complain to the media about civilian casualties. It's like a bowling alley and by simply throwing money at Gaza, all the U.S. is doing is setting up the pins again.

Does this seem humanitarian to anyone?

European Leaders Ban Together to Ruin World Economy

At least that should be the headline of this rather telling article. Actually is was Brown [Britain's Prime Minister]: World needs 'global New Deal' European leaders, in their panic, seems just as anxious to rush headlong into the failed policies of the past as the American leaders are.

Monday, February 23, 2009

St. Obama Revisited

Another Obama halo spotted via the AP. Sheesh...

Of course this pic is connected to an article his upcoming budget where Obama says "We cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences." This coming on the heels of his $780 billion+ spending... er... "stimulus" bill... Audacity indeed. I'm sorry, but this won't wash even if they gave him a set of wings too.

Obama's Budget

The AP is reporting a sort of movie preview build-up to Obama's budget. Article here.

Apparently reducing the deficit has to do with raising taxes on the wealthy (like Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner, Wesley Snipes, and company) and cutting the defense budget (while calling up 30,000 more troops to be pushed into Afghanistan).

While I don't want to make any criticisms until an itemized budget is released, how can Obama possibly talk about cutting the deficit just one week after pushing through an historically large spending bill? Come on... This appears to be, once again, shockingly naive.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Racial Cowardice

Check out this post from Michelle Malkin.com. Yep, the stimulus bill protests are from racists who don't want to help out the black man-- at least according to Representative Clyburn. As Malkin points out, coming on the heels of Attorney General Eric Holder's comment that "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards," is just a little too much to take.

It is amusing to me to listen to Holder's words. In college I was called a racist reasonably often (mostly by white students) for saying things such as "I don't believe that the primary factor in the development of person's psyche is race." When I said that in a literature class, we were studying and discussing Wright's Native Son at the time, it was like a bell went off. Bingo. I'm a racist. This happened often enough to disappoint, but not really surprise me. Each class has its own individual character (I remember attending one writing class that segregated itself off into a boys vs. girls mentality-- that was an awkward though highly amusing class-- not unlike 3rd grade students). Some classes are more open to dissenting opinion then others. This literature class was one of the all too common type that was decidedly close-minded.

The illogicality of calling someone racist who was denying race as a primary factor in judging a person, seemed completely lost on the students who claimed me as racist. But then this reaction wasn't about logic or debate, nor about judging the merits or weaknesses of an argument (this was, after all, college)-- it was about conformity. It was about not allowing a stance against the consensus or the established view on race. I don't agree with the position being ham-fistedly shoved at me as an undeniable truth, therefore I am a racist. The term racist has come to lose much of its meaning, disassociating itself from overt racist agendas, becoming a catch-all for those conservatives not toeing the line. As it is used with greater frequency, acting like the clap of gavel to close off honest discussions or debates, it will lose both its power and legitimate meaning.

Malkin's post is mostly correct when she says that "Holder doesn’t want an honest dialogue about race. In the Age of Obama, 'talking enough with each other about race' means the rest of us shutting up while being subjected to lectures about our insensitivity and insufficient integration on the weekends."

While this honestly has little to do with the "Age of Obama," she is quite right in saying that Holder's "racial discussion" is a wish for a decidedly one-way lecture. What is "cowardly" to Holder is the inability of people to simply think the same way as him, act in the way that he wishes, or at least, as Clyburn wants, to just shut up about all these "racist" contrary views.

Apparently cancelling a a charity drive for cystic fibrosis because the disease isn't diverse enough, or suing Miley Cyrus for $4 billion because of tastelessly making slant-eyes in a leaked photo, seem to be hailed as the best inroads to true and honest discussions about race. And why not? They all start with the basic North American premise (that I'm sure Clyburn and Holder would whole-heartedly agree with) that discussions or observations regarding race must contain measures of guilt and hard feelings. Nothing regarding race can be treated as merely observational or academic (in the real sense of the word).

It seems that, almost by definition, there has to be a value judgement contained within any discussion of race in America. I once made an innocuous comment, while watching a Spanish language variety show on T.V., that many members of the studio audience (seen frequently) appeared to be Peruvian. This prompted my politically correct mother to come charging into the living room and accusingly demand to know "exactly what a Peruvian looked like?" Implicit in her reaction was the idea that (a) I have neither the ability nor right to be able to tell different Hispanics apart, and (b) that I was making some sort of value assessment (obviously she believed this to be a negative one) when saying that someone looked Peruvian.

Aside from the fact this makes her look a bit racist herself (why would she assume that my use of "Peruvian" meant some kind of negativity if she did not already have that presumption in her own mind), she also managed to highlight the pitfalls of merely mentioning race. If my p.c. mother is going to jump down my neck for saying an audience looked Peruvian, what would Clyburn and Holder do with something more substantial, like my denial of race as being the prime factor of individual personality? In both cases I could be wrong. Maybe the audience was Chilean or Bolivian (I'm certainly no expert in South American cultures or clothing styles), or maybe race is innately and profoundly important in the development of personality (I see no evidence of that but still...). None of this matters, though, because as soon as I'm heard speculating on such topics, the discussion is immediately closed and any further inquiry from me would only confirm in their minds my overt and terrible racism.

While excluding other incidences with my mother, I can still name a dozen more examples of being accused of harboring racist doctrines off the top of my head. Each of these moments occurred either in college classes (a place for the exchange, examination and discussion of ideas, or so I thought) or among other family members. This has taught me to discuss race with only a very select and intimate group of friends and relatives-- people that know me, know my curiosity and views well enough to not immediately believe that I'm a racist. But, to prove I'm not a coward, should I start bringing up racial discussions more publicly? Should I go into work and casually strike up a discussion about race? Should I say that I don't think that extensive use of the n-word (yes, I will not print it out) by black Americans hasn't dispelled or subverted any of the power it holds over black Americans (as I was often told has happened in college linguistic courses) when used by whites? Only if I don't want to work there anymore, and if I don't mind explaining the reasons for my dismissal to every potential employer for next ten to twenty years.

Is this cowardice? Perhaps it's merely good judgement. I don't want people to hate me by misunderstanding what I say. Nor is it my wish to make them uncomfortable merely for the sake of my curiosity. I don't want to lose a job and make myself difficult to employ by bringing up something that may be misconstrued as racist. I do not believe that I am unique in this. However, what I know is cowardice is the inability to listen to honest questions or comments about race, or the inability to listen to differing views on race without immediately labeling these views as racist. Intolerance, politically correct or not, is very definitely the last refuge of a coward.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Will the Obama Administration Support Israel?

Check out this lengthy but highly informative article by Caroline Glick. And now this other article by Ed Lasky from American Thinker.com.

It really doesn't appear that Obama and his people have a whole of interest in supporting the U.S.'s close ally Israel. Glick attributes the Obama administration's mishandling of the Durban II conference to naivety and poor reasoning. While these do seem to be the hallmarks of Obama so far, I still wonder. When reading Lasky's article it seems that George Soros, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Malley, and Samantha Power, each with prominent links to Obama, all have an axe grind regarding Israel.

Could the U.S.'s involvement with Durban II be something more sinister than a mere misstep of foreign policy? Are we seeing a new anti-Israel shift in the U.S. governement? Manufactured racism has been used to (mis)shape and manipulate American domestic policy in the past. Will Durban II and the manufactured racism it will generate provide an excuse to shape Obama's future foreign policy? Will Israel be painted as a racist state and thus unworthy of American support?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama Seems Lost

William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection and others have remarked about NATO refusing to heed the U.S.'s call for greater troop deployment in Afghanistan. I'm tempted to make some comment about rats deserting a sinking ship, but I'll refrain. Besides it's not wholly accurate.

I've talked about Obama's visible frustrations in another post. Combine this with a number of naive missteps in international relations as cataloged by Caroline Glick in her article, a Secretary of State tooling around Asia using first person singular as if she were the president (as noted by Mark Finkelstein at Finkelblog), Obama's idea that you can just send back an ally's gift with no comment and expect no misgivings (per the Telegraph.co.uk), and an image begins to emerge.

At first I thought, (perhaps hoped is a better word) that Obama would be as insincere as President Clinton had been, and run his administration according to the lowest common denominator and the polls. Hoping for insincerity in a president is hardly ideal, but I had no illusions about Obama being even close to an ideal president. As his campaign and inaugural speeches' veiled references to socialism hardly abated after his election, I began to worry that he was indeed a sincere socialist with an intrusive-government agenda to foist upon us (a view that hasn't really abated). Yet, after all the Democrat/Clinton cronies being arranged back into place within the executive, I again took heart by thinking that he was (once again) just another business-as-usual politician using populist appeal to further his own career.

Based on the pedestrian missteps however, I'm coming to the conclusion that this administration doesn't have much of a clue as to how to govern. The embarrassment of tax-dodging Daschle and all, Geithner's unimpressive (i.e. laughingstock) debut plan, allowing Pelosi and Reid to shape the "stimulus" bill (which even Obama claims is imperfect in language that seems to be getting more and more concrete) and Obama's own increasingly snippy demeanor seems to be the behavior of someone unaccustomed to government.

And, of course, Obama is. Being a community organizer (much like Jesus according to Susan Sarandon) and charismatic does not a leader make. His sole stint as a federal legislator (he has no executive experience) was simply used as a platform for his presidential bid. Perhaps his idea of reforming politician's "old bad habits" is partially based in the fact that he has no idea as to how anything in Washington actually works.

A number of economists and pundits have pointed out that even the concept of the stimulus bill is going into unknown waters, and oftentimes describe it as crap shoot. I think Obama's presidency itself is the crap shoot. We know little about him and he knows precious little about the workings of the federal government and the strategies and implications of international relations. Will he learn how to govern? If he does, what direction would he take the U.S.? Toward previously failed socialistic dreams of his father? Or will he try to placate the masses (as Clinton did) instead of "educating" them as socialists love to do?

No matter what the answers are, it's probably best to buckle down and be ready for a nasty, bumpy ride.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why Centralize?

Check out the text of this speech by Czech president Vaclav Klaus via, once again, BARCEPUNDIT.

Is it just me but, as both Europe and the U.S. centralize government power further, does it not seem a trifle odd that very few people seem to remember how bad communism and other ultra-strong central governments were throughout this century? The Soviet Union? Nazi Germany? Red China? Eastern Europe? Did any of these countries prosper? How much power over your life are you willing to give to government bureaucrats?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Morality is Not the Lack of Evil

I've mentioned in an earlier post about the danger and ultimate inability of government to dictate moral direction. I thought that maybe I would expand on the concept of morals since I might

My wife and I were watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian recently. In the movie there is the cliched scene where the good guys hold the main bad guy at their mercy, literally kneeling helpless, and then decide not to kill him. The movie presents this as some great moral test for young Prince Caspian (the villain had murdered his father and had tried to assassinate the prince). The fact that Caspian thinks hard on it, but does not ultimately kill this man is celebrated as some great moral victory.

Thinking on this scene though I began to wonder why this is seen as a moral victory. I mean Caspian didn't murder the man who murdered his father. Why not?

The character was not developed enough in the film to come to any conclusion (and I have to admit that I've never read the book). He did not seem to possess a great sense of ethics that could easily be defined or evidenced (he was that type of person who is the good guy because we're told repeatedly that he's a good guy). It seemed most likely to me, though, that Caspian did not kill because he would have felt bad or guilty about the action. In other words, because he was weak.

Simply not having the fortitude to kill is not a moral stance. It says nothing about one's ethics. While it is true that morality is about making a choice, the basis on which we make a moral judgement about an action must be on what is intended by the action. Intention is what provides the basis for judgement, since intent is the only aspect of the choice that a person has full control over.

In the case of Caspian, his intent is questionable. He seems afraid of what he may become, seems afraid of having to live with the guilt from the killing. --By the way, there's a fair amount of killing in the film and not all in obvious self-defense. Killing, in itself, is not presented as a necessarily immoral act.-- Weakness of this sort is not morality, nor is it a proper substitute. Compare this scene to the moment in The Dark Knight when Batman refuses to run over the Joker following the semi-truck flip. In Batman (at least the two most recent, Christopher Nolan films), we have a character with a highly developed and demonstrated moral code. Among the rules of his moral code is the fact that he does not kill. Thus, the temptation to run over the Joker (and his choice not to) is not a moral choice, but rather a refusal to be corrupted-- to make a choice he knows is wrong according to his moral code. In this case his morality is demonstrated and not chosen. Yet Caspian's refusal to kill is presented as a correct moral choice. Kill or not. Good or evil. So at the end of the day in Narnia, we're left with the film celebrating the fact that Caspian, this moral paragon, did not act in an evil manner and that seems to be enough to create morality.

This has always been a peeve of mine when this appears in the various forms of narrative. Goodness is not simply the lack of evil, and morality is not simply the lack of immoral behavior. Someone is good because of demonstrably good acts. Morality is an action taken, not an inaction of evil intent.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Recommended Article

Check out this article from American Thinker by Monte Kuligowski.

It gives an excellent analysis of Obama's use of fear in his selling of his big government economic policies.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It Was Only a Matter of Time

Check this out.

In the Childrens' section no less...

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Crisis Politics

"This is the same example of turning crisis into opportunity…" Barack Obama

"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." Rahm Emanuel

What can you do in a "crisis"?

You can pass "historic" spending bills that the majority of the public doesn't approve of.
You can get the pre-screened media to toss you softball questions at your press conferences.
You can get Hollywood to make silly, bizarre, and disturbing little propaganda adverts.
You can try to take control of the national census.
And you can do it all in under a month.

The will of the majority, a free-press made up of professional staffers and political skeptics, the levels of political insulation ensuring objectivity in the calculation of voting districts and constituencies, cornerstones of our representative democracy, have all been assaulted in less than a month. Plus we have Hollywood celebrities urging greater conformity to our illustrious leader.

One of the big pushes in the highly touted and revamped white house website is the expect more site. Expect more? Just how much more can people expect? How much more are people willing to tolerate?

As Ellis Washington said back on Dec. 20, we must not blindly believe this lie: "Free-market capitalism, conservatism, Christianity are all failed ideologies. We've got to evolve beyond these anachronistic and exclusionary ideas of the past and chart a bold, new course for the America of the 21st century." Pretty words, false geniality, and the audacity of ego does not create truth, nor are they hallmarks of good leadership.

Remember Theodore Roosevelt's words: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

As a note: Roosevelt's quote will stay at the top of my blog, regardless of who is president or what party he/she belongs to.

1/3 of Europeans Believes Jews are to Blame for Financial Crisis

And now for some especially depressing news. Check out this article from The Jerusalem Post.

I had thought we'd gotten past this sort of anti-Semitism. This is shameful. In my years in college, I constantly heard from other students and most teachers how progressive Europeans are. It's amazing to me how ignorant educated people can be, especially outside their field of expertise.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama has Pre-approved Press Lists at Conferences

Check out this article from newbusters.org by Warner Todd Huston: Obama's Pre-approved "Press List" At Last Getting Notice Apparently the Huffington Post is one of those pre-approved questioners (See Obama's First Primetime Press Conference). Way to take those tough questions, as William A. Jacobson noted at Legal Insurrection.

This Obama idea of "openness" is such a sham. Can someone please now tell us about these contrived townhall meetings/revivals. Do you think these are what they appear to be? I mean people were actually shouting "amen!" They're about as real as "Survivor" and "Wife Swap."

FBI may Shift from Anti-terror to Anti-fraud

A headline on Yahoo via the AP: FBI may shift counterterror agents to anti-fraud.

Does anybody else think this isn't such a hot idea? I mean sure we haven't any serious (as in thousands of citizens killed) homeland terrorist attacks in almost eight years. I'm sure the terrorists got it all out of their systems and are now clambering to be our buddies. So now let's forget them and start hunting down delinquent bankers, corporate cheaters, and people with fraudulent mortgages. I feel safer already.

What has happened to our government's priorities?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama the Teacher: And Just What are We Learning?

As noted on newsbusters.org "ABC anchor Charles Gibson lauded how President Obama treated 'each question almost as a teaching moment with long and expansive answers.'" Obama the teacher... I guess that's better than Obama the "Lightworker" i.e. Lucifer ("light-bearer"). I must ask Charles Gibson exactly what did he learn from Obama during these teaching moments?

Here's what I learned:

1) Obama is a liar.
Obama: "But what I've -- what I've been concerned about is some of the language that's been used suggesting that this is full of pork and this is wasteful government spending, so on and so forth.
"First of all, when I hear that from folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt, then, you know, I just want them to not engage in some revisionist history. I inherited the deficit that we have right now and the economic crisis that we have right now.
"But when they start characterizing this as pork, without acknowledging that there are no earmarks in this package -- something, again, that was pretty rare over the last eight years -- then you get a feeling that maybe we're playing politics instead of actually trying to solve problems for the American people."

Here’s a list of pork in the "Sellout Substitute Amendment from the Turncoat Caucus" via michellemalkin.com:
* $2 billion Blagojevich earmark for FutureGen near zero emissions powerplant in Mattoon, IL
* $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars
* $3 million for purchasing “neighborhood electric vehicles” (golf carts)
* $5.5 billion for making federal buildings “green” (including $448 million for DHS HQ)
* $650 million for the DTV transition coupon program
* $1.2 billion for summer jobs for youth·
* $200 million for workplace safety in USDA facilities
* $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
* $75 million for the Smithsonian Institution
* $750 earmark for the National Computer Center in MD
* $224 million for International Boundary and Water Commission – U.S. and Mexico
* $198 million to design and furnish the DHS headquarters
* $10 million to fight Mexican gunrunners
* $850 million for Amtrak
* $100 million for lead paint hazard reduction
* $39 billion slush fund for “state fiscal stabilization” bailout
* $275 million for flood prevention
* $65 million for watershed rehabilitation
* $255 million for “priority procurements” at Coast Guard (polar ice breaker)
* $650 million for abandoned mine sites
* $1.3 billion for NASA (including $450 million for “science” at NASA)
* $100 million to clean up sites used in early U.S. atomic energy program
* $10 million for urban canals
* $1.5 billion for carbon capture projects under sec. 703 of P.L. 110-140 (though the original section only authorizes $1 billion for five years)
* $300 million for hybrid and electric cars for federal employees
* $500 million for State and local fire stations
* $180 million for construction of Bureau of Land Management facilities
* $500 million for wildland fire management
* $110 million for construction for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* $522 million for construction for the Bureau of Indian Affairs
* $412 million for CDC headquarters
* $500 million earmark for NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
* $100 million for constructing U.S. Marshalls office buildings
* $300 million for constructing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office buildings
* $800 million for constructing Federal Prison System buildings and facilities
* $307 million for constructing National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) office buildings
* $1 billion for administrative costs and construction of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) office buildings
* $160 million for “volunteers” at the Corp. for National and Community

2) Obama believes that we need to shut up and blindly follow him in this time of "crisis" and "catastrophe."
Obama: "The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose."
Like the "stimulus" bill, I guess. Somehow I don't think this crappy bill and a recession is quite dire enough for me to shut up and blindly follow his lead on.

3) Obama selects his towns in peril carefully and with great deliberation in an effort to deceive.
Again check out the excellent and revealing post by William A. Jacobson at his Legal Insurrection blog. Elkhart Indiana has long been a boom-or-bust town. This isn't typical of America. Unfortunately, this situation isn't that unusual for Elkhart. Using the town as an example of what America is commonly going through is deliberately deceptive.

Do you think this is what Obama means to be teaching?

And the Claws Come Out

Check out this blurb on newsbusters.org

Left wing blogs have been posting and calling Richard Steele, the current RNC chairman, Sambo, Oreo, Uncle Tom and a host of other racial epithets. While this is hardly surprising to me, highly race conscious people tend to be the most blatantly racist in my experience-- no matter how "open" or "enlightened" they proclaim their views on race are, it is still sad and offensive. These are the people that prove they're not racist by having their minority mascots hovering about them. Yet, when someone in a racial minority disagrees with their views, then the claws come out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Perfect Symbol for "Stimulus" Bill

Michelle Malkin has found the perfect symbol for the "stimulus" bill: the turbaconducken. No, it's not some sort of weird crab. It's a chicken stuffed inside a duck which is then stuffed inside a turkey that is wrapped in bacon. This cannot be good for you.
"Choke on it," says Obama and Dems.

Obama's Carefully Selected "Dying" Town

Check out this revealing post at Legal Insurrection by William A. Jacobson.

I can't believe that Obama's people don't know about this town's historical boom-or-bust situation. Obama's ratcheting up the scare tactics to pass his 750+ pages of a "stimulus" bill in record time. Emergency! Crisis! Don't read it! Look at Elkhart! Catastrophe is on the horizon!

"The American people chose hope over fear"? Yeah right...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Obama's Very First Funtime, Primetime Press Conference Special

I had written in a previous post about Obama's snippy-ness. While watching his prime-time press conference tonight I tried to decide if this same snippy attitude was due to real frustration or an act as he tries to portray himself as strong and authoratative. I haven't really come to any conclusion, though I think it might be both (though not at the same time).

Watching Obama would be amusing if he wasn't the actual president of the U.S. When asked what were the indications that the current recession would not be temporary, he mentioned seomthing about economists told him so and there would be a downward spiral of some sort. In other words, no specifics, no evidence, no real answer. His direct quote: "I think that what I've said is what other economists have said across the political spectrum, which is that, if you delay acting on an economy of this severity, then you potentially create a negative spiral that becomes much more difficult for us to get out of."
We saw this happen in Japan in the 1990s, where they did not act boldly and swiftly enough and, as a consequence, they suffered what was called the lost decade, where essentially, for the entire '90s, they did not see any significant economic growth"
Obama used Japan's recession as a scary example of what could happen, apparently oblivious to the fact that Japan tried much the same thing to no avail. From the National Review article comes Jim's Manzi's observation:
"One argument is that we expect this to be a very long-lasting recession, so we’re going to need this stimulus spending in 2011, 2012, and so on. But, consider that if we’re heading into a Japan 1990s style decade-long slowdown, this kind of spending is exactly what they tried, and it sure didn't work in that case."

According to Obama, whatever we need to do we shouldn't follow "the same failed theories of the last eight years." Ahh yes... The new take on the old stand by: blame Emmanuel Goldstein... er... George Bush. I guess this takes into account that the Democratic Congress were the ones that pushed banks toward sub-prime loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Exactly what eight-year-old "failed theories" is he referring to? Free Trade Agreements? These nebulous "failed theories" Obama is dead-set against seem to be free market capitalism.

But don't worry. This stimulus will "create or save 4 million jobs." Suddenly we're hearing this "or save" phrase thrown in after the "create jobs" stuff. Obama seems to be back peddling and hedging on the stimulus-job creation connection. If only 4 million jobs remain in America at the end of this run, I suppose he can claim they were "saved" by the stimulus. Saving jobs requires no hard proof nor evidence, unlike the tenuous and debatable proof of creating jobs. Cute.

While continuing to portray himself as a centrist (snort), he continues to polarize the political community to reestablish the center far to the left. Obama talks about the need to eliminate "bad habits in Washington" which, in this context (the "stimulus" bill), seems to be careful deliberation and debate. He stresses the need for discussion, but only with those not "philosophically opposed" to his own point of view. I guess we can, according to Obama, "differ on some of the particulars" but not on anything too contrary to his position. Cute. Cut out the right and the middle moves pretty far left, doesn't it?

Illeagal Immigration: Go After the Source (And No it's not Mexico)

When mentioning illegal immigration, people foam at the mouth, demand a fence and border control, demand that the illegals be rounded up and sent packing back to their home country. They accuse them of unspeakable acts, of crippling our economy, leeching off our social and educational system, etc. The emotions that are expelled often times take on disturbing racial overtones, anything from racist name calling (always directed at Mexicans or Hispanics), empty threats of violence ("the Specter gunships can secure our borders"), to simply singling out Hispanics as the main culprits and that law-enforcement should "just know" and arrest them on the spot.

The solutions seem to always revolve around keeping illegals out-- border fences, increased patrols, immediate deportations, etc., regardless of the viability of such measures. As someone who regularly travelled the Southwest and Texas, I'm always a little amused at the idea of building a wall across the U.S.'s southern border. With even a little thought, this proposal is ludicrous. Aside from the fact that building a wall across 1951 miles of largely inhospitable and nearly empty desert (and don't think it's all flat desert plains) would, in itself, be insanely difficult and expensive, it would also, without massive supporting infrastructure, be a complete failure. This can't simply be a chain-link fence. Any wall can be climbed, broken, tunnelled under with little trouble. This fact forces the barrier to be less of a wall and more of an extended castle rampart. This means that the wall will now have to be manned 24/7. This means the necessary, i.e. massive, crews (willing to leave their comfortable homes for hot empty desserts) will have to be found, hired, trained and relocated. Huge tracts of property would be need to be purchased. An immense infrastructure to support these people and their families built from scratch (a partial list including housing, water distribution facilities, electrical power plants and grids, roads, communication grids, entertainment), in a colossal effort that would make the Tennessee Valley Authority pale. All this taking place in some of the more empty and desolate portions of the U.S. Serious talk of this is farcical. It, quite simply, cannot be done.

Isolation, the length of the border, the geography of the immediate border areas, and the amount of traffic makes rigorous border enforcement prohibitively expensive, especially when the financial return is zero. And this is operating under the assumption that illegal immigrants are just traipsing across the border and can be spotted without any difficulty. How many articles do we read about people being hidden away and smuggled in?

What needs to be asked is why people cross the borders to come to the U.S. in the first place? What tangible reason is there? The answer, of course, is money. Most come looking for work. The vast majority don't come here for the medical services, nor education, nor the welfare. They come for opportunities America offers as well as the paycheck in U.S. dollars that is earned.

The absurd situation of insisting on building walls and controlling our borders while we continue to actively solicit illegal immigrants as workers seems largely lost on many people. Several people I know, including family, in the agriculture industry hire illegal immigrants, pay them pennies an hour (I exaggerate the low pay, but I will tell you in my experience that the pay never even approached minimum wage) and then talk about the need to control our borders, build fences, etc. We need to keep them out!

Any low-pay, labor intensive industry is full of illegal immigrant workers. A list of industries that hire illegal immigrants is so vast and generally known that to list them is a waste of time.

It seems to me that if anybody actually wanted to get rid of illegal immigrants, then efforts should focus on punishing those who hire illegal immigrants. If hiring, and oftentimes exploiting, illegal aliens were felonies and vigorously enforced, if law enforcement was to crack down on the employers in the same manner that they crack down on drug offenders (jail time, property confiscated and auctioned, assets seized), the need for illegal immigrants' cheap labor would disappear as would the influx of immigrants.

I realize that suggesting this course of action is ridiculous, and it is not a serious recommendation. The industries that hire illegals are numerous and most have powerful lobbies in both state and federal circles. The huge numbers of individuals who regularly hire illegals would, of course, never support these proposals. Then there would be the inevitable calls of racism and xenophobia would make the media rounds. Such laws would be exceedingly unpopular, unlikely to even be proposed, and certainly never passed.

So instead we are left with the problem and no viable solution. We are left with sputtering anger (at times blatantly racist), calls to do something to stop them. We're left with alienation, gangs, drugs, exploitation, violence, higher crime rates, and everything else that has resulted from the greedy need for cheap labor. The vaudevillian comedy continues as politicians insincerely try to assuage the calls for security and protection from those who knowingly and unknowingly reap the benefits of illegal immigrants' labor.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Wrong Sort of Minority

Check out this article on NationalReview.com by Stephan Thernstrom.

In it, Thernstrom details how the University of California Regents are attempting, once again, to circumvent a ban on racial preferences in university admissions. Please witness, as the article notes, that since the ban Asian, Hispanic, and (to a minor degree) black admissions have all risen. AND most importantly "minority graduation rates have improved substantially." Is this not what we want in America? Apparently not.

The race game seems to have some odd rules for minorities, don't you think?

Rule #1: Don't Perform. Performing and excelling as an individual is the first warning sign of a sellout; performing as a previously defined racial group is a threat.

Rule #2: Don't Mingle. Co-mingling with people outside of your race is a sure sign of a sellout. A minority must never lose touch with his/her roots. Having friends, close acquaintances, or romantic partners outside of your defined racial group creates the opportunity for cross-purpose communication. Stay within your people.

Rule#3: Accept White Largess. White people are so generous and just plain wonderful that they will take great pity on your racial handicap. They will make things easier for you. Just don't forget who helped you out or why they had to. Be grateful and obedient.

Rule #4: Accept Your Basic Inferiority. Always keep in mind that racial minorities are unable to perform up to white standards. The sooner this is realized, the sooner it can be compensated for.

Break these rules and you'll become the wrong sort of minority.

Is anybody else a little uneasy with these rules?

For the Sake of the Children, Please Smoke

S-CHIP was signed into law this week, giving DMV-style health care to the children (defined as 30 years old and younger living with parents). The funding, supposedly, comes from hiking up taxes on packs of cigarettes-- thus discouraging smoking by making it too expensive. Of course, if Congress really wanted people to stop smoking, they wouldn't tie children's health care into depending on it.

I can see it now. With Hollywood firmly in Obama's corner, I can see them working their digital magic on Yul Brynner's commercial. "Please. Just smoke."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Sustainable Energy Lie

Here's an interesting article from NewScientist.com My thanks, once again, to BARCEPUNDIT for pointing out this article. Go see his blog.

Once again evil, hard, cold facts get in the way of our green dreams. This idea of a "sustainable energy" is just not ready and has more than a few kinks that need to be worked out. So why is it in our "stimulus" bill's budget? $18.5 billion dollars ($18,500,000,000) to be doled out for something that simply is not ready to be initiated.

Maybe this item has been removed from the Compromise/Sellout Bill currently being discussed in the Senate, but I doubt it.

Doesn't work, huh? Well, I'm sure if we throw billions of taxpayer dollars at it, it'll start to work. Right?

The Silent Vote

While watching Obama appear before the press and peddle his boondoggle "Stimulus" Bill, I noticed him continuing to repeat the same mantra. He has the mandate of the people who voted for change. Mandate? A lofty word, I suppose. A word that suggests an overwhelming majority, a great sweeping authority granted by so much of the population. Mandate.

Indeed, it seems that even opponents acknowledge this idea. They appear conciliatory, offering up whimpers of disagreement like a scolded puppy. Far be it from them to stand against the great will of the people, the mandate they so overwhelmingly demanded.

The electoral college certainly suggests a mandate. 365 votes for Obama, 173 for McCain. More than twice the votes for Obama. Surely the people have issued a mandate. Obama supporters must clearly outnumber McCain votes by 2 to 1.

A funny thing happens when you look at the percentage of popular votes, though. Obama received 53% of the popular vote. That doesn't seem like quite a landslide when you look at it like that. Not quite a mandate. In fact, the numbers I've seen read like this:

Obama: 69,456,897 votes
McCain: 59,934,814 votes

Approx. 9 1/2 million votes separated the two. With an estimate of 303,824,640, that is slightly more than 3% of the U.S. population. Even taking into account that there are 207,643,594 eligible voters, 9 1/2 million is merely 4.6% of the voters. Not quite the 2 to 1 margin the electoral votes suggest.

The state I live in, Oregon, voted for Obama. I did not. My vote did not count. It was wadded up and thrown away. It was not as if I voted for the losing candidate. It was as though I didn't vote at all. My voice, my opinion, my values, everything that a vote is supposed to count for, is forgotten. I live in Oregon. Oregon's a blue state. Suddenly, I'm part of the mandate.

Now Republicans seem to be running scared, shifting to the left. They must heed to the mandate of the people. They must move to the left to maintain relevancy. The people have spoken (at least 3% of them) it seems.

We all remember in 2000 when Gore won the popular vote and lost the electoral one. Some people made noises about abolishing the electoral college, but most just schemed for a way to make sure their candidate won. Back in the very late 80s there were small ripples of abolishing the electoral college and instating a direct vote for the president. It went nowhere.

Now, because it makes the jobs of political strategists easier and more predictable, we're stuck with this outdated electoral college. A voter in a minority lives with the frustrating truth that his/her vote just doesn't count.

A presidential election was never meant as a national referendum, but since it has become that shouldn't we allow everyone to count?

Obama vs. Darth Vader

Snort. Apparently this is real-- an action figure from Japan. I love the accessories-- a bar stool and a microphone? Are these leftovers from the Jerry Seinfeld action figure? And the middle picture... no jacket... is that him in the Oval Office? He's got the heat turned up and the samurai swords out! I'm surprised they weren't peddling these "little Obamas" on the Game Show Network next to those classy Obama plates and coins. I wonder where the Michelle Obama action figure is? I can see her with a lightsaber facing down Darth Maul or sitting around with the swooning cast of The View (sold separately), perhaps still with the lightsaber.

UPDATE: More on the Obama action figure here.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Photo Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg News. By way of newsbuster.org

Obama Frustrated

Check out this vid clip here at Michelle Malkin.

Is it just me or is Obama starting to get more and more snippy. I originally wrote it off as political playacting, but I think I misjudged him. Two weeks in office and he's already visibly frustrated that he can't just dictate all political policy, can't immediately insure the passage of a boondoggle of a bill that is now unpopular with the voters. I would just make some snide little comment like "welcome to the real world, Mr. President" and leave it at that, if I thought this wasn't a serious matter.

I remember Dennis Miller saying that Obama was "one cool cat," a sentiment that a large number of people seemed to share. When he threw off a bunch of reporters from "Air Obama" he didn't seem so cool, nor when he sees himself covered over by Jessica Simpson on the cover of People or Us or whatever magazine it was, and now his speeches are visibly showing frustration. He's had fawning media coverage, been given more than a few passes for his cabinet picks, wasn't significantly called out-- not even by his opponents-- during the campaign (the worst he endured was at the hands of Clinton's people and we should remember how that played out). Now, when he meets relatively weak opposition to sweeping and incredibly expensive legislation, he, as Michelle Malkin smartly puts it, has turned into Howard Dean.

The cool cat facade seems to break down when things don't instantly go his way. No matter how successful his presidency is, things are guaranteed to get worse for him. Iran and a lot of the Muslim world continues to hate the U.S., which seems to befuddle this president (don't they know he's African-American? don't they know that the popular tabloids adore him? and what about Oprah and the Presidential Pledge video? I mean Ashton and Demi...? Come on Iran... don't you want to be popular?), by his own admission the economy is going to get worse, and the Congressional Budget Office says that the stimulus will be ultimately harmful to the economy.

Almost gleefully, Obama described himself as taking office in a time of great crisis. In his inaugural address, he talked sternly, stared with great meaning, paused dramatically (before attending the most expensive gala ever, all smiles). He promised to lead. With only a little small-scale leadership experience and with no executive background, it is extraordinarily unlikely that Obama knows that governmental leadership is not simply telling people what to do. That naive perspective cannot work. How much political damage he does to himself until he learns (if he learns-- his political actions and general manner have always struck me as arrogant) is anybody's guess.

As long as Obama expects the government to jump to his every beck and call, and as long as Republicans and non-Obamacrats hold the line, the damage inflicted upon the robust U.S. should be negligible. The problem arises when outside forces (the worsening economy, international relations) force his hand, force decisions that actually are urgent and vital. When facing an adversary that is unmoved by eloquence, racial pity, popularity, celebrity endorsements, or media adoration, how will he react? Like a spoiled child, or as a leader? Will he be willing to sacrifice popularity to do the right thing? Any bets?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Irony or just Hypocrisy?

Hilda Solis

Nancy Killefer

Tom Daschle

Timothy Geithner

All cheated on their taxes. All were nominated to a cabinet post of a president intent on making unprecedentedly big government funded by tax dollars. Is there any doubt as to who really is going to pay for these pet projects? It won't be them. Not if they can help it.

CBO says Stimulus will Hurt Economy in the Long Run

The Washington Times has an article you should read: LINK HERE

Thanks to Barcepundit for bringing this article to our attention.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The False Urgency

Check out this little clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posted on Michlle Malkin's website. On it she claims that "Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs." That many? Why in two years that's 12 billion jobs lost. Wow... and we thought Zimbabwe's unemployment rate of 96% was bad...

While we can write off Pelosi's misstep as the normal "slip of the tongue," the purpose behind this mistake is revealing. Pelosi, like most Obamacrats, seems intent on stressing the urgency of this "dire" economic situation, cavalierly throwing about huge and untrue numbers, falsely declaring that every economist "across the political spectrum" believes that something drastic must be done. This huge and complicated "stimulus" bill has to happen now, now, NOW! The untruth of these fervent sentiments is quite staggering. In an earlier post, Emergency Stimulus? Pt. 2, I noted the National Review Online's excellent analysis by Jim Manzi which points out, among other important observations, that the "stimulus" package's spending will not even get into full swing until 2010. Hurry up and we can spend lots of money next year!

If economic times really are so apocalyptic, why would this government not react like most past administrations and foreign governments have in times of stress, namely run around and put out the immediate fires? Why are we assuming (and some would argue causing) the worst case scenario? Assuming that government sponsored stimulus is needed (which I do not), why not send the "stimulus" to Congress piecemeal, prioritizing immediate concerns? If it needs to be done right now, then why not do it in a manner that can actually happen right now?

The answer is pretty simple. This is not about economic rescue at all. The bill's main emphasis of spending and the outlays it has planned (again see Jim Manzi's analysis) makes this clear. At best, this bill is huge and bloated so that the pork, political paybacks, and favors are hidden within its elephantine folds. At worst, it's an attempt to permanently increase federal spending up into previously unknown levels.

And hurry up, don't read it, don't expect the American people to understand it. Hurry up! It's urgent... an emergency... 500 million jobs are lost every month... that's 193 jobs a second!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obama's Going to Make Us Rich

Check out this little bit from mynorthwest.com. A woman having her car repossessed left this little gem link here. Have a listen and then wonder how serious she is and if more people think the way she does. Be fair. Take into account that she is clearly upset.

All are Equal or Created Equal?

Obama's inaugural speech has begun to bother me more and more. Where I had at first merely written it off as more of the same essentially empty political jargon like so many other inaugural speeches, I look back at it now and see disturbing concepts thrown into the pretty words, preacher's tempo, and meaningful pauses. Among Obama's rather generalized statements in his address is the idea that America should move and was envisioned to move toward some form of absolute equality.

"...the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." Significant in this statement is the proposition that "all are equal." Whenever a government starts pulling out the lie that "all are equal" it's time to hunker down.

"All are equal" is a clever little play on "All men are created equal." When used in the time of the enlightenment, the "created equal" statement was made in response to the Divine Chain of Being, an established philosophical concept that all things in the universe are ranked in a hierarchy accordance to God's wishes. The bottom consisted of rocks and such and as one went higher up the chain, things became more complicated and better. Human beings were separated into several levels of the chain, the lower class being viewed as fundamentally inferior to the higher classes, the monarch superior to the aristocracy. In fact, there was some debate among the European nobility as to whether the lower-classes felt pain in the same way that the aristocracy did. Oftentimes the answer was ridiculously "no," the lower classes were naturally less sensitive to the physical sensation of pain.

This sounds absurd and exceedingly odd to us today, but one has to remember that the universe was viewed quite differently then-- it was believed to be a manifestation of God's Will. In other words, pre-determined and according to God's perfect plan, and, in a very real way, a part of God. Although not exactly pantheistic, this concept certainly edges toward it. Thus to rise up against your divinely determined superiors was not merely a treasonous act, it was blasphemy as well. A revolutionary would be directly opposing God.

Samuel Johnson, among others, challenged this world view by adopting, whether they knew it or not, Rene Descartes' concept of a clockwork universe-- an independent universe set into motion by God, but not a direct manifestation of God's will. This allowed for a much greater degree of human freedom and struck down elitist and racist concepts of human worth and value. Thus when saying "All men are created equal" the Declaration of Independence is denouncing the concept of class being a divine concept. It does not mean that men and women are all equal to one another.

I don't believe that "all are equal" was meant as philosophical concept but rather a political one. If they are created equal, then they are not shackled to the concept of the Divine Chain of Being. But what does "are equal" mean? Equal how and in what way? Equally intelligent? Equally pretty? Of course not. The simple concept of simple equality is the rallying cry of the Marxist seeking revolution or change. An upset of the status quo and a vague promise of something better. Equal, devoid of any subject of philosophical referent is meaningless. It is empty propaganda.

For Obama to say "all are equal" is not to make any meaningful reference to "All men are created equal." The exclusion of "created" is not merely due to political correctness. Instead it is to make reference to the Marxist benediction of absolute equality determined by the state: "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Pretty words, superficially dreamy concept but nothing more than that. As Orwell observed (and has been proven historically time and again) it always breaks down into "All are equal; some are more equal than others."