I know it’s kind of a blase issue now that the 2012 elections are over, but I felt the urge to write on the topic of voter I.D. after seeing a Facebook friend writing something about voter suppression in a status update. For those unfamiliar with the left’s equation for voter I.D. requirements, it goes like this : voter I.D. = voter suppression = RACISM! Yet, oddly enough, those who cry about this the most on the left don’t seem to realize that they come perilously close to racism by making the blanket assumption that all people they believe that would be affected by voter I.D., namely people of color and people on the lower ends of the socioeconomic scale, are completely unable to find the smallish amounts of money and time it takes to get some form of valid identification.
But I digress.
Photo by Todd Wiseman, www.texastribune.org
As one Internet meme that sprung up in the months leading up to the election pointed out, ID is required to vote in Mexico. I mean, heck, even PBS wrote about this fact in July of this year. I did some (admittedly minimal) research to try and find out what other countries might require ID in order to vote in order to protect the integrity of elections. I found out that in Northern Ireland in the UK, ID is required to vote. Along with that little tidbit, it appears Argentina, Sri Lanka, Estonia, Israel, South Africa, and Uruguay all require identification in order to vote.
What was even more interesting, at least in my mind, were the responses I got from two friends on Twitter. The person with the duck avatar you’ll see below lives in Germany, while the person with the My Little Pony avatar resides in Italy.
I like how she used “of course”, like it’s perfectly normal and logical to understand that when a person goes to vote, it should be clear to all that person is exactly who they say they are. Again, not sure why this is such a difficult issue for the professional left of academia and media to understand here in the U.S., but so it goes, I suppose.
And here’s the response from my Italian friend:
@FoolishReporter yes, it is mandatory. identity card or passport, driver's license is considered not valid as identity proof.
So in two European countries typically considered more liberal and libertine than the United States, the necessity of identification for voting seems well understood. But, here in the United States, you would hardly know that the rest of the world sees voter ID as a common sense precaution to maintain election integrity. Instead, you get cries of “JIM CROW REBORN!” , “RACISM!”, and “DISENFRANCHISEMENT!”
When election time ramps up in two years again, and when this fun little subject comes back to the forefront of the left’s collective psyche, just make sure to remind them that numerous countries around the world require ID to vote. And then, the fun, part… Ask them:
Over the weekend, a casual glance at Twitter resulted in this writer finding a funny chart, as you can see above. This chart was attached to a tweet from Keith Boykin, a CNBC and BET on-air personality. Boykin credited it to The Ed (Schultz) Show, and apparently, they seem to think this proves something. What that might be, other than the fact that traditionally blue, monied states voted for the Democrat incumbent for president, is beyond me. Regardless, I got to thinking about what kind of comparison might be found in looking at the state-level financial well-being of these “educated” states versus the “non-educated” states. Let’s start with the Top 5 most “well-educated” states and their fiscal positions as we close out 2012 and start heading into 2013.
As you can see, bluer than blue Massachusetts tops the list as most “educated”. Actually there are just so many ways our chart above can be picked apart, including the fact that, gee, Massachusetts *might* be the most “educated” because of, oh, I don’t know, the number of Ivy League schools that reside in the state (not to mention M.I.T.). Regardless, for such a well-educated state, it appears that Massachusetts is in some mighty financial trouble at the state level.
This may be a bit dated, but this 2011 article from CNN Money highlights the fact that Massachusetts was looking to cut it’s state budget by the most in 20 years in 2011. Among the issues facing Massachusetts last year included:
Shedding as many as 900 jobs, to add to a total of 5,900 jobs lost since 2008
Slashing $23 million in state funding for emergency homeless shelters
Closing down two prisons
Raiding the state’s “rainy day” fund for $200 million
All that edumacation and money concentrated in Massachusetts sure has made a big difference, hasn’t it?
For Maryland, the second most “educated” state on the list, the budgetary issues are also present, with this local article highlighting the issues that Governor Martin O’Malley faces. Among those issues?
A $1.3 billion budget deficit that O’Malley hopes to close with $6 billion in cuts
Nearly half of those cuts will be made to state agencies, with 10 percent being cut out of education, and 14 percent from retirement and healthcare funds
Colorado, number three on the list, is the only one that actually had something positive going on, budget wise. This article notes that spending in some areas is actually increasing for the first time in a number of years, but does note “state officials caution there could be trouble on the horizon. Potential economic crises in Europe, and the prospect of automatic, deep cuts…could throw the national economy, and Colorado, into another tailspin.”
I suppose there’s always one outlier.
Onto Connecticut! Deep blue, and again, “highly educated” Connecticut, is facing a “sudden” $300 million budgetary shortfall, as announced in this November 9 article. Beyond the $300 million budget shortfall that state is facing THIS year alone, the linked article also warns that upcoming budgets are in just as much trouble:
The report says state government can expect $231 million less next fiscal year than originally anticipated.
And that’s on top of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional potential holes facing the next state spending plan — a total gap many lawmakers say privately they fear exceeds $500 million.
All them bright people and that state budget just continues to spiral out of control eh? Weird!
Finally, onto Vermont! Strangely enough, Vermont ALSO falls into this pattern of “highly educated” but can’t balance a state budget for the life of them. In this article here, it’s noted that Vermont “could have an operating gap of $50 to $70 million in fiscal year 2014.” Although, it must be noted that $50 to $70 million IS better than the $279 million shortfall the tiny state was facing just three years ago.
It should also be noted that the above article linked to describe Vermont’s problems in 2009 also included New York and Connecticut, two of our “most educated” states. Funny, that.
For the sake of brevity and word count, links for the Top 5 “least educated” states budgets can be found here, here, here, here and here. Funnily enough, in those states lacking that almighty edumcaction, budgets are actually improving, for the most part. The first two links, regarding West Virginia and Mississippi, are especially delicious considering the absolute disdain the left has for those places. BOTH are putting money back into the budget because of unexpected increases in tax revenues and apparently getting closer to fiscal responsibility much faster than their more educated counterparts.
I don’t know about you, but at this point, I’d much rather be in one of those uneducated states, where the people and *some* of the politicians realize small government is the answer. Because, you know, having a love and respect for the ideas of personal liberty and freedom is SUCH the mark of an uneducated mind.
As the fall out from Election Night 2012 continues, the right has descended into a nasty round of infighting once again. Fiscal conservatives point the fingers at social conservatives for the loss. Social conservatives point the finger right back, and warn of the right slowly sliding into a party of “leftism light”. The Tea Party is pointing fingers at the GOP establishment for the loss. Yet others are blaming Mitt Romney’s campaign for not being dirty enough, or in the last 48 hours, for the massive failure of Romney’s technology system known as ORCA. Yet others are placing the blame on the libertarians, and Ron Paul and Gary Johnson supporters, who they feel took votes away from Romney.
Regardless, many seem to be missing a vital point of what Election 2012 Night told us.
And what that is, is simple: That too many Americans are amazingly unaware that their liberty and their freedom are being stripped from them slowly but surely in the name of “fairness” and the “social safety net”. The idea of having the government provide for their lives, to support them throughout the entirety of their lives, does not disturb them. This is a very big problem, and one that may not be corrected until America is facing some very dark days indeed.
In truth, it comes as no surprise. The following examples I’m about to share about how this mindset has permeated American culture may be called racist by some. So be it. It’s reality, and it’s reality that’s caught on tape.
How can one, or how can a movement, make a convincing argument that BIG government always shades towards the tyrannical, and is perhaps one of the most dangerous conditions any people can face when you have people like the “Obamaphone” lady, or, from a few years ago, the “Obama money” lady. Popping up in late September, the Obamaphone lady was captured at an anti-Mitt Romney rally, and a short interview with her revealed that she had acquired 30 government issued cellphones, and that that reason alone was why people should vote for Obama. This disturbing exchange can be found here.
The three-year-old clip of the “Obama money” lady is just as disturbing. In that clip, a woman is interviewed and is asked what she’s doing. She simply replies that she’s there to get some of that “Obama money”. When asked, where that money comes from, or what it truly is, she has no answer really, other than to say that she wants that “Obama money”. This shed lights on a mindset that apparently has infected tens of millions of Americans, and that is the idea that the government should provide money to people for reasons unknown, other than apparently that’s just how it should be.
This clip, which was released today, shows college students outside of the White House on election night. Once news spread that President Obama had won a second term, they break out into chants of “Karl Marx”, “socialism” and, not surprisingly, “Obamaphones.” More than anything, this shows that this mentality that government and the ideas of madmen whose theories have been proven to be awful again and again in the last hundred years or so, run across all socioeconomic and racial lines.
To me, what was perhaps the most disturbing in the run-up to the 2012 election and the argument between free-market capitalism and either socialism or communism, is how little impact the words of immigrants in the U.S. who escaped socialist or communist countries, had on the majority of people. In this Business Insider article, a young woman who escaped El Salvador tells of her efforts here in America to educate people about how badly it goes for EVERYONE when either a socialist or communist regime takes over a country. A few highlights of the points she makes include the facts that :
Socialism ended her mother’s small business in their home country
Led people to want to remove free enterprise and individual rights to create “equality.”
Politics made business owners move to other countries and stopped job creation where these businesses started (especially pertinent considering the flood of stories about business closing and laying off people in scores in the three days since the election)
They tried to warn us, multiple times, about where we’re heading. Late in the election cycle, Hungarian-born Thomas Petterfy released a powerful ad warning of the ills that befall ALL people when socialism or communism is implemented in a country. This Businessweek post outlines Petterfy’s story, and his thoughts on what is happening in America as we speak. (The link for his ad is here.)
Now the fact that these two immigrants, who have directly experienced the hardships and misery of socialism and/or communism had little impact on a national scale, tells us much.
But perhaps what it tells us the most is this : That people cannot value the loss of something they never knew they had. And it appears now, more than ever, that Americans are not aware of and do not value their personal liberty, their freedom, their sovereignty, anymore.
To wrap this all up, one famous quote of one of our Founding Fathers has been running through my mind in the days since America decided on socialism and big government for the next four years. It’s the anecdote about Benjamin Franklin being asked by a woman what exactly was it the Founders had created during those fateful days leading up to the creation of this country. His reply was simple, and dramatic.
As the truth about what happened at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya continues to slowly trickle out, and more damning details continue to emerge, it seemed as though a trip down memory lane was needed for many who may have not been paying as close attention to the stories that are now surrounding the fateful hours that left four Americans dead. This trip down memory lane is needed, it seems, in order to illustrate that really, from the beginning, this has been nothing short of a deliberate disinformation campaign by some of the most senior, and powerful, people in the White House and Obama Administration. In short, at the beginning of all of this, the President, the Secretary of State, the Director of the CIA AND our senior ambassador to the United Nations, continuously tried to sell the American people on a false narrative that these attacks were sparked by a little seen YouTube clip.
Now, why this isn’t disturbing to more Americans, or the media, is something to be talked about at length elsewhere. But really, when you boil this whole situation down, you have FOUR of the most SENIOR and POWERFUL members of the American government blatantly lying to the American people and the world at large. We’ll review each, starting with the President.
President Barack Obama essentially got in front of the world on September 24, and blamed the Benghazi attacks on Bakoula Nassily Bakoula’s video, “The Innocence of Muslims”. A video clip of the President’s address, along with a quick quote, are included below:
In that speech, the President cites Bakoula’s video six different times, and as the video above shows, states that the “future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet Mohammed.”
So, to reiterate, the President of the United States addressed the United Nations, and told an outright lie to the members of that body. The reasons for this remain unclear.
Next, we’ll look at U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who also crafted the false narrative of the video being the cause of the attack in Benghazi. In a YouTube clip with an upload date of September 26, Rice also lies. Again, a short video clip with a quote are provided below:
In this clip, Rice says that Benghazi was the result of “the airing on the internet of, the very hateful, very offensive video, that has offended many people around the world” and that “there’s no question, as we’ve seen in the past… there have been such things… that have sparked outrage and anger, and this has been the approximate cause of what we’ve seen”. So, again, two weeks AFTER the attacks, both the President and Ambassador Rice were pushing the false narrative of the video as the cause, even as details were beginning to emerge that this was a coordinated attack that the United States had received intel about before it happened.
Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, participated in the crafting of this false narrative on September 14, when the bodies of Ambassador Chris Stevens, ex-Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and Stevens’ aide Sean Smith were returned to the United States. Again, here is a video clip with the relevant quote below:
“We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with,” Clinton said in her remarks at that ceremony.
Finally, we have CIA Director David Petraeus apparently pushing the false video narrative to members of Congress in a closed-door meeting around the same time of September 14. This excellent blog post does an impressive job of building the timeline of the administration’s lies in the days following the attacks. From that post, which quoted this ABC News report:
The attack that killed four Americans in the Libyan consulate began as a spontaneous protest against the film “The Innocence of Muslims,” but Islamic militants who may have links to Al Qaeda used the opportunity to launch an attack, CIA Director David Petreaustold the House Intelligence Committee today according to one lawmaker who attended a closed-door briefing.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intel committee, saidPetraeus laid out “a chronological order exactly what we felt happened, how it happened, and where we’re going in the future.”
“In the Benghazi area, in the beginning we feel that it was spontaneous – the protest- because it went on for two or three hours, which is very relevant because if it was something that was planned, then they could have come and attacked right away,” Ruppersberger, D-Md.,said following the hour-long briefing by Petraeus.“At this point it looks as if there was a spontaneous situation that occurred and that as a result of that, the extreme groups that were probably connected to al Qaeda took advantage of that situation and then the attack started.
(emphasis added by Diana West)
So there you have it. FOUR of the most senior administration officials, including the President himself, seemed to have a concerted messaging campaign ready and loaded as a response for the Benghazi attack. At every step, they blamed a rarely seen YouTube video as the cause of what we now know to be a pre-planned and coordinated terrorist attack on our Consulate in Benghazi. Why this doesn’t interest the media is beyond me, other than to blame their liberal bias and their apparent adulation of President Obama.
Regardless, we must also find answers to these questions: WHY did these senior officials lie time and again as to the cause of the attacks? WHY was Bakoula’s video singled out? WAS this response pre-planned, and to be used as a cover/scapegoat for ANY of the attacks that happened on American assets throughout the world on 9/11/12? I could keep going, but I think we’re good for now.
In closing, I’d like to share a fun Condescending Wonka meme I created as a result of all the lies and misdirection that have so far marked the Benghazi tragedy. For those of you who are familiar with this story and are trying to relate the importance of it to others who may not know what’s going on, just show them this :
Even Condescending Wonka sees that Benghazi is a major story