Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

You really can't be too prepared, ya know:

States Can Promote Growth: Abolish State Income Tax

The census analysis in the Washington Examiner should surprise no economist: Census: Fast growth in states with no income tax.

What we don't know is whether the lack of an income tax is merely promoting internal growth or whether it is attracting, say, California and New York businesses to relocate. Or, probably, both.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Global Warming Myth for 2010

The exceptionally cold winter that Europe is experiencing does not disprove the myth of man-made global warming.  However, there is plenty of other evidence that does.



This illuminating chart is well explained by today's American Thinker articleby Howard Richman & Raymond Richman.

Is the earth on a warming trend? Probably. What is causing it? The sun.

Warming by natural causes. Yet, the Al Gore crowd wants us to spend bank breaking big bucks on entirely ineffective solutions to ward off a non-existent catastrophy.

California 100 Watt Bulb Ban

California (Motto: The Loony Bin State) is starting a year early on its light bulb banning. As of January 1, 2011, the sale of 100 watt light bulbs will be banned.

Never fear. The black market will triumph, as it always does. Expect a new industry in llight bulb smuggling. Or, as Luminus Maximus put it in the America Thinker:
Smuggling bootleg light bulbs into California would be a piece of cake. Just stuff them inside bales of marijuana. Or line up eight packs in the cargo bays of Greyhound buses carrying illegals on the express lane from Tijuana to any of two dozen sanctuary cities. Hey, wave 'em on in, there's nothing to check there! Ten-four!
California has the Pacific Ocean, wonderful climates and a bevy of film stars. What better way to discourage new residents and chase away old ones than by ever higher taxes, nanny-state regulation, and the general sense that the entire state is going down the tubes? California has been helping out the other states for years, by making itself less competitive. This if a form of self-handicapping.

The rest of the states should duly thankful.

Don't you be expecting a bailout, California. The rest of the country has had its fill of bailouts.

A Joe Biden War on Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Poem for Today

Understanding Feminism

Increasing Minority Employment Opportunities

Unemployment among the minority populations continues to be a serious problem. It needs a solution.

Sometimes the best solution to a problem is completely counterintuitive.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Act applies only to employers with 50 or more employees. The Ohio Civil Rights Act applies to all employers. Most employment opportunity is with small employers.

I believe that the biggest impediment to small employers hiring minorities is the Ohio Civil Rights Act. Why? Many small employers believe, not unreasonably, that unsatisfactory minority employees will use the threat of going to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to avoid being fired.

What small employer can afford huge legal fees for a defense if the employee does not work out? Free at-will employment creates jobs. It allows employers to experiment with marginal candidates, because they know that if an employee does not work out, the employee may be freely terminated. Employers are not afraid to hire.

But if you throw penalties for wrongful termination into the mix, employers will be much more selective in hiring. Why take a chance on someone with questionable qualifications? If the employer is faced with a claim of discrimination, even if not meritorious, terminating the minority becomes very expensive. In the employer's mind, why take a chance by hiring a minority in the first place?

We have come a long way since 1964. Yes, there is still racial discrimination based upon purely racial attitudes. I believe, however, that most employers, when given the opportunity, would prefer to give minorities a chance to do well. Under the current system, a small employer does not dare give a job to minority who is not fully qualified. There is nothing unlawful about discriminating against an unqualified candidate. Isn't it better to encourage small employers to give marginally qualified minorities a chance to make good?

The solution: Repeal the Ohio Civil Rights Act.

If may not "feel" right. It is certainly counterintuitive ... until you think it through. Increasing penalties or increasing enforcement would have the opposite effect, discouraging employment.

I believe at-will employment regardless of race is better for minority employment. Yes, it would fail to punish racial discrimination in some cases. However, it would result in greater minority employment overall.

Isn't that really better for all of us?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good News: Government May Shut Down.

This Fox News headline contains news of a great side benefit to defeating the pork-laden tax compromise bill: Government May Shut Down Amid Standoff on Pork-Filled Spending Bill

I don't see what the problem is.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

President Obama: Liar!

While it was rude to interrupt the President's State of the Union Speech last year, the "Liar" label seems awfully appropriate of late:
"When they expire in two years, I will fight to end them," Obama said. "Just as I suspect the Republican Party may fight to end the middle-class tax cuts that I've championed and that they've opposed."
From USA Today.

There is no way he could think that what he was saying is true. There has been no Republican proposal, absolutely none, to oppose middle class tax cuts. Some may call this merely disingenuous or a straw man (technically right), but the claim the Republicans have opposed middle class tax cuts is simply a lie.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stupid Government Tricks: Anti-Money-Laundering Laws

Virginia v. Sebilius Decided

The Virginia District court has decided that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to enact the Obamacare individual mandate.  Read the entire decision here.

Next stop:  Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Daughter Fixes Palin Mom's Hair; Left Wing Cries "Scandal!"

Sarah Palin goes to Haiti and takes her daughter Bristol.  An AP photographer takes a picture of Bristol fixing her Mom's hair, but Bristol's face is obscured.

The left wing media like the Huffington Post screech that there is a scandal.  Sarah Palin has a hairdresser in Haiti.  How could she be so insensitive?  Huh?

Follow the link for the story and pictures.

What sort of blind hatred make the left think that it would be a scandal to have a hairdresser in Haiti, anyway?

Blind hatred is the left's calling card.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Moron of the Day: Richard Wolffe



Richard Wolffe displays his ignorance of the existence of C.S. Lewis's serious Christian works assuming incorrectly that C.S. Lewis was only about children's books. Mr. Wolffe also displays his arrogance about all things Palin. Chris Matthews knows that C.S. Lewis wrote more than children's books and tries to stop Wolffe, but Wolffe's arrogance will not be denied.

Someone needs to send Mr. Wolffe a copy of Mere Christianity or the chilling Screwtape Letters. Not that he would read it. If he can read.

Congratulations to Richard Wolffe, our Moron of the Day.

Cut Spending Now

Free Brian Aiken Update

Follow the link to see an interview with Brian Aiken's lawyer on Pajamas Media TV. Warning: You have to sit through a brief commercial about Andrew Klavan's video commentary work. Mr. Klavan writes excellent thriller novels.

Please consider writing a letter to New Jersey Governor Christie supporting a pardon for Brian to repair this mockery of justice.

Obama-Republican Tax Deal and Hostage Negotiating Examined

I have been quiet about the deal that President Obama struck with the Republicans over the coming tax increases. The President's speech in which he admits, even lauds, his defeat was humorous enough, but my initial reaction was that government works on compromises, so there would be good and bad in the deal.

Below is Jim Demint's reasons for opposing the deal and that really gives me serious pause:First, I do not want to see anyone's taxes go up and I have been fighting for years to permanently extend all the tax rates.
I disagree with the President that we cannot afford to extend these rates for everyone. It's the people's money and we should not raise taxes on hardworking American families.

But this bill does much more than simply extend tax rates.

For starters, it includes approximately $200 billion in new deficit spending and stimulus gimmicks. That's a lot of money that will have to be borrowed from China and repaid by our children and grandchildren. If we're going to increase spending on new programs, we must reduce other spending to pay for it.

The bill also only extends rates for two years. We don't have a temporary economy so we shouldn't have temporary tax rates. Individuals and businesses make decisions looking at the long-term and we're not going to create jobs without giving people certainty as to what their taxes will be in future.

The bill also fails to extend all of the tax rates. It actually increases the death tax from its current rate of zero percent all the way up to 35 percent. One economic study shows that this tax increase alone will kill over 800,000 jobs over the next ten years.

Finally, the bill now includes dozens of earmarks for special interests, including ethanol subsidies, tax breaks for film and television producers, give aways for Puerto Rican rum manufacturers, favors for auto racing track owners, and a hand out for businesses in American Samoa.
I understand compromise, but is this too much to give away?

Finally, some candy. Here it a focus group's reaction to President Obama's hostage taker metaphor:



Remember that "We have to all come together," really means, "Do it my way."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

State v. Thomas, Cuyahoga County

An Ohio common pleas court (trial court) judge has applied strict scrutiny to invalidate an Ohio gun prohibition. The gun prohibition at issue involved an old non-violent drug offense which would have placed the gun owneer under a disabiity from owning or possessing firearms.

The court said that the gun owner had a home and business in a high crime area and has a fundamental constitutional right to keep a firearm for protection.

Read the case here.

Pigford Scandal

What are the national media ignoring the Pigford scandal, that has cost over a billion of your federal dollars?

Here are links to all you need to know about it, including murders linked to the massive federal fraud:

$1.5 Billion, although liability denied.

Justice or Fraud?

Murders to cover up fraud.

Pigford as political payoff here and here.

A USDA employee witness to fraud.

The FBI refuses to document fraudulent claims.

What it takes to make a claim here and here.

According to claims, black officials discriminated against fellow blacks on the basis of race.

Discrimination claimant alleges discrimination by non-existent office ... and gets paid.

Ex-Secretary of USDA trolls for clients to sue USDA for discrimination while he was secretary.

When government gets big and there are pots of money, fraud is the natural result.

Multiplier Effect? What Multiplier Effect?

The late John Maynard Keynes is the darling economist of the left. His theories of optimal government behavior has government growing and spending for prosperity, based in part upon his imaginary "multiplier effect." Mr. Keynes believed that every government dollar spent created even more dynamic spending by being spent again and again. Essentially, Keynes believed that we could spend our way to prosperity.

Yes, that is a dumb as it sounds, but progressives still believe it.

Progressives love it, because it gives them an excuse to expand government ... and boss the rest of us around as a result.

That brings us to the Obama stimulus. And where is that multiplier from the Obama porkulus bill?
The Hoover Institution’s John F. Cogan and John B. Taylor combed through state and federal spending data from the past few years looking for a multiplier effect from the stimulus. Instead, they found that purchasing increased very little at the federal level and not at all at the state level.
From Reason Hit & Run, read it all.

Tax The Rich, Redistribute the Riches, Impoverish Tax Collections

At the American Thinker today, Randall Hoven points out the ultimate flaw in the progressives' class warfare. eliminating the rich is not such a great idea if you want the rich to pay nearly all the taxes and create jobs.
The Great Recession was a great time for class warriors. Incomes for the rich went down quite a bit in a single year (and only the first year of the Great Recession) while those for the middle class stayed about the same.

The result was predictable: much less revenue for the government. Federal income taxes from the middle class ($40,000 to $200,000) went up by $2 billion, but those from the rich (over $200,000) went down by $73 billion. This was not because of tax rate cuts; there weren't any. It was because there were fewer rich households and less income for such households.
Read it all.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

To Err is Human

... but leave it to the government, acting with the best of intentions, to give us mega-screw-ups.



By the way, I have a pet peeve. "Err" is correctly pronounced sounding like "ur." Just in case you were wondering.

Is the EPA Necessary?

by William L. Anderson
Reprinted from The Freeman Online

A repeated myth is that government intervention comes only after private markets have clearly failed and the bureaucracy must step in to stop the abuse. For example, we hear that Congress created the Food and Drug Administration in 1906 because conditions in American meatpacking plants had become progressively dangerous as corporate bosses put “profits ahead of people.”

So it is with the Environmental Protection Agency, created by Congress and President Richard Nixon in 1970. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed [1], EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson painted the same gloomy picture that is given for creation of any federal agency: American life had become too intolerable without it. She writes:

Last month’s elections were not a vote for dirtier air or more pollution in our water. No one was sent to Congress with a mandate to increase health threats to our children or return us to the era before the EPA’s existence when, for example, nearly every meal in America contained elements of pesticides linked to nerve damage, cancer and sometimes death. In Los Angeles, smog-thick air was a daily fact of life, while in New York 21,000 tons of toxic waste awaited discovery beneath the small community of Love Canal. Six months before the EPA’s creation, flames erupted from pollution coating the surface of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, nearly reaching high enough to destroy two rail bridges.

Coverage of the Cuyahoga River fire featured a Time Magazine photo from a 1952 fire on the river with claims it was taken during the June 1969 fire. However, as Stacie Thomas pointed out in this article [2], the real fire was brief, no photos were taken, and damage to the bridges was minimal.

Furthermore, notes law professor Jonathan H. Adler [3], the “pollution-was-progressively-becoming-worse” scenario Jackson paints is not true:
Contrary to common perceptions, many measures of environmental quality were already improving prior to the advent of federal environmental laws. The Environmental Protection Agency’s first national water quality inventory, conducted in 1973, found that there had been substantial improvement in water quality in major waterways during the decade before adoption of the federal Clean Water Act, at least for the pollutants of greatest concern at the time, organic waste and bacteria.
Unfortunately, Jackson is not satisfied with rewriting environmental history. She also commits the venerable broken-window fallacy [4], failing to account for what did not happen because of government intervention. She writes:
We have seen GDP grow by 207% since 1970, and America remains the proud home of storied companies that continue to create opportunities. Instead of cutting productivity, we’ve cut pollution while the number of American cars, buildings and power plants has increased. Alleged “job-killing” regulations have, according to the Commerce Department, sparked a homegrown environmental protection industry that employs more than 1.5 million Americans.
She’s also guilty of the post hoc ergo propter hoc [5] fallacy. Moreover, Jackson confuses jobs with the creation of real wealth. For example, many of the new “green jobs” are created via government subsidies, which means that the government is cannibalizing profitable entities to prop up those firms that are unprofitable. Far from creating wealth, this activity is economically destructive.

One wonders how much economic growth would have taken place had the EPA not existed. Obviously, that is a calculation no one is able to perform, but I suspect that some readers of this site who have had to deal with EPA bureaucrats can tell a few horror tales.

My only contact with the EPA came more than 30 years ago when I was a news reporter covering a story about a fertilizer plant’s discharges into Chickamauga Lake. Although Tennessee state water-quality authorities were willing to work with the firm, given there was no immediate health or aquatic hazards, the EPA was utterly rigid and the plant was shuttered. It was the bureaucratic mind at work.

Jackson wants us to believe that without the EPA we’d all be dead. I doubt that seriously, but I don’t doubt that EPA is a destructive enterprise killer. While Jackson calls for “common-sense solutions,” I submit that common sense tells us to do away with the agency.

Article printed from The Freeman Online: http://www.thefreemanonline.org

URL to article: http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/not-so-fast/is-the-epa-necessary/

URLs in this post:

[1] a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704594804575648673952756954.html
[2] Stacie Thomas pointed out in this article: http://www.perc.org/articles/article364.php
[3] law professor Jonathan H. Adler: http://www.perc.org/articles/article509.php#top
[4] broken-window fallacy: http://www.thefreemanonline.org../featured/what-is-seen-and-what-is-not-seen-2/
[5] post hoc ergo propter hoc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

How to Solve the Deficit

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Eternal Vigilance Needed

One of the greatest things about America is our right to free speech under the First amendment.  No other country in the world has those rights so legally embedded in the founding document and has a culture that actually believes in that right.  Nevertheless, we have purported leaders (I mean, actually, boneheads) who constantly attack that right to undermine it.

Other countries claim to have free speech, but really do not.  Speech is not free, if there is no right to insult without government punishment.  "Hate speech" bans are antithetical to free speech.  There is no right not toe be offended.

Here is the latest batch of free speech attacks:

1.  Al Sharpton, the never punished, never apologetic, fraudmeister of the Tawana Bradley scandal is pushing for the FCC to take the likes of Rush Limbaugh off the air.  Video below.

2.  Commissioner Copps of the FCC, following Evil Al's lead is seeking to expand regulation of the public radio bands to, among other things, assure that this theoretical public resource, radio bandwidth, is being used "in the public interest" to promote adequate diversity.

The Tea Party wave of 2010 has made them nervous.  It is not enough that "progressive" thought already dominates the broadcast news media.  They want to use the power of force to stop contrary ideas from being expressed on talk radio ... or anywhere else.  Rest assured, that if they can push acceptance of their quashing of free speech on the airwaves, cable and satellite media will soon follow.

Make no mistake.  These people are not merely misguided.  They are truly evil and un-American.  They should be driven form public office and public view, as the case may be.

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii


69 years ago today.  Never forget that a surprise attack could happen again.

Obamanomics and Failure

Economist John R. Lott is another voice crying in the D.C. wilderness, where demagoguery has more value than truth, especially when it comes to economics. From his latest, beginning with the Democrats touting of the discredited Keynesian "multiplier effect" claim about government spending:
The problem with this multiplier claim is pretty simple. First, the money has to come from some place.

Second, everyone spends their money one way or another. This claim of some people "spending" their money while others are "saving" it really assumes that saving is the equivalent of burying one's money in a hole in the backyard. In reality, if you don't spend your money, you are putting it in the bank or you are putting it in stocks or bonds, which means you are giving it to someone else to spend.
Mr. Lots concludes the article as follows:
Increased marginal tax rates will clearly be bad for the economy. But President Obama just can't let go of the old Keynesian arguments that have failed so spectacularly over the last two years.
Not to mention the Keynesian policies' failure to end (and instead they prolonged) the Great Depression of the 1930's.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/12/07/does-president-obama-understand-economics/#ixzz17RJYW8Da

Why Progressives Love Big Government

Why do progressive love big government? So they can push the government to change things like Bristol Palin's success on Dancing With the Stars. According to The Smoking Gun, Bristol Palin's success on DWTS prompted FCC complaint that the show was fixed.

That's right. People actually wrote letters to the Federal Communications Commission demanding redress!

Let's examine this. The economy continues in the tank, with official 9.8 unemployment numbers (and much higher among minorities). The federal government is running record deficits, but the Obama administration appears poised to ignore the recommendations of its own budget commission. WikiLeaks exposed secrets with the potential to threaten world stability.

What do people write their government about? Bristol Palin's dancing.

Unbelievable.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Shieffer Adopts Democratic Party Talking Points Falsehood



Memo to Bob Shieffer: Calling the extensions of tax rates a "tax cut" as you did is not simply dissembling. It is a lie. It is a Democratic Party talking point lie at that.

Political Theater Aimed At Chris Christie

Every reasonable person should be disgusted by the behavior of the Obama administration in its cheap attacks on Chris Christies, one governor who publicly fights the waste of taxpayer money. An Ed Lasky article in the American Thinker exposes the latest:
The latest attack? The U.S. Department of Transportation (headed by Obama's political ally from Illinois, Ray Lahood) now wants to make New Jersey repay $271 million in federal funds already spent on a proposed Hudson River tunnel that Christie scrapped because of spiraling and never-ending cost overruns. The feds want the money now and will start charging "vig" soon.
In other words, if New Jersey is not willing to waste more taxpayer money on cost overruns, the Federal government wants the previous wasted money back. Waste more, or else!

And there is more:
This federal overreach is not the first orchestrated by the Obama team against Christie. A few weeks ago, the Department of Justice (so lax and incompetent in the New Black Panther Party voter rights case and terrorism trials) focused its ire on Christie when it created a pseudo-scandal regarding Christie's spending of taxpayer money when he served as a federal prosecutor.
The article linked above goes on to explain how the slimeball tactics of today are a mere continuation of Mr. Obama's slimeball tactics from Chicago elections.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

WikiLeaks Flap

Last week was a tough week for me and the next will be also, at least as far as keeping up with the blog. I apologize in advance for slow entries.

I have been thinking about the whole Wikileaks mess. Here is the way I see it.

Julian Assange is a scumbag. But he is not an American scumbag. We have no right to stop the flow of information by old media or new media journalists. However, a man of honor would not publish information he knows to be sensitive to eh security of his country or its allies. A man of honor would not publish material he knows or reasonably believes to be stolen.

It is hyperbole to call Assange a terrorist. He is a scumbag pure and simple, but not a terrorist. I take no position on the validity of the rape charges pending in Sweden. How could I have any opinion on that? I don't know the facts.

The bigger culprit in my mind the the person who leaked the information to WikiLeaks. I understand he was a military guy. Big punishment should await him.

The focus on Assange is misplaced.

Democrat Promises ... Broken Of Course

In October, I ran the Virginia Governor and US Senate candidate Joe Manchin campaign commercial in which he ran as a conservative, even shooting a rifle at the cap and tax bill. He made seriously rational campaign promises like the following:
To Fox in September, Manchin said, "Whatever side you might be on, whether I think you're too rich, or you think someone's too poor, whatever it may be... and you think well you can afford it but you can't, the bottom line is, until you can run the government as efficiently and as effectively, and you start paying attention to the debt that this nation is carrying and you're passing on - until you really get serious about that - I wouldn't (raise taxes)."
He got elected. Now guess what he voted for last week. You guessed it, he voted in favor of the Senate bill to raise taxes "on the rich" (over $1 million per year) who create jobs. And buy expensive stuff and services made and sold by everyone else.

Source: Fox News. In fairness, Sen Manchin joined Republicans on defeating the House-passed bill to raise taxes on everyone making over $250,000 per year.

Moral of the Story: Never trust what a Democrat says to get elected. That moral extends to Republicans as well.

All those promises of fiscal conservatism in the 2010 campaigns. We must watch them closely. All the time.

Chris Christie Speaks

Chris Christie porn? OK, it is not really porn. It simply feels so good to hear Chris Christie tell it like it really is. No one says it quote the same way.

Miracles for Today

I bought the DVD of this a couple of years ago. It is wonderful proof that the miracles of God did not stop in biblical times. Take an hour and a hlaf and enjoy, be uplifted, and worship Him:

Part 1:


Links for You tube for the remaining parts:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Parallels in History? You Decide.

The author of the piece below the videos (parts 1 to 3) tells it herself: (much of it, but not all, a repeat of the narrative). Either watch the videos or read the narrative below them.








By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide - 98% of the vote.. I've never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria .. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage

Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home:
In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.


Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:
When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.


"Mercy Killing" Redefined:
In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.


The Final Steps - Gun Laws:
Next came gun registration.. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.


No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria .. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.

Opposition to Voter ID is Racist?

I read a recent Mother Jones article (don't ask why) that noted that voter ID laws have a negligible effect on elections.  OK so far.  T...