"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


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Surgery Soon: Offline for a While

Well, I'm going in for my minor surgery early next week. I'm supposed to avoid stress (bad timing there), so I'm going to be offline for a while and avoiding the news and politics for that time as well. I be should be out for at least two - two 1/2 weeks, as I recover. It's nothing major, but it will be a rather unpleasant experience that should hopefully get me back to good health.

In the meantime, check out any of the links on the Blog List for great sites, and keep up the protests against this monstrous health care law. Don't let the media and the Left shame you into losing your voice. Keep it up! And remember we can beat their idiocy!

Talk to you in about two weeks or so,
Yukio Ngaby

Personal Income Drops Across America, but Rises in DC

Check out this Wall Street Journal article by Sara Murray (h/t Clifton B at Another Black Conservative).

From the article:

"Personal income in 42 states fell in 2009, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

"Nevada's 4.8% plunge was the steepest, as construction and tourism industries took a beating. Also hit hard: Wyoming, where incomes fell 3.9%.

"Incomes stayed flat in two states and rose in six and the District of Columbia."

Yup. Gee, I wonder how that happened?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Obama on Repealing the Health Care Monstrosity: "Go For It"


What tiny cut-off world is Obama living in? Seriously. Maybe he believes that the sycophants and human props he surrounds himself with are real.


"President Barack Obama dared Republicans to try to repeal his new health care law, telling them Thursday to 'Go for it' and see how well they do with voters in November.

"'Be my guest,' Obama said in the first of many planned appearances to sell the revamp before fall congressional elections. 'If they want to have that fight, we can have it. Because I don't believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver's seat.'

"With emotions raw around the nation over this week's Democrats-only vote to approve the nearly $1 trillion redesign of the health care system, Obama took the opposition to task for 'plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric.'"

Where to begin with this nonsense?

Well let's see... How about if we start with this CBS poll (chart above) in which 62% were in favor of the GOP fighting against the Health Bill. 62% in favor and 33% against. Of the overall 62% in favor 89% of Republicans approved (no surprise there), 41% of the Democrats, and 66% of independents approved of fighting the bill!

Go for it, indeed...

And I just can't let Obama's "plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric" remark go silently by. Is he kidding? Does he not remember the fear-mongering and apocalyptic predictions he himself used to pass the "stimulus" package? Does Obama believe that nobody else will remember?

Oh, and Obama doesn't believe we want our old insurance back. "I don't believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver's seat." Too true. We want to be forced to buy private insurance in a federally administered market where Washington bureaucrats will determine what should be covered and what the prices for such coverage will be. Yeah. That's right. That's what Americans want. Exactly. Good job.

Oh, and by the way, this is sort of thinking is called fascist economic theory. I am not carelessly throwing the "fascist" word around. This link here will give you a quickie rundown of the differences between socialist economics and fascist (as defined by Mussolini's reign) economics.

From the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (I've posted this a few days ago but I'm repeating it because it is important):

"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the 'national interest'—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions. [emphasis mine]"

Does that sound familiar?

By the way, if the insurance industry isn't in the driver's seat, then who is? The American people? Nope, not even a little. Americans will be forced to buy insurance, under penalty of law, the coverage of which will be determined by a health benefits council of Washington appointees (not even elected positions mind you, but political appointees). That's not the American public being in the driver's seat. The American public isn't in control-- the feds are.

So what does that mean? Among other things, it means that the insurance companies will be lobbying Washington hard (political payoffs anyone?) to make what they want to be covered required by the federally mandated health plans. Our insurance will be determined by political wheelings and dealings between insurance companies and political appointees-- and the American people (whom this affects) will be left out of the loop. We will not, under penalty of law, be able to deviate from their decisions. It's that simple. Americans will lose their power to choose their own coverage. It will all be gone.

But then we're all just all a bunch of rubes, right? We hang about being bitter as we "cling to guns or religion" when we really should just be working for community and the common good-- like Annabel Park. What can we possibly know about our own health needs? What can we know about our own insurance requirements? What can we know about what we can afford?
Surprise Obama! We know enough that over 55% of Americans now want this bill to repealed outright (and I am sure that the percentage will increase as more people become aware of both the content and the implications of this 2600+ page monstrosity) and 62% want this bill fought. Obama's approval rating has dipped below 50% according to an Obama-friendly CNN poll (oh and by the way, the same poll gave a 58% disapproval rating for the health care bill). Congressional Democrats' approval numbers are in the tank-- Pelosi garnered an 11% favorable / 37% unfavorable, Reid received a 8% favorable / 23% unfavorable score in a poll of mostly independents and Democrats (Republicans accounted for only 26% of the unweighted respondents).

So, "Go for it," Obama chidingly declares? Really? Is he really so tone-deaf to the American public? Does Obama really believe that Americans want their liberty and choices taken away? Does Obama actually believe that we want our health coverage determined by lobbied Washington bureaucrats? Or is he just too caught up in beaming over Castro's recent endorsement?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CBS Poll Shows Two in Three Americans Want Republicans to Fight Obamacare



"A CBS News poll released Wednesday finds that nearly two in three Americans want Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill."

[...]

"The poll finds that 62 percent want Congressional Republicans to keep challenging the bill, while 33 percent say they should not do so. Nearly nine in ten Republicans and two in three independents want the GOP to keep challenging. Even 41 percent of Democrats support continued challenges."

[...]

"Still, there was significant disapproval for the bill. Forty-six percent say they disapprove, including 32 percent who strongly disapprove. Those numbers have barely moved since before the bill was signed."

Wanna lay any bets on if the disapproval numbers increase in the next few weeks, especially as people learn what is in this Fascist law?

Americans want to fight this.

Health Care Law Increases Taxes on Restaurants and Other Small Businesses

From a FoxNews.com article by Claudia Cowan: (h/t Dave Powers at MichlleMalkin.com)

"One of the provisions in the new health care law requires small businesses to provide coverage for workers. Such an 'employer mandate' has been in place in San Francisco, Calif., for over a year. The mandate has earned mixed reviews at best.

"Under the law, businesses with 20 or more employees are required to provide medical coverage, either on their own or by paying into a city-run program. That's what most restaurants are doing -- albeit grudgingly.

"To cover the cost, owners are either having to raise their menu prices or tack on a so-called 'Healthy Surcharge' onto the tab. At some places, it's around 4 percent of the check. Others charge a flat fee of a dollar or two.

"Either way, customers are footing the bill for the health care of their waitstaff, busboys, and cooks, regardless of whether the workers work part time, live in San Francisco, or are in the U.S. legally."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom gives a different point of view: "Newsom argues it's saving restaurants and taxpayers money, by offering workers preventative care. Newsom argues that this in turn keeps them out out emergency rooms, and on the clock."

According to the mayor, "'We have a more robust work force, greater productivity and output because employees have health care.'"

Huh. I didn't know that most restaurants skate the economic edge due to a sickly employees. Go figure.

Mayor Newsom did give me the biggest laugh of the day though when he uttered this line: "Businesses get the benefit in the back end."

Yeah, we all got "benefits" and business in the back end from Congress last Sunday....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Obama's House of Cards-- I Mean House of 2000+ Page Bills-- Comes Tumbling Down

Obama signs the health care "reform" bill and twelve states UPDATE: 14 states (so far) have immediately filed suits to block this big government travesty.

And not coincidentally, we have these poll results from CNN (h/t Michelle Malkin):

"For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

"According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama's job performance and 46 percent approve of it.

"Obama's approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office.

"The new poll was conducted before the House on Sunday narrowly approved the Obama administration's signature domestic policy proposal: health care reform.

"The measure, which Obama plans to sign on Tuesday, represents the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago.

"In fact, health care was the policy area that drew the second highest negative rating, with 58 percent registering disapproval. The highest negative rating was 62 percent for his handling of the federal deficit."

Do you remember when Michelle Obama uttered this nonsense back during the campaign?

"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

She was more correct then she could have ever known. Standing against Obama is uniting many Americans in ways we haven't seen since 9/11.

The bill was passed, Obama signed it, and now we all stand together against it and its fascist mandates. And I do not use the word "fascist" lightly. This law conforms to economic Fascism as defined here.

"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the 'national interest'—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions. [emphasis mine]"

Yep. Obama doesn't just hold his chin up during speeches like Mussolini, he's also using the Il Duce party's economic theories. Hope and change, huh?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pep Talk

Professor Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection has a great pep talk posted. It's probably something that many of us need right now.

Go check it out yourself, but here's a small taste:

"November 4, 2008, was the culmination of multiple generations of journalistic and educational malpractice and liberal guilt, malfeasance by Republicans who lost their way while in power, and a mass delusion on par with the tulipomania of 17th century Holland.

"On November 5, 2008, did any one of you think that over 16 months later Obama would barely be able to pass a truncated version of his dream of single payer, and that dozens of Democrats would join Republicans in opposition?

[...]

"In August and September, did you think we would make it to the end of the year, and then in early January 2010, did any of you (other than me) think Scott Brown could win and we could prevent a Democratic super-majority?

"Your hard work has paid off, even if the end result was not what we wanted. But trust me, without you it would have been much, much worse.

"For over a year Obama has not been able to push through other destructive aspects of his agenda, and the clock is running out before the mid-term elections.

"The hard work must continue through the November elections because Democrats know they have just a few more months."


And now I'll add my two cents worth...

Shake off the shock and anger and remember this issue is not over. It's not resolved. There is much to do, much more to come. Legal and Constitutional challenges to the madates of this health care monstrosity and the manner of its passage do have merit and they cannot be ignored by the courts.

And remember that this is an unsustainable law. The money is simply nor there, nor can the money ever be in the federal coffers without a wholesale raiding of taxpayers' savings (possibly their retirement funds). What must happen is a dismantling of the bill, either now or in 4 - 6 years when the bills really come due.

This isn't a matter of ideology, but of economic reality. There simply is no other choice. The fools in Congress who have followed the Obama pied piper to their doom may not realize this. The inexperienced yet arrogant Commander-in-Chief, may not realize this. But the majority of the American people understand this.

The American people understand that in the cosmos of macroeconomics these enormous entitlement programs cannot continue indefinitely. Funding for entitlements of this size forces a country to either expand, to be supported by an outside patron state, or to collapse. There are no other choices. So will America invade Mexico for her its raw materials, Canada maybe? No. Will we syphon off the fabled oil of Iraq? Unlikely. Will China continue to buy up American dollars and debt even as they wrestle with their own teetering economy and push for an international super-currency? No.

So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with the cold, hard fact that we must continue to fight this every way possible. To do otherwise is to capitulate to the looming disaster brought upon by Washington's paternal arrogance.

I believe that the American people are stronger and more resilient than Congress and Obama assume. I believe that we cannot simply be reshaped and retooled by idiotic an unpopular legislation (and even if we could, we would still face economic chaos soon). I believe that we will not allow ourselves to be boxed into a fascist state (and this bill fits the economic definition of fascism as even people on the Left have pointed out) or to be sentenced to a doomed socialist "utopia."

We're stronger than that. We don't just drink the Kool Aid. We don't "just get with the program" and "come on in for the big win." We remain resolute to our principles and our individual beliefs-- a fact that the current Congress and Obama seem to be so ignorant of. They believe they now finally have momentum, but they are wrong.

The American people do not simply and timidly give up. The majority of Americans disapprove of this bill. Even more will despise it when the ramifications of the bill come to be realized. More political and legal battles will be fought over this. Even after this current setback, this squeaking through of a bill that many assumed would be arbitrarily passed before the 2009 summer recess, we must, and will, continue. And we will persevere.

"Bring Back the Ideas that Made this Country Great"

Fuzzy Slippers over at Fuzzy Logic a video of the best speech made on the health care debacle. Rep. Paul Ryan encompassed my feelings about all of this nonsense in his speech made tonight. Check it out.

Remember this plan simply is not economically sustainable, so this is not over. No matter what people fervently want, it can't be over. The real question, one that must be faced by all in the near future, is what can be done next-- aside from voting out those who have put this nonsense through.

Michelle Malkin has a current rundown of states that plan to file lawsuits in the wake of the health care "reform" bill's passage.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sick Again

Sorry I haven't been posting for the last several days. I've been down with the same garbage as usual. My minor operation is scheduled for the end of the this month and I'll be down for at least a week afterwards, maybe longer.

Hopefully I'll be back healthy again after this, or at least have taken a major step in the right direction. I am optimistic about the future, a feeling I have not had regarding my health in too long a time.

I've still been following the health care situation and I urge you to contact Congress. Let them know that you are paying attention and that you will not forget what they do here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pelosi Kicking Through Doors for More Health Care Legislation

From Byron York of The Washington Examiner:

"If you have any doubt that the Democratic leadership of the House views passing the current health care reform bill as the beginning, not the end, of the process of creating a national government health care system, just note what Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a group of bloggers on Monday. 'My biggest fight has been between those who wanted to do something incremental and those who wanted to do something comprehensive,' Pelosi said, according to an account by Washington Post reform advocate Ezra Klein. 'We won that fight, and once we kick through this door, there'll be more legislation to follow.'"

"But since the current bill is unpopular, and Pelosi at the moment does not have enough Democratic, much less Republican, votes to pass it, the door she will be kicking through is the back door. Pelosi told the bloggers she favors using the 'self-executing rule' strategy in which the House would pass the Senate health care bill without going on the record as specifically voting for it. 'I like it,' Pelosi said of the scheme, 'because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill.' The strategy of passing the Senate bill while avoiding a direct vote, writes Klein, 'is all about plausible deniability for House members who don't want to vote for the Senate bill.'"

You know, the current reconciliation bill is 2309 pages long. And that is just the beginning according to Pelosi.

Contact your Congressional Representatives. We can stop the government from regulating our health care right into the ground. Be polite, but make your voice heard. This nonsense must stop.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Valerie Jarrett and Indian Magazine Editor Celebrate Obama's "Womanly Leadership"

It had to happen. Identity politics makes it inevitable, I suppose.

Check out this moronic exchange between Valerie Jarrett (Obama's BFF and the "ultimate insider" according to the New York Times) and Indian magazine editor Shoma Chaudhury at Michelle Malkin's website.

Here's a transcript of the vid below, but watch the vid at Malkin's site-- it's not the same to just read these words.

Chaudhury: The criticism of the Obama administration seems to be particularly “male,” you know? When you say ‘why aren’t you fighting back, why aren’t you policing?’ I think we’ve been talking about having women in leadership positions, and Obama’s attitude to leadership is really a very womanly one, you know, which is consensual, which is thought through, which calms the temperature down of the world, and it’s very important to remember that, you know.

Jarrett: Thank you.


Chaudhury: Yesterday, Barbara Walters kept asking, ‘Should we police the world? You know, are we doing this? Should America fix it?’ And, I think, you know, I’m from India, and we really respect, uh, the Obama administration, purely for changing the way people speak, for changing the discourse of the world, and for bringing the temperature down, you know. This is a womanly leadership.”

Jarrett: Thank you. I’m going to tell him you said that. I think he’ll be very pleased to hear that that’s how you describe it. And I think I’m going to use that in terms of taking the temperature down. Because it has to come down if you are actually going to listen to one another, you have to take a lot of the heat out of the discourse. I think he’s very good at doing that, thank you.

Geez.

Aside from insulting women during this moronic exchange with shallow generalizations regarding about half the human population on the planet, I am also amused by the rhetoric about "bringing down the temperature." Yeah, right. By attempting to shove ObamaCare through Congress. That sure has brought the temperature down. Oh yeah, and by declaring war on Fox News... another cooling political move. Or, as Malkin points out, the “Punch back twice as hard” and Shut up and get out of the way rhetoric. Real accommodating.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vote on ObamaCare is Likely Next Friday or Saturday

According to Politico (h/t Clifton B @ Another Black Conservative) a memo from Pelosi's assistant indicates that a House vote on ObamaCare is likely this next weekend.

From Politico: "The office of Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is the assistant to Speaker Pelosi, sent a memo to Democratic staffers today telling them to clear members' schedule for next weekend, saying a vote could come as early as Friday or Saturday, and noting that it was no coincidence that President Obama pushed back his trip abroad from March 18 to March 21st.

"The Van Hollen memo also advised members to avoid talking about the process."

The memo:

"Hi all –

"Attached and below are some good resources to get through the health care push next week.

"Here is my best guess on timeline but as always this is Congress so it could all change very quickly:

"TODAY or MONDAY: CBO will publish final scores on legislative language

"THEN: House Budget Committee must approve using the reconciliation process to pass this

"THEN: The bill will go to the Rules Committee, rule will be constructed for consideration on the floor, and language will be posted online (on the Rules website) and the 72-hour clock will start. When this happens, we will start to have a better idea on what the process will be.

"THEN: A Manager’s Amendment will be constructed that will make some final changes

"THEN: The Manager’s Amendment will be posted online and the 72-hour clock will start (this may overlap with the 72-hour clock on the reconciliation language). When Manager’s Amendment is done final process decisions will be locked in.

"THIS MEANS: We will likely vote Friday or Saturday. (As you probably saw, POTUS pushed back the departure for his Asian trip from Thursday the 18th to Sunday the 21st; this was not a coincidence.) The Speaker has publically committed to trying to get a vote on both the reconciliation bill and the Senate bill on the same day. They are still trying to work out the final process on this and much of what we do depends on what the Senate Parliamentarian decides. You may be receiving calls about the “Slaughter Rule” and other rumors about what the process will be. Again, please understand: no decision has yet been made on the process for consideration on the House floor.

"Key points:

"1. I would have your Member’s schedule pretty clear for next weekend. They will either be here or exhausted (or both).

"2. I continue to encourage all of you not to get into debates about process and to try and persuade your Member not to get into process arguments either. At this point, we have to just rip the band-aid off and have a vote -- up or down; yes or no? Things like reconciliation and what the rules committee does is INSIDE BASEBALL. People who try and start arguments about process on this are almost always against the actual policy substance too, often times for purely political reasons.

"3. Finally, I encourage you to study the final attached slide (#14) and give some thought to what your plan is post-vote, especially during Easter Work Period. If your Member is a yes, or might be a yes, I would lay the groundwork for some events to highlight the reforms that will quickly become law – no more donut hole, dependent children covered until 26, insurance access for those with pre-existing conditions, etc."

This is the time to contact you Congressional Representatives. If you want to stop the "worst piece of legislation since the New Deal" you must contact your representative. Send them an e-mail. Call them Let them know how you feel about this horrible bill. Remember, if the House passes the Senate version of this bill, then Obama will sign it. It will be the law.

I cannot encourage you enough to contact your Congressional Representative. Be polite. Be civil. But make your voice heard.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Coffee Party Pt. 2: An Insight into the Hard Left's Vision for Society

While the Coffee Party is indeed an astroturf movement started by and Annabel Park, an Obama campaign worker (as I wrote about in Part 1), it is designed ground up to be as appealing to the Left as possible. While Park's rhetoric makes noises about centrist appeal, this rhetoric is blatantly hollow as any reading of her interviews easily shows. The Coffee Party is like the OFA, an appeal to the base of Left. As such, Park and the "Coffee Party" rhetoric illustrate some very disturbing aspects of the American Left.

Several things struck me while reading Park's interview, Q&A, and Tweets. First is her emphasis on the "community" and the idea of "collective."

Park's words from the NYT article and WaPo Q&A sources I mentioned (all emphasis mine): "The mission statement declares that the federal government is 'not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will.'" And "the Internet is a tool for organizing a grassroots movement focused on building communities where people feel safe to engage in civic discourse." And "...facilitate informative and civil dialogue about issues that affect all of us, collectively." And "We will figure out how to use technology to create collaborative environments for Americans to engage in..." And "We should not divide ourselves over differences of opinion. We need to be one community." And "That is our strength and we plan to use it to facilitate a collaborative process that would encourage people to come together as a community..." And "Many of the people who have found refuge in the Coffee Party community..." And "The Millennial Generation, frankly, has a lot to teach the rest of us when comes to appreciation of diversity and a sense of collective identity..." And "People should come together to go through a deliberation process to produce collective decisions that benefit the common good." And "As citizens, we need to find ways to, first, create a stronger sense of community and common good among Americans." And "...we are tapping into an existing desire for community and constructive civic participation...."

That is a lot of community, collectives and collaborations that Park believes need to be created-- all in a short Q&A and one excerpt from an NYT interview. How many times does Park mention liberty or the concept of freedom in her pontificating within these articles? Not one time. How many times does she mention individual responsibility? Once, when Park rallies people to vote against evil corporations and lobbyists-- "The only way to close the loophole is for voters rise to their civic duty. They have money, but we have the votes. No one gets elected without votes. [emphasis mine]" Responsibility seems reserved for when we all rally together against a common enemy.

Now, I'm not a fan of people counting up words out of context and then making some sweeping conspiracy-oriented statement. I want to to make it quite clear that I am not suggesting a Reds-under-the-bed conspiracy that Park is either planning nor part of-- nor am I suggesting that such a thing even exists. Likewise, every quote I have used is from my previous Coffee Party post which has the full text for context when possible, plus links to the original stories are here: Washington Post Q&A, "Coffee Party movement: Alternative to Tea," The New York Times article "Coffee Party, With a Taste for Civic Participation, Is Added to the Political Menu."

That said, I think it is perfectly reasonable to draw some inferences regarding what Ms. Park is emphasizing in her "Coffee Party" movement using her own words.

One of the first inferences is that Ms. Park de-emphasizes individual choice in favor of conformity and group identity. She writes "But here I am reminding them of something that they already know: that we are all Americans. We should not divide ourselves over differences of opinion. We need to be one community. Our democracy is what unites us as a people." Later she says "That is our strength and we plan to use it to facilitate a collaborative process that would encourage people to come together as a community, checking party affiliation at the door." And still later Ms. Park writes "The Millennial Generation, frankly, has a lot to teach the rest of us when comes to appreciation of diversity and a sense of collective identity that transcends the usual lines that divide us."

Such glowing words about the "collective good" and "collective identity" glosses over what must be sacrificed to obtain this "strength." To obtain the collective good, one must sacrifice individual opinion and one must give up personal belief if conflicted with what is defined as the greater good.

The Black American community can be a study for the eventual results of such values in America. Within the circles of Black politicians, Black intellectuals, African-American Studies Departments, Black community leaders, and Black artists one often hears similar words. "Community," and "collaborative process" are among the general go to words when discussing or writing anything political or socio-political within that sphere. The results of this repeated emphasis of community over individuality, collective good over personal development, have been a racial block that consistently votes 90% Democrat since the 1960s, despite the numerous problems (high crime rates, drug use, habitual unemployment, political corruption, single-welfare mothers, etc.) that have plagued the Black American community in these same years. It has also resulted in a community which teaches and demands conformity, in the form of "Black authenticity," to the power structures within the community.

The term "Oreo" and "sellout" and "Uncle Tom" (a term Obama describes himself using in Dreams from My Father when he refers to a Black college student, Tim, who listens to country music and has a white girlfriend as a "Tom") and others of this ilk, are common insults to describe Black Americans who stray, or simply vary, from the set norm of the Black community. People such as Shelby Steele (a former '60s Black radical), John McWorter, Ward Connerly, Condaleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, and Richard Steele have been vilified for their purported betrayal of their people. I remember my father-in-law (a Democrat) recounting the time at his small-town's high school reunion where one of his classmates spent the entire time apologizing for being part of the Reagan administration. My mother-in-law often calls Larry Elder (not my favorite pundit or writer) crazy and claims that he "hates Black people." Likewise, she has claimed that Condaleeza Rice was having an affair with George W. Bush, that being the only reason why she became Secretary of State.

Yes, this disdain is shared by various non-Black, Leftist pundits and activists who have, with disturbing enthusiasm and glee, portrayed Steele, Rice, Connerly, et al, as Sambos, Step'n'Fetchits, and Aunt Jemimahs. Yet, the source of their displeasure, I believe, although somewhat ideologically related, is still quite different then the breaking of community and a failure to prove Black authenticity. My own theory regrading this is touched upon in this post: Jeneane Garofalo and the Left Reinvent 16th Century Tyranny.

The organizing of the Black community (post Civil Rights Amendment) is often looked upon as a model of success by the Left. After all, it succeeded in various demonstrable ways. African-American Studies Departments exist in most universities and colleges (teaching that Socrates, Cleopatra, the Egyptians, etc. were black and other blatantly inaccurate "facts") and opened the door to various other ethnic studies departments. Black Americans occupy a privileged position (if you want to put it that way) of being considered the first and foremost oppressed racial underclass of American society-- superseding Native Americans, Hispanics, various Asian-American ethnicities, et al. This has resulted in a reserved segment of popular media (from Spike Lee films to Soul Plane, various 90s to contemporary sit-coms, etc., the reserved place of the Black female author in the New York publishing houses' roll call-- Toni Morrison the replacement of the far more interesting Alice Walker), half-hearted, insultingly ignorant (John Mayer-style), and/or disingenuous white sympathy, and the use of the politically and socially powerful claim of "racist" (at the cost of the inordinate power given to "n" word). And, as previously mentioned, a very reliable and predictable voting block. The drawbacks, a culture of victimology, the conformity of the individual rational mind to community mores, the de-emphasis of self-reliance and self-pride (for group identity and identity pride), etc., are all too evident, but often portrayed, bewilderingly, as strengths.

Park's emphasis of collective good and strong community pushes various people to similar models of the Black Community and strives for similar results-- especially to the ends of creating predictable and reliable voting blocks. The fact that the Black American community has evolved/shaped into its current form by very specific and unique circumstances unshared by any other American racial, ethnic or social group seems utterly lost upon Park and much the Left. And, of course, the tragedy of a people's history being stripped away to conform to an idealized victim model (a la Mississippi Burning where all Black Americans [save one brief appearance of a federal agent] are presented as powerless victims without personality or functionality-- apart from the need for rescue by whites) is likewise unacknowledged.

Again, I do not present this as a great threat to American society. This vision of collective voting blocks by the Left cannot and will not work for various reasons. Yet, there is much damage that can be done by this vision, much alienation and misinformation that can drive people apart.

Socialism, as a governmental theory, demands a high degree of conformity. The grand social programs and entitlements doled out by government bureaucracies require massive amounts of money-- money that can be only be collected by heavily taxing the majority of the population. Social engineering, likewise, demands a conforming population willing to go along with the program and to follow the advice of their "betters." Compare this with the confrontational model of American democracy-- a system filled with built-in checks and balances to disseminate power, and a system designed to empower the individual with certain inalienable rights. Park's preaching that the individual should conform to the "greater good" stands in stark contrast to such ideas.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dealing with Doctors

Sorry for the absence. I've been dealing with doctor visits for the past couple of days and have been writing part 2 of the Coffee Party post (hopefully it'll be posted today or tomorrow).

On an upbeat note, I think that I've finally been properly diagnosed after about 7 years. On the downside, I'm probably going to need an operation (minor). Anyway, I need to get some sleep and then get the part 2 of the Coffee Party post up soon.

Thanks,
Yukio Ngaby

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Coffee Party Part 1: AstroTurf Started by "United by Obama" Operator Annabel Park

There's a lot of buzz regarding the Coffee Party. Both the The New York Times and Washington Post have run articles that are clearly trumpeting this group.

From Kate Zernike's NYT article:

"Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party.

"Growing through a Facebook page, the party pledges to 'support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.'"

[...]

"The slogan is 'Wake Up and Stand Up.' The mission statement declares that the federal government is 'not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.'"

[...]

"'We’re not the opposite of the Tea Party,' Ms. Park, 41, said. 'We’re a different model of civic participation, but in the end we may want some of the same things.'"

[...]

"Ms. Park and chapter organizers said they would invite Tea Party members to join their Coffee counterparts in discussions. 'We need to roll up our sleeves, put our heads together and work it out,' she said. 'That’s, to me, an American way of doing this.'"

The Washington Post went a step further and gave Coffee Party USA founder Annabel Park an open forum during a live Q&A. In that forum Park had to answer softball questions like:

"Wall Township, N.J.: I think this is a wonderful idea, and a long time in coming. Our politicians need to know that we also have a voice. Annabel, will you be helping in going beyond the Internet in your organizing? In other words will you consider public gatherings?

"Thanks

"Annabel Park: Yes, the Internet is a tool for organizing a grassroots movement focused on building communities where people feel safe to engage in civic discourse. We will do 2 things.

"1) We will organize public gatherings. One of the events that we are planning is a national coffee house day on March 13th, in which we will encourage our existing and soon-to-form chapters to facilitate informative and civil dialogue about issues that affect all of us, collectively. We will ask them to report back to us on what consensus they reach, and take action from there.

"2) We will figure out how to use technology to create collaborative environments for Americans to engage in problem solving, and discuss specific policy approaches.

"Vienna, Va.: I think there is an intersection between the Tea Party and the Coffee Party. I think that both groups understand that corporate America has too much influence in our government.

"The insurance companies and others making massive money off health care are the ones pushing back on changes to that system. The utilities and oil companies don't want caps on carbon because the status quo works just find for them.

"If we could come together and beat back the 'Lobbyist Beast' our representatives would have to represent us and not corporate interests. How could we join forces and roll the corporate lobbies back?

"Annabel Park: I do think there is room for us to work with people who are currently in the Tea Party, especially in the area you mention. To do this, we have to go through a process. We have to sit down with people who identify with the Tea Party movement with the goal of reaching understanding.

"It is true that both groups feel that the government is failing us in many ways. I think if we examine the language that some in the Tea Party have been using, there are some things that are alienating to many of us in the Coffee Party: the extreme rhetoric, and the hostility toward the federal government. We would have to ask them tone this down, so that we can focus on actively listening to one another and problem-solving."

[...]

"Herndon, Va.: How do you account for the phenomenal explosion of interest in just one month, as attested by the more than 15,000 fans on Facebook?

"Annabel Park: The Facebook fan page captured the spirit of the time. Many of us had the same thought: the tactics being employed by the Tea Party movement are not likely to produce solutions to the problems that we face as a nation, and we urgently need an alternative.

"It's very hard to get people to rally around a new idea. But here I am reminding them of something that they already know: that we are all Americans. We should not divide ourselves over differences of opinion. We need to be one community. Our democracy is what unites us as a people. We must protect it, and to protect it we must engage in the political process, respecting the reality that we are diverse nation with diverse points of view.

[...]

"Oak Hill, Va.: Hi Annabel: In some respects I thought the article made too much of the 'similarities' between the Tea Party and the Coffee Party....could you give your perspective on the key differences? Thanks.

"Annabel Park: A key difference is in our emphasis on the democratic process, on respectful and civil engagement with one another and with our elected officials.

"In the current climate, too many Americans are afraid to participate, and find the process itself too alienating, because it is dominated by people with extreme opinions and extreme tactics.

"It's hard to speak up when others in the room are screaming.

"So in the end, we may want some of the same things, but we our hoping our journey getting there will be very different.

"Philadelphia, Pa.: Is the Coffee Party turning out to align to a specific party --Republican, Democrat, or another party -- or is it striving for non-partisanship?

"Annabel Park: We are purely grassroots movement, independent of any party, corporation, or lobbying organization. That is our strength and we plan to use it to facilitate a collaborative process that would encourage people to come together as a community, checking party affiliation at the door.

"Many of the people who have found refuge in the Coffee Party community are among the 53% of America who supported candidate Obama's vision for our nation's future. They are disconcerted by the vision that is being expressed through some of the Tea Party activities and some of their leaders' statements. But we do have a number of Republicans and many, many independents who reject what they see as the politics of division and obstructionism.

"Arlington, Va.: I disagree that the main problem is lack of consensus between the extremes of the left and right. I think the problem with the political process (and the reason for Americans' dissatisfaction) is the degree to which Congress passes bills to please large corporations, regardless of which politicians have been voted for. How does the Coffee Party deal with this fundamental problem?

"Annabel Park: We do feel like we need to make fundamental changes in our government's relationship to Wall Street and the corporations. We feel that the interests of ordinary Americans are not being represented well enough because we have a democracy with a loophole. The constituents that are most organized end up dominating the process, and corporations have the resources to pay thousands of lobbyists to spend their time influencing our government. This is fundamentally unfair and undemocratic.

"The only way to close the loophole is for voters rise to their civic duty. They have money, but we have the votes. No one gets elected without votes.'

"Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties."

Boy, that sure sounded like a political discussion with contrary views, didn't it?

I love that editor's note. No kidding? WaPO had editorial control over the discussion? Gee, do you think? I've heard more convincing questions from the shills at Obama's "town hall" meetings... "Do those mean old signs make you feel bad, Mr. Pwesident?" asks the child of an Obama campaign worker (and donor) in the Portsmouth "town hall." "How do kids know what’s true? I don't understand... Explain it to me, Mr. Pwesident. Pwetty Pwease..."

Park's discourse clearly betrays a few fundamental talking points being pushed by certain members of the Democratic Congress and various Left-leaning organizations such as the OFA, MediaMatters, etc.

First, that the Tea Party is made up of rabidly angry people. "A key difference [from the Tea Party] is in our emphasis on the democratic process, on respectful and civil engagement with one another and with our elected officials." Since this a "key difference," clearly Park see the Tea Party as engaging disrespectful and uncivil discourse.

Second, that the Tea Party hates the Federal government and that the belief that the Federal government is too large and ineffective necessarily equates to hostility toward it. From Park "I think if we examine the language that some in the Tea Party have been using, there are some things that are alienating to many of us in the Coffee Party: the extreme rhetoric, and the hostility toward the federal government." Park uses no examples, of course. Just voices the conviction that what she believes is so.

Third, that lobbyists and the spectre of evil but unspecified Wall Street corporations are ruining our democracy. "We do feel like we need to make fundamental changes in our government's relationship to Wall Street and the corporations. We feel that the interests of ordinary Americans are not being represented well enough because we have a democracy with a loophole. The constituents that are most organized end up dominating the process, and corporations have the resources to pay thousands of lobbyists to spend their time influencing our government. This is fundamentally unfair and undemocratic."

It really should come as no surprise then when it is revealed thatthe real Annabel Park is far from the mere hard-working, concerned citizen image that she cultivates and that the NYT and WaPo present. The fact is she's a campaign worker for Obama and other Dems and little else.

Although both the NYT and WaPo trumpeted Annabel Park as the founder of the Coffee Party via Facebook page, neither deigned it worthy to mention that Annabel Park is also rooted in Obama's United for Obama and other highly organized Left-leaning associations. Fortunately, Prof. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection did a little research on his own.

From Jacobson:

"Park is a former Strategy Analyst at the NY Times who was one of organizers and operators of the United for Obama video channel at YouTube:

"'A Korean-American filmmaker is in charge of creating video clips that are playing a role in increasing support for Senator Barack Obama, the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.


"'"I found that people have little understanding of the change that Senator Barack Obama is advocating. I thought from my experience in using videos for civil movements that videos would be the best way to promote the need for change and for Obama. That's why I decided to work for the Obama campaign," Annabel Park said.

"'Joining the contest in December last year as chief of a promotional video team, Park has produced some 20 five-minute video clips which have generated a positive response. A clip interviewing actress Kelly Hu in support of the senator was viewed some 10,000 times, and a music video called "Oh Bama" drew wide attention. She has also produced Spanish-language videos to draw support from Hispanics.

"'The 40-year-old Park is leading an Obama promotional section on video-sharing site YouTube with around 10 other volunteers.'"

Huh... So an Obama campaign worker, who incidentally appears in the "Oh Bama" campaign video, is organizing a, in her own words, "purely grassroots movement, independent of any party, corporation, or lobbying organization." Is this a joke?

Park's call for unity are also rather hard to take. A few quotes from Park in both the WaPo Q&A and NYT article. as examples of her inclusiveness: "We have to sit down with people who identify with the Tea Party movement with the goal of reaching understanding." And "But here I am reminding them of something that they already know: that we are all Americans. We should not divide ourselves over differences of opinion. We need to be one community. Our democracy is what unites us as a people." And '"We’re not the opposite of the Tea Party. We’re a different model of civic participation, but in the end we may want some of the same things."

Now let's look at some of her Twitter messages (all of these are among those gathered at posted by Legal Insurrection): "we must deal with reality instead of indulging the paranoid fantasies of the #teaparty. join #coffeeparty" Or this one: "we're not going to take this tea crap anymore. let's work for change!" Or perhaps you might enjoy this one: "Stop the bad punditry! Stop reading tea leaves. We will overwhelm the polling stations in Nov. We want change! We want change!"

I guess this is indicative of Park's attempts to "facilitate informative and civil dialogue about issues that affect all of us, collectively. [emphasis mine]" Or perhaps this is her way of illustrating, by example, her contention that "[i]t's hard to speak up when others in the room are screaming." Especially when they're screaming via Twitter "We want change! We want change!"

Left Coast Rebel has more on Park's connection to the Democratic Party's campaign machine. From the blog:

"Jacobson broke Annabel’s association with United for Obama, but there are far more. According to the Washington Post in 2008, she started by campaigning for Democrat Senator James Webb in 2006. Since then, she has been associated with a large number of leftist groups including, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress, Asian Americans for Obama, and she started the 121 Coalition. If you include her friend Eric Byler, co-director with Annabel of '9500 Liberty' a Michael Moore-esk liberal documentary, you can add in APA Five and Asian-Nation.org. Eric Byler also did the filming for the Coffee Party’s homepage video. Both Annabel and Eric recently did a workshop for the APA Five on community activism. Perhaps, there was something already in the works?

"As has been pointed out by many today, Annabel also has a large number of MSM contacts. She previously worked as a Strategy Analyst for the NY Times and has been interviewed a number of times prior to the Coffee Party’s break out Washington Post article. Here is Annabel being interviewed in the Washington Post in 2008. Here she is with Anderson Cooper of CNN."

So how many Tea Party members were interviewed in 2007 by Anderson Cooper? How many have their picture taken with Obama (pic available at Left Coast Rebel post)? Grassroots... Yeah, right...

The "Coffee Party" is the very definition of AstroTurf. It doesn't stand up even under casual scrutiny. Annabel Park is a professional campaigner and a standard Leftist shill/activist. This is apparent in with the smallest amount of digging-- digging which The New York Times and Washington Post seem unwilling to do as they trumpet Ms. Park and give her forums to spread her message. Of course, they seemed rather unwilling to do that with the Tea Party as Frank Ross points out.

Know the truth.

Added New Blog! Fuzzy Logic!

I've added a new blog to the Blog List. Check out the Fuzzy Logic blog.

Fuzzy's one of the ladies behind the Potluck blog. She's opinionated. She's been described by another as feisty (I'm not sure if that's condescending or not, I'm wavering on that). And she has a drawing of herself walking along with giant bananas on her feet while a trio of cats watch. I do not understand that last one-- but I guess I don't have to.

Although I do not agree with her on a number of issues, she's clearly smart and her blog's well worth a visit.

Of course, Fuzzy Logic has been added onto the Blog List.

Monday, March 1, 2010

ObamaCare: Not a Done Deal

Despite the language coming out of the White House and the Congressional leadership, ObamaCare is far from an inevitable piece of legislation.

As Jacobson at Legal Insurrection points out, "There is a consistent spin being put out by Democrats since the summit to create the illusion of inevitability to the budget reconciliation process being used to pass non-budgetary legislation.

"Don't believe it, or not believe it.

"No one really knows if the votes are there, and if so, how the Senate Parliamentarian will rule on such procedural issues. And even then, there are legislative tactics which may be used either to kill the process or to make it even more damaging for Democrats."

This quite true. In fact, it's very doubtful that Pelosi has the votes given her behavior as Clifton B at Another Black Conservative notes. While Pelosi runs about calling on House Democrats to literally sacrifice their careers at the altar of ObamaCare, she's really saying that she doesn't enough votes for a passage.

Clifton B: "Clearly Nancy doesn’t have the votes in the House to pass ObamaCare, otherwise she never would have made this statement in public. This statement also tells me that she is pretty far off on those votes. If there were only a handful, she would have strong-armed them into submission by now."

Add to this Michael Barone's analysis (h/t Pundit & Pundette) in the Washington Examiner and you can start to see the scale of these looming problems.

From Barone:

"Obama and the Democrats face problems with both public opinion -- their bills are hugely unpopular -- and with legislative procedure. The problem with public opinion has been undeniable since Republican Sen. Scott Brown's victory five weeks ago in Massachusetts. The problem with legislative procedure is more complex.

"Democrats theoretically could solve that problem by having the House pass the Senate bill in toto, ready for Obama's signature. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has proved herself a fine vote-counter, doesn't have the votes. Last month she said 'unease would be the gentlest word' to describe House Democrats' resistance. They understandably don't want to cast votes for the Senate's Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase.

"In November Pelosi had 220 votes for the House bill. The one Republican is now a no, one Democrat has died, one resigned last month and another turned in his resignation Friday. That leaves her with 216, one less than the 217 she needs.

"There is another problem. The Senate bill lacks the amendment sponsored by Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak banning abortion coverage, and Stupak says that he and about 10 other Democrats accordingly will vote no. That leaves Pelosi around 205. She may have commitments from former no voters to switch to yes (especially from three who've announced they're retiring), but she doesn't have more than 10 other votes in her pocket or she wouldn't have accepted the Stupak amendment.

"So the House wants the Senate to go first and pass changes to its bill through the reconciliation process that requires 51 rather than 60 votes. But Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad says you can't use reconciliation on a bill that hasn't already become law. And reconciliation is probably not available on abortion issues."

Of course all of these difficulties can be overcome. However, if it becomes painfully obvious to the members of a thus far near tone-deaf Congress that the American people do not want stifling federal oversight of the health insurance industry, the bill can be killed and buried with a stake through its heart.

It is up to us to contact their representatives in Congress and tell them that this is not what we want. E-mail your reps. Call them on the phone and give them your views. I'm not going to sit here and write some canned response to holler at them like the OFA does. Say it your own words. Be civil. Be polite. But make your voice heard.