"The law is perverted! . . . not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish!" ~ Frederic Bastiat (French classical liberal theorist, political economist)
A Muslim preacher has been secretly recorded explaining to followers how to receive government assistance they can use to fund a Muslim holy war.
Calling it a “Jihadi Allowance,” cleric Anjem Choundary, 45, has four kids, brings in £25,000, or just under $39,000 U.S. in benefits himself, and says that this is the way it is supposed to work according to Islamic law.
Recorded by both the U.K. Sun and Telegraph, Choundary says:
– “We are on Jihad Seekers Allowance, we take the Jizya (protection money paid to Muslims by non-Muslims) which is ours anyway.
– “The normal situation is to take money from the [non-Muslims] isn’t it? So this is the normal situation.”
– “They give us the money. You work, give us the money. Allah Akbar, we take the money. Hopefully there is no one from the DSS (Department of Social Security) listening.”
– “Ah, but you see people will say you are not working. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the Kuffar (non-Muslim) So we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.
A new report on American aid to Haiti in the wake of that country’s devastating earthquake finds most of the money went to U.S.-based operations.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research analyzed the $1.15 billion pledged after the January 2010 quake. The group says a lack of transparency makes it hard to track all the money. It found the “vast majority” of the money it could follow went to U.S. companies and organizations, more than half in the Washington area alone.
Just 1 percent went to Haitian companies. (Read more)
* Bigger income gap between East / West Europeans, than Black / White Americans.
* Hispanic Household Income > Black Household Income, but Hispanic Individual Income < Black Individual Income. (Hint: Hispanic families are larger.)
* Black families more harmed by welfare than slavery.
* Racism is NOT discrimination.
The Vulgar Pride of Intellectuals
* “At the heart of the social vision prevalent among contemporary intellectuals is the belief that there are ‘problems’ . . . and ‘solutions’ . . .”
* “There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have planed a larger role in history than the era in which we live.”
* “Intellectuals give people who have the handicap of poverty the further handicap of a sense of victimhood.”
* Acknowledging that wealth is created (instead of arguing over its distribution) would devestate intellectuals’ world view.
* “[Although intellectuals pay a lot of attentions to inequality among racial groups], seldom . . . has this attention been directed . . . toward how the less economically successfull . . . might improve themselves by availing themselves of the culture of others around them.”
(For example, Scots embraced English language and culture to their great benefit in the mid 19th century.)
* “Black unemployment rates were lower than that of whites as long ago as 1890.”
* Minimum wage laws have wreaked havoc upon black employment.
* “Sweeping claims for the benefits of . . . diversity in innumerable institutions . . . have prevailed without a speck of evidence being asked for or given.”
* “At the same time you’re getting all this mouthing of diversity, there’s an extremely narrow ideological conformity that’s being enforced.”
* “In Chicago (unlike Harvard), economics was a full contact sport.” (HA!)
* “I was a Marxist when I went into Milton Friedman’s course. I was a Marxist when I came out. . . . [and then] I went to work for the government . . . . I realized other people’s well being would never be the priority of politicians and bureaucrats.”
* “The road to hell is paved with Ivy League degrees.”
* “I love the use [Obama's] of the word opportunity. You know, I had just as much opportunity as Michael Jordan to become an NBA star. It just so happened that there was some difference in skill.”
The Difference Between Liberal and Conservative
Liberal premise: There is nothing in human nature that would cause us to be unhappy. It’s the fact that we have the wrong institutions.
Conservative premise: Man is flawed from day one and there are no solutions, only trade offs.
Most liberal ideas can be destroyed by three questions:
1. Compared to what?
2. At what cost?
3. What hard evidence do you have?
- The reality, however, is that there are nearly 1,000 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces, and each has an entourage that would make a Hollywood star jealous.
According to 2010 Pentagon reports, there are 963 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces.
- Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates appointed Arnold Punaro, a retired major general in the Marines, to head an independent review of the Pentagon’s budget. Here’s the caution he came up with: “We don’t want the Department of Defense to become a benefits agency that occasionally kills a terrorist.” [emphasis added]
So, just how good are these benefits? For the top brass, not bad at all. According to a Washington Post investigation, each top commander has his own C-40 jet, complete with beds on board. Many have chefs who deserve their own four-star restaurants. The generals’ personal staff include drivers, security guards, secretaries and people to shine their shoes and iron their uniforms. When traveling, they can be accompanied by police motorcades that stretch for blocks. When entertaining, string quartets are available at a snap of the fingers.
A New York Times analysis showed that simply the staff provided to top generals and admirals can top $1 million — per general. That’s not even including their own salaries — which are relatively modest due to congressional legislation — and the free housing, which has been described as “palatial.”
- U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, wrote an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune explaining how the generals’ perks allow them to exist on a plain removed from ordinary people:
“Those with a star are military nobility, no doubt, and those with four are royalty. Flying in luxurious private jets, surrounded by a phalanx of fawning aides who do everything from preparing their meals to pressing their uniform trousers, they are among America’s most pampered professionals. Their orders are executed without challenge, their word is fiat. They live in a reality different from the rest of us.”
Frank Wuco, a retired U.S. Naval intelligence chief, agrees.
“With the senior guys and the flag officers, this is like the new royalty,” he said on his weekly radio show. “We treat them like kings and princes. These general officers in the military, at a certain point, become untouchable… In many cases, they get their own airplanes, their own helicopters. When they walk into a room, everybody comes to attention. In the case of some of them, people are very afraid to speak up or to disagree. Being separated from real life all the time in that way probably leaves them vulnerable (to lapses in moral judgement).”
- The Pentagon, for example, runs a staggering 234 golf courses around the world, at a cost that is undisclosed.
- According to a Washington Post investigation, the DoD also spends $500 million annually on marching bands.
- Since they’re so used to the luxurious lifestyle, the vast majority of pension-reaping high-ranking officers head into the private defense industry.
According to William Hartung, a defense analyst at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of recently retired three- and four-star generals went straight to work for industry giants like Lockheed Martin. (Read more)
President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.
Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday. This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion. (Read more)
The U.S. welfare system sure creates some crazy disincentives to working your way up the ladder. Benefits stacked upon benefits can mean it is financially better, at least in the short term, to stay at a lower-paying jobs rather than taking a higher paying job and losing those benefits. This is called the “welfare cliff.”
Let’s take the example of a single mom with two kids, 1 and 4. She has a $29,000 a year job, putting the kids in daycare during the day while she works.
As the above chart – via Gary Alexander, Pennsylvania’s secretary of Public Welfare — shows, the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income and benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income & benefits of $57,045.
It would sure be tempting for that mom to keep the status quo rather than take the new job, even though the new position might lead to further career advancement and a higher standard of living. I guess this is something the Obama White House forgot to mention in its “Life of Julia” cartoons extolling government assistance. (Read more)