Maine Le Pen Shopping for Allies at the EU Parliament — Part 2

I endured a seven-hour TV marathon yesterday, beginning with Marine Le Pen’s press conference at the EU Parliament press center in Brussels, hopping from station to station, from newscast to debate, and ending with a 2-hour documentary on the Front National.

The Press Conference: a triumphant Marine Le Pen at the center and in the lead, flanked by Geert Wilders (PVV Netherlands), Harald Wilimsky (FPÖ Austria), Gerald Annemans (Vlaams Belang, Belgium), and Mateo Salvini (Northern League, Italy). Certain that her victory in France’s European elections has radically changed the face of Europe—“nothing will ever be the same”—she is supremely confident that she’ll find the two missing nationalities to complete her group and exert a strong influence in the EU Parliament as in domestic politics. The prospect is appetizing: if she can form a 7-nation group, she’ll get an operating budget of as much as 4 million euros, plus countless privileges and facilities. It’s not exactly equivalent to a seat on the UN Security Council, it will have little or no effect on the sluggish workings of the EU Parliament, but it will be hard cash and a sounding board to boost her French presidential ambitions.

The press conference was—theoretically—broadcast on the all-news BFM TV… except that they slipped coverage as soon as Geert Wilders began to speak… in English. I zapped, finally caught up with the event on France 24 / English in time to hear the last words of Wilders’ contribution. Then Wilinsky started to speak in German. No translation. And I haven’t been able to find a video of the entire press conference online.

From what I can gather, Marine is the Leader, the guys played supporting roles. L’Express cites a telling remark by Matteo Salvini: he says he is perfectly comfortable with Marine Le Pen even though members of the [Italian] Jewish community told him if he sat with her he would be outside the limits of democracy.

As it happens, President François Hollande was also in Brussels yesterday for a meeting of the EU Council (scheduled well in advance, not a crisis meeting as Marine Le Pen gleefully claimed). Hollande, known for his inveterate optimism, used his party’s disastrous score as leverage to warn the EU that it must heed the message and address the grievances of European citizens. This is a logical conclusion to the Socialist party line during the brief, pale, and unprofitable campaign. The problem with the EU, they argued, is not essential it’s partisan. Dominated by conservative parties, it produces austerity, inequality, injustice. When Europe-wide voters send a left wing majority to the EU Parliament, the people will have the Europe they want and need.

In other words, the EU should apply the same disastrous outworn neo-Marxist policies that have led to the ongoing collapse of the Hollande government and corresponding rise of the Front National.

PS: Reports that UKIP’s Farage is seriously considering an alliance with Bepe Grillo of the 5-Star movement dilutes the impact of his rejection of the Front National. Michael Ledeen (in PJ Media) describes Grillo as a “foul-mouthed former professional comedian….[who] called for the total rejection of the political class (above all, Renzi) and promised that, once he won the European vote, he’d demand the government fall and then he would win national political elections and purge the whole political system.” Marine Le Pen nourishes the same ambition. Except that Grillo’s chances are slim—Renzi has pulled Italy out of a nosedive—and Le Pen’s are distressingly real, with Hollande asleep at the wheel.

The real issue in Europe is the clash between mass Muslim immigration and the welfare state, the conflict between humanistic European values and retrograde Islamic jihad. As I explained in a Dispatch International piece the slightest attempt by the opposition UMP to address this problem was slammed as a concession to the fascist right, namely the Front National. And the FN returned the compliment, boasting that the people prefer the original to the copy. The UMP was decapitated this week by the resignation of party chief Jean-François Copé, who defended la droite décomplexée line [the right that dares to be on the right]. Though Copé claims to be the victim and not a participant of an alleged campaign finance scandal exposed just before the municipal and European elections, he was forced to resign. The party is emasculated.

Soaring above the scandal like a scavenger, Marine Le Pen self-righteously claims she only spent €9 million on her 2012 presidential campaign (Sarkozy is currently alleged to have exceeded the  €22 million legal limit by at least €10 million). Aside from the fact that Marine Le Pen was eliminated in the first round and Sarkozy drew gigantic crowds in the last days of the second round campaign, with correspondingly huge organizational expenses, Marine Le Pen’s campaign may have been financed indirectly by the FN satellite party — “Jeanne”— a rather opaque organization that funnels money into the Front National through a variety of operations and some unidentified sources. It is currently under investigation.

Marine Le Pen is now questioning the validity of the 2012 election (she came in third), implying that Sarkozy should be retroactively deprived of his place in the 2nd round like a sprinter caught doping. Anyway she is confident that she will be elected president in 2017. And this should not be taken lightly.

Which brings us back to her foreign policy advisor, Aymeric Chauprade, a prolific writer and talented speaker who says “Al Qaeda is the Arab Legion of the CIA.”

[Part 3 will be posted on May 30th]

Marine Le Pen is Shopping for Allies at the EU Parliament

Follow the story in real time:

Having outdone the major opposition party—UMP—and trounced the governing Socialists in last week’s European elections, Marine Le Pen went off to Brussels today, looking for allies. If she can form a block of at least 25 deputies representing seven different countries, she will drastically improve her chances to influence EU policy while sharing in the perks: funding, chauffeur-driven cars, offices, legislative privileges, etc. The Front National itself has 24 Eurodeputies; the problem is finding the 7 nations. More or less assured of her alliance with Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, the Austrian FPO, Belgium’s Vlams Blang, she is hard put to find the missing allies. Both UKIP and the Danish People’s Party have ruled out any alliance with the FN. On the other hand, Marine Le Pen can’t risk alliances with blatantly anti-Semitic antidemocratic parties like Golden Dawn, Jobbik, and other minor parties of similar persuasion.

What do committed and potential allies know about the Front National? Apparently not much. Marine Le Pen has pursued a forceful normalization strategy to rid the Front National of the sleazy image shaped by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen and upheld by party leaders and rank & file over the past 40 years since its founding. For some mysterious reason this window dressing has been respected by French media and gone unnoticed, with rare exceptions, in international media.

One of these exceptions, Gatestone Institute, links to Marine Le Pen’s foreign January 22nd foreign policy press conference, where she presents a superficially reasonable foreign policy and a seemingly brilliant advisor, Aymeric Chauprade, political scientist, author, professor, advisor, world traveler, and more. You don’t have to understand French to see how professional it looks. But you have to listen very carefully to Mme. Le Pen’s presentation to recognize the underlying values, affinities, logic, passion, and motives. (summarized in the Gatestone article http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4160/marine-le-pen-chauprade)

Does it have anything to do with the anti-jihad hopes pinned on the Front Natinal by well-informed thinkers with no hateful undertones? Does it have anything remotely concerned with the hopes of Europeans for relief from Eurabian oppression?

Aymeric Chauprrade, Marine Le Pen’s foreign policy chief—imagine him Minister of Foreign Affairs in a future Le Pen government—believes that we are victims of an Atlantico-Zionist conspiracy. Big banks, American imperialism, and Zionism are conspiring to rule the world and ruin the decent European citizen who wants to live a decent life in a sovereign nation. Chauprade believes that the CIA infiltrates jihadi groups and triggers human bomb explosions when and where it suits the evil American purposes. These jihadis, as he describes them, are sort of sleepy misguided losers who would sit around smoking pot if the Americans didn’t push them into senseless action. 9/11 for example: an inside job, a prime example of American manipulation of otherwise innocent Muslims.

Listening carefully to Marine Le Pen’s major foreign policy statement it is clear that the arch-enemy is not Islam or Islamization, it is the United States of America. Marine Le Pen accuses the French government of increasingly falling under the influence of the United States to the point of making friends with Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, France should improve relations with Iran and Russia. Though the Front National is opposed to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, Iran should be allowed to develop nuclear power for peaceful civilian purposes. Iran should have been invited to the Geneva 2 Conference on Syria. The Americans and Germans impose sanctions on Iran while sneaking in by the back door in preparation for juicy business as soon as the sanctions are lifted… or before.

Marine Le Pen will give a press conference from Brussels shortly. An update will follow. BFM TV reports that Nigel Farage of UKIP, who is in fierce competition to form a Eurexit group, met with a delegation from Italy’s Northern League, allegedly committed to Marine Le Pen’s alliance.

Why Aren’t All Muslims Jihadists?

If Islam is about jihad, why are there so many nice people who are Muslims?

[youtube]http://youtu.be/If5gXh7uVIo[/youtube]

 

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Released U.S. Soldier’s father wants to “Free All Guantanamo Prisoners”
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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of the interior of ISNA building located Plainfield, IN is by Baxter1961. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Tea Party Surges In Texas, Grassroots Focus Could Target Congressional Race In Florida

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) could be looked upon as the new political “kingmaker” as more and more of tea party and Ted Cruz supported candidates, like Nebraska’s Ben Sasse are winning their respective primary elections over incumbent and establishment Republican rivals.

Tuesday’s primary election in Texas saw several more Cruz-backed candidates win the GOP nomination over their establishment rivals.

While Cruz’s picks appear to be winning their races, and the tea party seems to be surging, will this trend continue in other grassroots versus establishment primary races around the country?

One particular Republican primary congressional contest in Florida could be one of the next focal races the tea party, and the likes of Cruz, weigh in on.

Democrat Alan Grayson, who we can honestly say hates the tea party, is facing another congressional challenge by a trio of Republicans vying to oust him from office.

The conservative grassroots candidate in this contested primary has already been identified, Navy veteran Jorge Bonilla.

Upon entering the race, Bonilla quickly snatched the grassroots candidate mantel from the rest of the Republican field of candidates, and has caught the eye of prominent grassroots leaders, like former Congressman Allen West, Senator Marco Rubio (R), and Congressman Ron DeSantis (R).

Bonilla has even snagged the endorsement of Congressman Pete Session (R), who is considered to be establishment, but has stated that Bonilla is the “consensus candidate” in his primary race, and the only one that can win in November.

Grayson himself has already taken several shots at Bonilla, even before he qualified to be on the Republican ballot. What does that tell you?
Bonilla’s two other opponents, Peter Vivaldi and Carol Platt, are actively touting different campaign styles and strategies.

Platt, a Osceola County Realtor, has been pushing her recent congressional campaign endorsements, especially her tepid support from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and former state legislator, Charles Bronson.

Both men are considered establishment by the grassroots, but the popular Bush, is seen as a huge problem by the conservative grassroots for his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants and Common Core.

In a recent debate between the three Republican candidates, in which she only garnered 12 votes out of 85 (Bonilla received 47 votes and Vivaldi 26), Platt was asked whether she was for or against the Common Core education standards.

While Bonilla and Vivaldi both stated that they were against Common Core, and Bonilla taking it a bit further by vowing to sponsor legislation to defund it, Platt took a more evasive approach at answering the question.

Her response struck a nerve with the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, who took issue with her answer:

There is no national board of education and if following the “true boundaries,” she would have said that unconstitutional Department of Education should not ever have been formed and should be shut down. As expected, when asked by Manjerres after the debate if she opposed Common Core, she parroted the Jeb Bush approved talking points – FL Stop Common Core Coalition

Vivaldi has his own issues. While bragging that he may possibly have the support of many, many pastors within the congressional district, as well as the support of their congregations, Vivaldi’s candidacy is a non-starter.

When asked by a local Orlando area media outlet about his Felony arrest for bad check writing, Vivaldi stated that he knew the issue was going to come up, but didn’t expect it to until the general election against Grayson.

But while a past arrest may not be campaign-ending issue, falsifying a state document is.

Just a couple of years ago, Vivaldi stated on an application for an open Orange County Commission seat, that he had never been arrested before for-for anything.

Vivaldi’s response was obviously not true, and caused his removal from consideration to the seat by Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office.

Florida’s primary election is August 26.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Shark Tank.

SPARK: The latest Republican Fundraising Weapon

TYSONS CORNER, Va., May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — CMDI has launched what could become one of the most important online fundraising tools of the 2014 election cycle, Spark™ Smart Donation Forms.  Much like Amazon’s recommendation engine that suggests products that will most likely appeal to a shopper based on their past shopping behavior, Spark looks at a donor’s past giving history and generates custom donation amounts optimized for each donor’s giving behavior.

“With current online fundraising methods, campaigns are leaving money on the table,” said John Simms, CMDI founder. “Campaigns are pushing donors to generic forms that may ask for less than the donor has already given and fail to ask for an upgrade lift. Spark optimizes the ‘ask’ for each donor so campaigns can get the highest yield from each supporter.”

Fundraising is not a one size fits all business. You shouldn’t ask a $500 donor for $5. Nor should you ask a $5donor for $1,000. By customizing the ask amount for each individual donor, campaigns can substantially increase their online fundraising totals.

In addition, Spark utilizes best-in-class online fundraising methodology to convert supporters into donors, including:

One-Click Donations

Popularized by the 2012 Obama for President campaign, enterprise one-click donation processing has not been available to Republican campaigns… until now. Starting today, Republican campaigns across the country have begun accepting political donations, sparked by the single click of a button.

Spark’s innovation is in how it allows campaigns to use any action by a supporter to trigger a donation. Donations can be triggered by:

  • single clicks on a “donate” button,
  • text messages,
  • a link in an email,
  • QR code scans,
  • or any other action that takes place on an internet connected device.

“One-click is just the tip of the iceberg when you think about taking the friction out of fundraising,” commentedJohn Simms, CMDI’s Founder. “With Spark, imagination is really the only limit in how campaigns can collect donations.”

Another significant benefit of Spark is that donors who give to any campaign through Spark, can also one-click donate to any other campaign who also utilizes Spark. The pre-existing network of Spark donors will be a huge advantage for the 2016 Republican presidential cycle.

As friction is removed from the giving process, supporters are more likely to give more and more frequently.

Sequential multi-step contribution forms

For new donors to a campaign, it has been proven that sequential multi-step contribution forms can increase donation rates by 5%-10%. Spark now makes multi-step donation forms available to all Republican campaigns.

Learn more at CMDI.com/spark.

ABOUT CMDI 

CMDI is America’s largest Republican campaign finance services platform, providing software and FEC compliance services that have managed over $8.5 billion for federal campaigns and committees. During the 2012 cycle, CMDI’s flagship software, Crimson, was used to manage $2 out of every $3 raised for Republican federal committees.

As a close partner with the Republican Party, CMDI has consistently provided innovative solutions throughout the company’s 30 year history.

Open letter to President Obama: On Using U.S. Military Forces Against We The People

Dear President Obama,

I understand you considered using U.S. military force against militia forces at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. Well golly we are shaking in our boots. You understand this would have been in direct violation of the the 1878 “Posse Comitatus Act” and an act of war against “We the people”.

The Posse Comitatus Act states:

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

This would also explain the purging of our military at the highest levels. I guess these purged commanders refused to comply with your request to shoot upon the American people if called upon to do so by YOU! Well you fired over 200 of these brave patriots and now they are 100 times more powerful as armed private citizens. You made a huge mistake.

Mr. President, you considered a military attack against the militia at the Bundy Ranch by applying the unconstitutional Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” which was issued by the Pentagon on December 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.” To continue it states:

“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,”

The directive then states.

“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” under two conditions.

The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,”

Military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive states clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest.

The directive was signed by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn. The full text of the directive may be found on the Pentagon website.

So why did a U.S. official, a man who works in the White House state that you considered but then rejected deploying military forces under this directive during the recent standoff with our militia at Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s home?

Mr. President, why did you cave in and not fire upon the militia members at the Bundy ranch? Why did you order the Bureau of Land Management, (BLM) a federal, fascist like, militarized unit to stand down?

You must have seen the light and realized you would lose this fight. You would then have been arrested and impeached for crimes against the U.S. Constitution, charged with the murder of innocent Americans and you probably would have started a Second American Revolutionary War.

We the people will not permit such folly. The Second Amendment is probably the only thing keeping your progressive/socialist policies in check. It kept Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japanese out of our nation during World War II. Now its keeping you in check too. Agreed? Our founding Fathers were wiser than we could ever imagine, and you are the newest iteration of the Communist – Fascist – Marxist ideology they prepared us for.

Mr. President, defense analysts across this nation are watching you very closely and they state you have built tactical armed military units within non-security-related federal agencies. You have created Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams within the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the Education Department, etc., etc., etc.

Why are you doing this Mr. President and why is the Congress allowing you to do this? Where is Speaker John Boehner? There is ZERO leadership in the Congress for the people.

The militarization of federal agencies is in full swing and the White House continues to launch psychological Saul Alinskyesque attacks upon U.S. private citizens’ regarding ownership of firearms despite the fact that Americans are law-abiding citizens.

Where is the Congress of the United States? We paying them $175,000 a year for what, exactly? To sit around while the BLM, IRS, DHS and other federal agencies build armies against we the people? It is time for Speaker Boehner get off the fence and start writing a bill to disarm all of these federal agencies. DO IT NOW or blood will be spilled, American blood! Congressman Miller get off your seat and stand with the people! Write the bill, pass it and get it through the U.S. Senate.

I called the White House National Security Council direct line for an answer but your team won’t comment to me. What are you hiding Mr. President?

I am glad Mr. President you chose wisely and abandoned your attempt to shoot our Constitutionally legally amassed militia forces in Nevada. The outcome of such a battle would be a huge loss for the government. Trust me. There are more of us than you and we are not afraid to protect the Republic legally and constitutionally under all Amendments the Founding Fathers entrusted us with.

God Bless America and shame on the Congress for not protecting us. I guess it up to us. This is why more guns and ammo are being bought by American men and women. They are going to need them one day it appears. Mr. Obama is preparing a war against we the people.

Working off facts and not hear-say on this issue, I believe I am 99.9% right.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Undocumented Immigrants’ Will Be Able to ‘Join the Military’

Senator Rand Paul: With Utmost Respect, You’re Wrong About This

Perhaps it is due to me being a PK (preacher’s kid) with fond childhood memories of adoringly watching my dad preach well prepared sermons at the Holy Temple Church of Truth storefront in a Baltimore ghetto, the Bible remains my ultimate reference source for wisdom and leadership.

Moses who led the Israelite people out of slavery is an excellent example of what to do and what not to do as a leader. His decisions were rooted in obedience to God’s instructions which proved to be most beneficial to his flock. Moses ignored vehement critics and even them threatening to stone him to death. He did the right thing even when it did not jive with popular opinion. That is leadership folks.

On one occasion, due to pressure from his people, Moses disobeyed God and took matters into his own hands. God’s punishment was harsh. God told Moses he would not be permitted to bring his people into the Promised Land. Leaders do not surrender, making decisions which they know to be wrong to appease bullies, manipulators and the ignorant.

A case in point is Senator Rand Paul. Sen. Paul is out there saying that the GOP should back away from requiring a photo ID to vote.

Common sense tells us that requiring a photo ID to vote is a reasonable logical way to prevent voter fraud. Since a photo ID is required to complete a plethora of transactions, what is the big deal? Thus, it is absurd to call the photo ID requirement to vote racist.

In essence, Sen Paul is surrendering to the mainstream media supported Democrat absurd lie that requiring a photo ID to vote is racist. During a radio interview Senator Paul said that the GOP should not push something that is “offensive” to a group of people.

Senator Paul with all due respect, and I truly do respect and like you, I find your pandering to my fellow blacks disappointing.

Since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 War on Poverty, the Democratic party has implemented programs and lowered standards which have wrecked havoc on black families; treating us as inferiors in need of special concessions and endless government handouts to survive. Sen Paul, the last thing we Americans who happen to be black need is for the GOP to embrace the Left’s paradigm that we are lesser Americans. Do not expect too much of us poor black folks because we “be” special.

Okay, I get it and wholeheartedly agree that the GOP should reach-out to black America. Frankly, the GOP is a little late to the dance. For years, I have been pestering the GOP to reach-out to the black community with “Reach Your Dreams” tours.

My concept is simple. The tour would feature great music. I know awesome conservative rappers and dancers who could capture the ears of the young and hip seniors. Imagine successful minority speakers like Herman Cain, Katrina Pierson and others on stage sharing how they achieved their American Dreams via education, hard work and right choices (conservative principles). The GOP defeatist response has been, “Why bother? The Democrats will get 95% of the black vote no matter what we do.”

Apparently, that opinion has changed and the GOP is wisely pursuing black voters. But for crying out loud, offering a liberal Democrat-Lite agenda and treating blacks like inferiors too stupid to find their way to the DMV is not the way.

Sen Paul rather than surrendering to the Democrats’ and MSM’s spin that requiring a photo ID to vote is racist, show real “presidential candidate” leadership. Turn the table on the Dems. Tell black voters that the Democrats are insulting their intelligence. The Democrats talk down, expect less and treat them like lesser Americans.

When these supposed advocates of black empowerment (NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, Obama Administration and the MSM), say requiring a photo ID to vote disenfranchises blacks, it is a major “dis”. Black America should be outraged. With friends who think so little of us blacks, we do not need enemies.

I am not just picking on Senator Paul. I am simply saying voters are discouraged and frustrated with soulless politicians/candidates whose every decision is a political calculation and an attempt to win votes at any and all cost. It is not unreasonable for voters to expect political leaders with character and backbone who simply desire to serve and do the right thing for their constituents and America.

Steve Lonegan running for U.S. Congress in New Jersey and South Carolina U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy are two guys that fit the bill. I love these guys. Neither give a hoot about being politically correct. Both are fearless fighters for truth, justice and defending our liberty and freedom. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I have not selected my preferred 2016 GOP presidential nominee. I want someone trustworthy who will always do what is honorable, righteous and best for my country; no divisive pandering or special concessions to groups to win votes. Please, we have had enough of that low rent politicking in government.

Nor, will I support a GOP candidate who sticks their finger in the air to see which direction the MSM endorsed and consultant’s political wind is blowing and designs their platform accordingly. Stop insulting our intelligence and morality by continuously advocating lowered intellectual and moral standards and calling it outreach and creating a “big tent”.

We are Americans, products of a remarkably successful unique experiment. GOP, deal with us accordingly with respect; not like the Democrats who treat Americans, particularly minorities, like incapable inferior entitlement junkies in need of government managing every aspect of our lives.

We need a conservative leader who will grab the steering wheel and reverse the direction of our country away from Obama’s Government Controlled Welfareville. A true conservative will drive us back toward our Founding Fathers’ Promised Land of liberty and freedom where Americans are encouraged to be all they can be.

Sen Paul, America needs leadership, not surrender and pandering.

Judgement Day: Pro-Israel Z-Street trial “Will Force the IRS to Open its Books”

In the August 2013 New English Review (NER) we interviewed Lori Lowenthal Marcus, national correspondent for The Jewish Press and co-founder of Z Street- the Zionist antidote to anti-Israel J Street.  It was about the July 19, 2013 hearing held before Judge Ketanji Brown of the DC Federal  Court in the matter of Z Street v IRS. The case had been filed in the Eastern District in Pennsylvania and then transferred  to the DC Federal court as this was a federal government matter. The original Z Street matter was based on a First Amendment issue, “viewpoint discrimination”. In our NER interview article we noted what the basis of the original filing was about:

news release by Z STREET, issued  just prior to the DC court proceeding cited the June 24, 2013 House Ways and Means release of acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel’s responses to a letter from Ranking  Member, Sander Levin (D-MI). Z STREET’s supplementary filing revealed that there were no “progressive” groups scrutinized by the IRS “Touch and Go” Group (TAG) in Washington, DC. Instead due diligence of the IRS documents revealed that Z STREET was the sole subject by the TAG review because of “Israel-connected” views of the group in its original 501 (c ) (3) application.   

We further noted the contretemps at the July 19, 2013 DC federal court hearing:

Alana Goodman of The Washington Free Beacon who attended the DC Federal Court hearing noted in her report the IRS argument and the reaction of Judge Brown:

The government argued in court on Friday that Z STREET should resolve its tax-exempt status, which is still in limbo, before any policy questions can be addressed.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson seemed skeptical of the argument, saying that the government appeared to be mischaracterizing the remedy that Z Street was seeking.

“That’s not what they want,” Judge Jackson snapped at one point.

Z STREET said the government was misrepresenting its position.

“We’re not seeking tax-exempt status in this case. We are seeking an untainted process,” said Counsel Jerome Marcus. “What is the policy that the IRS has been following since 2010, and is that process constitutional?”

Is the Z Street case against the IRS evidence of bureaucratic ineptitude or something else? If discovery is granted by the DC Court ruling we may find who and why an unconstitutional act of viewpoint discrimination was perpetrated against STREET.

Today’s Wall Street Journal reported Judge Katanji Brown ruling effectively granting discovery to Z Street, “IRS Judgment Day: The un-talkative agency comes under scrutiny from a federal judge”:

In August 2010, Z Street sued the IRS on grounds that the position amounts to viewpoint discrimination and violates the First Amendment. The IRS responded by claiming special protections, including the Anti-Injunction Act, a law written to protect the IRS from litigation that could interfere with its ability to collect revenue.

But Washington, D.C. federal district Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act has not been interpreted by the courts as preventing constitutional claims. In its attempt to “thwart” the action, she wrote in denying the IRS motion to dismiss, the IRS tries to “transform a lawsuit that clearly challenges the constitutionality of the process . . . into a dispute over tax liability.”

The IRS also tried to duck out under the sovereign immunity doctrine, which was designed to deter lawsuits against the feds. But that claim fails, Judge Jackson writes, because the Administrative Procedures Act “waives sovereign immunity with respect to suits for nonmonetary damages that allege wrongful action by an agency or its officers or employees, and the instant lawsuit fits precisely those criteria.”

This ruling will force the IRS to open its books on the procedures it used and decisions it made reviewing Z Street’s tax-exempt application, procedures it has tried to keep shrouded. As the case proceeds, Z Street’s attorneys can seek depositions from many who have been part of the larger attempt to sit on similar applications by other conservative groups.

It will be fascinating to see which names— Lois Lerner, former head of IRS tax-exempt scrutiny?—show up in the internal email traffic. The Administration may have a harder time evading accountability now that a judge will be supervising the testimony.

In our NER interview with Ms. Marcus, we asked her what the best outcome that might emerge with Judge Ketanji’s ruling.  Here is the exchange:

Gordon:  What do you believe would be the best outcome of the D.C. Federal Court after its review of the various filings in terms of handing down a ruling in this case?

Marcus:  Naturally, I think the court should sign the proposed Order that we submitted and provide us with access to what is called discovery. Meaning we are permitted to seek information about how the IRS set about creating this policy, who formulated it, who approved it, who knew about it, who had to apply it, to whom was it applied. That is what we need to find out in order to learn how the IRS came to create policies that are not just inappropriate, not just mismanagement, but which constitute violations of the U.S. Constitution. We need to find out because unless we do, there are going to be greater and greater restrictions on fundamental freedoms.

Way to go Judge Brown.  Now the IRS has no shield against discovery by Z Street. This could an interesting turn of events vis a vis the original viewpoint discrimination issue raised in the Z Street Federal court filling.  Whatever names emerge on the BOTL emails might cause  a flood of filings from other possible social welfare filers. As baseball great Yogi Berra might opine, “It ain’t over till it’s over”.  Congratulations to Lori Lowenthal Marcus and her counsel, her husband Jerome, for undertaking this landmark case for Z Street and all Americans. Let’s see how the IRS counsel  responds  to Judge Brown’s ruling.

As a Z Street board member this federal court ruling has justified the four year wait for justice to be done in the matter. To paraphrase Justice Brandeis Judge Brown’s ruling is good “disinfectant”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

White House Mouse Droppings: NASA, Putin, Ukraine, and more!

Obama, the mouse, has no idea how to handle the Russian bear or much of anything else. His mouse droppings are everywhere: NASA, Russia, Ukraine, Middle East. Who can clean up this mess? Allen West!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WbMACbqGlIo[/youtube]

 

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6 Small Towns With Big Government Problems

Grover Norquist — Trust me! I’m a Lobbyist!

If Grover says that crops are rotting in the fields, then damn it, crops are rotting in the fields and its time to let illegal aliens into America to harvest those crops so that we can end world hunger.

Hey America, how in the world can this guy get away with these comical policy statements and actually get Members of Congress to support his nonsense?

As we move through this micro-series you will see how Norquist’s nefarious work impacts YOU on a daily basis on the four “I”s of: Immigration, Islam, Israel and Iran.

Watch this short video and see if you can figure it out.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r3SreAxQy0[/youtube]

Why Black Men Need More White Women

Black women constantly complain about the dearth of “eligible” Black men to date and marry. Noted sociologist William Julius Wilson has argued that “the increasing levels of non-marriage and female-headed households is a manifestation of the high levels of economic dislocation experienced by lower-class Black men in recent decades.”

He further argued that, “When joblessness is combined with high rates of incarceration and premature mortality among Black men; it becomes clearer that there are fewer marriageable black men relative to black women who are able to provide the economic support needed to sustain a family.”

Then you add in the unfortunate increase in homosexuality within the Black community and you have a recipe for disaster.

This is why Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men.

Coulter is a friend and I find her comments regarding the Black community very insightful. Look at what she said two years ago on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She said, “Groups on the left, from feminists to gay rights groups to those defending immigrants, have commandeered the Black civil rights experience.”

She continued, “I think what – the way liberals have treated Blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to Blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right. There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s — or — or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.”

Stephanopoulos asked, “Immigrant rights are not civil rights?” Coulter responded, “Civil rights are for Blacks…what have we done to immigrants? We owe Black people something…We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

Earlier this year, she said, “I mean my whole life I’ve heard Republicans hate Black people, I’ve never seen any evidence of it until I read Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill. We are the party that has always stood up for African-Americans. Who gets hurt the most by amnesty, by continuing these immigration policies it is low-wage workers, it is Hispanics, it is Blacks.”

I don’t know Ingraham personally, but I like what she had to say last month about Democrats and Blacks. “

[Congressman] Steve Israel is reprehensible in what he said [on alleged racism in the Republican Party]…Nancy Pelosi, throw her into the ring [for similar comments]…I say this is a race to the bottom…The Democrats have failed the Black youth in this country with their terrible economic approach. Do we call that racist?

“…They turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of Black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years… Is that racist?…Is it racist that they allow inner cities to continue to crumble as families decay across the board in America – especially hard hit is African-American families…It is reprehensible and it’s all about November…This is not about ‘They care about Black people.’ They care about their majority eroding away.”

So, let me make sure I understand. Black women complain about the state of “eligible” Black males to date and marry, yet they support the policies of a president who is going to make the problem much worse.

Under Obama, Blacks have regressed on every economic, social and moral indicator that is tracked. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the current Black unemployment rate is 11.6 percent; for Blacks aged 16-19 it is at 36.8 percent.

However, the average Black unemployment rate during the terms of the last three presidents, as well as the average over the past 30 years, are noteworthy. Under Clinton, it was 10 percent; under George W. Bush, 9.3 percent but under Obama, 14 percent for the total time he has been in office. The 30-year average for Blacks is 12.4 percent.

Campaign slogans notwithstanding, this isn’t the kind of change we have been waiting for.

Obama has done more for same-sex marriage couples than he has for his same-race brothers and sisters. In fact, Newsweek dubbed him our first gay president – not for his sexual orientation, but for his relentless pandering to homosexuals.

He has also advocated amnesty for those in this country illegally, which will only continue to increase the unemployment rate in the Black community, especially among low and under-skilled Black workers. This will further decrease the pool of potential Black men for women to date and marry. Let’s face it, our women are not going to marry someone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Historically, Black women have been notoriously protective of their men and children. It is ironic that Coulter and Ingraham, two conservative White women, are now assuming that role. We Black men need more White women like Coulter and Ingraham, not Black women who will give a pass to a failing Black president.

European Parliamentary Elections: Eurosceptic Parties Win — but can they organize an Alliance?

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with my Geneva based European observer following the close of European Parliamentary Elections in 28 member countries. He indicated that both the UK Independent Party (UKIP) led by Nigel Farage and Marine le Pen ‘s National Front each were poised to pick up 24 seats in their country’s  MEP delegations. Eurosceptic parties  like Denmark’s  anti- immigrant People’s Party led with  26.7 percent  doubling its delegate slate,  while  Greece’s left progressive Syrizia  came out on top  with 26.5 percent. Geert Wilders’ Freedom party tied for second in The Netherland despite poor exit polls on Thursday evening.  Elsewhere, the right wing Austrian People’s Party appeared  to be leading with 20 percent of the vote up from 7 percent in 2009. In Italy, the Democrat Party led by PM Matteo Renzi trounced the Five Star Movement copping fully 40 percent of the vote. Italy will take over the revolving Presidency  next month.

However, there was evidence that some anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi parties won delegates in their European parliamentary slates. Witness Hungary’s Jobbik Party which  came in second with 14.7 percent, while Greece’s Golden Dawn was third with 9.7 percent.

farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage interviewed after MEP victory. Source: AFP

For results overall and by EU Member countries, consult the Financial Times European Parliament election results on –line, at this interactive graphic, here.

The Financial Times (FT) reported on the “earthquake” that Farage predicted for the UKIP. The Euro Parliamentary Elections in the UK coincided with local council elections, as well. The UKIP at 27.5 percent of the Euro Parliament vote tally has defeated the Liberal Democrats, unnerved Nick Clegg, junior partner in the ruling Westminster parliament coalition. The UKIP significant electoral victory   upset the Labor Party led by  Ed Milleband while causing Conservative PM David Cameron to suggest to the Tories, “that it was not business as  usual”. These UK Euro Parliament results may portend a scramble for the 2015 Westminster Parliamentary elections. The FT account noted:

Nick Clegg’s grey face told the story of Britain’s European elections. The leader of the pro-European Liberal Democrats was subdued, his eyes glassy, as he spoke of his party’s “heartbreaking” electoral annihilation.

Meanwhile across town at a central London hotel, Nigel Farage was mobbed by reporters as he celebrated the UK Independence party’s “historic” breakthrough, topping the national poll with 27.5 per cent of the vote and 24 seats.

[…]

It was also the first time the Conservatives had come third in such a vote, trailing in with only 24 per cent of the vote. For Labor, second with 25.5 per cent, it was an unimpressive performance, raising doubts about whether Mr. Miliband has the momentum to take the party to victory in next year’s general election.

The FT quipped:

There is no obvious policy fix: any attempt to “out-Ukip Ukip” on immigration or Europe is unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile none of the three main parties has a leader capable of matching Mr. Farage’s “man in the pub” style.

la pen

Ms. Marine Le Pen of the French National Front interviewed in the Elsyee Lounge. Source: AFP

Among UK voters who may have swung to the UKIP in droves were reported to be Britain’s Jews.  They may have been motivated by Farage’s disavowal of the troubling anti-Semitic positions of some of the Eurosceptic parties. The exception is the Dutch Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders, who is pro-Israel, while opposing mass immigration and critical of Islam.

Ms. Le Pen has also achieved a stunning upset victory coming in first in France. In her post election remarks, she hinted this could be a prelude to the 2017 Presidential elections.  Given the low poll standing of Socialist Premier Hollande amid the floundering French economic problems unless turned around, this could be a possibility. However, the fallout from  the Euro parliament elections also may upset the possible future plans of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and leader of the UMP.

The FT account of her victory noted:

Ms Le Pen now has her sights firmly fixed on the battle to win the nearby Elysée Palace in the 2017 presidential election. “This is just the first step,” she said as she arrived to join revelers.

Few commentators are yet ready to predict that Ms Le Pen, with her fiercely anti-EU and anti-immigrant policies, will make it. But the scale of the FN’s triumph has planted genuine fear in both President François Hollande’s ruling Socialist party and the centre-right UMP.

The 25 per cent score achieved by the FN on Sunday had been predicted by some polls, but the four point gap over the UMP and the slump in the Socialist tally to less than 14 per cent prompted alarm.

The FN broke out of its strongholds in the south and post-industrial north. It came top in 71 electoral departments, compared with 28 for the UMP and just two for the socialists.

A socialist parliamentarian who saw Mr Hollande on Monday reported him saying: “I expected it to some extent, but it was still a big shock.”

In the wake of Marine Le Pen’s stunning victory in France, French President Hollande went on television today. The FT in an article about changes in leadership for the EU reporting him saying:

He would use an EU summit on Tuesday to call for a marked shift from austerity to growth to combat the populist surge. He said the EU had become “incomprehensible. “This cannot go on,” he said, adding it must be reformed to “be efficient where it needs to be and to withdraw from where it is not needed”.

geert widlers

Geert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) at the Polls. Source EFP

When we posted on Thursday exit poll results in the Netherlands indicated the Freedom Party (PVV) led by Geert Wilders might have experienced a set setback in the 23 seats held by Dutch parties in the Strasbourg parliament, effectively losing two seats.

On the heels of a conversation with a colleague in Geneva, came  a news brief from the Chicago Tribune  indicating that the PVV was tied with  Democrats 66 with four seats each, bested by the Christian Democrat Appeal  with five. Wilders’ comment in the Chicago Tribune article was “Four Seats, that’s great.  Now we make the first gains for a new alliance of Eurosceptic and anti-immigration parties in the European Parliament”

The FT in its analysis of the Euro Parliament elections was not so sure that the Eurosceptic alliance can be achieved. It commented:

The surge of anti-establishment parties has also led to a scramble to rebuild anti-EU blocks in the parliament, with the two biggest populist groups – France’s National Front and Britain’s UK Independence party, which both secured 24 seats, making them the fourth largest in the assembly – vying for allies.

Marine Le Pen, Front National leader, may struggle to find the six parties needed to form a new anti-EU group in parliament.  Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader who already heads a Eurosceptic group, has seen several of his allies – including the Danish People’s party and the True Finns – wooed by Mr. Cameron’s Tories. Since the Tories left the EPP, they have led the small European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Perhaps the wisest comment on the European Parliamentary election results could be that ancient Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

CLICHES OF PROGRESSIVISM #6 – Capitalism Fosters Greed and Government Policy Must Temper It

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government.

Our society is inundated with half-truths and misconceptions about the economy in general and free enterprise in particular. The “Clichés of Progressivism” series is meant to equip students with the arguments necessary to inform debate and correct the record where bias and errors abound.

The antecedents to this collection are two classic FEE publications that YAF helped distribute in the past: Clichés of Politics, published in 1994, and the more influential Clichés of Socialism, which made its first appearance in 1962. Indeed, this new collection will contain a number of essays from those two earlier works, updated for the present day where necessary. Other entries first appeared in some version in FEE’s journal, The Freeman. Still others are brand new, never having appeared in print anywhere. They will be published weekly on the websites of both YAF and FEE: www.yaf.org and www.FEE.org until the series runs its course. A book will then be released in 2015 featuring the best of the essays, and will be widely distributed in schools and on college campuses.

See the index of the published chapters here.

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#6 – Capitalism Fosters Greed and Government Policy Must Temper It

On April 19, 2014, the Colonial Bread store in my town of Newnan, Georgia, closed its doors after a decade in business. The parent company explained, “In order to focus more sharply on our core competencies, the decision was made to close some of our retail stores.” A longtime patron responded in the local newspaper this way: “It’s just sad. It’s simply greed and we’re on the receiving end. It’s frustrating to know there isn’t anything you can do about it either.”

Now there’s a rather expansive view of “greed” if there ever was one! Trying to make more efficient the business in which you’ve invested your time and money is somehow a greedy thing to do? And what is it that the disgruntled patron wishes should be done about it? Perhaps pass a law to effectively enslave the business owner and compel him to keep the store open? Who is really the greedy one here?

“Greed” is a word that flows off Progressive tongues with the ease of lard on a hot griddle. It’s a loaded, pejorative term that consigns whoever gets hit with it to the moral gutter. Whoever hurls it can posture self-righteously as somehow above it all, concerned only about others while the greedy wallow in evil selfishness. Thinking people should realize this is a sleazy tactic, not a thoughtful moral commentary.

Economist Thomas Sowell famously pointed out in Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays that the “greed” accusation doesn’t meet the dictionary definition of the term any more. He wrote, “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

Once upon a time, and for a very long time, “greed” meant more than just the desire for something. It meant the inordinate, obsessive worship of it that often crossed the line into actions that harmed other people. Really, really wanting a million bucks was not in and of itself a bad thing if you honestly worked for it, freely traded with others for it, or took risks and actually created jobs and wealth to secure it. If you worshiped the million bucks to the point of a willingness to steal for it or hire a public official to raid the Treasury on your behalf, then you were definitely a greedy person. Shame on you. If you’re one of those many people today who are willing to stoop to stealing or politicking your way to wealth, you’ve got a lot to answer for.

“Greed” also means, to some people, an unwillingness to share what’s yours with others. I suppose a father who buys a personal yacht instead of feeding his family would qualify. But that’s because he is evading a personal responsibility. He owes it to the family he brought into being to properly care for them. Does the bakery owner who closes his store thereby violate some responsibility to forever serve a certain clientele? Was that ever part of some contract all parties agreed to?

Let’s not forget the fundamental and critical importance of healthy self-interest in human nature. We’re born with it, and thank goodness for that! I don’t lament it for a second. Taking care of yourself and those you love and have responsibility for is what makes the world work. When your self-interest motivates you to do that, it means on net balance you’re good for the world. You’re relieving its burdens, not adding to them.

A common but misleading claim is that the Great Recession of 2008 resulted from the “greed” of the financial community. But did the desire to make money suddenly appear or intensify in the years before 2008? George Mason University economist Lawrence White pointedly explained that blaming greed for recessions doesn’t get us very far. He says, “It’s like blaming gravity for an epidemic of plane crashes.” The gravity was always there. Other factors must have interceded to create a serious anomaly. In the case of the Great Recession, those factors prominently included years of cheap money and artificially low interest rates from the Federal Reserve, acts of Congress and the bureaucracy to jawbone banks into making dubious loans for home purchases, and government entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac skewing the housing market—all policies that enjoyed broad support from Progressives but never from genuinely “free market” people.

The Progressive perspective on “greed” is that it’s a constant problem in the private sector but somehow recedes when government takes over. I wonder exactly when a politician’s self-interest evaporates and his altruistic compassion kicks in? Does that happen on election night, on the day he takes office, or after he’s had a chance to really get to know the folks who grease the wheels of government? When he realizes the power he has, does that make him more or less likely to want to serve himself?

The charlatan cries, “That guy over there is greedy! I will be happy to take your money to protect you from him!” Before you rush into his arms, ask some pointed questions about how the greedy suspect is doing his work and how the would-be protector proposes to do his.

The fact is, there’s nothing about government that makes it less “greedy” than the average guy or the average institution. Indeed, there’s every reason to believe that adding political power to natural self-interest is a surefire recipe for magnifying the harm that greed can do. Have you ever heard of corruption in government? Buying votes with promises of other people’s money? Feathering one’s nest by claiming “it’s for the children”? Burdening generations yet unborn with the debt to pay for today’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada (a favorite pork project of Senator Harry Reid)?

If you are an honest, self-interested person in a free market, you quickly realize that to satisfy the self-interest that some critics are quick to dismiss as “greed,” you can’t put a crown on your head, wrap a robe around yourself and demand that the peasants cough up their shekels. You have to produce, create, trade, invest, and employ. You have to provide goods or services that willing customers (not taxpaying captives) will choose to buy and hopefully more than just once. Your “greed” gets translated into life-enhancing things for other people. In the top-down, socialized utopia the Progressives dream of, greed doesn’t disappear at all; it just gets channeled in destructive directions. To satisfy it, you’ve got to use the political process to grab something from other people.

The “greed” charge turns out to be little more than a rhetorical device, a superficial smear intended to serve political ends. Whether or not you worship a material thing like money is largely a matter between you and your Maker, not something that can be scientifically measured and proscribed by lawmakers who are just as prone to it as you are. Don’t be a sucker for it.

Lawrence W. Reed
President
Foundation for Economic Education

Summary

  • Greed has become a slippery term that cries out for some objective meaning; it’s used these days to describe lots of behaviors that somebody doesn’t like for other, sometimes hidden reasons.
  • Self-interest is healthy and natural. How you put it into action in your relationships with others is what keeps it healthy or gets it off track.
  • Lawmakers and government are not immune to greed and, if anything, they magnify it into harmful outcomes.
  • For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/lxdrfachttp://tinyurl.com/pyvvx73, and http://tinyurl.com/lj7s2ab.

20130918_larryreedauthorABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

Frak! Has Your Mother Sold Her Mangle? by Sarah Skwire

Language—even profanity—evolves faster than it can be regulated.

I was all ready to write a column about Anthony Trollope, Francis Hodgson Burnett, and women’s property rights, when Brighton, Michigan, decided to start enforcing $200 fines against people who swear in public.

This was such a perfect demonstration of the extension of Skwire’s First Law from politicians to those who enforce the laws enacted by politicians that I had to shelve my original plans and devote this week’s column to the question of cussing. (Skwire’s First Law, by the way, cannot be stated in Brighton, Michigan, without incurring a fine. Suffice it to say that it addresses my opinion of politicians.)

What the fine law enforcement agents of Brighton are failing to consider, however, is that language is a Hayekian spontaneous order. That means language changes and evolves faster than it can be regulated.

Charles Mackay discusses the rapid evolution of nonsensical slang phrases in his book Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Though Mackay may have been too much of a gentlemen to discuss actual profanity, he does record the speedy shifting of popular phrases of the day from “Quoz!” to “What a shocking bad hat!” to “Hookey Walker!” to what may be one of the earliest recorded “your mama” jokes, “Has your mother sold her mangle?” As Mackay notes, the inscrutability and the ephemerality of such slang insults drive their popularity. “Like all other earthly things, Quoz had its season, and passed away as suddenly as it arose, never again to be the pet and the idol of the populace. A new claimant drove it from its place, and held undisputed sway till, in its turn, it was hurled from its pre-eminence, and a successor appointed in its stead.”

My guess is that language—especially profanity—evolves even faster and more creatively in response to attempts to regulate it. W. C. Fields, for example, charmingly evaded rules about swearing in film with epithets like “Godfrey Daniels!” It’s still a fairly satisfying response when a small child steps painfully on one’s foot. In similar fashion and for similar reasons, smart kids have been using “shut the front door” and “see you next Tuesday” for ages.

In fact, it is my hope and expectation that the young skate rats and adolescent flaneurs of Brighton are, even now, innovating new curse words and resuscitating old ones in order to confound the cops and maintain the great teenaged prerogative of insulting geezers in language they can’t understand.

To further that noble end, I have a few suggestions for areas where Brightonians might wish to focus their research.

Science Fiction

Science fiction movies and literature have long been a productive source of alternate curse words. FromBattlestar Galactica’s “frak” and “felgercarb” to Farscape’s “frell” and Firefly’s “gorram,” there are a host of useful and satisfying epithets to explore. The extensive and apparently very well-researched Chinese language cursing in Firefly also serves as a realm that the citizens of Brighton should explore.

Foreign Languages

Anyone who grew up in a multilingual household knows the utility of cursing in a language that most people around you can’t understand. I grew up learning the emphatic pleasures and subtle distinctions of Yiddish cursing, but friends give me to understand that—satisfying as shmendrick and shmeggege andpaskudnyak are—other languages offer equally profane pleasures.

Antiquity

The past is a foreign country as well. They curse so differently there. My high school French teacher taught us curses from the pre-war era. So, to this day, I cause Gallic hilarity with my tendency to exclaim “Ma foi!” and “Zut alors!” when I am in France and incensed. But resuscitating earlier curses from English will work as well. Recall the episode of The Simpsons where Bart notes:

Bart: That ain’t been popular since aught-six, dag-nab it!

Homer: What did I tell you?

Bart: No talking like a grizzled 1890s prospector. Consarn it.

How quaint!

Literature

This may be my favorite option, because I cannot keep myself from envisioning the perplexity among Brighton’s law enforcement agents when confronted by a populace who take their cusswords from theScarlet Pimpernel. “Sink me! You can’t really intend to ticket me for that, can you? Zounds, you rogue!” Those wanting to explore this fertile source of filth will want to pay particular attention to the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Rabelais.

The difficulty with all the foregoing options, of course, is that if one is sufficiently unlucky, one may encounter an officer who is familiar with the obscure curses one has chosen. To evade this problem, I suggest a solution that has been popular with parents of young children since time began.

Curse Words That Arent

Titmouse. Ballcock. Christological. Zeugma. Fractional reserve. Bassinet.

And I will cheerfully pay the $200 fine for the first Brighton-area citizen who can show me a citation for having called a cop a “bilabial fricative.”

20121127_sarahskwireABOUT SARAH SKWIRE

Sarah Skwire is a fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis.

Scandal Exhaustion

Listening to President Obama respond on May 21 to the latest scandal regarding something about which he knew and did nothing—the mess at the Veterans Administration—was such a familiar event that I have reached a point of exhaustion trying to keep up with everything that has been so wrong about his six years in office. As he always does, he said was really angry about it.

Writing in the May 20 Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin said, “Forget ideology for a moment. Whether you are liberal or conservative, the Obama presidency’s parade of miscues is jaw-dropping.”

Stacked against the list of Obama scandals and failures, Rubin could only cite the Bush administration’s 2005 handling of Hurricane Katrina, the seventh most intense ever, and, as anyone familiar with that event will tell you, the failure of FEMA’s response was matched by the failures of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and the New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Bush had declared a national emergency two days before it hit the Gulf coast.

Rubin concluded that the Obama administration scandals “reflect the most widespread failure of executive leadership since the Harding administration”, adding “The presidency is an executive job. We hire neophytes at our peril. When there is an atmosphere in which accountability is not stressed you get more scandals and fiascos.”

Obama spent his entire first term blaming all such things on his predecessor, George W. Bush, until it became a joke.

One has to wonder about the effect of the endless succession of scandals and fiascos have had on Americans as individuals and the nation as a whole.

While it is easier to lay all the blame on Obama, the fact is that much of the blame is the result of a federal government that is so big no President could possibly know about the countless programs being undertaken within its departments and agencies, and all the Presidents dating back to Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive initiatives have played a role in growing the government.

It is, however, the President who selects the cabinet members responsible to manage the departments as well as those appointed to manage the various agencies. Kathleen Sebelius, the recently resigned former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for the implementation of Obamacare, comes to mind. She had solicited donations—against the law—from the companies HHS regulates to help her sign up uninsured Americans for Obamacare and signed off on the millions spent on HealthCare.gov and other expenses leading up to its start.

AA - Obama's Scandals

For a larger view click on the graphic.

There are lists of the Obama scandals you can Google. One that continues to fester is the attack on September 11, 2012—the anniversary of 9/11—that killed an American ambassador and three security personnel in Benghazi, Libya. It has been and continues to be investigated, mostly because of the lies told by Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of “What difference at this point does it make?” fame. Clinton was asked what she had accomplished in her four years as Secretary and was unable to name anything.

Eric Holder, our Attorney General, continues in office despite having been held in contempt of Congress, professing that he knew nothing about “Fast and Furious”, the earliest scandal involving a gun-running scheme to Mexican drug cartels by the ATF presumably to track them, but they lost track and many were used in crimes including the killing of a Border Patrol agent.

Holder also told Congress that he was not associated with the “potential prosecution” of a journalist even though he had signed the affidavit that named Fox News reporter, James Rosen. as a potential criminal. Holder was also in charge when the Justice Department culled the phone records of Associated Press reporters to find out who they deemed was leaking information.

Keeping track of the solar power and other “renewable” and “Green” energy companies like Solyndra that received millions in grants and then rather swiftly went bankrupt became a fulltime effort and, of course, there was the “stimulus” that wasted billions without generating any “shovel ready jobs” qualifies as a fiasco.

In the midst of the recession that was triggered by the 2008 financial crisis various elements of the Obama administration continued to spend money in ways that suggested their indifference. In 2010 the General Services Administration held a $823,000 training conference in Las Vegas, complete with a clown and mind readers.

An Agriculture Department program to compensate black farmers who allegedly had been discriminated against by the agency turned into a gravy train that delivered several billion dollars to thousands of recipients, some of whom probably had not encountered discrimination.

The Veterans Affairs agency made news when it spent more than $6 million on two conferences in Orlando, Florida, and is back in the news for revelations about alleged falsified records concerning the waiting times veterans faced amidst assertions that many died while waiting for treatment surfaced. This was a problem of which the then-Senator Obama was already aware, but six years into his presidency it still existed despite his early promises to fix it.

Obama has been the biggest of Big Government Presidents since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, and Obamacare put the federal government in control of one sixth of the nation’s economy while putting the government in charge of the care Americans expect to receive. Obamacare will dwarf the problems associated with the Veterans agency.

Meanwhile, we have been living with a President who is so indifferent to working with Congress that he has gained fame for his use of executive orders such as the decision to not deport illegal immigrants. His aides have promised more executive orders.

All this over the course of the last six years has left Americans exhausted by the incompetence and wastefulness of an administration that now presides over the highest national debt in the history of the nation and the first ever downgrade of our credit rating.

It has also left them angry if they were conservatives and disillusioned if they were Obama supporters. The Veterans Administration scandal is likely a tipping point for the independent voters and even for longtime Democrats who will want a change.

It is increasingly likely that the November midterm elections give the Republican Party control over the Senate as well as the House and then to hope that it will begin to rein in the spending and save the nation from a financial collapse that will rival the one in 2008.

© Alan Caruba, 2014