The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted. As I write, with almost all the votes counted, President Obama has won fewer votes than John McCain won in 2008, and more than ten million off his own 2008 total. (Note: this was written the day after the election. The final results indicate that Romney exceeded McCain’s total by less than one million votes, while Obama received almost four million votes fewer than he did in 2008 – the first time in history that a president won a second term with fewer votes than he scored in his first victory. RSP)

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.

Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The notion of the “Reagan Democrat” is one cliché that should be permanently retired.

Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff. Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate “free” health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

Imagine two restaurants side by side. One sells its customers fine cuisine at a reasonable price, and the other offers a free buffet, all-you-can-eat as long as supplies last. Few – including me – could resist the attraction of the free food. Now imagine that the second restaurant stays in business because the first restaurant is forced to provide it with the food for the free buffet, and we have the current economy, until, at least, the first restaurant decides to go out of business. (Then, the government takes over the provision of free food to its patrons.)

The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation (by the amoral Obama team) of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which “47% of the people” start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money – “free stuff” – from the government. Almost half of the population has no skin in the game – they don’t care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese. They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.

It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

That suggests the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that, as Winston Churchill stated so tartly, “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Voters – a clear majority – are easily swayed by emotion and raw populism. Said another way, too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich. Obama could get away with saying that “Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules” – without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the “rich should pay their fair share” – without ever defining what a “fair share” is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to “fend for themselves” – without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending. How could Obama get away with such rants to squealing sign-wavers? See Churchill, above.

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back: “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!” Truer words were never spoken.

Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico (even if they came from Cuba or Honduras), and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws. He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions – in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone. How could he do and say all these things ? See Churchill, above.

One might reasonably object that not every Obama supporter could be unintelligent. But they must then rationally explain how the Obama agenda can be paid for, aside from racking up multi-trillion dollar deficits. “Taxing the rich” does not yield even 10% of what is required and does not solve any discernible problem – so what is the answer, i.e., an intelligent answer?

Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a different world, and a different America. Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.

Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his “negative ads” were simple facts, never personal abuse – facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises, and by talking as the adult and not the adolescent. Obama has spent the last six years campaigning; even his governance has been focused on payoffs to his favored interest groups. The permanent campaign also won again, to the detriment of American life.

It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance, depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups. Conservative ideas failed to take root and states that seemed winnable, and amenable to traditional American values, have simply disappeared from the map. If an Obama could not be defeated – with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future. The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.

A second cliché that should be retired is that America is a center-right country. It clearly is not. It is a divided country with peculiar voting patterns, and an appetite for free stuff. Studies will invariably show that Republicans in Congress received more total votes than Democrats in Congress, but that means little. The House of Representatives is not truly representative of the country. That people would vote for a Republican Congressmen or Senator and then Obama for President would tend to reinforce point two above: the empty-headedness of the electorate. Americans revile Congress but love their individual Congressmen. Go figure.

The mass media’s complicity in Obama’s re-election cannot be denied. One example suffices. In 2004, CBS News forged a letter in order to imply that President Bush did not fulfill his Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War, all to impugn Bush and impair his re-election prospects. In 2012, President Obama insisted – famously – during the second debate that he had stated all along that the Arab attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi was “terror” (a lie that Romney fumbled and failed to exploit). Yet, CBS News sat on a tape of an interview with Obama in which Obama specifically avoided and rejected the claim of terrorism – on the day after the attack – clinging to the canard about the video. (This snippet of a “60 Minutes” interview was not revealed  - until two days ago!) In effect, CBS News fabricated evidence in order to harm a Republican president, and suppressed evidence in order to help a Democratic president. Simply shameful, as was the media’s disregard of any scandal or story that could have jeopardized the Obama re-election.

One of the more irritating aspects of this campaign was its limited focus, odd in light of the billions of dollars spent. Only a few states were contested, a strategy that Romney adopted, and that clearly failed. The Democrat begins any race with a substantial advantage. The liberal states – like the bankrupt California and Illinois – and other states with large concentrations of minority voters as well as an extensive welfare apparatus, like New York, New Jersey and others – give any Democratic candidate an almost insurmountable edge in electoral votes. In New Jersey, for example, it literally does not pay for a conservative to vote. It is not worth the fuel expended driving to the polls. As some economists have pointed generally, and it resonates here even more, the odds are greater that a voter will be killed in a traffic accident on his way to the polls than that his vote will make a difference in the election. It is an irrational act. That most states are uncompetitive means that people are not amenable to new ideas, or new thinking, or even having an open mind. If that does not change, and it is hard to see how it can change, then the die is cast. America is not what it was, and will never be again.

For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel. They voted to secure Obama’s future at America’s expense and at Israel’s expense – in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin. A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative. That Obama’s top aide Valerie Jarrett (i.e., Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett) spent last week in Teheran is not a good sign. The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon – and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality. As Obama has committed himself to abolishing America’s nuclear arsenal, it is more likely that that unfortunate circumstance will occur than that he will succeed in obstructing Iran’s plans.

Obama’s victory could weaken Netanyahu’s re-election prospects, because Israelis live with an unreasonable – and somewhat pathetic – fear of American opinion and realize that Obama despises Netanyahu. A Likud defeat – or a diminution of its margin of victory – is more probable now than yesterday. That would not be the worst thing. Netanyahu, in fact, has never distinguished himself by having a strong political or moral backbone, and would be the first to cave to the American pressure to surrender more territory to the enemy and acquiesce to a second (or third, if you count Jordan) Palestinian state. A new US Secretary of State named John Kerry, for example (he of the Jewish father) would not augur well. Netanyahu remains the best of markedly poor alternatives. Thus, the likeliest outcome of the upcoming Israeli elections is a center-left government that will force itself to make more concessions and weaken Israel – an Oslo III.

But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The most powerful empires in history all crumbled – from the Greeks and the Romans to the British and the Soviets. None of the collapses were easily foreseen, and yet they were predictable in retrospect.

The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come. Across the world, America under Bush was feared but not respected. Under Obama, America is neither feared nor respected. Radical Islam has had a banner four years under Obama, and its prospects for future growth look excellent. The “Occupy” riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead – years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.

Two bright sides: Notwithstanding the election results, I arose this morning, went to shul, davened and learned Torah afterwards. That is our reality, and that trumps all other events. Our relationship with G-d matters more than our relationship with any politician, R or D. And, notwithstanding the problems in Israel, it is time for Jews to go home, to Israel. We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress. Thinking that it will always be because it always was has been a repetitive and deadly Jewish mistake. America was always the land from which “positive” aliya came – Jews leaving on their own, and not fleeing a dire situation. But that can also change. The increased aliya in the last few years is partly attributable to young people fleeing the high cost of Jewish living in America. Those costs will only increase in the coming years. We should draw the appropriate conclusions.

If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.

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325 responses to “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

  1. Oh, good grief. Get. Over. Yourself.

    Is it that hard to consider the possibility that intelligent, informed, patriotic, moral Americans who love their country no less than you do made a different choice than yours? Is it that hard to consider the possibility that many people voted for Romney for motives no less despicable than those you paint on Obama’s supporters?

    Romney didn’t make “unsustainable promises?” What do you call combined military expansion, continued tax cuts, and no explanation of which tax benefits could be cut to make up for the difference?

    47% of the population pay no federal income tax, it’s true, but most of them do pay payroll taxes, or are Social-Security dependent elderly on who have already paid income tax. Writing them off as people with “no skin in the game” is ludicrous and offensive.

    Aliyah should always be promoted for idealistic reasons. The idea, however, that the modern Israeli state currently, or in the near future, provides generally better social/safety/economic opportunites for olim is wishful thinking. American per-capita GDP is 50% higher than Israeli, and that is not going to change any time soon.

    I have severe misgivings about many of Obama’s policies: Obamacare is far too unwieldy, his failure to sieze on real tax reform as a means of establishing long-term fiscal stability, the consistent inflationary monetary policy, his insistence on trying to re-inflate the punctured housing bubble, etc. That being said, the man is not a radical idealogue. He (like Romney) is fundamentally a pragmatic moderate. There’s no reason to assume that America is in some horrible fundamental decline. There are some extremely difficult decisions that will need to be made on our economic front, and those decisions will necessarily lead to disappointments on both sides of the aisle. The fundamental foundations of our country are not under attack, and shrieking about them as if they are only increases conflict where there is actually very little.

    • “Is it that hard to consider the possibility that intelligent, informed, patriotic, moral Americans who love their country no less than you do made a different choice than yours?”

      Ah, no, the possibility is too remote to contemplate.

      Election 2012 was laced with fraud (Haitians by the busload voting in Miami-Dade County in Florida, Dept. of Labor buses taking busloads of homeless – from where? – to vote in Cleveland, 99% of Philadelphia voters voting for Obama).

      There is no intelligent argument to vote for an incompetent narcissist who cannot take responsibility for his actions, who is a serial liar, who has no understanding of how free markets work, and who was raised by Marxists and Communists and who has surrounded himself in Washington with the same ilk.

      No, the possibility that there is an intelligent, thoughtful decision to vote for Obama is just too remote to be reflected in a nationwide vote.

      Does that answer your question?

      • I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

      • The simple answer is that people depend entirely too much on liberal media for the information they make their voting decisions on. IF they every took the time it takes to type in a google search they would learn this:

        “Democrats say they are going to fix everything. Considering they’ve held Congressional majority in 31 of the last 41 Congresses (1931, 72nd Congress-2013, 113th Congress).
        (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774721.html)

        It is high time ‘we the people’ were held responsible for the non-Americans we sell out to every election. The non-producers who are putting us all on the same bus they’ve been driving for more than 80 years.

    • To the ignorant one who said “Oh good grief, get over it”—-I say without question this editorial is absolutely on target. This country is going through the biggest culture change ever. We are a nation where so many have figured out a way to live off of those that work and pay taxes. We taxpayers get up in the morning–go to work, get involved in the community, etc. versus the lazy who did not work yesterday, did not work today and have no intention of working tomorrow. They say “Just keep sending me my government check as I want everything that those who work have—but I want it free”. They probably don’t mind admitting they are truly leeches that thrive on receiving every free thing or stuff that Obama will give them and then they lay on the couch watching stupid TV shows that affects their mental capacity to know and understand who is really paying their bills.. Obama is such a socialist—but the lazy/ignorant do not know what that means or do they care. So very sad.

      • i agree. and if a child by the name of HONEY BOO BOO can get rich with a popular tv show? and the JERSEY SHORE? and they became millionaires? well i rest my case. these r the people we are talking about. that is why out culture is changing. it’s great that one has the opportunity. don’t get me wrong. but pretty sad that shows like this are a hit. it is just a reflection on who is voting……..and it is more of them each day. it is sad.

      • Charlotte Carpenter

        Kudos, Rabbi – same to you, Don Cary. The cookie jar is almost empty. I, for one, am tired of resupplying it. For those who cannot work, you have my full support and I’m glad to contribute to supplying your needs. For those who will not work, get a job or do without.

    • I would recommend renting I CLAUDIUS…i was a die hard liberal most of my life….even when i watched I CLAUDIUS some 25 years ago…and i will never forget looking to my husband and saying “this is what is going to happen to THE UNITED STATES…we r THE ROMAN EMPIRE and it is the beginning of the end. now you may disagree here and there with what the rabbi is saying..fair enough, BUT history tends to repeat itself. you seem like an intelligent person. look what happened to the Roman citizens….wasn’t just that the Roman’s conquered all those countries. that was part of it. the other part was the people became complacent. money was being trown into the streets to keep the people happy…check it out. It is unfortunate, but true. and i am afraid to say it is happening to us right now. when we look back in history we have to question why all those empires declined…..i think u really need to question it, instead of telling the rabbi to “get over it”. i think the guy is pretty much spot on. and he is not blaming democrats, republicans or indie’s…..i wud rent the mini series and you will see what i am talking about. history does repeat itself.

    • Wow, I just now found this article, and the clueless response by efrex that Obama is “not a radical iealogue”?…..no better proof could be offered of the accuracy of the Rabbi’s statements, and the stupidity and duped nature of so many Americans whom support Obama and his policies. Obama is getting his “fundamental transformation”, from America to a Socialist/Marxist State, government control over every aspect of our lives, and the eventual and inevitable loss of freedom in this country. Simply put, Obama is an America hating, Constitution hating, arrogant, lying, Marsixt punk. And no need to get mad at me, you have got what you wanted…what’s done is done…and the country will get what is deserves. Sadly, you will find out you have willingly voted away your freedom…and the United States of America.

    • It is unbelievable that you would call Obama a moderate. He is not moderate in any way. He is a socialist that thinks government should be involved in every aspect of our lives and that doing well is a sin rather than a virtue. Obama’s social welfare state hurts those that are less fortunate more than helps. I say that with the realization that some folks need help but there are many more that have just decided they are owed a living by those of us that do work and pay taxes. Obama’s redistribution of wealth!

      When you or I are spending more than you earn we adjust our spending behavior or we go broke. The liberals and Obama in particular don’t get that concept at all. Obama continues to come up with new spending programs while failing to do anything about programs that already exist that do not work. Rather than reforming or eliminating programs (showing some leadership and management skills), Obama’s idea is to do nothing to cut spending but just to raise taxes. Those of us that support the government with our taxes are tired of the leadership void Obama has created. And we are tired of the liberal view that NO Programs can be cut whether they are failing or not.

      The “takers” far out weight those that are the “givers” (tax payers). If our country continues on path we will become Greece with riots in the street because those that are takers have nothing to take anymore. There is no such thing as a free lunch but very few voters and relatively few liberals understand.

      Rabbi Pruzansky hit the nail on the head with his article.

      • I’d like to point to a main reason for many politicians to do what they do. This reason is POWER. If you think about our government’s policies, they are aimed at taking more and more from the people in the form of taxation and restricting their activity more and more using all kinds of rules and regulations. Obviously, for our own benefit, so we will not hurt ourselves.
        Approaching any action of the government from this position helps to understand it. So, don’t say that our government makes foolish decisions or passes a stupid law. Not at all, it’s all making a lot of sense as steps to gain power. AND THEY SUCCEED!!! We, The People, loose. The problem is, not many people realize that by supporting this policy of the “government takes care of its people” they enslave themselves more and more.
        Understand that the poorer people are – the more powerful the government is (relatively, of course). That’s the real purpose behind all these “reforms”. They started with public education and gradually destroyed it. Automobile industry is a shadow of what it was. Financial industry is completely under control of the Federal Reserve. Now it’s health care’s turn. One by one, control is centralized.
        Too bad. It might end up in an extremely conflicting situation. I still hope that people from Tea Party will gain more weight in the Congress to stop this grab for power.
        By the way, I’ve spent half of my life in the Soviet Union, the country where the government had an unlimited power until it collapsed under its own weight. I see so much resemblance between what’s going on now in the US with what I saw 40 years ago back in the USSR that it’s not even funny.

      • One should experience “the beauty” of socialism on his own skin. I been living for 35 years in the USSR and now I see how US is slipping down the same slippery slope as Russia did at the beginning of the last century. But there is difference. First of all Russians didn’t have any historical precedent of a socialism to learn from and Russian liberal intelligentsia in large numbers was in opposition to the idea of social revolution. In America we have totally different situation: 1. Americans have historical precedents but due to the very low level of social education they ignore it. 2. American intellectual elite (Jewish intellectuals in particular) decided to believe in their own fantasies based upon phony liberalism, lies and deceptions. 3. Demographic paradox – generation of 60th with their anti-government movement against the war, turned upside down and became proponents of big government and its total control over people that once been free. 3. Due to the lost of America’s demographic homogeneity country has lost her unified national idea upon which it was founded her Constitution. This fundamental document has very little in common with the new society’s ideological base (ideology of parasites).
        I am glad that Rabbi Pruzansky mentioned that in his article.

    • efrex,
      There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. You obviously refuse to see. Our country is bankrupt because of the years of our government taking from one American and giving it to another American while wasting a lot in between. We have created a whole society of people who feel entitled to the fruit of other peoples labor.I have worked hard all of my life and shared a great deal of it with others. I am tired of the government taking whtas left and giving I to people who have no intention of ever providing for themselves.

    • Since others have already responded to this year old post of yours I would only like to point out one single but huge glaring deliberate omission on your part regarding the notion that “non-payers” of income tax actually pay payroll tax. Ummmm yeah that’s only partially true…..the convenient slippery part you left out is that come IRS federal refund time……those same people are refunded via any number of refundable tax credits…the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit…ad nauseum….but those people you touted as “Taxpayers” are then refunded in most cases every single penny of payroll taxes they had withheld….AND THEN SOME. So the problem on your end is now “two-fold”…..not only are they NOT taxpayers at all….but down the road the very Social Security and Medicare Benefits you mentioned in your next sentence….at least for these “Non-Payers” of ANY federal income taxes OR payroll taxes…..their benefits will be paid out without them ever having really paid into the program at all because their so called payroll remittances were refunded back to them come refund season. The problem is actually WORSE than what the Rabbi alluded to on this exact topic. Add the fraud involved in these silly IRS refund schemes…and the meltdown as indicated by the Rabbi is actually burning at a hotter faster pace.

  2. The response on the Right today has been disheartening, but not unpredictable. Because it’s the same old narrative.

    When they lose the talking points on an issue, they blame the media.
    When they lose a presidential debate, they blame the moderator.
    When they are losing in the polls, they blame the pollsters.
    And when they lose the actual election…they blame the electorate.

    It can’t possibly be that they are out of step with the mainstream, that as the country moves one way, they’re going the other. No, that can’t be.

    Well, the facts are the facts. In 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections, more people voted for the Democratic candidate than the Republican one. And until the Republican Party does some genuine soul searching and realizes that they are, simply put, on the wrong side of some major issues and need to move towards the center, that trend will continue.

    • i hv a question on the 5 out of 6 presidential elections….okay, we had Carter for 1 term, then we had Reagan for 2 terms. Then we had Bush senior for 1 term. Then we had Clinton for 2 terms, then Bush Jr. for 2 terms and now Obama for 2 terms. looks to me 5 terms for each…. so i am a bit confused where more dem’s voted..because usually the popular vote coincides with the EC vote and it was a landslide with carter/reagan. so can u expalin what u mean. thanks.

      • It’s not complicated…
        1. 2012 Obama …popular vote to democrats
        2. 2008 Obama …popular vote to democrats
        3. 2004 Bush …….popular vote to republicans
        4. 2000 Bush …….popular vote to democrats…not same as EC
        5. 1996 Clinton ….popular vote to democrats
        6. 1992 Clinton ….popular vote to democrats

        i.e. 5 of the last 6 more people voted democratic

    • empty pockets

      You’re correct about “the right” and their excuses. But you’re wrong about why the actually lose.

      They lose because to get the conservative base to vote for them in primaries, the progressive right talks conservative. Once the primary is behind them and they face general election, they talk “moderate” (centrist). They lose for two reasons: 1) they’re caught in the lie–if you’re conservative you aren’t a moderate and if you’re a moderate, you aren’t a true conservative, and 2) no “moderate centrist” can outdo liberal progressives on liberal lies. If the people decide to vote for the best “storyteller”, it will be the best liar every time and that will always be the one on the Left.

      Yet if a conservative candidate sticks to conservatism all the way through, especially fiscal conservatism, he or she may still lose but will often win. Reagan did. Cruz did. Others have but too few have tried sticking to principles. Those that do have fared better recently than the liars. People are starting to wake up. Too slowly for my taste but still…

  3. Indeed, I think you both make my points, plus one another: Since Republicans stand for traditional values, and the Democrats are the party of abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity – and decadence is de riguer in American society – the Democrats are ascendant and the Republicans are in decline. The Republicans are out of the moral mainstream – as are Torah Jews by the way. That is why it is hard to stomach religious Jews voting for such a party; they must have to either modify their Torah values or divorce them from being a relevant factor in their lives.
    And, yes, empires have collapsed because of moral rot even quicker than because of economic ruin.
    Whoever “Efrex” is – and you should sign your name – you try to have it both ways, embracing Obama and then expressing misgivings. Neat trick, but no one votes with reservations. Embrace your candidate – and his policies.
    -RSP

  4. Dear Rabbi,
    I remember during your presentation of the modern Halachic state in which you stated that only landowners would be entitled to vote.
    Here is the living example of the consequences of the landless voting to confiscate another man’s work.
    It is sickening!!

  5. I hope that Rabbi Pruzansky keeps permanent records of his writings.
    One day, these essays should be published as a book.

    G_d bless Rabbi Pruzansky for seeing the world accurately and speaking truth after truth after truth after truth…

  6. Thank you Rabbi Pruzansky for shining the light of truth on our situation here in America. Because of what you have articulated so eloquently, I have decided that I must focus solely on my family, Torah,and mitzvot. Watching my country being destroyed day by day for the last 4 years has worn me out completely. May G-d bless you and your family…and may He keep us healthy, so that we will be less likely to need the healthcare system that now promises to “do Harm” rather than “do NO harm”…G-d have mercy on us…..

  7. (Received privately- RSP)
    I would like share with you some observations on why things went the way they did.
    When we were a nation of white married churchgoers someone like Obama stood no chance. Romney decisively won that demographic, but it represents a shrinking share of the electorate. Today, the majority of adult women in the US are single. About 40% of new mothers are unmarried. Fewer Americans have a religious affiliation. Most Jews see the Democratic platform as their Torah, and Judaism as their ethnicity, and we know that after a couple of generations ethnicity is gone. Too many nominal Christians see Jesus as the first progressive (read socialist). Whites comprise less than 75% of voters, and Obama took the overwhelming majority of the rest.
    For a combination of reasons, younger Americans don’t have the same entrepreneurial drive as the previous generation. I see it in my own group.
    Young guys just out of training are content to take salaried positions with us, something I never would have considered when I finished 22 years ago. It is good for those of us who are partners in the group, but it is consistent with the trend of doctors accepting salaried jobs. Private practices have trouble recruiting. That partially explains why more physicians weren’t up in arms about Obamacare.
    Consistent with the previous reason, college students and recent graduates see the dismal job market and feel more secure looking to the government for help rather than pushing for a strengthened free enterprise system.
    Of course there are the technical issues. Romney is a good man, but not a great candidate. His campaign advisors thought he was ahead in recent weeks and were trying to run a mistake free campaign rather than be aggressive.
    The unabashed support the press lent to the Obama campaign was probably worth 5 points. We were all wondering if there would be an October surprise, but who could have guessed it would be named Sandy?
    On our current trajectory we are 15-20 years behind Europe, maybe less. We are becoming a secular nation with a low birth rate among the native population, with a growing immigrant population that has a much higher birth rate. The successful are being demonized and the have nots want to be given that for which they will not work. Unemployment will remain high and economic growth low. National debt is growing and will soon overwhelm us.
    Radical Islam will continue to spread, Israel will increasingly be seen as a problem, not an ally, and Iran will soon have nuclear weapons.
    There are more than a few on the left who feel guilt for being blessed to be born in our great nation. They think they can assuage their consciences by turning America into just another country. What a far cry from the America of Kennedy and Reagan who saw America as a beacon of freedom and opportunity.
    I fear that we are on a downward trajectory, one that will soon become nearly impossible to escape from. Some don’t understand this because they haven’t thought things through. Others actually welcome it because they see America as being a detrimental force in the world. An America that would pay any price and bear any burden to spread freedom seems like ancient history.
    I wish I could find a silver lining, a glimmer of hope that there is another path open to us. For now I just don’t see it. All we can do is do mitzvos, learn Torah, and lead productive lives.
    David

    • Very well said.. It is not the same country as it was even 10 years ago. My state, Maryland just approved Gay marriage. When in doubt, stick the values in the Torah…. and for what it is worth, the conservatives are much closer to that view.

  8. The problem is that your position is premised on the notion that “traditional” values are inherently correct. It seems, however, that the main argument in favor of the infallibility of traditional values is that they are traditional and that therefore any movement to change traditional values is necessarily wrong.

    But I wonder: Would you have opposed Lincoln in the 1860s and Dr. King in the 1960s, arguing that slavery and then segregation were deeply rooted Southern values? Would you have opposed the women’s suffrage movement? Would you have told FDR to stay out of WWII (prior to December ’41) because, after all, isolationism is a traditional American value? Would you have advised Lawrence Lowell that he was correct to impose quotas on Jewish admission at Harvard because it was important to preserve the traditional makeup of the school’s student body? Do you currently tell radical Muslims that it is important that they adhere to their traditional values?

    I’ll assume you’d answer “no” to each of these, so then I still wonder: when is it ok to oppose traditional values? What makes some traditional values abhorrent and other sacrosanct? And as an aside, how is it that the government requiring people to buy health insurance is an assault on freedom but government telling people who they can and can’t marry is just preserving traditional values?

    As for your application of these issues to the voting patterns of “Torah Jews” (I’m not sure what this means, but I’ll assume it means Orthodox, halacha-following Jews), I struggle to see the contradiction. I have no idea if you would consider me to be a “Torah Jew.” But despite the fact that in this election I supported the party of “abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity,” I can assure you that I have never had (or contributed to) an abortion or engaged in homosexual relations and that my sexual activity is limited to my marriage. But I don’t see where my Judaism instructs me that as an American Jew living in a pluralistic, nondenominational society that it is my right (never mind my obligation!) to impose those values on others. What other Jewish values should be codified into American law? Should malls be closed on Shabbat? Should serving bacon in a restaurant be a misdemeanor or a felony?

    But most of all, what I find troubling is this post’s tone, which is entirely dismissive. Why can’t you accept that there are people who voted for President Obama not because they are uninformed, not because they “want free stuff” and not because of his race. There are people who work very hard, receive no government assistance and (some) are even in the upper income tax brackets who think raising taxes on top earners is good for everyone. There are people who are religious but don’t think that their religion should dictate American law. And yes, there are Jews who are adamantly pro-Israel and care deeply and passionately about its interests who believe that President Obama has been a strong supporter of those interests. You may feel free to disagree with those beliefs. But please don’t pretend these people don’t exist. Because this describes most of the people I know.

    Lastly, the post’s “sky is falling” declaration that Obama’s re-election spells “THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE” is nothing more than unnecessary hysteria. Raising the tax rate on 2% of the country from 35% to 39% (they were at 38.5% until the final year of Reagan’s presidency, and much higher for the 7 years before that) is the end of America? Extending marriage rights to everyone and a path to citizenship to hard-working, law-abiding members of society is the end of America? An approach to foreign policy other than simultaneously invading as many Arab countries as we possibly can is the end of America? America has survived a Civil War, the Great Depression, and 9/11. We’ll survive Barack Obama too.

    • It’s difficult to have a conversation when there is no agreement on so basic a notion as “traditional values”. The list you give reflect temporary preferences that people in power decreed to themselves at the expense of others. In my opinion these examples are nothing but straw men.

      “Traditional values” reflect enduring divinely inspired behavioral paths that go towards building enduring civilizations. – faith, hope, charity, family as the basic building block of society rather than the individual, value of life, value of a mother’s life over a fetus (not to be confused with the value of the mother’s convenience over the fetus as a potential human being), the rule of law (not to be confused with rule by one person’s whim).

      In our great country the traditional values are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, respect for personal property, the rule of law and equal standing before the law.

      How does this all work out in the major political policy issues of our day?
      Re “faith”. – We should welcome leaders with the humility to accept that there is far more that we do not know then we do know and that we can’t fix everything.

      Re “hope”. – Looking around the globe one can only conclude that despite our many shortcomings, the USA is the world’s current best hope. One does not see American colonial outposts around the globe. – rather the graves of Americans whose lives were sacrificed to win liberty for others.

      Re “charity”. – The highest form of charity is to help someone to help themselves. – give a person a fishing rod and teach them to fish rather then giving them a fish, says the old proverb.

      And re the other social issues of the day. – abortion. – is there anyone around who likes the idea? Is there anyone around who does not think it at least akin to manslaughter to kill a baby which survives an attempted abortion (then State Senator Obama voted to prevent doctors from saving such babies’ lives.). – homosexuality. – one’ home is one’s castle and in particular, is the privacy of one’s bedroom sacrosanct. One’s citizenship rights and standing before the law is inviolate regardless of their sexual preferences. Likewise with women who prefer to be single moms. But that doesn’t mean that these individuals are necessarily entitled to the same monetary benefits that traditional families may receive from the government. Thousands of years of history proves that families are the building lock of stable societies. Shouldn’t traditional families be nurtured? As an aside, a society which builds entitlements which are based on the contributions of future generations and doesn’t promote child bearing is committing subside – check out Europe. Another aside – a society which enables single parenthood is fostering generations of poor people. – the odds of a child born to a single mother to grow into poverty are huge.

      Nuffield said. If one wishes to attack the real traditional values, do so rather than raise straw men.

      • May the good Lord Bless you, Mr. Bashein!! You have made good points on all accounts and I am so proud of you. I am thankful that there are people such as yourself who maintain a sense of propriety and decency!

      • I second the blessing. As I read av’s arguments, I couldn’t help but chuckle and cringe at his “perceptions” of traditional values, and feeling overwhelmed by my desire to correct his misdirection. Fortunately, your fantastic reply, Mr. Bashein, has done the job beautifully and surpassed anything I could have written myself. Please keep teaching your values to young people whenever you can!!

    • I have come to this article late, a Jew living in Europe. The idiocy — for that is the only word I can come up with — of comparing Lincoln and the abolition of slavery with Obama is astounding. If one were to overtrun what is “perceived” as “traditional values” in every argument, as AV writes, then the “traditional values” of Jews in Europe can be justified as being overturned as they were “perceived” by the National Socialists. The huge murderousness of the Sino-Socialists can be justified by “traditional values” of China being overthrown. The last line is specious as it tries to dismiss the good rabbi’s article with “we’ll survive Barack Obama too.” Being a Jew in Germany, some of survived Hitler too. Such logic is as noted above simple-minded idiocy. The question is not about a remnant of American values and prosperity surviving, but about the undergirding of such values and such prosperity as the world has historically never seen. And this is “perceived” from a Jew in Europe. As one calculates the effect of the largest public debt in history and the American Treasury Secretary publcly saying he had no plan to remedy this but refused others plans, what is seen is the same logic as exhibited by AV. Lastly the comment by AV is all the more specious because nothing in the article pretends such voters as AV defends as not existing. Rather the article bemoans that they do. Such hubris without intellect and real content is a sign of these times, in which clever repartee supplants reason bound to tradition. The insightful observations of those like de Touqueville and Bastiat would explain to AV why his political advocacy is misplaced, disconnected from the lessons of history and almost all of Jewish philosophical thought prior to the Frankfurt School’s seduction of academic and religious leadership. It is clear that the socialist-styled Democrat line by which he argues is his religion, while Judaism is his old overcoat, worn but something familiar not yet discarded. Such an attitude suggests his next generation or two will do so.

      • Alexius Comnenus

        Dear Rabbi:
        I am a Catholic Priest and I have to compliment you for saying the way it is. Nothing more and nothing less. I am with you, Rabbi, 100%. In fact I preach about this everywhere. The worst part is many Americans still support this pro-Muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian and anti-American president. Fortunately, there are may, many real Americans living in America and this is the source of our optimism. This man wants to destroy in 8 years what the Americans created in 200 years

        Shalom!

  9. I wrote this comment on Cross-Currents, where the Rabbi’s article was reproduced:
    ————————————————————————————-
    Rabbi Pruzansky, a brilliant man, is right on the money. The republic is in irreversible decline. We must remember that America was an EXPERIMENT. Unlike any other country, it was created in essentially a labratory, by perhaps the greatest collection of social thinkers the world has ever seen assembled at any one time. Benjamin Franklin said at the time that when the people finally realize they can vote themselves money, it will herald the end of the experiment. And in 2012, the people have figured it out.

    The elephant in the room, of course, are the African Americans. Not once did I see any newspaper in this country broach the reality that Obama is, for all intents and purposes, an affirmative action president. His grades and law school application papers would have either proved it forever or removed all doubt – and yet Obama has kept them hidden, with the complicity of the press. White Americans who oppose Obama are routinely labeled racist, yet concerning blacks, 95% of whom – 95 percent! – voted for Obama, we hear nothing. This is not some small ethnic group that can be forgiven for throwing a few votes to one of their own. The black population is almost 40 million. How to explain the huge Republican gains in Congress only 2 years ago, and the huge victory of George Bush only 8 years ago, against the very same media and hollywood onslaught, if not for the lack of an African-American on the ballot in those years. And yet for this huge part of the population, voting on the basis of race is actively encouraged. Yes, there are other factors, but all of them pale next to the millions of blacks (and not a few guilt-laden whites who still think this is Selma, Alabam circa 1951) who voted in a man on the basis of nothing other than his color. For shame.

    Smart people will start making plans for Aliyah today.

  10. @DF–

    Actually, most of the exit polls I’ve seen show that President Obama got more like 93% of the black vote, but that 2% difference is besides the point. John Kerry got 88% of the black vote. Al Gore got 90%. Thus, the increase in African-American support for Obama was 3-5%, which is similar to the increase in support he received from the electorate as a whole: Kerry and Gore each won 48% of the popular vote; Obama won 53% in 2008 and probably around 51% on Tuesday, the same 3-5% by which his popularity increased among black voters. So while it may seem to you that blacks as a group voted for Obama “on the basis of race,” the objective evidence indicates they didn’t.

  11. Disagree with you, Av. First, the info I saw does say 95%, but agreed that this is not the main point.

    Second, in the case of Obama we have countless examples of blacks explcitly saying they were voting on the basis of race. From actor Samuel Jackson’s flat-out admission of that, from the responses to black actress Stacy Dash when announcing her support of Romney, from thinly-veiled ads in black publications that Romney “isn’t one of us”, and many more. They weren’t even trying to hide it, Av.

    Third, who can forget Howard Stern’s videos in Harlem in 2008, asking the blacks therein questions like if they approved of Obama’s running mate, Sara Palin – to wild approval. This is from Howard Stern, hardly a right-winger. (lest anyone claim that whites too were voting for Romney solely on the basis of color, I defy you to show me anythng remotely similar, in scope and in lunacy, from anyone comparably trustworthy in this respect, as what Stern did. Besides, whites didnt vote 95% for Romney.)

    Fourth, the sheer numbers brought in by Obama to vote for them. Look at the black precincts.Never before had they had such strongout. Why should that be, if they were simply voting for the democrat, and not the race?

    The fact is, as we hear over and over and over ad nauseum from our friends on the left, racism IS a problem – only the problem is coming from one direction, with nary a peep of protest. Like I said – for shame.

  12. “Av” said (3 messages above this message):

    I have never had (or contributed to) an abortion or engaged in homosexual relations and that my sexual activity is limited to my marriage. But I don’t see where my Judaism instructs me that as an American Jew living in a pluralistic, nondenominational society that it is my right (never mind my obligation!) to impose those values on others.

    Dear Av,

    You ignore the Seven Noachide Laws (Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach) which obligate ALL human beings to avoid adultery and homosexuality and incest, even if they are NOT Jewish.

    Midrash Rabah, Parshat Bereshit, Chapter 26, Paragraph 5 [or 9 in other editions]:
    Rabbi Huna taught in the name of Rabbi Yosef*:
    The Generation of the Flood [Dor HaMabul] was not blotted out of the world until they made official marriage contracts between people of the same gender…
    * NOTE: Another edition says Rabbi, meaning Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi, active around 180 CE.

    Jerusalem Talmud, tractate Berachot, chapter 9, law 2, page 64A:
    Rabbi Acha taught: [Earthquakes happen] because of homosexuality.

    Babylonian Talmud, tractate Chullin, page 92A:
    Ulla taught: There are three mitzvot that the Gentiles accept [that protect them]. One of those three mitzvot is that they do NOT write marriage contracts for men.

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Cohen

  13. >The fundamental foundations of our country are not under attack, and shrieking about them as if they are only increases conflict where there is actually very little.

    Well first define what the fundamental foundations of the country are, then we can see if they are under attack. I believe the notion of an every expanding government (along with its growing debt), the drop-by-drop shrinking of liberties (ex. forcing a company to pay for contraception) when it goes against their conscience; the balkanization of America ( numerous interest groups from women, to Blacks, to Latinos etc instead of asking what is good for the country as a whole) IS an attack at the fundamentals of this nation. The slow creation of an entitlement state is a direct attack on the fundamental notions of the USA. We unshackled ourselves from Europe only for the Left looking back at it with glowing eyes and wanting to return. Europe panders to the human need for security, of being taken care of. The American core was about self determination which in affect, emboldens the society.

    This is not to say the Left hate America or are bad people. They are well intentioned. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  14. So your evidence is the statements of a couple celebrities and a video from the Howard Stern show. That sounds scientific. Essentially your main criticism is that Obama’s candidacy may have inspired more African-Americans, some of whom may have not in the past engaged in the political process, do so (although apparently still not enough to cause a statistically significant increase in the proportion of the black vote that Obama received compared to the previous 2 democratic candidates).

  15. Mr. Cohen —

    Seems like you left some of the Seven Noachide Laws off your list, possibly because they are laws that don’t conform to the current Republican platform. You left out idolatry — should it be against American law for a person to worship a false god? Which religions should be legal according to you (other than Judasim, which is obviously correct) and which ones should be illegal? You also left off blasphemy — seems like a free speech problem, but who cares, right? Aiver Min HaChai – I guess we should hire more park rangers to monitor all the gun-loving hunters and make sure that they do not under any circumstances remove any limbs from the animals they kill before they are dead. We need to get this law in front of Congress immediately.

    • To AV
      Your rationalization for the number of blacks voting for Obama and the previous two demoncratic candidates being the same is way off track. Look at the NUMBER of black voters (not the percentage of who they voted for) and you will see a significant difference in the numbers.

  16. The divide is huge. Two Americas. The Us of A follows CA into the rabbit hole, the end of CA economy should have been the wake up call it wasnt. You have many frusterated taxpayers, I think the push and shove might just cause a civil war unless we depose of battleground swing state voting so all votes will count to compete against the tyrant I know how very sad one side of America is. These have tolerated much ……when the sleeping giant wakes up will certainly be felt.

  17. Dear Rabbi,
    There is a lot to think about in this post. Above all else, I think the moral and social shifts in the population explain the changes we observe. And, as you’ve said, it’s unlikely we’ll ever return to 1950s or even 1980s America. The future of the GOP will depend upon whether it is willing to embrace a more Libertarian agenda – fiscal responsibility, small government, individual freedoms, and social liberalism – or whether it will continue to promote a set of social mores that, for better or for worse (and, I agree, mostly for worse) no longer hold sway for the majority of the current secular electorate. Old time religion is no longer the standard-bearer of morality or ethics. This, in many ways, is tragic, but it is a reality we must confront.

    RJM

  18. Your article said everything I’ve been saying but in a more sophisticated way. Thank you! This is soo true! And so sad

  19. And if the statements were coming from doctors and accountants it would make a difference? Evidence is evidence.
    “Obama’s candidacy inspired more african americans to partcipate in the political process” is a fancy way of conceding they voted for him because he’s black. Can I do anything to stop that? No. Does it mean the decline and, in time, fall of this country? Yes.

    • Colin Powell getting behind Obama is all the evidence you need. But what really needs to be explained is why romney was 3 million votes short of McCain.

      • No, Samuel Jackson’s comment is all the evidence I need. As for why Romney fell short, have you not noticed that there was a little thing called a hurricane? People dont have time to vote when they are shivering in the cold without heat or gas. (But thank God, as the press told us, Obama did a “great job”, and was “very presidential” in “handling” the hurricane; MUCH different, you see, than the Katrina under Bush.)

  20. I couldn’t agree more with your article. Most of us remember Jim Jones and the Kool-Aid trip to Guyana. I think 53 million so called Americans drank the Obama Kool-Aid. We are an entitlement country now and it won’t be long before we’re out of money to support those who feel entitled to suck off society.

  21. Excellent post

  22. This was amazing. It was everything I was thinking, but was not eloquent enough to express.

  23. This is the best summation of the election and our condition today that I have read. I only wish you had the “fix” at the end of it. It is truly a sad day in America.

  24. Eli Passow (Jerusalem)

    The Rabbi did provide the “fix”, if only for Jews: Aliya. I just wish he had spelled it out more specifically, and perhaps announce that he would lead an aliya campaign, similar to what Rabbi Shlomo Riskin did years ago from the Lincoln Square Synagogue. Rabbi Pruzansky can also make great contributions to Israel and so can his congregants. Come NOW!

  25. Americans vote for Obama to get free stuff.
    When Obama Looks in the Mirror, Does Obama see Socialist President Hugo Chavez?

    In 1998, when the notorious Socialist Hugo Chavez was campaigning for president of Venezuela, he was short thousands of votes to win. Previously Venezuelan poor did not largely vote. Chavez promised the poor if elected President, the Government would spend billions on welfare and other social-programs to help Venezuelans. Chavez said government could pay for these programs by increasing and levying new taxes on high income Venezuelans and businesses. Chavez won the Venezuelan Presidential election after huge numbers of poor voted for him.

    In 2008 when Obama was running for President he promised the poor unprecedented expansion of welfare and entitlements. Like Hugo Chavez— Obama said U.S. Government could pay for his social programs by taxing higher income Americans.

    Since Obama’s 2008 presidential election it is clear that if U.S. Government does not stop deficit spending and borrowing, America will be too broke to sustain either its welfare programs or a sufficient military to protect the Nation. The only promise Obama kept was to “level the playing field” for the people—Obama has turned millions of Americans into beggars, setting the stage for millions of Americans to accept a hybrid form of Marxist-socialism. America is separating into two distinct groups; those that work and pay their own way and those that don’t that live off Free Stuff paid for by taxpayers. It used to be when you met people at parties you would ask what line of work are you in? Now the question is, do you work or live off the Taxpayers? America is TRAPPED: Obama will increasingly need to raise taxes on working Americans and businesses to pay for Free Stuff demanded by his constituency—in addition to unaffordable ObamaCare health insurance costs forced on Americans and businesses that increasingly will cause higher unemployment, inhibit investment in America and impede businesses hiring new employees. Obama appears to believe crushing small businesses with higher taxes will transfer wealth to the workers. Workers can’t work for bankrupt employers. Obama’s current economic polices will create vast unemployment forcing more Americans onto the street to beg government for Free Stuff.

    In 2012 socialist dictator Hugo Chavez was reelected by a small margin. Chavez stated he would now step up nationalization of private companies including taking over banks and financial institutions. May observers believe Chavez’s take over of financial institutions will result in international loss of confidence in Venezuelan currency; that private companies will be forced to sell their assets to dictator Hugo Chavez for pennies on the dollar; at some point Chavez’s government will collapse after it runs out of other people’s money.

    The Obama Government has already run out of taxpayer money. While Obama begs the Communist Chinese Government for loans he is relentless to raise Americans’ taxes to pay for his out of control spending which appears unstoppable.

  26. Chaya Passow (Jerusalem)

    For many years, I enjoyed hearing Rabbi Pruzansky’s thoughtful and often exciting ideas every Shabbat. In general, I agreed with him on nearly everything. Today I live in Yerushalayim (B”H) and view this election slightly differently.
    For one thing, I don’t believe we have any idea which president will be better for Israel (which, even when I lived in the US, was my major voting concern). “Rabbot machshavot b’lev ish, v’atzat Hashem he takum!” I certainly hoped for a Romney victory but did so with the humility of knowing that we never know how things will turn out. I’m not as concerned as Rabbi P. about the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Sometimes, the interference by people who obviously don’t have Israel’s best interests at heart (or, we could argue, their own either) gets the Israeli “back” up and stiffens the national resolve to do what’s best for us and not for anyone else. It’s true that this “diplomatic fiasco” will keep the left from voting for Netanyahu but, guess what……
    That said, I really can’t understand how a Torah Jew can be a Democrat. Years ago, when the “rainbow coalition” was the central theme of the Democratic convention, and members of that coalition stood on stage at the emotional apex of the convention, I realized that I was none of the colors of the rainbow not being either a radical feminist, homosexual, a woman of color, nor a socialist. On the other hand, when I read the Republican platform (as I recall, Rabbi Pruzansky, this was your idea at the time) I saw that I subscribed to all but one of the planks (and I may have changed my mind on that one).
    However, from my Jerusalem vantage point I can say one thing for certain. No Torah Jew will argue that the US is The Promised Land (no, not even Teaneck) nor argue that Israel is not! It is not perfect! No one can argue that (although it’s pretty great!). As we all know, much as “home” has a positive resonance, whose home doesn’t have problems, often serious ones? However, anyone whose day is defined by learning Torah, doing Mitzvot and making minyan can not do it in a better place than here. Rabbi Pruzansky and Karen, I invite you to come home. We need you here and you can do a lot for this country and for yourselves, too!

  27. Rabbi Pruzansky, Thank you so much for writing this. My own ideas, thoughts and feelings about the current state of affairs in this country are mirrored in your words here and you have said it better than I ever could. Many of the points you’ve made here are things I’ve been saying for years based on my own observations of society, american culture and the class warfare that’s been going on. Thank you for putting this out there. While there are too many people that will see nothing but hate, anger and racism (while completely unfounded) in your words, know there are many of us that see it for the truth and a great analysis of what’s going on today in America.

  28. The layoffs have already started. The chance of finding a good paying job is getting less by the day. How will many yidden live, only on handouts from the govt. in a few years time, there will be no one left to take money from.

  29. Clarification:
    There are some fine people who have castigated me for using terms like “dumb, dunces and dolts” to describe Obama voters. (All “d’s”). They are right. Obviously, those who want to get “free stuff” are anything but; indeed, they are quite rational in their electoral choices. I certainly did not intend to state that “every” Obama voter was such, just the electorate in general terms. I am certain there are bright people who voted for the President, although their reasoning – as I indicated in the post – escapes me.
    Of course, I did not mean to offend. Clearly my remarks were misinterpreted and taken out of context, and I will launch a full investigation as to how it happened, and report back to you when the investigation is complete.
    Shabbat Shalom !
    -RSP

  30. As an American born conservative with orthodox leanings Jew, the results of this election are a cause for introspection. The justification for living in America and not making aliyah has been somewhat selfish, mostly economic, convenience and familiarity. My soul yearns to be in Israel and periodically I get emotional about it, however, my mind (and yetzer horah) kicks in and life goes on… As an entrepreneur I was hopeful of a Romney victory which would instill a pro-business attitude back into our society and create a platform of optimism from which to take a risk and invest time and money in new ventures. That has been dampened. The economic outlook for the US is bleak at best for the next several years and surely regulations and taxes will increase. Most importantly, the have nots will be looking to get more free stuff to feed their addiction. Ultimately this will either lead to a revolution of sorts, or a mass exit migration to safe havens of both finance and person. This could be to specific states (like Texas) or places like Costa Rica, etc. As a Jew, Israel is primary. The difference this time from any other is the complicit media. They are empowered now more than ever to continue to exert their control over the masses and will do so in concert with corporations(especially ones that own the media) and government to fulfill various agendas – mainly, promoting a welfare state where winners and losers are chosen to perpetuate the cycle. Because the masses are and will continue to be dumbed down there is no apparent light at the end of the tunnel for deviation. And the chances of a revolution also diminish. The conclusion is not pretty. It will take a little time, but it is likely that my mind will align with my heart and soul.

  31. Rabbi Pruzansky,
    You eloquently put to words my feelings which I have also espoused on my blog (Unmitigated-Truth.com). There is very little I can add to what ou have said, except that there is a great possibility of Electronic Voter Fraud in this election (see video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/JQxsx3IGS1E ).

    But whatever the reason for the outcome, it is still to be taken as a message from God that we have gotten to complacent in this (formerly) generous country. It is time to prepare for the days of Mossiach.

    I have spoken about this in a previous topic I have written about that can be found at: http://www.unmitigated-truth.com/2011/01/is-it-really-end-of-america.html

    Thanks for your wise words Rabbi.

  32. Obama did not start the giveaway, he just increased it. I am for a safety net, but it is supposed to be temporary, for one generation, not the next 12, as that is Socialism. In some areas we do need free for all, such as health care, as no one can or should be without it, and even the rich cannot afford hospital costs, but the system is broken the way it is. The rich will not be affected, as their purchases of yachts increases. The poor will not be allowed to starve or be homeless or go without dental care. So it is teh hardworking lower and middle income people who are burdened and miserable.

  33. Excellent Read! Loved it. Thank you the time and effort you put into this.
    Gods Blessings….

  34. I loved this column!

    I have a question. I am a Christian. In reading the Old Testament of the Bible (your Torah), one sees how the Lord punished Israel for its immorality (including homosexuality and sacrificing their first born). Do you feel that if we do not follow His laws we will repeat history?

    • We can’t know G-d’s ways of reward and punishment with precision. What we do know is that it does exist, and that law of history has not been repealed. It therefore behooves all mankind to heed G-d’s word as the Bible teaches.
      Be well –
      RSP

  35. Rabbi, Your comments grieve me greatly – because of their truth. After the election I was very sad as I thought about my children (3 grown sons) and as-yet unborn grandchildren. They will never know the great country in which I grew up. I teach high school and I also felt sad for my students in the same way. Their opportunities to succeed and excel suddenly are much more limited.
    Our country has great wealth and it will be many years before the government runs out of what they can take from us to redistribute to those who will not work. When everyone but the government lives in shared poverty it will be too late to do much about it, for there will be no other nation to help us as we have helped others.
    I also fear for the future of Israel. No one there can expect help from a nation whose leader bows before a Saudi king.
    In addition to teaching I preach part-time in a small rural Christian church. I do not talk much about “end-times” prophecies and such, but I had mentioned in a sermon just two days before the election that I have never heard or read anything about such books/passages that indicate a place for the U.S. among the nations involved in them. Russia, China, the EU and perhaps African nations – but nothing about the U.S. Perhaps we are about to disappear as a nation or at least as a world power. If so, it can only be the will of G_d.
    That is the only comfort I feel in all of this, yet it gives me no happiness.
    No one can know for sure what the future holds, but I fear for Christians and Jews alike in the years to come.
    My Hebrew is quite rusty, but as the sun sets I believe the proper farewell would be “tov Shabat.”

  36. Rabbi,

    Thank you for your post.

    I had hope going into Tuesday night that America might be able to stave off the push towards the Progressive/Leftist/Statist religion for a while longer. It didn’t happen and it breaks my heart. I am embarrassed to think that my children will know it was my generation who lost what was given them.

    Is it any wonder that after several generations of our children being taught in government schools, by government employees that they graduate with a bias towards big government? Up until a few generations ago, the purpose of education was to teach children how to think, not what to think.

    My answer has been to homeschool my children. I decided I could no longer accept people teaching my children the idea that “it doesn’t matter what the question is… Government is the answer”. It doesn’t stop After high school. Far from it. My college experience began in 1988 in a class by a woman who announced on the first day that she was a lesbian and a Marxist. (I am proud of the 2.0 grade I received from her because you can tell a lot about a man by who his enemies are).

    As a nation, we have allowed our children to be taught values that we do not uphold and be entertained by people who actively promote values that we abhor. We should not be surprised when adults end up voting in line with the training they received as children.

    Again, thank you for your post. As a non-Jew, it is gratifying to hear from Jews not in lock-step with the Statists.

    Blessings,
    Jon

  37. an absolutely brilliant read. You have put all my thoughts and fears intoa concise thesis on the future of a once great country.
    From my vantage point here in Ramat Bet Shemesh, I woke up Wednesday morning and mourned for the America of my youth.

    There are rumblings in the south of a concept one never thought we would hear again: secession from the Union

    Scary times indeed

    • Yes. I have read many comments, read many blogs, basically cut my TV watching down to BYU TV and Jeopardy. One response I’ve made fairly often is “In God We Trust” and “God Bless America”. My religion, in common with Mitt Romney, encourages Self Reliance, staying out of Debt, and Waiting upon The Lord who will rescue this Nation and the World in His own good time. I have tried to follow that really good counsel and advice. We study the Old Testament in Sunday School every fourth year, in rotation with our other canonized Scriptures. We have noticed, in the Old Testament, that ancient Israel fought against their prophets many times, and as many have noted above, immigrants from Israel greatly helped increase the Wealth of this great nation. I truly do not understand this formerly Great Nation’s emphasis on 1) national Environmental Protection policy (save the Delta Smelt, and each and every Endangered Species ) and 2) our crazy immigration policies. For that I yield to the words engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty: “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door”. The (formerly) Golden State of California doesn’t get it either. We NEED water to grow the fresh food we all love to eat, much of which is grown in California’s fertile Central Valley. Therefore, I partially concur with Texas, in that very few elected officials in our once great and prosperous Nation seem to be able to free themselves from unholy alliances with Big Money. I do think California should split into two states: the rich and prosperous Coastal West, and the Big Farm counties of the fertile Central Valley.

      Therefore, I believe we should ALL pray for rain, and for our Representatives in this once great Republic. Those who can’t understand why we added “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance are hopeless idiots.
      And, by the way, Barry Sotero, aka Barack Hussein Obama, was admitted to Occidental College as a Foreign Born student. And I’m sure he had no Student Loans to pay off! Maybe he had Dual Citizenship? Who knows? He has carefully hidden his transcripts, etc.

      For those who like to read, I can highly recommend any thing by BenCarson or Mark Stein. These books were read by our Local TeaParty book club.

  38. Dr. Michael Widlanski

    The worst enemy of good analysis is wishful thinking. Rabbi Pruzansky’s analysis is strong because he takes a hard look at the real results. We cannot say the same for some who wrote comments, avoiding painful truths about President Barack Obama.

    Before addressing some of the comment-writers’ attempts at wishful thinking, let’s take a brief view of the foreign affairs ramifications of Obama’s first term—something not really addressed by Rabbi Pruzansky in detail.
    Obama’s record of foreign affairs debacles outpaces even that of Jimmy Carter, but you might not know it if you only get your news from MSNBC, CNN, CBS or ABC, or from my old newspaper, The New York Times.

    Libya—The worst lies one can tell are the ones one tells oneself. The most dangerous lies are the ones one tell oneself about terror. The Libya affair is a clear example of a major cover-up, something like what Nixon engineered in Watergate and also regarding the killing of diplomats in Sudan in 1974, when the Nixon people protected Arafat.

    Iran: Just as Jimmy Carter helped undermine the Shah and usher in the ayaltollahs in 1978-9, Obama helped the ayatollahs stay and advance their agenda in exporting terror and producing atomic weapons. He demurred in giving moral support to the protesters in Iran 2009, and he and his top aides were slow or opposed to serious sanctions against Iran (Valerie Jarrett, Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, Tom Donilon). Jarrett actually hosted a pro-ayatollah gathering of Iranians (many not US citizens) at the White House the day after the Iranian-Hizballah terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The NY Times quoted a senior Obama aide saying that the Iranians had merely engaged in “tit for tat” against Israel’s alleged strikes on Iranian atomic scientists.
    Egypt- Obama helped drive out the authoritarian Husni Mubarak just the way Carter helped push out Iran’s Shah. Neither Mubarak or the Shah were lieral democrats, but replacing them with the ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood is just plain stupid. Obama and his national security team, like Carter’s with Iran, have tried to make a case that the new fellows (Muhammad Morsi and the Brothers, like Khomeini and embassy hostage takers) were just good old boys letting off some steam who would warm up to America in short fashion. Yes, and there are several bridges for sale leading from Brooklyn and New Jersey into Manhattan which you can buy real cheap.
    Russia—Yes Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev (the guy to whom Obama whispered sweet promises about “flexibility”) are real dictators and not interested in any compromise. They have killed opponents and journalists, and they have sown war in territories around Russia. So much for the vaunted “re-start” promised by Obama and hapless Joe Biden and the feckless Hillary Clinton.
    Aghanistan- Obama promised a surge of his own, to distinguish himself from Bush’s surge in Iraq, brought in troops and then speedily undermined them by promising to withdraw them. How’s that worked out? More than 2,000 dead, most on Obama’s watch, as his policies have emboldened the Taliban and saddened former allies who now know Americans are going home the day after tomorrow. In car-making , this is called “planned obsolescence” but in warfare this is called shooting yourself in the foot and then in the stomach.
    Iraq—Bush and Cheney dumped Saddam, and they stayed in Iraq for some good reasons and some bad reasons. But after paying a high price, America still achieved a tremendous goal: bringing a serious measure of democracy to one of most important countries in the Mid-East. We had already paid the investment and defeated Al-Qaida in Iraq. But Obama wanted to prove that Bush was wrong, and he wanted to prove that he kept promises to his hard-left base. So, he seized defeat from the jaws of victory and threw the Iraqi regime into the arms of Iran. What strategic brilliance!!! Instead of drawing down forces more slowly over ten years—as all his commanders suggested—Obama took the short cut and the applause.

    Israel—Anyone who seriously suggests that we do not know what Obama thinks about Israel was obviously not awake during Obama’s first 30 months in office. His view on so-called settlements was actually harsher than Yasser Arafat’s—demanding a full Israeli housing freeze before talks resumed. Do some of the comment-writers not remember what Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton said about new apartments in Jerusalem? Do they not remember the staged leaks about Israel is endangering the world with a possible military strike on Iran? Obama is a student of Edward Said, William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. His record of defending Israel at the UN is worse than Jimmy Carter’s (both cast one veto for Israel). Fundamentally, Obama agrees with the Pan-Arab and Pan-Islamic point of view that wants to see Israel “cut down to size.” Bragging about military programs like Iron Dome (begun under George Bush) is really just blowing air when one remembers how Obama has cuddled up to Islamist Turkey that helped stage the terror flotilla to Gaza and also isolated Israel from NATO exercises. It says something about the Obama-Biden-Clinton realpolitik that they really consider Turkey to be a good emissary for talks with Iran.
    Counter-Terror- It is nice that Obama like to brag about killing Osama Bin-Laden, but he and his administration have done a lot to stop the very programs that got information leading to Al-Qaeda’s chief. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have pursued CIA officials more than the Taliban and Al-Qaeda offshoots around the world. Some of the biggest US successes are based on material gained well before Obama was elected and closed down enhanced interrogation which he and his friends (Leon Panetta, Carl Levin) unfairly called torture. This is not the place to list all the programs that Obama has effectively destroyed, but 2012-16 America is beginning to look like pre-9-11 America as Obama and Holder try not to offend radical Muslims. Their audacious hope is that a politically correct policy protects the US from attack. They are wrong. They and their friends in the security community use organizations like CAIR to vet the materials and instructors used to teach about terror, and this means not teaching about the ideology and some of the methods of Arab-Islamic terror. We will all pay for this at some point.

    Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. A former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively at The New York Times, Cox Newspapers and The Jerusalem Post, he was Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and teaches at Bar Ilan University.

  39. What a brilliant article. My thoughts exactly! Having worked for a NYC Govt agency for over 30 years before taking early retirement and moving to Israel I can say from personal experience that what you wrote is so very true! Jews must come home before it is too late. Hurricane Sandy, which devasted the Jewish community, on the heels of Parshat Lecha and during the week we read about the Destruction of Sedom, makes that so clear!

  40. Michael A. Koplen

    excellent blog post. summed it up well.

    M. Koplen

    • This is wrong. Romney lost because he couldn’t talk to the entire country, which doesn’t look at all like what it used to look like in the bubble he’s grown up in. He lost the Latino vote; he lost the independent vote; he lost women; he lost young people. The only people who cared were older, white males. You can’t run a democracy if you can’t build a consensus.

      It also became totally apparent that he’s not his own man, either. He pandered to the VERY radical right to get through the primaries. Once he won the nominations he began his sway back to the middle in a feeble attempt to win some in the middle–people notice that particular lack of conviction. This time it was egregious because the rest of the country didn’t want to see those maniacs on the hard right come into power with him. And they would–he’d need to pander to them (again) for his first four years to get to a second term. Only then might he have the chance to be his own guy.

  41. The republican party needs to level the playing field. Embrace a woman’s right to chose and drop marriage is only between a man and woman. Then focus on jobs; free enterprise and capitalism as our advantage in the world, or do we want a socialist state based on new, untrodden ground. I, a republican, find it hard to reconcile the law that says we cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, … with all the emotion wrapped up in the word “marriage”; accept the gays completely and stop this “marriage” semantic game. Remove abortion from the republican platform, let another party pick up this flag; staunch republicans will have to decide: a party based on the constitution or a party based on social mores. A new streamlined republican party will gain voters from other parties and address the real problems of America. One truth I do know, if you keep doing the same thing, how can you expect a different outcome?

    • Kevin, you are WRONG, WRONG, and WRONG again. Are you advocating that just because other people don’t agree with you, you should change your core beliefs? Are you advocating that I as an Orthodox Jew should change my beliefs because there are Anti Semites that don’t like it and wuld persecute me?

      When you lose an election, that is NOT the time to capitulate to the darker side, but to redouble your efforts to teach the correct way. When have you ever seen the OTHER side, the Democrats/Liberals lose an election and then stand around self-flagullating and changing their beliefs, or anything else for that matter? They don’t do it, and we definitely shouldn’t do it.

      When you give up on your core beliefs, for whatever reason, YOU WILLHAVE LOST THE WAR.

  42. Tzvi Silver (Jerusalem, Israel)

    This is a very interesting article- absolutely spot on. When you fill up American with non-Americans, the American identity, the American dream, starts to slowly but surely disappear. Following the presidential race from this side of the pond, I found it very disappointing to watch President Obama run a smear campaign with the liberal media (which is unfortunately almost all of the media) following him around like a pack of hungry dogs waiting for him to throw something at them that they could jump on.
    At the end of the day, what American Jewry needs to realize is that our National goal is not to sit around in America, slowly but surely shifting our Jewish national identity into our ethnicity, our past. American Jews need to realize that their destiny is to move to live out the Jewish dream (not the American dream), to keep Judaism part of their future instead of letting it become their past; and move to Israel, the place where our forefathers lived, the only place in the world with a Jewish government and a Jewish majority. On a basic level, doing this will help the Jewish people continue to survive despite our constant assimilation in chu’ll. However, on a more spiritual level, this will also help bring the geula, the redemption, after which we will no longer have to worry about the United States president, or about hundreds of rockets being fired into Israel from Hamas in Gaza and Hizbola in Lebanon on a daily basis. All we will have to worry about is serving G-d, gathering in the remaining exiles, and building the Third and Final Temple. This is the Jewish dream.

  43. Rabbi, yashar koach!

  44. Best summary of the situation that I’ve read so far, and very straight forward, honest, and to the point, regardless from which side you view things. I personally am preparing for our 2nd Civil War as in not too long one side will get tired of working and paying for everything with no gain while the other side gets impatient and angry because there aren’t enough working and paying to provide everything they’ve been promised and want. We are, without a doubt, headed for war in the streets within our own borders on the same course that led to the 1st one; a different view of society and ideology. Unfortunately we don;t have an Abe Lincoln in the wings to bring peace and prosperity to rebuild the country. May God have mercy on us all for what is surely to come.

  45. Reblogged this on External Politics and commented:
    What an excellent piece of writing. I encourage all of you to read and share.

  46. One apparent factor that has not seemed to appear in all the back and forth here is that that largest single constituency in the U.S. is government workers at all levels. How do they tend to vote? Like the takers? I suspect most do.

  47. Thank you for such a well-written and thorough analysis. I shared it with several friends. The situation is so disheartening. However, of course, I continue on… creating jobs, paying taxes and working hard to improve the business that I didn’t build.
    Keep writing, Rabbi P!

  48. excellent blog post with real rational analysis, but how can this situation continue without the collapse of America. It is economically not feasible for this soon to be welfare state to provide for the million s by taking from the few. I mourn for the America I loved and appreciated.

  49. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. You summed it up perfectly. I am an Australian Jew and I grieved the US’s election results. America has given up the values that made it great. America is in decline. The moral character of its citizen has been corrupted. Its not only a dark day for America, its a dark day for the world. The fact that American jews have supported this is a disgrace. American jews should be ashamed of themselves. They have given up Torah values and support for Israel and the Jewish people for the moral bankrupcy of Leftism. America – look at Europe – thats your future,

    • While there are certainly many aspects of the post worth criticizing, I just wanted to touch on one. The author implies that for those who vote for liberals (i.e. Democrats) “liberalism is their Torah.” I don’t understand why there can be no separation between personal and public belief. If you want to live in a theocracy go to one on the Arab states. The greatness of our country is allowing people freedom to act as they wish as long as it does not harm others. The author suggests we should vote based on religious beliefs. Unfortunately that’s how Saudi Arabia works, not America.

      • The author makes a good point a little too strongly, but reveals perhaps more than he cares to. Indeed, America is not a theocracy. But people do vote based on their core values. If a Jew’s core values are not based on the Torah, then he has relegated Judaism to mere ritual, in line with the “Orthoprax” that I once exposed in this space. To be a “light onto the nations” is a specific Jewish mission based on our divinely-bestowed values and ideas. If we fail to embrace that – worse, if we recoil from it – then G-d has selected a nation that will wave lulavim one week out of the year and other such ritualistic acts. Is that all there is to Torah?
        The mitzvot are part of the framework that binds the Jew to G-d, and it is within that framework that we derive our life’s beliefs and ideals. To maintain the laws of the Torah without the spirit and values is as sensible as trying to maintain the spirit and values without the law. If the Torah bequeathed us a certain morality for us and for the rest of mankind, then it is incumbent upon Jews to internalize and then project that morality. What a blessing that so many Christians are unafraid to do the same, and from the Bible itself! Why are Jews so reticent in a free society? I think one reason is the lure of Orthopraxy.
        -RSP

      • One’s core beliefs direct one’s life, and therefore all should vote according to their beliefs. It becomes obvious therefore that the liberal beliefs of today are the antithesis of classical liberal stances, Today’s American liberalism supports not only abortion but now infanticide in some cases, a detail in Obama’s state senate stance. Today’s American liberalism spends by debt for about 40 percent of the national budget without plan to correct this, evidencing fiscal irresop. Today’s American liberalism opposed Bush’s war, but validates Obama’s, which now include cross border attacks in Pakistan from Afghanistan, Libya and lately military advisors sent to over thirty African nations. Harold explains his view in the statement, “I don’t understand why there can be no separation between personal and public belief.” Let one simplify this into: the liberal believes A excpet when he believes its opposite B. The liberal believes one thing personally and another publicly. As may be seen by this reduction, the intellectual dishonesty is glaring.

  50. Rabbi, I am a Christian not a Jew, but I wholeheartedly support Israel and its right to exist. I agree with almost everything that you stated, not only in your opening post, but in your rebuttal to the liberals that disagree with you. I believe you are incorrect in one of your assertions; that we are 15 – 20 years away from possible collapse due to either moral or economic reasons. I believe the time frame is much sooner. There are too many evil men, like George Soros, who are working at a fevered pitch to insure the decline of America. They see us, and rightfully so, as the last bastion of freedom and sovereignty in the world. Without us around as a world power, they can move towards the one world currency and government that has been in the works for a long time now. Once the dollar is no longer the reserve currency
    One other point that you made that I wanted to piggyback off of.
    I could never understand that the Jewish people of America would continue to vote in liberals that continue to turn their backs on Israel, and especially since Obama took office. It just never made sense to me. Then I had an epiphany, and this goes for non-Jews too. Anyone that does not have the Lord in their heart, who is the ultimate decider and controller of everything, has an empty place there. Because they have no believe in a “higher power”, and because instinctively humans want an ultimate source for control and governance, they choose the state. The state becomes their god. I also believe that when there is this whole in their heart where God should reside, it is filled with worldly things. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. I’ll say it plainly — evil things.
    In summary, we have not only gone off the cliff, we are heading for the bottom. It is no just a matter of how hard and how bad the damage.
    May God Bless you!

  51. I was sent your post from a friend and have some comments but want to qualify my political ideology first to avoid “he said, she saids”, “but what about Bush” or “Clinton” did nonsense that stifles intelligent conversation on matters political. All government is of the flesh and doomed to fail. I was at one time, politically active , but no more. I thought that by getting involved and being “informed” was the way to go but found out no one wants you involved unless it’s to send a check to a political campaign. Informed? By that, do they mean conservative talk radio or NPR? Wall Street Journal or The Times? The Jewish Press? Christian Science Monitor? They just sell product. A friend who had a very good website and did live shows never took advertising money as he believed the first casualty of that arrangement was the truth. I agree 100%. For those of you who do listen to WABC radio in NYC, listen to the commercials. Who is advertising 70-80% of the time? The Government. Whose “sponsoring” the broadcasts on WNET or NPR? Oil companies and Tax exempt foundations. It’s very Orwellian isn’t it. Isn’t it also funny how religious institutions all seem to be Tax Exempt 5013(c) organizations? Yet we hear of separation of church and state when they are in fact tied at the hip. To receive that “status”, you must comply. Who are you complying with? The Government. Once again.
    The same holds true for the Foundations……hmmmm.

    To be continued if any one wishes to discuss this at greater length…..

    Thank you for allowing my input.

    EReed
    Brooklyn NY

  52. Pingback: If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back. — Winds Of Jihad By SheikYerMami

  53. Knocked it out of the park, babe.

  54. Reuven Andreessen

    Rabbi excellent post! I love your blog!

  55. Such a great article. Says everything I have been thinking this past week in such an eloquent manner. Bravo!

  56. BRAVO!!!

    The unfortunate fact is that we Jews are as a group, a predictable Democratic vote. As such we give up our political power. We don’t count, and President Obama felt free to deal harshly with Israel, because he didn’t have to worry about the jewish vote. We have made ourselves politically irrelevant to the politicians and they are acting accordingly.

    Separately, Unfortunately, The US has lost its moral compass. It has become an amoral nation,

    I am Proud to call Rabbi Pruzanski MY Rabbi

  57. Av,
    Not sure if you’re still following, but a few points must be made to address your intelligent dialogue:
    Since first grade we have been taught that Noach and Avrohom were fundamentally different, the latter being the more impressive character. Why? Because Avrohom helped others around him while Noach kept to himself. What was Noach supposed to do, kiruv? On the local goyim?
    “But I don’t see where my Judaism instructs me that as an American Jew living in a pluralistic, nondenominational society that it is my right (never mind my obligation!) to impose those values on others.” Noach was apparently frowned upon by Chazal for not fighting the democratic gay marriage legislation (and the like) during his time. He did not fulfill the mission we state three times daily of “l’saken olam b’malchus Shakay.”

    Why don’t we fight avodah zara and aver min ha’chai?

    Good question. Several thoughts come to mind:

    1) Diplomacy. We cannot make an uprising against laws which exist in this country with our small minority. However, we can use whatever influences (and votes) we have in a local state election about gay marriage when the topic is on the table for discussion. We can also feel pained when we lose that vote, that goyim are now violating another sin on top of those which they already commit.

    2) Even if you (somehow) disagree with our obligation to be an “ohr la’amim,” which does not only include thanking the bus driver, rather showing them the light of G-d and His Torah, there is still a fundamental difference. While we may not impose all of our agendas onto their lifestyles, we must concern ourselves with our people. As long as no Yeshivas are hosting any symposiums for aver min ha’chai, we can hopefully assume that the majority of Orthodox Jews are safe from that sin. But what happens when the local legislation allows gay marriage? Is it possible that the message permeates our own society, and furthers the message that somehow this aveirah is more permissible than others? Can it be that there are boys who feel more comfortable or confident that they are indeed gay because secular society has embraced them? To the best of my knowledge, no frum Jew is struggling more with eating at McDonald’s because it’s legal in NY.

  58. The good rabbi states: “it is time for Jews to go home, to Israel. We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress.”
    Nu Rabbi. Are you a leader? Contact your local aliyah office and start packing. Your credibility demands it.

  59. Now either this is THE SOURCE that solidified everyone’s wildly varied thinking in the earliest days after the election, or it is an excellent compilation of where great minds were inevitably headed as conclusions. Pretty much everyone I respect is aligned with the summary of Rabbi Pruzansky. The fact it was posted Wed. after the election is much to the point that this is the source. Then as others read it in the following week it became theirs.

    One repeating theme I hear over years is that Americans “vote for” a president and a divided Congress to give gridlock to his mis-guided or extreme intentions. That is generally the result but I don’t believe it is the intent of the voters. They vote for people they know little to nothing about in 99% of all races. The results give a random smattering of Rs and Ds and the occasional independent who gained name recognition. There is no conscious plan at the ballot box.

    I do wish many more would end with some statement that individually we must return to our sacred scriptures while everything and everyone around us is crumbling. We need to “go home” to the only enduring reality of our existence; life is about relationship with our God.

    Sign me an evangelical Christian appreciative of the Rabbi’s writings.

  60. Rabbi,

    I am a Christian and I can tell you that everything you said is true as far as I am concerned. I think many Christians would agree with you. I wish we had an “Israel” to do Aliyah.

  61. As a student of World History, it is easy to see how this American Empire is in decline. It may survive, however in some form while other areas of the country break away and form their own republics like “The Former Yugoslavia” did in the 90s.

    As our founding fathers arose, so shall new leaders arise and change this country into something else or perhaps several “something elses.” This American Empire cannot last forever.

    In the book of Isiah, it says “All men are like grass….the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord remains forever.

    Solomon wrote: “Fear God and keep his commandments. This is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement….including every hidden thing whether it be good or evil.

    I guess that’s all us peasants can do.

  62. Pearl Buck wrote a book before WWII called THE GOOD EARTH. She wrote of Christian ministers who sought to convert the Chinese and occasionally gave free rice at prayer meetings. The recipients were called “rice Christians.” There were few prospective converts at meetings when there was no free rice.

    The US has few sincere Liberals, but it has many “rice Liberals.”

  63. You left out one more (the most important) woe that is to befall America with the re-election of Obama and the dominance of the left in America: The increasing and ever more aggressive presence of Islam and Muslims in America. At least under Bush (silly comments about the “religion of peace” not withstanding), after 911, there were subtle (and understated) efforts to curb immigration from Muslim countries, and great efforts were made to strenuously vet every applicant for a visa from Muslim countries, and denial of visas for strident Muslim “intellectuals” invited here by academia. Now there is an open door – indeed pathetic – welcoming of Muslims here. The growth of Muslim influence in the general population and in academia, especially, poses the greatest threat to American Jewish well-being ever. And the sad and infuriating thing is the heedless support for this perverted cult of “diversity” and “engagement” by Jewish so-called “civil liberties” organizations and individuals.

    As a Jewish refugee from a Muslim country, I am in deep dread as to what more “accommodation” to Islam, at home and abroad, our (crypto Muslim?) president has in store for us in the next few years.

  64. If I were a young Jew, I would plan on moving to Israel. Why? The philosophy of taking from the “rich” to give to the poor. Have we not seen this in the past history?

    Who will be the “rich?” One of the “rich” persons pointed to will be Barbara (Barbra) Streisand. Then there will be other Jew’s who are also considered “rich.” In time, all Jews will be considered “rich” and it will be the Jews fault that the poor aren’t getting their free stuff anymore.

    Does anyone remember Hitler? According to Hitler, what was the cause of all of Germany’s problems? The “rich” Jew.

    America has changed and will continue to change. When the time is right, the Jew will once again be singled out as the cause of all of America’s problems.

    If I were a young Jew, I would plan on moving to Israel. Pronto.

  65. the Rabbi is right on. Kudos to him for his insight and analysis. I have never understood how a Jew could vote for Obama, but I guess we all don,t have the same feeling for Israel or the understanding that because we are a disproportionately Successful and ambitious people, we are once again a target. Beware of the takers! The easier it gets, the more they want. This time, however, we are not the only target. Anyone who has accumulated anything, through hard work and ambition, is! Robert J.

  66. As a citizen of Israel I have to disagree regarding the election results. Rank-and-file Israelis do not trust Obama and do not care what he thinkss. Moreover, the Likud has more or less committted to going with the Republicans in Congress with MK Danny Danon working on creating ties between the two parties. Moreover, polls show a Knesset majority for a center-right coalition. Unless something drastic happens with Iran I see four more years of muddling through – especially if Obama is forced to concentrate on domestic issues as he most liely will be.

  67. Rabbi P.’s post is the best recap of the election I have read. I would add a few thoughts: First, the decline referenced can be traced to a time much earlier than 2007. I would posit that the march to the left began with Wilsonian Progressivism a century ago. As America progressed by adding one government program after another, brainwashing its youth in free public schools, encouraging activist courts, and creating a massive entitlement class, the framework of the debate became more and more defined by the Left. I am now reading Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative”, written 52 years ago. Change Moscow to Tehran and Billion to Trillion, and the book could have been published yesterday. Moreover, Goldwater complained then that while the Democrats were only doing their job by pushing for ever bigger government, higher taxes and more entitlements, the conservatives had been reduced to arguing only about the size of these things, not whether they were authorized by the constitution or not. So, I would say, that with Social Security (and the dirty tricks FDR used to get it through the SCOTUS), we were on the way to losing the Republic envisioned by the founding fathers. To me, this election is confirmation that Wilsonian Progressivism has succeeded in pushing the country past the tipping point.

    As for Rabbi P.’s comments on aliya, I could not agree more. While we might have more than 15 years, the drift will be gradual, until it becomes very fast. That has cost many Jewish lives in the past. Three very basic recommendations for every Jew in the diaspora: 1. Keep your and your loved ones’ passports up to date. Do not let them lapse even for a day. 2. Keep, in a location with easy access, the cash (not in a bank or investment account) necessary to buy you and your family one-way tickets to Tel Aviv. Personally, I would suggest that the amount be kept in gold coins issued by a sovereign government. It is important to periodically check the price of airline tickets and make sure that the amount you had set aside is still sufficient. 3. Determine your “red lines” which, if crossed, will require you to quickly execute your exit/aliya plans. One of mine, for example, is if the government announces the confiscation of legal personal firearms (a move which has preceeded the consolidation of power by facists throughout modern history).

  68. Thank you Rabbi. You put things in perfect perspective. As a christian believer I have been taught to respect and bless my older brothers. I would like to state my christian perspective regarding the middle east. This is a scary time for Israel, as Obama has already made it known that he will push
    aggressively for a palestinian state, without any protection for Israel. How can anyone be surprised? He was raised in the african-american political culture of Chicago, the place of “hymietown” slurs and black liberation theology, which worships the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Hamas is considered charity! I have read two recent books by Joel Richardson, The Islamic Antichrist and The Mideast Beast. While these are christian books which deal with the books of Daniel and Revelation, they also lay out specific end-time beliefs of Muslims. Their savior [the Mahdi] comes to lead the caliphate and institute sharia law everywhere he can. The dimini tax will be abolished and the choice for Jews and Christians will be total submission to Islam or death. These end-time beliefs are central to the Sunni Muslim brotherhood, who are trying to resurrect the Caliphate with Turkey at his head. Iran is pushing its own end-time beliefs with shia believers at the head. I believe that is why Turkey has gone against Syria, to make it known to Iran that Turkey will be the leader of the Muslim middle east. Central to the Mahdi is the destruction of Israel. It has taken such a short time to topple all these secular dictators, it really is astonishing. Obama is arming the Muslim brotherhood, including AL-Qaeda, in Egypt, Libya and now Syria. I thought AL-Qaeda was our enemy? We are arming them! I will continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We are entering dangerous times. Israel needs all the Torah Jews it can get. Shalom.

  69. I can condense Romney’s election loss and the Republican’s demise into one word:
    Norquist.

  70. Rabbi, you are correct on so many levels. Unfortunately, it is more than just free stuff. That is simple (and expected) reaction to stimuli. If it feels good, do it. If it feels bad, don’t to it. In fact, however, there is a more insidious and fundamental driver of or demise. This comes in the form of three groups:
    • Group 1: The power hungry. These are the politicians and union leaders who want power so much that they will sacrifice anything (our children and their futures) to get it.
    • Group 2: The socialist ideologues (e.g. Obama), who will drive us in this direction because of their naïve utopian beliefs.
    • Group 3: These are what Lenin referred to as the “useful idiots.” In fact, many of them have commented here. These are the people who facilitate (through funding, volunteering, etc.) the efforts of the socialist’s and the power hungry. This is done through the ego of having a sense of moral superiority, or sense of guilt associated with being one of the ‘haves.’ These people remain willfully ignorant. They willingly remain ignorant, because if they had the intellectual honesty to look at facts/data to the contrary the entire “progressive” philosophy would unravel. Should they objectively look at the net effect of the trillions of dollars spent on our socialist utopia since the 1960’s, they would find a trail of inter-generational dependence, and the degradation/theft of human dignity from those who are supposedly being “helped.”
    While it requires all of these groups to create a huge underclass of dependent takers, the Useful Idiots are the most dangerous among us. Without their willful ignorance the socialist ideologue and power hungry would be seen for the fools they are and would not stand a chance.
    I am, however, not as pessimistic as you are at this point. We must start now, but we can educate our youth. We can get the truth of these socialist programs to people. We must also offer a greater vision of self worth than waiting for the government to simply take care of people.
    As the socialist utopia fails to produce the desired results in the next four years, and talk of European style austerity measure begin to emerge, we must seize the moment, latch onto what will be ever increasing discontent, and reverse the course we are on. Nothing last forever, including the Obama’s empty vision of the world. With sufficient effort, we can save this country for a few more generations.

  71. What I would like to understand is why so many – by far the majority – of Americans of Jewish descent continue to vote for Democrats. Are they also the “takers”? Takers of what?

    • They are not necessarily takers. Since they have no Faith in the G-d of the universe they believe that the “state” is god and therefore, it is responsible for the well-being of all.

    • Jim. I do not understand that either! The Jewish people that I have known have always been very hard working, self sufficient, generous and successful people. This goes against all that the Democratic party stand for. Thank you for making this point, Jim.

  72. Amen to everything this article says! I’m not Jewish, but I wholeheartedly agree.

  73. Thank you Rabbi Pruzansky for this truly honest assessment of the catastrophic election. I have been privileged to have been raised in Jewish family with a great patriotic upbringing. This includes a grandparent who served in WWI, a father who served in the Korean War, an uncle who served in Germany WWII,an uncle who served in the US Navy in WWII, another uncle who served stateside in the US Army WWII and even an aunt who volunteered in the WAC service in WWII. I was raised in the 1960′s in Borough Park with the great combination of pride in Israel’s accomplishments defending the Jewish state and a family that had the greatest respect for our Jewish-American contributions defending the United States in war and peace. This pride has been instilled in my children always emphasizing my grandfather’s consistent gratitude to this great democracy,”America is a gitte medina for the Jews”.He was correct but I fear that if he were alive today, his words would have to be tempered appropriately. This is not the America that our families have sacrificed so dearly for. Those of us honest and forthcoming enough to recognize what has just transpired must pray that this self-defeating path is abandoned. The revelations of so many scandals cynically revealed days after the election, which would have clearly impacted so many votes, points to a Democratic party content with lying. The message to our youth is simple. Lying is appropriate when used to achieve what they perceive as a righteous goal. The culture of lying and convenient ignorance reflects a diseased American culture endemic in liberal circles. With a wink and a nod, the news of the clear politically based self-serving decisions by the President and his advisors on that terrible night in Benghazi is a terrible blemish on the highest office. President Obama likely went to sleep that night while our citizens cried out for help and burned in the consulate and were overwhelmed in the annex. Well, a wink and a nod does not give any solace to the families of the American ambassador and those who died trying to defend him. If the truth is allowed to come out , we might just realize our worst fear that the President and his advisors lied about what they knew was the truth in order to not risk his re-election possibilities. Worse yet, it might just bear out that our President allowed American citizens to die to advance his additional four years. This nightmare scenario seems very real at this point and should lead to an impeachment proceeding when the truth comes out. If the truth is hidden, our country will be weakened for generations to come. Never before in recent history has such a black cloud been so omnipresent over the White House. My fear is that today’s America is willing to give the President a pass even at the cost of human lives. This is a very scary new America and not one that any military family can look back at with pride. The Obama administration has been more successful in destroying American pride than any communist, socialist or fascist enemy the US has ever had. Prayer is needed and soon.

  74. I would add that this “free ” stuff only lasts until the pay for competition has collapsed and you are thoroughly dependent on the handouts. Then you will be rationed and expected to owe them your livelihood.

  75. Yasher Koach to yo0u, Rabbi and to all of us. Ette Leah

  76. I’ve been reading “Exodus,” (by Leon Uris, not the one by Moses). Some of the “flashbacks” describe how Jews thought things could not change, and the realized how wrong they were only when it was too late. It worries me that AA may be right, as well as another commenter who worries that soon America may be blaming Jews as 1930′s Germany blamed them. I hate to think of America without the presence of Jews, but it may come to that before too long. For those who remain past the time they should, I hope they will be able to find those of us who are willing to hide them.
    FYI: I spoke recently with someone who sells ammunition as part of his business. He sold all the AR ammo he had during a gun show the weekend after the election. When he tried to order more his supplier was completely out. He has never seen that happen, though it came close 4 years ago. We are all living in dangerous times, both Jew and Gentile.

    • Darwin,
      I quote this line from the text of your post. “For those who remain past the time they should,…”

      I am a Christian. Your line takes me back to when I was 31 and first married. (I’m 74) My wife and I lived in a small apartment house and one of the tenants was a very nice Jewish lady that I always enjoyed talking to. One day while she was using the building’s washing machine she started to talk about how she got out of Germany just in time.

      She told me of getting on one of the last trains allowed by the NAZIS that allowed Jews to go to Switzerland. At the last minute her husband remembered something or other and said for her to go on and he would follow on the next train. She begged and pleaded with him to forget it and get on the train with her.

      He didn’t. There was no next train. With tears in her eyes she told me she never saw him again. I remember standing there silently. What is it that I possibly could have said?

      Why am I relating this story here and now? I don’t know other than to say that your line reminded me of her story which I have never forgotten in 43 years.

      I hope to G-d that such will never be the future of the United States.

      Tom Smith

    • Rev. Robert L. Becerra

      As a Catholic priest and avowed Catholic Zionist (and an “anusim”), I could not possibly agree with the rabbi MORE than I already do! His socio-politico-MORAL synthesis was RIGHT ON! As someone who has already lost one country to socialism of the Marxist-Leninist flavor (Cuba), I shudder to think what will happen if/when we quietly slip beneath the waves in our own national Titanic encounter! Hopefully, I will be dead by then! One problem I see is the inability of the secular mind to have stereoscopic vision that allows them to see a whole vast “Otherness” that is BEYOND empirical data. This creates in the secular mind a type of monoscopic vision bereft of “depth-perception:” since they can’t SEE it, it’s NOT THERE! This adds to the perceived “polarization” in the electorate. If there is NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH, which we have been spoon-fed after generations of the so-called “multiculturalist” agenda, the stage is set for a rank relativism to permeate society. When human beings lose the ability to perceive the very basis of ALL relationships–what the great Jewish philosopher Martin Buber called the I-Thou–then only the “I” predominates, and “I,” not El-Elohe-Yisrael (HaShem), become the Absolute Truth by which everything in my world is compared and judged. And if “I” am the root of everything, then things such as putting off a legitimate immediate personal good in order to have an even better personal and corporate good later on–in essence, saying “NO” to me–becomes much more difficult when we have been allowed to develop into a nation of individual Ids, in the Freudian sense. Atheistic secularism ultimately reduces the human being into an animal devoid of moral reasoning. Yes, the atheists will howl! But then, have you ever met a HAPPY atheist?? The ones I’ve met are all ANGRY at us, and at the DEITY they claim NOT to believe in!!
      Then there is what I call the “Tyranny of the Two.” The two party system that encourages and promotes partisans NOT TO COMPROMISE! A multi-party system of its very nature DEMANDS coalitions of parties and compromise! This is why I am not a Democrat, nor a Republican. I belong to the CONSTITUTION PARTY! Check it out. Also, check the JUSTICE PARTY, the LIBERTARIAN PARTY, etc.! It doesn’t have to be this way. But, that’s another analysis!

      “Sha’alu shelom Yirushalayyim,”

      Rev. Robert L. Becerra

  77. In my posting today, at http://georgeshollenberger.blogspot.com/ , I say that the upper-income earners are against the Intelligent design of an active God. The USA will fail, if they continue.
    George Shollenberger

  78. It doesn’t matter who is president, everyone is responsible for themselves. Stop blaming other people and just do what is right, worry about YOU doing the right thing and not others. If you yourself have a moral compass things will turn out fine. After all, you are the only person you can control.

  79. Pingback: Our faith in America has been shaken | Believing in America at Patriot Place

  80. That was one of the most insightful pieces I’ve ever read. And unfortunately I think you’re quite right about where this country, and indeed the world, is headed. In the end, the only thing that can’t be appropriated by any person or political entity is that which you CAN take with you when you go: personal faith in God.
    Bless you, Rabbi.

  81. Response to David Gray,,
    The USA will become very progressive now that Prsident Obama was given another chance to overcome the GOP dumbness. The GOP has lived long enough with a ‘set of ungodly symbols.” With powerful symbols, the USA can be fixed with a ‘set of godly symbols’ and an active God. See my post today on ‘Living in a Nation Under God’ at http://georgeshollenberger.blogspot.com/

    George Shollenberer

    • As one George to another, I respectfully ask, under what rock have YOU been hiding? You make it sound like “progressive” is GOOD. Then you suggest that the Democrats (sorry – progressives), the ones who voted God out of the Party Platform, are the ones who will be “Living in a Nation Under God”.

      The “progressives” have only one God, and presently that is Obama.

      • I am retired from the U.S. Dept. of Justice. I was a staff member of the National Institute of Justice as a physical scientist to solve the national crime problem. There, I concluded that the mind of a Republican and Democrat is confused and does not understand reality. In 2006, I wrote my first book on, ‘The First Scientific Proof of God.’ Recently, I wrote a seond book on, “A New and Modern Holy Bible with the Intelligent Design of An Active God.’ My books are challenging all religions. I am nn independent voter My general teaching is to correct the symbols of every national language becauses the minds of many humans are made by symbols. To me, a progressive person believes in an endless universe created by an active God So, progress is always necessary. I reject the liberal/conservative logic. A person is a conservative if this person believes that our universe comes to an end. To me, all humans are reborn by God. See Matt. 5:19. God has no heaven. But God created different heavens for us. We see them in the evening sky. We must leave this planet eventually. See. Ch 24 of Matthew. Jesus was a great scientist. But he is not the Son of God.

        George D. Shollenberger

  82. Kenneth a Texan
    A Democracy cannot stand,once the general populace realizes what it can obtain free from the government,that is the beginning of the fall of a democracy,all this man has done is speed up the process,the sad thing is he did it for votes,I jus hope and pray there are enough moral men left in this great land that will pick up the pieces and take us back down that narrow pathway to greatness again..

  83. Words, words, I’m so sick of words. The Rabbi made many good points. But. The decline of the office of POTUS started way before 2007. Clinton and Nixon come to mind. I see no chance that the nation will return to living as a Nation Under God until the Second Coming. I’ll likely be dead before then (I’m 71 now) and I don’t see enough of the 30-50 age group with the faith of their fathers. With today’s news, it looks like Israel and Syria will soon precipitate Armageddon. As I commented on Nov 8th, goodbye America, it’s been nice knowing you. And even the Rabbi’s blog was trying to sell stuff.

  84. Actually the decline started at the turn of the 20th century with the rise of the Progressives via Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and towering figures such as Jane Addams (the second most famous woman of the 19th century). They all embraced the notion that the Constitution was archaic and needed to be bypassed if not totally abandoned. This was a time where the danger of totalitarian governments had not been realized, and being Americans, fascinated with new ideas, and ready to ditch old ones, embraced the notion of an elite meritocracy ruling the huddled masses. In the early 20s many of these people took a junket to Europe and were extolling the virtues of Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin.

    It worked for a long while but by the mid sixties the entitlement programs and competition from cheaper labor markets started to stress the status quo. Sometime in the near future, government checks are going to bounce, and the U.S. will find itself in a financial crises where the past Keynesian playbook will be a non-starter. The U.S. won’t be able to borrow for what it clearly can never pay back and will have devalued the currency to a level where the printing press will no longer mask the situation.

    That will be the reckoning. Whether we become locked down as a fascist state like China or become libertarian is to be seen. But it will happen quickly, and it will be devastating both for our country and for the future of mankind.

  85. great article, thank you for expressing it so beautifully. May HaShem bless you.

  86. From a Roman Catholic, wonderful words Rabbi. I agree with all you say.
    Unfortunately, many people think like Av above…challenging the good traditional values that have defined our culture, and our country. The media, pop culture, music, tv, movies, …the list of opposition goes on and on..Its going to be difficult but i believe that good will prevail. God bless you

  87. I again enjoyed reading your post — even though I don’t share your assessment. The most recent cease fire, without the loss of IDF lives, and with an end (for now at least) of fire into Israel, shows that President Obama has much to offer. But there is a larger point — and that is that religion and politics don’t mix well. A liberal America has allowed for the Jewish religion to flourish here, and in particular for the growth of Orthodoxy. This commitment to separation of church and state is one reason I am proud to be a Democrat. As far as the reason that President Obama won, history is a good guide, and it has little to do with give aways to the poor. First, as an incumbant he had a considerable advantage. Second, the Republican Party largely lacks a program for the upwardly mobile Middle Class that is worried about access to loans for their childen to go to College; ensuring that their parents who may need support as they age will get that help; ensuring that health and safety regulations are followed, and that the environment is protected etc. The middle classes who live in suburban American, and even those making over 250K, value these programs. They are willing to pay a it more in taxes, for these important programs that improve quality of life.

    • Jeff – I think you are wrong on almost every point you made. The cease fire is a huge victory for Hamas, and it will cost Israeli lives in the future. Read the details – there cab be no other conclusion. Israel gets a breif respite from missile fire. Hamas gains freedom for its leaders to travel freely without fear of attack from Israel, no matter how many attacks on Israel they plan or order. Hamas also gains the right to import more dual use materials, as Israel eases the blockade. Hamas did not agree to stop planning more bus bombings. And to credit Obama for anything but huge pressure on Israel to concede these major security measures for Gaza’s benefit is just silly. Religion and politics were both of the utmost importance to our founding fathers. Judaism has flourished here because of the constitution, not because of liberal, activist judges who seek to rewrite it from the bench. And you kind of prove the Rabbi’s point, when, as a Democrat, all of your political calculations seem to be focused on how much money and stuff Americans can vote themselves from the treasury.

      • Phil, you could not have put your words to better use!! People are so mis-informed about what is really going on at the Gaza strip.

      • Dear Phil,
        Thanks for your note, and I appreciate the differences of opinion we have.
        Let me start with the Founders point. They were Enlightenment figures who believed in “improvement,” but were not religious, as such. You might consider Henry May’s classic book on the American Enlightenment. As far as the Constitution, it sought not to promote, but to limit the role of state based religion. it was understood that religion was a force that could divide the new nation (This view was noted in Washington’s Farewell Address). The idea that judges, liberal judges in particular, are want to corrupt the constitution is to misread legal history. Judges interpreting the constitution do so from an activist point of view. John Marshall is a good example of a conservative (Federalist) judge who was an activist (where in art. III, does it say anything about judicial review?). Lastly, government by its nature is distributive of resources. Money spent on infrastructure, land given to RRs, tariff policies, having a national bank, were all decisions that implicated government distribution of resources. Surely, there is nothing wrong with people having an interest in how these recources are spent — e.g., for the environment, or for the military. Each is a legitimate position. My Grandfather, a very learned man was a proud Democrat, and so am I. His job and health were protected by a party that cared for the little guy.

      • Jeff – For people who were not “religious”, however you wish to define that term, they had much to say about God, Deism, and Christianity. The overall impression I get is that the founding fathers were very spiritual, if not “religious”, in terms of their relationship with an organized church. The Declaration of Independence and the constitution are highly infused with the concept that our rights are God given, not man, or government given. This concept places our rights above the control of man. This concept is essential to the survival of true liberty, although one would have had trouble finding evidence of this principle at this year’s Democratic Party convention. So while the founding fathers indeed were suspicious of religion when it is abused by government for its own purposes, they were hardly atheists who sought to outlaw public religious expression or freedom, like today’s ACLU and similar groups. As for the SCOTUS, I do not reserve criticism for liberal activist judges only. The charge of the SCOTUS is to interperet and apply the laws passed by Congress, not to make new law or invalidate laws according their whim, or according to popular trends in what is “fair”. Any judge who sees his mission as creating a “fair” society should be removed from the bench. The federal government’s powers, as enumerated in the constitution and further restricted by the 10th Amendment, are really not very redistributive. The few tasks given to the federal government (interstate trade, defense, etc.), do not distribute wealth from one group of citizens to another, but authorize expenditures to specific uses which benefit all citizens similarly. The redistributive programs were intended to be the domain of the states, where voters would have much more say in the use of collected taxes. Only with the rise of Progressivism in the last century did the federal government acquire the power to confiscate and redistribute wealth from some citizens to other citizens in the form of entitlements. This is precisely what we conservatives are critical of, and what Rabbi Pruzansky touched on in this post. And anyone who claims to be conservative, but demands that Social Security and Medicare be preserved, is not really a genuine conservative. Recommended reading: The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater. Published in 1960, it is as relevent today as it was then.

    • Dear Jeff,

      Your point that the recent ceasefire is an example of the Obama administration foreign policy success is very off and I believe that even the most liberal defenders of the President agree. Morsi was praised and elevated by the Obama administration despite his allowing the massive smuggling of the missiles that started the conflict. In less than 24 hours after his praise, Morsi announced sweeping immunity from all Egyptian law for himself. Can you not see the direct relationship? Hilary Clinton was still in the region when he made these announcements. This is consistent with how despots view what tehy perceive as weakness in western policies.And for the record, under the Morsi administration this blog would lead to all of our arrest and torture at the hands of a militant ruthless leader.Jews and their rabbinical leaders must take a stance to protect our democracy. Rabbi’s have always stood on the side of justice. It appears that when the current administration and the liberal policies that are destroying this nation are criticized, it becomes taboo. I appreciate Rabbi Pruzansky’s position and agree with it as do the vast majority of Jews that I know. While I cherish the back and forth and respect all positions, there is too much at risk for us to sit quietly while the republic is forever weakened.

      • Phil,
        You raise some interesting points. But it is an error for “conservatives” to think that the New Deal or Great Society (or liberalism in general) represents a set back in terms of constitutional thinking. Your point that a strict reading of Art. I severely restricts federal power, finds little support in the legal thought of John Marshall. Consider McCulloch v. Maryland, and the rise of the N and P clause to expand federal power beyond those specifically enumerated powers in Sec. 8. Moreover, Marshall’s contract clause jurisprudence happily struck down the actions of state legisilatures, most famously in the case of Dartmouth College. In fact, what Marshall was doing was nothing less than ratifying Hamilton, and Publius’ visions of a powerful federal government. Modern liberal theory draws support from a Commonwealth tradition that was embraced by the Founders (and emanated from the Scottish Enlightement), and was then further articulated by the Whigs. The present day Republican Party has much more in common with the Jacksonians, and the Taney Court, than with the Founders and their ideals of national power over states’ rights.

      • Jeff – The basis for your arguement, mostly that many SCOTUS justices have interpreted the limitations of Federal power differently than many conservatives do, doesn’t really prove anything. Naturally, conservatives who believe in strong states’ rights and strictly limited powers of the Federal government, would disagree with those justices who empowered the Federal government and enabled its growth into areas not enumerated in the constitution. For genuine conservatives, any court rulings that permit the growth of the Federal government beyond the enumerated powers is indeed a double set-back for constitutional law, since it both expands the Federal government, and sets the table for future expansion as well. I don’t deny your right to support Hamiltonian thought, but there are conservatives who disagree with those who propose an unlimited Federal government, whether those individuals are among us today or were among the founding fathers. There were liberals and conservatives then, too. But the use, or abuse, by liberals of liberal court decisions to move the brackets of the arguements on both sides of this issue of the power of the Federal government further to the left is something that alarms real conservatives. This process has been ongoing at least since Wilson’s presidency, and the appointments BHO is likely to make in his second term will probably speed up this process, until the Republicans become little more than the Progressive-Lite party. I think they’re half way there already. And if the Republicans had anything in common with Jackson, they would be at least trying to abolish, once again, the central bank.

  88. Oh, and by the way, here is what’s happened since the cease-fire that CNN won’t tell you: The cease fire was observed by Hamas for 21 minutes. At 9:21, 21 minutes after the cease-fire went into effect, three rockets were fired into Ashkelon and Sderot. Three more were fired at 9:38, at Sha’ar HaNegev. Missile sirens sounded in Ashkelon at 9:42. At 10:01, sirens went on in Kiryat Malachi and Ashdod. At 10:08, a rocket landed in Ashdod. Still want to praise BHO for this triumph, Jeff?

  89. For anyone wishing to comment on the value of the ceasefire, I’m curious how many of you have a 2nd grade son who needed to know during the rocket attacks, that should an air raid siren sound during his walk home from school, which would be the closest available shelter for him to run to. Who has a 21 year old daughter with a boyfriend just out of the army in the engineering corps who would have been recalled to active duty and been in one of the first units to go into Gaza should there have been a ground invasion? Anyone have 4 year old twins who needed to be taught where to run in an air raid, to the sealed room upstairs or the shelter downstairs? Sleep with the blast window int the shelter open to make sure you can hear the siren in the middle of the night, or closed so that you’re protected in the event you don’t hear it?

    This all happened in my hometown of Efrat for a week. Multiply those experiences by a thousand over the span of ten years and that’s what it’s been like for residents of the south.

    Every single person that I know, Israeli an American (most of whom voted for Romney) alike, is grateful for the current ceasefire. Will it last? Nope. Does that matter right now? The answer to that appears to depend on whether you live in Israel or Bergen County.

    • Of course everyone is grateful for a cease fire. No one wants war. But don’t complain when the cease fire is broken – a month, a year, or five years from now – and more advanced rockets, with guidance systems and all, crash into your neighborhood.
      Perhaps people will then remember that they could have pre-empted that catastrophe by a little forward thinking, known in Jewish life as “ro’eh et hanolad.”
      As it is, 70% of Israelis opposed the cease fire, but as I noted here, if the war would not have changed the dynamic – the stalemate – it was not wirth risking a single life just to blow up tunnels that are already being rebuilt and destroy rocket launchers that are already being replaced.
      Short-sightedness can be apparent from great distances, and is sometimes not apparent right in front of one’s face.
      Indeed, as the Gemara states, people get the leaders they deserve, and vice versa.
      -RSP

    • Bruce – I too have family in Efrat. I cringe at the tought of our precious sons and daughters cowering in fear of a rocket attack. I also agree that a ground invasion of Gaza would be futile, since the goal for such an action has never been properly defined. Rather than placing our sons in harm’s way for the sake of dismantling a few missile launch sites that will be rebuilt as the IDF retreats from Gaza yet again, Israel needs to develop a serious, long range plan to make sure that Israelis are safe – the prime duty of any government – and not just in Efrat, but in Sderot and Ashkelon as well. And not just so that the rockets “only” fall once a week, but so that there are zero rocket attacks. Sharon was bullied into retreating from Gaza and given promises that were never kept. The deal made is void, and there is no alternative but to retake Gaza, annex it, and resettle a significant number of Gazans in Egypt or other Muslim lands. Look at a map: Can anyone honestly suggest that Gaza is not a part of Israel? Will this cost Jewish lives? Up front, yes. But in the end, this milchemet mitzvah will save many more lives than it will cost. But until Israel’s so-called leaders set victory over, rather than appeasement of, our enemies, as the goal, there is little point to any military action.

  90. Unfortunately I think this article is quite accurate and very disturbing, I remember my parents and relatives telling me when I was young, how there were warnings for several years about Hitler, and how the Jews should leave while they could, only a few listened. Remember Germany was an open and free society before Hitler not unlike the US. Jews were in positions of power and widely accepted in society.One Jew who did listen was my Uncle’s brother who left for the US in 1935 and worked immediately to bring my Uncle to the US in 1937 who in turn worked to bring my parents to the US in 1941 just weeks before Pearl Harbor. We were the last of our family to get out and the last to survive, everyone else disappeared.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Navemar

    “Those who do not pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it”

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Victor!! Very interesting!! I only wish that the people in this country who voted for Mr. Obama could read this.

  91. when the economy first started getting bad,that was because when all the companies started saying,no credit or bad credit you can still buy a car or house,loan companies and so on,the other thing is that people who dont work or get welfare or any type of help from government shouldnt be able to vote.if people who dont work couldnt vote,obama never wouldve got in the first time.

  92. When it comes to free stuff paid for by American taxpayers, Israel is the biggest “taker” nation. Americans doled out close to $130 billion since 1949, $60 billion since 1997. Obama gave Israel more free stuff than Bush, including extra welfare to put up the Iron Dome. Using Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s logic, Jews vote for Obama because they like being on welfare. Israel will never learn to stand on her own two feet as long as Obama keeps giving them free stuff in hopes of making Israel totally dependent on Americas big government.

    • Your figures are way way off, and pale before the hundreds of billions of dollars the US has spent in Iraq and Afghanistan just in the last ten years, and the hundreds of billions spent in Germany, Japan and elsewhere to retain bases there for the last 65 years. For the first 15 years of its existence, Israel received almost nothing (not even weapons assistance) from the US, and real aid only began after the Camp David Accords in 1978 (excluding the Nixon airlift that greatly helped Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Some of the “money” you speak about has also been in the form of loans, repaid with interest – unlike, for example, Egypt, which has received US and loans and is now in default, and asking for foregiveness of thos debts. Israel has never defaulted and never even asked for an extension.
      For almost 15 years, Israel has received military assistance amounting to $3B per year, certainly a large sum of money, but with the proviso that 70% of that money has to be spent in the United States. In essence, the money to Israel serves as a subsidy to the US arms industry, supporting jobs and the economy and perhaps even in the state in which you live.
      The money given to Israel is also repaid by the Israelis in ways that America’s other foreign aid simply does not. Israel has war-tested US weaponry when the US has been unable to do so, and has provided the US with intelligence that would simply be unavailable without the strong partnership. You err grievously in thinking that it is a one-way street. America benefits from its aid to Israel almost as much, if not more, than the Israelis do.
      That being said, I do not believe it is wise or in America’s interest for the US to be borrowing money from the Chinese to give to Israel, or even in Israel’s interest to continue receiving money from an America with an economy in decline and in ways that Israel perceives as tying its hands. Clearly, the issue is more nuanced than you present it. If you examine the matter a little more carefully, and with an open mind, you might come to realize that Congress appropriates that money every year not necessarily because of the “Jewish vote” (which is more illusion that reality) but because Congress perceives it as a paramount US interest to have a strong alliance with Israel and wants to subsidize the US arms industry.
      Just to give one example of the alliance possibilities: Israel built its Iron Dome anti-missile system without US money, and then the US funded several more productions of the system. Israel will share its anti-missile technology, which worked well in the recent skirmish in Gaza, with the United States. Don’t you think that the US will benefit from that system ? Of course. It might even save your life someday. That’s an example of the mutual cooperation between allies and friends that helps both countries, which the military aid to Israel worthwhile and an American interest.
      -RSP

      • Rabbi, like they say you are entitled to your own opinion but not you own facts. Israel is by far the biggest taker nation when it comes to American taxpayer aid. http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/134987.pdf

        All you have to do is google us aid to israel or who gets the most us foreign aid. Israel is the queen to free stuff from the USA. I am surprised you would try to deny that obvious fact. I support our welfare to Israel, I don’t see it as something that pays for itself. It’s costing us a fortune. $3B a year. Obama increased our welfare to Israel. It’s more a moral thing, certainly not something that will be repaid in money.

        My point remains – your disdain for people getting free stuff should extend to Israel, otherwise your whole argument against Obama voters boils down to bigotry -you just don’t like the people who vote for Obama. People like me. A lifelong Republican, small business entrepreneur who worked hard made a lot of money. People like me, and Warren Buffet and all the outstanding Americans who voted for Obama. I support all the free stuff we give to the people of Israel. I don’t consider them takers. I consider them people who need our aid. Just like the good Americans here in the USA that need our aid. You need to add a little more Christian spirit to your worldview.

        By the way, that simple view that to much unemployment benefits makes people lazy, could be applied to the Israelis. Why not argue that as long as we help them with free stuff like Iron Dome, they will never learn to take care of themselves? Or is it just Americans here in the USA that we need to take a hard line with?

      • Mr. Holt: at long last, sir, have you no sense of logic?. A “lifelong Republican” would not vote for someone with the politics of BHO, regardless of race. PLEASE – would you people stop playing that hateful, ugly (and rather stupid) card? I would have voted in a minute for Herman Cain regardless of whatever peccadilloes he had committed. So stop already with the stupid accusations of racism where none exists. Such accusations do more to perpetuate the problem than alleviate it.
        I would guess others have noticed your failure to address the Rabbi’s arguments, so let me try an illustration you might understand.
        Suppose I own a grocery in a large city. On the way to work I pass by two panhandlers. One is fairly well-dressed and speaks articulately as he asks for assistance. I give him $10. Another man, unkempt and shabbily dressed, confronts me angrily and demands money. I don’t feel especially threatened because I know I can tear him apart if he tries anything violent. But I feel compassionate because of the man’s plight, so I give him $10 as well.
        The first man spends $7 in my grocery on food for his family and takes $3 home for his wife. The other beggar spends $7 on booze and $3 on a pawnshop knife which he will use to hold up people.
        Later in the day I find out about how both men used my donation. Tomorrow I will give only one of them any help. Can you guess which one Mr. Holt, or do I need to spell it out for you?
        Until the last bit, this would have been analogous to U.S. aid to Israel and any number of other entities:Egypt, Palestine, and Pakistan spring to mind. Unfortunately, our leaders don’t have enough sense to stop giving money to such people. Bottom line: aid to the only genuine, functional democracy in the Middle East is simply not in the same league with aid to countries that still support the terrorists who hate our nation and wish to to destroy us.
        Here’s another idea for you. Go to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Pakistan, and suggest to their imams and ayatollahs that they need to add “a little more Christian spirit” to THEIR worldview. I promise I will come and say nice things about at your memorial service.

      • Darwin, please. I think we all know that bad people with bad habits are not as good to help as good people with good habits. Do you really think there is some confusion in the American body political about such basic values?

        You sort of make my point about conservatives being know-it-alls. You say I can’t be a lifelong Republican who voted for Obama? I am. At this point in time President Obama is the fiscal conservative. Romney was promising to lower taxes and increase defense spending at a time when we are deep in the red. I voted for the guy who wanted to raise taxes. To me, that is fiscal conservative. I spend my whole life self employed entrepreneur trying to make lots of money working hard. I did. Voted R since Goldwater in 1964.

        You need not make any points about how wonderful Israel is. I support Israel. But I do know there are two sides to every conflict. I think Israel is the good guy, enemies of Israel are the bad guys. Simple enough. Obama gets it too. You really need to get away from this idea that Obama and Obama voters are your enemies. I really don’t know how you so called conservatives got to dislike so much about America and your fellow Americans.

        My advice to the Rabbi about coming down off his high horse and getting some “Christian Spirit” had nothing to do with Israel. It had to do with his demeaning comments towards the elderly, the disabled, the poor right here in the USA. His fellow Americans. That 47% he says are dumb and lazy and want free stuff. All the Obama voters who are not as smart, not as American as he is.

        Somebody should remind the Rabbi that America’s destiny is not “empire”. Therefore the premise of the decline and fall of this unintended unwanted empire is not to be lamented. We are a land dedicated to liberty and justice for all people, to promoting the General Welfare, domestic tranquility, pursuit of human happiness. We are not pursuing empire.

      • Mr. Holt, I am truly tired of your rant and your misconstruing of the Rabbi’s words. I know for a fact that you are completely off in your statements regarding the aid given to Israel, but I believe you simply have an “agenda” to spout! I am a Christian who supports the Christians United for Israel and regularly receive information from them. If you are an Obama supporter, then I no longer wish to contribute to your rant with a response. I will simply pray for you.

      • Sheila, the thing I don’t understand about Rabbi supporters here is the lack of numbers. I said Israel gets $3 billion a year in US taxpayer aid, more than any other. Over $100B over the years. You say I am wrong – but you don’t say how or offer any other numbers?

      • Suppose you are correct, Bill, and that Israel is largest single recipient of US foreign aid. Let’s even ignore all the requirements that most of this aid gets spent on U.S. military goods. What’s your point? I would suggest that as America’s most loyal ally, if we are going to give aid to other countries, Israel deserves to get more than other nations who can only marginally be described as allies. Or does your redistributive rule require that foreign aid be given equally to all countries, regardless of their behavior (that is, moral equivalency)?

      • Phil, at this point in the discussion there is not much of a point about the $3B Israel gets in welfare from USA taxpayers. My original point is lots of folks get money redistributed from US taxpayers. It’s not just poor people trying to scam us hard workers.

      • Okay, every household has expenditures. The key is to manage them according to the household’s desires. Since, theoretically, Federal spending is authorized by elected members of congress, both the entitlements I dislike and the foriegn aid you (and I, too, actually) dislike, are authorized by poeple we have elected. So, there really is no point to that comment about the amount of aid we give to Israel.

      • I like foreign aid. I think it’s good for us good for the world. I get the feeling you are just kind of cheap. I am more on the high roller extravagant side. I like America to be big and rich and generous. What the heck we are the richest biggest and best and just about everything. I don’t see this little downsized America with the little teeny cheap government doing little tiny cheap things because we can’t afford stuff. That’s not how this place was built. We are a nation of dreamers not cheapskates. Hell we could not afford to fight World War II or the Soviet Union. But we did it anyway and it all works out in the end. You gotta loosen up a little.

      • Bill: So I am “cheap” because I am concerned at our 16 Trillion dollar deficit? That our unfunded liabilities for entitlements is currently $87 trillion, and will reach $202 trillion by 2032? If you ran your personal finances the way the Federal government runs its finances, you would be living in a cardboard box, or I guess in your world, demanding more money from the Treasury which it must confiscate from others or borrow. Does our obligation to repay our debts concern you at all? Are you concerned at all what might happen if at some point lenders refuse to extend the U.S. any more credit? That eventuality will put quite a dent in your Utopian society, Bill. If living within my means makes me “cheap”, though, I guess I am cheap, but I prefer frugal. What a shame that people who do not live on over-extended credit are the subject of derision in our deluded society.

        I am not opposed to foreign aid, but I think it is important to consider what is in our national interests and what we get in return. We send a lot of money to China for cultural programs – money we first borrow FROM China, with interest! Does this strike you as a good use of our money and our children’s money (since they will be repaying the debt)? I am opposed to aiding our enemies in the hope that they will love us because of our money. The evidence is quite clear that the Jihadists see our funding of Muslim governemts and NGOs not as a gesture of friendship but as a sign of weakness and a form of the jizya tax that infidels must give to their superiors, the Muslims. Is that a wise use of our taxpayer dollars, Bill?

        If you like America “big and rich and generous”, you might rethink your politics, Bill, for it will not remain so much longer if current political and economic trends continue. As for what we can and cannot afford, are you one of those Walmart employees who thinks it’s time he gets his Ferrari? Are you tired of only the “rich” people having nice things? Do you just whip out that credit card any time you want something, get your instant gratification, and worry about paying for it some other time? If so, I am afraid I have no respect for your personal morals, Bill. And, there you go again with the strawmen: Of course we must defend our nation when we’re attacked. I am not suicidal, Bill. But handing entitlements to people out of work that exceed the median income of working Americans is just stupid (google it), especially when we have to borrow trillions to do it.

        This place was not built by the redistribution of the wealth of producers to the less fortunate. It was built by men who risked their own property to build businesses and industries, sometimes failing and losing their money, some succeeding and becoming wealthy. They did this without the Federal government, and owe the Federal government nothing beyond the money it needs to function as defined in the enumerated powers clause of the constitution. That would exclude entitlements, even Social Security, Medicare, and the ACA. Saying we could not afford to defend ourselves, and therefore borrowed to do so is quite a different thing than suggesting we need to take the property of some in order to hand it over to others. Not defending our nation will bring it to a swift end. Not redistributing wealth will, if anything, encourage the entrpeneurial spirit that built this country.

        How much should I “loosen up”, Bill? You mean I need to just go along with liberal politics and shut my mouth? Stop getting in the way of what you call progress? Are you unable to support your beliefs so now are using the liberal method of trying to silence your critics? Or, do you mean I should loosen my wallet? Should I give the Federal government a third of earnings? Oops, I already do. How about 50%, 75%, or 100%? Plus another 10% to my state, plus another $9000 for property taxes, plus sales taxes, and anything I have when I die gets taxed yet again. Is that “loose” enough for ya, Bill? Like the Tea party says – T.E.A. – “Taxed Enough Already”.

      • Bill,
        You are entitled to your opinion but not your own definitions. You say you have voted R since Goldwater (1964), yet you voted for BHO in 2008 and 2012. Which is it? The ballots I saw in those years identified Obama as a D, not an R.
        You say Obama is a fiscal conservative. Taking other people’s money to maintain your spending habits is not fiscally conservative. Deficits in the trillions, a pattern (or at least a desired pattern) of tax-borrow-spend, and especially borrowing from PRC – these are not fiscally conservative. I’m no economist, but I know enough to know that mortgaging the future to buy votes now is not fiscally conservative.
        Buying votes? Yes – here’s my evidence, proof enough for me. My chiropractor knows a man who was on food stamps. He hired the man to work on some of his property so the guy could get off food stamps, which he did. Then about 3 months before the election the government awarded him food stamps for 6 months. N.B.: that carried through the election and beyond. He did not ask for the extension, he did not apply for 6 more months. It was simply given to him. Are you naive enough to believe he was the only person to whom this was done? Are you naive enough to believe that’s not an attempt to buy votes? If you are, then I will understand your recent presidential votes.
        In regards to lazy welfare recipients: My family physician told me about a man who complained about how hard it is to buy cigarettes when his welfare check is only $700 a month. When the doc suggested he get a job the man replied that’s hard to do because even places like MacDonald’s want people his age to have a high school diploma. Doc suggested he get a GED or even go to a technical school to learn a trade. The man didn’t like that idea because he WOULD HAVE TO GET UP EARLY. Don’t tell me the government isn’t giving welfare to undeserving people. Don’t tell me welfare is good. I have watched the “War on poverty” since LBJ started it. We’re losing because we’re not fighting it to win. Some of our politicians are not interested in winning that war because someone who is not dependent on those politicians might cost them their jobs.
        In this “war on poverty” and in much foreign aid I do believe there is some confusion in the American body politic about what basic values we should support financially. If we use the Declaration and the Constitution to determine our basic national values, I don’t think the federal welfare programs or some of our foreign aid distribution are consistent with the values of freedom espoused in those documents. The welfare system enslaves people still today, perhaps more effectively than actual slavery did. Now, before you misconstrue this comment, I am not proposing a return to chains or saying that earlier slavery was good in any way; only that welfare enslavement is more effective because people don’t realize they are slaves and they don’t try to escape it. We have multi-generation welfare families. Do you think that’s a good thing? Welfare slavery is also more effective because it reaches across racial lines.
        Some of our foreign aid goes to nations and groups that support and fund terrorism. Again, if you are naïve enough to believe that does not happen then I understand some of your support for BHO and others (including some Republicans) who support, willingly or no, such terrorism funding. This deviates from the values of our nation, or at least what they used to be.
        The 47%? I reject that straw man. It was never a figure that should have been used as Romney used it. I’m certain that many elderly and disabled persons voted for Romney. I would not be willing to say the same about people who are willingly on welfare.
        In the future, Bill, it might help the rest of us if you clarify the definitions you use for such things as “Republican” and “fiscal conservative.”

      • Darwin, sorry if I confused you. I voted R all my life since Goldwater, then in 2008 for the first time I voted D for Obama.

        Your anecdotal evidence from a story your doctor or chiropractor tells is not the stuff we base public policy on. My doctor told me he treated a man who made millions selling phony mortgages costing taxpayers and stockholders billions and yet the man is still selling mortgages.

        I would not us those stories to say we need to get rid of mortgages because people are cheating.

        You guys are way too fixated on little crooks maybe getting $700 a month and buying ciggies? Is that really the big problem in the USA? How about shoplifters? Do we say we need to close the stores, too many people steal.

        I just don’t get this line you are pushing that poor people must be dealt with in harsh ways. How about people at the top? Have you any opinions on upscale doctors and pharmacists looting insurance companies and Medicare and Medicaid for billions? Did you hear about the Cardiac hospital doing bogus heart bypass operations on people who did not need surgery? Stuff like that? Or is it just this fixation on the guy who is doing yard work and getting $300 dollars worth of food stamps.

        Maybe you were not around in the 1960′s when the War On Poverty started. People were literally starving. The programs we put in place may have created there own set of new issues, but they also alleviated a lot of misery in the USA. I just don’t understand all the resentment of poor people.

        The big thing I don’t get is why you have all this criticism, all this disdain for the cheaters, but you offer zero solutions. It’s easy to gripe and moan and groan about all that’s wrong with the USA. The hard part is saying what you want to do about it.

        What exactly are you proposing. Ending the Food Stamp Program. Ending unemployment benefits. Ending welfare. Tell us what the plan is. What do you want to do about poor people who cheat? How do we end that? How do we stop shoplifting? How do we stop Wall Street inside trading and medical fraud?

        Did you know that Obamacare added around $350 million new dollars to fight insurance fraud. Arrests for insurance fraud are way up. http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2012/10/feds-arrest-91-doctors-nurses-and-others-medicare-fraud/58624/

        You need to pay some attention to things other than some poor schmuck with no high school diploma buying cigarettes with his welfare money.

        That fines imposed on cheaters have already paid for the investment in enhanced fraud enforcement. That was a partial solution to a real problem. So what is your solution for that man w

      • Bill, your anecdotal evidence is no more useful than Darwin’s. You keep setting up strawmen – wealthy people who successfully made money legally, and claiming they have committed some sort of crime. What crime is that, Bill? Success? Those who did in fact violate the law should be arrested and prosecuted. Nobody here is arguing otherwise. So, again, what’s your point? That anyone with money is evil and anyone who is poor shouild not be held accountable for their actions? I fail to see how someone who clearly is offended by successful Americans voted for people like Goldwater and Reagan.

        Your definition of “harsh” when it comes to poor people is hardly universal. Some would say it is just to expect people to provide for themselves if at all possible, rather than just redistribute to them other people’s property. And the War on Poverty is a joke. As people are no longer starving, the definition of poverty has been adjusted to insure that the “war” can go on, that there are always people we can pronounce “poor”, and thus entitled to other people’s money. That’s the political aspect of that “war” which the left hopes to prolong indefinitely, since the poor will always vote Democratic, you simply redefine poor so that you get re-elected. Today, poor means you cannot afford a cellular phone or flat screen TV. Are you aware, Bill, that more Americans own flat screen TVs than have health insurance? That’s not called poverty, that’s called CHOICE.

        I have indeed offered solutions. Stop the Federal taxation for entitlements, and allow the states to tax their citizens to provide whatever entitlerments voters in those states want, including food stamps, if voters approve. You like the redistributive nature of Federal taxes, in which some states get more, and some less, than their residents pay in. I do not like that at all. The more local government can be, the better. Only those tasks which are impossible at the local level should be moved up to larger governments (e.g., national defense). You can ignore conservative solutions, but we have plenty of ideas. But our goal is not to “spread the wealth around” but to make government as small as possible so that it does not intrude into our lives more than absolutely necessary. Different goals, different ideas. The other questions you ask are rhetorical. You stop crime by enforcing the law, not making many new laws that are unenforceable while old laws are ignored as well. You punish criminals severely enough to discourage new criminals and recidivism. Swell that a third of a billion has been spent to enforce insurance fraud laws, but will it save as much as it costs? Is that $350 million an anual expense? Will it always pay for itself? If so, fantastic. I am no fan of this president, but I will commend him for things he does that work. That said, could the laws be enforced with existing law enforcement capabilities rather than spending $350 million on enlarging the Federal beuracracy? Could it have been accomplished for less? I don’t know, but I bet you don’t know either.

        Hey Bill, if you want to buy cigs and booze with your own money and give them out to poor people who say can’t afford them, knock yourself out. I do not wish to do so, especially not under force of law. That’s how I define freedom and liberty – the ability to do as we wish with our own, legally obtained, property beyond providing for the government the most basic funding of essential government functions.

      • Phil, you’re slipping into that talk radio schick again – you know – about people who don’t like successful people. You New Age conservative, you like success and them thar Obama libs well they don’t like rich and they don’t like success. Who feeds you that lame stuff?

        I’m a successful person. I like success. How do you come up with these nutty assumptions that there are people who don’t like success?

        I was simply advising you to take some of that paranoia that you are being forced to support poor people cheating you out of your money – and start imagining all those rich people that are cheating you. The obsession with poor people having it too easy seems so not Christian to me.

        How about being forced to pay for war. There are a lot of pacifist being forced to pay for war. The government stealing confiscating all that money for war. Personally I have no problem with war when we need it. But we don’t get to pick and choose how our money is redistributed. Every tax dollar ever paid since day one is money “redistributed”. Wealth taken by the government and repurposed. You sound like you just discovered something new and dangerous about America.

        How small would you like the government to be? A size 6 medium perhaps? How do we know government is “too big”? Is that some hunch you are following? Less border patrol? Fewer FBI? Maybe get that pesky FDA out of the drug industry and FDA out of food. Think maybe less Coast Guard saving all those private sector fisherman. Why don’t commercial fisherman get their own rescue service. Why does government confiscate my money to save some guy stuck in the middle of the ocean? I suppose the only gripe that resonates with you is the one about food stamps or unemployment benefits. Nothing else really bugs you as much as a poor person getting away with an extra $100 bucks eh? Defense contractors, well that’s different.

        You really do totally discount the heritage that we proudly carry on today. The work of all those past generations of Americans. The ones that saw slavery, and bigotry, and elders in poverty, widows and orphans on the street, child labor, bank failures with no bank insurance – all the progress made, the problems addressed over generations – now all of the sudden some NewAge conservatives come along and try to tell us what we so carefully constructed over the centuries is all wrong? We need to strip what are ancestors did away, go back in time.

        There’s a reason States do what they do and the Central Government does what it does in 2012. I think it works real good. We are living in the best of times. More Americans have more freedom, more prosperity, more liberty and justice than at any time in American history. More than 50 years ago. 100 or 200.

        Then along comes talk radio conservatives telling us poor people on welfare are stealing their money to buy cigarettes. Is there anything you like about the USA? Or is it just this down dirty place with hard working You, living in the midst of parasites after your money. Get a little spiritual.

      • Bill – I hope you realize that I will not let any of your posts go unanswered, lest you be able to declare a victory against conservatives based on my lack of a response.

        There is no radio shtick (what is schick?) at all. Your own tirades against evil rich people who lie and cheat and abuse the system are all the evidence I need to conclude that you have a problem with wealthy people. I have said I have no problem with wealthy people or those who are not wealthy, I have not accused welfare recipients of any crimes, only some of them of bad choices, low self-esteem and self-respect, and with gaming, legally, a badly implemented system of welfare and other entitlements. My issues are with our governmental system of entitlements and their political implications, which brings us full circle to the Rabbi’s original post.

        There is nothing “new age” about my conservatism. It is rooted in the conservatism that pre-existed your liberalism and progressivism. Who “feeds” me this stuff? Let’s see a POTUS who will not budge from a punitive tax on “the rich” (actually upper-middle-class and higher) even though this tax increase is insignificant in the face of unchecked government expansion and control. A POTUS who continuously pits class against class, telling the rich they don’t “need” all that money. Do I have to go on? I don’t need talk radio to help me in my conclusions, I have Obama’s own words, spoken in public and written in his own book. Where’s the talk radio component, Bill? Is it that I dare to confront liberal idealogues with the president’s own words? Some nerve I have! LOL.

        You’re not reading what I am writing, Bill. I am not paranoid about poor people taking my money. I am angry at an overblown, out of control Federal government who believes, erroneously, in my opinion, that it has the right to confiscate my earnings in order to give it to others who have not earned it, which it feels deserves my earnings more than I do. I have never, and will never, accuse the indigent of cheating me out of my money – that has become the job of our Federal government. As I said, I do not blame anyone or any business for taking what it is offered by the Federal government. I blame the government for offering it in the first place. What right does it have to do so?

        Those “rich people” are not using the force of law (the Federal government) to confiscate my wealth. If I dislike Apple, I don’t have to buy an iPhone. But if I dislike some entitlement program, I would go to jail for refusing to pay into it.

        I have never said poor people have it “too easy.” Yet another strawman. All I have said is that many, certainly not all, poor people make choices that have consequences which I do not wish to save them from. If a welfare recipient spends his check on a flat screen TV, leaving him no money for food, is the just response to hand him food stamps, or make him return the TV and use the money to buy food? There is nothing un-Christian about refusing to help someone who is capable of helping himself, yet chooses instead to hold out his hand. What, may I ask, is so Christian about giving money, by force of law, to many who do not need it because they have squandered what has already been given to them? And as Maimonides says, the greatest form of charity is to teach someone a livelihood, not to hand them gifts. This is all academic anyway. I have said that charity is a basic American value. But charity, by definition is something one gives voluntarily to those whom one feels deserve it, not something to be enforced by government law and doled out based on political calculations.

        Those pacifists who do not wish to fund our defense, however silly that may be, are free to vote for politicians who agree with them, at least until we are conquered by an enemy who will take away that freedom, as I am free to vote for politicians who will reduce the size of the Federal government and shift entitlement programs to the states. And you, Bill, are free to vote for politicians who will take from the “rich” and give to the poor, until we are all poor (Greece is a convenient example). So, what’s your point? Of course we all pay for some things with which we disagree. Does that mean we are not free to vote our conscience? And you are mixing apples and oranges. If you have been reading my posts, you know that conservatives are not opposed to Federal income taxes for essential Federal government purposes, especially defense. But your definition and my definition of essential are quite different. I base mine on the constitution and the 10th Amendment (which you still haven’t commented on). You seem to base yours on some version of Christian Socialist theology and “fairness”. Wealth taxed for the common defense is not being “redistributed” at all; it is being spent on defense. Redistribution, as I use the term, refers to taking property (money) from one set of citiznes and giving to another. Plain and simple.

        How small would I like government to be? Easy question, Bill. It should be big enough to perform the duties set forth in the enumerated powers clause of the constitution, and that’s it. I am not saying that many government programs should be eliminated, only that they belong to the local and state governments. As I have said, any government task should be performed at the most local level possible. This decentralilzation is a cornerstone of our liberty. Your examples are more stawmen. Of course border control is a Federal responsibility, as is law enforcement across state lines and interstate commerce. I object to the broadening of these obligations in a sort of mission creep that ends up inserting the Federal government into very local matters, however. Fishing in US territorial waters is also of course a Federal matter, and the Coast Guard is a common defense issue as well. You have failed to make any point at all here, Bill. A better example would be education. Who knows better what works for local schools than the parents and teachers of those local schools? The Department of Education is huge Federal government overreach, and should be abolished.

        It’s not a matter of poor people “getting away with” an extra $100, Bill. Where does that money come from? It was originally the property of a fellow citizen. Once we tell that citizen he has no right to his own property unless the Federal government says so, we have obliterated another cornerstone of our liberty: Property rights, upon which our society is based. And there you go again with attacking the “rich”. Any defense contractor that violates the law should be arrested and prosecuted, but working within the system, legally, is not a crime. And you remain free to vote to change that system as you wish to “get” those evil defense contractors (who employ tens of thousands of fellow Americans, by the way).

        There was a time when social evils needed attention, I would not argue against that. Surely you are not accusing me of being pro-slavery, even if you have accused me (unjustifiedly) of bigotry. But that’s what the political process is for. Slavery was abolished not by name-calling of the pro-slavery folks, but through political legislation and the democratic process. The problem seems to be that you feel every person is entitled to the wealth of others as long they haven’t been able to acquire much wealth on their own. I disagree. I have said, and you have ignored it, that their indeed ought to be safety nets for the legitimate cases of need, but they should be first one’s savings, then family, then church, then community, then local government and finally, state government. The redistribution of property simply is not one of the enumerated powers given to the Federal government in the constitution. Does the constitution mean anything at all to you, Bill, or is it just some old “dead white guy” document that is irrelevent in 2012? I’d like to hear your answer on that.

        I’m happy you are happy with the present state of the Federal government. Feel free to continue to vote for politicians who will tax more, spend more, and redistribute more and more of the “rich” people’s property. If we live long enough, I look forward to seeing how that works out in the long run. We conservatives don’t think it will work out well at all, and that’s why we are conservatives. For us, it’s not just about some “feel good” Utopian nation of “fairness” for all, but about preserving our liberty and our prosperity. We simply think your approach is doomed to failure – we just look a little farther out than you liberals do.

        Your claims of our current state of affairs is highly debatable. If these are “the best of times”, why has the median family income fallen, when adjusted for inflation? Do feel that it is a positive development that more Americans are on public assistance than ever before? Why has the U.S. fallen dramatically in internation ratings of economic freedom relative to other nations? What is just about a society in which the Federal goverment chooses whether and how to prosecute law breakers based solely on their race or religion? I am reminded of the lobster, who will clime out of pot of hot water, but will sit calmly in cool water as the heat is gradually increased, until he is cooked. Conservatives see Americans as those lobsters right now, gradually ceeding their liberties and freedoms for free stuff from the Treasury (health care, education, et. al.), so slowly that they barely realize they are giving up their freedoms at all.

        I am not a radio talk show host, and I have never said poor people are “stealing” money to buy cigarettes. However, I would say that many who receive money from the Treasury use it in ways for which it was not intended. Should there be a crackdown on such abuses? Well yes, but again, I think this would be much less of an issue if entitlement programs were handled at the state or local level, and not at the Federal level. I hate to keep repeating this, but you don’t seem to be acknowledging this part of my argument, as well as several others, in any of your posts.

        If you had read my posts, you would have seen that there is much I love about this country. It is because of my love for America that I am a conservative, for I seek to preserve that which I love. You seem to start your American History lessons around 1912 or so. I start mine in the 1750s. Huge difference. I believe strongly in community, family, God and country, as did our founding fathers. Other than our willingness to redistribute the property of makers to takers, what do YOU like about America, Bill? I know what you don’t like: Conservatives, critics of BHO, rich people, mortgage bankers, defense contractors, and anyone who criticizes liberal and progressive policies.

        How on earth would you know how “spiritual” I am, Bill? I am very spiritual. In fact, my conservatism is founded in my spiritual religious heritage, just as the founding fathers relied on their religious heritage and spirituality to craft our republic.

      • Phil, maybe if we make our posts at bit more brief, we can read them. I’ll try here.

        In one post you accused me of being a troll sent here to aggravate conservatives. I got here because I got an unsolicited email with the Rabbi’s post about Decline due to dumb Obama voters who want free stuff.

        You mention limiting government to enumerated powers. You seem to think the government does not have the right to do what it does. That tells me you do no agree with the system set up by the Founders – and that perhaps you are the arbiter of what is or what is not “enumerated” – you and not the Supreme Court. All that we are, all that government is today, is the result of the system set forth in the Constitution. You and I can vote, but we are not the Supreme Court. The Court recently decided the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

        Many times conservatives say our elected officials should make the law, not the courts. Yet, after both the Senate and the House passed Affordable Care, and the duly elected President signed it into law – guess what? It was conservatives who went to court hoping to overturn the will of the elected bodies. My point is all this chatter about activist judges and enumerated powers always goes out the window when things don’t go the way one group or another think it should.

        Your argument that States do things better is without merit. Over many many years the People decided against majority rule and found it necessary to override States rights. I don’t no where or what you would like to return to. A time when Alabama could arbitrarily keep certain citizens out of schools. Or maybe decide who can vote and who cannot. Or maybe one state could blow sulfur gas into the sky of the Nation. You are fantasizing about a better time long ago that did not exist. These are the best of times for America. Contrary to your fantasy, 1750 was not nearly as good as today.

        Finally, I will tell you once again – I am a successful person who like money and make a lot of it. When someone challenges your conservative dogma, that does not mean they don’t like success and money and profit and wealth. I always wanted and appreciated all of that. I am quite happy I got my little slice of the dream.

        You ask what I like about the USA. Basically everything. The rich the poor the welfare programs TARP the drone war I even like the President of The United States. This is a great country. I thank God we are not back in the Founders time. We have come such a long way. I don’t get this yearning for the imaginary good old days. We need a big strong government doing big strong things. We are a big strong Nation, I want us to stay that way. That is my version of conservative. You may think you have some lock on conservative or Republican. That really is egotistical way to look at things. Since I voted Republican all my life except lately, and have always been a conservative in most ways, I think I more represent traditional values.

      • Kudos, Mr. Smith!! Simply said and clear to “almost anyone” to understand!!

      • Rabbi, I am so thankful that YOU responded as you did to “Bill Holt.” His blog WAS off balance and totally incorrect. I was going to respond to him, but you did and literally “took the words out of my mouth!” I attribute this sort of thing to ignorance.

      • FYI: The Rabbi does not know what he’s talking about. His numbers are off. His facts are bogus. Israel is the biggest recipient by far of US aid. Over $3 billion a year. More than $130B since 1949. The Rabbi said my numbers were way off. He is wrong. I know you like the guy, but that does not mean you have to buy everything he says. He’s wrong here. Way wrong.

  93. Now you’ve embarrassed me. I quoted you: “As I write, with almost all the votes counted, President Obama has won fewer votes than John McCain won in 2008, and more than ten million off his own 2008 total.”
    Yet, looking at Wikipedia, McCain received 59,948,323 votes, and Obama this time pulled in 65,464,068. Not even close. Where did you get that from??

  94. Phil FYI:

    That Israeli “retired military intelligence officer” that says the intelligence we get from Israel is worth $60 billion? They really need to think so more. The entire 2012 US budget for the Department of Homeland Security is less than that. The best way to keep a little credibility is to not just throw our fantastical numbers that have no basis in reality. People will start believing that stuff, repeating it to others, next thing you know – everybody gets dumber.

    • The actual value of the intel Israel provides is, of course, impossible to quantify. My point is that many Americans take for granted the fact that Israel behaves like a true ally to the U.S., voting with the U.S. in the UN more than any other nation, sharing hard to come by intel, scientific innovations and military technology. The same cannot be said for most other nations that receive U.S. foreign aid. Egypt and Pakistan come to mind as obvious examples. How do you feel about the billions we give to these countries, Bill?

      Separately, an interesting fact I read today is that the U.S. spends $5 billion per day that it does not have. That means that even if none of the $3 billion in aid to Israel was spent in America, it is still an insignificant sum of money compared to trillion+ dollars we now spend in deficit each year.

  95. Also, you make the same mistake the Rabbi makes – lumping everybody together, herding them into categories, stereotypes. You and Rabbi use “leftists” to describe those who differ from you. I am not now nor have I ever been “leftist”. You group the 47% as all like minded. It’s not good to stereotype or group people. We did that with Jews in Europe. Jews were all this or all that. You need to get away from saying food stamp recipients are all this or all that. I am sure you know one of the most significant groups of food stamps users are retired military. Google military PX stores food stamps. Food stamps make America stronger, not weaker. Stop picking on poor people.

    • Mostly, my last reply answers this post. However, I take exception to you telling me that I am “picking on” poor people. My grandparents were dirt poor, and there were no safety nets for them. They didn’t even consider that some government office should be tasked with taking money from those who have earned it in order to give it to them, just because they were poorer than some others. As I said, I agree that there ought to be safety nets for legitimate cases of need. But they should be at the state level. Also, if you don’t see that entitlements have a become a political tool of the Democratic Party, and to a lesser degree the G.O.P., to increase its power in America, I just don’t know what else to say. There is a difference between Americans helping out their neighbors who are in need and a huge federal system, employing tens of thousands, who institutionalize entitlements and benefit, financially and politically, from increasing the number of people on the dole. Religious people in this nation are among the most charitable people in the world, but they rightly resent the Federal government confiscating our earnings in order to redistribute them as the politicians see fit (which means as they determine how it is to their advantage, politically). It is difficult to make the case that such powers were granted to the Federal government in the constitution.

      • Phil, I guess we just disagree. I think America pretty much invented redistribution of wealth, and we are a better nation because of redistribution. Read Thomas Paine, Adam Smith and the boys. Much thought was given as to how the New World could avoid the excesses of the Old World. The old world were vast wealth was surrounded by abject poverty. Wealth was static, remaining in the hands of a small number of families over time.

        So yes indeed, we in the new World pay a great deal of attention to the gap between the rich and the poor. We invented various mechanisms to manage the distribution of wealth. From progressive income tax to inheritance taxes. We know that all revolution is about distribution of wealth.

        It’s not smart to lightly disregard the wisdom of our ancestors. Each generation of Americans, one after the other, have carefully, thoughtfully put in place these wealth redistribution mechanisms that you so blithely rebel against. What you are asking for is nothing less than a fundamental transformation from all that has worked so well for us.

        Your use of the word confiscation to describe our American system of taxation reveals a certain lack of social connectedness. Confiscation implies seizure as a penalty. The income tax is the law of the land. It came to be 100 years ago. It’s been great for America.

        Maybe this hostility towards paying taxes is the manifestation of the ME generation. The Free Lunch generation. Did you know that every single war since the War of 1812 was paid for with a “war tax”. All the way up to Vietnam where we Americans paid a 10% surtax to pay for Vietnam.

        But then the anti-tax Free Lunch generation came along and we had to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. How did the ME Generation respond to this new war expense? Taxes to pay for it? No. Republicans decided to got to war and give us all a tax cut – a big war and a big tax cut all at the same time. And you say how could a lifelong Republican possibly vote for Obama? My question is how could a fiscal conservative vote to go to war and cut taxes at the same time? And call yourself what? Conservative?

      • The Redistribution of wealth you refer to was to be accomplished not via the confiscation of wealth by a powerful, unlimited Federal government, but by the freedom and liberty to pursue happiness, without cast systems or royalty to confiscate it from those who produced it. The sacredness of personal property (including money) that the founding fathers focused on is a distinctly Judeo-Christian concept, one that had become corrupted in the old world. While no citizen would be prevented from acquiring wealth, the founding fathers would be appalled at the notion that one’s property, acquired within the bounds of law, could be confiscated upon one’s death. In other words, of course one’s property would remain in one’s family after death. The difference is that in the Old World, monarchs controlled all property and could dispence or confiscate it at will.

        I don’t think the founding fathers were at all concerned with the gap in wealth between the rich and the poor, but only with the gap between the freedoms of the rich and the poor, which they did a fairly good job of closing with the constitution and Bill of Rights. The idea was not make all men equal, but to apply the notion that all men were created equal, and therefore had as much opportunity for success as any other man. They did not intend for all men to start off with equal wealth, or to remain equal in wealth to their fellow citizens throughout their lives. Thise notions come not from the founding fathers, but from Marx and Engels. The notion that all property belonged to the collective was also from Marx and Engels, although this concept is also a cornerstone of Islam.

        The founding fathers were only conerned with wealth to the extent that ownership of it could not be changed at the whim of a monarch or governmental power, not that it should be “fairly” distributed. I think your understanding of our constitution is highly flawed. You refer to taxes that are newer to America, and frankly, would not pass a constitutional smell test. Ever heard of “double taxation”, Bill? And I also believe that the founding fathers saw the necessary evil of Federal taxes as a means to provide for the very limited, enumerated powers of the Federal government, not for the purpose of confiscating wealth in order to redistribute it according to some subjective notion of “fairness.” I don’t think the Federal taxation program has worked at all well. The concept that there is no limit to the ability of the Federal government to add new taxes and increase existing ones has lead to the massive, uncontrolled, and unconstitutional growth of the Federal government and its programs. And as the size of the Federal government, and its costs, increases, our liberties decrease proportionally. Your view of what America ought to be is fundamentally different from mine: You see America as some Utopian society where everyone gets treated “fairly”, and all men are equal, regardless of how much or how little they produce. In other words, you would have everyone’s needs taken care of, while those who can produce do so to their ability, and turn the majority of the fruits of their labor over to the State. Not only is that completely opposed to the ideals of our free-market, liberty-based socierty, they are also unsustainable and unjust.

        You may call me stupid, (“not smart”), but I don’t see the evolution of our current massive Federal behemoth as you do. I see, as many have pointed out here, a century-long effort by progressives, then liberals, then leftists, to “fundamentally change” this nation from what it was to something the founding fathers would not recognize. Just because the Federal Reserve or our tax system has been in place for 100 years does not mean that htey have worked out wonderfully, or that they must be enshrined forever. Our nation existed without a Fed Reserve for decades, and it can do so again. The whole notion of a central bank is anathema to free markets.

        I use the term confiscation because of the very unjust graduated tax rate system in which a tiny minority of citizens bear the majority of the tax burden. A just tax system would be a flat tax. Those who earn more pay more, those who earn less pay less. How does our present system not penalize those who are successful? A flat tax would also have the benefit of not increasing tax rates, but tax payers. Once all income earners were paying a reasonable percentage of their income to Federal taxes, you would see a very different political landscape, in which many more taxpayers would vote to contain the size of government to keep that single tax rate lower.

        I have no issue with war taxes, since providing for the common defense is perhaps the essential purpose of the Federal government. I am not against a Federal income tax, but I do oppose the unchecked growth of our Federal government and its expansion into areas for which it was not intended.

        I do think that the expansion of the Federal deficit, for whatever purpose, is to be avoided at all costs, even if that means a war tax. I resent your characterization of me as some kind of selfish person who wishes to pay no taxes. I am proud to pay a reasonable amount to enable the essential services provided by the Federal government, but I define what is essential in a very different way than you do. I wasn’t the one who said how could a lifelong Republican vote for BHO, by the way, that was someone else. I certainly understand that being a Republican does not mean one is an authentic conservative. As a lifelong Republican, I have voted Democrat in the past, so of course, you vote for whomever you wish. I do think, however, that characterinzing BHO as a conservative anything, if you are truly informed about the man, his life and his policies, is quite a stretch. You seem much closer to in your approach to the economy to the beliefs of Marx and Engel than to Goldwater or Reagan.

      • Phil, get real. You are proposing let nature take it’s course, freedom will make everything just fine. That’s as Utopian as anything Marx had to offer. Capitalist extremism in no better than Communist extremism.

        For a many many years we tried pure unadulterated freedom in the USA. It really does not work. We had slaves, etc, you know the story. We had to ramp up Government to do the liberty and justice for all. Same in business.
        A century ago it became obvious to everybody that left unfettered freedom and Capitalism would end up with ten guys owning everything.

        Remember Standard Oil and all that? Teddy Roosevelt. The trust busters. Our ancestors. The greatest generations. We’ve been thought all that stuff generations ago. Now we have a pretty well calibrated system to make sure nobody gets too much of the American Pie. We tax we redistribute we make sure we don’t have big monopolies. Remember when AT&T was “free” to own all the phones in America? We busted that up. We told that private company they had to totally change the way they did business.

        Now you guys are here in 2012, fighting to go back to some imaginary yesterday, where anybody could do anything to make money, that the government is too big and needs to get out of the way? Sorry, I don’t get it.

      • Well, Bill, if we had slavery, it wasn’t pure, unadulterated freedom, then was it? As Ben Franklin said, our system (referring to the pre-progressive free market republic) is the worst system imaginable, except for all the others. I suppose you will point to Cuba or Europe for a good example of successful socialism. In that case, YOU need to get real! Is there corruption in society? Of course, and it is not limited to our republic. But the ability of society to enforce the rule of law determines how harmful that corruption will be. I posit that as a nation, we’re fairly good at it, but of course, not perfectly so.

        Honestly, I am still trying to come to grips with Teddy and the trust busting. It had its merits, but opened a pandora’s box of government interference with private business and the free market. Again, just because something was done over a century ago does not mean it was a great idea or the only way of solving a problem. And if you think we “busted up” AT&T and there is no communications monopoly anymore, you need to look at your cable bill.

        The yesterday we conservatives look to was not all imaginary, nor was it perfect. We look to the constitution and the Bill of Rights for guidance, not “Dreams From My Father” or “Das Capital”. But you see some socialist Utopia as the ideal, while we conservatives have a very different view of the future. We see that Utopia as an impractical pipedream that is just not sustainable. As Maggie Thatcher said, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”. This diversity of opinion is possible because we live in a free land, and I would never suggest you do not have right to your opinions.

      • Government is the biggest friend American business ever had. Do you think the government interfered with the natural order of freedom and free markets when we decided to add those extra 37 states – that was a big expansion from the 13 states Ben Franklin signed on for. Or how about the Hoover Dam electrifying the West? Do you think we should have waited for the free market to decide the West needed a gigantic hydroelectric power station? You sound like you might even question NASA and the Navy and Air Force for setting up the GPS satellite system that revolutionized America business, created all that private wealth. You think the guys who make the Garmin in our cars are upset about the government system they use? This whole nutty ideology that government is an impediment to business in the USA is so out of touch with our heritage, our reality I really don’t understand where it comes from. All I can think of is these charlatans on talk radio, the new Gods of this crazy new view of America. That government hurts us. That the Land of the Free is now this awful place where the USA is the enemy of freedom. It’s nuts.

      • I would posit that that anyone who takes a third of what you earn isn’t a friend, he’s a partner. And those additional states were admited to the union by vote, our republic’s democratic process. Hoover dam? Yes, I think it would have been healthier for America to have had private industry build it and pay for it. The nature of a free market is that if there is demand, production will rise to meet that demand. If the production isn’t there, and the government steps in, it is because the demand was lacking, not the production. Therefore, what’s the wisdom of forcing taxpayers to fund something that the free market would not? A bad precident, and a blow to free market capitalism for sure. NASA? You mean the program that BHO eviserated and turned into a Muslim public relations effort? NASA and defense spending are, as I’ve said, issues of national security, the very essence of the purpose of the Federal government, so I have no issue with these programs, and I think you would know that from my earlier posts. The consumer goods coming out of defense spending are all well and good, but they should never be the main reason for Federal government spending.

        You’re the only one saying that “the Land of the Free is now this awful place…” I love this country, even the people with whom I disagree. But history is full of great societies that fell for whatever reason. Conservatives, as you can tell by the label, seek to retain that which has made us great, and not devolve into some squishy socialist Utopian society that is, again, impracticle and unsustainable. You have not responded to the issue of the unsustainability of a socialist, redistributive society. That’s what we conservatives consider “nuts”, Bill.

      • You are slipping into the same swamp that drowned the communists. Too much theory, not enough reality checking. Marx said all that crap about from each according ability to each according to need. Now you’ve got that same Utopian pipe dream going as a capitalist extremist.

        It would have been better to wait for a private company to build Hoover Dam? Did you ever ask yourself why? Is the answer: So as to maintain some ideological purity that we dare not violate because then . . .

        The secret of our success is that we are not an ideological nation. We are practical. We are now and have always been hybrid, part socialist part free market from day one. People who are pushing this ideological purity nutty stuff are always wrong. Wrong in the last century. Wrong in this century. This is America we do what works, we don’t worry about how it impacts some theory some guys wrote in a book somewhere.

      • Bill, I would never doubt any comments you make regarding the communists, since you seem very well acquainted with communist ideology. But you are the one suggesting that the Federal government has the duty and the right to take from those who can make money and give it those who need money. How different is that from Marxism, Bill? I never characterized a free market economy as a Utopian society. I did, if you had read my posts, characterize our republic as envisioned by our founding fathers as imperfect, but the best system that could be implemented when compared to others (e.g., socialism or Statism). If being a conservative free-market capitalist makes me an “extremist” I can live with that label, since you seem to need to label me. But I would in turn label you as a Socialist Statist, who believes that the centralized Federal government is nearly perfect in all things, and should determine who has what, and what its citizens may or may not do.

        Why would it have been better for private industry to build the Hoover dam? Easy – If private industry had done it, you can be sure there was a demand for it, and those who used the power it generated would pay for it, not people (taxpayers) who would never in their lives use that power. Would you like to buy a new car and hand me the keys, Bill? Basically that’s what Federal public works projects do.

        We are not an ideological nation? On the contrary, you may not realize it, but we are very much an ideological nation. I think the Declaration of Independence is the ideological manifesto of the founding fathers, and I take that quite seriously. With no ideology or constitution to guide us, we quickly devolve into mob rule, immorality, and tyranny, just the things the founding fathers were hoping to avoid by crafting the republic. History is full of tyrants who “did what worked” and ignored any notion of justice or morality. Now I get to tell you to read the Bible for a dose of ideology, justice and morality. And, no, America was not “always” a hybrid. Again, you seem to begin American History at a convenient point for your argument. I begin American history at the beginning of America, when there was nothing socialist about it at all. Liberals tend to pick arbitrary starting points in history that support their arguments, as you have done here.

        I guess this is your answer to my question about how you regard the constitution. You disregard it altogether in favor of some vague, subjective notion of fairness. You know, in modern Hebrew, there is no word for “fair”. Israeli children, when whining to their parents will say “Ze lo fair” – “That’s not fair”, using the English word “fair”. Why? Because what is fair to you may not be fair to me. It is a subjective value that is easily abused for one’s own agenda. There are words in modern Hebrew, however, for truth and justice, whose definitions are clearly stated in that Bible we both read.

        Perhaps I need to “loosen up”, Bill, but you need both a moral compass, and a spine.

      • So Phil, you’re thinking maybe I’m part communist, maybe a little Marxist.
        Any Nazis in there? When you’re smearing somebody, why not go all the way? I recall Julius and Ethel Rosenberg secret commies selling atomic secrets to the USSR. Think maybe I’m sort of like that. Maybe I like them, and hate rich people? Must be, after all I’m an Obama voter, can’t be much of a loyal free market loving America. That’s a dark world you live in.

        Anytime “conservatives” start that communist Marxist crap I alway say the best defense is a good offense. Phil, you sort of smell a little like a white supremacist Ku Klux Klan kind of guy. Okay, now we can move on.

        If you don’t know the difference between Food Stamps and Unemployment benefits and Marxism, I can’t really help you. It’s like trying to explain the difference between the old USSR and the USA. Can you tell the difference Phil? Between the USA and say North Korea or China. Or is this Food Stamp problem got you thinking maybe there is no difference.

        Yep, we take money from people and give to people who need money. Get used to it. We do it half because it’s a good Christian thing to do, and half to ensure domestic tranquility. You can’t have capitalist wealth surrounded by a critical mass of angry poor people. That is a well known formula for screwing up domestic tranquility. So yes, it cost us a couple of bucks to keep everybody happy in the USA. That means we don’t have cities burning down, people roaming the streets in mobs, stuff like that. Domestic tranquility. The Founders knew about that. That why you find words of wisdom about General Welfare and Domestic Tranquility. Those things don’t just happen. We make them happen.

        You ask what is the difference between using tax money to help people in need and Marxism. First, I remind you once again, taxation and the authority to redistribute that tax money is the very first enumerated power found in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution:

        “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

        The next, the second, enumerate power gives Congress the power to borrow the money.

        FYI: Marxism Communism calls for a one Party dictatorship with no private ownership, no free elections, no free speech, none of that Bill Of RIghts stuff. All power resides in the Dictatorship, the people have no say. You get arrested for complaining. I am many other spend the best years of our live fighting the long twilight struggle to put that on the ash heap.

        Now guys like you are having a hard time figuring out the difference between the USA and the enemy we defeated? Nice. Conservative? Not.

      • No Bill, no Nazi. I don’t throw that term around lightly, like you did towards the beginning of our exchange. But if you indeed believe that those with means should provide for those with unmet needs, both groups being defined by the State, please explain to me how this differs from Marxism. I am not smearing you Bill, you’re doing that all by yourself. And as an aside, I would not bet on the innocence of the Rosenbergs. You make too many assumptions, Bill. My comments are based solely on your own words. If you do not think that those with means ought to have the State hand over those means to those with unmet needs, please let me know.

        You know, there are plenty of successful people who are so guilty over their success that they act in ways that appear counterintuitive. I know plenty of them. I suspect it’s partly a feeling that no government property grab will ever affect them personally, and partly because they subconsciously wish they were not so successful, so that they, too, could join the poverty victim class. I am not accusing you of any of this, Bill, but I do know people for whom this description fits.

        As for your KKK comment, if I believed that African-Americans were inferior to whites (I do not), and that Jews were white devils (I do not), would you allow me to protest your characterization of me as KKK-sympathizer? Would you prefer Marxist sympathizer to Marxist? If you actually disagree with Marx and Engels when it comes to the proper distribution of wealth, please say so, and I will no longer state that you agree with them.

        A safety net, for the third time, is desirable, but not as a function of the Federal government. And that indeed is the difference between the conservative vision of America and the USSR. Imperfections aside, the USSR attempted to equalize all incomes regardless of the effort and work done by its citizens. Of course, we are not there yet, but we are headed in that direction. Refer back to that list of what should be included in that safety net. Is there any limit at all? Should everyone be handed an iPad as a participation trophy for being born? Someone has to pay for all that, and that someone is us. Unemployment benefits derive from unemployment insurance, one of the many unfunded mandates the Federal government forces upon the states. As insurance, it has terms, with limited benefits. When the Federal government “extends” those benefits by fiat, they add yet more unfunded mandates to the states. I know there are differences between various benefits programs, but as I have stated, they all belong to local or state governments. And in China, people do go hungry. Here they don’t. Again, I do not object to food stamps or other safety nets, only that they are not the duty of the Federal government.

        Giving to those in need is indeed Christian (and Jewish). But having this done by force of law is not the same thing. It ceases to be charity and instead becomes socialism when it is done by force of law. Interestingly, I’ve seen charts that show that as marginal tax rates increase, charitable giving decreases. Why give charity if Big Government provides for everyone’s needs?

        A critical mass of “angry poor people?” My grandparents were poor, but not angry. On the contrary, they were glad to live in a land where they could improve their status. The anger is part and parcel of the class warfare you say doesn’t exist. Why work for success when you can vote it for yourself from others? That anger is a detestable form of jealousy. Do I envy the guy with a bigger house and a nicer car? Sure. That’s natural. Do I then try to figure out how to take it from him since, if I can’t have it, neither can he? Of course not – that goes back to your Bible, Bill, commandment 9 or 10, IIRC. As for “tranquility”, it is the OWS movement that is turning envy into anger against the successful, and if there is a breakdown of “tranquility” it will be because of this class warfare, not because there are natural disparities in personal wealth. You think we are due for another revolution? Maybe, but I think BHO will “fundamentally change” America without any violence. Just the slow, steady deterioration of our constitutional rights. Of course, most won’t even notice, or care, if they have their flat screen and cable TV. I highly doubt the founding fathers were referring to the forced redistribution of personal property when they spoke of domestic tranquility.

        I do not have to get used to anything, Bill. Dissent is one of our freedoms, and I will not allow you, or Obama, or anyone to tell me what I must accept and what I am free to oppose. I see in your attitude the ingredients for totalitarianism. “Accept what Big Brother dictates, or suffer marginalization in society!” No, I will not accept, nor get used to, nor become complacent. Nor would I ever dare to suggest that you self-censor your political views, no matter how flawed.

        No, the first enumerated power does not give the Federal government the explicit power to take money from one group of citizens in order to hand it over to another group. You may define the general welfare as the authorization for redistribution, but there are many who do not interpret it that way, and we will always fight to promote our interpretation as you will for yours. And here’s one for you to ponder: Perhaps the uniform tax reference is an indication that the Federal income tax must bbe a flat rate tax. Some might see it that way, even if you don’t.

        Again, words into my mouth, Bill. I have never said the nation should not borrow money. Only that it should be limited, within our ability to repay, and only for purposes that are essential to national security.

        Your references to the political aspects of Marxism are irrelevent. I am only referring to the economic ideas behind Marxism. Besides, I think America is rapidly evolving into a one-party nation anyway. There are many districts which have elected only representatives from one party for so long that it would be difficult to characterize them as multi-party. So you might not be a political Marxist, but I maintain your economic views line up quite well with Marxism. You know the USSR also had a wonderful constitution, with guaranteed freedoms, civil rights and property rights. Of course, nobody paid any attention to it. That’s exactly where we’re headed, and you, Bill, are a case in point.

        I know the difference between what America has been and the enemy we defeated. The differences between that enemy and what we seem to be
        becoming are less distinct, however.

      • Phil says: “No, the first enumerated power does not give the Federal government the explicit power to take money from one group of citizens in order to hand it over to another group.”

        What then happens to the duly “enumerated” tax money? Are you saying tax money is supposed to be taken from one group, then returned to that same group so it’s not redistributed? I don’t get that. All tax money goes from one group to some other group. Am I missing something here?

        We take $20 million from Warren Buffet, write a check to Lockheed Martin for a ten new Predator drones. I call that redistributed from Buffet to the people who make drones. Every tax dollar ever collected was redistributed from one person, one purpose to another purpose other people’s pocket.

        From 1791 to 1802, the United States government taxed only distilled spirits, carriages, refined sugar, tobacco, snuff, property sold at auction, corporate bonds, and slaves. This money taken from a very select group of Americans was used to fund all of government. A very narrowly targeted redistribution scheme devised by the original Founding Fathers. I am not sure if the word redistribution was in their vocabulary. It was just taxes. Not real ideologically complicated. Not rocket science. More simple Americana. We are taxing you to pay for other stuff.

        Phil, the Founders pretty much invented redistribution. I think you are equating redistribution with some evil kind of thing the Marxist were pushing back in the day. It really is not a bad word. Profit, wealth, taxation, redistribution. It’s just how the world works. It’s not even conservative or liberal. It is what it is.

      • I fail to understand why you cannot comprehend the difference between Federal tax monies spent on a specific program like defence, and monies that are not spent by the Federal government but instead sent in the form of Treasury checks to individual citizens. If money collected via the Federal income tax is used to buy a tank, it has been spent, not returned to the original tax payers or redistributed to others who have not paid the tax. If the “some other group” is payment for goods or services that the government has budgeted for, that money is not being returned to any individual citizens. Your example is a failure, since Lockeed Martin receives money from the Treasury, but then in turn supplies the government with goods in return. Recipients of entitlements from the Treasury do not, in return for their checks, provide anything to the Federal government. If Lockheed Martin receives a check for $5 million for that tank, that does not mean that $5 million has been deposited to Warren Buffet’s bank account, since the tank it sold to the government was not free of cost to develop and assemble. If, on the other hand, citizen Joe Smith receives a $500 welfare check from the government, all of it does indeed go into Joe Smith’s pocket. This is pretty basic stuff, Bill.

        So, second request: For the purpose of this discussion, we need a concise way to distinguish between tax money that is spent by the government on goods and services and tax money that is simply mailed to citizens in the form of a Treasury check. I see that you refuse to allow the term redistribution to serve as the word indicating the latter action. So, I generously extend to you the opportunity to select a word or phrase of your choice, any word or phrase, that will differentiate between these two distinct uses of collected taxes. If you really want to make these exchanges more brief, this will be very helpful.

        Your comments on items that had been taxed in the early days of the republic is pointless. I never suggested that the Federal government does not have the legal authority to levy and collect taxes. That’s in the enumerated powers clause. But again, none, zero-point-zero percent of this money was then handed over to citizens without the Federal government receiving any goods or services in return. That’s why you need to pick a word or phrase that will describe this difference, Bill. Otherwise, we can’t get any closer to the core of our arguments.

        Much of the world does indeed take money from one group of citizens in order to hand it over to another group, but until fairly recently, that did not describe the U.S. Federal Government. But seriously, until you can manage to comprehend the distinction between handing someone money, and purchasing goods or services with that money, we can only go around in circles.

  96. Bill – Actually, I am in the camp that would like to see U.S. aid to Israel phased out, along with aid to Israel’s enemies. Israel does not not need the money, and it certainly does not need the obligations that come with it. If anything, those obligations (to obey the will of the State Dept.) are a security hazard for Israel.

    While I do see the need for a social safety net, I believe these should be the duty of the states severally, and not the Federal government – that’s how I read the 10th amendment. Besides, if you look at the numbers honestly, without factoring in the left’s class warfare, the Federal government cannot afford the entitlements which it has promised, no matter how much we tax “the rich”.

    I need to make myself clear regarding 1973. If it were not for the U.S., it is unlikely that Israel would have waited for the Arab attack before initiating military action. It was all too clear that the Arabs were about to attack, but pressure from the U.S. made Meir decide that it would be better to let the Arabs attack first. Thus, the calculation that provided the Arabs with the upper hand in the early days of that war was a calculation based not on what was best for Israel, but what was best for Israel’s relationship with the U.S. That Nixon finally overruled Kissinger (“let them bleed a bit”) and helped out Israel is the least the U.S. could have done, considering Israel agreed to let her enemies choose when the war would start, and thereby give her enemies the advantage.

    I agree the Rabbi should not have called the voters “dumb”, although, I do believe that a better voter understanding of economic truths would have hurt BHO’s re-election efforts. I think the Rabbi’s point is that those who take from Peter to pay Paul can always count on Paul’s vote. Of course there are those on the left who value hard work and the entrepeneurial spirit, but many others, you must admit, have figured out that they can live well enough without having to work, as the huge drop in numbers of those looking for work would support. Maybe not all of the 47% lack those core values, but many do. Heck, I’ve met some of them myself. Do the Rabbi and I have the courage of our convictions? Absolutely. I am sure you have the courage of your own convictions as well. I fail to see how that is “sick”. It’s not that th e Rabbi and I consider ourselves superior human beings, but that we believe we possess a correct understanding of certain societal and economic realities that others lack. I am sure you have the same feelings regarding your own beliefs, as do most people who take the time to think.

    And, as Reagan would have said, “there you go again” with the insults – we’re almost “Aryan” in our smug supremacy? So conservatives are “in the same zone” as the Nazis? Think carefully before you commit such a statement to keyboard and screen.

  97. Phil, when I read somebody saying Obama voters are dumb people who don’t understand the free enterprise system and only want free stuff – as the Rabbi did here – I feel it’s fair to call him egotistical with a very obvious superiority complex.

    Nobody needs to be lectured about how wonderful hard working ambitious self sufficient free enterprise entrepreneurial loving patriots are for America. And how rotten lazy cheating stealing dependent people are. Conservatives make it sound like they discovered some great wisdom that we who voted for Obama just don’t get. That you are on the side of the good American, while the rest of us, well we just don’t understand how important hard work is. We the 47%. Maybe that view is not quite Aryan in ego, but a form of dangerous supremacy? Yes.

    You and the Rabbi have a thing for the 47% that pay no income tax. You have them profiled. All stamped and serial numbered. They are the takers. You are the makers. The 47% are not the old, the disabled, the mentally handicapped, the low IQ, the poor – no, they are the takers with “no skin in the game” as the Rabbi tells his flock. They do not believe in the good America. They only want to take from the hard workers this 47%.

    You say we cannot afford the benefits we provide for elders our disabled our poor. Those of us who voted for Obama say we can afford those benefits. We see those benefits enshrined in our founding values. What other nation ever declared itself dedicated to promoting the general welfare, providing for domestic tranquility, so that every citizen could pursue happiness. We take real good care of our elders our troubled our poor in the USA. That is part of what makes us an exceptional nation. Our American safety net is what distinguishes us from the Third World.

    The Rabbi demonizing of the 47% who do not pay income taxes is an ugly form of bigotry, stereotyping. It conveys a sense that those who do not pay income tax are inferior in some way. That those who get benefits are somehow lessor Americans. I remember when Bernie Madoff got busted I heard people use that same kind of group bigotry. It was the “Jews” who swindle. The Rabbi is using that same tactic to smear Obama voters.

    • On the contrary, Bill. I would say that a person who has figured out how to game the system and live off of others’ hard work is actually pretty smart. Not only that, it is a natural part of human nature to take something that is offered to you for free. The only reason why the 53% who support the 47% don’t switch over to the other side is that they have more self-respect, ambition, and believe they can still do better than they could by going on the dole. Do I hold the 53% in higher esteem than the 47%? Yes, and not for the reasons you might think. I believe, as do many conservatives, and I suspect, the Rabbi, that self-reliance, personal responsibility and indepedence are cornerstones of a free society. Once we begin to trade our liberties for stuff from the Treasury, we begin to forfeit our liberty. So, yes, I would rather be free and impoverished than have my basic needs met by a centrally-planned, socialist government.

      As to the portion of the 47% who have legitimate needs, again, I feel that caring for those truly unable to care for themselves is the job of family. If there is no family to do it, then charities and religious organizations should be the next line of defense. Failing that (and in a true free society, I doubt it would fail), the local and state government should be the safety net. I repeat: I do not believe it is the job of the Federal government to provide a base level standard of living for all citizens, whether they are able to work or not.

      The “thing” I have for the 47% (I cannot speak for the Rabbi) is that, while they contribute nothing to the Federal Treasury and only receive money from it, they have the same vote as those who take little or nothing from the Treasury and contribute a very disproportionate amount of the revenue to the Treasury. That’s what we mean by no skin in the game, Bill. Why would anyone who does not pay Federal taxes ever vote for politicians who would like to lower them or cut Federal spending? There is no end to the confiscatory policies of the Federal government when it has enough reliable votes to pass any tax increase it can imagine. We are just about at that point now. Do you honestly believe this is a healthy state of affairs?

      You claim that the care, by the Federal government, of the elderly and the infirm is a “founding value”. What were founding values were family, charity and religion, three central values that I believe the liberals, progressives and leftists have worked hard to disolve. The elderly, before Social Security, either saved so that they could survive the years when they could no longer work, or were taken care of by their children. The infirm were likewise cared for by loved ones. Yes, medical costs have skyrocketed, but mainly because of advances in medical care that let some live longer than others (which I see as a luxury available to those with the means to pay, not a right guaranteed by the constitution), but the cost of healthcare has also increased because of government interference in healthcare, and with the ACA, that trend will hit new hieghts. Now, while we as a nation, may be able to afford to pay for the care of the elderly and the infirm, that does not mean that the Federal government, therefore, has the power to force the people to do so. Everything cannot be about some subjective notion of “fairness”, there has to be justice and the rule of law – the law set forth in our constitution. Again, I reference the 10th amendment, to which you have not responded.

      While you continue to criticize the Rabbi and me for demonizing the 47%, you have offered no defense of the portion within that 47% which is there by choice, not by unavoidable circumstances. You fail to address the key issue, which is that the 47% is swelled by many who simply choose to live off of others even though they could work, because we – meaning the liberals in our Federal government, have made it overly easy to live that way. Even the modest welfare reforms enacted by Bill Clinton were eliminated by your hero, BHO. So, no, not all of the 47% are lesser people than the 53%, but a significant portion of them, those there by deliberate choice, are indeed taking advantage of the rest of us. And yes, that does make me angry. You telling me I do not have a right to feel indignation at those who intentionally and needlessly mooch off of my toil, that I am a bigot (and please check the definition of the word before you use it) for feeling the way I do, is an attempt at thought control, perhaps the worst form of tyranny there is.

      • Phil, now I am starting to understand where you are coming from. You are using some very low information arguments based on false information. You say the modest reforms to welfare Clinton made were eliminated by Obama. That is low information voter talk.

        The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) signed by President Clinton was a fundamental shift in the rules for welfare – not a “modest” change are you incorrectly stated. Furthermore you incorrectly tell people the BHO eliminated the PRWORA reforms. You sound like a person interested in public policy. Why would you not seriously study the facts?

        You even make the false assumption that BHO is my “hero”. Why do you use that talk radio language with someone you know nothing about? Obama is just another President. They come and they go. Christ is a hero of mine. It takes a lot for mortal men to become my heroes. You seem to have a problem with stereotyping people. I voted Obama so I must think he’s my hero. Did you vote for Sarah Palin? I suppose you worship her. She is you messiah perhaps? Sounds stupid no?

        When you make the case against that the poor are mostly cheats – you need to give facts and figures. You are the one smearing these people – so it rests upon you to make your case with numbers, not just phony allegations. Who are the 47% who do not pay income tax? What is the demographic makeup. What percentage are rich or poor? What percentage are on Social Security? The median income of those on Medicare is around $22K. They would most likely not pay income tax. Tell us who and how many of the 47% deserve our scorn. Otherwise you are just blowing hot air bigotry trying to whip up resentment of the “poor”.

        You basically seem to have this odd fixation, centered around your fear that poor people are cheating you out of you hard earned money. The case you make kind of says you are working real hard and paying taxes and you are surrounded by hordes of rotten lazy cheating people who are getting something for nothing. That is a kind of sad way to look at America.

        Sort of like the owners of WalMart, the richest family in America, twisting around in bed at night tormented by the nightmare that shoplifters are costing them money.

        Targeting the poor, those at the bottom of the socio-economic barrel gives you an easy target. You can demean the poor, accuse them of being mostly lazy parasites, lump them into some sub-group of humans, call them the 47% – it’s easy to pick on the poor. I suggest you try something new. Not that many people want to live off others. You are creating some dark fantasy for yourself. People do not aspire to be poor and on welfare. Who the heck ever sold you on that idea of your fellow Americans?

        Try this: try a new target. Try looking up at the top of the socio-economic ladder.

        How about rich guys who go bankrupt, stiff the banks and everybody they owe money too – but they stay rich while they skip off with their ill gotten gains. Do bankruptcy laws need to be changed to make it harder for dead beat rich people to skip out on their debts? In Florida, you can own a $50 million dollar house, go bankrupt, stiff all you creditors, but they can’t touch you house. Does that kind of stuff interest you at all, or is it just the poor slob getting $200 a month in food stamps when maybe he could be working at Home Depot?

        How about wealthy medical professionals engaged in Medicare fraud? Medicare fraud costs about the same as Food Stamps. Around $60-80 billion a year. People who steal this tax money from you, people getting all that money from cheating while you are working so hard – they are not poor. They are affluent, in the top 2%. Doctors, medical suppliers, pharmacists. These are rich people, stealing more from taxpayers than food stamps gives to the poor who qualify.

        Then we have the Wall Streeters who just got over a $700 taxpayer bailout because they were selling phony mortgages stamped AAA to unsuspecting pension funds all over the world. These were the super rich deadbeats who cheated the money out of your pocket.

        Yet you and the good Rabbi are fixated on the lazy little guy who might weasel his way into $300 worth of food stamps? You are victims of the old bait and switch. You’ve been conditioned to look down not up. The enemy of the people is the poor. Direct your resentment down, not up.

        The 85 year old making $25K who does not pay income tax. No skin in the game. The poor stupid mother in Appalachia with six kids on the dole? That’s where you and the Rabbi want to direct your ire? These are the people causing you grief? Not a word about the upper class white collar cheats that are costing you 100x more? The defense contractor that pockets $50 million from a bogus contract? No, you pick on the poor.

        Read the Bible. There’s a lot in there about people who demean the poor as they seek maximum riches for themselves. You and the rabbi need to pick on somebody you own size. Find a new enemy.

      • I don’t have any idea what you mean by “low” arguments, Bill. I had read previously that some of the Clinton-era welfare reforms were reversed by BHO. If I was misinformed, I apologize. However, I do believe the welfare requirements for able-bodies people to actively seek employment, and accept it if offered, have been rolled back during the first BHO administration. I do know that unemployment benefits have been extended dramatically, and conservatives like me feel this counterproductive.

        Sorry if I incorrectly labelled BHO your hero, although you obviously feel he was a good choice for POTUS, since you voted for him twice. In all your posts, you have never criticized a single one of his policies. It does appear that your admiration of BHO is unmitigated.

        You are putting words into my mouth, Bill. I never said that the “poor are mostly cheats”. I did suggest that a significant number of welfare recipients are gaming the system by choice. That does not make them cheats, since they are operating withing the system’s rules. It also does not mean most welfare recipients are receiving benefits by choice rather than necessity. So, that straw man is a failure, Bill. Nobody can know exactly what percentage of the 47% are truly in need of assistance, and what percentage are receiving benefits by choice, but to suggest that the number of recipients gaming the system is zero or inconsequential is something that YOU would have to demonstrate with statistics, and you cannot do so any more than I can produce statistics on the portion of the 47% that choose to be on the dole. Of course, many of the 47% are working poor who fall under the threshhold for Federal income taxes, and I respect them for chosing to work instead of receiving welfare. But that does not mean I agree that any income earners should pay zero Federal taxes. See, Bill, we conservatives want “new revenues” also, but on a just basis, not as a salvo in leftwing class warfare.

        The scorn I reserve for the people who elect politicians that make such redistributive horrors possible, not for those who look at the system and take legal advantage of what is offered.

        And please, please, explain why my economic views are evidence of “bigotry”. You have fallen to the old liberal lowest common denominator of calling your opponent names and labels when you cannot put forth a winning argument. I could easily claim you are bigoted against conservatives or free-market capitalists, but that would, I hope be an incorrect use of the word.

        It’s not poor people that are cheating me out of my property, Bill, it is a Federal government gone wild with unchecked spending and expansion. You are, of course, free to vote for such expansion policies, but I am free to vote against them, and that does not make me a bigot. You should read the book by the first Republican you voted for, Goldwater, “The Conscience of a Conservative.” The 52 year-old book is as true today as when it was published (just substitute Tehran for Moscow and Trillion for Billion, and it could have been written yesterday). Goldwater did not blame liberals for trying to expand the Federal government; that is what they stand for and are fighting for what they believe is right. He complained that conservatives (including many in the GOP) had allowed the left to place their own brackets on either side of the debate, so that the arguement was not whether or not to expand the Federal government, but only by how much. True conservatism is so rare these days that most liberals become unhinged when they encounter someone who supports it. I think your posts are a case in point.

        I see you feel that shoplifting is okay as long as you are shoplifting from some rich family. You see, conservatives believe in equality under the law, with no special, “fair” treatment based on identity politics.

        Your characterization of me as “targeting” the poor also explains your viewpoint. I see equal treatment under the law, including the flat tax, as doing the poor a favor, by showing them that they can strive to earn more, but the government will not penalize them if they do. You see that as some kind of attack, because you don’t think it would be “fair” to tax the working poor at an equal rate to those who earn more. Note that I said rate, not tax dollar amounts. Nobody aspires to be poor, but many will choose to live off of others if that option is made available by society rather than commit to the hard work required to improve their incomes. My wife teaches in an inner city public school, and sees examples of this every day.

        Those “rich guys” who go bankrupt are not really rich, then, if they go bankrupt. If you feel that our bankruptcy laws are unjust, you are free to vote for politicians that will change those laws, just as welfare recipients can vote for politicians who will keep the welfare flowing or increase it. And your characterization of their property as “ill-gotten gains” exposes your hatred of successful Americans. If their gains were ill-gotten, that is, illegally obtained, they would be criminals and subjet to arrest an prosecution, which all conservastives fully endorse. But legally acquiring wealth is only a crime in the world of Marx and Engels, and perhaps Mr. Obama.

        Hey, I wouldn’t point at the Wall Streeters and the bailouts that were given to them by the Federal government, including many Democrats and Republicans. Why wouldn’t they take it if it was offered? The real problem is a government that picks winners (AIG) and losers (Lehman), and interferes with a free-market economy at taxpayer expense. And those “phony mortgages” were made at the behest of Democrats like Barney Frank, who felt it was “fair” that people who could not afford mortgages should still get them from the banks. Yes, the GOP did nothing to stop this from happening, but it is the nature of capitalism to look for ways to profit from government policies. Remove the government interference, and the bailouts would never have been needed. But of course, you would probably cry “racism” since you interepret sound lending policy as a form of bigotry. In the end, I see this assault on the financial system as a way to further class warfare and bring America’s economy down a very big peg, and it is succeeding fabulously.

        Examples of people who are legitimately on the dole? More strawmen. I have already stated that there ought to be safety nets for those truly in need, but at the local and state level, not the Federal level. To this idea, you have offered no response. And your accusation of “bogus” contracts displays your contempt for contract law, upon which our great Republic is founded and survives. You accuse so many of so many crimes that you cannot substantiate, while I have only accused people of legally taking advantage of a bad entitlement system that ought to be reformed.

        As for the Bible (Torah, Profits, Writings), I read it plenty, along with the Talmud. I do not see the Bible as the liberal Christian theological basis for socialism like you and Jeremiah Wright do. I see emphasis on equality under the law (respect not the widow or the orphan), strong property rights, and individual responsibility. I see a belief system that requires charitable giving, yet has harsh criticism for those who fake poverty or illness in order to receive charity, and I see strict limitation on the power of governments, with the acknowledgement that God is the only real King and Ruler. I think you’re reading a different Bible.

        I think you’re becoming unhinged and showing your true colors, Bill. I doubt you are being honest about your GOP affiliation or your belief in conservative economics. I think you are a liberal troll who found this blog and has used stealth to try and embarrass some conservatives. You have failed utterly and embarrassed yourself in the process.

      • Phil, I must say that I was clapping when I read your post in response to Bill Holt’s ridiculous comments. Thank you for “putting it so clearly!” I would imagine we must attribute his thoughts on redistribution to ignorance or simply being a part of the New World generation. Bless you!

  98. Phil, complaining about high end white collar crime is not the same as not liking rich people. Let’s put it this way: I like banks and bankers, I don’t bank robbers. I’m sure you can make the distinction there. Wall Street cheated people. I like Wall Street. I don’t like cheaters.

    You write: “So I will ask you, Bill, how much of your income should the Federal government take from you to redistribute to those who have less?”

    The most I ever paid Federal in one year was 1994 – $650,000. I was so so happy to have what was left over. Figured my tax money went for the FBI, one fifth of a cruise missile, and maybe some food stamps or health insurance for some family in need. I never gave much thought to what is
    “fair” to pay. I’ve always been more interested in my business my inventions making things happen, the rest is just details for the accountant. All I ever knew is I lived in the greatest place in the world where even the poorest American had a good TV, a decent place to live, a some good hot meals. I don’t quibble about such social details. That’s why I vote for others to do that stuff. I am busy pursuing my happiness, not worrying about some little poor guy ripping me off. That’s my brand of conservative.

    I like kicking ass in Iraq as pay back for 9/11. I think I should have paid more taxes for the war dollar for dollar. Instead, my phony New Age “conservatives” gave me a $600 rebate check followed by two big tax cuts I did not need. That was in the early 2000′s when “conservatives” ruled the House, the Senate, the White House. At least they called themselves conservatives. Rush Limbaugh said I should vote for them, they were the conservatives. The war and the tax cuts and the rebate checks to get rid of that extra money they had. So I started to figure maybe these guys were not conservative. They were just greedy. Wanted more money in their pockets, who care about the deficit, who cares how we pay for war. By 2008 when Bush needed TARP and all that because everything was collapsing – I figured – you know maybe I’ll try some other way to look at things. I rooted for the Philadelphia Eagles all my life too. But the fate of the nation is not like being a loyal sports fan where your team is always you team. So I voted for a new team – and tell you what I like what I see so far. Very refreshing. Less ideology, more math. I like that.

    I read Goldwater back in the day. It’s not that relevant anymore for me. I do recall Goldwater proudly voting against the Civil Rights Act then in later life regretting his extemism. Goldwater who wanted to use atomic bombs to defoliate Vietnam, the Goldwater who joked about cutting off the East Coast of the USA letting it drown in the ocean.

    So yeah, I know about Barry Goldwater. He was a interesting guy with some decent ideas. But an extremist who sort of got to be a joke for awhile. Later life recanted much of the junk he said in the 1960′s.

    You asked

    I don’t make any of that extremist stuff the Bible. Not Marx. Not Goldwater. To me they are just guys with opinions. I have my own opinions.

    Phil, you are really selling the American people short. We are not as bad as you make us out to be. Americans are arguably the most ambitious hard working people on earth. That is why we lead the world in just about everything. We are the worlds largest economy, the biggest global marketplace, the world’s number one manufacturing nation. We are at the vanguard, the world leader in all the newest and best in the technology Age. The world runs on American invented, American made software and microchips. Just one single American company in California, Intel, has an 80% marketshare in microprocessors. The world is Intel inside, most of the chips are made right here in the USA. The whole world googles, facebooks, amazons, photoshops, on Apple iPhones. The world consumes American cars and movies and dances to American music.

    And yet you’re kinda of thinking we are not an ambitious people? Maybe we are getting to be a real lazy people. That’s the conservative narrative you are buying into? That robot on Curiousity rolling around Mars comes from a nation not as good as the one with used to have back in the day? Kind of heading towards Maxism Communism kind of socialism stagnation?

    I have no doubt this generation of Americans is the most ambitious brightest ever. They hold in their pockets more information than past generations say in a lifetime. This is the new world invented by a free people more ambitious than ever.

    You have been led to believe that the human nature of the individual American has some changed. The big problem you imagine is a person with no aspirations. No dream. No ambition to be somebody. An athlete. A scientist. A teacher. A rock star. A political leader. Are you kidding me? Individuals Americans with no dream, no ambitions are very few and far between.

    This whole worldview that you and only you and your fellow “conservatives” are the true heirs of the Founders, the self reliant hardworking aspiring Americans surrounded by slothful masses itching to live lives of indolence on your hard earned money is more like a anti-social psychosis than a legitimate political movement.

    • Ah, but you weren’t complaining about white collar crime, Bill, you were complaining about the legal activities of successful mortgage bankers and defence contractors. Nobody here would defend criminals, of any collar. “Wall Street” is a road; it cheated nobody. Have some in the financial industry committed crimes? Sure. Nobody is suggesting they ought not be prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished. Please don’t indict an entire industry for the malfeasance of a few. If a financial professional operates within the law, the only person liable for having been cheated is the victim, for not exercizing proper care when investing his money. Kind of like buying that iPod from the dangerous looking guy at the stop light without bothering to look inside the box.

      As for the taxation you paid, you did not indicate what percentage that was of your income. But in any case, I am glad you felt it was wisely taxed and wisely spent. Not everyone would agree with you. Just as there was a time when the Federal government did not have entitlement programs or other confiscatory programs like Social Security or Medicare, so too, can there be a future in which these things do not exist at the Federal level. Sure, these programs were designed to be hard to repeal and embed themselves in the fabric of America, but some of us are willing to fight for what we believe to be right. And your characterization of the “poor” owning all sorts of luxury goods kind of hurts your argument, Bill. Most conservatives define unmet needs as food, clothing and shelter. Beyond those basics, you are indeed entering into Marxist economic territory by promising every household a specific set of luxury goods, which one can easily live without. I lived for 35 years without a cellular phone, and now I pay a tax so that these “poor” people get free cell phones? This sounds like a joke, Bill, but it is the truth. As I said before, there is no end to this, and voila, you will soon arrive at Marxist equal distribution of all wealth. You have yet to tell me where you would draw the line, Bill, if you would at all.

      I make no apology for the excessive spending of the Bush years and the run up in the deficit. I do feel that the “war against terror”, however poorly named, is indeed necessary, and have no issue with spending for it (although I disagree with many of our tactics in this war). But I do agree that funding for the war should have been at least partially sourced from tax hikes. A nation that will not fund its own defense deserves the defeat that will surely result.

      You see less ideology in BHO than Bush? Really? I’ve given you examples from BHO’s own mouth regarding his ideology. Have you seen 2016: Obama’s America? You should. I think you simply prefer BHO’s ideology to the GOP ideology.

      Goldwater did not vote against the civil rights act because he wished to prevent the equality under the law of minorities. He, and many at the time (mostly Democrats) voted against it because he felt existing law already provided for the equality under the law sought by the civil rights movement. It was precisely because of his confidence in the Bill of Rights to provide equality that he opposed it.

      First you tell me I should read the Bible, then you tell me you don’t make much of it, or anything else for that matter. First you strenuously object to my characterization of your views as Marxist then tell me you don’t make much of him, ditto, Goldwater. You’re a hard nut to crack, Bill. A little consistency would go a long way. I know you have your own opinions, as do I, but realize that neither of us are original thinkers. Our ideas have been fleshed out many times before by brilliant men (and God, in the case of the Bible), and history provides a lot of guidance as to how those ideas work in practical applications.

      I agree with your assesment of America as a wonderfully successful endeavor. However, we conservatives (and even liberals like Kristoff) see that the Federal government’s policies are eroding those characterisitcs which made our nation great, the same characterisitcs you listed. Will all Americans lose their ambition? Of course not. But when the number of Americans riding on the wagon exceeds the number pulling it, those pulling it are going to scratch their heads and wonder exactly who they are toiling for. That’s not the conservative vision of America, Bill. And technological advancement alone does not make a society great; pre-WWII Germany was the most technologically advanced nation on the planet at the time.

      Sigh. More words into my mouth, Bill. Have I ever suggested that the old space technology was superior to the present technology? Of course not. I already told you that NASA is great way to advance military technology, and it is sad that BHO has gutted that excellent program. I hope you can still tout NASA’s newest and best four years from now, Bill, but I think the days of NASA innovation are behind us. And you can’t blame Bush for that one.

      And if you think this is the most ambitious generation ever, you need to explain why so many of these ambitious Americans are moving back to their parents’ homes with their degrees in hand, why so many employers can’t hire qualified Americans to fill openings, and why so many employers are amazed at how poorly prepared applicants are for job interviews. If by ambitious, you mean young Americans mostly want to start at the middle and move up quickly from there, sure, I agee. Why start at the bottom when the Federal government will give you that standard of living without you having to work at all?

      Human nature has not changed, but the rules of the game, set by the Federal government, certainly have. And human nature is to take what is offered for free when it is offered to them. Why would anyone work all day for $100 when he can sit home, watch his flat screen and get the same $100 from the Treasury? That’s why so few want entry level jobs nowadays, why they prefer to drop out of the ranks of those seeking work, and remain unemployed as a lifestyle choice. Do you even know what the workforce participation rate is or what that implies? Or do you just ignore anything that conflicts with your worldview?

      Well, millionares are fleeing high tax states in droves. Are they all anti-social and psychotic? The conservative worldview is based on numbers, history, facts and realism. Liberal and progressive thought is based on wishful thinking, an elastic definition of “fairness”, feel-good socialism, balkanization (including class warfare) and economic models that have proven to be failures repeatedly in history. And those slothful masses do exist, but they are the creation of the welfare state. The reformation of which would quickly disolve the majority of that mass, expand the tax base, and return the rest of that mass it to its rightful status of marginalization in society.

      • 2016? I heard that had something to do with the President Of The United States of America actually not liking America? Something about some African values or liking communism, his mom was communist. Stuff like that? Why would I watch that kind of stuff. It’s very un-patriotic. Kind of sickens poisons the mind, makes you want to hate the President. Not for me.

        2016 will not look much different. Another guy will be running for President this one will be retired to some library somewhere. I prefer UFO movies, where the aliens get us, I’m not scared of communists anymore. That’s so 1969.

        Did you see the Romney Bush movie about how Mormons and oil people are plotting to make us dress in Mormon underwear and buy $10 gasoline. Shocking.

        Get real.

      • Once again, Bill, you’re embarrassing yourself. The material used to produce that film is from well-researched sources, including BHO’s own writing. Sounds to me like you’re asking me: “Who are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?” I think it would be foolish to ignore a person’s family background and history if that person is attempting to win an election that will make him president of the U.S. The POTUS position is mostly about the person’s character and leadership abilities, as well as his ideology (sorry, I know you hate that word), not just about what was written for him by speechwriters and read off of a teleprompter. I guess you, and most BHO supporters, just take everything BHO says at face value, never questioning the meaning of those words, while ignoring anything he might have said ot done in the past that doesn’t fit with your personal narrative of BHO as a great president. There is nothing unpatriotic about challenging or criticizing our elected officials, and that goes back to the time of the revolution. By calling that film unpatriotic, you are using the leftist tactic of attempting to silence any dissent with which you don’t agree. That sounds more like Venezuela than the U.S. to me. But you are very willing to dismiss this film without having seen it, just as you dismiss the economic realities that are all around us, and anything else that doesn’t fit neatly into your bizzare version of “conservatism”.

        I did not see the film about Romney Bush, but I would see it before I would dismiss it as “poison”. You have a very closed mind, Bill, and I doubt there is much of a future for our children if people like you continue to elect “leaders” like BHO. I am not angry as much as I am saddened by this terrible reality. It’s not that things here are so bad today, even if they are not as great as they once were, but unlike you, I am very concerned about the world we leave to our children. I have a level of maturity that you seem to lack. Life is serious, and our choices today have serious consequences for the future.

      • Phil, you can have the last word, I’m out of here. This conservative is not the least bit worried about Marxism or redistribution or anybody out to get me. You need to get yourself a good supply of canned goods a gas mask, go underground, come out when it’s safe for you “conservatives”. This conservative is quite content with the ways things are going. You sound afraid, very afraid. I don’t think that’s the spirit that built America, being afraid your fellow citizens are out to get you? And remember, hold on to that money of yours buddy. Remember, it’s holding on to your money that God wants from us. I think it’s in the Bible. Thou people with the most money art thou conservatives who get through the eye of a needle and be the best people to win his Kingdom. Something like that.

  99. Bill – You’re kind of making this easy for me by putting words in my mouth. Money, as a symbol of property, is indeed a cornerstone of our republic along with liberty. Do you honestly believe that a society that does not safeguard property rights and civil rights would succeed like America has? Why is comparing a household economy to our national economy “impossible”? It’s simple math, Bill. Not everyone believes we should borrow money for anything we want to do. Conservatives are not opposed to borrowing, but it should be temporary, limited, and only done when critical (e.g., defense) needs outway our ability to pay.

    I am hardly stuck in the past, Bill. I don’t need a lecture on how many states there are (although Obama did say we had 57) or what our population is. We conservatives would never argue we do not need the FAA or other critical government functions (yet another straw man). We do not yearn for horses to replace cars (maybe the EPA does, but not conservatives). I am proposing that Americans be allowed to grow and thrive without the Federal government interfering anymore than absolutely necessary. All that other stuff is your projection onto me of what you think conservatives want.

    I get the impression you are completely unconcerned with the Federal budget, the deficit, the debt, etc. I admit I don’t know how to respond to this. If you honestly believe there is not now, and never will be a downside to unlimited borrowing, taxing and spending, I think you’re being naive. Do I have to point to examples in modern times of the dangers? Pre-WWII Germany, Zimbabwe, Greece, etc. And I hope you acknowledge that the printing of paper money at will by the Federal government is a hidden tax on everyone, since more dollars equals lower value for existing dollars. Our finances are “metaphysical”? Sure, until they’re not. What’s your plan then, Bill?

    Bill, I have stated previously that I define “redistribution” not as taxation of any kind, but as the confiscation of property (money) from some citizens in order to give it to other citizens. Under that definition, none of the enumerated powers qualifies as redistribution. But if you insist, please provide a term which will differentiate taxation for specific Federal government operations from taxation that is for the purpose of taking from some citizens in order to give it other citizens (not employees of the Federal government). Trying to defeat my argument by refusing to acknowledge this critical difference is farcical.

    Of course, how you and I might define “General Welfare” will differ significantly. As if on qeue, your buddy in the NY Times has published a piece on what’s wrong with Federal entitlements. I would not expect you to read any conservative publications, but perhaps you’ll read this from Nicholas Kristoff. Naturally, I don’t agree with all of it, but it’s refreshing to read the words of an honest, realistic liberal now and then:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1355332487-gHnvFG/jv1N8uLbDc9u9Tw

    I’d love to get your reaction to it.

    • Just so happens I read that NYT on Sunday. Sounds like we need to tweak those programs a bit no?. It will all work out. What? What am I supposed to say. Don’t mess with it it’s all good? You’re thinking maybe Obama voters like kids getting illiterate so the weasel mom can get more money? Not really. If that’s broken we need to fix it. SSI is a good and just program. Remember we have 300 million citizens in the USA. This article addresses perhaps less than .005 per cent of the population? Don’t panic.

      As a matter of fact I have a daughter who’s on SSI. She lives in a group home with three other disabled ladies. I paid $25K for a share of the house, her SSI goes into a program that spends about $50K per person to maintain disabled folks in independent living group homes. The State and the FEDs foot the bill, they hire private companies to run the houses. My daughter gets Medicaid for health insurance. I am sure in the old days, when I was gone, she would have died in some dark institution. I am thankful to God and the good will of a government dedicated to liberty and justice for all for my daughters being able to have a life. For this conservative, this is the stuff that makes for an exceptional nation. Of course, we are taking money from some people to give this life of dignity to my daughter. I hope they do not resent her. She tries. Personally I don’t care much if this is “enumerated”. To me, it’s God’s work.

      My mother in law burned through $400K in assisted living in a dementia unit. She’s now 96. Her assisted living facility cost her $6500 a month until she ended up broke. Then she qualified for Medicaid to pay for the assisted living. Medicare takes care of her health insurance. I’m sure at this point she takes more than she gives. But I forgive her. She would of course be unable to “shop” in the free market for these services.

      When I was younger and fully alpha male, I too thought that dog eat dog was good. Now I understand differently. So I do cling to those words of the Founders about the General Welfare and Domestic tranquility. They seem more meaningful than ever.

      So you and I disagree about “redistribution”. You seem to think it has to do with bad people getting good people’s money. But even if that were true, where does all tax money eventually end up? Where does all welfare from SS to Food Stamps end up. Under the mattress of the poor. No Phil, the welfare money ends up at WalMart and Target, and the local pharmacy, into the hands of the makers of drugs, the farmers of food. That is where all welfare money ends up. In the economy.

      In money theory people talk about the velocity of money or the velocity of currency. Theories about money going from one hand to another has a multiplier effect. The USA has been calibrating money supply and measuring velocity of money a long time. One of the reasons we don’t totally go down the tubes when we have a recession is because the government plays such a role in this intricate mechanism. Conservatives should take a new look at things. It’s not as simple as make life harder for lazy people and cut back on government spending. Civilization in many ways is a very thin veneer easily punctured by reckless ideology.

      During the 2008 crash, while many argued against TARP and worried about the ideological themes like moral hazard, practical men and women in government understood that a freeze in credit, a failure of banks, the closing of ATM machines could in a matter of weeks cause food shortages, empty shelves, no bread or milk, no gasoline then mobs of desperate people sinking into survival mode anarchy – so our great big fat Government just sort of invented an extra $800 million for TARP and $800 billion for stimulus. May not have satisfied any particular ideology but they decided it was best to save the Nation rather than sit by an see where ideological purity takes us. We are a practical people. We do what works, we don’t sit by watching crap happen. For me that’s conservative. Practical.

      We’ve been through revolution Civil War depressions polio epidemics World Wars, things always get better generation by generation. I am an optimistic conservative. Faith in the individual. Faith in Divine Providence. Faith in the future. Like I said we live in the best of times with more Americans enjoying more liberty and justice and prosperity than at anytime in American history. So that’s the way I roll. Optimistic. Glass half full. Opportunity abounding from sea to shining sea. So day the debt will be paid down. Who knows, maybe we are on the verge of a whole new economy with airplanes, cell phones that let you see people thousands of miles away. Little robots in our guts killing cancer. There’s a lot to look forward to. As long as we conservatives don’t start thinking small and cheap. This ain’t no small cheap nation. We walked on the moon six times forty years ago. China is thinking about giving it a try soon. We have big dreams, big buildings, a big economy, big corporations, and a big government to keep it all ticking. Don’t let that big stuff rattle you. Big is good.

      • Bill – So you read the NYT? Of course, like all authentic conservatives! John Maynard Keynes said that if you put the Federal government in charge of the Sahara desert, in two years, there would be a shortage of sand. It’s not about tweaking if your not a Big Government liberal, Bill, and your confidence is based on what, exactly? The federal success with Social Security? Medicare? If you were really conservative, you would understand that it’s not a matter of tweaking, it a matter of abolishing these programs. returning that portion of tax revenues to the states, and allowing them the freedom to deal with the needy inside their states as they see fit. Do I think that those families who receive all that aid will vote for politicians who promise to preserve and increase those benefits? You bet I do. And the exit polls bare that out, Bill.

        SSI is bankrupt, Bill. It is now paying out more than it is taking in, the reserve fund consists of IOU’s from the Federal reserve, the cost of living increases are being removed. In 1950 every retiree on social security was supported by 15 active workers. By the end of 2010 there were only 3.3 workers for each retiree. The government believes there will only be two per retiree by 2025. You call that a “good and just” program? Where do you see in the constitution, that the Federal government has the right to take from you a portion of your income and give it back to you with interest when they say they will? It is neither good, nor just, but rather insolvent, unsustainable, and unconstitutional. I feel sorry for people relying on SSI. When people my age retire, we will get every penny they promised us, but it will have very little buying power. The elderly, fooled into a false sense of (social) security, will be starving, and people like you will use that as yet another excuse to tax the rich even more, or means-test the benefits they were promised by a government that has ignored the constitution.

        And as for your daughter, the State and Feds do NOT “foot the bill”, taxpayers do. How do you think I feel about paying for your daughter considering you seem to have the means to pay for her yourself? Has she contributed to SSI to the extent that her benefits are appropriate for her level of contributions? I know, I don’t sound very “Christian”, but do you see what’s happening to you? You could probably afford to care for your daughter, but why spend your own money when you can spend someone else’s? And so you do. In the old days, you would take your earnings, put them in trust and insurance policies for your daughter, and she would be taken care of. But why bother when the taxpayers will do it for you? Do you find that situation just? I do not. If you told me you were too poor to pay for her care, and had no family upon which to rely, you would go to your pastor and seek help, and then, if that was insufficient, there would be a local or state-level safety net. Your daughter would not “die in some dark institution”, Bill. Personally, unless you have fallen on hard times since your peak earning years, I find your use of the system detestable, if natural. The same criticisms apply to the treatment of your mother. Ask yourself how much more money you and she would have avilable for care had the government not taken so much from you over the years. End of life care is, quite frankly , a luxury. As Medicare becomes more insolvent, you will see many providers refuse to accept Medicare payments, since they will only cover a fraction of the actual costs of care. We will revert to the old days of seniors dying at home, without end of life care, with or without Medicare, but we will still be paying for it. You’re doing a great job of making the conservative case, Bill.

        Words into my mouth again. I never described welfare recipients as “bad people”, only people doing what is natural; taking that which is offered freely to them. Ah, and so Bill the Conservative quotes that great conservative, Nancy Pelosi, and claims that welfare benefits help the economy because it gets spent at Walmart. Tell me this, Bill: Which helps the economy more, letting taxpayers keep more of their earnings so they can spend it on goods and services, many of them luxury goods and services, or taking that money from them, giving it to those who have less, but only after syphoning off a good chunk to fund the Federal beuracracy that makes all this possible? Seriously, Bill, nobody should ever take “conservative” talking points from Nancy Pelosi.
        Your comments on the velocity of money are also flawed. The velocity of money is not improved when a chunk of it is withheld by the Federal government which produces nothing. In fact, the payment of our debt service costs is a drag on the velocity of money.

        And don’t get me started on the Federal reserve. In a failed attempt to avoid the natural business cycle down-segment, it has effectively reduced recovery cycles to jobless, weak recoveries. We have been and will continue to be in, a lost couple of decades, a la Japan, in which there is negligable real growth, high rates of joblessness, and it’s all thanks to the Fed’s good intententions. The business cycle is natural, and how a free market economy shakes out weak players so that growth can resume. The Fed has essentially put an end to it. Doubt me? When’s the last time you saw the Dow adjusted for the change in the value of the dollar? It’s simple, Bill. The less the Federal government spends, the less they must tax. The less they must tax, the more capital can be invested in growing the private economy. And that rising tide will lift all boats. Of course, the inverse of all of that is also true. Keynesianism is a failed theory. Only people who believe in Unicorns and tooth fairies deny this.

        TARP was a disaster. We gave the government a blank check, and our tax momey was wasted on proping up failed businesses, ridiculous “green energy” fantasies that failed, and jobs overseas. And it is because of government interference in the financial markets that the crash occured in the first place. The Federal government gave birth to subprimes and alt-A mortgages, not the banks.

        I am happy you’re optimistic, Bill. I am also happy that I think you’re older than me, and therefore less likely to see your Utopian society crash and burn than I am. I probably won’t see it either, but I am very worried that my children will not be so lucky. I’m not rattled, I’m concerned.

    • Just noticed this: “I would not expect you to read any conservative publications,”

      FYI: I grew up on William F. Buckley National Review Ayn Rand all that stuff. How the heck could you possibly know what I would read?

      I get the feeling I was conservative long before you. You sound like maybe a new conservative. All excited about discovering new old now obsolete dogma from the 1960′s. Freedom good. Tyranny bad. Low tax better than high tax. Free market good. Socialist market bad. Profit good. Success good. Lazy cheating people bad. Teach a man to fish. We all know that. Been there done that. We are way past that, dealing with new more complex situations. Don’t let this conservatism straightjacket prevent you from joining the move to a brand new future.

      I’m trying to give you a dose of traditional conservative values. Like when we conservatives were begging for a 10% income tax surcharge to pay for Vietnam and LBJ was pushing “guns and butter”. That’s what the GOP was pushing the last ten years “guns and butter”. Big war, big tax cuts. Not conservative one bit Phil. Just some reckless ideology that did not pan out. That’s primarily why we are were we are debt wise. If I told you Obama got us into a trillion dollar war, then passed a trillion dollar tax cut at the same time he went to war, then Obama added a drug benefit to Medicare with no premium to pay for it and no negotiating drug prices – I am sure you would say Obama was deliberately trying to screw America into oblivion. That’s exactly what my old GOP did. Don’t be so loyal to a bunch of incompetents. Who cares if they wear a big lapel button that says “conservative”.

      • Okay, Bill, I didn’t expect you to read conservative works, since your views and most conservative views are so far apart. I am happy to be wrong about that. Too bad not much of it is sinking in, though.

        For the record, I have been a registered Republican since 1978 when I was 18. I have always identified with conservative causes, although I admit my views have evolved and been refined over the years. I remain receptive to true conservative thoughts and ideas. See, part of being a conservative, to me, is that we never “get past” all that old-timey conservative value talk that you have relegated to history. I believe in a set of values that I feel are universal and timeless, and do not shift with the times, or popular trends. I have seen the “brand new future” promised by Obama and hios supporters, and it scares the heck out of me. I think it is a recipie for economic and social disaster, and I base that on my own knowledge of history and culture.

        Your values are not conservative in any way, Bill. Please provide examplesof conservative (not Republican) politicians who espouse your views on the economy and our Republic. You can call yourself anything you like, but nobody will take you seriously as a conservative with your socialist, Statist views.

        Sure, conservatives pressed for tax hikes to cover Vietnam, but that was 1965. How are your present views, beyond your desire for higher taxes to pay for wars, conservative? Your desire for a Big Powerfull Central Federal Government does not pass the conservative smell test, Bill. And are you suggesting that LBJ was a conservative? Seriously? Don’t take my word for it, Bill, ask anyone if they think LBJ was a conservative. He was a Texan, but that doesn’t make you him a conservative. Conservative means desiring to conserve. In other words, to resist change and to preserve what is current, or in our case, what was current before the liberals and progressives took over. I fail to see how your excitement over the “brand new future” and BHO’s “fundamental” changing of America meet that definition. And I do think BHO is trying to take us down a peg. He said as much in his own book. The GOP may have had a similar effect, but not by intent.

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  102. Rabbi – your essay is very disturbing, especially since you advocate violating Halacha. The Law clearly specifically sanctifies hospitality toward the ger (“stranger”) who is to be made particularly welcome “for you were strangers in a strange land” (Lev. 19:34 and see Ex. 12:49). Are these immigrants not strangers? Are we Jews not also often strangers condemned for our different ways and our decision not to buy into the values of the majority culture?
    Plus Rabbi, you are making the exact argument of those who opposed our forefathers immigrating to the United States. It was said we were greedy, we were cheaters, we were leeches and we cared for no one but ourselves. As Rabbi Hillel the Elder said: “if I only for myself, what am I?’

    • Well, I am loathe to oppose the Torah’s standards for anything on general society. But I don’t think the Torah endorses illegal immigration. The treatment of the “stranger” under Torah is designed to be equal – mishpat echad. Equal means everyone has to follow the law, including immigrants, illegal or otherwise.
      You are right that every generation of Americans has not greeted new immigrants very warmly. That is true even of the Great Migration from 1880-1920. But of course the big difference is that the older generation of immigrants came to America and had to rely on self-help and private support groups (relative, HIAS for Jews, etc.) They did not walk in to a basket of free stuff provided to them by an insolvent government either confiscating money from working people or borrowing it against the debt of their grandchildren.
      That being said, we love legal immigrants, and should especially make it easier for legal immigrants to come and contribute to the United States. Most legal immigrants eventually adopt American values, if they are not corrupted first by the culture of free stuff.
      And Hillel said as well, “if I am not for myself, who will be for me?”
      -RSP

  103. Rabbi, do you not believe in our great Constitution? The very first number one “enumerated” power is the clearly stated power of Congress to impose taxes. The second power enumerated by the Founders is the power to borrow. And yet you call this confiscation. You say the Founders set out to confiscate our money. You seem to want a fundamental transformation of America from what our Founders envisioned. I’m sure you know “free stuff” is a great American tradition rooted in our religious heritage. You lead us to wonder if you know your American history with incredible free stuff from the Homestead Act on. Nothing wrong with free. Your religion gets a free ride with zero taxes on religious property. You as a Rabbi probably get all kinds of preference on taxes.

    You may not like the present day USA or most Americans, but you are in the minority. Seventy per cent of Jews voted Obama. Shame on you for saying they are stupid bums. I say again, you are suffering from a terrible case of inflated ego. A superiority complex that drives you to down other people whose intentions and moral character are no less than yours. I wonder how much money you collect for yourself from these kinds of insults to other people. Are you gaining something for yourself by sowing the seeds of resentment distrust? You need to repent.

    • He’s BAAAAACK! Bill Holt, now armed with the constitutional information I provided him with, tries the same argument with the Rabbi that he did with me. I’ll let the Rabbi reply, if he wishes to, but if he decides not to, I’ll be happy to pick up where we left off, and expose the weakness of your arguments, Bill.

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  105. Increasing taxes on anyone is not going to have the outcome that we need. Pulling our jobs back to the U.S. is the only thing that will help our failing country. When we are back on our feet, we cannot allow any company to move more than 49% of their company outside of the country without increasing their taxes to pay for the unemployment that they have created. As it is, we need to halt all ‘Free Trade Agreements’ and start to reabsorb our companies, or let them go without purchasing from them again until they begin their move back. The U.S. government should never purchase computers that had any portion made outside of the U.S. That alone would either crash computer businesses, or would bring them back and would create plenty of jobs. Further, our own military is being sold out as the clothing and equipment is purchased from outside of the United States, and the military exchanges have 90% or more of their merchandise that is from China alone. As far as Walmart, the biggest supporter of Chinese goods in our failed economy, they too should be required, along with every other store, to sell a minimum of 51% of their goods that are made in the U.S. Subsidizing Foreign manufacturers under the guise of U.S. companies, is the reason that we have been over the fiscal cliff for years.

    • Will we ever learn? Government-run economies produce (1) tyranical governments to which its citizens become serfs (rather than its masters as our “government of the people, by the people & for the people” was designed); and (2) failed economies.
      It started in the Joseph in Egypt story in the Book of Gensis – and in the 4000 years since nothing has changed.

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  107. We have been warning America since 2010, about the dangers of Mr Obama’s unconventional methods of governing & the impact of his tenure now & in the future. The USA has virtually undergone a ‘bloodless coup’ in the interim. What is more frightening than his autocratic regulatory rulings that have, and will by-pass congress, is the complete acquiescence by the voters of an administration bent on ‘leveling the playing field.’ Thus, we all start at the bottom afresh.

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” Churchill.

  108. You guys are so gloomy. You make it sound like the USA is the USSR or something. We have a great government with great checks and balances, nothing bad is going to happen, don’t be scared. If you have a complaint, be specific. None of this crap about socialism regulation is killing us. Say what’s bothering you. Is it the Center For Disease Control or maybe the FDA looking at everything we eat and drink. What exactly are you scared of? Maybe the modern world in general? At any rate, start talking details about what’s got you down, what’s got you all worried and frightful. FYI: This President is not much different than most other Presidents. Nothing that crazy is happening. Relax. This is the greatest place on earth. More Americans have more liberty and freedom and prosperity than at anytime in our history. More than 50 years ago, 100, 200. Get out from under that gloom and doom, make the New Year a happy hopeful one! To be positive is to be American.

    • Hi Bill, Happy New Year. Here’s one specific: BHO campaigned on a class warfare platform, and won. The increased taxes he succeeded in hitting the upper middle class and wealthy with on December 31st will do almost nothing to lower our nation’s deficit (it is simply a smack on the head of “rich” people that the Occupy crowd loves to hate), but the “temporary” agreement does nothing to cut government spending. Just because you may not live long enough for our living-on-credit lifestyle to implode on this country and turn us into the next Greece, doesn’t mean we should ignore the problem. I am sure there were plenty of happy Greeks who thought their line of credit would never end, but those who didn’t die before 2010 did indeed live long enough to see the party come to a halt. I gave you many specifics in my prior replies to your “what, me worry?” posts, and I did not give a pass to any president who has acted fiscally irresponsible. Since BHO is now in office, and he is being irresponsible, my criticism focuses on him.

      • Phil, don’t be so scared of “class warfare” it’s as American as apple pie. The Rabbi’s post is classic class warfare, aimed at lower classes. Romney used class warfare to make the case against food stamps asserting that 47% of Americans were more or less bums looking for a handout. So don’t get all upset and nervous about class warfare. As a matter of fact, class warfare, over history, has pretty much been the driving force of all political movements. In the USA we do it with words not weapons.

        2012 is a good time for introspection. The world, including Greece has been around for thousands of years. It will continue. World poverty is notching down. War casualties are at historic lows. Free market democracy is triumphing. Medical scientific advances are moving ahead at a record pace. We are a rich nation, with great people, a great system of government. The President of the United States is not your enemy. Relax.

      • Phil Slepian

        Wrong, wrong, wrong, Bill. Class warfare is socialist, not as “American as apple pie.” In this nation, we admire and strive for success, not vilify it or turn it into a target. Face it, Bill, anything that is taxed will be reduced. Tax it more, it will be reduced more. This shot against the “rich” will indeed reduce the wealth that is available for investment in our economy, and cost us more jobs. Insisting on equal treatment for all economic classes is the antithesis of class warfare. Real conservatives oppose the tax codes we have, which penalize success, and instead favor a flat (or flatter) tax, in which all taxpayers pay the same percentage of their income in taxes. Just because the left chooses words instead of weapons to attack the “rich” does not make their attacks any less unjust. Confiscation of disproportionate amounts of property by the force of law is still force. Greece will continue, but the debt-driven gravy train is quickly grinding to a halt. Entitlements will evaporate, and those who do not work or have sufficient savings will suffer. So it will happen here eventually. But it might not happen this week, so, why worry, right, Bill?

        I am actually very relaxed and somewhat resigned to the terrible fate that awaits our nation. There is no turning back now. I could take your path, the path of the EU, in which we try to enjoy life as our society sinks slowly into oblivion. But I care about my children, and their children. That’s why I can relax, but not totally surrender to your feel-good socialism as if there were no tomorrow, no reckoning ahead. As a socialist and perhaps a crypto-Muslim, yes, BHO is indeed my enemy, and the enemy of all true American conservative patriots.

      • Phil, you’re still being Mr. Ideology. Taxes were much higher in the 1990′s and the economy was much better. You are talking “theory” about taxes and growth not math reality. We’ve been putting taxes up and down for a hundred years. Don’t get like the old Marxists. They were so in love with ideology and theory that lost touch with the real world.

        Where do you get this “vilify” and “hate” stuff when it comes to success and being rich. You are right, everybody wants success and to be rich. You sound like you just discovered something we all know. Being ambitious getting rich is a good thing. I don’t know anybody except maybe some weird fringe that thinks otherwise. Class warfare was around long before socialism. You seem to have this obsession with “socialism”. America is part socialist part free market. You need to come to grips with reality – unless of course you want to privatize the military, get it out of the socialist funk. Or maybe privatize the fire department, so only those who deserve to have a fire put out and can afford the service get the fire company when the house is on fire. You are worried about stuff that you need not worry about. Your war on socialism is like a war on the capitalism. They are what they are, neither one is going away soon. Having the top rate back to 39.5 per cent is not class warfare. It’s a tax hike. If we lower taxes in the future it won’t be a class love fest. It will be a tax reduction. Talk normal.

      • Phil Slepian

        Ideas are important, Bill, and they have consequences. Whether taxes were higher or lower in the past is irrelevent. I am referring to the justice, or lack thereof, of a progressive tax, which by definition treats some citizens differently than others. All ideology is not Marxist, Bill. BHO’s, perhaps, but not mine. I find it amusing that you eschew ideology but blindly support the most idelogical POTUS we’ve had in our lifetimes. Read his book for proof.

        Where do I get my info on class warfare? Check out MoveOn.org, or any of the Soros-funded web sites. It’s all about class warfare, vilifying the “rich”, and those who work in specific industries, like finance. They may be a wierd fringe, as you put it, but it is a well-funded fringe, and their ideas have many supporters in Congress.

        As my earlier posts have noted, Bill, I acknowledge America is part socialist, and has been since at least FDR. That doesn’t mean it was always part socialist, or that it has to remain so. Real conservatives would like to return to our roots of limited government and free-markets. You can set up all the straw men you like. You know full well I have acknowledged that certain functions should be performed by local and state governments. But you also know I feel that the Federal government ought to be limited to the enumerated powers, and only in cases where the local or state governments are incapable of performing a particular task.

        Lowering tax rates, or even better, moving to a flat rate tax, would increase wealth for millions of Americans. Once they realize that they can become successful, they not focus on bringing down the “rich”, but instead on joining them, as it should be.

        And why does Bill Holt get to define what “normal” talk is? Maybe you are the one with the superiority complex.

      • Phil, just read your last line again about crypto-Muslim the President of the United States is your enemy and how much you care about your children. I hope you don’t talk to them the way you write here. You are not being a conservative “patriot”, you’re just being a weirdo. Maybe this super identity you gave yourself, savior of America, enemy of the President makes you feel superior, but it’s really unbecoming. Your extremism hurts America, raising you kids with that attitude will hurt them.

      • Phil Slepian

        Thanks for calling me a wierdo, Bill. I won’t call you names. Nor did I claim to be America’s “savior” or to be “superior” to others. But I do have the courage of my convictions, which, I expect, you do as well. That’s natural; nobody champions ideas with which they disagree. I do think genuine conservative ideology could possibly restore America to its roots in liberty and the Constitution, with limited government. As for the crypto-Muslim thing, I base my thoughts, which I acknowledged were merely a possibility, on facts: BHO’s own words and deeds. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. What real conservatives find “unbecoming” are many of the things BHO has said and done as POTUS. My kids, thankfully, think for themselves, and they know horsepucky when they hear it. And they hear it a lot in America these days, including from the White House. They know that the America they live in is not what is was when their parents were young, and will likely be worse in the future. One of them has already left the U.S. permanently, and I expect her children will enjoy a better future than Americans of their generation.

      • Don’t be insulted. I do think it’s weird to say the President of the United States is your crypto Muslim enemy. You say if it walks like a duck and you base your suspicion the President is a secret Muslim on his words and deeds. What words and deeds? I have listened to many many many President’s words. I have not heard the voices you are hearing. What did you hear? And further, are you saying he is crypto secret Muslim meaning what? He worships Allah and hopes Islam prevails over the world? It that your fear – The President of the United States has a secret agenda to turn us into Muslims. Can you tell us exactly what you are thinking regarding the President being Muslim? And what it it your are afraid of. Maybe you are not weird, but the assertions you are making are very weird. Reminds me of the cults with strange beliefs where they see things and hear things that defy reality.

        Our disagreement boils down to being positive or negative about the world around us. You say things were much better back in some other time when you were young. But you never say what was better. Was it health? Or the air or water? Or war and peace? Or liberty and justice for all? What was better and when was that Phil? Your yearning for the good old days when we walked miles in the snow to get to school like real men do is an illusion. Things were crappy years ago. They are much better now. And therein lies the difference between us. You are living in an imaginary past that never was and never will be again. Failing to recognize we live in the best of times.

        There are no genuine conservative values that can restore us to that imaginary liberty of yesteryear with that limited government people talk about. Our government is limited. We do comply with the Constitution. We have more liberty now than then. Get real. I think what you find disturbing is the complexity of modernity. 100 years ago we did not need most of what we have today. We did not have a Center For Disease control poised to act in case of epidemics like the great Plague or Flu that ravaged humanity. Now we have enormous bureaucracies dedicated to protecting us from that and from the possibility of WMD bio warfare. Our government has a national DNA data base. We have completed the Human Genome Project mapping human DNA for incredible medical advances. The Government is exploring the stars with robots of mars.

        And, in the midst of all these wonders of the modern world, with the USA leading the way, you are wishing for those simple times when horses shit in the street and people died at 20 from a cut finger.

        If we could just find a way to steer the passions of you super patriot wonder people conservatives to something more constructive than theories about a crypto Muslim plotting against us in the White House things would be just dandy in 2013. I urge you take consider a more real patriotic role for yourself. A patriot is someone who vigorously supports their country. You do nothing but bad mouth your country. It’s not a good place anymore. We wrecked the Constitution. The President is your enemy. Phil, that is not patriotism. That is being a fanatic lost in some other world.

        If your family is leaving the USA for a better place, tell us where they went. I just read Switzerland is Numbero Uno place to live. Personally I love America.

      • Phil Slepian

        I’m not insulted by anything you say, Bill. But you don’t get to define me. In this country, we define ourselves.

        What words: Google BHO’s Cairo speech of 2009. It’s full of examples that suggest BHO is more interested in the well-being of the Muslim world than the nan-Muslim world. That’s reality I take seriously. Deeds: His treatment of Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited Washington. Plus the photo of BHO giving the official Islamic raspberry (showing the sole of one’s shoe) to the camera as he spoke to Netanyahu over the telephone.

        I am saying of a certainty that BHO is a crypto Muslim, but based on his words and deeds, not to mention his upbringing, and the lack of clear information regarding his life prior to U.S. politics, we know less about BHO than we know. Among the various possibilities of what the man truly is, is the possibility that he is a crypto-Muslim. The world has been hoodwinked before by such subterfuge, like El-Baradai, the UN Nuclear inspector chief who it turned out was colluding with Iran to hide Iran’s nuclear program. My point is that we know very little about this man we;ve elected, twice, to lead our nation, and that frightens me. If to you that means I am wierd, then fine. I’d rather be wierd and cautious than naive and accepting of everything I was told. I don’t buy stuff sold on TV infomercials for the same reason.

        What was better about the US in my youth? Many things: America was feared in the world. We didn’t have presidents who felt obligated to apologize to people who didn’t like us because of our success as a nation. We were mostly immune to foriegn attack and were not afraid to demonstrate our military capabilities, including nuclear. When Americans were threatened any where in the world, our government acted. Also better was what America was not: It was not a nation of haves and have-nots. We were all Americans, regardless of whether we were financially successful or not. There was no shame in being poor as long as you had food on your table, a roof over your head, and clothes on your back. I didn’t have to pay for luxury goods for other people. Our education system was managed on the local level, and not by agenda-ridden Federal beuraucrats. But mostly, the socialist fairy tale was not a big part of the American narrative. We didn’t look upon each other based on identity politics or politically-correct thought control. We had a Federal budget. We had an up-to-date nuclear arsenal. We didn’t speak of our enemies as misunderstood people who we had to bow down to so they would like us and not want to kill us. We could call our enemies “the enemy” and do what it took to defeat, not appease, them. We understood that living on endless credit was foolish and doomed to ultimate failure. We understood that socializing one sector of the economy after the next would not bring prosperity, but equally distributed misery. All that, as the result of decades of hard, persistent work by the Left, is mostly gone. I miss an America where “fairness” mmeant the rule of law and justice, not whatever some protected class felt it should mean. I miss an America where the Coonstitution was respected as law, not a “living document”.

      • I remember watching every minute of the Cairo speech. I did not hear what you heard. Did you hear this:

        “Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words – within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”

        Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.”

        What was the bad part you heard?

        You need to do some homework. Every bit of the President’s life is out there for all to know about. His birth, being raised by a single mother from Kansas and the influence of his grandparents a WWII combat vet and a women who worked in a defense factory. The schools he went to, his work in Chicago, his election to the state legislature, to the US Senate, the two year primary against the Clinton machine, the campaign with McCain, winning the White House, winning reelection. Phil, you sound like a guy who is interested in America, what is it you don’t know that you would like to know? Maybe I can help you.

        You seem to have this vague, nagging suspicion that maybe you are more American than Barrack Obama. I wonder why that is? You think that you, Phil Slepian are somehow a more authentic loyal good American than the President of the United States. And that entitles you to question his religion, his credentials as a real American. That is weird.

        As for Netanyahu, I will rely on his statements not yours. All the Israeli leaders speak highly of the President. You are still in that imaginary world Remember the Beatles “Nowhere Man”? Read the lyric.

      • Phil Slepian

        “America and Islam are not exclusive” “…principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” “And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is…”…nearly 7 million American Muslims in our country today…” ” Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.” “On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they’ve endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead.” “At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” “No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that’s why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.” “For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That’s why I’m committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.” “At the same time, we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America…” All of these statements are either deceptive, or simply false. And the very fact that BHO would not speak at Al-Azhar unless the Muslim Brotherhood (which until then had been outlawed in Egypt) was invited speaks volumes. Do you know what the Muslim Brotherhood is all about Bill? Does BHO’s overt and covert support of the Muslim Brotherhood bother you at all? Or is it just another sign of BHO’s magnificence?

        The schools BHO went to? Like the Midrassa he graduated from? Please. And we know very litle about his grades and work at Columbia, or how he managed to get admitted to Harvard Law.

        Yes, I do think I, as well as 99% of Americans, are more loyal patriotic citizens than BHO. It’s called an opinion, and we are both entitled to any we like.

        Of course, Netanyahu’s patronizing statements about BHO have nothing to do with the repurcusions saying something negative might have on Netanyahu’s political career. Are you not familiar with what Clinton did to him when he ran against Ehud Barak?

        I think you are the one living in some kind of a fairy-tale parallel universe, Bill. The one where people eventually say, “wow, I didn’t see THAT coming!” History is full of people who were doomed by their own bad judgement. I choose to learn from them, not pretend they don’t exist.

      • “”When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that’s made brothers and sisters out of every race — out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value,”

        Are you saying there is something wrong with saying that?

        What would you think if you found out Obama got a F in school? Or maybe he got into Harvard because he was an up and coming black guy. What’s you suspicion here? He is a Muslim and he is dumb? Nice.

        By the way thinking you are a better American than me or the President may be an “opinion”, but it says a lot about your ego. You superiority complex. You are one of the superior patriot Americans. Then there are the lessor Americans like me. Wow. Talk about self aggrandizement. You and 99% are better Americans than the President. Hey, whatever. Personally I think I am a way better patriotic American than you. Way.

      • Phil Slepian

        I hate to tell you this Bill, but based on a lot of research and reading, I feel I have a pretty good idea of what the Islamic game plan is. When I see a devout Muslim, I have a good idea of what they have learned in school, what they hear from their parents, and their spiritual leaders. To me, seeing a woman in hijab in the supermarket gets the same response that one might have had if they saw a fellow in a full Nazi outfit in a supermarket in America in 1943.

        I am not saying BHO is dumb, only that we know only what he has told us about himself, and he has admitted to altering the facts on occassion when penning his book.

        I don’t think calling 99% of Americans more patriotic than BHO makes me an egotist. On the contrary, it makes me quite average. It is BHO and his hard Left base that is outside of the sphere of the average American.

      • That quote about Islam was from George W. Bush, so I guess George W. is in on the plot too.

        I don’t get your 99% stuff. You do know that President Obama won his first and second election by larger margins than the previous President. So the President has the support of the majority of American voters. There is not hard left out there of any significance. Just plain old Americans voting for who they think the best man is. In 2008 again in 2012 the People spoke. Relax Phil, in four years you will have a new President. It’s a pretty good system. We are moving forward to a bright new future. Less war less poverty less disease more liberty. It’s happening all over the world and we are the leaders. We picked President Obama at a very crucial time in history. The right man for the times. We always seem to manage to do that.

        Since seeing a Muslim is like seeing a Nazis to you, I can understand how seeing a black man who spent time in Indonesia would rattle your chops. This whole mixed up melting pot of America must drive you nuts. All those odd Chinese people and Hindus from India the Muslims, the Jews with those little caps and beards, and the little dark Mexicans running all over the place mowing lawns and whatever else it is those people do. What happened to the normal America?

        I must say I don’t understand how what you are saying about the President helps America. If we elect a conservative Tea Party guy next time, will it help for me to reject that election and devote my time to slandering the winner? Call him KKK? Will that make me a super duper superior patriot like you? Being a good citizen means respecting our laws our elections our process. I learned that in civics in elementary school from the nuns. I think they were right. My baseball coach also taught us a lot about good sportsmanship. He told us it was an essential American value in all endeavors.

        I am done here for now.

      • Phil Slepian

        Sorry, Bill. All of those quotes were taken from BHO’s Cairo address of 2009. I strongly believe that the majority of Americans who voted for BHO, both times, know almost nothing about his background or ideology. I include you in that group. BHO is the genuine Manchurian President. He speaks in code and pursues a far-left, un-American agenda. There are many Americans who have bothered to look into BHO’s background, ideology and history. Except for the radical leftists, I would bet none of these Americans voted for BHO.

        Rest assured, Bill, I don’t pull out the Nazi label lightly, like so many in today’s world. But there is a lot of common ground between the two ideologies, and history records the many cooperative efforts between the Muslims and the Nazis in WWII. The melting pot concept is swell with me. I am the grandson of legal immigrants myself. But they, and most immigrants in the past, came here to become American, not to change America into some version of the places they came from. The Muslim Brotherhood mantra for Muslims who move to non-Muslim lands is “integrate, but do not assimilate”. That’s because they keep their eye on the prize: Turning every place they live into sharia-compliant, Islamic societies. All of this information is out there on the public web sites of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations. All you need to do is read them. If you want to see successful examples of this philosophy, look at Europe, where the current French President was elected by France’s Muslims. Why is that bad, I can here you ask? Because soon, these Muslims will elect politicians that will replace the French Republic’s laws with sharia laws, whether the freedom-loving French like it or not. And libery in France will be over. Our fait, while further off, will be similar if we do not take steps to stop it very soon.

        Again, Bill. You are free to call people names in America, and I support that liberty. But there is no law against speaking deceptively. You can call the Tea Party Klansmen if you want, but that does not make it true. Conservatives and Tea Partiers generally seek to preserve or restore what was great about the USA. To me that makes them patriots. But when BHO, or Bill Holt, champians the Hopenchange nonsense that is code-speak for transforming America from a Constitutional Republic to some sort of progressive socialist utopia, which is a failed system, I would say that these people are not patriots. They would be much happier in France, Greece or Spain. 48% of America would rather stay in the America they knew than morph it into something unrecognizeable by our founding fathers.

        I’ll be here waiting to respond when you begin to post your silliness again.

      • Phil, when you say people like yourself “seek to preserve or restore what was great about the USA” – it really is hot air. Or perhaps you can tell us what specifically it is you want to “preserve and restore”.

        Myself, I wish to “enhance and improve on progress”.

        Regarding Bush and Obama quotes. You replied -

        To me, seeing a woman in hijab in the supermarket gets the same response that one might have had if they saw a fellow in a full Nazi outfit in a supermarket in America in 1943.

        That was in response to this George W. Bush statement I posted -

        “When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that’s made brothers and sisters out of every race — out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value,”

        You see Muslims as Nazis in the supermarket. I have a friend who sees all Jews as Bernie Madoff’s in the supermarket.

        You seem to relish seeing the worst in the world around you, in the people around you. The President. The Muslim in the supermarket. The Left. The United States government. All in league against you. Closing in for the final victory over Phil and his Founders Values. You really should try to shake that in 2012. It’s not healthy.

        I assume that you, like me, voted for GWBush twice. Here’s some more Bush quotes –

        “Islam brings hope and comfort to millions of people in my country, and to more than a billion people worldwide. Ramadan is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind.”

        “According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed His word in the Holy Qur’an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan. That word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science. All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements.”

      • Phil Slepian

        Bill – I have previously listed numerous examples of Federal programs that are beyond the enumerated powers clause of the constitution. Please reread my earlier posts for specific examples.

        I do not see the transformation of our free market economy into a socialist, statist economy as an improvement or as progress.

        I don’t give Bush a pass for promoting falsehoods about Islam any more than I give a pass to BHO for the same thing. Again, since BHO is in office currently, my comments are directed at him. Don’t paint me as a big supporter of Bush; I was not.

        My views of Islam are informed by years of reading and research, and I stand by them. Perhaps as a gentile, Bill, you lack the same perspective on history that we Jews share. Having been victimized way too often in the past, conservative Jews tend to be very alert and aware of potential threats to their lives and property. I am very optimistic about some things I see in the world, but human nature, unchecked by the values of our ancestors, can lead to horrible consequences. You are free to remain in your happy-place bubble, Bill, but I care too much about my children to delude myself and ignore the threats looming on the horizon. And please don’t ask me what threats – just review my earlier posts.

        I did vote for Bush, but not because I supported him, but because his opponents worried me much more. Bush’s record on fighting back against the Jihadists is spotty (although way better than BHO’s). Bush’s second term was much worse than his first. His quotes regarding Islam are political-correctness run wild. They have little basis in truth, and were meant to pacify American Muslims, some of whom do vote Republican, and our Muslim “allies” in the Middle East. Most likely, these quotes were supplied to Bush by Muslim operatives within the GOP (e.g., Norquist). Follow the money, Bill. Saudi Arabia takes our oil money and spends it on waging various forms of Jihad against us. You ignore this at your own peril. Although you may not suffer the consequences of Islamic infiltration into our country, your children might.

      • “I do not see the transformation of our free market economy into a socialist, statist economy as an improvement or as progress.”

        Phil, that is not happening. The USA is part socialist part free market capitalism. Always was, will continue to be. We (the People) put certain functions in the public sector (socialism) most everything else in the private for profit sector. That formula is the key to American success. It is how we built this great Nation. If you can’t come to grips with that simple fundamental way America works you are not going to be a happy camper. Your utopian dream of an all free market capitalism Nation is as far out as the Marxism delusion of an all State utopia.

        You don’t much like Bush or Obama or most of the rest of everything. I may not be a Jew but I find it abhorrent that a Jew would want to stereotype any people or religion into a group deemed the “enemy”. You say you are a fan of history. From what I know that’s what happened to all Jews. They were labeled packed up as enemies, all of them. We say, “never forget”. You apparently have forgotten the dangers of group think.

        “Teach your children well,
        Their father’s hell did slowly go by”

        Crosby Stills Nash Young

      • Phil Slepian

        Bill – Your recent posts are all reruns, and my replies can be found in earlier posts to this blog. Please reread them. You are not going to turn me into some ex-hippy peacenik socialist, no matter how many hippy song lyrics you post. The author of my values is God Himself, and sorry, Bill, but I trust Him a lot more than Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young. You should know that by now. Nor do I think that I can make you understand what the Rabbi and I have been trying to explain to you in all these posts. But for the benefit on any who might be reading, I do not want to let your feel-good, ignore-the-future, what-can-possibly-go-wrong naivite go unanswered.

        If you want to see how leaders in the Islamic world view America and our (or at least my) values, please start with this site: http://www.jihadwatch.org. It is not Muslims I call the enemy, but the ideology that is Islam. And it is precisely because there are no significant numbers of Muslims who are willing to stand up against their leaders that I am worried. Just as there were no significant numberss of Germans who were willing to stand up to the Nazis. There are good Muslims today, and there were good Germans in Nazi Germany, but it made no difference at all then, and it won’t now.

      • That whole song is pretty good for 2013

        You who are on the road
        Must have a code that you can live by
        And so become yourself
        Because the past is just a good bye.

        Teach your children well,
        Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
        And feed them on your dreams
        The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

        Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
        So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

        And you, of tender years,
        Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
        And so please help them with your youth,
        They seek the truth before they can die.

        Counter Melody To Above Verse:
        Can you hear and do you care and
        Cant you see we must be free to
        Teach your children what you believe in.
        Make a world that we can live in.

        Teach your parents well,
        Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
        And feed them on your dreams
        The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

        Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
        So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

  109. It all comes down to values. When people do not believe in a Righteous Creator, they become their own gods and make up the rules that please their whims, which by the way, often change from time to time and circumstance to circumstance. This creates moral chaos and leads to a society that crumbles to pieces. The Rabbi has written an excellent piece here.

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  111. It is really sad that our country is being turned into a socialist third world country. We punish the ones who are the producers of wealth by excessive reg’s and then award those who don’t produce anything by redistribution of wealth. Do you remember the Communist Manifesto Margaret Thatcher said it right, Socialism works as long as there are enough people paying for it ( those who produce) Howard M. Aiello Hewitt NJ 3dognite@warwick.net

  112. There are a lot of facts in this piece. Most the the comments against these facts just ignore them. Thats why we have Obama again. Uninformed voters who don’t want to be bothered by history or the facts.
    The Rabbi just touches on another fact. Less voters this election by 8 million less voters in 2012 than 2008. Obama got 7 million less than he did in 08 and Romney got 1 million less than McCain. Why? I Don’t know if we will ever know but don’t expect the New York Times to be assigning any reporters to the project like they did to the Bush election in 2000.

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  114. I want to cheer up the Rabbi. Sentiment against Bill Clinton was very strong, but he was the incumbent and he won a second term (and so did the Republicans in Congress). We know what followed — Bush. Clinton wasn’t exactly a poster child for morality. Here’s what happened, in my opinion. When Bush won, the Democrats marveled at the power of the “church” — they said as much on Bush’s victory night, and that they must somehow take this into account and counter it. Well, they did. It was called the “social justice” movement that invaded the churches. There was an invisible ground game that was working against Republicans during those 4 years of Bush while Democrats were in the wilderness. They hijacked Rick Warren (and T.D. Jakes) to promote social justice, which is simply a reassertion of the old “works” doctrine — in other words, giving away stuff covers up all the other stuff you’re doing wrong in your life. They confused the church — they really did! Now let’s get back to Judaism. It says Abraham was “justified by faith.” The essence of G-d’s first dealings with His people was to hear Him (“schema”) and follow (and true believers responded, “hineni”, “here am I”, i.e. to do what you want). True Christianity is based on this same principle — hear Him (then follow) and be justified by faith, and then the good works follow as a result. G-d promised to give a new heart “of flesh, not of stone.” The great Patriarchs were all men of deep faith. They heard and they followed. The great Jewish women moved in faith — Deborah, Ruth, etc. The “works” philosophy of the Left confused Protestant groups. It didn’t help that Republicans ran a candidate steeped in Mormonism, which is also a very works-based religion. What will it take to turn this country around? We will need great faith. Not in our own abilities and plans, but G-d’s. And then He will get the honor for it — not our egos (and please G-d, not Karl Rove’s ego)! Most people aren’t particularly good with math. They don’t understand that this government has been artificially expanding the money supply (simply put, printing money). Things look better than they are. Knowing how people struggle with the math side of things, Romney did very little in explaining this concept. That was a huge, huge mistake. Instead, he ran on “safe” mantras (probably because he was so scared himself of Obama getting in that he was afraid to jeopardize his campaign with anything new). Safe, in this case, however, meant repetition of old messaging while not explaining to people what’s really going on economically. Leaders have to lead. They have to explain their message and bring people a little closer. Romney was a manager, not a leader. Obama, a visionary with no details. In a choice between the two, vision will win. However, this isn’t WWII. Each generation must fight its battles and explain why they are right and win people over. We have a chance to turn this around! Cheer up, Rabbi, G-d is patient and long-suffering.

    • I appreciate Nancy’s comments on some of the left-wing tactics with respect to the religious practices of people. Social justice is a concept that has long been misunderstood and/or misused. The concept is frequently brought up by the prophets of Israel and Judah. It is prominent in the teachings of Jesus. It is more easily found in Pauline writings than many people suppose. However, among many people it has indeed degenerated into a “salvation by works” rather than being a response to divine grace, seeking to pass that grace along to others. It has been completely distorted to justify dispensing free goodies to the poor, the oppressed, various minorities, etc. Among politicians it is often (not always) completely devoid of genuine religious content or motivation. That’s an opinion, of course, and difficult to document or prove.
      The ability of the left to do this is as much the fault of more conservative religious people who have neglected the social justice aspects of Scripture for more than 100 years in the Christian Church. The “spiritual gospel” and the “social gospel” experienced an unofficial schism in the 19th century. In my opinion, the Christian Church in America has been declining in effectiveness ever since. Churches and denominations have experienced periods of growth and prosperity, but that is different from being effective. A few churches have combined both aspects; they have usually been effective in modeling what the Church is supposed to be.
      But in the political arena, I think it would be difficult to find many prominent politicians who have melded the two in a way that helped them become successful, effective leaders. One who tried, I think, was Jimmy Carter. We have only to consider how inept he was in the office of president to see that a person of true faith is not likely to be successful in the dirty field of politics. It is surprising to me that Mr. Carter advanced as high as he did, but it is not surprising that his presidency, once he made it to that level, was so dismal.
      Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is fairly effective. That is what is so unfortunate about his presidency from the perspective of us conservative people. He is managing to undermine much of the greatness of America with his left-wing agenda, supported by the faux “social justice” of his party. In fact, what liberals do in the name of justice and fairness simply oppresses the masses, enslaving them by a modern version of bread and circuses. But it’s effective, because it buys the votes that keep them in office.

      • Darwin – You make some very interesting points, mostly hard to debate. My only difference with your post is the second to last paragraph. I am not so sure one’s level of spirituality and religious observance can determine the level of effectiveness in the political arena. I think Ronald Reagan was quite spiritual and he was perhaps the most effective leader of our generation. I am pretty cynical about politicians, but I still believe that a true man of faith can be an effective politician, even amongst the Washington crowd. And since it has become fashionable to hide one’s spirituality, we can’t really know who in Washington is genuinely a spiritual person and who is not. And of course, most of the founding fathers and early presidents were men of deep faith and spirituality.

      • I did not intend to include politicians and leaders of an earlier age when faith was not only accepted in a leader but expected. I believe if one is truly spiritual it is difficult if not impossible to hide. As with Jeremiah it becomes a fire burning in one’s bones, impossible to hold in. I can not recall anything about Reagan that made me think he was an especially spiritual man at the time, but I was younger and somewhat more liberal. I seem to recall he was fairly regular in church attendance, but that alone does not make one spiritual. I seem to recall that Nancy was into some rather bizarre beliefs and practices that some persons might consider spiritual; I am not one of those.persons. There are some “spiritual” ideas that I would consider “anti-spiritual.” I do believe there is good and bad in the spiritual realm.
        As for whether some leaders are truly spiritual but manage to hide it, the hiding part strikes me as a disqualifier for true spirituality. You don’t have to trumpet the fact that you are spiritual, but it will come out. You are certainly right, though – being openly faith-full is not fashionable, in Washington or in a lot of other places.

  115. The Rabbi is right on target. Those who choose to criticize or poke fun at him are either practioneers of the negative actions he’s presented or are trying to move forward with blinders on. And we all know where that will get them. Oh!, I’m sorry. What was I thinking. If you are wearing blinders then the government will get you free help for whatever you need. May God have mercy on us all.

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  117. You have described that Jewish people vote for Liberals in general and Obama in particular in numbers and percentages that rival Blacks. As a Rabbi you must have an intimate knowledge of the U.S. Jews and the culture they have developed here. It would be helpful to those of us non jews, we who have always supported Israel and have never been anti-jewish in any way, if you could help us understand why the U.S. Jewish community can be completely blind to the evil that is Obama and the Obama administration. I must admit, through the years I have developed a firm dislike for the U.S jews because of their support for policies that will destroy the country I love. I wish it were not so, but it is beyond my ability to resist these feelings.

    • I tried to explain this strange phenomenon in http://rabbipruzansky.com/2012/11/14/the-jewish-vote

      -RSP

      • Thank you for your reply to my comment. I read your article provided via link. You explain your topic very well, but i see mostly excuses rather than a critical analysis of the state of mind of the American Jew. My expierence with Jews incluses “poor” jews living in government housing where I grew up from 5 to 18 years of age through to my many experiences with “Middle Class” and “wealthy” Jews encountered in my mature years as an owner of several companies. All classes of Jews I knew and know have traits in common; they are all very intelligent, well educated and expierenced in the social graces due to the loving tutelage of family. I refuse to understand how anyone with these abilities can support a Socialist / Marxist / Communist agenda. Why they reject Israel, I cannot fathom.

        R Kelly

    • In one sentence, Mr. Kelly: Assimilated (i.e., non-observant) Jewish Americans have chosen liberalism as a substitute for Judaism. Anything beyond this sentence is merely elaboration.

      • Mr. Slepian, your reply is illuminating and sad. Assimilation had not occurred to me as the cause of the American Jewish community’s liberal stance. The many Jews I know all actively practice their faith and their faith makes them strong. It is unfortunate to learn that “America” is the problem. Who would believe that the seductive effect of the American liberal message would cause the overthrow of thousands of years of Jewish heritage. Shame.

      • Well, there’s a chicken and egg situation here, I believe. Only recently (the last 50 years) did liberalism and progressivism in America come to a point of complete conflict with normative Judaism. As liberalism has marched steadily to the left, Jewish Americans increasingly had to choose when faced with a fork in the road. Abortion is a good example. Once abortion rights became entrenched in the liberal value system, a Jewish American would have to distance himself from pro-abortion groups if he wanted to remain faithful to Jewish tradition. In the case of liberal, assimilated Jewish Americans, they chose the fork in the road that was pro-abortion, either jettisoning their Judaism outright, or distorting normative Judaism to somehow accept abortion on demand. This is what we see with the Reform and now also the Conservative movements. Judaism becomes a tool in the liberal tool kit, rather than a fixed set of laws and values. In short, it becomes irrelevent as any real guide to the life of the Jew. Reform movements in many religions end up in the same place. My favorite example is the whole “tikun olam” thing. Liberal Jews love to throw that phrase around, which translates as “perfecting (or healing) the world.” It is the basis for all of the charitable and “social justice” and “economic justice” activism of the leftist Jews. However, it is only one half of the biblical phrase. The full phrase is “tikun olam b’malchut Shaddai” – “To perfect the world in the kingdom of the Almighty.” In other words, the liberal/reform Jewish Americans just kick God out of the whole equation. Once that is done, healing the world becomes a goal in itself, with the form of healing being defined by man, not by God, as it is in the bible. In proper context, the phrase requires the Jews to be faithful to Torah as they work to perfect the world as God has revealed it ought to be perfected, not as man wishes.

      • Social justice and economic justice can be really damaging to religions? I think all religions are meant to be more than just rituals to God. They most promote God’s work on earth.

      • Oy vey, Bill. If you don’t know what those terms imply in leftist circles, then you would not understand how they conflict with normative Jewish (and Christian) values. Social and economic justice, as defined by liberals and progressives, means the equal outcome of results both social and economic. IOW, everyon has the same status in society, everyone has the same income and standard of living. It is redistribution taken to its logical conclusion. Rather than being content with the biblical notion of all men being created equal, economic and social justice seeks actual equality of results, regardless of the effort expended by those to whom this justice is applied. It also implies punishment for the descendents of those viewed by liberals to have perpetrated social or economic injustices, such as slavery, for which all white men alive today must compensate the descendents of slaves. It distorts the concept of justice into something unrecognizable by either the bible or the founding fathers. Jewish law is divided into laws that apply between man and God (the rituals, as you call them), and those that apply between man and man. The foundation of the latter is justice as defined by God, not by Marx and Engels, or Barak Obama.

      • Phil, what exactly does leftist circles mean? What “circle” are you in? You seem way to obsessed with branding people. I get the feeling anyone who deviates from you thoughts is sort of leftist kind of Marx Engels.

        I am starting to understand where you are coming from now. You say social and economic justice as defined by liberals and progressive means everybody should have equal incomes, everyone has the same status, everyone has the same standard of living. Where did you come up with that.

        I follow politics pretty closely I have never heard anybody suggest we should all make the same, be the same. Did you make that up?

        Maybe it’s because you like ancient religious beliefs that you also fear ancient political beliefs. Marxism is a thing of the past. It was around from about 90 years in certain parts of the world. It no longer exists in any meaningful way. Not even in communist China do they believe everybody should be the same earn the same.

        You are way too obsessed with liberals being the enemy of you and God.

      • Bill – You should reread some of my earlier posts directed at your posts. I am merely reacting to what some people say, quite clearly, in their own words. I cannot help it if these same people support liberal organizations, who regualarly demonize opponents on the right, like me. You may not like it, but America in 2013 is a polarized and divided nation. There are millions of Bill Holts, and millions of Phil Slepians, and we see our nation as two very different places. Some of the statements coming out of the Left in America are clearly informed by Marx and Engels, attempts to obscure those links notwithstanding. Either you are not telling me the truth, or you do not understand the truth. Google social and economic justice, look at MoveOn.org, and you will see what the goals of these false forms of “justice” really are. I didn’t “come up” with any of it. Do you really think the Left is unable to soft-peddle their extreme views so as to fool a low-information voting public? That would be very naive.

        My beliefs are ancient, but still fresh as revealed by a living God. They are old, but as new and relevent now as they were when we stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai and had the Torah revealed to us by God. If Marxism is a thing of the past, Bill, why are there so many who support its ideas today? Like Van Jones, for example. The communist movement is alive and well, and it is here in America. It is too smart to call itself communist, so it calls itself “progressive”. Yes, I am very concerned about those who would “fundamentally transform” (BHO) this nation into something other than what it was created to be. Yes, I am an enemy to them as they are enemies to me. I recently saw a great quote from a Holocaust survivor: “I was a pessimist. The pessimists survived. The optimists died.” I choose to live, and to live as a Jew, Bill. You will have to forgive my pessimism.

  118. In contemporary parlance of the progressive (Marxist) – Bourgeoisie = 1%, proletariat = 99% . (However, someone has started doing the math, and it has shown, as was inevitable, that the 1% will not comprise a sufficient amount of evil capital to steal, and I have heard someone refer to the top 2% instead. I did not catch the name of the person who did so.) It is class warfare, it was used to win the election for Obama, as it was used to foment revolution is Tsarist Russia and it is right out of the Marxist/Communist play book from 100 years ago. Bill Holt, your knowledge of history is as off as your punctuation and vocabulary.

    • Some excellent points there, Darwin. But in the end, the joke will be on the 99% (or as I call them, the useful idiots and low-information crowd), since roughly half of them will soon be footing the bill for the 47% who exist on entitlements. Of course, even then, they will say that it is “fair” for the burden of the 47% to fall on the 53%, as long as the evil rich people (at least those who are not Leftist leaders and politicians) are paying a far higher percentage than they are (if the evil rich folks aren’t killed by angry mobs of 99%-ers first). Don’t worry about Bill, Darwin. He is living in his own little bubble of Happyland, where nothing ever goes wrong, everybody joins hands and sings Kumbaya together, there are no wars, no poverty, and everybody gives up any silly, old-fashioned beliefs in religion, morality, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and absolute justice. He’ll be just another victim of Hopenchange if he survives to see it all come crashing down (he seems to be a 1%-er, you see). And it will come crashing down. When, is the 64,000 dollar question.

      • Phil, I don’t know if this makes a difference to you or not but you have the 47% thing totally wrong. The 47% Romney cited are not people on entitlements. The 47% refers to people who pay no federal income tax.

        You need to refine your fear and loathing a bit. Many people who pay no federal income tax and many people getting entitlements like Social Security are good solid non-communists Americans, probably almost as good American as you.

        Once again, the 47% means people who pay no federal income tax, not what you were saying.

      • Your attempt at snarky, sarcastic humor is a complete fail, Bill. Just because you are not paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you. The threats are real, present, and gathering steam. You will share the fait of the rest of the optimistic sheeple. If my contingency plans work as they are intended, my family and I will survive in spite of what is eventually going to happen. But you keep your head in the clouds, or the sand, and enjoy your life. Nothing to see here, Bill, just MoveOn.

      • I am convinced you are sincere in your beliefs. Please understand when you accuse others of being communist traitors, suggest older Americans on Social Security are hurting America because they are on “entitlements” – you are going to get some push back. Sarcasm, ridicule, the same kind of insults you use when you tell us people who don’t think like Phil are useful idiots and low information people.

        The vast majority of your fellow citizens are good hardworking God fearing Americans just as smart as you. I suggest you find peace with our national elections. When your candidate loses an election, it does not mean the world is coming to an end. It just means you lost a big election.

    • Well Phil and Darwin I hope you can save us from the communists. I’ll keep my eye on the Berlin Wall and Angela Davis. You guys look out for the Rosenbergs. I plan on visiting my local assisted living nursing home and telling the old people on entitlements to stop wrecking God’s plan for America. Let’s get ‘em boys!

  119. Well, there you go again, Bill, with the strawmen. If you review my earlier posts, I fully agree that all American citizens ought to receive what the government has promised them. I simply suggested the federal government ought to stop promising what it has no idea how to pay for other than borrowing from China, or monitizing its own debt. You and I don’t look at America and see the same thing. In years to come, those who agree with you and those who think like me will become increasingly conflicted. Our two completely different views of what this country should be cannot coexist indefinitely. Perhaps a red state – blue state split, with an amicable separation is in our future. I don’t know. But I am convinced that the Left will attempt to silence or eliminate any opposition to its agenda, and it will be done in a manner that most Americans will barely notice or object to, until it is too late to do so. My candidate lost? There was no candidate running against BHO. We only have the illusion of a multi-party system. It’s not the election we lost, Bill. We lost the country, gradually, over the last 50 years. The Bill Ayers, Valery Jarrets and their crowd are now poised to move in for the kill. Read what they have written.

    • Thank you for clarifying. I thought you were saying those on entitlement programs are somehow not as good American as you. Now I understand it’s just how to pay for the entitlements that concerns you. Me too. The biggest program is Social Security for retirees, orphans, widows, and the disabled. As far as I know SS historical has run huge surpluses, so we do not borrow for that. It’s funded by payroll deductions. The Federal Budget total spending for 2012 was around $3.7 trillion. The majority of that spending was for non-entitlements. National Defense accounted for around $750 billion. So the money we borrow from China and elsewhere is not just for entitlements, we borrow money to pay for the Army and Marines, Homeland Security, border security, the FBI and the CIA. Veterans benefits are rising sharply reflecting the increasing numbers of wounded warriors in recent years. We are borrowing money to them. I think it’s good to put why we borrow into perspective.

      You are ignoring all that we have in common. All of us are looking to better America. As you know our core national founding principles tell us that all of us are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights. To speak our minds freely. That is what we all do. I strongly believe that the American system of checks and balances in government, coupled with our free elections, continue to serve us well. I don’t see you as an enemy out to ruin America. You are simply stating your opinion that you think there’s a wide ranging conspiracy aimed at taking your freedom away and that the USA is going downhill. I don’t believe that.

      Your idea that maybe we might have to abolish the USA in favor of polarized Red Nation and Blue Nation sounds totally foreign to the Founders Values. There is a reason George Washington Thomas Jefferson Ben Franklin declared the original national motto “E pluribus unum”. Those words on the Great Seal of the United States, placed on all of American paper money, enshrined in bold letters upon the Capital Dome. E pluribus unum. I am a big fan of what the Founders believed. To suggest the Union dissolve so certain elements can live without political opposition sounds very not American to me.

      • Bill – You misunderstood my comments. I do not feel that the federal government ought to provide programs such as Social Security. I only said that once promised, the promise should be honored. That does not imply that the federal gov’t was right to make the promise in the first place. Here, you and I differ sharply. SS surpluses or deficits, and the size of the program, are irrelevent if you don’t think the federal gov’t has the constitutional authority to impose entitlement programs or forced savings programs.

        We have almost nothing in common, Bill. Your version of a “better” America is entirely different than my version, and there is very little I can imagine that would bridge the gap. Sorry, but I do indeed see you and people like you as either naive fools or people with a well thought out agenda to transform America into something I feel it never was and should never be. It’s sweet of you to try and establish common ground for us, but it is just not possible.

        The blue state/red state comment has its basis in federalism and states’ rights. That goes back to the founding of the Republic. Frankly, if there were a referendum right now that would split the nation into two nations, one for people like you and one for people like me, I’d vote in favor of that. E pluribus unum does not mean I have to accept the agenda of the progressives and shut the heck up, because, as BHO said, “we won”. The F.F. did not employ that phrase to quash dissent. E pluribus means out of many; in other words, we are many, with different ways of thinking, but even as one, we should not be intimidated into giving up our individual rights. It’s happening slowly, but it’s happening. I have my red lines, Bill. Once crossed, I am out of here. You and Jarret can then have a field day building your mythical utopia. Good luck with that.

      • Your idea of a red state blue state where you would live in an ideologically pure nation sounds very Utopian to me. Suppose you lived in your Red Nation and somebody dissented, would they be deported to the Blue Nation? That is so totalitarian. You actually think living in a Nation were everybody thinks the same and votes the same would be good? I don’t get that.

        I think at the heart of your argument is your difficulty with “different”. Yes we have different opinions. And that is what seems to have you rattled. Throughout history, various movements arise trying to stamp out different. Believing a purity of purpose and thought is the way to go. That is so not what America is about. To be an American is to be able to handle “different”. We do it with ballots, elections, politics. We change the House of Representative every two years, the White House every four years, the Senate every six years. All the while working out differences. You need to be able deal with the American way of life.

        You sound like you are the one wanting to fundamentally transform America. To make it into a place with no Social Security program? That’s what I call a fundamental transformation. An America where 80 year old folks have no health insurance. I just don’t see how that would be an improvement. It might fit some ideologically pure vision of Utopia where all of us are strong independent humanoids, but in the real world of real humans, I don’t see how we would benefit from getting rid of Social Security. I recall the USSR trying hard to build the new Soviet Man. Strong invulnerable self reliant. I know Germany was big on the fantasy that they could develop a super society of the able bodied. Early in the last century American flirted with eugenics as a way to rid ourselves of those who are dependent. In the end, a God based government takes care of the needy, That’s what we do in the USA. We don’t go for that Utopian stuff that says everybody can take care of themselves.

        Like 99% of all Americans I am a true believe in Capitalism. I consider welfare programs an essential part of maintaining our capitalist system. Capitalism can’t survive as a winner take all proposition. Without proper consideration for the losers, capitalism would not be viable. You will find that concept in the preamble in terms like ensuring “domestic tranquility” and promoting the “general welfare”. Read Thomas Paine and Adam Smith and Ben Franklin. The idea of vast wealth surrounded by abject poverty has always been something we ponder.

        If you think we will ever get this all perfect you are mistaken. You need to learn to coexist with different.

      • Bill – History has shown that it is often the progressive left that has a problem with “different”. What real conservatives are bothered by is not different opinions, but the tendency of the liberals/progressives/leftists to attempt to silence dissent. BHO says it all the time, whenever he asks for “bypartisan cooperation”. He really means that conservatives, who think differently than liberals/progressives/leftists, should sit down and shut up. That’s what the fairness doctrine was all about. Graveyards are full of the silent masses who tolerated the intolerant, and then paid for their willingness to “coexist” with their property, their freedom and their lives. That you, and many like you, cannot understand this concept is why I, like many conservatives, fear for the future of our liberty and nation.

        As for concerns about “poverty”, I am not going to rehash my old posts. Suffice it to say that the poverty Paine, Smith and Franklin witnessed is entirely different than what we call “poverty” today. Redifining the term has been a foundation of the progressive agenda. I made it 35 years without dying due to a lack of a cell phone, but now this device is considered as much a necessity for the poor as is food.

        But hey, you guys won, so have at it. Us pessimists will do our best to protect our famlies from the difficult realities that are fast approaching. If MoveOn.org isn’t paying you for these posts, Bill, you’re missing out on some easy money. Send them an email and cash in on all your hard work!

  120. Bill – First, an apology: My email system is placing the post notices in a quarantine which I cannot see until the following morning. Hence the delayed respones.

    To cover, in general terms, your points about me exaggerating, and throwing around labels, all I will say is that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and has web feet like a duck, I am going to call it a duck, even if others insist it is still a chicken. As for the charge of exaggeration, It is not practical to include everything I read that brings me to the conclusions I have reached, without any exaggeration intended. Yes, I am that worried, and that concerned. As I suggested earlier, you should read more by and about the people who have had and still have great influence on BHO and our other leaders: Bill Ayers, Vallerie Jarret, Elizabeth Warren, George Soros and others. Look into what organization actually authored the ACA and what their own mission statement is (hint: It has very little to do with the health of Americans). Never before in our history have we had a set of circumstances such as we have now. A POTUS whose own background is shrouded in mystery, influenced by far-left NGOs, and whose appointments to key cabinet positions include radical leftists, crypto-Muslims, and communists, few of whom are even vaguely qualified by their career experience for the positions they will be given. And I suppose you are perfectly comfortable with the DHS’s purchase of hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition and the assault rifles to fire them with, even as the DHS’s boss (BHO) seems determined to disarm the public (what Second Amendment?). I know, nothing to see here, MoveOn. Again, Bill, you are free to skip along, in happy, simplistic bliss. I wish that you were right and I could share your euphoria. But, unlike 95% of Americans, I read, a lot. I read history, and I read the news that CNN doesn’t cover. It’s all there if one cares to look. But BHO and his handlers are confident and pleased that most Americans are far more concerned with Beyonce’s Superbowl performance than they are about Iran picking up nukes from North Korea (at a discount, no less).

    What do the progressive/Marxist forces have in mind? The same thing all such tyrants have in mind: Power, control, plunder. It’s human nature to desire such things. God and our Constitution, when obeyed, work to prevent them. But only when they are obeyed. Do you honestly believe that we have a genuine two-party system? Well, they have you fooled. How is the left’s agenda possible? Now you’re talking turkey. If BHO and his handlers were indeed planning something like a massive restructuring of our nation, do you really think that they would just be honest about it, or impliment it in such a way as to minimize any pushback? This has been in the works for decades, so it may not happen soon, although based on my reading, I could see something happening during BHO’s second term. We’ll know it when it happens, though. But, I might not be able to jump on this blog to say “I told ya so”. How sad.

    If I began to share with you all of the puzzle pieces that I see coming together, I am sure you would have a good laugh and call me a wacko, as the progressives always do. So, I am not going to do it for you. If you like, start reading. Although reading must be difficult if you insist on keeping your head in the sand.

    • No I won’t call you a wacko. More like wondering why you are so into these conspiracy theories. I watch ancient aliens of TV. Interesting theories about maybe the pyramids were constructed by visitors from outer space. I get it. I get your theory too. That Obama is out to get us, turn us into New Age Marxists, So I get how you could have fun with that, I don’t get being real serious about that.

      I am not worried by Elizabeth Warren, the women from Massachusetts. Or Bill Ayers, the aging college professor in Chicago. I am not scared by a Black Panther or some Zionist fanatic. Being scared of different opinions and odd characters in the USA sounds like hard work. You make it sound like everytime you hear some political opinion different than you, it is more than you can bear. It’s all a conspiracy to make you communists. I just don’t get that.

      I watched the State Of the Union last night. It was all there. Everything I love about the USA. Obama, Biden, Cantor, Ryan, Mitch McConnell, even Elizabeth Warren. Citizens, Ted Nugent. A 102 year old women who waited five hours to vote. All there. All Americans. All out there in the arena the Founders set up. If you don’t like the big show, don’t go to the circus. But please don’t try to tell us we need to be afraid that mean old George Soros and President Obama are going to seize control of the circus and stop us from going on the internet to complain.

      • Thanks for not calling me a wacko, Bill. No need to wonder why. Yes, there is a lot garbage out there in conspiracy theory land. But when you can read the actual, non-dissavowed words of people who clearly either control or influence our nation’s leadership, I think dismissing such words as a wacky conspiracy theory is foolishness. In retrospect, readers of Mein Kampf understand that Hitler wasn’t kidding around about his goals, that he was not merely the target of conspiracy promoters. He was the real deal. But before he began to put his plans into action, many thougt he was just posturing for political gain, and that he would be another conventional leader of Germany. How wrong they were! History has many examples of this sort of thing. In our world of easy access to information, yes, much of what we see is made-up trash, but much is true. We have the advantage that in 2013, it is hard to hide from the things you’ve done and said in the past, and from your associates. I take BHO as seriously as many people wished they’d taken Hitler (I am not suggesting the two are equal, only that their own words should be taken seriously).

        Bill – I am not having any fun with this at all. It is frightening, depressing and saddening, especially when I look at my children and grandchildren and wonder what is in store for their future. It is not the opinions of BHO’s pals I am scared of; it is their plans. It is what they say they want to do, not what they believe. I could care less if someone hates me because I am a Jew. But I care very much when that person states his desire to turn his hatred into action. To the victims of tyranny throughout history, different ideas were not merely ideas, but ideas with consequences. You should be scared of people who want to actively take away your liberty or property. Zionist fanatics don’t fall into that category, but Bill Ayers and the New Black Panthers sure do. At what point would you worry, Bill? When some DHS agent puts a paddlock on your house because the government has decided that you don’t “need” that big of a house? Or would that logic suite you just fine, and you move into a Soviet-style apartment with three other families? All for the greater good, right? Only fair, right? Well, guess what, this is exactly what happened in Cuba. The Cubans mostly had no idea Castro was a communist tyrant. They thought he was a revolutionary, until he started to act on his communist beliefs. Had you been a successful Cuban prior to the revolution, I suspect you would have languished in prison – not because you disagreed with Castro (I am sure you would have happily cooperated with his changes), but simply because you lived like a capitalist prior to the revolution. I don’t know why you are unable to grasp this rather basic concept that ideas have consequences, not all of them good ones.

        I am very unimpressed with BHO’s tendency to parade a circus sideshow of human props before the camera, as he reads from his teleprompter words that have many levels of meaning. To the OWS and Bill Ayers crowd, he gives a verbal wink that victory over capitalism is at hand, while being opaque enough to fool the low-information voter crowd that he is not really different than the presidents that came before him.

        Soros is not looking to control the U.S. – that’s your phrase. But he will profit from the destruction of our economy. The idealogues behind BHO will be the real power when their plans are realized. And our inability to post on the internet could be due to “fairness” enforcement, the prevention of “incitement”, or just because our electric grid has failed. I don’t claim to know exactly what will happen, but the signs are pretty strong that stuff, bad stuff, will begin to happen at some point, and that point is drawing closer.

      • Phil, the best thing you can do for your kids and grandkids is not share your grim reaper vision of the USA with them. Kids today are enjoying more freedom than any other generation of Americans. They are busy inventing a bright new future. Our kids are video chatting with friends all over the world. The worldwide web is even more of a leap forward than Johannes Gutenberg printing press in 1450.

        The world is brimming with progress and possibilities. Remember when you were a kid? Don’t steal that from them.

        As far as Genghis Khan or Hitler or the Crusades returning I am not worried about that stuff happening anymore. I think President Obama is pretty much the personification of the American Dream. Where a lone citizen can make his way through the world of freedom, rise from obscurity to the top job. He is a good solid guy.

        You for some reason think the President of The United States is a secret communist who wants to destroy capitalism thereby enslaving us all in some weird totalitarian world.

        Others say visitors from outer space built the pyramids. I find it all very entertaining. I do not know of a better way to sort through all these differences than at the ballot box. As a believer in freedom I have great faith in what our elections bring to us.

        I think President Obama is just another President doing what President do. We will have a new President in just four short years. I voted for Obama twice now. I look forward to a new President, new members of Congress in the years to come. We keep moving forward, these are the best of times, the future will be even better.

      • Here’s why you’re wrong about what to tell my kids, Bill: They would not exist today if their great-grandfather had followed your advice. You see, although reluctant, their great-grandfather agreed to buy and hold some diamonds just in case that harmless reformer Adolph Hitler was actually serious about solving the Jewish problem in Europe. You see, they lived in Lodz, Polland. Not a democratic utopia, but at least the Jews could generally live their lives without fear or oppression. Well, that harmless reformer did indeed march into Poland, confounding the optimists, and began to erect a ghetto wall around the Jews in Lodz. Those diamonds bought off the people who provided them with passports, visas, and a way out of Lodz and Poland. The optimists that stayed behind were killed, and they have no descendents to either warn or delude into complacency. I am sure the optimists in the Jewish section of Lodz also thought the future looked pretty bright. But as a father, my duty is provide for and protect my family. If that means telling them the the ugly truth about man’s inhumanity to man, sobeit. What kind of a father would I be if saw danger to the wellbeing of my children on the horizon, but lied to them and told them not to worry about anything? Well, I guess I’d be the sort of father you are, Bill.

        Germany was the most technologically advanced society of the mid-20th century. So what? All our technology will not make us better, more moral people. In fact, I think there might be an inverse relationship between technology and morality, since high-tech tends produce high-hubris.

        When I was a kid, I had fun, but I was always taught about the ugly side of humanity. I learned about the holocaust from an early age. And I am all the better for it. Unlike you, I have no delusions about man’s nature and capacity for cruelty.

        I am sure that when Hitler was committing his ethnic cleansing, nobody thought a tyrant like him could rise to power in the modern 20th century. And I am sure many said the same in Darfur – that ethnic cleansing, like that done in the former Yugoslavia just 20 years ago, could never happen again. Do I have to continue? Are you so stubborn in your naive optimism that you completely ignore the capacity of man to act cruelly to his fellow? Or perhaps you just live in the moment – no regard for history, or concern for the future. If nobody is hitting you over the head with club at this moment in time, everything is just super great. No need to be concerned about the guy running at you with a baseball bat. Surely, he is a friend who must have some purpose other than hitting you on the head for swinging that bat around! Can you at least try to imagine how silly your attitude appears to someone with a good sense of history and a realistic view of human nature?

        I’m glad you think you are superior and above all of man’s crazy ideas about aliens, communists and Muslims, but, trust me, if we see history repeat itself yet again, and a Stalin, Castro, Hitler or Muhammed once again puts into action his plans for eliminating all their opponents, your optimism will do nothing to protect you and your family. You can laugh at me now, but I will get the last laugh, even if it is a bittersweet victory.

        I stand by my assessment of Obama and his followers, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can say to convince me otherwise. My mind is open, but to those whose level of understanding I respect. Sorry, but I cannot take someone with your naive optimism at all seriously. Time will determine which of us was smarter. I am quite sure that eventually, I will win this little contest. Heck, I think I deserve a trophy for the patience with which I have tried to make sense to you. A fool’s errand, I guess.

      • So you’re kind of thinking President Obama might want to revisit some terror like the Holocaust or something and you might need to save your family from Obama like your relatives in Nazi Germany had to do?

        Have you had these nightmarish thoughts about Hitler the holocaust and the USA all of your life, or is it just since Obama took office?

        My ancestors died in the Irish potato famine. I have an Armenian friend who lost his family in the Turkish holocaust. 500,000 Americans got killed in the Civil War. We can’t let that stuff stop us from reinventing the world. I still enjoy mashed potatoes. I don’t think Southerners are out to get me. Just saying. This is now, that was then. Know your history sure. Live in the past. No.

      • I do not know exactly what BHO wants, but I know he wants something much different than he inherited when he took office. Based on his own book and words, it would not involve ethnic cleansing, but might involve class-cleansing, or political cleansing.

        As I said, I have been taught about the holocaust since I was a child (long before anyone had heard of BHO). I do not dwell too much on the holocaust. I use it as a teaching tool to guide my efforts to protect my family and inform my politics. Oppression in the future may not be aimed specifically at the Jews (although it is surely possible), but I do not want to assume that I will be on the right side of whoever starts to oppress various segments of the population. And I certainly do not want to assume that in an environment of social upheaval (a situation with which the BHO administration is highly focused on, by the way), that everybody would be real nice to each other and share scarce resources with each other. Hungry people do ugly things – they become animals. Americans today have no idea what real hunger is.

        Given your proximity to people who have suffered from oppressive governments and social disruptions, I am frankly amazed at how you remain oblivious to potential threats to our wellbeing. It is the hubris of mankind that he assumes the bad parts of history can never repeat themselves. Maybe that’s why they always seem to do just that.

      • How the heck do you do “class cleansing” or “political cleansing” in the USA? Start with Texas maybe. Obama sends some folks down to Dallas maybe, starts telling them what’s up? You make it sound like he has some real super power. The President can’t even get taxes raised and you’re worried he’s going to control everything? C’mon, get real. Our system is way too messed up for anybody to get any real dangerous power. The Founders made it that way. Nobody is really in charge. This is the USA. You are safe here.

      • Bill – You’re showing a failure of imagination.

        Mark – I agree with you. Unfortunately, I know of no way to give Bill my email addy without posting it here. Also, I don’t want to give Bill the satisfaction of having the last word and assuming that I was unable to answer his arguements, such as they are. Notice that I don’t post to Bill’s attention unless it is to answer another of his repetitions.

  121. Hey, Phil and Bill,

    Why don’t you two rent a room already and take this bromance private… where it belongs.

    Your endless repetitions of the same arguments were interesting for the first x iterations but have by now become self parody and pointless.

    One of you is right, the other is wrong. I, of course, know WHICH one. But please, let’s just stop now!

    Mark

  122. Pingback: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky – well said, sir.

  123. Dear Rabbi, God is being replaced: by material things; by those that wrongly expect that others (namely governments comprised of deceitful politicians) will care for them & support their moral decline; and by intellectual wanna-bees who apparently place themselves above God. People also manipulate their Religious organizations contributing to the decline in morality as I see happening in my own mainstream protestant religion. Some of us that have worked our lives charitably helping others without petitioning or expecting our government or anyone else to do so for us, are worried about the eventual chaos when the free money spigot begins to sputter. Those that are voting this country down this path will be the ones that will ultimately suffer the most in the very end. I do not welcome what I foresee and will still do what I can to help them. May God bless you for your effort to awaken them to the future for all.

  124. Abolish all government benefits, let private charity take on (or fail to take on) those for the most truly needy, and shoot anyone that riots. Problem solved.

  125. Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina. Same model and it doesn’t work.

  126. With all due respect Rabbi, the election was largely about the lack of regard/concern for the middle and lower classes rather than maintaining the status quo. Any suggestions to move forward (progressive or otherwise) are met with obstructionism – not viable or something other than self-serving alternatives.

    We are a society lacking boot straps for the most part and Romney is unable to see below the part of the body that holds the wallet. Yours is a terribly negative assessment of the world most of us live in and what drives us. I am truly sorry for you who offers no way out – no way to bring all of us together – only blame. Regardless of our political persuasion – hard to hear when one side is doing all that’s wrong. Especially when both sides are essentially the same – with their own motivation (and self-serving) backers.

    • To cass (Sunstein?): Your distorted views of our once-great nation are exactly the problems that the Rabbi identifies as a root cause of America’s decline. Hatred of the successful, vilifying hard work and the entrepeneurial spirit. Your comment implies that you see the middle class as some entitled segment of America that must be handed the American dream upon receiving a useless degree from a leftist indoctrination institution once known as a university. Mankind is self-serving by nature. The control and managing of that impulse has largely been the job of the Judeo-Christian tradition. No surprise that for today’s America, which rejects that tradition, the controls on the impulse of self-interest have fallen away, and criticism is left to the progressives, who have no effective way to manage self-interest outside of punishing it. And that’s why America is where it is today, cass.

      • Thanks Phil. I have no intention of an on-going vent since we both know it will be just that but I do appreciate your pov though it sounds talking points from Fox News. Phil this is still a great nation and you and the Rabbi make it even greater. We require problem solving – not blame and degradation.
        There is no hatred of the successful or vilifying success. (Thanks Fox.) I make no such assertion the middle class be handed the American dream. We are not nor ever have been a nation that will ignore the needy and desperate. We give a damn about much more than our selves. We would have never become the greatest nation on this planet if we only cared about our selves. Of course degrees are useless when there are no jobs and Congress refuses to permit their creation for fear it will help the sitting president. Simple. I wholeheartedly disagree that “mankind is self-serving by nature.” We are smart (or devious) enough to realize we actually gain by serving or giving. Many are self-serving and have no interest in following the biblical teachings of helping each other. You know, those who seek for every law to come from the bible? Where are they now? I thank G-d for the left leaning of the universities. They are not based on or preach hatred or greed but a tremendous influence of open-mindedness. America, sir, is where it is today due to a political persuasion that benefits from vast party divisions. We have endless issues to be working on. Nothing will come from ignoring or turning our backs on. We have different philosophies and different political points of view so it isn’t easy. We are an incredibly smart and attractive nation offering a way out of poverty, ignorance and fanaticism for those born here and those who enter our borders seeking such a good way. How can we blame anyone for wanting that? Of course those issues must be dealt with so none of us are taken advantage of. We must look at causes and possible solutions. Not say there is only one way. Whatever we do it must be so when we read the outcome on the front page of our local newspaper we are all proud. Anyway, I’m rambling. Bottom line: We don’t have (either party) the leaders who have the wisdom to bring all of us together so we can set aside our personal interests and work for the good of all. Sorry it’s taking me so long to make my point and ultimately neither of us will likely hear each other. I wish you and this crazy country of ours well. I just wish I had a lot more wisdom and intellect.

      • Phil Slepian

        Cass, I will end this exchange with a recommendation to read my many posts on this blog entry. Suffice it to say that I think you are wrong in just about every CNN-sourced talking point you have made. Government is not the answer; it is the problem. If, after reading my posts above, you feel I am still mimicking Fox sound-bytes, let me know. Otherwise, good luck to you and your agenda.

  127. Of course America is as you say and going fast the way the German Weimar Republic went as the middle class collapsed. yes, Germany also had many hipercreative people in all fields, many of them Jews and yes Jews were very successful and yes, Germans were very hard working but just like a business staffed by hard working people can go bust if the top team make estrategically wrond decisions so happens to whole countries.

    The US is even in worst shape than Germany because it has so many millions of inmigrants from failed states like Mexico that those people do not assimilate, they exist within the US as nations within who vote and generally inflluence public life along the “values” and democratic “skills” of Mexicans. And even those specially hard working and successful are like the rest in democratic skills and country management skill; you only have to look at how the elites run Mexico, and Colombia and Venezuela and…

    On top of that it can be reasonably argued Jews play a huge role in the way the US is run. They have earned their influence through hard work and intelligence. unfortunately Jewish talent lies not in running a peaceful, stable, prosperous, democraetic society, at they have no experience doing it. yes Israel is a democracy compared to the Arab countries but it does not resist comparison to German and Northern European or Anglo Saxon democracies (except for the US descending into hell).
    The end result will be US collapse, just like Germany, and looks like Jews will, again, will live what they have been living since the beginning of Judaism with the Pharaoh expelling them. it has been the Jewish cultural script ever since; great accomplishment that has within the seed of the great tragedy that follows. Those who believe the Holocaust memory protects them are fools; violent and not so violent antisemitism always renews itself and is as resilient as Judaism.

    Furthermore, Jews are in a catch 22 situation in terms of Aliyah; they have to remain in the US to support Israel for without US support Israel will last two week ends. On the other hand their influence on the US Government use of money and the military to support Israel is one of the factors that generate antisemitism in America. So they are in trouble whether they go to Israel or not.

    So soon will US Jews will be in deep trouble, and Israel too. By the way, the millions of Hispanics and Blacks and other non Anglo-European Americans are more antisemitic than those other Americans. So the idea of many Jews that somehow a multicultural society will protect them is plain nuts.

    If I were an American Jew I would have to decide among three ugly options; stay in the US and be persecuted, abused, killed or expelled and be part of a heroic nuclear Massada or emigrate to a big city in a country where the Jewish community is so small it goes unnoticed but suffer the terrible guilt of watching how the Jewish community in the US and Israek suffer, are massacred and even dissapear.
    By the way, do not count on the European , including German, support or; do you really believe the erection of the Berlin Holocaust museum-memorial represents the feelings of Germans about Jews? Most Germans recognize the brutality of the Nazis but are not sorry to have gotten rid of the Jews. Those Jews now in Germany are like gazelles feeding near a just satiated lion… almost suicidal.

    So, it looks like Jews will soon add another tragedy to the expulsion from Egypt, Babylon, Spain and the many expulsions and persecutions in the long list.

    • I think you are way too pessimistic. All this and that about the collapse of the USA and how inferiors from Mexico are screwing us up. This is the Land of the Free Home of the Brave. We have for over two centuries been making steady progress. Things will get better. They always have always will.

    • Otto – I agree with the bulk of your post. However, there is one statement that is completely unfounded:

      “Furthermore, Jews are in a catch 22 situation in terms of Aliyah; they have to remain in the US to support Israel for without US support Israel will last two week ends. On the other hand their influence on the US Government use of money and the military to support Israel is one of the factors that generate antisemitism in America. So they are in trouble whether they go to Israel or not.”

      The strongest support of Israel in America is not from the minority of Jewish Americans who really support Israel (as opposed to those who pay lip service to Israel while supporting Palestinian aspirations), but from the Christian right. So, support from Jewish Americans for Israel is not as essential as you suggest.

      Secondly, the aid Israel receives from the U.S. equals about 1.5% of Israel’s economy. Israel could, and in my opinion, should, do without this aid. It’s main purpose is to allow politicians to say that they support Israel (even if they really do not), and to provide serious leverage over Israel at the State Department. Neither of these aspects of the aid to Israel is helpful to Israel, and it is actually harmful. Most of the money is required to be spent on U.S.-sourced military goods, many of which Israel does not need and cannot use. Israel’s economy is among the strongest in the world, and continues to improve. While Israel is grateful for moral support from the U.S. (when it actually acts that way, which is not always), it does not need America’s financial support. If history is any guide, it is the Jews of America that should be fearful of their future. Speaking as a Jewish American with numerous family members residing in Israel, I am much more assured of their safety than of my safety here. Jews of faith understand that the Jews of Israel have a Secret Weapon, who will protect them if they follow His laws.

  128. Mordechai benChaim

    So tell me, what has Obama done for America since Rabbi Oruzansky’s opinion? Scandal after scandal, lie after lie…. I just got an answer to a petition I signed last December, entitled “Restrict pay for all Senators and Congress to $75,000 for a period of 3 years to repay the National deficit.”. The answer (available with the petition to everyone on: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restrict-pay-all-senators-and-congress-75000-period-3-years-repay-national-deficit/L3cRmtq6?utm_source=wethepeople&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=deficit ) states in part: “President Obama has worked to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, and his policies have contributed to the fastest decline in our deficits since WWII.”

    Hmmm, doesn’t say that the deficit also increased more under Obama than any other President ever!

    The answer goes on to use examples of Rabbi Pruzansky’s “amoral,”, “emotional” and “unintelligent” arguments:

    “Unfortunately, earlier this year, Congress allowed a series of automatic budget cuts to fall across the federal government — and now we’re starting the see the results of this thing that folks in Washington call the sequester.
    And because of these mindless cuts, there are kids who’ve been kicked out of Head Start programs whose parents are scrambling to find alternate solutions. There are seniors going without support from programs like Meals on Wheels. There are military communities struggling to make do with less.”

    Hmmm, doesn’t say a word about the sequester idea coming from Obama’s Budget Director, Jack Lew, and Congressional Relations Chief, Rob Nabors according to Journalism icon Bob Woodward: “”Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)… at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011″

    Jews, especially, should be wise to such continued lies and disinformation coming from Obama and his henchmen. They are the same political lies that caused the Roman destruction of Israel and our repeated death and diaspora under such amoral despots as Haman, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, and Hitler.

  129. All said is true and obvious. Any democracy should come to its end when lumpen layer of society realize that it is much more convenient to be a parasite than to be a productive member of society. And here is something else. We are witnessing the total crush of liberal bluff about “melting pot”. America never been and last 10 years proved that she will never be a such. It is the most divided society in today’s world. Society without any unifying national idea.
    I am sure that America we knew her came to her end. Repatriate to Israel. This is the ONLY solution for Jewish people, not for Jewish Americans but rather for American Jews.

  130. Agreeing with Rabbi in all the details, I’d like to point out a fundamental principle of politics that should be considered: politics in general and any election is a Struggle for Power. We should always see this principle behind any action of the government.

    When I landed in New York in 1979 leaving 30 years of life in the Soviet Union behind, the America was different. I proudly said at the time to my friends that the government in the US does not control economy, does not control banking, health care etc. Well, I was only partially right then. Today I would not say anything like that because that would be an absolutely wrong statement. The government today controls practically all important aspects of life: finance, insurance, energy, health care, education etc. We, the people, have lost the power to the government. Granted, Democrats were much faster to grab that power than Republicans, but Republicans did their share as well.

    Tea Party movement was like a fresh air to get back our country to its roots. Our roots are liberty, free enterprise, competition, free market. Unless we restore these aspects of life, the decline will continue.

    Is there any chance to restore the foundation of this country? Here is my prediction. If 2014 election gives control to Republicans, especially Tea Party Republicans of the new style, there is a hope. If not, we will gradually reach a crisis point, and then all bets are off. It will be the end of our republic in a generation or two.

    • Zor – What a wonderful post! Thank you. I know other immigrants from the USSR, and they feel as you do. One in particular always reminds me of the wonderful constitution that the USSR had. Individual rights, equality before the law, guarantees of freedom, etc. Of course, it meant nothing in practice. I would like to hear your take on the Soviet constitution, Zor. Your optimism is refreshing, but, I fear, unfounded. The GOP is in full war mode against the Tea Party, and the unless and until the Tea Party declares itself an independent political party and divorces the GOP, it will whither and die. Without the Tea Party, all the GOP will do is slow the progressives down a little.

      • Any constitution is an empty document unless it is enforced. The purpose of the constitution is to restrict the government and establish the boundaries it should not step out of in its grab for power.

        To be able to protect the constitution and their rights people must be strong, decisive, educated, understanding what freedom is and what it can bring, able to use this freedom to achieve their goals, be aware of the fact that any government, unless restricted, will gradually curtail the freedom because this is the nature of any government. People in the Soviet Union I witnessed rarely came to these conclusions. All the atrocities and crimes committed by different governments for the last 700 years or so almost killed that type of spirit in majority of the people. But we, Americans, used to be different! We understood better what freedom is, why it is necessary, how to use it and how to fight for it. “Used to” is a key word here. I am not sure in the strength of these convictions anymore.

        Actually, any cell of a society wants to increase its power. But if this cell is a hospital, there is another hospital that competes with it and also struggles for power. If it’s a restaurant, there is another restaurant around the corner that also competes for customers. Only the government has no competition and that’s why it is more dangerous than any bank, any restaurant, any manufacturer. There is practically no counter-force for the government. The only action we, the people can take is to elect these or those politicians, and this is a very weak action, usually belated, easily manipulated by politicians through bought mass-media, through “free” lunches, giveaways, promises etc.

        Well, to make the long speech short, let’s wait until November, 2014 and see what will happen with elections. Meanwhile, if we still want to live in a prosperous country, we better support Tea Party candidates. I am perfectly aware that Republican “old guard” is against them, but I am not sure what’s better, to attempt to reform Republicans or to cut-off into a separate party. Both directions have their pros and cons.

      • Darwin Smith

        Zor, I appreciate your posts. The first disappoints me greatly, though, because it conveys the disappointment of an immigrant who came here to find freedom and now sees it eroding away.
        Your story also points out a small error in your second post. You say that governments have no competition. Until recently, the U.S. government was the competition for oppressive governments. People came here to escape tyranny, because that’s how the nation was formed – first by persons escaping tyranny and then throwing it off after it followed them here.
        Sadly the lack of competition among governments is becoming more of a reality now that ours is seeking to restrict or eliminate various freedoms. As you say, that seems to be the nature of government. The founding fathers must have realized that. The Bill of Rights provides one protection after another from government. Too few people realize that. The second amendment, for example, was not written for hunters and skeet shooters. It is there for the protection of the citizens from the government just as much as much as we are protected in our speech, religion, assembly, searches and seizures, etc., etc. by the other amendments. An attack against one amendment is likely the beginning of attacks against all of them.
        Current events (read: Obama administration scandals) and the election of 2014 will indeed tell us whether Americans still value freedom and whether they can still think and reason for themselves.

      • Why do you need to wait till 2014? Isn’t that it was 100% proven already that America is totally transformed country? What do you expect to be different in 2014?

  131. Darwin, when I talked about government having no competition, I meant only inside the country and only within this country’s economy. Government, by definition, is supposed to perform tasks that need to be centralized, like control over the armed forces or judiciary issues. All the issues that can be handled by the multitude of competing organizations must be outside of the government active control. Even in cases where the government nowadays plays some standardization role or a role of provider of some codes or norms, I’d rather see an independent industry-specific organization performing these functions like S&P in finance, UL in manufacturing etc.

    Yes, Bill of Rights was created specifically to protect the citizens against power-thirsty government. Where is it now? One government agency attacks political opponents. Another government agency collects all the information on all the citizens. Third government agency records telephone conversation of journalists.

    The main function the government exists for is to protect its citizens by controlling the boarder. So, instead of doing what it is supposed to do and to stay away from those issues it should have no business to interfere with, the government neglects the border and puts its nose into all aspects it should not, like the health care, automobile industry, mining industry, banking industry etc. No wonder the economy stagnates and the government gets bigger and more powerful. And the more powerful the government gets – the more controlled by this government we become, thus loosing the freedom we won a couple of centuries ago.

    We, The People are loosing. They, the Big Government are winning. And power is their main goal, which we allow them to reach. With the latest immigration bill, this job would be much easier for our government since majority of the population will be people who think about freedom differently, or rather do not think at all about it. You cannot fight demography. This country was made mostly by people of European descent. They had the history of revolutions, fight for their rights, understanding basic philosophical principles of how a society functions. They had tradition of political activism. That America is gone. Our government could not possibly achieve its goal for uncontrolled power with those people, so during the last 30 years or so it invited people from all over the world under different guises and excuses. Immigration policy of our government had one major purpose – to dilute Europeans with other people, less inclined to fight for their freedom, less understanding their rights as citizens, people who think that the purpose of the government is to help its citizens and ready to sacrifice their freedom for this “help”,
    So, we have it now.

    Mark, you are right, but… In 2012 before the November elections I was saying “Let’s see the results in November. If Obama wins, it might signify that we are beyond the point of no return on the road to tyrannical government, socialized economy that does not and cannot effectively serve the society, disastrous immigration policy etc.” Well, Obama has won and Republicans even lost a few seats in the Congress. Now an optimist inside me is still alive, that’s why I’ve decided to wait for one more experiments, the elections in 2014. The problem is, people (myself including) need some hope. That’s the reason for my 2014 remarks.

    • Zor,
      I hear what you are saying and I understand that you want to be an optimist, but unfortunately there is absolutely no sign that would generate any hope in my case. America is lost to the huge lumpen-parasite class of society which was fed by liberalism and political correctness. All that has a lot to do with deliberate destruction of educational system and America’s ideological / religious foundation. As result – the new America has “zero” as her unified national idea and 100% division of her unmelted population. Zor, I’m sure you know that pessimist is just a well informed optimist.

      • Mark, I hear and perfectly understand you. I am especially sensitive to an issue of education. I was very fortunate to get a solid classical education in my high school back in the Soviet Union with a strong emphasis on mathematics. Then I graduated from the Moscow University with mathematics as my major. So, I know this subject pretty well.

        I believe, one of the fundamental problems with math education in most of our public schools is their wrong purpose as formulated by those who are in charge. For some reason the common opinion is that students are supposed to be taught and memorize some math skills for future practical applications. Well, memorization usually lasts until exams are over and then happily forgotten.

        This, in my humble opinion, is absolutely wrong principle. A simple example can help to demonstrate it. How many times did I (being a computer specialist in a financial industry) have to solve quadratic equation or had to draw a median of a triangle, or needed to calculate a volume of a sphere by its radius? Not a single time. So, why do we need math? The answer is simple. Math is the best tool to develop a student’s intelligence, curiosity, logic, creativity and other great qualities – all in direct contradiction with what the power-hungry government wants to develop in their obedient citizens. Sometimes I even think that worsening of the math education is done by some evil people deliberately to deprive the future generation of young citizens from ability to critically analyze the political situation in the country and to be content with the status quo.

        The bureaucracy of our education system is so well developed that to change anything is practically impossible. Many people complain, but nobody does anything, and I don’t blame them. The bureaucracy is so well entrenched that it became immoveable.

        But everything is not lost. If we cannot fight this giant system, we can attempt to circumvent it. So, after retirement I have decided to introduce my small contribution into better education. I started a Web sites Unizor – “Math 4 Teens, Creative Mind through Art of Mathematics”. On this Web site I try not only to explain high school math topics, but, what’s more important, pay a lot of attention to solving problems. This work of a student’s mind when he proves a theorem or solves a problem is the main purpose of studying math in high school. So, if you or anybody you know have children in high schools, give them this name – Unizor. I have video-recorded more than 200 lectures there and more are coming. There are exams that registered students can take and many problems solved. As I said, this is my small contribution to a solution of a problem with our children being deprived from real education. It might help those seeking the Knowledge to find it.

        Appreciate your comments,

      • Dear Zor,
        Thanks a lot for your comment loaded with deep thoughts, right conclusions and proper course of actions. I have disseminated this information among my friends (re. Unizor). By the way, I received my education in Leningrad’s LITMO, so I know what good education is all about. But you are talking about technical education and I know that it is not what it should be. Even worse, when you address all other segments of education system you will see that situation there is much worse. They teach ideology and politically corrupt sociology instead of traditional philosophy, economics and World HISTORY. Look, I can understand why soc. revolution had happened in Russia. It was the first experimental ground for implementation of Marx’s utopia. Knowing the horrible social situation in tzar’s Russia I would be the first “bolshevik” fighting to overthrow this regime. At that time Russians didn’t have any precedent of socialistic way for development in any other society. The french revolution was not exactly the same. But now we all know what this experiment ended up with. There is no country in the World that has been engaged into socialist’s BS and then succeeded economically, socially or people’s freedom-wise. Do Americans learned this lesson? NO. And this is the real tragedy.
        By the way, if you go to YouTube and search for Mr. Bezmenov (the former KGB defector) you would be amazed to see and listen what he was saying in 1989. Summarizing all that you might see that there is no place left for any optimism re. America’s future. She is done. “Kranken kaput”
        Best,
        Mark (Moshe)

      • Darwin Smith

        Zor,
        I just watched your introductory video on the Unizor website. I look forward to viewing some of your topics. I have taught chemistry and physics for the past 16 years. As with math, most students will never use the material I teach them. But I always point out the real value in both is learning to solve multiple-step problems. As you say, the learning and application of logic and creativity are the real payoff.
        I have enjoyed “meeting” a number of people here on the rabbi’s blog. I wish I could meet many of you in person. It’s nice to put a face with Zor’s name at least.
        I have also been interested in learning how many posters are from Russia/Soviet Union. In 1993-94 we had a Russian exchange student living with our family. We were watching someone on TV explain how Hillary Clinton’s medical care plan was going to work. Yulia looked at me and asked, “Did she think this up on her own, or did she take it from us [Soviet Union]? It does not work.” I wonder what Yulia would think about Obamacare!

  132. I hope, Rabbi Pruzansky does not mind us occupying his blog.

    Yes, you are absolutely right about the state of indoctrination in American schools. It’s interesting, however, to compare it with the indoctrination we were subjected to back in the Soviet Union. With all those efforts to inculcate the words of false prophets into our minds, I would not say that the policy was very successful. When initial euphoria after the Russian Revolution passed, gradually the rejection of those socialistic principles came to many people, especially after the war. Obviously, poor state of economy contributed to this understanding. So, there is a chance that current economic situation in the US would trigger healthy skepticism among young people.

    I have found interviews with Bezmenov on the Web quite some time ago and was very impressed. Since then I sent it many times to my liberal friends, who, obviously, dismissed them. Still, I hope some impression was made.

    Being a contrarian, when talking to liberal optimists excited about Obamacare and other similar aspects of our political life, I usually say about our future exactly like you did. But, when talking to strong pessimists, like yourself, I am trying to find some positive sparkles that can fire up the lost spirits. Our society is much more dynamic than any other in the world. People opposing current policies are really everywhere. Maybe, they are not as loud or as politically active, but they do exist. Tea Party movement in 2010 was very impressive. So, may be…

    Meanwhile, I’ll continue to enlighten young inquisitive minds with Unizor mathematics since that’s where I feel my strength is. Maybe, their deeper knowledge of logic and analytical thinking will help them to clear some political clouds as well. Bright minds are usually on the right side of any political issue.

    By the way, I did not mention it before, but Unizor is completely free and has no advertising, I don’t get a penny from it. I’ve created it myself and support it myself for the benefits of whoever is interested in intellectual development.

    Best regards.

    Zor

    • Zor,
      a huge kudos from me for whatever you are doing with Unizor and with your other educational acts.
      Best,
      Mark

  133. Darwin,

    Thanks for good words about Unizor. I wish more young students know and use this, we need more smart people to hold the bastions of liberty. I hope that the more people use their brains to evaluate the actions of other people, organizations and the government – the more liberated, advanced and generally healthier society would emerge. Yes, I am trying to remain an optimist, at least for now.

    Back to politics, Obamacare, government’s failures etc.
    My view of any society is that on a very low level it is similar to a wild forest with many wild animals living there. These animals are after their own interests, they might even eat other animals, they might get together in packs, like wolves, for a big hunt. They have their hierarchy in the packs based on their physical strength etc. Yes, they are wild, they are not moral in human sense, but this is life on its very basic level. That is how they lived for thousands of years and their life continues based on some dynamic equilibrium among species.

    We, humans, started from the same level and gradually added to this type of society our laws, moral principles, norms of behavior etc. But still, the fundamental struggle for power exists among us, we are still trying to gain as much as possible, hopefully, within the framework of the law, we sometimes break or bend the law to achieve it, but the struggle still exists. So, considering our economy, I don’t blame a corporation when it defeats another corporation by making a better product or selling for cheaper price and driving a competitor out of business. This is a natural course of economic life. Without this process the progress of technology will stop, the market will be flooded with inferior products and we, the people, will not be happy with this. What’s important is to maintain as many as possible participants fighting each other for a market share and to prevent one single corporation to usurp the control over an entire industry.

    Politically speaking, we do exactly the same as wolves in the forest. We combine our efforts in packs called parties and try to gain the power. All nice words about one party supporting one group of people (women, immigrants, workers etc.) and another party supporting another group of people (children, bankers, homosexuals etc.) serve only one purpose – to get as much support as possible and to gain as much power as possible. Why? Because power allows to live better, to fly military jets to California, to arrange orgies with other people’s money, to have “legally” private information about stocks and enrich themselves using this information, just to feel Great and Powerful after all – these are nice rewards and politicians want them.

    As a result, I am not surprised seeing attempts to grab the political power by any party by any means. This is a wild world of politics and I don’t blame politicians for wanting to expand their power, it’s their nature. What it means is that, unless we agree to live under a tyranny, all these acts of grabbing the power must meet the resistance from other sources – other parties, courts of the law, free press, other mass media, Internet etc. So, this is a struggle for power and the stronger wins a battle. What I am afraid now is that one party have so much reinforcements, reserves and weaponry that it will become undefeatable and we, the people, eventually will have to submit to it. The longer we ignore this rise into absolute power of one particular party – the less chances we have to restore the balance of powers in the country. Some people think that the battle is already lost, some still hope. But what we witness right now is that one particular party is winning and gaining power with each new reform it imposes on the people.

    This gain of the power is dangerous, but many people don’t realize it. They don’t value their freedom, they might not even know what to do with it, but they do value “free” phone or “free” health care. Well, these freebies are the weapon, and a very strong weapon that helped one party to win more battles. It does not matter for this party that the people’s lives are not getting better as long as the power is firmly in hands. This is the key – power in hands justifies for the party leaders any action they take, good or bad, bringing up the progress or pulling it back, centralizing the control under an incapable management or starting a war, killing industry or investing billions in questionable technologies – all these acts are considered from one and only position: will it increase the power? Yes, this is still a wild forest with domination over other beasts as the goal. Sorry to be so brutal.

    The problem is, tyranny never produces a real progress and, sooner or later, it leads to a crisis. I hope that God will help us to avoid this crisis and enough political powers will participate in this struggle, so no one party would dominate. I still hope that Tea Party or some similar movement would wipe out this one-party domination. We had similar cases in history, but then it was a different composition of electorate. We live now in a different country with different demographics and much less chances for resisting that grab for power we witness now.

    Well, I am withholding my political predictions. I am willing to wait for elections in 2014. Meanwhile, we have to try to help with what we can to resurrect political forces that stand on the side of freedom and prosperity, whatever is left of them.

    • As long as we have a positive number in GDP the fed will continue to deficit spend. And as long as the American continues to be an American and make money, the GDP will stay positive. See the problem?

  134. I am still trying to stay on a positive note. Americans, mostly, do respect the rule of law. Take, for example, elections of Bush vs. Gore. It was a very difficult political situation, went to the Supreme Court, many disagreed etc. It was not a local conflict. Still, nobody was killed because of that. People decided that maintaining the law is more important than demonstrating their viewpoint through violence. So, let’s not rush to conclusions about bloodshed.

    • Zor – Would that our President and his appointed officials (especially Eric Holder) had the same respect for the Rule of Law you credit the American People with. If that were the case, I doubt the Rabbi’s original post would have even been necessary!

    • I believe that American Constitution (THE LAW) out lived its time. This wonderful document was written based upon society being homogenizes and unified founded on the National Idea related to G-d, and Judea-Christian morality. Today’s America is so divided and so deviated from her original demographic and moral content that the Constitution is practically inapplicable to this new society. And this is why I am very pessimistic when i say that America has no future but disintegration. This is Very sad fact but real. The future for our kids is only in Israel.

  135. Excellent article.
    Thank you!
    “The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Proverbs 12:19

  136. Rabbi Pruzansky; my inquiry is regarding your, “We Are Not Coming Back” blog which I received a version of via email earlier today.
    I quote one of your responses in the chain of comments regarding that blog; “Since Republicans stand for traditional values, and the Democrats are the party of abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity – and decadence is de riguer (prescribed or required by fashion, etiquette, or custom) in American society – the Democrats are ascendant and the Republicans are in decline.
    While later absorbing your reflections, I question why do you choose to, “generalize” the Democrats as a party of, abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity? I am a conservative Republican and understand and partially agree with your point of view. What does, “abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity” have to do with your point to this specific blog? My request is for you to add your web links where you do address each issue separately so we may understand why you have come to this conclusion.
    My bottom line, I agree that abortion and promiscuity is continuing to decay our society. Yet, how can you include homosexuality in-between those 2 other atrocities? Please provide your contention on how someone is not born a homosexual just as every one of us are born either right or left handed or having propensities to math over literature? Thank you Sir.

    • As a Rabbi, I must state that the Bible forbids promiscuity, abortion (with certain exceptions) and homosexuality. We don’t subscribe to the notion that all “homosexuals” are born that way, so it is not comparable to strong-handedness. Except in rare cases – kleptomania, e.g.,- people are not born with circumstances in which they are forced to sin, and even they have to learn to control themselves. That is why I linked all three. Additionally, all three have been embraced by the Democratic party as issues of great concern that justify reversing generations of social and moral norms in American life.
      Thanks for writing.
      -RSP

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  138. Excellent essay.

  139. Burton Schwartz

    Just to let you know that not all “Liberal/Progressive” American’s are stupid.
    I voted for Obama because he was the better candidate and Romney and the conservative agenda he proposed was what led us to the recent debacle in our national government. Your article is now being sent to Jews by “super conservative” people who are saying “see I told you so.”
    I for one and my whole family will continue to support sane a resolution to our country’s problems and not be blackmailed by the far right into their plans to undermine any way but their way.

  140. There are two laws of politico-economic life of any country that are important for this discussion.

    First, almost all people, whether in the government or private sector, are trying to gain power to control a bigger chunk of economy. It’s human’s nature.

    Second, the theoretically possible effectiveness of management has its maximum (different for different industries) achieved for some specific size of an economic object under management (also different for different industries). Grabbing more power, i.e. subordinating bigger chunk of economy under single management, might result in better effectiveness of the management up to an extent, after which further grabbing control would result in decrease of the effectiveness of the management and decline in productivity. Size does matter. The mathematical proof of this statement lies in the obvious principle that if you combine N objects under a single management, the number of connections between these objects is proportional to N squared. So, if a single object needed, say 10% of its capacity to be devoted to its management, the combined conglomerate of N such objects will need proportionally more resources devoted to management, like 20% or 30%. And further process of centralization leads to more and more resources taken from production to management. At some point the system becomes so complex that it’s simply impossible to effectively control it, it would require almost all resources to be devoted to management. Since generally accepted position is that combining 2 or three objects under a single management is good for economy, companies are merging or buying each other in hope to achieve more profit. It does work up to an extent and then, when the company becomes too big, it fails to maintain proper control.

    Combining these two principles and applying them to the government, we see that (1) government, as any other body, tries to grab control over as big chunk of economy as possible, succeeding in this since it can legislate whatever it wants and (2) eventually fails to effectively manage what it put under its control because the object of management is simply too big. Corporations also try to do the same, but the open market and competition curtail their abilities. Not so for the government. It has no competition.

    Applying all these abstract principles to the current situation in United States, we see such phenomenon as Obamacare (clearly, a result of grabbing the power by the government) failing because it’s practically impossible to manage such a monster as an entire health care system of a large country like ours.

    On a similar note, the government centralized the mortgage issuance in two-three government agencies, which resulted in the crisis with sub-prime loans.

    It’s all parts of the same process of increasing the power of the government (because they can increase it without asking anybody under different guises) and losing the effectiveness of the management because, even with the best intentions, the objects of such size require too much resources taken from production to management to manage effectively.

    That’s why we have an economic stagnation, low labor participation rate (be the way, the lowest since Carter times), inflation and endless recovery after recession. In addition, all these noble goals the government is feeding the public with to justify its grabbing for power (like fairness in re-distribution of goods and services, whatever that means) never materialize. Middle class is losing its control over its own destiny subjected to the government control.

    The process of centralization of power lasts since the beginning of the 20th century, but it reached its peek now, and I see no way back. Once the power is handed over to the government, it’s impossible to gain it back.

    • That’s an excellent post, Zor!

      I agree fully, but would add that the founders realized much of what you have said here, without perhaps the mathematical precision. The Constitution was, I believe, designed to allow freedom while attempting to prevent the centralization and accumulation of power as you described it. The brilliance of the progressive movement was to develop a strategy that would so gradually chip away at the Constitutional barriers to centralization and accumulation of power that it would be acceptable to the citizenry, who barely even noticed.

      Only in the 21st Century are many Americans realizing how this century-long process has succeeded in marginalizing the constitutional protections against centralization and the accumulation of power. I also agree that, short of an actual revolution, there is no going back. Social Security is the poster child for the progressive movement. It is patently unconsitutional. But try suggesting, even at a local Tea Party meeting, that it ought to be phased out, along with Medicare and Medicaid, and you’ll have a roomfull of angry people. I would think Obamacare, in another ten years, will have the same status as Social Security. Only through revolution, or the catastrophic implotion of the economy under the weight of entitlements, will there be an end to the progressive strategy.

  141. Thanks, Phil. I totally agree that the founders did realize the danger of power concentration, but whatever the obstacles they devised still were not sufficient enough. It’s not easy to think 200 years in advance about all the trick the government might use to grab more power.

    The problem is, nobody wants a revolution, nor a catastrophic crisis. There is a very small hope that people in the Tea Party movement (and I count myself among them, albeit in a passive role) will be able to gradually get support sufficient to put restrictions on the centralization of power.

    Economic problems that the government cannot resolve will grow as a result of centralization. That might prompt people to realize that the country is going down and some change is needed. America is still the most dynamic country in the world and the power of the central government here is still not yet on the level of Europe and other countries.

    I’ve just returned from Europe and talked to a few people (like taxi driver). The psychology over there is different from ours. All they talk about is “fairness” without really understanding what it means and without realizing the subjectivity and plain danger of this policy. No wonder their economies are in bad shape. But some people over there do understand it. Let’s just hope that enough of such people exists in our country. Objectively observed economic problems do help to sober up those who are drunk on the government-supplied “free” staff.

  142. This is my first time visit at here and i am truly impressed
    to read all at one place.

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  144. The once great America is all but dead!!! America is now filling with 3 rd world people who don’t want to work, don’t want to speak English, they just want FREE housing,food,medical and cash. There here to loot!!!! Not to contribute like the the people who came before them, who contributed to America becoming great. The ones coming now are only there to destroy America. Sad to see, Anericans won’t stand up and fight the bums that have done this. We lie to are self saying it’s not happing. Well it is happing!

  145. Mr. Talone, you should come visit the town where I teach, Beardstown, IL. I have students from 5 continents, Most of their parents were recruited to work in a meat-packing plant here, doing jobs that very few Americans would be willing to do. (Some days, if the wind blows the wrong direction, I can barely stand the odor as I walk 3 blocks to school.) I don’t think they are here to destroy America.
    Last year I met a man from Togo who came to work in the packing plant. When he left Africa he had two master’s degrees. While working in the packing plant he earned another and now he works for the Illinois department of public health.He did not come here to destroy our nation.
    This high school of about 450 students in a west central Illinois town of 5800 looks like an urban school. Our school, like all non-Chicago schools in Democrat-run Illinois, receives only 89% of what the state budget says we should receive. Last spring we cut all junior high sports, all high school activities except sports, and assistant high school sports coaches. The entire community, immigrant and native alike, worked together to raise the money needed to restore all of those programs for our students.
    I, too, am pessimistic about the future of America, and in part because of SOME of the people coming to America, possibly recruited by politicians for less worthy reasons than working in a meat-packing plant.. But please believe me when I tell you, it is a shameful thing to paint all immigrants with the same brush. Please learn to be a bit more discerning in your judgement.

  146. Both commentators on the issue of immigration are partially right and partially wrong. There are many immigrants (like myself) who came to make their life better in a better environment of freedom dominated in our country. Unfortunately, there are “freeloaders” who come to get government subsidies and do not want to contribute any efforts to build our country. The question is, what is a prevailing number.
    Personally, I think that the more elaborate the government programs are – the more “freeloaders” are attracted to our country. For the last couple of decades our government has significantly expanded these programs and, as a result, the fraction of “freeloaders” among immigrants has significantly increased.
    I came to America in 1979 and started working on the 5th day. Many of my friends had similar experience. Nowadays this is not the case, and the government is to blame. What some people, like most of liberal democrats, consider a social progress, kills the productive elements of a society. The most obvious quantitative measure is the Labor Participation Rate that decreases month, after month, after month.
    Here is the proof:

    http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

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