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9/25/2012
RINO Hour of Power: Poll Dancing

Join us tonight at 8:00 PM eastern for another fun filled eposide of the RINO Hour of Power hosted by Rick Moran. Co-host for tonight will be Outside the Beltway blogger Doug Mataconis.

Polls have been in the news lately - skewed polls to be exact. The guys will discuss polling with PJ Media editor Bryan Preston. Is the GOP getting a raw deal? The facts may surprise you.

The show streams live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 4:29 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

David Brooks on Conservative Dichotomy

Excellent column by David Brooks who gives a trenchant analysis of what has happened to conservatism in the last 30 years.

He explains that 30 years ago, “the conservative movement itself, was a fusion of two different mentalities.”

On the one side, there were the economic conservatives. These were people that anybody following contemporary Republican politics would be familiar with. They spent a lot of time worrying about the way government intrudes upon economic liberty. They upheld freedom as their highest political value. They admired risk-takers. They worried that excessive government would create a sclerotic nation with a dependent populace.

But there was another sort of conservative, who would be less familiar now. This was the traditional conservative, intellectual heir to Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Clinton Rossiter and Catholic social teaching. This sort of conservative didn’t see society as a battleground between government and the private sector. Instead, the traditionalist wanted to preserve a society that functioned as a harmonious ecosystem, in which the different layers were nestled upon each other: individual, family, company, neighborhood, religion, city government and national government.

He correctly deduces that Reagan straddled both sides of conservatism and points out that today’s right wingers have no clue about traditional conservatism:

In the polarized political conflict with liberalism, shrinking government has become the organizing conservative principle. Economic conservatives have the money and the institutions. They have taken control. Traditional conservatism has gone into eclipse. These days, speakers at Republican gatherings almost always use the language of market conservatism — getting government off our backs, enhancing economic freedom. Even Mitt Romney, who subscribes to a faith that knows a lot about social capital, relies exclusively on the language of market conservatism.

It’s not so much that today’s Republican politicians reject traditional, one-nation conservatism. They don’t even know it exists. There are few people on the conservative side who’d be willing to raise taxes on the affluent to fund mobility programs for the working class. There are very few willing to use government to actively intervene in chaotic neighborhoods, even when 40 percent of American kids are born out of wedlock. There are very few Republicans who protest against a House Republican budget proposal that cuts domestic discretionary spending to absurdly low levels.

Does the right want to know why Romney is losing? Listen carefully:

Republicans repeat formulas — government support equals dependency — that make sense according to free-market ideology, but oversimplify the real world. Republicans like Romney often rely on an economic language that seems corporate and alien to people who do not define themselves in economic terms. No wonder Romney has trouble relating.

Some people blame bad campaign managers for Romney’s underperforming campaign, but the problem is deeper. Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism. The Republican Party has abandoned half of its intellectual ammunition. It appeals to people as potential business owners, but not as parents, neighbors and citizens.

It’s not just the religious crazies, the economic dunderheads, the small government fanatics, or the neo-cons who have brought traditional conservatism to the state where much of the right views those who believe that government has an important role to play in society as “liberal-lites.” It is a studious avoidance of objective reality — a suspicion of intellectuals, a denial that criticism (even coming from within its ranks) is valid, a summary rejection of points of view from the other side, and a determination not to allow democratic government to work unless it is 100% on their terms.

To refer to them as corporate conservatives is unfair. Brooks may find it useful shorthand, but it hardly covers the range of right wing paranoia and dis-associative thinking that leads to many on the right taking people like Palin, Cain, and Bachmann seriously as presidential candidates.

In short, today, what passes for conservatism, lacks logic, coherence, compassion, respect, and basic analytical skills.

Other than that, the right is doing great.

By: Rick Moran at 12:58 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

9/24/2012
On Being 8 Years A-Blogging
CATEGORY: Blogging

On September 23, 2004, I opened an account on the blog creating site Blogger and wrote my first post for a site I named “Right Wing Nuthouse.” I called it that not because I was a right wing nut but as a tongue in cheek riposte to left wing critics I had done battle with online. I used to be a prolific commenter on blogs both right and left and thought that a little wry humor at the expense of liberals was perfectly in keeping with the tone I wanted to set for the blog.

It was a silly little post, that first one. It was about the big story at the time — the blogs vs. Dan Rather. Now, more than 3,700 posts later, I celebrate the 8th anniversary of RWNH with mixed feelings.

Originally, I thought that the blog would help me get noticed and promote my writing which would, in turn, allow me to make a living as a writer. In this, the blog has helped exceed my wildest expectations. While not strictly a writer, today I am writing for two websites as well as editing content for both. It’s been a strange journey from nameless blogger to (a still relatively nameless) successful writer. I harbor no illusions about my notoriety and whatever fame I’ve achieved has been as a conservative heretic rather than the wise old conservative sage I was hoping to be.

No matter. The right wing (I refuse to refer to most of them as “conservative”) is oblivious to their own heresy and have embraced an ideology that is rigid, anti-intellectual, anti-science, and self-destructive. It is an incoherent riot of conceits that is proudly bigoted, illogical, and bereft of new ideas. In fact, it is an unthinking, emotive ideology terrified of change, locked in a worldview that displays far more of the past than any vision for the future.

But I am the apostate, so go figure.

But while this blog has not given me exactly what I wanted as a public outlet for my writing, the returns on using my blog as a means to explore the inner workings of my mind have been extraordinary. I’m sure that sounds grandiose and a little inflated, but it’s true. One of my father’s favorite quotes was from Francis Bacon: “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” Starting a blog (or as it used to be referred to, a “journal”) radically sharpened my thinking. I was forced to confront the shallowness of much of my ideology and justify the basic intellectual premises I had relied on for many years. I found that what I had believed to have been rock solid assumptions undergirding my ideology dissipated in the fire of real inquiry — which included the unheard of notion that reading intelligent writing from both sides opened entirely new vistas and challenged my thinking on a wide variety of issues.

You can’t do this by reading right wing blogs. Julian Sanchez’s writing on this subject influenced me greatly:

One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!)

This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile. Think of the complete panic China’s rulers feel about any breaks in their Internet firewall: The more successfully external sources of information have been excluded to date, the more unpredictable the effects of a breach become. Internal criticism is then especially problematic, because it threatens the hermetic seal. It’s not just that any particular criticism might have to be taken seriously coming from a fellow conservative. Rather, it’s that anything that breaks down the tacit equivalence between “critic of conservatives and “wicked liberal smear artist” undermines the effectiveness of the entire information filter. If disagreement is not in itself evidence of malign intent or moral degeneracy, people start feeling an obligation to engage it sincerely—maybe even when it comes from the New York Times. And there is nothing more potentially fatal to the momentum of an insurgency fueled by anger than a conversation.

The level of vitriol leveled against Sanchez for this penetrating observation was remarkable. And while I had already broken with most right wingers by criticizing what I call “cotton candy conservatives” like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and especially Glenn Beck, I suddenly realized, after reading the series of essays Sanchez published on epistemic closure, that I no longer marched in lock step. I was a different kind of conservative — or I was a real conservative and the rest were just right wing nuts. I haven’t quite decided which is true yet. Perhaps a little of both.

This site has allowed me to explore what some philosophers refer to as “the examined life” — a look inward at one’s most closely held and cherished assumptions, taking them out to hold up to the light of day, and then justifying their place as morally and philosophically true.

As I’ve said many times, I am no intellectual. And I have not been as rigorous as I should have been in my explorations. But I was struck again and again how I was forced to alter some of my beliefs — sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically — because I had opened my mind to alternative viewpoints. Those who view the world through a black and white prism are missing a lot. It may be advantageous politically to maintain a rigid ideological worldview that doesn’t stray far from the thinking of the tribe. But it was never enough for me, which I suppose has been my undoing.

If “Reading maketh a full man” in the sense that it helps one round out their thinking and give one a complete picture, then I have been well served by my curiosity. And if “writing maketh an exact man,” my curiosity has been mostly satisfied by trying to live an examined life.

I see now I would be a much different man if I hadn’t started this blog. Whatever muse was sitting on my shoulder urging me onward, I will always be grateful.

By: Rick Moran at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

9/20/2012
Is Romney Toast?

No, but he is behind and time and circumstances are against him.

The latest Pew survey has Democrats on Cloud 9, as it gives the president an 8 point lead among likely voters. My sense from reading Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls is that it is probably half that. If the lead were really that big, there would be some reflection of that in the rolling averages. Rasmussen’s three day aggregation would almost certainly show a far bigger lead for the president (currently Obama 47, Romney 45) if the Pew survey was close to being accurate.

But Pew surveyed from 9/12 - 9/16 — before Romney’s producers/takers comments came to light. That’s another reason to distrust the margin for the president from that poll. Gallup found Romney’s comments were received negatively by a larger number of voters than those who saw them in a positive light (36% - 20%). But a strong plurality — 43% — said that it made no difference, so Democrats who declared the race “over” better go back to the drawing board.

But Romney has other troubles, most notably, he trails in several key swing states. The national numbers may not be too bad, but he is significantly behind in Virginia and Colorado while he is closer in Ohio and Florida, but still trails the president.

The reason the race is close nationally is fairly simple; states that the president won by double digits in 2008 are giving him far less support in 2012. For example, Wisconsin (+14 in 2008) and Michigan (+16 2008) show the president with a lead in single digits in both states. Wisconsin may be in play but Michigan is almost off the board. Those electoral votes will add to the president’s total exactly the same as in 2008 no matter what his margin of victory.

Romney may have been wrong in his “47%” comments, but he was right about something else:

“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he added. “What I have to do is convince the 5 percent to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful.”

He’s right that however far he is behind, the universe of persuadables is incredibly small. The overwhelming majority of voters have had their minds made up at least since mid-summer, leaving the two candidates to fight over that last 5-10%. So a 5 point lead for Obama in Virginia is significant. To overcome that lead, Romney must persuade about 6 in 10 of the remaining undecideds to pull out a victory. Given how close the race is, that’s a tall order indeed.

Not surprisingly, the right is in denial about the polls and many are convinced that the race isn’t even close — that Romney is far ahead and that he will win in a landslide in November. One example of dozens:

People fancy me a politico, and I’m approached by anxious Romneyites who see a tight race and wonder if Mitt’s going to be abe to pull it out. It happened on Sunday, in the halls at church. A guy pulled me aside and asked, with a note of panic in his voice, “Can Mitt really win this?”

My answer, which I now share with you, is yes. Yes, he can win this. Yes, he will win this. What’s more, he will win big. Landslide big.

This is neither bluster nor cockiness. It is a cold-eyed assessment of the facts.

“But the polls, Stallion!” I hear you cry. “The polls show a tight race!”

No, they don’t. The polls show that this would be a tight race… if exactly the same people showed up who showed up in 2008. Almost all the neck-and-neck polls presume that just as many Democrats as showed up when Obama was hardcore hopey changey will turn out this time around. In fact, some of them oversample Democrats, presuming that more Democrats will turn out in 2012 than showed up last time.

Um…no, that’s ridiculous. This fellow obviously never heard of sample weighting. He also is ill-informed about the new turnout models prepped by all the major polling outfits. Those models are based on current polling data and have very little to do with 2008 turnout.

And as far as enthusiasm is concerned, that gap appears to be narrowing. Gallup:

Voter enthusiasm in these states has grown among members of both political parties; however, Democrats’ level has increased more. Thus, whereas equal percentages of Democrats and Republicans were enthusiastic in June, Democrats are now significantly more enthusiastic than Republicans, 73% vs. 64%.

Independents’ enthusiasm also jumped substantially over this period — up 18 points, similar to the 20-point gain among Democrats; however, independents’ enthusiasm still lags behind that of both partisan groups.

Others on the right are far more dismissive of the polls, with some claiming there is a cabal of media out to discourage GOP voters from going to the polls by publishing skewed surveys showing Romney behind. This ignores the reality that if pollsters were deliberately cooking the books, they wouldn’t stay in business for long. Witness the fate of the polling outfit Research 2000 who cooked the books while polling for Daily Kos. Kos sued them and won a substantial settlement.

In this day and age, it’s just too easy to check the work of pollsters. Methodology is usually published along with each poll (although some algorithms and other means of statistical analysis are proprietary and are kept secret). A reputation for accuracy and honesty is all that recommends one polling firm over another. It would be beyond belief that Gallup, or Rasmussen, or any other nationally recognized pollster would risk it all to please partisans.

Many on the right have been asking why the race is close to begin with. They cite the dismal economy, the unpopularity of Obamacare, the still depressed housing market, and other factors that they believe should have Romney up by plenty.

Ramesh Ponnuru:

So why is Obama doing so well in the polls, if increased public dependency on government isn’t the answer?

For starters, the public at large isn’t as convinced as conservatives that he has been a dismal failure. Most people cut him some slack because of the economic crisis that began under a Republican president and kept unfolding as Obama took office. They know that the economy has changed direction. Some people think the economy has done about as well as it could have under the circumstances.

Another reason Obama is doing well might have to do with the weakness of the Republican economic message. Republicans dwell on the heroic entrepreneur held back by taxes and regulation, which must be part of the story that a free-market party tells. But most people don’t see themselves in that storyline, any more than they see themselves as dependents of the federal government. They don’t see Americans as divided between makers and takers.

To the extent Republicans do, they’re handicapping themselves.

Has anyone on the right really looked at Romney’s agenda? It should look very familiar because it’s the same one that Reagan offered in 1980. Cut taxes, cut the budget, strong defense, deregulation — I can hear Reagan talking about it now. Romney has dressed up this 30 year old agenda but it still sounds old and tired. New realities demand new answers and the GOP isn’t supplying any.

Neither candidate will realize a landslide unless a monumental gaffe occurs in one of the debates. Both men are pretty good on their feet so that doesn’t appear likely at this point. A larger possibility is that the big bad world outside intervenes to flip the election. Which candidate would benefit if Israel attacked Iran or attacks on our embassies worsen, or the euro falls is unknown, but a potential game changer from abroad cannot be ruled out.

The president is ahead and Romney is running out of time. That’s where the race is as I see it closing in on 40 days to go.

By: Rick Moran at 10:34 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

9/18/2012
RINO Hour of Power: Romney - The 47% Solution

Mitt Romney’s comments about producers and takers has exploded into the controversy of the campaign. Is he right? And if he isn’t, what affect will this incident have on the race?

Tonight’s episode of RINO Hour of Power will discuss the issues surrounding the GOP nominee’s remarks. Hosted by Rick Moran, tonight’s co-host is Jazz Shaw and appearing as a guest will be Andrew Malcolm, editorial page writer for Investors Business Daily.

The show will stream live from 8:00 - 9:00 Eastern Time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 4:48 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

Romney Inadvertently Gets to the Heart of the Matter
CATEGORY: Government, Politics

Next week, this blog will celebrate its 8th birthday. And despite some fitful periods where I failed to post on a daily basis, there has been several reoccurring questions that have occupied my attention during that time span — questions that need to be asked if the United States is to maintain its character as an outpost of individual liberty in a world rapidly moving toward a more statist model of governance.

Certainly the most fundamental question I have asked has been how big should government be in a modern, urbanized, industrial, diversified nation of 300 million people? The question resonates far more on the right than the left and, indeed, is at the heart of our current debates over the budget, taxes, entitlements, and even national defense and discretionary spending.

The problem for the right is that there is this superficial yearning for a “small” government as if the clock can be turned back, the entitlement society overturned, and the New Deal and Great Society repealed or drastically curtailed. I daresay that not only is this unrealistic, but the social upheaval caused by the attempt would be extremely dangerous.

The left’s problem is not only that they refuse to discuss how big government should be, they reject the entire premise of the question. There is a belief among many liberals that there should be no limits to the growth of government if it is done in service to achieving “social justice.” This is as dangerous to individual liberty as the right’s pie in the sky dreams of a Jeffersonian republic full of self-reliant yeoman farmers and honest tradesmen — updated to reflect certain 21st century realities, of course.

Mitt Romney has inadvertently gotten to the nub of the matter with his statement to campaign donors about “producers” and “takers.” Forget for a moment that the conservative narrative he posits has been exposed as just one more false talking point from the echo chamber. Wrapped up in the idea that there are some Americans living high off the fruits of other American’s labor is the very real notion that we are becoming a nation dependent on government at the expense of personal freedom.

Does dependency always result in a loss of individual liberty? If one accepts the idea that dependency closes off choices that an individual is capable of making — personal choices about life and lifestyle that the non-dependents have open to them — then one reaches the inescapable conclusion that indeed, depending on government for some or all of one’s sustenance, shelter, and peace of mind results in a loss of freedom of action. What other definition of liberty is there?

The argument over producers and takers only clouds this issue — especially since part of the reason for the increase in government dependency is the lousy economy, and a bigger part is an aging population who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits.

But that’s only half an answer. As Nichoilas Eberstadt points out in his new book A Nation of Takers, having a society of dependents eats away at the exceptional nature of the American people and destroys traditional notions of self reliance:

From the founding of our state up to the present—or rather, until quite recently—the United States and the citizens who peopled it were regarded, at home and abroad, as exceptional in a number of deep and important respects. One of these was their fierce and principled independence, which informed not only the design of the political experiment that is the U.S. Constitution but also the approach to everyday affairs. The proud self-reliance that struck Alexis de Tocqueville in his visit to the United States in the early 1830s extended to personal finances. The American “individualism” about which he wrote included social cooperation, and on a grand scale—the young nation was a hotbed of civic associations and voluntary organizations. American men and women viewed themselves as accountable for their own situation through their own achievements in an environment bursting with opportunity—a novel outlook at that time, markedly different from the prevailing Old World (or at least Continental) attitudes.

The corollaries of this American ethos (which might be described as a sort of optimistic Puritanism) were, on the one hand, an affinity for personal enterprise and industry, and on the other a horror of dependency and contempt for anything that smacked of a mendicant mentality. Although many Americans in earlier times were poor—before the twentieth century, practically everyone was living on income that would be considered penurious nowadays—even people in fairly desperate circumstances were known to refuse help or handouts as an affront to their dignity and independence. People who subsisted on public resources were known as “paupers,” and provision for them was a local undertaking. Neither beneficiaries nor recipients held the condition of pauperism in high regard.[10]

Overcoming America’s historic cultural resistance to government entitlements has been a long and formidable endeavor. But as we know today, this resistance did not ultimately prove an insurmountable obstacle to the establishment of mass public entitlements and normalizing the entitlement lifestyle in modern America. The United States is now on the verge of a symbolic threshold: the point at which more than half of all American households receive, and accept, transfer benefits from the government. From cradle (strictly speaking, from before the cradle) to grave, a treasure chest of government-supplied benefits are there for the taking for every American citizen—and exercising one’s legal rights to these many blandishments is not part and parcel of the American way of life.

A realistic notion of self reliance today is a far cry from what many on the right might imagine. Demanding that the poor become “self reliant” is a fool’s dream. Those in poverty in New York city, for instance, can’t become hunter-gatherers, shooting squirrels in Central Park or picking berries at the Arboretum. Asking those receiving welfare benefits to work for them is perfectly acceptable, although its difficult for the functionally illiterate and those without marketable job skills to get a job anywhere in today’s work force. Welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, and other needs-based entitlements are going to be with us until far more fundamental reforms in education, training, and creating habitable cities are made.

Similarly, we are not going to get rid of Social Security or Medicare, although reforms of those two entitlements will have to be made before we bankrupt ourselves trying to maintain them. As far as those two programs are concerned, very soon we will have to deal with the “producer-taker” question because the number of young workers supporting a single senior citizen who receives Social Security and Medicare will shrink from about 3:1 today to near 2:1 by 2050. Long before then, our descendents will have a revolution on their hands and a genuine generational conflict.

But Romney’s comments about takers and makers speaks to fundamental questions about the size and scope of government. Government is limited in how big it can get by the amount in tax dollars it can collect. Trillion dollar deficits notwithstanding — a number even most liberals believe is unsustainable — if the producers produce less, or resist the notion of government increasing its share of their income, the growth of government will be curtailed — theoretically. In truth, running massive deficits while government grows has been the norm for the past decade and given the paralysis that has gripped Washington, it is not likely to change anytime soon.

The problem is that the people and the politicians that represent them refuse to make choices. We want it all and we don’t want to pay for it is the reality we face. We all want politicians to do something about the budget deficit and the national debt but we don’t want programs cut that benefit us, or our children, nor do we want taxes raised (except on someone else) to pay for them. Through imprudent acts and willful self denial, we have created a crisis that is, at once, both spiritual and worldly; we are incapable of governing our desires for more of what government can give us while being unable to make the connection between what government does for us and its cost.

In the end, it is impossible to answer the question how big should government be because we don’t want to ask.

By: Rick Moran at 11:48 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

9/17/2012
Another Fizzle for Occupy Wall Street
CATEGORY: Politics

It’s the one year anniversary of that mass movement that has no mass at all to it, Occupy Wall Street.

A truly pathetic turnout in New York city, described as “hundreds” of protestors by the New York Times:

Police officers and protesters squared off at various points, with protesters briefly blocking intersections and sidewalks before being dispersed and sometimes arrested.

The police appeared prepared to counter the protesters’ blockade with one of their own, ringing the streets and sidewalks leading to the exchange with metal barricades and asking for identification from workers seeking to gain access.

Meanwhile, Occupy supporters marched through the streets waving banners and accompanied by bands playing “Happy Birthday.”

Police officers repeatedly warned protesters that they could be arrested if they did not keep moving. Most of those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, the police said.

[...]

By midday, 124 people had been arrested. The arrests were mostly on disorderly conduct charges “for impeding vehicular or pedestrian traffic,” according to Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. On Saturday and Sunday, the police arrested 43 people in connection with the protests, Mr. Browne said. While most of those arrests involved charges of disorderly conduct, he said that some were on assault and resisting arrest charges.

Police vans were parked on side streets throughout the financial district and helicopters buzzed overhead. Men in suits walking to work passed contingents of officers posted on corners.

One early gathering spot on Monday was the Vietnam Veterans memorial on Water Street where about 400 protesters assembled. About 200 people had gathered at Zuccotti Park, which protesters took over last year and used as an encampment.

I suppose the threat to shut down Wall Street alone required that the “demonstration” be covered. But the cult (anyone who uses the term “movement” to describe this gaggle of losers is flat out lying) of OWS has had no bigger boosters than the New York Times, and Great Britain’s Guardian newspaper. And the Guardian, as is their wont, believes that putting a prom dress on a pig somehow makes the porker more attractive:

More Occupy commentary, this time from Guardian economics writer Aditya Chakrabortty. He points to foreclosure activism as one of several surviving branches of the Occupy movement:

Finally, the dismissal of Occupy ignores what it has already achieved. The Zuccotti Park camp allowed hundreds of complete strangers to develop serious political arguments and strong ties alike. In the consumer onanism that is 21st-century Manhattan - a tiny island teeming with shoppers pleasing only themselves - that is no mean feat. Recently, Occupiers have begun serious campaigns against foreclosures of homes, for unionisation of workplaces and for reneging on unjust debts.

“Hundreds of complete strangers” developing “serious political arguments?” Who are they trying to kid? I have yet to hear anything but the most superficial whining, jaw droppingly unrealistic descriptions of issues, and ancient, tired, left wing tropes about “class” that went out when the Communists self destructed. Some people have more money than others. Duh. Part of the reason is that the rich manipulate the tax system. Double duh. Describing what is self-evident should not make one a sage or speaker of truth to power.

Since OWS lacks ideas on how to restore a modicum of income equality except by seizing the property of people who are smarter, work harder, have better ideas, and take baths more often, they can easily be dismissed. Railing against the rich is easy. Creating “the next big thing” in the economy that will generate good paying jobs and save the Middle Class is hard.

And for the arrogant few who believe anyone outside of liberal media is paying attention to them, such a task is far beyond their capabilities. They are incapable of creating anything except scenes to draw attention to themselves. The hard, slogging work of bringing an idea from drawing board to successful entrepreneurship is beyond the ken of their understanding. In fact, they’re just stupid enough to support putting roadblocks in front of producers to prevent exactly what they desire; the mass of workers having the opportunity to live better, richer, more productive lives by becoming employed in new and exciting American industries on the cutting edge of technology.

Whatever the “Next Big Thing” is going to be, entrepreneurs will be ready for it. OWS protestors will not. That’s the difference between those who truly work for the betterment of their fellow men — while bettering themselves in the process — and those who pose, posture, and throw tantrums about the unfairness of it all.

Who are you rooting for?

By: Rick Moran at 11:34 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

9/13/2012
Perpetually Outraged Muslims storm embassies in Yemen, Tunisia

No doubt we’ll hear more apologies from the Obama administration today about how beastly it is for the US to embrace the First Amendment.

Also no doubt, they will make their apology after saying that there is no justification for the attacks. If you find those statements irreconcilable in logic, that puts you one step ahead of Obama and the State Department.

In Yemen, they actually got into the compound, ripped down the American flag, and put al-Qaeda’s black banner up instead:

Chanting “death to America,” hundreds of protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital and burned the American flag on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East.

American missions have been attacked this week in three Arab nations - Yemen, Egypt and Libya - that have faced persistent unrest and are struggling to restore law and order after last year’s revolts deposed their authoritarian regimes.

The protests in Yemen and Egypt point to an increased boldness among Islamists who have become more powerful amid the turmoil since the revolts. In the past, protests have broken out over perceived insults to Islam from the West, but in Arab countries they never escalated to the degree of breaching embassies, suggesting now Islamists feel they can act with impunity.

Read that last sentence very carefully. Why do the Islamists feel they can act “with impunity?” No doubt Obama apologists will find some way to blame Romney.

In the Yemeni capital on Thursday, protesters smashed windows as they breached the embassy perimeter and reached the compound grounds, although they did not enter the main building housing the offices.

Angry young men brought down the U.S. flag in the courtyard, burned it and replaced it with a black banner bearing Islam’s declaration of faith - “There is no God but Allah.”

There has been a curious omission in the media about this black flag being the “Islamist” flag. It is, in fact, the flag of al-Qaeda but no one in the press seems interested in reporting that.

Where were the police? The Army? It’s not like they didn’t know these protests were coming.

In Tunis, the protests were better policed:

Anti-American rioting spread yesterday to Tunisia, where police used tear gas to stop hundreds of protesters from storming the United States Embassy in protest over a film mocking the prophet Mohammed.

The throngs of demonstrators, who carried the white and black banners of militant Salifist Muslims, had been protesting peacefully in Tunis for hours when about 300 started to break through the gates.

The embassy remained open as police forced the protesters back.

Earlier, the US embassies in Tunisia and Algeria warned Americans to avoid crowded places because of expected protests.

If I were the maker of that ridiculous film about Mohammad, I would release it now. It would probably become the #1 movie in the world considering all the free publicity it’s getting.

The trouble is, any movie theater that dared show it would probably be blown up by the nearly peace loving, almost tolerant, but not exactly learned members of the Religion of the Perpetually Outraged.

By: Rick Moran at 7:46 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

9/11/2012
RINO Hour of Power: 9/11 Anniversary Edition

You won’t want to miss this provocative episode of The RINO Hour of Power with host Rick Moran and special co-host Jeff Kropf of KUIK Raido in Portland.

Is the threat of terrorism receding? Have we created more terrorists as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Joining us for a discussion of these and other related issues will be Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The panel will examine the issue of terrorism as it has developed since 9/11 and discuss new threats that may arise in the future.

We stream live from 8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 3:41 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

‘9/11 Day’ Reveals American Schizophrenia

The anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 is called both “Patriot’s Day” and “National Day of Service and Remembrance.” Trying to reconcile those sentiments and create one, overarching theme is impossible. In fact, it reveals the schizophrenia that has been at the heart of American history since our founding as well as being a sad commentary on how cleaved American society truly has become.

The fault lines are along the ideological divide; conservatives believe that Patriot’s Day is more to the point and went ballistic when President Obama and the Democratic Congress added the call for a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Liberals have embraced the additional designation and can’t understand what the fuss is all about.

Indeed, both concepts — while not mutually exclusive — represent the yin and yang of the American psyche. Patriot’s Day evokes martial images and the feelings of pride and love of country that coursed through most of us that day. A National Day of Service and Remembrance is a far more personal observance — reflective of what we lost and the always touching liberal notion that doing good deeds will change the world. The “9/11 Day” movement as it is known, has gone international, which folds into the idea that the attacks happened to the entire world and not just America.

A dubious proposition to be sure, but harmless. I understand that the pacifist sentiment that undergirds 9/11 Day demands that we de-Americanize the attacks. Many on the left see “patriotism” as skirting dangerously close to “nationalism” which leads eventually to “authoritarianism” which is why Patriot’s Day has such a bad odor about it for many liberals. No matter. We should embrace any remembrance as long as it doesn’t obscure the reason for marking the day.

In fact, the concept of a 9/11 Day, while denounced on the right as unAmerican, is actually as American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Ford Motor Company (Sorry Chevrolet, but the bailout disqualifies you from being placed in the pantheon with hot dogs.) The determination to change the world finds echoes throughout American history and represents a reaching out to touch the better angels of our nature. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it and those on the right who find fault because the movement doesn’t pay homage to our military and refuses to single out Muslims as the culprits are ignoring the very American urge to make something good out of something bad.

Therein lies the seeds our schizophrenia. For a people who see themselves as peace loving, we sure do fight a lot of wars. Some would consider this hypocritical, but it’s beyond hypocrisy; it is the singular American ability to hold two completely contradictory views at once, believing in each with equal fervor, and ignoring the dichotomy.

During the Stamp Act riots, the English man of letters and compiler of the first English Language dictionary Samuel Johnson wrote a friend, “Why is it we hear the loudest yelps for freedom from the drivers of negroes?” Jefferson, whose writings about liberty are looked upon as seminal, was a slave holder and may have given his male guests what was euphemistically referred to at the time as “the run of the slave quarters” — an invitation for the guest to rape any slave woman he wished.

From the revolution through today, this schizophrenia has plagued us. And the urge to consecrate 9/11 as day of national pride, as well as an international day of hope and personal altruism exist co-equally in our consciousness without a problem.

But a National Day of Service and Remembrance is beside the point, isn’t it?

We are engaged in a long, twilight struggle with jihadists and their millions of sympathizers. To think that good deeds will assuage their hatred and temper their fanaticism is delusional. Uniting the world in remembrance of 9/11 is useless unless it comes with a recognition that the intolerance and hatred that drove those planes into American buildings will not be fixed by feel-good rhetoric or appeals to the Brotherhood of Man. The ideology that animates jihad is, admittedly, unIslamic. But the notion that we must temper our criticism or ease off in the fight against the extremists because it may offend some Muslims is absurd. The reality is that Islamism is on the march and is gaining power, and is as much a threat to mainstream Islam as it is to us.

There is nothing moderate — ever — about Islamism. Those who call the Muslim Brotherhood “moderates” are irrational. All one need do is watch what’s happening in Egypt to understand the folly of trying to peg Islamists as anything except radical authoritarians who seek to subjugate women, ban the opposition, arrest and imprison opponents, and — let’s be frank, shall we? — kill the Jews. They are the antithesis of everything humanity has sought to overcome over the last 1000 years and not fighting them in the public arena of ideas and the private world of intelligence and police work invites our destruction.

So, while the “I will…” 9/11 Day movement makes itself feel good by doing good deeds, the gimlet eyed radicals who seek to bring back the caliphate and force the conversion to Islam of the non-Muslim world continue to threaten us. The only thing that has changed since 9/11 is that we are 11 years older. The attitudes that prevented us from imagining a day like 9/11 are still prevalent and will cost us again unless we change.

By: Rick Moran at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)