Congratulations on your college graduation. I enjoyed your interview on CNN, but would offer one suggestion for your consideration:
You said that you want to go to Washington to learn about Progressive policies.
Why not open your mind to the possibility that actually reaching a good outcome is more important than being able to simply feel good by calling yourself “Progressive.”
After all, decades of Progressive policies have done absolutely nothing for African-Americans, other than destroy black families and force black kids into failing schools. (And then there’s the bipartisan disaster of the drug war’s impact on black Americans.)
It may be fashionable among the left to demonize Republicans or conservatives (I am not a Republican, and I am politically libertarian, not conservative). It may make some people you know feel good to call certain people mean or selfish or racist — without any evidence at all. (And to be sure, I am not suggesting that you would do this yourself, but I guarantee you know people who fit my description.)
But results matter. While “Progressives” spend so much time talking about their good intentions, their results have been a disaster for the most vulnerable in America. Meanwhile, it’s conservatives who fight, for example, for school choice — while Barack Obama once killed the school choice program in Washington, D.C. which was helping thousands of some of the nations neediest (especially needy of a good education) black children because he found it more important to support a teachers’ union. (He has opposed it again since then, while Speaker of the House (Republican) John Boehner fought hard for it.)
You may consider it heresy, but I urge you to open your mind to thinking about “what policies will actually reach the outcome I want?” rather than thinking “what Progressive policy should I support today?”
I would suggest to you that you read “The Law” by Federic Bastiat. It’s great…and it’s short! (You can read it in one sitting.) Indeed, if you send me a mailing address, I’ll gladly send you a copy at my expense. I also recommend “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman and “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt.
America is not in great need of another smart young black Progressive/liberal. What we need is more smart young black leaders who are willing to think outside of the liberal dogma and actually do things that WORK instead of things which play on people’s worst instincts.
If you’re open to investigating ideas which are smart, effective, and supportive of the best of human instinct, I’d be happy to introduce you to think tanks oriented in that direction in DC. I hope that the results of your college education have not been to permanently install intellectual blinders on your very promising future.
I wish you health, happiness, luck, and prosperity in the next phase of your life.
Ross G Kaminsky
Reporter Elizabeth Flock of U.S. News and World Report, over here in the Washington Whispers column, has discovered the announced purpose of the meeting that drew NTEU president Colleen Kelley to the meeting discussed in today’s special report.
The timing appears fishy, but a closer examination of Kelley’s visit reveals she was visiting the White House to participate in the “Workplace Flexibility Forum,” a March 2010 event that was about the state of flexible work arrangements. According to a April 2010 story in the federal trade worker publication FCW, Kelley spoke at the forum about the benefits of teleworking and other flexible work schedules. FCW reported that the event was hosted by Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The visitor log also notes that Kelley’s visit took place in the “South Court Auditorium,” a large room in the Old Executive Office Building across from the White House — not exactly a prime location for a private meeting.
Flock also includes this link to an April 2010 story in the online publication FCW:The Business of Federal Technology. Kudos to Flock for nailing down the specific topic of the meeting and the physical location of the meeting in the White House complex.
There is an interesting sentence in Flock’s article. This one:
Kelley’s office didn’t immediately respond to request for more information about her March 2010 appearance, but we will update when we hear back.
Kelley’s office didn’t immediately respond.
We await Kelley’s response.
And we will be back.
Check out my recent interview with Dan Mandis of 850 KOA in Denver, Colorado about all things drone: Legal issues, national security implications, and the robotic aircrafts’ future here at home. The link can be found below. And remember folks, sharing is caring, now in this digital media age more than ever:
If you read one (non-Spectator) article this morning, make it Jillian Kay Melchior’s latest piece over at NRO. Melchior interviews a Texas woman named Catherine Engelbrecht, who, after filing with the IRS for tax-exempt status for two Tea Party groups, was harassed by the IRS…and the FBI and ATF and even OSHA:
In July, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration paid a visit to Engelbrecht Manufacturing while Bryan, Catherine, and their children were out of town. The OSHA inspector talked with the managerial staff and employees, inspecting the premises minutely. But Bryan says the agent found only “little Mickey Mouse stuff, like, ‘You have safety glasses on, but not the right kind; the forklift has a seatbelt, but not the right kind.’” Yet Catherine and Bryan said the OSHA inspector complimented them on their tightly run shop and said she didn’t know why she had been sent to examine it.
Not long after, the tab arrived. OSHA was imposing $25,000 in fines on Engelbrecht Manufacturing. They eventually worked it down to $17,500, and Bryan says they may have tried to contest the fines to drive them even lower, but “we didn’t want to make any more waves, because we don’t know [how much further] OSHA could reach.”
Apparently those “few bad apples” in Cincinnati who the left keeps blaming for the IRS scandal were also wielding omnipotent control over other government agencies.
We already knew this went well beyond the IRS trying to deal with a (nonexistent) surge of new tax-exempt applications. Tea Party groups were completely denied tax-exempt status for 27 months. Sensitive IRS applications were inappropriately leaked to left-wing news outlets. But Melchior’s article suggests something much more extreme than a renegade IRS: a concerted attempt across several government agencies to wage war on the Tea Party.
Now can we please get that special prosecutor?
A 74,000-page tax code that no American citizen can possibly know or understand is the basis for our federal system of taxation. The current IRS scandal is not a bug in the system. Rather, this kind of behavior is a feature, long prized by the Ruling Elite in Washington, D.C. After all, what are the IRS and its byzantine set of laws, rules, and regulations if not instruments of political discrimination and thuggery? They are consistently used by the Ruling Elite to hand out favors to its friends, and punishment to its enemies. This is not a failure, glitch or aberration in the system. This is the system.
The historical documentation is deep and wide. According to James Bovard, writing May 14, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal:
Many Republicans are enraged over revelations in recent days that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative nonprofit groups with a campaign of audits and harassment. But of all the troubles now dogging the Obama administration…the IRS episode, however alarming, is also the least surprising. As David Burnham noted in “A Law Unto Itself: The IRS and the Abuse of Power” (1990), “In almost every administration since the IRS’s inception the information and power of the tax agency have been mobilized for explicitly political purposes.”
And unfortunately, despite our widespread outrage, history does not provide a blueprint for a hopeful outcome of investigation and reform. Bovard continues in the WSJ:
The IRS has usually done an excellent job of stifling investigations of its practices. A 1991 survey of 800 IRS executives and managers by the nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics revealed that three out of four respondents felt entitled to deceive or lie when testifying before a congressional committee.
There are those today who are calling for jail time for IRS personnel engaged in the current scandal. Yet I will venture a guess that those front-line employees engaged in the discriminatory activities currently exposed, and those surely yet to be revealed, were acting at the direction of their superiors, and were simply doing their jobs. While the thought may be shocking to us, it shouldn’t surprise us. This is how the IRS operates on a daily basis.
The IRS is the most powerful agency of the federal government, operating outside the bounds of law imposed on the rest of our society. More powerful than the president, they can seize your assets, including the direct withdrawal of money from your bank account, without a court order or any other type of supervision. This is not a mistake. They operate without constraint because Congress has set them up this way. This is virtually absolute power, and you know the truism about absolute power.
The type of abuse we are seeing is the routine business of the IRS—creating misery for innocent people, demanding money, threatening, seizing assets: it’s all in a day’s work for the IRS. Asking ridiculous, intrusive, offensive questions to a group applying for a non-profit status—how is that so terrible compared with the day-to day-fear and abuse imposed by the IRS on a largely defenseless American public?
As for silencing critics, many business people have avoided politics for decades, or simply paid homage to the Ruling Elite via political donations, out of fear of the IRS. It’s a part of our political culture. And it is part of the purpose of the IRS, long supported by a bipartisan consensus of the Ruling Elite.
While I’m all for a full and deep investigation, unfortunately, based on the history of such inquiries, I remain skeptical that we will get it. And I think it may miss the point anyway. I’m in favor of a much deeper look at the IRS.
Really, now is a perfect time for a complete examination of the IRS’s role in America. We ought to have the full discussion, including the idea of eliminating the scourge of the IRS completely, and pushing taxation authority back to the states, where it belong, and where the instruments of enforcement are more easily controlled by the people they are supposed to “serve.” After all, as Daniel Webster said arguing before the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland, “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” 17 U.S. 327 (1819).
Isn’t it time we returned to the liberty that was bequeathed to us by the Founders? And isn’t the IRS, as designed, antithetical to that liberty?
Singer-songwriter Alan O’Day passed away on Friday of cancer. He was 72.
O’Day is best known for his number one hit “Undercover Angel” which topped the charts in 1977.
Prior to that, O’Day had written songs for other artists most notably “Angie Baby” for Helen Reddy which number one in 1974 as well as co-writing The Righteous Brothers’ final hit “Rock n’ Roll Heaven”.
O’Day never replicated the success of “Undercover Angel” and spent the rest of his career writing music for TV programs such as Muppet Babies and National Geographic’s Really Wild Animals.
Here is O’Day discussing what inspired him towards songwriting and his subsequent career in the music business. I believe this is the last interview he ever did.
As I describe at CFIF, Artur Davis has identified some of the important meanings of the triple-scandals engulfing the Obama administration. He blitzes what he calls “Obama’s Weak ‘I’m No Nixon’ Defense.” He correctly identifies the administration’s lack of accountability — which is actually its defense against accusations that its conduct has been even more nefarious.
Please do read my analysis of his analysis — and of course, read his original analysis, too. This former congressman is, as usual, very astute.