Soviet Union

Obama Advisor Donald Berwick Freely Admits Socialist Agenda: "We Must, MUST Redistribute Wealth!"

The video below is making the rounds, primarily because the man speaking in it, Donald Berwick, President Barack Obama's choice to head the agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid, said to a crowd of true believers in Britain that socialized medicine is the way to go. People speak from the heart when with fellow ideologues, so there is no misunderstanding here, and when one is so infamously outspoken, it's near impossible for the president not to know this man's philosophy. So, what does that tell you? Exactly! (See David Limbaugh.) But his adamant insistence that health care "by definition" means, "we must, must redistribute wealth!" has obfuscated his three other extraordinarily extremist statements — no easy feat in a sound bite a little more than two minutes long:

1. "tough choices and planning supply" (a government planning supply = rationing); 

2. "darkness of private enterprise" (a definitive condemnation of free markets and choice, and an embrace of government control over commerce); and

3. "single route of finance" (an unapologetic plea for "single payer" or government-run health care).

Combined with the president's own words ("spread the wealth around" and "I do think at some point you've made enough money," among an inexhaustibly list), it no longer is a question of the president's philosophy, and not even of whether what to expect of him (he told us he wanted to "fundamentally transform America," while giving lip service to centrism).

Rather, it's a matter of himself and his government, admitting it clearly and plainly, and why he thinks government control of industry is preferable to the system of free commerce that created the highest standard of living and largest economy known to man. (Nancy Pelosi's lame rationalization is a symptom, not a cause, so to speak, and doesn't come close.) After all, the Soviet Union would be thriving still today if the government-run system was equal or superior to the "darkness of private enterprise" (a shameful remark that slaps at the core of American ingenuity that has given so much to the world).

Not that the president is alone in this. Even Republicans, with the rare exception of some such as Newt Gingrich, won't call it what it is (see Bobby Eberle). But, in the meantime, here is Mr. Berwick, praising socialist Britain and slamming America for the evil that it is.

Donald Berwick at home in England while hammering America the awful.

The Porkulus Bill: Back In The Day

Seriously, this isn't one of those "it was better in my day" reminisces, but it really wasn't that long ago (1986-1988) when the entire federal budget for one year was in the $800-$900 billion range. Now we're spending that amount in one bill. The question I want to ask the Obama administration is this: If government is the only institution that can create jobs (three million by the administration's estimate) and end the recession, why not spend (i.e., print)  twice that amount in the "stimulus"? Three times that amount? We'd create all the jobs in the world and everybody would be happy as could be. We'd even have enough for people from other countries. Of course, in the Soviet Union the government created full employment as well.

Just thought a little perspective was in order.

A One Minute Economics (And Other Topics) Lesson

From one of our favorite economists, Don Boudreaux, who is chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University, in one of his famous "One Minute Economic Lessons" — this time, to The Washington Times.

16 November 2008

Editor, The Washington Times

Dear Editor:

Challenging the myth that society would be improved if governed by "intellectuals," Thomas Sowell says that "It would be no feat to fill a big book with all the things on which intellectuals were grossly mistaken, just in the 20th century" ("'Intellectuals' are posers," November 16).

Such a book has already been filled. Paul Hollander's "Political Pilgrims" documents the gullibility, the boundless capacity for self-delusion, and the ecstatic fetish for Great Leaders displayed throughout the 20th century by large numbers of American and European intellectuals.* These Smart People cheered the Soviet Union, applauded Mao, drooled over Castro, celebrated the Sandinistas — all the while dismissing those persons suspicious of centralized power as "anti-intellectual."

Of course, consistently these "anti-intellectuals" were proven right as the heroes of the "intellectuals" were revealed to be blood-thirsty b@$^@%#$. Is there reason to suppose that the "intellectual's" still-intense libido for Great Leaders and Big Plans is today any more rational than it was during the tragic episodes documented by Hollander?

Sincerely, Donald J. Boudreaux Chairman, Department of Economics George Mason University Fairfax, VA

* Paul Hollander, Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society, 3rd ed. (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1997).

Bishop Biden Not Too Pastoral When Finally Asked Legit Questions By A Journalist

Finally. With only a little more than a week to go before America elects its next president and vice president, after two years of nonstop campaigning, one of the two on the Democrat ticket got some tough, but very fair, questions. Joe Biden, to whom the questions were asked, became unhinged, masqueraded the truth, attacked the messenger and changed the subject — as per the usual liberal attack M.O. (A good, short commentary on the incident, ironically, is the Canada Free Press, here, by American writer and "recovering liberal" Joe Lillpop.) If you haven't heard, the Internet, and even some of the Mainstream Media, is buzzing over a satellite television interview between Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and Orlando, Fla., WFTV news anchor Barbara West. It was conducted last week but only now is getting recognized outside that market. Ms. West asked, among other things, how can Barack Obama not be called a socialist when he wants "to spread the wealth around." Biden scoffed at the socialist suggestion and attacked Ms. West personally.

Ms. West, who once worked for the late ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings and had the typically normal credentials liberals love about the MSM. "Had" because not anymore. Not after she asked the hard, legitimate questions so many have for the most liberal national ticket ever assembled, but which have gone begging for months.

In fact, after the interview, the gruff Senator Biden, not at all acting as the compassionate and pastoral type as he did when he redefined the faith on Meet The Press several weeks ago, must have whined about his treatment to the "messiah" himself (not sure whether he whined that the "messiah" put him in such a untenable position with his policy pronouncements or whether he whined about getting beat up by someone seeking the truth) because the Obama-Biden campaign immediately cancelled all interviews with WFTV, including one already scheduled with Mrs. Biden.

If Senator Biden thinks these questions were tough, there are several more we'd like to hear asked of him. For example, when he sarcastically asks Ms. West "Who is writing your questions?" in response to her "socialist" question, we would have replied to the caught and admitted plagiarizer, "Senator, who is writing your answers?" Look at this old NBC News report from Biden's first run for president in 1987. Oh yeah, one of the men mentioned in the report, then-British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock, whose speeched Biden plagerized . . . is a socialist!

When he completely contorted his remark from last week that Barack Obama is not ready to be Commander-In-Chief to somehow mean he was saying John McCain wasn't ready because, as Biden put it, Senator McCain had been wrong on some foreign policy issues, we would have asked him about how many times his views were disasterously wrong. Never mind that Senator Biden's charges are false, let's look at "wrong" by the man chosen by Senator Obama because of his so-called foreign policy expertise:

Wrong on the nuclear freeze.

Wrong on aiding freedom fighters in Central America.

Wrong on deploying missles to NATO countries.

Wrong on giving in to the demands of the Soviet Union.

Wrong on missile defense.

Wrong on the Gulf War.

Wrong on the troop surge in Iraq.

Wrong on partitioning Iraq.

Wrong on drilling offshore.

Wrong on the initial phase of Operation Enduring Freedom.

How much more wrong can one be and still run for vice president?

But that's just us. Ms. West more than held her own. Now, the Obama-Biden campaign, the epitome of tolerance, won't give any more interviews to this WFTV. That's the way to take your ball and go home!

Here's the interview in its entirety. It's about 4:30 minutes long.

Has The Culture War's Decisive Battle Begun?

It has, according Herbert E. Meyer, who recently wrote a column entitled, "The Culture War's Decisive Battle has Begun," for The American Thinker (read it here). Meyer, who served President Ronald Reagan as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, and who is the host and producer of the video The Siege of Western Civilization and author of How to Analyze Information, writes the nomination of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for vice president was the battle's shot across the bow. Meyer writes with clarity in defining the two sides in the culture war — "traditionalists" and "Left-Wing Liberals." He writes that the differences are so irreconcilable that we are experiencing a second Civil War and that in every war there is a decisive battle. That battle won't end the war, but it becomes the tide that changes the course of the war and decides its fate. For example, Gettysburg, he writes, during the Civil War, or Midway  during WWII (although, he must mean the Pacific theater; certainly D-Day was the turning point in Europe and perhaps for the entire war).

He then defines the two types of wars: Military ones, which are relatively short; and ideological wars, which can last decades, such as the Cold War. Such is America's culture war. He writes:

And there are long ideological wars, such as the Cold War, in which short bursts of fighting are separated by long periods of political maneuvering.  In these long ideological wars, the outcome isn't determined by firepower but by will. That's because the aggressor's objective isn't to kill the defenders, but to wear them down until they no longer have the courage and stamina to keep resisting.

The defenders win only when they stop merely resisting — in other words, trying just to not lose — and start playing offense. For example, by the late 1970s the Free World's will to resist the Soviet Union's endless challenges had nearly evaporated. Détente was just a palatable word for surrender. And then — unexpectedly and virtually at the same moment — three individuals most people had never before heard of exploded onto the scene and into power.  They were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John-Paul II — none of whom, by the way, had any foreign policy experience before taking office. Their objective wasn't to "not lose" the Cold War, but rather to end it with victory for the Free World.  Together they threw the switch from playing defense to playing offense, stunning the Kremlin's over-confident leaders who believed that history was on their side. Within a decade, the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.

More than interesting, it is a profound observation. As much as John McCain is not perceived as a culture warrior by some Christian conservatives, maybe it took a Cold Warrior to understand what it takes to win an ideological war. McCain is one of the last still-in-office politicians to have been at the political forefront during the Cold War — certainly at its height. Two minor disagreements here: Ronald Reagan certainly was well known, for a variety of reasons, including a 1976 run for president and two terms as California governor, and who had met plenty of world leaders. John Paul II had plenty of "foreign policy experience" as it were: He had been fighting, ideologically, the Nazis and then Soviet communists inside the Iron Curtain his entire life. But as for his larger point, of leaders with a clear, unwavering vision of right and wrong, and the importance of defeating wrong, we agree.

He continues:

By choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate — and by staking his own claim to the presidency on "Country First" more than on any specific policy initiative — John McCain has thrown the switch and put us Traditionalists onto the offense. By doing so he has unleashed the energy and the will to victory among Traditionalists that have been dormant for so long the Left-Wing Liberals mistakenly assumed we'd lost. And by taking the over-confident Left-Wing Liberals so completely by surprise, McCain has stunned them into revealing themselves for the vicious phonies that they are.

As a result, what started out as a typical campaign between Republicans and Democrats — each party trying to hold its base while attracting enough independent voters to win — has exploded into the Culture War's decisive battle.  

Commanding the Traditionalist armies is a war hero whose personal courage and patriotism have overwhelmed any disagreements within the coalition about specific policies and issues. His second-in-command is a pro-life hockey mom with genuine executive talent, star quality, and the most valuable asset of all in politics: a common touch. Commanding the Left-Wing Liberal armies is an elegant, eloquent cosmopolitan whose most striking talent is his ability to push past everyone else to the front of the line. His second-in-command is the U.S. Senate's leading plagiarist, whose only undeniable talent is his ability to use Senate confirmation hearings as a platform from which to trash honorable Republican appointees such as Bill Clark, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas.

Meyer's column certainly is clearly thought and crafted, with precise analysis. It's also, if not a call to arms to those long-since armed, it's a rallying cry not to lose, for a resurgency, to see through to victory that ultimate, war changing battle, and drive on to final victory. We encourage you to read it, then take action. It's not too late to engage the opponent.

What Does Rush Know?

Yesterday, I heard Rush Limbaugh complain that PBS will broadcast a documentary made under the premise that the 20th century was one of constant war with a few periods of relative calm — an admission that U.N. diplomacy doesn't exactly work? —contrary to the historical record that we fought two great wars at the interuption of a remarkable century of progress, peace and prosperity, what is commonly called The American Century. The film will record America as the bad guy, dropping the big ones on Japan — not admitting that action saved millions of lives by foregoing an invasion — but especially for allying ourselves with the Soviet Union's Stalin who, the film will say, was as bad or worse than Hitler. Rush got indginant, saying The Greatest Generation did not sacrafice what they did for taxpayer funded leftist propaganda directed at them.

I say Rush should be happy. All this means is that the left has finally acknowledged Stalin was as bad as Hitler. By any measure, that's progress.