"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Friday, July 31, 2009

Economy Improves for Fourth Straight Month!

Our gracious leader was at it again Wednesday at a town hall meeting in North Carolina. The P.R.esident, as I can only refer to someone who spends more time on TV than The Golden Girls (and if you've ever watched Lifetime, you know they're on a lot), hit the neverending campaign trail, teleprompter in tow, to sell the improving economy. You know, the economy that has been shedding jobs like a snake sheds skins and driving consumer confidence down to just a notch above Michael Vick's popularity among PETA members.

"We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession," the president told a packed auditorium of pre-chosen audience members. "We have stopped the free fall. The market is up and the financial system is no longer on the verge of collapse."

For those with a short memory, we've been witnessing the Obama Administration see signs of an economic recovery for four or five months now. Come to think of it, April 1st sounds about right, and we're all fools for believing a word. If it seems like deja vu all over again, maybe that's because it is.

"What we're starting to see is glimmers of hope across the economy," Obama bragged on April 10. His economic adviser and architect of the stimulus, Lawrence Summers, concurred. "We can be reasonably confident that it's going to end within the next few months and you'll no longer have that sense of free fall."

This is the same Larry Summers that's also a fan of measuring the strength of the economy by monitoring google searches instead of those actually searching for jobs. But if the glimmers of hope in April were only a mirage, no worries. A month later, with unemployment hitting it's worst levels in nearly 26 years, Barack had another stirring vision.

"It's safe to say we have stepped back from the brink," the president told a Beverly Hills audience on May 27. "The stimulus bill that Congress passed three months ago is starting to improve the economy."

Moses this guy ain't, but half the country seems prepared to follow him across the economic wasteland. This is the same stimulus bill that has only handed out 8% of the hundreds of billions allocated thus far and is only slated to hand out 20% by the end of the year. Vice-president Joe Biden has also been on a speaking tour to spread the good news about the Dems' failing stimulus.

"Thanks to the Recovery Act we are making critical investments in our infrastructure, stimulating billions of dollars of activity and creating millions of jobs like the ones here in Bergen County," the veep told New Jersey officials on May 7.

At the time of the speech, New Jersey's unemployment rate was 8.5%. Today it's 9.2%. The vice-president's appearances have had similar effects around the nation. If he's planning to show up in your town, you might want to treat the boss to dinner. I'm just saying. But at least Biden has been willing to jump off-script and tell the truth on occasion, as he did earlier this month when he admitted to George Stephanoupolos, "we and everyone else misread the economy."

If Obama has had no positive effect on the economy, the same can't be said for the effect he's had on the press. While some were trumpeting his economic healing powers the day after the election, others have gone out of their way to find the silver lining despite poor job reports, to sell the end of the recession as quickly as possible in order to push Obama's socialist agenda. These stooges, whether at Reuters, Newsweek, or MSNBDNC, wait breathlessly on the edge of their seats for anything they can point to as signs of a recovery. You can imagine how overexuberant they'll be the first month there isn't terrible news, as the business cycle naturally runs its course and unemployment drops back below 8 or 9%. Still far from full employment. Nevermind the biggest thing preventing private sector growth right now is increased government debt to pay for the stimulus boondoggle.

I can't imagine what it's like to live in Communist China, but I'm getting a sense of what it's like to experience state-run media right here in the U.S.A. When China or Venezuela publish their unbelievable propaganda, when they stage their silly photo-ops with the very people they're insulting, do the lies really get that much bigger? The whoppers advertised by Brother O's Traveling Salvation Show defy logic and lack credibility. It's one thing to remain upbeat and positive. It's another to pretend your policies are the only thing that can save the economy, pass them, and then lie about how well they are working.

How long before we see the headline, "Great Leader Inspires Confidence"? When such things are written, results no longer matter.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Most Interesting Man in the World Skips Beer Summit

... replaced by least interesting man in the world, Joe Biden, and an egghead professor who threw a tantrum when police tried to make sure his home wasn't being robbed. Who invited the vice-president and why is he drinking non-alcoholic beer? "I don't always drink beer, but when I do I drink Bucklers!"

At least no one is wearing mom jeans.

For the absolute best take on Gatesgate, don't miss Iowahawk's latest opus. I think I'll head down to the pub myself, grab a real man's pint, and watch the rest of the Beer Summit on TV. When do the drinking games start? I don't know if they involve a deck of cards, but you can bet someone will play the race card.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Study: Obese Governments Spend More on Health Care

Governments that fatten themselves on overburdened taxpayers and increased entitlement programs spend too much on health care, a study funded by the CDC recently found. Okay, so that's not exactly what the study said, but it doesn't take a genius to read between the lines.

The findings, released by RTI International, actually showed that health care costs increased for a person as weight increased, to the tune of nearly $1500 more in medical bills per year. That, of course, translates into more prescription drugs and higher insurance premiums for overweight Americans. So you can only imagine what adding these fatties to a government health plan will do.

While I don't know if obesity is a pre-existing condition, I imagine that in the case of someone too large to even leave their house, a private insurance company might balk at covering them. But if health care reform passes as currently proposed under Doc Barack and Nurse Nancy, no insurance company will be allowed to refuse anyone. Not only that, the insurer will be limited to what they can charge the riskier patient based on the average payer's premium.

So if you're young, fit, and healthy - guess what? Your health insurance is going up! You are going to be penalized to make up for the increased costs of insuring the unhealthy and obese. Might as well start smoking now. How's that hopey-dopey change working out for you, kiddos?

Of course, if the state controls your health, maybe the government won't let you get fat. The obesity police could come knocking at your door with tape measures or send you a warning letter if the school thinks your child is getting too pudgy. They could regulate your diet, enroll you in re-education seminars, or raise taxes on fast food, sodas, and fatty snacks. Given the ballooning deficit, the plan's projected cost, and the trend to tax cigarettes, you know that's where we're headed.

Think it all sounds too farfetched? Ask a banker or businessman who took TARP funds. Just like money from a loan shark in the Sopranos, these government goodies come with strings attached.

You don't shrink the size of government by increasing the size of government. The fact I even have to write that sentence is a testimony to how bad the mainstream media is covering this fiasco. Yet that's what President Obama and the Democrats are asking us to believe with health care. Cover everybody, cover them without assessing risks, cover them without charging more than healthy individuals are charged, and somehow it's going to lower costs and boost the economy!

Kind of like the stimulus was going to create all those jobs and keep unemployment below eight percent. Whoops. Your credibility is flatlining, Mr. President.

Graph courtesy of Keith Hennessey via Ed Morrissey.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rep. John Conyers: Reading is Fundamental?

Someone needs to send the Michigan Democrat Hooked on Phonics
. Because after passing the trillion dollar, 1000 page stimulus bill less than 48 hours after it was written, after passing crap-and-trade legislation without so much as seeing a copy of last-minute changes, John Conyers (D-Mich) is ready to vote for state-controlled health care reform without reading it either. And I'm sure he's not alone.

“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill!'... What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means," John Conyers (D-Mich) told the National Press Club.
Hey, what else do you expect from a statist? All a liberal Democrat in Washington has to hear is that the bill will put the government in control of more wealth. That's it. Case closed. They're the elites, they know best, now just hurry up and sign your life over to Big Brother.

When it fails, just like the stimulus, Mr. Conyers will offer a myriad of excuses and point his finger at anyone who got wealthy during this time. Even if it happens as a result of special-interest-giveaways that he voted for. It's the same as Barney Frank's response to blowing regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, not to mention oversight of the TARP funds. Ramble like an idiot, blame the private sector, and hope the Soros-funded political machine shows up to assassinate the character of your critics and turn the union cogs come election day.

It's not a far fall for an empire once the lawyers and lobbyists can write the bills for the people's representatives without them caring what's in the legislation. Talk about dereliction of duty. Of course, we already know that Rep. Conyers' wife is a crook.

Hat tip: David Hinz at The Minority Report.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fat Government in a Little Coat

If you've ever attempted to put on clothing that says "one size fits all" only to look in the mirror and feel like Michael Moore wearing a coat designed for actual humans and not elephants, you've experienced the essence of universal health care. While most people think of universal as meaning everyone gets covered, this is only part of the definition. What they fail to focus on, and why it's such a horrible idea, is that everyone gets covered exactly the same. In other words, "Fat guy in a little coooaaaat."

Fat guys in little coats. Little guys in fat coats. This is what all socialist programs are really about. The typical progressive can't stand the idea that someone might get better health care than somebody else, even if you have worked hard, have access to doctors that have worked hard, and are willing to pay for it. That wouldn't be fair. Only Congress are entitled to such perks. So they come up with a size that fits everyone, except it leaves most of us inadequately covered and exposed to bad policy by bureaucrats.

Since it's not feasible or affordable to raise everyone up to the highest standard of health care (any more than it is for everyone to drive a porsche), progressives install government stooges (President Obama calls them "experts") to set minimum standards, recommend affordable treatments, and reject expensive and/or innovative ones. You know, the ones that might actually save your life. This is the same reason why those that receive universal health care in England and Western Europe are three to four times less likely than Americans to survive certain types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer. In Britain, for example:

Just 41.4 per cent of men and 51.4 per cent of women found to have cancer survive longer than five years after diagnosis - down on the 42 per cent and 53 per cent figures previously reported. Experts blame NHS waste, drug rationing and a lack of cancer specialists for the shameful showing.

To which you might ask: If you aren't free to choose the treatment that could save your life, are you really free? Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, architects of our Declaration of Independence, would probably wonder the same thing. What did we have a revolution for if we are going to allow the central government to make such life and death decisions? Therein lies the trillion dollar question and the problem with universal health coverage or Obamacare or whatever you want to call it. I'm gonna call it state-controlled health care, because I feel that's the name that best describes it. The state sets the rules and the state controls what care you get and when you get it. And you pay them for this "privilege". Yet the mainstream media wonders why this is a tough sell in America?!

With state-controlled health care, the government looks over your doctor's shoulder and evaluates every decision he or she makes to see if it's in line with their bureaucratic rules and regulations. These have mostly been determined by bean counters for cost-effectiveness, and in fact, even the patient's contribution to society will be evaluated. Let me stress that again. The worthiness of the patient will be questioned and evaluated. How many "quality years" are they likely to gain from an expensive procedure or surgery? If they're over 80 and the medical procedure will only add two or three years to their life, maybe it's better, as President Obama said, to just have them take a pain killer.

For effect, I used to modestly propose that if you really wanted to reduce the carbon footprint that supposedly contributes to global warming, then we could simply eliminate citizens when they reached a certain age, say 75 or 80. Humanely, of course. The net result being this would reduce consumption of products which add to greenhouse gasses while conserving resources that younger generations need. But my Jonathan Swift solution doesn't seem so satirical now. We have a president who wants to determine your treatment based on how much money it saves the government. And if we're to take Obama's Science Czar at his word, eugenics can't be far behind as a possible solution. Hopefully, not the Final Solution.

Rather than providing more opportunities for more people at the starting line, allowing families to pay into tax-free health savings accounts for example, or letting everyone keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, progressives set their bleeding hearts to social engineering, viewing pictures of inequality one snapshot at a time and setting about to even the playing field, never once examining what's on the videotape that allowed some people to get further ahead than others. Hint: it's not dependency on government.

With state-controlled health care, we are giving up our most important right, our right to life (which let's be honest, liberals have always questioned), and allowing the government to choose doctors and treatments for us based on their needs, not ours. Under Obama's reform, you may not get the treatment you need because it's too expensive. Or you might have to wait too long for the treatment, in which time your condition worsens and during which you are unable to work. While the health care itself doesn't technically cost you money, it's easy to argue that you pay a higher price in pain, suffering, and lost wages.

Progressives are quick to state their opposition to the government interfering in the womb, where oddly enough the government would be stepping in to protect life, but they are A-okay with government interference in the I.C.U. And if it's getting too expensive, your condition is improving too slowly, and they need that hospital bed for an ACORN member, it's good night, nurse. Literally.

This is a choice of wealth (for the government, not the individual) before liberty, servitude before freedom. Passing socialized medicine, universal health coverage, Obamacare, whatever you want to call it, is quite frankly a reversal of our Declaration of Independence. This is tyranny hiding behind the stethoscope, supersized government wearing the little white doctor's coat and offering a diagnosis that flies against the Hippocratic Oath. The truth of the matter is state-controlled health care doesn't cure the sick, it condemns the sick.

We're trading the best health care in the world for the government's best attempt to manage it. This is not capitalism or free enterprise. And it sure as hell isn't liberty. This is a blatant power-grab by a far left statist who believes that what belongs to you belongs to everyone, and by everyone he means the federal government.

Ben Franklin once said, "The only things certain in this world are death and taxes." President Obama is not only committed to their certainty, but he is determined to bring them both about sooner.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obama: I'm Not a Doctor, but I Play One on TV

President Obama stepped out on the mound Wednesday night and delivered another bouncing throw that fell short of the plate. True, the All-Star Game was last week, but his attempt to pitch health care to the American people during a nationally televised press conference didn't fare much better.

Here's Barack "Doc" Obama explaining his version of state-controlled health care to the American people:

Woops, okay, that was during last year's campaign trail. But honestly, tonight's performance wasn't anything to brag about. And liberals have the nerve to make fun of Sarah Palin?! I've heard Paula Abdul make more sense.

I don't have to tell you President Obama isn't a doctor, nor does he have the support of most doctors in this country, though a few organizations run by lobbyists who represent the lawyers who work for some hospitals have gotten behind parts of the bill. Big win for the people there! However, the president can't help but play a doctor on TV.

What was on Doc Barack's mind this time? Tests, too many of them. We have to eliminate all those tests! That's right, waiting room patrons, Doc Barack can save us a whole bunch of money and speed up our treatment time if we just stop trying to verify our diagnosis.
"They're going to have to give up paying for things that don't make them healthier," the president said. "And I, speaking as an American, I think that's the kind of change you want."
Anyone who is a nurse or has watched Mystery Diagnosis on the Discovery Health Channel (TV for hypochondriacs!) can tell you that it's hard to diagnose a patient without running tests. Of course, some tests measure different things, so you might have to send your blood sample to a couple of different labs. And some tests might show different things on different days. So the specialist orders up more than one. But Doc Barack knows better. Those tests are expensive, and if he tells you it's just your asthma keeping you from breathing and there aren't enough hospital beds, you'll get your "breathalyzer" and go on your way.

See now, that's practicing efficient socialized medicine, because the goal of national health care isn't health care per se, it's saving the government money! And there's nothing like doing your part to help the government save money by skimping on your health care so they can spend trillions in kickbacks to big business, political cronies, and special interests. Right before taxing you to death.

Doc Barack also took some time to answer questions during the press conference - eleven of them total in nearly 55 minutes. Does this guy love the sound of his own voice or what? Nevermind giving an ipod to the queen with his speeches on it, I'm convinced this guy listens to his own bloviating while he works out to his shuffle every morning (yes, that was for all you O'Reilly premium subscribers).

In one question in particular, strutting the stuff of his fine medical training pedigree, the president dealt with the tricky issue of diagnosing a sore throat:
"If you come in and you got a bad sore throat. Or your child has a bad sore throat...," the president suggested, "the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, you know what, I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out. Now that may be the right thing to do. But I'd rather have the doctor making those decisions based on whether... the tonsils need to come out... to change... maybe they have allergies, maybe they have something else that will make a difference."
As you can probably guess, that was off-teleprompter. What does that have to do with his plan? I guess it means you have to have a really, really good excuse with approval of a bureaucratic board to get your tonsils taken out (more via Gateway and Hot Air). But more importantly, your doctor can't sell those tonsils on the black market. Then Doc Barack explained the difference between red pills and blue pills.
"If there's a blue pill and a red pill," the president posed theoretically, "and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well (as the red pill), why not pay half price for the thing that's going to make you just as well?"
One Pill, Two Pills. Red Pill, Blue Pill. Turns out there is a doctor inspiring all this policy. It's health care by Dr. Seuss. In President Obama's mind, it really is that simple. Everyone gets blue pills! We just cut health care costs in half. The deficit will disappear in no time. If Barack's my doctor, I'm looking to get a second opinion. But I believe the president's following quote might sum up his true intentions best.
"Can I guarantee there are gonna be no changes in the health care delivery system? No. The whole point of this is to encourage... changes."
Well, you can't say he isn't trying to deliver on his campaign promises. Change! Even if it means changing your current health coverage, your current treatments, and your current doctor. Even if you don't want it. Sounds like state-controlled, rationed, government takeover of health care to me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Kind of Country Are We if We Can't Put a Black Man on the Moon?

Given all the cable specials, you probably heard that this week marks the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's lunar landing. Yep, it's been forty years since we first walked on the moon. And while we elected our first African-American president earlier this year, overlooking his complete inexperience and Marxist tendencies in order to make history, while we have made great strides to move beyond our often racially-charged past, the only moonwalking done by an African-American thus far has been done on this planet by a crotch-grabbing pop star.

I am outraged. Outraged! In all the moon missions, forty years worth according to my lunar calendar, not once did we send an African-American. What does that say to the black community? That they can't go to the moon? That they have to pretend to go to the moon by shuffling their feet down here? Apparently. Because it's 2009, and still no African-American has taken a step there. Who would have thought that aside from some Baptist churches in Vidor, Texas, the moon would be one of our last establishments that was "whites only"?

Thirty-eight astronauts took part in the Apollo missions. Twelve of them walked on the moon and another 24 orbited it. And they were all as white as wonder bread. Where is the city of New Haven when you need them? How could we let these men be promoted from the Air Force and Navy into outer space when it was clear they did not reflect the diversity of America? What kind of racist test must have been used to favor these all-white crews and participants? What if they ran into martians? Who would bring the empathy?

Paging Sonia Sotomayor. What to make of this, Judge? Isn't it self-evident that a wise latino astronaut, given their background, would make better decisions outside of earth's orbit than a white astronaut? Heck, what about a wise latina? Our space program screams gender bias!

We are so fortunate to have such diversity on earth. And by diversity, I merely mean skin color. Because that's what progressives mean. After all, you don't hear African-Americans complaining that there aren't enough black Republicans or black libertarians or black supporters of Ron Paul. Not when over 90% are voting for Democrats, though technically such a one-sided voting bloc is the opposite of diverse.

Shouldn't we carry as much color as possible into space? Dammit, even the crew of the USS Enterprise included a black woman, a gay man of Asian descent, and something called a Vulcan. So step up to the plate, President Obama. It's time to make history. Again. Since everything you do is historic. Let's put an African-American on the moon.

I won't even complain if you volunteer to go yourself.

(special thanks to The Other McCain for linking to our page... he's the reason why the Bond girls from Moonraker are pictured above: see blog rule 5 of How to Get a Million Hits)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Are We Becoming Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson sang, "I'm looking at the man in the mirror." And if he would have looked in the mirror before his passing, he would have seen a broke, pill-popping ghost of himself. Once popular, once filled with so much potential, once the voice of his generation, Michael Jackson was a talented phenomena who broke down barriers and sold more records than anyone the world has ever seen. Then he lost his moral compass, quit producing viable material, spent his fortune on the useless and the bizarre, and completely self-destructed.

Is it just me or does this sound like America? Once a great nation founded on the principles of restraint - individual liberty and limited government, once the voice of freedom and democracy for people around the world, once the wealthiest nation on earth, we are now a culture on the decline, our free markets burdened by a ballooning federal government and our moral compass wavering.

We are addicted to unsustainable entitlement programs and dependent on government welfare, popping pills we hope someone else will pay for and spending massive amounts of money on frivolous programs. Our glory days are behind us, we produce nothing viable anymore or at least very little, and we have completely neglected to build the plants and refineries necessary to resupply our energy. Meanwhile, we bury ourselves in never-ending debt, most of it going to a traveling entourage of lawyers and political cronies.

It has been a process of killing ourselves slowly - until now. Under Obama, we are on the fast track to our own sold-out memorial service. If this administration has its way, it will turn every aspect of our lives over to Big Brother, from how much we are allowed to make to what temperature we can set our thermostats at to whether or not we are allowed to get the treatments for what ails us. George Orwell predicted this authoritarian future quite brilliantly when he wrote 1984. His only mistake was not calling it 2009 and setting it in America.

Who could have foreseen such a bleak course for the greatest beacon of freedom and liberty on earth? Yet like Michael Jackson, the signs of our demise have been evident for some time. Now we need the courage to speak the truth. It's time for the people of this country to look in the mirror and realize we aren't the energetic, talented and upstart, cool black kid fronting the Jackson Five or moonwalking in Thriller. Our moon trips are way behind us and we are currently thrilling no one. Our economy is sick, we haven't had a hit in years, and we've butchered our founding values as badly as Michael butchered his nose. Would Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams even recognize us today?

As it turns out, all that media coverage wasn't excessive after all. Michael Jackson, eccentric though he was, is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. And while it's too late for the King of Pop, America still has a fighting chance. We just have to tell the incumbents selling us out in Washington, D.C. to beat it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to Throw a First Pitch

Last night, watching the ceremonial opening pitch of the All-Star Game by President Obama, I couldn't help but wonder who chose the camera angle? So bizarre was this canted angle, it kept viewers at home from actually seeing whether the ball made it to home plate. Is the current occupant of the White House that vain or are his handlers that worried about him looking like he's not the superman they (and the media) portray him to be? I know I refer to him as the Fauxbama, but gee whiz, this is getting ridiculous. Will he be lip syncing soon on Saturday Night Live?

In some respects, this is a completely trivial matter. But in other respects, it leads to bigger questions about "the brand" we are being sold. What other mistakes and policy glitches are being camouflaged in order to protect the brand's image? And make no mistake, Obama is a brand, even if he does make Neil Diamond's "Forever in Blue Jeans" seem like a horrifying threat.

The pitch itself was a bit dainty. For comparison, I have included President Bush's attempt at Yankee Stadium in 2001. Bush demonstrates how to do it right without resorting to camera tricks.

The Anchoress goes further in dissecting the two men, their personalities, and what their pitching appearances say about the way they treat the office of the president. Suffice it to say, when the crowd chants U-S-A! U-S-A! after Bush's successful strike throw, I wondered if Obama would have been disappointed to not hear his own name. I also wonder if the cult of personality around Barack is so strong that they would have us chanting O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! instead of cheerleading for our country.

Of course, it's just baseball. I understand our President is good at plenty of other sports.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wiener Diplomacy

The fourth of July came and went with no Iranian diplomats eating hot dogs at U.S. embassies, President Obama having rescinded the original invitations after an outpouring of condemnation against Iran's government for their violent crackdown on protesters. With a worsening economy and his approval ratings plunging, even the Barbecuer-in-Chief realized celebrating Independence Day with an authoritarian regime that doesn't believe in freedom would leave a bad taste in most American's mouths.

This is the good news. The bad news is it took a groundswell of public opinion to help the president make this decision, that he hesitated to "meddle" in Iran when human rights were being violated on a massive scale. The Iranian community organized for freedom, but our most famous community organizer went AWOL, afraid of upsetting the powers-that-be until he saw the potential political backlash. In fact, if it weren't for outrage sparked by a video posted online of an unarmed, 16-year-old Muslim girl being shot to death on the streets of Tehran, one wonders if the White House would have reacted at all.

Welcome to the Obama administration's idea of foreign policy. The hot dogs may have been shelved for now, but make no mistake. This is wiener diplomacy. Under President Obama, our allies get lectured, while our enemies are given free passes. We whitewash over hostile regime's atrocities and human rights violations, while magnifying our own blemishes as a democratic nation. Nevermind it's our system and values that allow us to correct our mistakes and answer to the people, whereas dictators answer to no one. Let alone diplomats.

North Korea is lobbing missiles into the ocean like fireworks and playing war games with our computers. Iran still has nuclear ambitions and continues to support insurgents in Iraq. The Taliban is gaining an increasing foothold in Pakistan. And Honduras, with the full backing of their Supreme Court, had to arrest their executive leader before he copied Hugo Chavez's dictatorial blueprint using intimidation and an illegal referendum to make himself lifetime Presidente.

And where was Obama? Silent on North Korea, lukewarm in his criticism of Iran, and on the wrong side of the issue in Honduras, where he instead sided with Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro (hardly three champions of democracy) in condemning Honduras for forcefully removing their dictator-to-be. Apparently, under wiener diplomacy, it is okay to meddle, just not in favor of governments with the actual support of their people.

Obama ran a campaign on symbolism and platitudes, and it worked so well in America (he got elected after all), dammit if he isn't going to try the same thing around the world. Whether its Egypt, Moscow, or Ghana, every nation and culture will be blessed with a speech and photo-ops by the One's traveling teleprompters and possibly the entire first family. If he gives enough of them, surely the world will change their ways and sing kumbaya. This is the naivety we have to look forward to for the next three and a half years.

Has any president been so vain that they think their appearance and soothing words alone will make a difference? This isn't just a waste of time, it's dangerous. If America isn't going to take action to stand up for freedom and democracy around the world, who will? We are basically giving unstable and authoritarian governments carte blanche to proceed without fear or threat of U.S. interference. Under wiener diplomacy, we just shrug our shoulders and look to the U.N., who then issues a stern statement or passes their umpteenth unenforceable resolution. Ho hum.

Even an isolationist may not want to send American troops to die on foreign shores, but the threat of strict economic sanctions usually remains a viable option. Instead, our state department is fighting against Europe's support for stronger sanctions and releasing captured Iranian terrorists to placate the mullahs. Five in particular were released back to Tehran this week, captured in northern Iraq two years ago and members of a group responsible for at least 400 attacks on our troops. They have the blood of our soldiers on their hands and they still pose a threat. But now they are free men, just like those responsible for the USS Cole bombing, who Barack Obama released earlier this year.

Remember, it took Al Qaeda 10 years to plan 9/11 before acting it out. And it took a passive climate very similar to today's for them to gather the time, money, manpower, and resources necessary to do so, while we attended to our own affairs oblivious of the danger. If we continue down this path, can another attack be that far behind?

But don't worry, America. In a much trumpeted, highly symbolic, and utterly meaningless diplomatic move, President Obama met with the Russian president and they agreed to cut nuclear arsenals by one-third. We probably both have enough nuclear warheads to annihilate the earth 40 times over. So what does it matter if we sign a treaty eliminating a third of those weapons? Now we can only annihilate the world 28 times over. And it does nothing to deter North Korea and Iran's nuclear ambitions. Feel any safer?

There are certainly reasons to meet with Russia, the first being to gain their support in isolating the Iranians, but even we've given up that line of thinking. Russia continues to trade with Iran and supply some of the infrastructure they need to build up their military and nuclear capabilities, but instead of stopping this, we swap warheads for warheads while gaining nothing. Well, not nothing. We can fly our planes over their airspace to get to landlocked Afghanistan. For now. They will probably ask us to stop developing our missile defense system and protecting our NATO allies down the road or risk losing rights to said airspace. And under wiener diplomacy, we will probably oblige. Isn't that what that "reset button" was all about?

The idea behind Obama's form of diplomacy, I suppose, is that nations and leaders don't act hostile to nations and/or leaders that are friendly or that they have relations with. And none is friendlier than Obama, who won't even let a handshake and photo-op with Hugo Chavez unsettle him.

Neville Chamberlain proved this theory wrong long ago, but let's suppose the rules have changed and you can now trust the word of authoritarian rulers who don't even entrust freedom to their own people. Are we really willing to compromise our principles and values, to sit on our hands when human rights are violated around the world and liberty is lost, just so we can be more agreeable? Are we willing to blur the line between right and wrong, good and evil, free and enslaved, so long as we don't think our borders will be attacked?

Let's hope not. If we can't move the world towards the light of freedom, then we risk letting others move us towards the darkness. Whatever that darkness may bring.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Are Christians the Mullahs of America?

Last week a column by John Young in the Austin-American Statesman (who if memory serves me correctly helped Michael Moore screen his anti-Bush film in Crawford) caught my particular attention. The column was full of the usual drivel about the evils of religion, taking people of faith to task for daring to take positions based on their religious convictions. This is not new territory, in fact the column could have been written by any number of progressives. However, this one distinguished itself by tying the violence and protests against the mullahs in Iran to Christianity's "grip" on this country.

The following is my response in the form of a letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,

Re: Disperse if God Commands it

So John Young wants to jump on the bash religion bandwagon. Fine, but please take a number. We have already withered the misguided attacks of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, and Michael Lind, to name but a few. The idea that all religion can be grouped under one umbrella, that there's a similarity between authoritarian mullahs in Iran killing protestors and Christians in America wanting to prevent abortion, is as ridiculous as it sounds.

I can't imagine a lazier academic argument, though I suppose I should just give the secularist/atheist more time. The most horrific murders and atrocities of the past century came not from religious men, but from Nazis and Communists, their faith unwavering in a dogma that replaced God with Man. To quote the ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers, "Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness."

Religion, like any tool, can be used for evil. Just like a hammer can be used to bludgeon someone to death instead of build neighborhoods. The hammer isn't the problem. Whether progressive or conservative, atheist or believer, what we should all strive to be vigilant against are fanatical ideologies that place little value in life and even less in liberty.


J Oliver

It's a shame to read so many mindless attacks on religion, not because I am a Christian and I am offended, but because just as the first amendment prevents Congress from establishing a national religion, it also prevents Congress from infringing on the individual's right to the practice thereof.

Even the Declaration of Independence, with its recognition of a Creator (twice actually), would probably be considered in violation of the establishment clause by today's liberals, their definition of separation between church and state is so narrow. For some on the left, John Young included, any position taken on an issue is tyrannical and unreasonable if it's based on a religious belief. This is ludicrous, and no such restriction exists in the Constitution.

The opposite of a traditional religious belief is a policy position based on the popular movement of the moment. This is mob rule, and this is crazy. There is no assurance that the policy will be good or reasonable. It might be or it might not. Just because an idea comes free from the restraints of religion doesn't mean it isn't superstitious (since superstition exists regardless of religion). Or necessarily scientific. Sometimes what seems reasonable in one era is completely unreasonable in another. Eugenics comes to mind, once popular and promoted by scientists of the early twentieth century, now abhorred by modern society knowing the genocides it caused.

In terms of abortion, a progressive will argue for a woman's right to privacy and to make this choice alone with her doctor. On the other hand, they promote the takeover of health care by the government, with health decisions (other than preventing abortion) made not by doctors, but by bureaucrats. The result of this is a government that emphasizes the bottom line (or the cost in tax dollars) over protecting the sanctity of life - a slippery slope if there ever was one. Religion here, at least in the Judeo-Christian sense, is one of the best arguments against tyranny. Otherwise, even if the treatment exists and you are willing to pay for it, the government can ensure the end of your life by denying treatment or restricting it to others they favor instead.

I understand that Mr. Young has taken a journalism teaching position in Colorado so I may not get to read his columns anymore. This is bad news on two accounts. It gives me one less thing to complain about each week and puts him in charge of educating tomorrow's mainstream media. At least now we know why most journalists turn out to be liberal.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Maybe It's Time to Start Rumors about Obama's Kids

The far left attacked Sarah Palin relentlessly and personally, including feeding the blogosphere vicious rumors about her children, until finally the popular Governor of Alaska cried uncle. No longer able to focus on her job without her entire family being scrutinized, Sarah Palin resigned Friday. Not to retreat, she said, but to start anew with her priorities intact. Now that we know the rules and the behavior that the media are willing to tolerate, I guess it's time to go after Michelle and the Obama children. Who knows? Maybe Barack will resign, too.

I'm kidding, of course. No one who truly considers themselves a conservative would wish such thuggish tactics on their worst enemy. Only progressives believe personally belittling the individual and their family is progress. Meanwhile former veep candidate John Edwards is a misunderstood saint, and we're still waiting for that dirty laundry to air. When the rumors proved true and the National Enquirer revealed his extramarital affair, campaign donations used as hush money, and a real bastard child, no one could find a bad thing to say about the situation. Their thoughts and prayers were with his family. Sarah Palin's, on the other hand, can go to hell, or at the very least become rape joke fodder for David Letterman. For the spoiled brats on the far left, the end always justifies the means.

Sarah Palin wasn't just scrutinized. She was stalked and harassed by the nutroots and a complicit media with all the furor of a jilted lover. Frivolous ethics complaints were filed against her by those seeking to destroy her political future, even after she was defeated at the polls last November. While conservatives tend to graciously extend a hand to those they beat in elections or concede without protest even after losing to a dead man, liberals are out for blood. For the left, defeating Palin democratically wasn't enough. She must be buried alive, and every rumor about her must be echoed online as if it were true. Palin's record as a reformer in Alaska was barely analyzed, her ideas were rarely debated, but her person was attacked more viciously than any American political figure in my lifetime.

It's no surprise to see bloggers at Huffington Post and the Daily Kos celebrating her resignation. Their dirty work has paid off for now. Heck, leftover Clinton hack and CNN analyst Paul Begala, who blamed Bush's victory over Gore in 2000 on racists and homophobes, still can't help kicking her when she's stepping down along with exhuming the corpses of long forgotten D-list scandals belonging to former representatives Mark Foley (2006) and Larry Craig (2007).

Way to stay classy, Paul. I'm assuming this gives me permission to bring up Chappaquidda every time Ted Kennedy's health bill comes up. For someone so concerned about homophobia, I certainly find it odd that Begala would bring up two resignations involving gay scandals. Ah, but to be gay and conservative, that is the true crime, just like it is to be a pro-life and conservative female governor.

The vitriol on the left is so strong, they are so blinded by ideology, that nothing is off limits. They attacked Palin's
intellect, her belief in God and prayer, her socio-economic background, her fashion, her decisions regarding childbirth, her special needs child, her family and in-laws, choices of said family members, her hobbies, her husband's past, not to mention the false rumors of pending investigations. Even now they are contemplating all types of scandals as an explanation for her resignation. No wonder Palin seeks peace of mind away from the political spotlight. What normal person wouldn't?

This is not a victory for America. This is a victory for Saul Alinsky, Obama's twisted mentor, who wrote Rules for Radicals (a book dedicated to Satan). This is a victory for immoral behavior, the politics of personal destruction at the expense of a free exchange of ideas. We are now tolerant of everyone except those that believe or think differently from the majority. Which is to say we are least tolerant when it matters most. Today's mainstream media frets over the American who places his or her freedom above collectivism and champions individual liberty over government unity or the false comfort of conformity.

Sarah Palin has been exonerated from every ethics charge filed. Every rumor has proved to be false. No matter. The left wing bloggers paint her "guilty by google association." The thrust of this ludicrous argument is if you type in "Palin" and "scandal" or "unethical", you get tens of thousands of results, so there must be some substance to the accusations. How many of these articles actually defend Sarah Palin or cast doubts on the scandals, the blogger conveniently leaves out.

You can test the fallibility of this asinine theory yourself. If you google "Jeff Goldblulm" and "dead" you get 765,000 results, so by the left's flawed logic, that rumor must be true. You heard it here first: Jeff Goldblum is dead. And to think, Independence Day was just on over the weekend.

Of course, the left wing blogosphere being the echo chamber that it is, it only takes one nut like Andrew Sullivan to suggest that Sarah Palin may not be the real mother of Trig, who has Down syndrome, and the next thing you know it's being picked up by sheeple everywhere and repeated by dishonest propagandists like MSDNC's Keith Olbermann, the biggest douche in the woooorrrlllddd! So the lie feeds the lie feeds the lie. And who cares about the truth, anyway, when the end always justifies the means. Kill the conservative messenger and maybe the conservative message dies, too.

So now we are left with speculators and conspiracy theorists speculating and theorizing about why Sarah Palin resigned and what her future might hold. Will Palin run for president? I have no clue. I think she would be crazy to subject herself to more of the lies and innuendo that the political left has in store for her. When one of my neighbors, who is a Democrat, suggested Palin hadn't been attacked any worse than John Kerry in 2004, I had to laugh. I reminded him that the criticism never centered around Kerry's family, it was brought by people who served with Kerry in Vietnam, and it stopped the day of the election. Kerry was able to return to his leadership role in the Senate and work for his constituents unfettered. No such luck for Palin, who has accrued huge legal fees fending off the attacks.

Even this week, with North Korea launching missiles, with Iran jailing and killing protesters after a stolen election, with major legislation like cap-and-trade and health care reform making its way through Congress, with the economy sinking worse into a recession, and with Honduras exorcising their Chavez demons (without Obama's help), the Washington, D.C. media circus chose to focus its attention on emails Palin sent to McCain's campaign manager a year ago and a Vanity Fair article (by a writer even Clinton distrusts) that can only be described as a hit piece.

It defies logic how a governor of one of the least populated states can garner so much attention during one of the busiest news cycles of the year. If this is all part of the Rahm Emanuel/David Axelrod/George Stephanopoulos strategy to keep the spotlight off the
imploding Obama economy, they are running out of conservative scapegoats. And that might be the most brilliant part of Sarah Palin's resignation.