January 10 2003
"When the rich take from the poor, it's called an economic
plan. When the poor take from the rich, it's called class warfare."
This line is from Richard
Cohen's recent attack in the Washington Post on the President's
proposed economic plan. I would like Mr. Cohen and the rest of
the closet socialists to explain to me exactly how "the rich
take from the poor." It is one thing for thoughtful Democrats
or moderate Republicans to criticize the President's plan for
potentially exacerbating the deficit or for focusing the bulk
of the tax relief on the wealthier in our society. That's fine,
that's why we have two different political parties with two different
ideological approaches on how best to grow jobs and create wealth.
Most Republicans prefer the private sector as the engine of job
growth which is why they generally support lower taxes and less
government regulation on individuals and businesses. Most Democrats
see the city, state and federal governments as more important
to the well being of the nation and they in turn support a higher
level of taxes and intrusion on the private sector.
in the burgeoning debate over Bush's economic plan are the folks
on the left who ratchet the debate up another notch by accusing
the rich of stealing from the poor. These folks are socialists.
Only a socialist could rationally accuse the Bush tax cut of two
years ago and the current proposal as programs that permit "the
rich to take from the poor." For in their heart, these people
don't feel individuals have a right to 100% of their property
and assets, if they did they wouldn't make stupid assertions that
the rich are stealing form the poor. They honestly believe the
state is "entitled" to a portion of anyone's income,
wealth or property. This is important. This is the intellectual
mindset that launched European Socialism in the 19th Century,
which of course was followed by its evil twin, Communism, in the
is 99% of the "rich" have far more taken from them via
taxes than they receive back from the government. And 99% of the
"poor" receive far more in benefits than they themselves
ever contribute. But for socialism to succeed politically these
facts are a serious obstacle. Because for socialists to come to
power they have to get the poor to hate the rich. Class warfare
rhetoric is designed to play on the natural human emotion of envy
and is a powerful ally of the socialist movement, but to really
get someone to hate you have to make them think the other guy
is screwing with you. If you're poor, it is one thing to be envious
of the rich guy in the big house, it's quite another to think
that the rich guy got that house by stealing from you and your
20th Century demise of Communism and a very successful post-WW11
run for capitalism and freedom around the world may have dulled
the socialist embers. Defenders of freedom should be aware that
the economic ideology of the left is not dead, its seeds are sprinkled
throughout this world just waiting for the rain of the next serious
capitalist downturn. The current tax debate may be an early opening
act. John M. 6:43
January 9 2003
OTTO MOVES: President Bush won't
renominate Otto Reich to the State Department and instead
will move him into the White House on Condi Rice's NSC staff.
It looks like Bush doesn't want to go through a long, drawn out
confirmation battle and will keep his powder dry for future nominations.
TAKE: Buried deep in this
AP story about Joe Lieberman's impending announcement for
a run at the White House is an interesting reference:
Christopher Dodd, the senior senator from Connecticut, has also
considered a presidential run. Dodd said Wednesday as he left
the Capitol, "I haven't decided yet, I'm still thinking about
really been on anybody's radar screen. It's unlikely that he'll
run, of course, but it certainly illustrates just how wide open
the race is now that Gore is gone. There are probably another
half dozen Democrats in the Senate who think they might have a
POLITICS: The brouhaha
over the House Ways and Means committee appointments isn't going
to get a lot of attention outside the beltway, but it's instructive
if you want see just how highly charged the atmosphere in Congress
is now with regard to racial matters.
On the Senate
side, Charles Schumer is vowing
to filibuster Judge Pickering's nomination because:
renominate Judge Pickering, who has not built a distinguished
record and is probably best known for intervening on behalf
of a convicted cross-burner, shows unfortunately that Richard
Nixon's Southern strategy is still alive and well in the White
statement may have set a new low for deceitfulness. How else to
characterize the Senator describing a judge who was given a "well-qualified"
rating by the ABA as not having a distinguished record? How else
to explain why Schumer smears the judge as a racist - even though
he knows full well that Pickering put his life at risk by testifying
against the KKK in the 1960's?
This is the
same strategy the Dems have pursued with Pickering all along,
but Schumer obviously feels the Lott affair has strengthened his
hand in playing the race card and taking the precedent-setting
step of publicly threatening a filibuster over an appeals court
nomination. All I can say is, go
Pete King. - T. Bevan
January 8 2003
UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: Selena Roberts commits a personal
foul on the NFL in today's NY Times. The article is a Howell
Raines special, a racial hatchet job filled with odious prose
and tendentious logic. Roberts claims that 1) the different responses
to the antics of Jeremy Shockey and Terrell Owens are a product
of racist attitudes 2) the league is racist because only 2 of
32 current head coaches in the NFL are black 3) broadcasters reinforce
racist stereotypes when referring to the athletic talent of black
quarterbacks instead of their "mental capacity" and
4) NFL owners are racist.
that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has:
his league of owners get too cozy with their backward ways.
Even after the bad publicity and the Johnnie Cochran legal
threats, the league is still as white as baking soda while
teams ponder their openings...
aren't hitting their car locks, but few are showing they're
at ease with letting African-Americans into their world. Maybe
owners can say "some of my best friends are black," but those
pals apparently aren't close enough to be insiders. It's Trent
Lott logic; just because you can say, "What's up, homey,"
doesn't mean you're inclusive.
because you're a reporter for the New York Times doesn't mean
you have a clue about race relations in the NFL. Roberts is about
one paragraph away from likening NFL owners to plantation slave
masters, exploiting African-Americans for their own financial
gain. It's absurd.
If you watched
Mike Vick dismantle the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field last
week and listened to praise heaped upon him by Madden, Michaels
and the rest of the crew, the idea of racism isn't one that jumps
readily to mind. Now that I'm forced to think about it, celebrating
Michael Vick's talent is the exact opposite of racism.
lies the point. People who love and watch sports don't do so with
an eye for racial politics - only reporters with an ideological
ax to grind do. In fact, team sports - in all of their forms and
at all levels - are one of the most refreshingly colorblind activities
we engage in as a society. In sports the virtues of trust, teamwork,
talent, discipline, respect and hard work are rewarded and everything
else - including one's race, ethnicity and religion - is irrelevant
in pursuit of victory for the entire team.
Is my view
of sports overly idealistic? Perhaps. Is the NFL perfect? Of course
not. But that doesn't it make it any less of a disgrace for Roberts
to try and gin up evidence that "race relations are running
a reverse in the N.F.L."
IS OUT: I'm not totally
surprised. To me, Daschle has never had the markings of a
strong national leader. Even with the status of being Senate Minority
Leader, Daschle's mild-mannered public demeanor would have made
it tough for him to stand out in a crowded field.
MOMENT: Jeb Bush delivered a truly
amazing speech at his second inaugural yesterday. Peter Wallsten
of the Miami
Herald called it "a stinging ideological attack on the
role of government." Here is but a small quote:
the mathematics of the tragedy: Each year in Florida, eighty
thousand children are born without a father in the home. Each
year, there are eighty-five thousand abortions. And each year,
eighty thousand marriages are dissolved. Sadly, today, almost
fifty thousand children are in the custody of the state, and
hundreds of thousands more aren't receiving the child support
they are due. The numbers are so staggering, the implications
so bleak, that we can become numb to the human toll they exact.
past, our response has been to raise more taxes, grow more government,
and embrace the thin fiction that if only we can hire one more
social worker or complete one more form then we can somehow
reverse these corrosive trends and salvage these lives. But
while these intentions may be noble these methods are folly.
Government will never fill the hollowness of the human heart.
It can only be filled by a like kind substance. It can only
be filled by another human heart.
rest when you have a chance. - T.
Bevan 8:01 am
January 7 2003
KARL ROVE DOESN'T SLEEP: He's too busy working
OR BUST": Gephardt says he
won't seek reelection to Congress.
TAKEN STEROIDS": That's how one GOP aide described the
White House's $674
billion economic stimulus plan, which includes eliminating
taxes on dividends paid to shareholders, almost doubling the child
tax credit to $1,000 and accelerating income tax cuts through
Bush: set the mark much further down the field than anyone imagines
and then work your way back to a compromise that is still well
beyond any original expectations.
the Dems $136
billion proposal looks positively paltry. Without getting
into specifics of why the Dems plan isn't very serious or stimulative,
the fact that Democrats have been coerced into offering up another
round of tax cuts at all shows just how badly Bush is beating
them on the issue.
his team recognized the political importance of relativity. That
is to say, they understood that the smaller their plan, and thus
its relation to the Democrats' plan, the stronger the argument
Dems would have to make regardless of the merits of each proposal.
If the Bush
plan had been only twice the size of the Democrats' plan, the
relative distance between the two plans would have been small,
and all of the sudden the Democrats would gain the appearance
that they are serious - almost as serious as Bush - about cutting
taxes and stimulating the economy. But by proposing a plan that
is almost five times greater than the Democrats' plan,
Bush creates the opposite impression. Look at the language used
in the press: Bush's plan is "bold" and "aggressive"
and by comparison the Democrats plan is tagged as "modest"
REPARATIONS: Native-Americans filed
suit against the US government for $137.2 billion. It sounds
like the case might have some merit if lawyers can prove the government
extracted resources from Indian land and failed to provide proper
payment. - T. Bevan 8:02
January 6 2003
SUSPENSION: Bill Cotterell, the longtime political reporter
for the Tallahassee Democrat, was suspended
last week for making some unflattering comments about Muslims
in an email. Here is what he said:
for Jordan and Egypt, no Arab nation has a peace treaty with
Israel. They've had 54 years to get over it. They choose not
to. OK, they can squat around the camel-dung fire and grumble
about it, or they can put their bottoms in the air five times
a day and pray for deliverance; that's their business... I don't
give a damn if Israel kills a few in collateral damage while
defending itself. So be it."
email was in response to a reader who had emailed the paper in
protest over this
cartoon by Doug Marlette. After the cartoon made national
headlines in late December, Executive Editor John Winn Miller
published this weak-kneed
non-apology and a week later the paper published Marlette's
rebuttal to the protests.
back to Cotterell's comments. Cotterell immediately offered an
unsolicited apology for his remarks saying they were "grossly
inappropriate and do not reflect my views toward Muslim people."
Fine. Mistake made, apology accepted.
apology to readers of the Democrat last Friday is significantly
more alarming than anything Cotterell said and reeks of political
correctness run amok in the newsroom:
behalf of the Tallahassee Democrat, I apologize to all of our
readers, and most especially, to members of the Islamic faith
everywhere, for the intemperate e-mail comments of political
writer/columnist Bill Cotterell. They absolutely do not represent
the views and sensitivities of this newspaper. Worse, they run
counter to many of the values we hold dearest, among them tolerance,
diversity and inclusiveness."
shouldn't have "sensitivities" (except perhaps on the
editorial page) and the only value they should hold dear is OBJECTIVITY.
Cotterell's remarks require an apology for the simple reason that
the Democrat must reestablish a trust with readers that Cotterell's
reporting on matters relating to Muslims will be fair and balanced.
Miller's apology, however, implies the opposite: the paper is
less interested in being seen as a dispassionate provider of facts
and information and more interested in promoting an image as a
tolerant, diverse, and inclusive organization.
note: Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic
said in a statement that Cotterell's suspension will, "send
a positive message to the Muslim community in Florida that this
kind of bigotry will not be tolerated."
remarks were certainly off-color but were hardly bigoted. It's
convenient for many groups to throw the word "bigotry"
around today as a nice catch-all heavily loaded with unpleasant
is defined as "extreme intolerance of any creed, belief,
or opinion that differs from one's own." If you read Cotterell's
words he shows no such intolerance. He doesn't denigrate Mohammed
or make any moral judgments about the religion of Islam. In the
end, Cotterell is actually making the opposite point: Muslims
can do whatever they want, "that's their business."
makes a mocking reference to the "camel-dung fire" and
to Muslims "putting their bottoms in the air" while
praying, but is this any different from someone referring to a
Christian as being a "Bible-thumper" or "Jesus-freak?"
How many liberals indignantly jump to their feet when this happens?
And how many members of the media have been suspended for saying
something similar in a private conversation, or even in a public
one? It certainly didn't happen at CBS - if you believe Bernard
Goldberg's account of how a senior news producer once referred
to Gary Bauer.
proving Cotterell is a bigot, the whole episode only serves to
reinforce two other notions: 1) political correctness hangs heavy
in the air of newsrooms across America and 2) if CAIR spent as
much time policing the hateful speech of Muslims around the world
everyone would be a lot better off - and Mr. Hooper and company
would have lot more work on their hands.
ALERTS: For those of you on our email list and to those of
you who have recently signed up to receive email alerts, we apologize
that we haven't been able to send them over the past few weeks.
We have been switching our email delivery system (seemingly for
the tenth time) and the process has been much more cumbersome
and time consuming than we imagined. We should be back up and
running smoothly very soon. Thanks for bearing with us. - T.
Bevan 8:57 am