Trying to make a living? You’ll need a permit.
You’ll need a pile of permits.
Socialist governments, aspiring to control everybody’s life from cradle to grave, start by regulating everything you do. Regulation starts with licensing.
Mark Steyn tells this story and comments on it:
With its uncanny ability to prioritize, California, land of Golden Statism for unionized bureaucrats, is cracking down on complimentary coffee. From The Ventura County Star:
Ty Brann likes the neighborly feel of his local hardware store. The fourth-generation Ventura County resident and small business owner has been going to the B & B Do It Center on Mobile Avenue in Camarillo for many years. … So when he learned the county had told B & B it could no longer put out its usual box of doughnuts and coffee pot for the morning customers, Brann was taken aback.
Dunno why. He lives in California. He surely knows by now everything you enjoy is either illegal or regulated up the wazoo. The Collins family had been putting a coffee pot on the counter for 15 years, as the previous owners of the store had done, too, and yea, back through all the generations. But in California that’s an illegal act. The permit mullahs told Randy Collins that he needed to install stainless steel sinks with hot and cold water and a prep kitchen to handle the doughnuts. “What some establishments do is hire a mobile food preparation services or in some cases a coffee service,” explained Elizabeth Huff, “Manager of Community Services” (yeah, right). “Those establishments have permits and can operate in front of or even inside of the stores.”
Even inside? Gee, that’s big of you. “Those establishments have permits”? In California, what doesn’t? Commissar Huff added that there are a range of permits of varying costs. No doubt a plain instant coffee permit would be relatively simple, but if you wished to offer a decaf caramel macchiato with complimentary biscotti additional licenses may be required.
“We’re certainly working with the health department,” said Mr Collins. “We want to be in compliance with the law.”
When the law says that it’s illegal for a storekeeper to offer his customer a cup of coffee, you should be proud to be in non-compliance. What the hell did you guys bother holding a revolution for? George III didn’t care what complimentary liquid refreshments a village blacksmith shared with his clientele. Say what you like about the Boston Tea Party, but nobody attempted to prosecute them for unlicensed handling of beverage items in a public place.
This is the reality of small business in America today. You don’t make the rules, you don’t vote for people who make the rules. But you have to work harder, pay more taxes, buy more permits, fill in more paperwork, contribute to the growth of an ever less favorable business environment and prostrate yourself before the Commissar of Community Services – all for the privilege of taking home less and less money.
And from the Heritage Foundation comes a video about this economy-depressing form of tyranny:
The Ayatollah Khomeini was Supreme Leader of Iran when the American hostages were held in Tehran from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981.
Mohammed Elibiary, founder of the Islamic Freedom and Justice Foundation in Texas, thinks he was great.
Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, has appointed Mohammed Elibiary to the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, writes a passionate though entirely rational essay evoking memories of 9/11, and condemning the psychological sadism of Imam Rauf’s plan – defended by the unprincipled mainstream media – to build a mosque at Ground Zero.
The essay deserves to be read in full. Here is part of it:
Just the Facts, Imam. Here 3,000 Americans were murdered. For working in offices or visiting them. For being members of the NYPD or the PAPD or the FDNY. For putting on a uniform or a suit. For living their lives. And then the walls and floors and furniture around them burned. The papers in their hands burned. Their bodies burned. The ashes drifted down narrow streets. Streets where George Washington and his men once passed to visit Fraunces Tavern and toward Broadway where the Iranian hostages rode back in a ticker tape parade on their return.
Now the money that nourished their killers, will help erect a mosque. A temple of death by the ashes of the dead. And the media is outraged that we won’t allow it. That we won’t stand for it. The same media that stood and grinned while Muslims burned synagogues, churches and temples. That tells us that the Muslim terrorists who try to kill us are not really Muslims. Just going through a midlife crisis, picked up some PTSD from some bad coffee or was just having a bad day. Because we are not equal. On their farm, some animals are more equal than others. Some have the right to kill, others only have the right to be killed. Some have the right to build houses of worship, others have the right to build and to burn what others labor to build. Some have the right to be offensive, others only the right to be silent.
The dead of 9/11 are silent now. Or rather they have been silenced. As countless millions have before them were silenced. With flame and sword. In mass graves and at spearpoint. Tortured and mutilated. Torn apart with bombs. The dead cannot speak out against their murderers, but we can. The dead cannot protest, but we can. It is our duty to stand up and speak out. This is our place. Our land and our city. These are the streets where they tried to kill us. These are the streets where they will try again. To speak out is to defy those who would kill us and claim our cities as their own. Who would build monuments to their own victory over the ashes of our dead.
First they bomb. Now they occupy. We have lived through the bombing. And now we rise to defy the occupation.
George Soros works to destroy the free market liberalism which allowed him to make the colossal fortune he uses to work for its destruction. He does it through a string of organizations, chiefly his Open Society Institute, whose name is Orwellian: it aims to close the open society and establish totalitarian state control.
He has done, and continues to do, much harm in and to America.
He has also done, and continues to do, much harm in and to Europe.
His ambition stretches further yet.
“His goal is a new global imperium … that will be truly totalitarian,” Srdja Trifkovic said in an address he gave to the H. L. Mencken Club in Baltimore on October 23, 2010.
Trifkovic deplored Soros’s lavish funding for campaigns to legalize cannabis, promote euthanasia, further abortion rights, impose gun control, and abolish the death penalty; and his support for radical feminism, gay activism, and same-sex marriage.
We agree with Trifkovic that Soros has had “an enormous and hideously destructive impact” on the societies he has targeted.
But we strongly disagree with him on how Western civilization could and should be defended.
Soros’s vision is hostile even to the most benign understanding of national or ethnic coherence. … His hatred of religion is the key. He promotes an education system that will neutralize any lingering spiritual yearnings of the young, and promote the loss of a sense of place and history already experienced by millions of Westerners, whether they are aware of that loss or not. Estranged from their parents, ignorant of their culture, ashamed of their history, millions of Westerners are already on the path of alienation that demands every imaginable form of self-indulgence, or else leads to drugs, or suicide, or conversion to Islam or some other cult.
To understand Soros it is necessary to understand globalization as a revolutionary, radical project. In the triumph of liberal capitalism, the enemies of civilization such as Soros have found the seeds of future victory for their paradigm that seeks to eradicate all traditional structures capable of resistance. The revolutionary character of the Open Society project is revealed in its relentless adherence to the mantra of Race, Gender and Sexuality. …
Religion itself is no longer, if it ever was, a “traditional structure capable of resistance” to the post-national totalitarian nightmare envisioned by Soros and the left. The left despises Western religion but promotes Islam in its human-and-civil-rights guise because it helps undermine Western freedoms born of free market liberalism. If Trifkovic believes traditional religion can defend civilization, he is wrong.
Christianity or Judaism offer nothing to counter the zeitgeist of ever-loosening social constraints. “Spirituality” is a commodity marketed variously even within the traditional religions. The last bastion of civilization – of voluntary collective polities, democracies of free people in pursuit of happiness under law - is the nation-state, constitutionally protecting the individual, regardless of his identity with any race, gender, or sexuality, against being subsumed by collective (“human”) rights and privileges.
It might be that: the legalization of pot means greater numbers of children and adults will be stuck on stupid more often than they currently are; the legalization of homosexual marriage means greater numbers have (non-procreative) sex; the legalization of abortion may result in many more dead babies, but fewer dead women. All that may disgust the very traditionally faithful, but restoring the social stigma attached to it, let alone the legal proscription, is not going to happen.
All those are individual decisions. They do not jeopardize civilization. What will bring civilization down are the post-national leftist choice architects, the people who decide carbon dioxide is a pollutant, that you must have government health care, but forfeit it if you’re fat, that international human rights preempt justice and self-defense, that governments own everything and must distribute proportionally to collectives’ demands.
The globalization of welfare government – that is the dream of the left and Soros. Insofar as traditional religions preserve the ideas of the morality of institutionalized compassion and the compulsion of individual conduct they are easily coopted by the forces of darkness. In the coming Universal State, Muslims will be allowed to continue honor-killings as a collective right, but the right of an individual – to kill in self-defense, to expect justice, to start and mind his own business, to allocate his resources as he pleases, to provide for himself and his family, to have children and to raise them, and to say what he likes to whomever he wishes – will be regulated out of existence. “Civilization” will have been redefined as “acceptable choices”. Enlightened self-interest will be knowing the difference between private (cholesterol levels) and public (carbon usage) virtue. Religion can do nothing whatsoever to stop this, only a resurgence of belief in individual liberty and the free market can. Good luck with that.
C. Gee October 28, 2010
Obama has opened the gates of the West to the Islamic army of conquest.
By deliberately weakening the United States as the protector of the West, and encouraging Islamic dreams of world conquest with his insistent denial that there is no such thing as the ongoing jihad, he has provided an opportunity that Islam is now openly seizing.
Until now, the jihad has been conducted against the West in two ways: violently by al-Qaida and its affiliates and imitators, and stealthily by the Muslim Brotherhood centered in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia.
Stealth jihad has been carried on through the establishment of mosques, schools, university departments, Muslim “cultural” and professional associations, and organizations that ingratiate themselves with Western governments by claiming representative status. All this will go on, but the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), which has deeply penetrated the West, has recently – this last September – declared its intention of changing its tactics and turning to violence. (The timing of the change may have something to do with the approaching death of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the homeland of the Brotherhood, where it was founded in 1928. Mubarak has consistently opposed and suppressed the organization. His successor might not be as strong, or necessarily be as antagonistic towards it.)
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood made his dramatic declaration in Arabic. This means it was not made as a piece of empty rhetoric to scare the West. It was made in all seriousness to rouse Muslims to go to war.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has endorsed [in Arabic] anti-American Jihad and pretty much every element in the al-Qaida ideology book. Since the Brotherhood is the main opposition force in Egypt and Jordan as well as the most powerful group, both politically and religiously, in the Muslim communities of Europe and North America this is pretty serious stuff.
Those are the words of Barry Rubin, who first broke the news of this important development, using the MEMRI translation of the speech – from which we quote:
The change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.
Notice that jihad here is not interpreted as so often happens by liars, apologists, and the merely ignorant in the West as spiritual striving. The clear meaning is one of armed struggle.
He considers the speech to be a ”game-changer”:
This is one of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.
This explicit formulation of a revolutionary program makes it a game-changer. It should be read by every Western decisionmaker and have a direct effect on policy because this development may affect people’s lives in every Western country. …
Rubin asks, does its endorsement of al-Qaida style anti-American jihad “mean the Egyptian, Jordanian, and all the camouflaged Muslim Brotherhood fronts in Europe and North America are going to launch terrorism as one of their affiliates, Hamas, has long done?” His answer is no.
But it does mean that something awaited for decades has happened: the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to move from the era of propaganda and base-building to one of revolutionary action. At least, its hundreds of thousands of followers are being given that signal. Some of them will engage in terrorist violence as individuals or forming splinter groups; others will redouble their efforts to seize control of their countries and turn them into safe areas for terrorists and instruments for war on the West.
In other words, we may expect a proliferation of Talibans in Islamic countries.
And we believe that within America and Europe, it will mean more terrorism. It is not necessary for every Muslim or “all the camouflaged fronts” to obey the Brotherhood’s call in order for there to be decades of terrorist attacks, which is to say decades of continual killing and maiming, random targeting, and paralyzing intimidation, because more than enough enthusiasts will answer the call. As Rubin says:
Badi’s claims do not mean all Muslims must agree, much less actively take up arms. They can have a different interpretation, simply disregard the arguments, and be too intimidated or materialistic or opportunistic to agree or to act. Yet hundreds of thousands will do so and millions will cheer them on. …
[They] sense weakness on the part of the West, especially the U.S. leaders …
In an article at Ynetnews, Moshe Dann explains how the Muslim Brotherhood has successfully infiltrated the West and how powerful its influence has become:
Through a network of educational, social, professional and cultural organizations – which, in the West, do not reveal their Muslim Brotherhood connection – they exert political influence and promote a mix of religious and political ideologies associated with the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam. Supported by Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and wealthy Muslims, they espouse a global strategy for Islamic hegemony.
He mentions some of the most powerful Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in America, including –
The Muslim Student Association (MSA,) the largest Muslim campus organization, with more than 250 chapters, was initiated by the Muslim Brotherhood. …
Brotherhood organizations, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which grew out of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a front group fundraising for Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist organizations, are not outgrowths of popular, or communal expressions … but are self-appointed representatives …
With over 30 branches in North America, CAIR presents itself as the “largest Muslim civil rights organization …” A few years ago, CAIR was included in a list of unindicted co-conspirators alleged by prosecutors to have participated in a conspiracy to illegally funnel money to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. [Why have they not been indicted? – JB] …
At least five of its employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities … CAIR has a key role in the “Wahhabi lobby” …
The Muslim American Society (MAS) … actively recruits voters, which gives it political clout. Lacking any other leadership available, MAS presents itself as the representative of the Muslim community, although many Muslims disagree and are most are not affiliated. …
With all of this information, one would think that US government officials would be concerned about the activities of Brotherhood-supported organizations. Instead, they are feted by the White House, and supported by the State Department, CIA, and even the FBI …
Will the White House, the State department, the CIA, the FBI, and the American “progressive” left as a whole ignore the Brotherhood’s calling up of its hordes to join the terrorist war against the non-Muslim world?
Almost certainly. But they’ll not be able to ignore what ensues. Unless Muhammad Badi’s order is disobeyed, which is unlikely to happen, Americans must brace themselves for an intensified terrorist war about to be waged against them in their own land.
And they must replace Obama with a president who will defend America.
We proudly announce that THE ATHEIST CONSERVATIVE is recommended by Online Schools as a resource for students of Political Science.
The list of 50 websites clearly indicates that real education is on offer. That is to say, a variety of political opinion is represented, examining issues from many points of view. The list provides –
the top 50 resources beneficial for students attending online political science schools. The resources listed here should prove to be helpful sites describing materials and journals, career opportunities, and insightful contributions from educators and other professionals and leaders in the field of political science.
We are number 46 on the list. This is how we are introduced:
Anti-Religious and Christian Political Perspectives
This section contains blogs featuring political perspectives from various religious perspectives, both conservative and liberal. Both anti-religious groups and Christian groups share their viewpoints.
46. The Atheist Conservative
For those political science students looking for a non-religious perspective, this blog provides conservative political news and views free from mainstream religious biases.
We ourselves will use the list, which includes some names we know but more that we don’t. It enlarges the field we explore for topics of interest.
Most gratifyingly, the recommendation means that our ideas and arguments may influence and persuade – if also provoke – serious students of politics.
11/21/12: This connection has now been broken off at the request of Online Schools, so we have removed the link.
This video was first posted by Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch in 2007.
It has lost none of its relevance or bite.
In an article for the Washington Post, Charles Murray writes about a “new elite”, and what the Tea Party thinks of it.
That a New Elite has emerged over the past 30 years is not really controversial. That its members differ from former elites is not controversial. What sets the tea party apart from other observers of the New Elite is its hostility, rooted in the charge that elites are isolated from mainstream America and ignorant about the lives of ordinary Americans.
He finds “some truth” in the Tea Party view:
There so many quintessentially American things that few members of the New Elite have experienced. …
Taken individually, members of the New Elite are isolated from mainstream America as a result of lifestyle choices that are nobody’s business but their own. But add them all up, and they mean that the New Elite lives in a world that doesn’t intersect with mainstream America in many important ways. When the tea party says the New Elite doesn’t get America, there is some truth in the accusation.
We think there is a lot of truth in it. That this elite is isolated and ignorant as charged, could not be better demonstrated than by the vicious calumnies and petty sneers that its members (see the Murray article for who they are) direct at Sarah Palin (for examples go here): they are characterized by snobbery.
A point on which we wholly disagree with Murray is the very point which he says is not controversial. We do not agree that the elite he writes about is essentially new. He is speaking of an intellectual elite, a grandly educated elite. They marry among themselves so that they bequeath to their progeny not only money but also their superior genes. He gives figures to show that most of its members are planted firmly in the political left, but does not say that their leftism defines them: he names conservatives that belong among them too. The fault he finds with them all is that they are out of touch with ordinary people.
There have always been just such elites, and – with individual exceptions – they have probably always been out of touch with ordinary people. (Did Plato socialize with hoi poloi?) And they have always married among themselves.
What’s particularly dangerous about the present elite is precisely its predominant leftism. And that danger in such a class is not new. The important Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in his book Socialism, which was first published in English in 1936:
The intellectuals, not the populace, are moulding public opinion. It is a lame excuse of the intellectuals that they must yield to the masses. They themselves have generated the socialist ideas and indoctrinated the masses with them. … The intellectual leaders of the peoples have produced and propagated the fallacies which are on the point of destroying liberty and Western civilization .
The intellectuals alone are responsible for the mass slaughters which are the characteristic mark of our [20th] century.
But he also writes that –
They alone can reverse the trend and pave the way for a resurrection of freedom.
Not mythical “material productive forces”, but reason and ideas determine the course of human affairs.
And he concludes with a statement that goes to the heart of our present predicament:
What is needed to stop the trend towards socialism and despotism is common sense and moral courage.
Both of which are plentifully possessed by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
There’s nothing wrong with an intellectual elite. We could not do without one. What is wrong with the one America’s got is that it is holds wrong opinions. Its members, or most of them, have not learnt the lessons of the 20th century. And that means that intellectuals though they be, they are not intelligent – a distinction which Thomas Sowell makes at the start of his book Intellectuals and Society:
The capacity to grasp and manipulate ideas is enough to define intellect, but not enough to encompass intelligence, which involves combining intellect with judgment and care in selecting relevant explanatory factors and in establishing empirical tests of any theory that emerges.
Socialism was empirically tested for decades in Soviet Russia and Maoist China, and is still being tested in impoverished Cuba and hungry North Korea, and if socialists (or “progressives”, or “redistributionists”, or “community organizers”) cannot draw a lesson from its utter failure to better the lot of mankind, they are proving themselves not just unintelligent but dimwitted, or intentionally evil, or both.
We are not adverse critics of President Bush’s decision to topple Saddam Hussein. But we think the intervention should have ended when the tyrant was gone. We don’t believe that Iraq (any more than Afghanistan) can be transformed into a liberal democracy.
Americans will not change Iraqis, will never break their habits and reform their customs. In Arab and Islamic countries, torture of captives is routine. It’s a normalcy of the culture, and the US showed recognition of this by not even trying to interfere with the practice in Iraq.
When First World nations fought wars of conquest in the Third World to subdue native populations and establish rule over them, they hoped to civilize them – or at least the British did. It would take time and colonization, they thought. And here and there they succeeded to some extent. The United States never wanted even to try such empire-building. Americans want to go in, force a regime change, get the natives voting, and get out.
If they don’t get out in good time, they themselves will be damaged and vitiated.
Here’s part of the Telegraph’s take on the Iraq war documents released last week by Wikileaks:
The 391,831 reports, drawn up in many cases by US soldiers of relatively junior rank … provide a terrifying insight into the anarchy which enveloped Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s regime collapsed.
The reports reveal in terrifying detail how any hope of replacing the former dictatorship with a functioning democracy quickly became a faded dream as Iraq descended into an orgy of killing which reached every corner of the country.
In often nauseating detail, the files disclose the coalition commanders turned a blind eye to acts of torture and murder conducted on an industrial scale.
In one log it is reported that an Iraqi man was arrested by the police and shot in the leg by an officer. The report continues: “this detainee suffered abuse which amounted to cracked ribs, multiple lacerations and welts and bruises from being whipped with a large rod and hose across his back”. The report, with stunning understatement, adds that these acts amount to “reasonable suspicion of abuse” but the outcome was: “No further Investigation Required”.
The decision not to investigate was a direct order from the Pentagon as US officials sought to pass the management of security from the coalition to the Iraqis.
It was a cataclysmic error which probably lengthened the insurgency as the victims of abuse sought vengeance and directed their anger at US and British troops. How many dead coalition troops would be alive today had the Iraqi death squads been stopped?
Stopped how, when the tactic was to make friends with as many Iraqis as possible with a view to “winning hearts and minds”? Even if it were possible to stop the death squads and torture, would interfering with their traditional pleasures do anything but annoy them?
And now Americans, who – like the great British imperialists in the past – see it as their moral duty to improve the lives of backward peoples, are finding themselves blamed, and not unjustly, for the anguish and calamity that has attended their intervention.
Rudyard Kipling gave warning of the hazards of such foreign adventures. He wrote what is now an extremely politically incorrect poem about them. The first line alone would earn it a fatwa and a banning by National Public Radio.
Here are some lines from it:
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need…
Take up the White Man’s burden–
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride…
Take up the White Man’s burden–
The savage wars of peace–
Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought…
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead…
Take up the White Man’s burden,
And reap his old reward–
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard…
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Ye dare not stoop to less–
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness…