Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
An excerpt from the latest Walter E. Williams column on
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that only 31 percent of college graduates can read and understand a complex book. Employers complain that graduates of colleges lack the writing and analytical skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. A 2006 survey conducted by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management found that only 24 percent of employers thought graduates of four-year colleges were "excellently prepared" for entry-level positions. College seniors perennially fail tests of their civic and historical knowledge.Remember, in two weeks everything here at robbymoeller.blogspot.com will be moving over to rjmoeller.com.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
One note: For those who aren't aware, when Friedman uses the term "collectivism", he is essentially referring to what you may know as "socialism".
Friday, August 28, 2009
Dr. Albert Mohler of Southern Theological seminary is an accomplished writer, thinker, columnist, and radio talk show host...not to mention the president of one of the most respected Christian seminaries in the country. In his latest blog-post, Dr. Mohler breaks down a recent Newsweek article that claims America in 2009 has more in common with the Hindu faith than the Christian one so closely associated with its founding and history.
The Newsweek piece contends that since the Hindu faith is more relativistic and accepting of other religions, we would do well to move in their direction. Dr. Mohler has other thoughts.
Without doubt, Americans have been growing more and more accepting of plural and relative understandings of truth. A tragically large number of those who identify as Christians have been drinking from the same wells of thought.
The exclusivity of the Gospel is not merely a facet of the church's message. Indeed, a Gospel that does not affirm that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone is not the Gospel of Christ, but a false gospel. As Lisa Miller correctly recites, Jesus did say, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." [John 14:6]
Another aspect of the story is this: Many Americans have such a doctrineless understanding of Christianity that they do not even know what the Gospel is -- not even remotely. A greater tragedy is that so many who consider themselves Christians seem to share in this confusion.Many observers who trace these trends see this doctrinal shift among Christians as a good development. After all, if you hold to nothing more than a functional view of religion, this might seem to promise less conflict among religious believers. But, if you believe that truth is essential to Christian faith, there is every reason to see these trends as nothing less than catastrophic
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Much has been said about him already on cable news, in print, and on-line, so I will keep my remarks here brief and instead let columnist George Will do the eulogizing.
An excerpt from Will's latest column:
There is the arithmetic of the Constitution and then there is the life of the institution. The Constitution makes a senator 1 percent of one-half of one of the three branches of the federal government. But the intangible and unquantifiable chemistry of personality in a little laboratory like the Senate made Ted Kennedy forceful.
In the Senate, as elsewhere, 80 percent of the important work is done by a talented 20 percent. And 95 percent of the work is done off the floor, away from committees, out of sight, where strong convictions leavened by good humor are the currency of accomplishment. There Ted Kennedy, who had the politics of the Boston Irish in his chromosomes, flourished. What Winston Churchill said about Franklin Roosevelt -- that meeting him was like opening a bottle of champagne, and knowing him was like drinking it -- was true of Ted Kennedy, too.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
“The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues.” -GK Chesterton
This week I had the privilege of attending one of those much talked about town hall meetings regarding the President’s “public option” health care reform. It was hosted by my congressional representative, Mark Kirk (R-IL), and held in my suburban Chicago hometown. More than 800 passionate citizens came out; roughly double the amount of people Congressman Kirk’s office had predicted would show up. It was an exciting, lively afternoon, made better by the fact that my representative calmed many fears by clearly articulating both his disapproval of the president’s big-government option and the common sense alternative reforms he endorses.
As I stood on the steps of city hall, taking in the sights and sounds of nearly 1000 American citizens discharging their democratic rights (and duties), two important things occurred to me.
First, those people chanting and carrying signs in support of a “public option”, for the most part (and disregarding the nuts who show up on both sides), truly believe in their cause and genuinely desire to make health care cheap and readily accessible (specifically for the poorer, less fortunate among us). And second, those same people have, perhaps unwittingly, isolated one virtue, namely charity, from almost all the other virtues that give charity its full meaning and context; namely truth, justice, and prudence.
It seems to me that it is because they fail to acknowledge this second point that the Left perpetually fails to accomplish the first.
Famed early 20th century British writer and journalist GK Chesterton recognized this exact same problem in the England of his day. Writing in his classic work, Orthodoxy, Chesterton explains:
The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.Context is everything, especially when it comes to socio-economic reform. The public option, a reform plan that is undoubtedly a designed “gateway bill” to the single-payer, socialized medicine that Barack Obama believes is a “right” owed to all Americans, is now being presented by the president himself as a “moral” issue. Charity, a term now synonymous with “social justice”, is supreme in the mind and rhetoric of the modern progressive liberal. But what moral issue is complete in and of itself? Even love, if not appropriately discharged, can ruin both the giver and recipient of it. Context is everything.
Truth is one virtue that must be added to our charity. The truth, the actual facts on the ground, matter a great deal. If someone has convinced him or herself that it is a moral imperative we charitably give free health care and/or health insurance to the roughly 45 million Americans currently uninsured, and has based that emotionally charged conviction on the number “45 million”, would it not be prudent to investigate those numbers to see who comprise them? Upon further review we find that more than half of those 45 million are either in the country illegally, or have the funds for insurance and recklessly choose to avoid purchasing it. This is truth you should believe in, and is necessary to consider and discuss when making drastic changes to the best health care system on the planet.
And what about justice? I have always liked the definition for justice that C.S. Lewis gives in Mere Christianity: “…it includes honesty, give and take, truthfulness, keeping promises, and all that side of life.” Liberal Democrats have for decades linked their social engineering plans, such as welfare, affirmative action, and now this public option plan, to the notion of charity, but have perpetually failed to apply justice to their charity. Sure they call it “social justice”, but would anyone actually attempt to make the case that the “justice” Lewis is talking about is exemplified in the type of federally-subsidized and orchestrated charity the Left promotes?
When you learn that between 7-10% of the costs for government-run Medicare and Medicaid is lost to fraud, while the private medical insurance and health care industry lose less than 0.05% to fraud, is “honesty” really the right word? When one side (“the rich”) is doing all the giving, while faceless bureaucrats and the constantly re-defined “poor” do all the taking, would anyone call that a healthy, moral relationship? Other than then-Senator Obama’s promise that he would do everything he could to re-shape the nation, what was the last meaningful promise made by any politician that was fully kept?
Prudence is yet another virtue needed to complement charity. Prudence is practical common sense. It is thinking through your actions and the probable consequences of them. I saw a number of signs, and heard a number of chants outside the town hall meeting I attended this week that proclaimed, “I am my brother’s keeper.” This being a direct allusion to teachings from the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, I do not hesitate to respond in turn with a few other things the Judeo-Christian value system has to say regarding the matter.
Writing later in Mere Christianity, C.S Lewis expounds on the topic of prudence by pointing out a gross misunderstanding of Christ’s call for us to come to Him “as little children.” He states:
In the first place, most children show plenty of ‘prudence’ about doing the things they are really interested in, and think them out quite sensibly. In the second place, as St. Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence; on the contrary. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.No one, religious or otherwise, is off the hook intellectually because they mean well emotionally. Common sense matters, and, like our natural rights, is a gift from our Creator that can be lost when we stop using and protecting it. When your nation is in staggering debt, in part because of an over-reaching, over-spending federal government, it is wholly un-justifiable to spend $1 trillion on a public option plan that is unnecessary and almost guaranteed to fail. What President Obama has asked the American people to do is ignore history, math, the U.S. Constitution, and our own common sense and to just trust him that things will be better. Not very prudent if you ask me.
Please understand that no one is in favor of completely keeping the status quo in health care and health insurance. I recognize that supporters of the president’s public option want what is best for their country. I saw in their eyes the passion and devotion to helping poor people get affordable care, and to bringing down the costs for all Americans. I get that, and I commend their intentions.
But whether you know are wrong, or end up being wrong due to incorrect data or indoctrination – you’re still wrong. And in the public square, when it comes to political decisions with all their unintended consequences, what ultimately matters most is the “better way” of doing something like health care reform.
Charity cannot continue to be a battering ram with which liberals are allowed to knock down the walls of our “shining city on a hill”, no matter what their intentions may be. Charity without truth, justice, and prudence isn’t worth the cardboard sign it’s written on.
Dennis Prager, as only Dennis can, explains why the Scottish government's decision to release the convicted killer because he is terminally ill with cancer is a shameful chapter in a proud nation's storied history.
The Scottish government released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the one person convicted in the mass murder of 270 people when Pan Am flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.
As the Chicago Tribune noted in an editorial appropriately titled "Scotland's Shame," at al-Megrahi's 2001 trial, the Scottish prosecutor pointed out that "four hundred parents lost a child, 46 parents lost their only child, 65 women were widowed, 11 men lost their wives, 140 lost a parent, seven lost both parents."
But all these people and all their loved ones were not the recipients of Scotland's compassion; the murderer was.
What the Scottish government, its Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, and millions of others in the West do not understand is that, unlike justice, compassion cannot be given to everyone. If you show compassion to person X or group X, you cannot show it to person Y or group Y. Justice, by definition, is universal. Compassion, by definition, is selective.
Monday, August 24, 2009
"The idea that government officials can play God from Washington is not a new idea, but it is an idea that is being pushed with new audacity."
With that, Thomas Sowell starts his readers on a reality-check tour in his latest column. The pull from Washington is to take power, and sadly, more and more, there is a real push among otherwise free citizens to give it over to their leaders.
We must not let President Obama or any other politician, regardless of party, distract us with scapegoats and talking points.
"Like other magicians, Obama has chosen his distractions well. The insurance industry is currently his favorite distraction as scapegoats, after he has tried to demonize doctors without much success.The nice thing about being an American is that we don't have to be dominated by party politics. We can (and should) point to the Constitution, the facts, and use our God-given common sense to solve the social ills that confront every generation.
Saints are no more common in the insurance industry than in politics or even among paragons of virtue like economists. So there will always be horror stories, even if these are less numerous or less horrible than what is likely to happen if Obamacare gets passed into law.Obama even gets away with saying things like having a system to "keep insurance companies honest"-- and many people may not see the painful irony in politicians trying to keep other people honest."
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Mark Steyn's column this weekend is brilliant as always. In it, Steyn gets to the heart of the matter with Obama's spend-and-burn policies these past 9 months.
That’s why the “stimulus” flopped. It didn’t just fail to stimulate, it actively deterred stimulation, because it was the first explicit signal to America and the world that the Democrats’ political priorities overrode everything else. If you’re a business owner, why take on extra employees when cap’n’trade is promising increased regulatory costs and health “reform” wants to stick you with an 8 percent tax for not having a company insurance plan?
Obama’s leviathan sends a consistent message to business and consumers alike: When he’s spending this crazy, maybe the smart thing for you to do is hunker down until the dust’s settled and you get a better sense of just how broke he’s going to make you. For this level of “community organization,” there aren’t enough of “the rich” to pay for it. That leaves you.
For Obama, government health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture in which all elections and most public discourse will be conducted on Democratic terms. It’s no surprise that the president can’t make a coherent economic or medical argument for Obamacare, because that’s not what it’s about — and for all his cool, he can’t quite disguise that.
I don't think I disagree with a single word Senor Steyn has to say here. Let's hear some of your thoughts.
Friday, August 21, 2009
From the Wall Street Journal:
Senator Ted Kennedy, who is gravely ill with brain cancer, has sent a letter to Massachusetts lawmakers requesting a change in the state law that determines how his Senate seat would be filled if it became vacant before his eighth full term ends in 2012. Current law mandates that a special election be held at least 145 days after the seat becomes available. Mr. Kennedy is concerned that such a delay could leave his fellow Democrats in the Senate one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority for months while a special election takes place.Harmless enough, right? Read on:
What Mr. Kennedy doesn't volunteer is that he orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision that now requires a special election, and for similarly partisan reasons. John Kerry, the other Senator from the state, was running for President in 2004, and Mr. Kennedy wanted the law changed so the Republican Governor at the time, Mitt Romney, could not name Mr. Kerry's replacement. "Prodded by a personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy," reported the Boston Globe in 2004, "Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to take up a stalled bill creating a special election process to replace U.S. Senator John F. Kerry if he wins the presidency." Now that the state has a Democratic Governor, Mr. Kennedy wants to revert to gubernatorial appointments.
God bless 'em.
Please watch this brief video where in her own words, Rifqa explains her plight.
What a mess! Please be praying for this brave soul. For those of you who don't believe that values matter, and that all societies and countries and religions are the same, let this story be a wake up call.
The Obama team is saddled with a foundering health-care strategy. But it has a fallback plan — relying on the sheer dimwitted gullibility of the American public. How stupid do they think we are?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
But using the same line of "thinking" that angry liberals employed during the Bush administration to link any member of the president' cabinet with their former employer's bottom line, here is an interesting story from the White House of Hope and Change. Obama's "Karl Rove", David Axelrod, is in increasingly warmer water due to the fact that the marketing/advertising firm he used to own has recieved lucrative contracts to make television ads supporting Obama's "public option" plan.
Who knows if there is anything "fishy" going on here...but you can bet your bottom dollar this story would have been front-page fodder for the New York Times and Washington Post for months had it happened even just one year ago and a different administration was still in office.
Oh, but wait, White House Press Secretary, the prolific Robert Gibbs, reassured us yesterday when questioned about any possible link between Axelrod and the company he created now getting big bucks to help his new boss get his brand of health care reform through congress:
“That's ridiculous,” Gibbs said during a Tuesday afternoon briefing. “David has left his firm to join public service.”Phew! Good enough for me. Public servants never exploit their position for financial gain, so can someone please tell Dick Cheney he's forever off the hook? Thanks.
A)Dick Durbin is a tool. B)Durbin was in on the ground floor of mocking these town hall protesters in July so that he could have a full month of bashing/undermining them before he headed home for the August recess. C)This is part of the White House's overall strategy to marginalize the majority of Americans who do not want the "public option".
Both President Obama and Madame Speaker Pelosi promised transparency on a scale never seen before when they took power. Nothing says openness like refusing to confront the people you "represent".
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
by: R.J. Moeller
“Health care is right, not a privilege.”
“The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder…The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy.”
The latest in the ever-changing news from the White House is that the administration will potentially be willing to concede their “public option” plan in any final health care reform bill. In the face of mounting disapproval, President Obama would be making the smart political move by backing away from the wildly unpopular idea. Americans should be excited by the fact that their voices were heard, but there are two important points that scream for our attention from this entire ordeal.
First, we must not let our elation over the possibly averted federal takeover of our health care cloud the fact that the most influential Democrats in this country actually wanted the plan to succeed. We never should have even come this close to the public option becoming a reality, and please note that the only bi-partisanship displayed this entire summer was between moderate Democrats in Congress and Center-Right Americans around the country who opposed the Obama-Pelosi plan. The public option was, and always has been, only overwhelmingly supported by progressive liberals.
Second, and in light of the first, Americans absolutely must learn from this teachable moment why it is Leftists like Barack Obama both believe in socialized medicine, and will never cease to fight to bring it to our shores.
Simply put, they deem it to be a right.
Now a right is a very serious thing. Perhaps unwittingly, Americans have cheapened the term, distorting the true meaning of “rights” through an ironic combination of over-use verbally and neglect intellectually, but that does not mean it cannot be reclaimed for a new generation. In fact, it must be re-claimed or we will soon find ourselves, this great experiment in republican democracy, on the same ash heap of history where lesser, inferior civilizations now lay. If America fails, it won’t be because of the ideas laid out in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, but because her people confused and exploited the most basic precepts, values, and principles of their national inheritance.
Chief among the ideas currently under assault is the notion of “rights”.
As melodramatic as all this may sound, please understand that when the President of the United States publicly asserts that the service of health care provided by trained medical professionals is now a “right”, a divergent path from the republican one we’re supposed to be on has just been presented to you as a legitimate, alternate option. Walking down it will most certainly have real and definite repercussions, whether you embrace the president’s assertion or not. Ideas have consequences.
Practically speaking, a right is something that your government, your neighbor, owes to you no matter what. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it: if something is a right, then you cannot be kept from it.
The most important of rights are ones that involve something others cannot do to you, not what they must do for you.
Freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the right to life (i.e. prohibitions against murder), and Habeas Corpus are rights. No one has a right to sleep with whomever they want, whenever they want, but we all have the right to tell someone they can't sleep with us any time we want.
Despite what you might have been misled to believe, health care and health insurance are goods; they are services; they are commodities. People work hard to produce and provide them. In the case of medical professionals, they have spent a massive amount of time and money, taken significant personal risks, to prepare to provide John Q. Customer with the strep test or brain surgery or hip replacement he needs. The United States became the medical system that people from countries all around the globe come to use in spite of the government’s involvement, not because of it.
For a quick mental exercise to help dramatize my concern over President Obama’s misguided claim that health care is a right, substitute “health care” with the words “car” or “washing machine”.
The moment you picture Nancy Pelosi standing at the podium of a press conference to announce the new “right" to a working automobile for every adult, or Harry Reid releasing a press statement ensuring that he and the Democrats will fight to put "a new washing machine in every family’s laundry room”, the preposterous nature of Obama’s statement ought to be readily evident.
Who will provide the car for someone who cannot work? For someone who refuses to work? For the person who wraps his or her car around a telephone pole after a MGD-64 bender at the local watering hole? Or for the person who would rather hand-wash their clothes and keep the washing machine funds in order to be able to take a family vacation or buy a purebred Lassie-looking collie?
Will this new “right” be enacted the way it is legally supposed to be, with an amendment to the Constitution? Or will we continue the time-honored, bi-partisan tradition of circumventing the “rule-book” we only like to point to when it helps us defend pet-issues such as Roe v. Wade or Gun rights?
Political foresight involves the ability to see down the road to the likely results of the words that come from the mouths of politicians. This is a difficult skill to master; especially as it pertains to people we may personally like or have voted for. Most Americans do in fact like Barack Obama, and that is not a bad thing. But from the man who has constantly reminded us that “words matter”, it is not reactionary or irrational to piece his together in order to form a general blueprint of the national designs that the president and leading Democrats in Washington claim to have for the country.
Health care, in the mind of the American Leftist, is a right that the federal government should ensure with the tax dollars of wealthier citizens. This is why they will never stop trying to get socialized medicine.
The fact that nearly 90% of Americans are happy with their current health care is of little consequence to a progressive liberal like Barack Obama precisely because he has already accepted the premise that “free” health care is a right. The fact that serious improvements can be immediately made to the cost of health care through measures such as Tort Reform legislation, and allowing American citizens to purchase their health insurance from any company in any state, matters little to the politician who long ago settled it in his or her heart that the elite-led State always knows better than the individual.
If in the consciences of our Commander-in-Chief, his administration and cabinet, and the ranking members of a Democrat-controlled congress, health care is a right, does anyone actually believe that their real intention is nothing more than a mere cost-effective alternative to private insurance? And if that is the case, if the current Leftist power brokers in Washington have no desire whatsoever to bring the health care system under their bureaucratic thumbs (should they be given the chance), then what sort of people are they? Have they no real convictions?
Have they been lying to their constituents for decades? Are those Americans who voted for Barack Obama because they desire Britain’s health care system not furious? Are the special interest groups and unions who rallied support and funds for then-Senator Obama not incensed that the promise of a public option leading to single-payer, State-run health care was all a ruse?
In one breath the Left tell us they believe in their heart of hearts that it is a right to have your government (via the coercively-taken fruits of more-successful people’s labors) provide you with “free” health insurance and care, and in the next, that we who disagree with their hypothesis and warn others about its potentially devastating effects on our nation’s economy (and soul) are fear-mongers who aren’t being honest about the “facts”.
Liberal Democrats have been trying for decades to get socialized medicine. They have specifically attempted to use the “public option” Trojan Horse numerous times. President Obama is on record as having said that the attempt at a public option would be his first legislative step towards a day when the federal government controlled the entire health care system.
In Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky’s seminal book on community organizing Barack Obama believed in so much that for more than a decade he taught classes to new activist recruits on its strategy and tactics from, the reformer-agitator is encouraged to use language that his or her audience is comfortable and familiar with in order to enact changes that the public would otherwise oppose.
Any of this ringing a bell?
I am open and honest regarding my ardent belief that health care is not a right: it is a privilege. Trimming down the size, scope, and waste of our government could more than help provide the funds needed to graciously aid those in the most desperate of needs. Private citizens and charities giving more of their time and money should be the rallying cry for all those who truly care for the disadvantaged. Specific, limited reforms, like the ones I mentioned earlier, can drastically decrease the costs of health care for everyone else.
Ignoring the reality of limited resources, our Constitution’s limits for what the federal government can do, and the inferior results of other nations’ State-controlled, single-payer health care systems is beyond foolish.
You know where I stand. If only our president was as forthcoming.
The dude who made this thing, Firas Alkhateeb, says he likes Barack better than W., but added:
"In terms of domestic policy, I don't think he's really doing much good for the country right now," he said. "We don't have to 'hero worship' the guy."
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Mark Steyn, as usual, offers the key insight many are missing in all the discussion about whether or not the government-run health care system President Obama envisions will "pull the plug on grandma" or not.
Anyway, there he (Obama) was, reassuring the crowd that the provision for mandatory "end-of-life counseling" has "gotten spun into this idea of 'death panels.' I am not in favor of that." Well, that's good to know. So good that a grateful audience applauded the president's pledge not to kill them. He has no plans, as he put it, to "pull the plug on Grandma."Read the rest of Mark's column here.
The problem with government health systems is not that they pull the plug on Grandma. It's that Grandma has a hell of a time getting plugged in in the first place. The only way to "control costs" is to restrict access to treatment, and the easiest people to deny treatment to are the oldsters. Don't worry, it's all very scientific. In Britain, they use a "Quality-Adjusted Life Year" formula to decide that you don't really need that new knee because you're gonna die in a year or two, maybe a decade-and-a-half tops. So it's in the national interest for you to go around hobbling in pain rather than divert "finite resources" away from productive members of society to a useless old geezer like you.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Play it cool Keith...real cool.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Charles Krauthammer starts his latest column with this gem:
In the 48 hours of June 15-16, President Obama lost the health care debate. First, a letter from the Congressional Budget Office to Sen. Edward Kennedy reported that his health committee's reform bill would add $1 trillion in debt over the next decade. Then the CBO reported that the other Senate bill, being written by the Finance Committee, would add $1.6 trillion. The central contradiction of Obamacare was fatally exposed: From his first address to Congress, Obama insisted on the dire need for restructuring the health care system because out-of-control costs were bankrupting the Treasury and wrecking the U.S. economy -- yet the Democrats' plans would make the problem worse.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I don't mean to dump on this poor woman, but this is ridiculous. And hilarious. It's all real, nothing is staged, and she wanted to have her voice heard on a whole range of issues. Mission Accomplished.
One big highlight from Only Good Movies was their "75 War Movies to See Before You Die" list. Check it out!
Spoiler alert: Their #1 is Patton
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In light of all this, it's funny to watch Democrats and their activist allies panic over the protests at congressional town meetings around the country. Tools of the corporate interests! they cry. But anyone opposing "socialized medicine" at the meeting can't be a mouthpiece for big business because, as we've seen, big business supports government control. Conservative groups may be encouraging people to vent their anger at congressmen who pass burdensome legislation without even bothering to read it, but that's no reason to insult the protestors as pawns. What's wrong with organizations helping like-minded people to voice their opinions? Why do Democrats, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dismiss citizen participation as "AstroTurf" -- not real grassroots -- only when citizens oppose the kind of big government they favor?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A short excerpt:
Buyer's remorse? Not me. At the North American summit in Guadalajara this week, President Obama resumed the role he is best at -- representing the U.S. with dignity and authority abroad. This is why I, for one, voted for Obama and continue to support him. The damage done to U.S. prestige by the feckless, buffoonish George W. Bush will take years to repair. Obama has barely begun the crucial mission that he was elected to do.
Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and hope it's a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.
Regardless your political views, or personal feelings about the health care issue, you really need to read the rest of this piece here. The condescending way in which the administration and so many among the leadership in Congress are treating the dissenters at townhall meetings will absolutely continue to come back to bite them.
The 2010 mid-term elections can't come soon enough!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Obama's current political troubles are the result of his misguided worldview, not GOP operatives
As pundits and politicians scurry to explain, or explain away, the declining popularity and poll numbers for President Obama, the Democrat-dominated congress, and their Leftist policies intended to “re-make”
Let me be as clear as I can be: I do not reject Barack Obama the person. I do not question the fact that he believes he is doing what is best for this country. I do not believe he was born in Kenya. I do not believe he is a secret Muslim. He is by all accounts a loving father and good husband and provides an excellent role in this regard. God bless him for these and many other outstanding traits. My problem, and I believe his fundamental problem, is with the values and philosophies that shaped and influenced him prior to his becoming our Commander-in-Chief. My strong disagreement with him is at the level of values and convictions and world-view, not race or ethnicity.Barack Obama and his administration are starting to suffer from the inevitable impact of years spent sitting at the feet of radical mentors who held distorted views of economics, politics, and morality.
To verify the truth of whether or not Barack Obama’s mentors and their ideas were indeed radical in nature, I turned not to the usual suspects for my information and proof. I don’t go to the pages of conservative magazines and Republican websites. Rather I sought out such self-avowed liberal sources as The New Republic Magazine, the New York Times, Barack Obama’s own published memoirs, and to the “bible” for all radical community organizers, Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals.
It was here I read for myself the very words of the very people that molded, shaped, influenced, and motivated the political worldview of our 44th president. What I find is much more shocking and disturbing than some Sean Hannity diatribe, a Michael Steele scripted Republican National Committee press release, or a You Tube video forwarded by a wacky relative.
How do we know that?
Let’s start with his Senate career. This 2-year period spent as a Senator, one in which he co-authored no more than a handful of meaningless bills, was by far the most “moderate” of his entire life. For such a term of moderation Barack Obama was rated the “most liberal" voting member of Congress. He stood to the Left of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Joe Biden. During the 20 years before becoming the most liberal-voting Senator, he was known far and wide as a far-Left
So let’s turn next to his training as a community organizer. What is a community organizer?
It is at base a social agitator. At first I thought it might just be someone who organized block parties and helps to get out the vote? In fact, their primary goal according to Rules for Radicals, (and I quote) is to, “rub raw the wounds of discontent.” This is to be accomplished among primarily minority groups whose anger can be mobilized to bring about radical societal change. Saul Alinksy encourages tactics such as “overwhelming the system.” These tactics are designed to get the current system to collapse so a new collectivist, re-distributive form of social order can be erected in its place.
In other words, the community organizer’s political views, their "means" and "ends", are distinctly Marxist. (If you disagree, then you don’t know what Marxism is.) Their primary goal is to amass and centralize political power. Community organizers are left to decide what their own definitions of morality will be. This way, according to their dogma, anything standing in the way of doing what they have defined as the “right thing” becomes expendable. I’m not making this up. It’s in their literature, the very literature Obama embraced and taught classes on to new recruits during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
In one of the
For example, the organization that hired Obama after he graduated
Barack Obama was himself first turned away by the same
The turning point for Barack Obama’s career came when he was introduced to Reverend Jeremiah Wright of
Wright was a former Muslim and black nationalist who had studied at Howard and Chicago, and Trinity's guiding principles--what the church calls the "BlackValue System"--included a "Disavowal of the Pursuit of 'Middleclassness.'"So who helped shape President Obama’s thinking? In addition to the self-avowed radicals who idolized the likes of Saul Alinsky, the next most important person was Jeremiah Wright. Wright taught his congregants that white people invented AIDS,
Leftist Social Agitation + Leftist Social Gospel + Corrupt Chicago Politics = Barack Obama.
The point here is this: the President and his policies are becoming increasingly unpopular because they are simply wrong. They are wrong because they emanate from ill-conceived, incorrect understandings of the world around us. They are based on a flawed view of economics, history, and Judeo-Christian inspired American ideals and values. Because his policies are based on wrong ideas, if he continues to follow this misguided course to re-shape
I consistently read men like Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman for a better understanding of economics. I turn to the likes of CS Lewis, GK Chesterton and Albert Mohler for matters of faith and worldview. The pastors of the churches I have attended in my life have undeniably impacted me in profound ways and have helped to shape the way I think about God. I am proud to be associated in any way with any of these men. Soaking up wisdom from others is an unavoidable reality of life and learning for all humans who begin that life knowing little of the world, of economics, of politics, etc.
Although I am not responsible for every word of every book or sermon these men have put out for public consumption, it has been impossible for me not to come away from the time I spend with them (or their thoughts) changed forever.
So who changed Obama? Who helped steer him in the direction he has now walked for decades as a public figure, first in Chicago and now in Washington? Could it be that the ideology and worldview Barack Obama was exposed to is what has led him, and now our country, to the point where handing over more than 1/6 of the American allegedly-free-market economy to the federal government is even on the table? Might more and more Americans be rejecting the president's plans not just because of a poor marketing strategy by the White House, but because more and more Americans are realizing that the radical community organizer persona that seemed trendy and hip last year was really just their "Obama goggles" talking?
Like any other loyal American I would rather have my President succeed than fail. So here’s my advice: You can still succeed, Mr. President, but only by radically changing course now. Become the moderate you ensured us you are. Prove to us that the distance you have attempted to put between you and your radical past is sincere.
Take the intellectual and ideological refuse you filled your head with for all those years out to the curb one last time and let history's garbageman place it upon the pile where it belongs.