Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Joe Biden's 'Entitlement' Comment is Wrong

In a recent interview, Joe Biden rebuffed claims that the Democrats' policies were redistributive by stating:

"It's a simple proposition to us: Everyone is entitled to adequate medical health care," Biden says. "If you call that a 'redistribution of income' -- well, so be it. I don't call it that. I call it just being fair."


Joe Biden is wrong. No one is entitled to health care. People are only entitled to that which they produce themselves. They are not entitled to something others need to provide or buy for them. No one is entitled to the pay check or labor of a perfect stranger.

Joe Biden's comment reflects the faulty precept of socialism, which expresses itself in the modern liberal/social-democrat political school of thought.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Clinton stands up to right-wing Israeli lobby

The Israeli right has long been accustomed to doing what it wants, irrespective of past agreements and international law, without any consequences, but Clinton, along with the UN, EU and Russia, recently condemned Israel for its construction of 1600 homes in the Palestinian sector of Jerusalem.

From the VOA:

Clinton Vents 'Frustration' Over Israeli Jerusalem Move in Call to Netanyahu

The State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday to reiterate deep U.S. concern over an announcement this week that Israel will build more housing in East Jerusalem. The action coincided with an Israel visit by Vice President Joe Biden.

In one of the strongest U.S. protests of Israeli conduct in recent years, the State Department says Clinton told the Israeli leader that the housing move undermined both trust and confidence in the peace process, and American interests in the Middle East.

The telephone conversation, initiated by Clinton, was a follow-up to previous U.S. complaints about Israel's announcement Tuesday that it will build 1,600 new Jewish housing units in predominately-Arab East Jerusalem.

The announcement was an embarrassment to Vice President Biden, who had just begun a visit to Israel, and it threatened to torpedo a U.S.-brokered tentative agreement under which Israel and the Palestinians would resume indirect peace talks.

Prime Minister Netanyahu later expressed regret over the timing of the announcement but gave no indication it will be rescinded.

State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said Clinton, in her call, reiterated strong U.S. objections about both the timing and substance of the Israeli action.

He said the United States views it as a "deeply negative signal" about Israel's approach to bilateral relations, and counter to the spirit of the Biden trip. "The Secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States' strong commitment to Israel's security. And she made clear that the Israeli government needed to demonstrate not just through words, but through specific actions, that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process," he said.

Asked if Clinton had expressed anger in her comments to Mr. Netanyahu, a senior U.S. official who spoke to reporters said "frustration would be a better term."

The Israeli decision to build more housing in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians hope to make the capital of a future state, prompted Arab calls for Palestinians to back out of their agreement have so-called "proximity" peace talks with Israel.

It prompted an intensive round of U.S. telephone diplomacy to try to save the agreement brokered by U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

Crowley said Mitchell and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman since Thursday have called, among others, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Officials said Mitchell still intends to make a visit to the region in the coming days that was to have sealed an agreement on the proximity negotiations.

But they said Mitchell, the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Northern Ireland peace negotiator, might first join Secretary Clinton in Moscow next Friday for a meeting of the international "quartet" on the Middle East.

The informal grouping of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations has been trying to expedite negotiations based on among other things the "road map" to regional peace it issued in 2003.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New York Times' Frank Rich attacks Ron Paul movement

Frank Rich, a writer for the New York Times, wrote an article attacking Ron Paul and his supporters a couple of days ago, called The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged.

In it he laments that the status quo big government Republicans are being replaced by "Glenn Beck, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin".

Frank Rich is worried, because this new type of Republican doesn't just want to make cosmetic changes to the federal government, it wants to completely eliminate every thing in it that he loves and he sees as integral to his ideology:

The Tea Partiers want to eliminate most government agencies, starting with the Fed and the I.R.S., and end spending on entitlement programs. They are not to be confused with the Party of No holding forth in Washington — a party that, after all, is now positioning itself as a defender of Medicare spending. What we are talking about here is the Party of No Government at All.

He then mentions Ron Paul winning the CPAC straw poll, and goes on to quote the far right Israel-firster, Dorothy Rabinowitz, to describe Ron Paul's supporters as "conspiracy theorists, anti-government zealots, 9/11 truthers, and assorted other cadres of the obsessed and deranged."

Dorothy Rabinowitz, a senior member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, is one of Israel's fiercest and most pro-war advocates in the American media. She, along with other staff at the Wall Street Journal, have regularly railed against the Ron Paul movement and its position of non-intervention in the middle east. For example Bret Stephens made a series of ridiculous attacks back in February 2008 about Ron Paul in an article called "Ron Paul and Foreign Policy".

Frank Rich, the self-described liberal, is giving credit to an assessment of Ron Paul's supporters by a pro-war Israeli lobbyist, and in the process, demonstrating an absence of principles and judgment. It would require extreme naivete on Frank Rich's part to not realize that Dorothy Rabinowitz has a vested interest in trying to smear Ron Paul and his supporters due to her support for Israel. It's more likely that he realizes this, but does not care, in which case it demonstrates a lack of character. Either way, it does not bode well for his judgment and long term strategic vision.

To him, the idea of cutting back on federal spending that is unsustainable, and returning America to a limited Constitutional model where states, rather than a single all-powerful federal government, make policy, is so intolerable, that he would prefer pro-war neocons who promote a foreign policy for the benefit of a foreign country to be in power.

The most absurd part of Frank Rich's fanatical attachment to the leftist ideology is that the policies he endorses have been demonstrated to cause economic stagnation in historical example after example:

EU : Causes of Growth differentials in Europe

While the rest of the world is booming, Europe lags behind. France, Germany and Italy are stagnating, and so do Denmark, Sweden and Finland. All gained less than 44% prosperity from 1984 to 2004.

"Big government" is the main cause of Europe's weak performance. The oversized Public Sector lacks productivity and the growing bureaucracy is undoing the productivity gains of the Private Sector, eradicating all of its outstanding performance and productiveness.

Any sober analysis of economies around the world reaches the conclusion that less government spending leads to a more rapid rise in prosperity:

Not only is it evident from cross-country comparisons that lower government spending and taxes are better, but in the US itself, there are clear signs that entitlement programs are leading America to complete bankruptcy.

The former Comptroller General, David Walker, has railed that unless America makes severe cuts to Social Security and Medicare, America will be overwhelmed by debt:

A generation has been told that the government would be there to provide them with social security and medical care in their retirement. What will happen to these Americans when the government runs out of money? This is what makes Frank Rich's big government ideology of teaching people to be dependent on government so fundamentally immoral. It gives them a false sense of security that they will be taken care of, thereby discouraging them from preparing for their retirement, and then inevitably fails to deliver on its promises.

How is it that Frank Rich could stay so committed to a policy that is so evidently failing America? Does it never occur to him that maybe it would be better to let each state determine its own economic and social policy, thereby allowing more experimentation in governance, which would lead to better policies being discovered more often? This is essentially what the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, advocated in a recent CNN interview:

Google CEO: We can fix Washington

Is Ron Paul's vision of a federal government confined to its Constitutionally defined role, and various states experimenting and creating social programs that make sense for their particular circumstance, that terrifying to him?

When one of the most important writers for the most important paper in the United States demonstrates such little judgment and rational thought process, it just shows what serious trouble the American political system and economy are in.