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Tag Archives: Dennis Prager

What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 1/4

Since I’m a member of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), I receive the “Retired Educator,” a quarterly newsletter.  The topic of this series of posts was motivated by the 2012 Winter edition.

To earn my monthly CalSTRS check, I first had to work thirty years as a classroom teacher in California’s public schools while 8% of my monthly paychecks went into CalSTRS to help fund that retirement system, which proves that it is not an unearned entitlement as some might want the nation to believe.

In fact, according to the 2011 Summary Report in the newsletter, contributions from members, the State of California and the federal government, which is why we cannot collect Social Security, was almost $6 billion in 2011. About half came from working members.

In addition, I do not earn an annual six-figure income through CalSTRS. In fact, when I left teaching in 2005, I took a 40% pay cut, as most teachers do, and lost my medical plan, because I could not afford the cost of COBRA, which was more than $1,000 a month.  Add another 14 years working outside education, and the total number of years I worked for a pay check was forty-five.

I discovered from that “Retired Educator” newsletter that CalSTRS lost $53.95 billion between 2007 – 2009 while President G. W. Bush still lived in the White House, but earned back $36.92 billion (2009 – 2011) with President Obama.  Note: CalSTRS did not receive bail out money from the federal government. That money mostly went to big private sector banks—not retirement programs such as CalSTRS.  If you want to know where the money went and how much, CNN.com shows you.

I’ve read that total losses globally were in the trillions. One financial Website set the total at more than $60 trillion US dollars. In China, alone, about 20 million people lost manufacturing jobs leading to labor unrest in 2008 and 2009. In the US, that number of job losses was about nine million.

Even though the CalSTRS newsletter didn’t say so, I learned that the wealthy do not create most jobs as Republicans claim—the working class creates most jobs by spending what little they earn, while the wealthy hoard most of their money in safer investments than those needed to create jobs as you shall learn from this series of posts.

However, I have an old friend that keeps telling me we cannot raise taxes on the wealthy one percent and/or the top twenty percent (those earning $55,000 or more annually—6.24% earn more than $100,000), because it will stop job growth.  He also happens to be a neoconservative-libertarian, evangelical Christian.  He despises liberal and progressive politics and policies.  He has said more than once that he believes G. W. Bush may have been America’s greatest president, and if anything bad happens in America, it is the fault of those evil liberal-progressive Democrats.

It doesn’t matter what the facts reveal. Anything that does not match his opinions/beliefs are liberal lies. He also listens faithfully to the conservative  Dennis Prager radio talk show and belongs to and attends Dennis Prager Fan Club meetings.

Conservative talk radio in the United States is a phenomenon that got its start in the 1980s when the Fairness Doctrine was allowed to expire under President Reagan (he vetoed it after both Houses of Congress voted it into law). This veto then allowed broadcasters to present a political opinion or point of view or pundit (mostly lies, exaggerations and misinformation) without being required to allow equal time for alternative views or rebuttals. The ideology that benefited the most from the loss of the Fairness Doctrine was conservative talk radio shows such as Dennis Prager’s.  See Prager’s Parrots to learn more.

My old friend and Prager fan has also said that he wouldn’t mind if Social Security were repealed as long as the government refunded him the money he paid into the system—and this comes from a guy that lost a half million dollars in the stock market after saving that money in tax sheltered retirement accounts. Later, he had to do battle with the IRS for years because they came for their share of that tax-sheltered money that he borrowed from his tax shelter and gambled away.

No matter what this old friend believes and preaches as if it were one of the Gospels, I’ve learned that what put America on the road to ruin causing the 2007-2011 global financial crises has more to do with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 (this was the final nail in the coffin), which deregulated banking, insurance, securities, and the financial services industry, allowing financial institutions to “grow very big”.

The repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking, which issued securities, and commercial banks, which made money through deposits.

The deregulation also removed conflict-of-interest rules that had prevented investment bankers from serving as officers of commercial banks.

It was the repeal of these prohibitions that was later claimed by many to have contributed to the 2007 global financial crises by allowing depositors’ money to flow into risky investments, and according to the Huffington Post, in the first 15 months after the start of the 2007 global financial crises, American Retirement Accounts Lost $2 Trillion and the federal government did nothing to slow the tide of those losses as they bailed out banks and the auto industry.  By the middle of 2009, those losses may have climbed as high as $4 trillion, which is much more than the $54 billion CalSTRS lost.

Continued on February 29, 2012 in What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

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The US Federal Government — How BIG is “big”? – Part 4/4

Are you still thinking of that $548 billion that goes to the Department of Defense (DOD) with its 652,000 non-military employees paid from federal funds that come from taxes (that’s 32.6% of the Federal Government workforce), while the Department of Education (DOE) has only two-tenths [2/10] of one percent of the federal work force.

One thing we can bet on for sure, we will seldom hear complaints or these facts from a conservative source such as the Tea Party or conservative talk radio hosts such as Dennis Prager.

One example would be what Dennis Prager wrote at Townhall.com in “The Welfare State and the Selfish Society”.

In Prager’s essay, nowhere does he mention the number of people in the federal government that work for the DOD, the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Justice that combined add up to almost half of the federal work force and the largest combined slice of the federal budget pie dwarfing any so-called entitlement programs that help America’s most needy citizens to survive and thrive.


Entitlement Epidemic, Spoiled Rotten, People and Government

It appears that supporting wars, prisons and death is more important to conservatives such as Dennis Prager than offering help to Americans that need it to survive and live another day without hunger or shelter.

In fact, are minimum-wage jobs without health care benefits enough to survive on?

Poverty is defined as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday September 13, 2011, the nation’s poverty rate rose to 15.1% in 2010, up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6 million) in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993.

Entitlement programs that people such as Prager complain about mostly help the unemployed and those living in poverty but do not offer to support these Americans without any effort from the individual who needs help.

In many cases, those people may be working low-paying jobs such as companies like Wal-Mart or fast-food outlets offer. In fact, many fast-food outlets works its people twenty or less hours a week to avoid funding federal entitlement programs such as money used for unemployment benefits.

In other words, in a purely capitalist society without any social programs or safety net (what conservatives have tagged as selfish entitlement programs), if you cannot pay your own way, starve and die but do it out of sight and don’t bother us.

Return to The US Federal Government – How BIG is “big”? – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

 
 

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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 4/4

“Born out of the Church Growth movement,” Je Gibson says, “the self-esteem movement in the church has been said to be part of an effort to bring more people back to church; the gospel being compromised in an effort to preach to people’s felt needs and to be a positive and relevant force in people’s lives.”

By 1990, the influence of Schuller surely outshines any impact that California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos had on the self-esteem movement when his Task Force report sold 60,000 copies making it a state government bestseller.

Let us not forget that Schuller preached to over 25 million worldwide. So, who had the larger audience and thus more influence?

The results of Pastor Robert Schuller’s influence on the already century old self-esteem movement may be discovered in Self-Esteem: Why? Why Not? from Catholic Culture.org.

In 2011, Msgr. Cormac Burke, writing for Catholic Cutlure.org, said, “Self-esteem or self-worth ideas of a thoroughly secularist nature inspire educational texts in widespread use for Catholic religious instruction in not a few countries. I had the occasion some time ago to go through the books used in one country as a common syllabus for all Christians (including Catholics) for primary religious education. The Grade One book (for six-year-olds) opens not with God but with “Myself.” A tone of unqualified self-acceptance is already set in the same book: “God is happy with us”; “Thank you Lord for making me just as I am.”

Burke writes that one section heading was “Working for God: Developing Self-esteem in Ourselves and Others”.

In conclusion, it is easy to see that conservative talk show host Dennis Prager’s claim and biased opinion that the self-esteem movement started with California Democratic Assemblyman John Vasconcellos in 1986 is a fraud, since the movement had its start in 1886 — more than a century before Vasconcellos and his California Task Force issued the report on self-esteem and eight years after Pastor Robert Schuller promoted “IT” in Self Esteem: The New Reformation.

The history of the self-esteem movement spans 125 years and Vasconcellos joined the movement 104 years after its launch at the top of that mountain. By the time he entered the self-esteem arena, the movement had already gained momentum and there was no way to stop it.

In fact, Vasconcellos may have been influenced by Pastor Robert Schuller, as it is obvious millions of others were.

Vasconcellos, at best, was just another misguided individual that joined the self-esteem mob and influenced the thinking of maybe a few thousand people.

Dennis Prager and his Parrots (used as a metaphor for his fans) may believe what they want, but the facts tell a different reality. Prager is either a fraud or ignorant of the history behind the self-esteem movement, and he is misleading millions—again.

Return to The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3/4

For Dennis Prager and his Parrots to discover the beginning of the self-esteem movement, they would have to travel back to the later nineteenth century when John Dewey discussed the importance of the self in his 1886 work, Psychology.

However, Prager’s Parrots would also learn that William James first used the term “self-esteem” with an explicit scientific definition in 1892.

A key task in socializing children, in James’s view, involved helping them gain the capacity to develop “self”.

The popularization of psychology and the growing notion that children often needed expert help brought concerns about self-esteem to greater attention during the 1920s and 1930s, and during the 1950s and 1960s the connection between self-esteem and supportive school program was fully forged.

Then in 1967, Stanley Coopersmith identified what he believed was a link between self-esteem and frailty, noting the “indications that in children domination, rejection, and severe punishment result in lowered self-esteem.”  Source: Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society on Self-Esteem

In addition, years before Vasconcellos chaired the Self-Esteem Task Force in California, there was Pastor Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral.

In 1982, Schuller published his 177-page hardcover Self Esteem: The New Reformation (four years before the California Task Force and eight years before Vasconcellos report was released).

From 1995 to 2000, Schuller also hosted a one-hour live coast-to-coast radio show, which gained popularity, and from 1976 to 2008, he was seen regularly on the Hour of Power and from 2006 through 2008 the Hour of Power had over 25 million viewers worldwide making it the number one watched religious show and him the most listened to orator in the world.”

The Impact of Church Growth on Self Esteem Movement by Je Gibson says, “Pastor Robert Schuller, founder of Crystal Cathedral, is often given credit as the pioneer of what has commonly been referred to as the Church Growth Movement.”

Continued on October 19, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 2/4

If you read Dennis Prager’s often biased, one-sided essays or listen to his radio show, you will discover that Democrats are elite, leftist, liberal, progressive individuals that often get hysterical and emotional about their beliefs, and fear death more than conservatives do.

By the way, John Vasconcellos was born in 1932 and served in the California State Legislature representing Silicon Valley—and yes, he is an advocate of the self-esteem movement, but he is not responsible for starting the movement in 1986.

Vasconcellos served in the California State Assembly from 1966 to 1996 and as a state senator from 1996 to 2004 (when he retired).

In 1986, Vasconcellos created the California Task Force to Promote Self Esteem and in January 1990 issued “Toward a State of Esteem”, which sold 60,000 copies becoming a best seller in California State government publishing history and California was not alone in this political movement. Washington and Maryland had self-esteem legislation being considered too.


John Rosemond does not like the Self Esteem Movement – This video is highly recommended!

The California Task Force had 25 members and not all agreed with the final report. Task-force member David Shannahoff-Khalsa of Del Mar, a yoga teacher and researcher in neuroscience, denied that self-esteem could simply be given to anyone, and due to disagreements between the task force members, no generally accepted definition of self-esteem emerged.

Vasconcellos authored AB3659, which “According to this legislation, self-esteem was the key to problems such as violence, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, welfare dependency, teenage pregnancy, academic failure, recidivism, child and spousal abuse, and the failure of responsible citizenship. Making California “a state of esteem” would solve all that, and more.”  Source: Cal Watchdog.com

However, nothing ever came of the self-esteem legislation, so what was the real reason for all of this interest by Dennis Prager?

Continued on October 18, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 1/4

Now, I am no fan of the self-esteem parenting movement in America. If you read this Blog on a regular basis, you would know that I feel strongly that “IT” is the main culprit for the state of our public schools.

All one need do is read The Self-Esteem Train Wreck,  Recognizing Good Parenting,  Graffiti Nation,  Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap,  What, Me Worry about Debt – I’ve got Self-Esteem on my side, and The Finland-Singapore Solution to Public Education in the US to discover my opinion on this issue.

However, if you were standing at the base of a snow-covered mountain in a growing blizzard and a snowball was rolling downhill toward you collecting snow, growing in mass and speed and you cheered and waved it on encouraging it to grow stronger and move faster, would you be responsible for the forces that started that snowball rolling from the top of that mountain more than a hundred years earlier?

I don’t think so, but this is exactly what conservative talk-show host Dennis Prager has done with the self-esteem movement. He has blamed “IT” all on former California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos.

While I agree with Prager in principal that the self-esteem movement is a travesty to our American culture, I cannot condone Prager turning this cultural cancer into a political issue by blaming a so-called leftist, liberal, progressive Democrat for something that he did not start.

Without telling his adoring fans (Prager’s Parrots) the history of the movement, in November 2010, Dennis wrote, “The movement was begun (he is talking about the self-esteem movement) by California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos. As The New York Times reported, “Mr. Vasconcellos, a 53-year-old Democrat, is described by an aide as ‘the most radical humanist in the Legislature.'”

In an interview at the time (1986), Vasconcellos told Prager he had personally benefited from therapy. It enabled him to improve the poor self-esteem he had inherited from his childhood. He therefore concluded that improving other people’s self-esteem would greatly help society.

And this was all it took for Prager to claim the self-esteem movement in America started with John Vasconcellos, whose only crime was being a Democrat as you will discover.

Continued on October 17, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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