Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Decision Time

November 2, 2010

Today is the day.  Election day.  Finally.  If you have not already voted early, today is the day for you to do so.  To vote.  It is a rare and wonderful right that we possess as citizens of a magnificent and exceptional country.  But in this election it is especially so.  Certainly each individual candidate has his or her own distinctive strengths and weaknesses, his or her own policies they seek to support or oppose.  And while those considerations should be given their due weight, try to put those aside for a moment and think about something much larger.  No matter the personal peculiarities of the contestants, and their specific policy views, the decisions we make about those whom we choose to send to Washington will have far-reaching consequences for the greater future of this country, and for your own future as well.   For this is a time to decide what kind of nation we want America to be. 

The Democrats, and their leader President Obama, have made the choice a very clear one from the start.  They believe that a large and expanding central government offers the best solutions to the problems we face as a nation.  Obama, himself, has repeatedly said that government—and only government—can adequately address the challenges we have before us.  On the other hand most Republicans—at least those who are truly conservative—see things the other way.  That individuals, living and acting for themselves and interacting with one another through free exchange, are best able to make their own decisions about their own lives.  Indeed, government, they argue, has proven itself capable of only getting in the way; and the larger and more intrusive government becomes, the more it gets in the way, or worse.  It is an age-old struggle: the freedom of the individual against the ever-encroaching power of the government. 

The “Progressive” ideology advanced by Obama, and his followers in Congress, maintains that America must always be moving forward—changing, transforming, progressing ever-closer toward becoming something, and that the power and machinery of government are to be fully utilized in that endeavor.   But becoming what?  Becoming what they see as their idea of the ultimate society.  It is a grand vision they have.  One in which the individual, and the choices allowed to the individual about his employment, his compensation, his finances, his health, where he lives, how he moves about, what he eats, what he drinks, the air he breathes, and even the very speech he utters, are all in one way or another, monitored, measured, influenced, controlled or compelled by government.  It is a vision of a nation and society where everyone pulls together in a common purpose and towards a common goal, a goal that is predetermined by government, or specifically by a small elite within government. 

And this goes to the prime difference between the ideology of Liberal-Progressivism, as embraced by the Democrats, and the conservative philosophy of Republicans and the Tea Party groups that are having such an influential role within the Republican Party and in this election.  And that difference is this: Progressives start with a vision—their vision—of what society should be and they seek, through government, to compel individuals to comply with that which is needed to bring about that utopian vision.  Conservatives, on the other hand, start with an understanding of individual human nature—its strengths and its weaknesses, its aspirations and its limitations—and upon that foundational understanding, they craft the rules upon which to build a successful government and society.

The Progressive belief in a common, top-driven, overriding principle of society has been tried before, in many nations and at many times throughout human history.  It has come forward in many guises, under many banners, called many different names, but it is always the same and it has always failed.  Indeed, it has done much worse than fail, it has destroyed; destroyed economies, destroyed societies, destroyed cultures, destroyed families and destroyed lives. 

History has shown us that great civilizations will rise and they will fall.  But to the extent that they have succeeded, it has always been because they have stayed true to their founding principles.  If they have failed, it is because they have strayed from them.  If our founding fathers were alive today, being the men they were, as champions of a limited, judicious and ethical government, knowledgeable as they were about human nature and the tragedies of human history, how do you think they would vote in this election?  How would they decide the question: what kind of nation do we want to be?

Related Posts:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/to-be-american/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/coming-undone/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/why-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-a-right-to-healthcare/

 

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To Be American

July 4, 2010

I. What is it to be American?

What is it to be an American?  Is it to live at certain points on a map?  Is it to have the right to vote?  Is it to have the right to free speech?  Is it to have the strongest military?  Is it capitalism?  Is it George Washington?  Norman Rockwell?  William Faulkner?  Aaron Copland?  John Wayne?  Baseball?  Apple pie?  All of the above?  None of the above?  Or is it something much more?

II. America is an Idea

America is really an idea: an idea of liberty, or freedom.  It is an idea that recognizes man is born with certain rights which are inseparable from him.  It is an idea of a new nation.  A nation based on a form of government by the consent of the governed, founded on certain principles, and granted certain powers organized in such a way as to best secure those rights and liberties for the people it governs.  This idea of a new American nation is set out in two separate but interconnected documents: The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  The Constitution flows from and is a natural outgrowth of the principles of the Declaration. 

III. The Vision of the Founders

The men who created and shaped these two documents, America’s founding fathers, were men of great vision but also men of practical common sense.  They truly believed they were putting forth self-evident truths, but they knew full well the radical departure they were taking from what must have seemed, at the time, the destined march of human history.  So when Thomas Jefferson put ink-dipped quill to paper, the Declaration of Independence, he knew, would be a fundamental rejection of all other forms of government extant at that time.  Most especially, the Founders of the new American nation were intent on differentiating and separating themselves (or dissolving all political bands) from the country that was their progenitor turned antagonist: Great Britain.

In taking this upon themselves, the Founders relied on the protection of Divine Providence and pledged to one another their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.  If they failed, they knew that their lives would be over, and that no future history would remember them for long.  Indeed, they and their cause would be a mere footnote to history: rebels who dared challenge the might of the British Empire and who were justly crushed by it.  But they did not fail.  Miraculously, they succeeded in their cause.  They prevailed, even though at times all seemed lost. 

The Founders knew, however, that it would not be enough to merely win.  They knew that if they were victorious over the British they could not simply substitute one kind of tyranny for another: one despotic ruler for another despotic ruler.  No, the form of government which they would need to create and put in place would have to be something quite different from the European model of a supreme centralized state authority as embodied in the personage of a king.  Indeed, so worried were they about this, that the first form of government they ratified, the Articles of Confederation, was hardly a government at all.  It was so removed from any central form of government that it resulted in near anarchy and was an utter failure.  So they tried again.  And this time they got the balance right.

The Founders envisioned and created a new and unique form of government.  They foresaw that if they put in place only that government which was absolutely necessary, such conditions would allow the maximum amount of liberty for the people.  They knew government could never deliver happiness to people and, if it ever tried, it would only create the opposite result.  Rather, they understood that if people were merely allowed to pursue their own happiness, that they would, and that in their own way they would find it.

They also foresaw that power in such a system of government would need to be diffuse.  They understood all too well that men were not to be trusted with power: that they were easily corrupted by it.  Hence, the form of government they would establish would have power so balanced and so spread throughout its various layers that no one individual or group of individuals could credibly accumulate and concentrate power and so pervert the system into tyranny. 

And so, the formulation of a system of government was created based on certain guaranteed liberties and certain checks and balances on power.  It was to be one that would be a bulwark against those unscrupulous individuals who crave power and would seek to use power to subvert liberty.

IV. American Exceptionalism

Alexis de Tocqueville

So unique was this new system of American government that people began to talk about it, and the concept of “American Exceptionalism” arose.  American Exceptionalism is something I have touched on several times before in these writings.  It is a philosophy that can be traced back to Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian who in the 1830s travelled throughout the young American nation and was quite impressed by what he saw.  And no wonder. Coming from Europe where despotism was still entrenched, American democracy was a refreshing and remarkable experiment.  So inspired was he that he wrote about it.  His treatise, Democracy in America, is a major work on the early American nation, its government and society.  In it, he depicted America as having established a form of government that created a remarkable balance between individual liberty and the needs of the community.  In this, he saw the young American nation as truly unique in the world.  Indeed, it was exceptional.

V.  Abraham Lincoln and American Liberty

Abraham Lincoln also knew that America was a unique and exceptional nation.  Delivered in the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is a kind of testament and prayer in recognition of America’s unique position in the world.  At the time, the fate of this nation “conceived in liberty” must have seemed very much in doubt, and Lincoln obviously feared that this, the only beacon of liberty on earth, could very well be snuffed out.  On this July 4th, it is worth remembering his stirring and enduring words:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate…we can not consecrate…we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. –Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863.

The nation survived that ordeal, but both Lincoln, and the Founders before him, knew that this unique concept, this idea of liberty embodied in a nation, would be tested throughout its existence, as it had been during the Civil War.  And they knew it would be tested from without and from within.  The year following his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln made the following statement on liberty:

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny.  –Abraham Lincoln, 1864

VI. Liberty and Tyranny Today

Lincoln’s quote on liberty and tyranny seems most prescient.  For in America today there are those who would call a thing liberty when it is really tyranny.  They are Americans who would do with other Americans and the product of other Americans’ labors as they please and all the while call that liberty.  Or compassion.  Or spreading the wealth.  Or social justice.  Or socialism.  But by whatever words they may call it, it has but one name: tyranny.

They are the ones Lincoln and the Founders forewarned us against.  They are the ones who would test liberty again and again and, if they could, take America away from what it was and remake her into something else.  They would use the power of the government as a tool to compel Americans to do what they think Americans should be doing with their lives.  They would use the power of government to compel Americans to embrace certain things and give up other things; to compel Americans to obey certain rules but dispense with other rules.  And they would call these actions the granting of “rights” and they would do so operating under the banner of liberty.  They would change, if they succeed, the very idea of America.  

And they are succeeding.  They are doing these things right now, and they are doing them from within.  There are leaders in America today who think it is government’s role and function to change people’s inclinations: to get them to do what they think they should do.  They seek to enact laws that purport to make certain groups or classes of people healthier and happier; or laws that are intended to make things more affordable, or safer, or cleaner, or easier, or more efficient; or laws designed to advance a particular cause or industry or private—but politically connected—entity within an industry.  In essence doling out happiness, to some.  And all at the expense of other people.  This stands diametrically against everything the Founders envisioned for this country.  And it is an anathema to the very idea of America.  Charity and compassion when compelled by governments, are neither charity nor compassion.  They are hoped-for handouts, that in turn become expected welfare, and that in turn become entitlements.

Most Americans today don’t think or probably even care much about all this stuff.  For them, it is just a bunch of politicians bickering, as usual.  But make no mistake: there is a war going on right now and right here in America.  Not a war fought with guns and bullets (at least not yet) but with ideas.  And the victor will determine the kind of nation we will be.  On the one side are those who believe the Founders got it right from the beginning.  That their formulation is one that works better than any other system ever has or ever could.  On the other side are those who think that the Founders’ views, while perhaps historically interesting, are to be seen as quaint and misguided, and in these modern times, certainly outdated.  They see the Founders as just a bunch of decrepit old white men who dressed funny and wore funny wigs and who just “wouldn’t get” what America is all about today.  They see America as having run its course, as being on the wrong side of history, as needing to be more like modern Europe or other nations of the world.  They see America as a country in desperate need of change, or even “fundamental transformation.”  There is no single idea or viewpoint that could be more wrong or more dangerous to this country’s existence than this one, for it takes aim at the very heart of what we are.

VII. Conclusion

What makes us exceptional, unique and unlike the other nations of the world, both past and present, is an idea.  An idea of liberty that binds us together as Americans.  We, as a nation, took a divergent path off of the historical road towards strong centralized government.  Yet, there are those who would have us return to that road and become more like other nations.  If we do, we will move further away from what we are meant to be: further away from what it means to be American.

The Founders bequeathed to us and made us stewards of a simple and elegant formula.  A way for a self-governing and self-reliant people to pursue happiness on earth.  For the Founders, it was their vision, their dream.  And to be American today is to have the great privilege to actually live this beautiful dream as a reality.  Now, why on earth would we ever want to change that?

Related posts on this topic:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/coming-undone/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/america-r-i-p/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/why-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-a-right-to-healthcare/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/the-arrogance-of-hope-change-%e2%80%a6-or-else/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/glenn-beck%e2%80%99s-cpac-speech-tiger-woods-and-toilet-bowls-a-blackboard-and-brilliance/

TRAITORS ALL!

May 27, 2010

se·di·tion (n.)

1. Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.  2. Insurrection; rebellion.

There’s been a lot of throwing around of the word “sedition” by liberals these days.   (Funny how they never brought that word up during the Bush Presidency.)  Anyway, a few weeks ago, Time Magazine columnist and all-around Obama butt-boy, Joe Klein, said that comments made by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck criticizing Obama come “close to being seditious.”1  And now just this week, uber-liberal Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that Republican opposition to the Obama agenda is “almost at the level of sedition.”2  

Of course, neither of these left-wing geniuses cited any examples to back up their assertions.  But that’s okay.  If they want to talk about sedition, let’s talk about sedition. 

The definition of sedition (above) entails language or conduct that either incites rebellion or is tantamount to rebellion against a state.  Well, what about the spectacle that took place on the floor of the U.S. Congress last week?  I’d say that just about qualifies.  There you had the leader of a foreign country, “El Presidente” Felipe Calderon of Mexico, appear as an invited guest of the Democrats in Congress, and bash the State of Arizona’s new immigration law.  Speaking from the podium, Calderon had this to say:

“I strongly disagree with the recently adopted law in Arizona.  It is a law that … ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree, [and] introduces a terrible idea using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement.”3

Now, while this comment may have been ugly, tactless, undiplomatic and even insulting to most Americans — not to mention a display of complete ignorance of the law in question (Hey, maybe this guy should go to work for the Obama administration!), — none of what El Presidente had to say has anything to do with sedition.  Calderon is a foreign leader and, while he may be an indelicate third-world clown, he is allowed to say just about whatever he wants.  More the fools we as a country are for inviting him to say it in the House of Representatives during a joint session of Congress. 4

No, the sedition occurred immediately following Calderon’s remark: when every single Congressional Democrat, together with key Obama administration officials including the Vice-President, gave this obnoxious foreigner a standing ovation.  The sedition occurred when Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), acting in her capacity as Speaker of the House, chose an ovation to the leader of a foreign power over the duly enacted law of a sister state.  The sedition occurred when Eric Holder, acting in his capacity as Attorney General, chose an ovation to the leader of a foreign power over the duly enacted law of a sister state.  The sedition occurred when Janet Napolitano, acting in her capacity as Secretary of Homeland Security, chose an ovation to the leader of a foreign power over the duly enacted law of a sister state.  The sedition occurred when Senator John Kerry (D-MA), acting in his capacity as an elected representative of the State of Massachusetts, chose an ovation to the leader of a foreign power over the duly enacted law of a sister state.  The sedition occurred when Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), acting in her capacity as an elected representative of the State of California, chose an ovation to the leader of a foreign power over the duly enacted law of a sister state.  The sedition occurred when Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), acting in his capacity as an elected representative of the State of New Jersey, chose an ovation to the leader of a foreign power over the duly enacted law of a sister state.

After Calderon made his offensive utterances, these legislators and these White House officials — supposed representatives of the American people — had a choice, and they chose to conduct themselves in the vile, seditious manner in which they did.  They chose the facile expediency of political correctness over fealty to their own country.  They chose the distorted, ill-informed, self-serving policy pronouncement of a corrupt foreign power over the duly enacted law of a State of the Republic.  In short, they publicly and flagrantly betrayed the State of Arizona and, in so doing, betrayed us all. 

What’s more, the sedition occurred (and continues to occur) when John Morton, the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the man supposedly charged with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws — says he’s not necessarily going to enforce the law insofar as it pertains to Arizona.  Uh-huh.  Why?  Well, because he says he doesn’t think it’s all that great of a law.  “I don’t think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution,” he said. 5  Who the hell cares what you think you elitist asshole!  Who says you get to pick and choose which laws to enforce?!  Do your job and enforce the law! 

And so… [composure regained] these are all rank traitors.  So brazen are they in their treason that they are effectively pledging allegiance to a foreign sovereign state and a foreign flag: the Mexican flag.  They are doing so in their capacity as duly elected officials and government employees.  They are doing so on government soil and during a high-profile exercise of their solemn duty and sacred oath to represent the citizens of these United States, not the corrupt interests of a foreign sovereign.  They have betrayed that duty and that oath.  And they have betrayed the trust of the American people. 

It is one thing to use speech (language) to criticize a particular leader and his policies.  That is what Palin, Beck and many others including your humble writer here do.  That is political debate and political discourse and is at the essence of a free and open society.  However, it is quite another thing to attack the society itself and the very laws that undergird it; that is what these Democrat politicians are doing and that is sedition.  Simply, they are traitors all! 6

Now in the good old days, traitors were hanged, drawn, and quartered. Sadly that’s no longer the practice and as long as these thugs remain in power they will escape any punishment.  Elections have consequences, don’t cha know!  However in November, you the American voter can have your own little treason trial: where you get to be judge, jury, and hangman right there in the voting booth.  Be sure to make these villains pay for their high crimes.  And as for the biggest traitor of all, well I guess we’ll just have to wait for 2012 to come around.  But that’s okay.  We can wait, Mr. President. 

——————————————————————————–

Footnotes:

Fn. 1: Joe Klein:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36020.html

Fn. 2:  Deval Patrick:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/

2010/05/patrick_says_ob.html

Fn. 3:  Felipe Calderon before Congress:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2010/0520/Felipe-Calderon-calls-Arizona-immigration-law-racial-profiling 

(For a video excerpt of this speech, see the Comments Section of this post.)

Fn. 4:  As an aside, an inquiring mind might ask why he is so against the Arizona law? Is it because Señor Felipe Calderon is such a big proponent of civil rights in a country where he tolerates half of his population living in abject poverty?  No, it’s because Arizona just made it just that much more difficult for him to unload that half of his country into our country.  (According to official figures, in 2009 Mexico had more than 50 million people living in poverty, roughly 45 percent of the population, and those numbers are increasing.) 

Fn. 5:  John Morton:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/21/official-says-feds-process-illegals-referred-arizona/

Fn. 6:  Of course, throughout Calderon’s speech the Re-pubes just sat on their hands.  It would’ve been nice to have had a Patrick Henry moment and seen them get up and walk out en masse but I guess we just don’t have that kind of bravery anymore.

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR PROUD SPONSOR:

www.enforceazlaw.com

 

News Media Reports: Times Square Bomber’s Motive “Shrouded in Mystery”

May 9, 2010

CBS News reports that Faisal Shahzad (you know, he’s that guy who tried to blow up Times Square about a week ago) is somewhat of a mystery man.  An enigma of sorts, one might say.  His motive is “shrouded in mystery,” report those hard-hitting news folks over at CBS. 1

Now I’m thinking, well, if the smart-as-a-whip guys and gals over at CBS News can’t figure him out, then how the heck am I, your typical Joe Six-Pack, going to be able to do it?  Well, I guess I’ll just have to give it the old college try.  So here are some of my theories:

Theory Number One: Shahzad is a Tea Partier.

I think NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg hit the nail right on the head when, before they had even arrested anybody, he speculated to Katie Couric of CBS News (there’s that CBS news again!) that it was probably somebody “home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the healthcare bill or something.” 2  Katie’s journalism instincts immediately kicked into high gear, and she responded with a knowing look.  So Bloomy nailed it: it’s those damn government-hating Tea Partiers!  I think that makes a lot of sense.  Double-plus good, Mike!  I mean, anyone who’s crazy and racist enough not to want free healthcare must be so mentally deranged they’d want to blow up Times Square and kill innocent people right?  Also, if Shahzad was willing to blow himself up too, then he obviously wouldn’t have had any need for healthcare because he’d be dead!  But he didn’t blow himself up.  Okay, maybe this theory isn’t so great after all.  That’s too bad.  I was really hoping I could blame this on those damn tea baggers! 

Theory Number Two:  Shahzad Suffers From Post-Home-Foreclosure-Derangement-Syndrome.

So some really creative psychologists have come up with this new disease for the new economy we’re in: post-home-foreclosure-derangement-syndrome.  Or at least I think that’s what it’s called.  Anyway, the idea is that people who are about to lose their homes go out and do wacky stuff like blow people up in Times Square.  Well, it just so happens that the mortgage on Shahzad’s Connecticut home was in foreclosure.  Or about to be foreclosed or something like that.  Hey, times are tough!  You know, it’s that lousy Bush economy we’re still mired in.  I know, I know, it’s been almost two years since Bush has been out of office, but according to the media, Bush put us in such a hole that… Oh, wait, that’s right, now we’re supposed to be in a recovery.  Isn’t that what Obama said?  The “jobless recovery.”  So is it Bush’s recovery or Obama’s recovery?  Maybe the jobless part is Bush’s and the recovery part is Obama’s?  I’m so confused!  All right, let’s move on to another theory, shall we?

Theory Number Three:  Shahzad is a Right-wing Republican and Talk-Radio Listener.

Okay, try to stay with me on this one.  There are reports (probably also from CBS News) that the radio in Shahzad’s SUV was tuned to an AM station!  Now, follow this logic.  Who is on AM radio?  Rush Limbaugh!  That right-wing extremist and rabble rouser.  See what I’m sayin here?  Shahzad is a right-wing Republican and AM radio listener.  As for why that would make him want to blow up Times Square, I uh… well I refer you back to Theory Number One.

Theory Number Four: Shahzad is Anti-Disney or Anti-Lion King, or Maybe Just Anti-Lion.

Did you know that Shahzad’s SUV was supposedly parked right near the theater that shows the Broadway musical “The Lion King?”  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  You know, it is Disney’s The Lion King.  So maybe Shahzad was anti-Disney. Or maybe he just saw a performance of The Lion King and really (I mean really) hated it.  Or maybe he just hates lions!  Hey, we need to cover all the possibilities here.  After all, Big Sis Janet Napolitano—our beloved Homeland Security apparatchik—reassured us all that Shahzad probably acted as just a “one-off.”  So maybe his “one-off” thing is that he’s anti-lion!  It’s possible!  Okay, maybe this one is a little thin.  Next!

Theory Number Five: Shahzad is a Violent Islamic Extremist and Terrorist

Now, I realize I’m going way out on a limb here, but maybe, just maybe, Shahzad is an Islamic terrorist.  I know, it’s that tired old canard again, and I can find hardly anyone in the news media to back it up, but I guess it should kind of be considered, no?  Ok, I’ll back off.  Sorry for sounding so politically incorrect and racist and all that.  I mean I really am so in agreement with MSNBC’s news anchor Contessa Brewer on this one.  Speaking on the liberal Stephanie Miller’s radio show, Contessa offered up this trenchant analysis:

“I get frustrated… There was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country… There are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.”  (Emphasis added.) 3

Contessa is just so right.  I much prefer her form of trendy, up-to-date bigotry instead.

 ———————–

 Footnotes:

 Fn. 1: See the full CBS News article on Times Square Bomber’s Motive here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/05/national/main6462351.shtml

Fn. 2:  Excerpt of Bloomberg interview with Couric:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2010/05/03/cbs-features-ny-mayor-bloomberg-speculating-bomber-was-mad-about-obamac

Fn. 3: For the Contessa Brewer quote:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2010/05/04/msnbcs-contessa-brewer-frustrated-times-square-bomber-muslim-0

President Obama Troubled By Anti-Government Rhetoric

May 1, 2010

Today, President Obama used his commencement speech at the University of Michigan to say that he is “troubled” by all the anti-government rhetoric he is hearing these days.  He further warned that such language can signal to extremists that “perhaps violence is … justifiable.”

For once, I actually agree with the President.  For example:

  • Anti-government rhetoric that states that a duly enacted law is misguided, irresponsible and a threat to civil liberties is troubling;
  • Anti-government rhetoric that criticizes government officials and those who are charged with enforcing a duly enacted law is troubling;
  • Anti-government rhetoric that suggests that the government is acting beyond its constitutional authority and that legal challenges should be brought to overturn a duly enacted law is troubling.

These are all very, very troubling statements.  But most troubling of all is when these statements are made by you, Mr. President.

Yes, Mr. President, it was you who said that the duly enacted Arizona immigration law is misguided and irresponsible and poses a threat to civil liberties; and this is very troubling.  It was you, Mr. President, who criticized government officials of the State of Arizona and suggested that police officers charged with enforcing the law will violate their constitutional oath and harass ordinary American citizens; and this is very troubling.  And it was you, Mr. President, who suggested that the government of the State of Arizona exceeded its constitutional authority and ordered your Justice Department to examine whether the law violates the Constitution; and this is very troubling.

So shame on you, Mr. President.  After all, we don’t want your anti-government rhetoric to signal to potentially violent extremists and other violent individuals that perhaps violence is justifiable, do we?  Because that would be very troubling indeed! 

 

Bill Clinton: Extremist in Chief

April 21, 2010

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. —Thomas Jefferson

 

In a speech given last Friday, commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing in which 168 people were killed and hundreds more injured, former President Bill Clinton said, in part, the following:

“Before the bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever in America… the fabric of American life had been unraveling. More and more people who had a hard time figuring out where they fit in, it is true that we see some of that today. … This Tea Party movement can be a healthy thing if they’re making us justify every penny of taxes we raised and every dollar of public money we spend, but when you get mad, sometimes you wind up producing exactly the reverse result of what you say you are for.”  (Emphasis added.)

Then on Monday, in an article appearing in the New York Times’ Op-Ed section, Clinton drew similar parallels between the conditions leading up to the Oklahoma City bombing and the political climate of today. Here are some excerpts:

“Finally, we should never forget what drove the bombers, and how they justified their actions to themselves. They took to the ultimate extreme an idea advocated in the months and years before the bombing by an increasingly vocal minority: the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them. On that April 19, the second anniversary of the assault of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, deeply alienated and disconnected Americans decided murder was a blow for liberty. Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the capacity to criticize their government and their elected officials. But we do not have the right to resort to violence — or the threat of violence — when we don’t get our way. Our founders constructed a system of government so that reason could prevail over fear. Oklahoma City proved once again that without the law there is no freedom. Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws.

We are again dealing with difficulties in a contentious, partisan time…. Fifteen years ago, the line was crossed in Oklahoma City. In the current climate, with so many threats against the president, members of Congress and other public servants, we owe it to the victims of Oklahoma City, and those who survived and responded so bravely, not to cross it again.”  1 (Emphasis added.)

Get it? Get the picture? If you are a member of the Tea Party movement or even just sympathetic to the cause, you better watch out! You better watch what you say or else you may be viewed as an extremist or, if something really bad happens, a facilitator to mass murder! So all you grandmothers, disabled veterans and other radicals better just put down your signs, get back on the bus, and get along back on home before you get yourselves in a real heap of trouble.

Liberal shills and other propagandists in the mainstream media as well as some Democratic members of Congress are saying the same thing. It is the same exact message and in some cases they use the same language: this Tea Party thing is dangerous! A year ago, they were ridiculing them. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s Astroturf jibe where she made the cynical claim that the Tea Partiers were really just the artificially contrived invention of a cabal of Republican operators rather than a legitimate grassroots movement? Well, it seems a few defeats at the ballot box have changed their tune. Now, it’s time to pull out the big guns. To get out that big brush and smear the hell out of these folks for having the temerity to speak up against an overreaching government.  And who bigger than Bill Clinton? 

To say that this is not a coordinated effort to besmirch the Tea Partiers on the part of the White House, the Democratic Party and their enablers in the mainstream media is to deny the obvious. The political wisdom of alienating almost a third of the electorate (by some estimates) is highly questionable but riskier gambits have worked before. And this Administration, I believe, is determined to let nothing stand in the way of its Progressive agenda.

 

But I think there is an even more sinister motive at work here. With regard to the ex-President’s words in particular, on its face it would appear that Bill Clinton is merely stating the axiom that words matter; that inciting extremism is a bad thing. 2  Well, of course words matter. (And no one would know that better than “Mr. Depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is-is!”) But the words that matter include your words too, Mr. President. Indeed, your words matter more than those of most Americans. One could argue that Mr. Clinton, by these series of statements alone, has done much more damage with his words than any home-made signs at a Tea Party rally could do. As Rush Limbaugh put it, Clinton has effectively set the stage for any nut-job, either on the extreme left or on the extreme right, to go out and commit violence. In effect, it legitimizes the motivations of, and provides an excuse for, any wacko who might want to do violence by permitting them to simply say, “Hey, I’m just agreeing with what them Tea Baggers are saying,” or “You know, like Bill Clinton said, ‘The Tea Party made me do it!’ ” And if this, God forbid, should happen, Rush would be absolutely right: the blame falls squarely on Mr. Clinton. Which, in that case, I think kind of makes Bill Clinton the de facto leader of all the extremists: The Extremist in Chief, one might say.

But maybe Bill Clinton isn’t worried all that much about that. Maybe he’s prepared to have the debate over who’s to blame. In fact, maybe that is the scenario that he and their side really want to come about. So that when something horrible happens, they can point and say, “A-ha! See! This is what we’ve been saying all along! We told you they were extremists!” And then they can take whatever measures they believe are necessary to maintain order.  Maybe start by cracking down on all “anti-government” speech.  Followed by a general move toward “regulating” all free speech and freedom of the press (bye-bye FoxNews and talk radio!) through something like the “Fairness Doctrine.”  Then of course you must outlaw all gun ownership.  And in order to accomplish that, freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures would have to be swept aside.  Etc. etc.  It would be like their own version of the Nazi’s Reichstag fire.   Sound far-fetched? Time will tell.

For now, what gets lost in all this commotion over so-called extremism is the fundamental right of these patriotic Americans to peacefully protest under the protections of the First Amendment.  Doesn’t their right to free speech come into play here? Certainly Mr. Clinton doesn’t seem to be a big fan of it. The First Amendment guaranteeing free speech and expression isn’t there just for porn stars and Howard Stern. Unfettered political speech, especially political speech that vexes the sensitivities of the governmental authority, is precisely what the founders had in mind as the kind of speech most needful of First Amendment protection. That a former President, even one as discredited as Bill Clinton, should publicly declare otherwise, is nothing less than an affront to the very Constitution he once swore to uphold. But why in the case of Mr. Clinton doesn’t that surprise me?

I realize all this sounds like a harsh indictment of the illustrious former President, but believe it or not I actually like Mr. Clinton. He’s just a likeable guy: especially as an ex-President. So therefore, I respectfully suggest if Mr. Clinton truly wishes to put his gift of gab to good use, that he go back to using it where it serves him best: picking up slutty fat chicks. That way, nobody gets hurt.

__________________________

Footnotes:

Fn. 1:  To link to the full New York Times Op-Ed article, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/opinion/19clinton.html?ref=todayspaper

Fn. 2:  Bill Clinton does have one point here: Inciting extremism is a bad thing. In fact, it’s almost as bad as pardoning extremist terrorists during the last months of your Presidency. In August of 1999, just months before his Presidency and under cover of night, Clinton pardoned 16 members of a terrorist group known as the FALN, or Armed Forces of National Liberation, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group, who were responsible for two bombs that exploded in New York City on New Year’s Eve, 1982. In addition, the FBI linked FALN members to 146 other bombings and a string of armed robberies, resulting in nine deaths and hundreds of injured victims. According to the Wall Street Journal, Clinton claimed he granted the 16 pardons because those who were offered the pardons had “sentences that were disproportionate to the crimes.”  Oh, really?  Well, if Clinton wants to have a discussion about promoting or coddling extremism, let’s start with his pardoning of these vile scumbags rather than picking on grandmothers and disabled war vets who are angry over cuts in their Medicare.

 

Fn. 3: For more information on the German Reichstag fire click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

It’s Tax Day! So, We’re All Paying the IRS Double This Year, Right?

April 15, 2010

I mean, that is basically what Joe Biden said isn’t it?  It’s the “patriotic” thing to do, remember?  He said that about paying taxes back in 2008 when he and Mr. Obama were running to fundamentally transform America. 1   So to be good patriots, I’m assuming we’re all not only paying our fair share but we’re all going the extra mile this year and paying double what we owe to the federal government.  Right?

Well, I don’t expect everyone to be patriotic.  I certainly don’t expect those Tea Partiers or Republicans or anybody else who didn’t see the wisdom in voting for the Obama-Biden ticket to pay double, or even to pay just a little bit more.  Besides, those people are all just racists anyway.  I mean, they call Obama bad names like “socialist” so they must be racist, right? 

But I am confident that all patriotic Democrats can stand up and proudly say that this year they will be paying… What?  What’s that you say?  You’re a Democrat and you don’t want to pay double either?  But what about what Joe Biden said?  I mean, you do agree with your own Vice-President, don’t you?  You know, that it’s the patriotic thing to do?  Ok, well, how about just 30% more? No? 25% more? 10% more?  All right, well forget you guys then.

Ok, Liberal Democrats! Here we go!  All right, all you Liberal Democrats out there!  You guys are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party.  The party faithful!  Surely, you’d be willing to pony up at least… What?  Not even you guys?  I mean, c’mon, you guys are liberals!  Don’t you practice what you preach?  What about government being able to solve all our problems?  Help the needy and all that good stuff.  C’mon, they’re here to help us and they need your money.  The government needs your money!  I mean c’mon guys, you’re supposed to be liberals!  C’mon!  All right, forget you too! 

"We're from the government and we're here to help."

Ok, ok.   Progressive Democrats!  Surely, I can count on you guys! I mean, it is called the Progressive income tax!  I mean, this is your baby!  Now, I just know that you guys will … What? Not even you?  Obama’s your guy!  He’s a Progressive!  You know, spread the wealth and all that!  I just can’t believe…

Wait a minute…

Wait, a news bulletin: The news is reporting on who pays taxes in America.  What?  Over 50% of all Americans don’t even pay federal income tax! What? That can’t be!  Well, those definitely wouldn’t be Obama supporters, I know that!  Because that would be like saying they don’t support what he’s doing with all his big government programs and such.  That wouldn’t be patriotic!  And that would be hypocrisy.  No, I can’t believe that.  I won’t believe that, even if it’s true.  Ok, but let’s say it is true that over half of all Americans don’t even pay federal income tax.  Let’s think about this for a minute.  So you’re saying we now have a majority of Americans who can vote for policies that they don’t have to pay for, but that a minority of Americans do have to pay for?  Let’s see, is that a good thing for a democracy?  Huh. I’m gonna have to think about that one a little more and get back to you. 

Ok, what about just Democratic members of Congress?  Surely, you guys must pay more than your fair share.  I mean you vote for this stuff, so you definitely…  I mean just to set an example… wait a minute, who am I kidding?  Ok, ok, just Joe Biden then. Joe, you’re the one who said paying taxes makes you a patriot, so you must pay way more than…  What? Not even you, Joe?  But Joe, these were your own words!  Joe! Joe!  Say it ain’t so, Joe! 

Wow!  Oh well.  And here I thought we were a nation of patriots.  I guess not.  I guess we’re all just a bunch of unpatriotic, racist, extremist, tea-bagging traitors.  And if you disagree with me, then you must be one too.

  

—————————–

Footnotes:

Fn. 1: For Biden’s statement:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/18/biden-on-tax-increase-for-wealthier-citizens-time-to-be-patriotic/tab/article/

March 10, 2010

 

Lately, I have been getting a little more than the usual static from the luminaries of the liberal left on the economy and from whence our current economic woes have come.  To set the record straight, here is a little clarity on three points:

I.  Liberal Canard Number One: The Bush tax cuts were bad for America

First, only a liberal, or a deranged person, would argue that cutting taxes somehow hurts Americans.  The misconception spread by leftists that the Bush tax cuts caused the federal deficit problems of today (as opposed to wanton government spending) is a prevarication that only the mind of Nancy Pelosi could invent.  In point of fact, the Bush tax cuts actually increased government revenue.  It is established fiscal science that tax revenues depend not only on the tax rate, but on the tax base.  If the tax base is shrinking, then it doesn’t matter what the tax rate is; tax revenue will be anemic.  The tax base expands only when taxable behavior is encouraged (as opposed to discouraged.)   Raising tax rates discourages taxable behavior and therefore shrinks the tax base, offsetting whatever revenue gains might occur by raising rates.  On the other hand, lowering tax rates encourages taxable behavior and expands the tax base, offsetting any revenue losses as a result of the lower rates.  Of course, I wouldn’t expect a liberal to understand this because it is all common sense.  But don’t take my word for it, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) tax revenues in 2006 (after the Bush tax cuts had taken effect) were actually $47 billion above what the CBO had projected before the tax cuts were implemented. Clearly, common sense works in the real world as well.  For more, see: 

www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/lying_about_bushs_tax_cuts.html

II. Liberal Canard Number Two:  Bush is to blame for the current size of the federal budget deficit

Liberals like to refer to the 2008 Bush-Paulson bailout of Wall Street banks when they really should be talking about the Bush-Paulson-Obama-Geithner bailout of 2008. As we will recall, Obama gave his full throated support for the bailout during the campaign, and tax cheat Tim Geithner was actually instrumental in crafting that bailout in his role as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  And now, it seems, he and Obama can’t wait to do more.  And by more, I mean add another one trillion onto Bush’s $700 billion (and this doesn’t even include what he wants to spend on healthcare!)  Again, don’t take my word for it, click on the link below for a full exposition of the Bush vs. Obama deficit comparison. 

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/

III. Liberal Canard Number Three:  Bush and his failed Iraq War policies are the cause of all our present econoomic woes

With regard to Iraq, after the attacks of 9-11 America found herself at war and we are still at war today.  One would think this to be self-evident, but with liberals you never know.  Wars cost money (another axiom), but further, this was (and is) a first-of-its-kind war to be waged on many fronts.  While it can be argued whether invading Iraq when we did was truly a necessary component of the war, it cannot be denied that Bush kept the country safe for eight years.

Finally, liberals need to stop obsessively blaming Bush for everything under the sun, moon and stars.  The problems of present-day America belong to the present administration under the jurisdiction of Mr. Obama.  In the psychobabble that liberals are so fond of, he needs to start owning them.  You can’t begin to fix a problem until you first admit you have one.

The Arrogance of Hope

March 4, 2010

He is the distinguished college professor seated at the head of his class.  Today’s subject: universal healthcare.  He calls on his students one by one.  Have they done their homework?  Have they completed the assignment to his satisfaction?  Did they come to class prepared with the answers that he wants to hear?  He calls on Johnny McCain who inappropriately raises the issue of unequal treatment of citizens under the proposed law.  The professor summarily scolds him, reminding him that the campaign is now over.  As an upperclassman, Johnny should know better than to revert to mere talking points!  Then there is little Eric Cantor who had the temerity to bring the 2700 page assignment with him to class.  He needs to be scolded too.  Ostentatious props like that are uncalled for and serve only to distract from the intellectual discussion.  Then there is naughty Paul Ryan who just didn’t have his facts right. The professor will need to speak with him after class.  Alas, it would appear that at least some of his students are very delinquent indeed!  But then there are his honor students: Joey Biden, Harry Reid, and of course teacher’s pet Nancy Pelosi.  They all followed the professor’s instructions implicitly and so get to go to the head of the class.  Well if there is nothing further, class dismissed!  Now the professor, with the able help of his honor students, can return to his treatise on universal healthcare and the reshaping of American culture and society.

The arrogance is nothing new; only it was on full display at last week’s healthcare summit.  Americans who had the weekday leisure hours (and infinite patience) to tune in saw in microcosm the raw conceit that is the defining quality of this administration’s approach, not just to the healthcare, but every policy debate.  Perhaps the campaign trail is where he first learned he could get away with it, and indeed he did.  Being derisive of conservatives and conservative ideas will always win you points with the broad-minded liberal media. 

But it is much more than that.  Arrogance towards opposing ideas and derision towards those who stand in opposition is really what Progressive Liberalism is all about.  “If you disagree with me, it is because you are stupid.” That is the basic mindset.  “And because you are stupid, I don’t need to listen to you, you need only do as I say.”  When his healthcare plan is rejected by two-thirds of the American public, it is not because it is a bad idea, but because the ignorant masses are just too dumb to understand it.  So he will try to explain it in simpler terms so that they can understand it.  And if they still don’t get it, then tough sh*t!  Elections have consequences. The last election was about “hope and change”, but did anyone stop to ask what that really means.  Now that the campaign is over (as we are constantly reminded) apparently hope and change really mean entitlement and transformation: the entitlement of the governing elite to transform the society of the governed.

... or else!

This is the nature of Progressivism and, historically, has been the political approach of Progressives in America since the beginning of the twentieth century.  The governed are not to be listened to, but instead instructed by the governing elite in matters of health, wealth and general welfare.  Only the governing Progressive elites, having superior education and understanding, are qualified to fathom the multifarious aspects of daily life in an increasingly complex society.  It is they, therefore, who are best suited to make decisions for the average American citizen, who will only screw things up for himself.  Only the Progressives are capable of brininging about much needed change through the implementation of a whole raft of government programs.  And yet, none of the programs of the Progressives are based on any grasp of reality, but rather on an imagined vision of the future.  It is a vision of how to change reality.  A vision of a society reshaped and reordered in their image.  And once power is gained, that hoped for vision becomes expectation.  And the nearer the goal of the vision’s realization, the more expectation grows into entitlement.  Healthcare for all is now something to which we are entitled.  Healthcare is now a right.  In an America where rights are still defined under the Constitution and are God-given, this line of thinking is nothing short of arrogance: the arrogance of hope.

But the approach of the Progressives is not without its consequences, at least as long as we still live in a Democratic Republic.  Last week, average Americans finally got a long look at their methods and, in that sense at least, the healthcare summit did some good.  Regardless of how things play out over the coming weeks and months, there is always the ballot box, where Americans as voters will at last be able to send arrogance back from whence it came: the world of academia, where it doesn’t matter much.

Inconvenient History

March 3, 2010

Over the past several weeks, I have grown increasingly impressed by the President’s determination, in the face of daunting public opposition, to press on with enacting his plan for government-run healthcare.  Notwithstanding a growing number of angry Americans who clearly do not want the national experiment that is this plan, this President appears resolute.  I am reminded of the words of a noted historian:

“Like many of the revolutionaries and conquerors of history, from Alexander to Napoleon to Stalin, he was a foreigner among his countrymen.  There is surely a psychological link between this sense of being an outsider and the readiness to employ a whole nation as material for wild and expansive projects, even to the point of destroying the nation.”

Excerpt from: Hitler by Joachim C. Fest.  (New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1974), p.14.