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Our Cultural Fabric

The claim that there is an anti-intellectualism woven  into our culture does not jibe with the remarkable innovations and progress also woven into our fabric. American’s disproportionate contribution to commerce, science and the arts are readily visible worldwide.  Anti-intellectualism was woven into the church dominance in Europe for over a thousand years, but America which is today more ‘religious’ than Europe is far less constrained by that element. We do have some very constraining beliefs, but many are not  religious in nature. And many of these ‘beliefs’ are cloaked in a form of pseudo intellectualism.  We also have a culture of impatience and what I like to call a healthy disrespect for authority and tradition.  The fact that we allow a vocal minority to openly oppose a majority view and protect an economic system that is willing to fund radical ideas quickly frays many of the destructive elements “woven” into our culture.

 

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The False Pride of the Poles

jedwadne

from Townhall, Suzanne Fields writes The FBI, the Holocaust and Us

Excerpts:

The speech, given in the Week of Remembrance, was framed to focus on something else, what the Holocaust means today, that no matter where we come from, whether liberal or conservative, Jewish, Christian or unbeliever, we all have an obligation “to refuse to let evil hold the field.” Any of us might say this, but it has a different kind of importance coming from the director of the FBI. He makes the point that it was the Nazis of Germany who led Jews to the slaughter, but there were killers and accomplices among the “good people” of society, “who loved their families, took soup to a sick neighbor, went to church and gave to charity.” These ordinary people believed they were doing the right thing.

Group mentality– a soft way of saying “the mob” — when turned against any minority paves the path to action, whether on behalf of a cult, a distorted religion, a bad government or an institution acting on behalf of a government. Mr. Comey keeps a copy of the order from a predecessor to tap the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s telephone framed on his desk “to ensure that we remember our mistakes and that we learn from them.”

HKO

The Poles were outraged that they were grouped with the Nazis in the condemnation of the Holocaust, but any history would have easily revealed that Janes Comey’s comments were not only accurate, they were spot on.  Far more Jews died in Poland than in Germany.  Jan Gross’s description of the desolation of Jedwabne told of a village where the Polish citizens took advantage of the Nazi occupation to murders their neighbors of hundred of years. “Neighbors” was the name of the book Gross wrote of this massacre.The German soldiers were surprised at the brutality of the town’s citizens when they gave them the green light.

After the war ended when the few Jews who survived returned to their home, Polish citizens, without the cover of the defeated Nazis killed many of the Jews who tried to reclaim their homes.

If The Poles want to claim outrage over Comey’s comments they should expect the history to be reopened.  The outcome will do little to restore the false pride of the Poles.

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Endless Corruption

truk-hillary-sunglasses

This corruption is nothing new and I fail to understand how she is even considered a serious candidate. She has the total lack of ethics and integrity of her husband and none of the charm.

From the Wall Street Journal, Quid Pro Clinton

excerpt:

The New York Times reported Thursday on the foreign cash that flowed into the Clinton Foundation between 2009 and 2013 as subsidiaries of the Russian state nuclear energy agency Rosatom acquired control of a Canada-based mining company called Uranium One. The story features the familiar Clinton touches: lucrative Kazakh mining concessions for the tycoon Frank Giustra, with Bill along as a character reference; a half-million-dollar-a-pop speech by the former President in Moscow for a Kremlin-linked bank; $2.35 million in secret donations from one family foundation to another. Our Kim Strassel has more nearby.

All the while, Mrs. Clinton was serving in her capacity as Secretary of State on the U.S. Cabinet committee that screens foreign investment for national-security risks. The group approved the deal, despite critics who warned it would give the Russian government control over the world’s nuclear fuel—the same material Vladimir Putin is now selling to Iran. Oh, and don’t forget this was also amid the famous “reset” of relations with Mr. Putin.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign press secretary, Brian Fallon, distributed talking points claiming this was all merely a coincidence and pointed to a right-wing plot led by author Peter Schweizer. Mr. Fallon added that the allegations lack “a shred of evidence,” which is convenient given that Mrs. Clinton might have destroyed some evidence by wiping her private email server.

The media have exposed a wealth of new facts, but the stories are as notable for how familiar this all seems. Can anyone honestly claim to be surprised?

***

This is how the Clintons conduct their politics and family business, to the extent these are separate enterprises. The Clinton Foundation is a nominal philanthropy that was really created as a vast fund-raising operation to promote Bill’s post-Presidential career and Hillary’s pre-Presidential one.

Why on Earth would they cash the checks? They had to know these donations would create at least the appearance of corruption or a conflict of interest for the nation’s chief diplomat. The Justice Department recently indicted New Jersey Senator Robert Menendezmerely for lobbying to change a Medicare rule that Medicare refused to change. The Clintons cashed the checks because they think they can write their own rules and get away with it.

It may not be enough to cause hard wired progressives to defect to the opposition, but it will affect many independents and cause many others to stay at home.

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The Whole Story on Inequality

Brian Wesbury review Joseph Stigletz’s new book in the Wall Street Journal in One Man Against the 1%
For the past 50 years, liberals have gotten almost exactly the policies they’ve wanted. So why are they still complaining?

excerpts:

 The reality, however, is that the financial crisis was not caused by inequality or by banks. It was caused when the government used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, under the banner of equality, to encourage subprime lending to promote homeownership. Then the government allowed a very strict mark-to-market accounting rule to be enforced, turning a fire into an inferno. The crisis would have never spun out of control if government had avoided overly strict mark-to-market accounting rules.

Mr. Stiglitz constantly refers to income inequality without adjusting for taxes and transfers. But this is misleading. A 2014 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study showed that the lowest quintile of income earners saw their market income grow just 16% between 1979 and 2011, while the highest quintile experienced a 77% increase. But after adjusting for taxes and transfers, the CBO found that the lowest quintile, which receives about a third of its income from transfers, saw an increase in income of 72%, while the top quintile had a gain of 87%. In other words, liberal policies of tax and redistribute have created a much more level playing field than liberals will admit.

Liberals are the like the dog that finally caught the car. Now what will they do? If Mr. Stiglitz is indicative, they will gripe about the wealthy, argue that their ideas of redistribution weren’t tried hard enough and blame self-interest for hampering real progress. Conservatives said that our current fiscal path would be bad for the economy; liberals insisted that it would be good. The fact that Mr. Stiglitz is still complaining would seem to be proof that liberals were wrong.

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Racist Regulations

Jonah Goldberg writes Martin O’Malley’s modern-day know-nothingness at AEI

excerpt:

The first minimum wage laws were advocated by progressive economists on the assumption that if you forced employers to pay a “white man’s wage,” they’d only hire white men. As the sociologist E.A. Ross put it in the context of Chinese immigrant workers, in the early 1900s, “the Coolie cannot outdo the American, but he can underlive him.”

The Davis-Bacon Act, still cherished by Democrats and their labor union patrons, was passed in 1931 to prevent blacks and immigrants from competing with all-white unions for federal contracts during the Depression. And Jim Crow laws certainly locked millions of blacks out of the middle class.

Explicit racist justifications for regulations have disappeared, but the racial consequences of many regulations tragically endure.