Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Statism | Tags: Congress' Automatic Pay Raises, Half of Them Millionaires, Political Reality
The earth has shifted on its axis, the Capitol Building is shaking, and members of Congress must be hearing from the folks at home. Big doings. The riots in Madison,Wisconsin by assorted members of public sector unions are not playing well in the hustings. Strange things are happening:
Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington says it’s time to end the practice of giving automatic pay raises to members of Congress, who currently earn a minimum of $174,000 per year. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) backs a 5 percent reduction.
With the economy still reeling in much of the nation, members of Congress are eager to show that they’re economically in touch with their constituents.
That’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. Nearly half of them are millionaires.
Congressional pay has increased about 30 percent since the late 1990s — from $133,600 to $174,000. and increase of $40,400.
It wasn’t too long ago that Congress voted on their wage increases, and when the economy was sour and they voted themselves a hefty increase, they heard from their constituents, and then some. So they voted themselves automatic increases so they don’t have to hear from the folks at home. Since the raises became automatic in 1989, salaries have nearly doubled.
Patty Murray, my senator, is not only a Democrat, but a pretty far left Democrat. The bill to repeal automatic raises has already attracted 29 co-sponsors. Nothing so demonstrates the cracks that are appearing in the edifice of debt the Democrats have erected as this statement from Senator Murray. It’s a good sign. I think maybe they’re really going to get something done.
Filed under: Liberalism, Statism, Terrorism | Tags: Diversity, Multiculturalism, Religion of the Universities
It was only eight days ago that I was writing about U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s public denunciation of multiculturalism, along with the leaders of France and Germany, and his declaration that it was a proven disaster and a threat to society. Multicultural values had led to segregated communities and Mr. Cameron said, imposed policies of blind toleration that had helped to nurture radical Islam’s terrorist cells.
This was a major, major event. Multiculturalism and it’s accompanying religious tenet diversity have been “the unofficial established religion of the universities, the faith whose requirements have shaped every aspect of cultural, economic and political life in Western democracies for the last 50 years.”
This happened just when a report was released, reported Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal, titled “A Ticking Time Bomb” that provided the most complete disclosures about the multiculturalist zeal that had caused the Army and medical school superiors to smooth Nidal Malik Hassan’s way through training, promote him, and in spite of plain clear evidence of his unfitness, raise not one single concern. Major Hassan, now a U.S. Army psychiatrist, was assigned to Fort Hood where he opened fire on his fellow soldiers in November of 2009, killing 12 plus a civilian employee and wounding 32 others.
The report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs led by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) concerns the Department of Defense’s official report on the Fort Hood bloodbath. It made no mention , none, of Hasan’s well documented jihadist sympathies.
During his medical training at Walter Reed, and his two years at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, multicultural taboos reigned. Walter Reed required a presentation on a psychiatric theme, Hasan produced a draft largely from the Quran “arguing for the painful punishment and liquidation of non-Muslims.” When he was told that the presentation was “not scholarly”, he revised slightly and was allowed to graduate. In his medical fellowship, he delivered a class lecture on the theme that the West in general and the U.S. Military specifically had mounted a war on Islam and continued with themes sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. His classmates were outraged.
Hasan’s contacts with terrorist suspect came to the notice of the FBI, but the agents were lulled by the impressive evaluation reports that described Hasan as an authority on Islam, whose work had “extraordinary potential to inform national policy and military strategy.” He was commended as “a star officer” who was focused on “illuminating the role of culture and Islamic faith within the Global War on Terrorism.” Rabinowitz adds “No single word of criticism or doubt about Hasan ever made its way into any of his evaluations.”
His superiors noticed all right, but as Ms. Rabinowitz says:
Some of those enthusiastic testaments strongly suggested that the writers were themselves at least partly persuaded of their reasoning. In magical thinking, safety and good come to those who obey taboos, and in the multiculturalist world, there is no taboo more powerful than the one that forbids acknowledgment of realities not in keeping with the progressive vision. In the world of the politically correct—which can apparently include places where psychiatrists are taught—magical thinking reigns.
He was a star not simply because he was a Muslim, but because he was a special kind—the sort who posed, in his flaunting of jihadist sympathies, the most extreme test of liberal toleration. Exactly the kind the progressive heart finds irresistible.
A decision should be made soon about whether Major Hasan will go to trial before a military court-martial. He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder. The trial will probably go forward. But the Department of Defense still has not specifically named the threat which is represented by the Fort Hood bloodbath.
Multiculturalism and Diversity live on in the nation’s colleges and universities and in the human resources departments of most major corporations, always concentrating on exactly the wrong thing.
In his book Plagues of the Mind, Bruce Thornton described the problem:
Despite what we are led to believe by its apologists, Multiculturalism is not about respecting cultural difference or the diversity of ethnic groups in America. Multiculturalism is instead a melodramatic tale of the wickedness of the West and its role in destroying the peaceful paradises in which other peoples (usually “of color”) lived before Europeans and then Americans came along to inflict on them racism, sexism, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, homophobia, technology and environmental degradation.
If it was intended to make sure we were all nice to people of different colors and ethnicities, multiculturalism and diversity have evolved into a sort of required tolerance that does not distinguish. Required equality. Differences in behavior will not be noticed, because it might mean that you are noticing ethnicity or skin color.
Oddly, differences in skin color or country of origin are seldom problems, but bad behavior, which is to go unnoticed can cause all sorts of problems. Honor killings, female circumcision, forced marriages are to be tolerated, and major attempts to blow up Americans are simply “man-caused disasters.” Terrorism and Islamic jihad are preferably not mentioned. Tolerance in all things.