Archive for February, 2014
Newsworthy events happen at such an alarming rate these days that it is difficult to wrap one’s mind around all of the ways in which our nation, and the global world, are changing. It is just as difficult to try to discern on which issue one should try to focus one’s energy. One thing I do know……we will be greatly endangering our children’s and grandchildren’s future by digging our heads in the sand and/or trying to tiptoe around moral decisions. It is our responsibility as caretakers of our constitutional republic, to support those voices who are speaking truth to power in this age of political correctness run amok.
February 22, 2014
Going Somewhere DangerousIn a little over 200 days we’ll be knee-deep in what is quite likely the most important midterm election in American history. If the makeup of the Senate doesn’t move decisively and dramatically to the right we may have lost everything this country has ever been. It will be a do-or-die election.
What are those issues? The economy. National defense. Tax reform. Education. Health care. Family stability. Religious freedom. Immigration. A long list, but not really a daunting one. It’s not like mankind has never faced these issues before. It’s not as if we don’t know what to do to fix them. We know what works. Just as there are scientific laws that govern the natural world, there are economic and social laws that govern human society. We just need to follow those laws.
But we can’t do that by imitating those who want to repeat failed, illogical social experiments. Establishment Republicans want to embrace illegal immigrants, expand the government’s regulatory power, accept the nonsense of global warming, and increase the federal budget ad infinitum. They seem ready to just take it when the president issues his papal bulls, brazenly flipping off the Constitution. “Now-now,” they fuss. “We can’t seem too extreme, too right-wing, too Christian. We have to appeal to the middle-of-the-road voters.”
Nonsense. We’ve tried that and it’s been a resounding failure — Dole, McCain, Romney. We’ve tried the Brooks Brothers, Karl Rove, country-club approach. We tried acting like King George’s redcoats — marching in rigid lines wearing big white X’s on our chests and refusing to break ranks and fight the guerilla war raging all around us. We’re being attacked on all sides and all we appear to be doing about it is inviting the other side over for tea.
Our mistake has been to pretend that a middle ground exists on which both the left and right could meet and agree. I would say that is pure fairytale thinking, but even fairy tales have good guys and bad guys and no one in between. Even in fairy tales we don’t expect that the evil queen is going to meet Prince Charming halfway, or that Saint George will be able to negotiate with the dragon.
This pretense has, in the first place, lost us our schools — somehow we thought there could be a neutral position from which to teach history, culture, science. We forgot that either the United States is a force for good or for evil, that either we use art and music and drama to celebrate the good or the bad, that you either believe God created the world or you don’t; that we either teach kids the truth or we lie to them. I was once told that I had to teach Paradise Lost without reference to Genesis. Really? As Aldous Huxley said in his introduction to Brave New World, “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” I hate it that he was right.
Because we’ve lost the schools, we’ve lost the media — journalists aren’t so much biased as they are completely ignorant of the truth, completely uninterested in truth, convinced it doesn’t exist, convinced that their function is one of advocacy not of truth-telling.
And, as a result, we, everyday Americans, have lost control over our government. We are going to have to fight — head on, duty-is-mine-consequences-belong-to-God, unflinching. We can no longer play parlor games. Either we’re right or we’re wrong. If we’re right, eventually we’ll win. If we’re wrong and the world is now going to be a one-world collectivist, poverty-ridden dictatorship, then we don’t want to be part of it anyway.
Millions of us all across this country are praying for God’s help with this, because we’re going to need it. We’ve been driving on a flat tire now for so long that the car has listed clear to the left and we’re now traveling down a very dark, ugly road — one that will end, as this road always has, in a frightening kingdom where everyone but the king, and his over-dressed wife, is poor and vulnerable.
We must risk overcorrecting; talking nicely to this drunk driver isn’t going to get us back on the all-American highway. So what if we veer off to the right and have to do a little off-roading to fix this? Our Constitution allows for that. It may cause some upheaval to audit the Federal Reserve, dismantle the IRS, balance the budget, close down intrusive government agencies, build a fence at the border, and stop the intrusion of Sharia law; it’s not going to be easy to undo ObamaCare. Those are drastic measures, but we have to take them and we need gutsy leadership to do that.
I can’t say that our state representative — Greg Walden — has done badly in Congress — he voted against raising the debt ceiling, but he hasn’t taken any of this mess by the throat, he hasn’t stepped forward and taken a strong stand. I’m going to be voting for someone who will. I don’t want people who think we have to “reach across the aisle.” For over two hundred years we’ve maintained this carefully balanced marriage between the right and the left, but we have come to a breaking point; there have been too many infidelities for compromise, for forgiveness. It’s no longer a matter of who’s going to do the dishes and who’s going to take out the trash. Evil has entered the equation and even if it doesn’t win, it will leave a stain.
I think we can hope. Such leadership is stepping up and we can measure the strength of the Cruz-Lee-Paul-Gowdy guys by the stridency of the opposition to them, from both Republican and Democratic lairs. These guys will need our support for they are indeed “some men with guns going somewhere to do something dangerous.” (Glendon Swarthout, Bless the Beasts and Children) We must ride with them.
A few family members sometimes question my daily reading of the blog, American Thinker, but I have found it to be a refreshingly divergent source for discerning the political, religious and cultural opinions of a wide array of writers who are not aligned with any one group or organization. It’s contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda. I discovered the blog while researching our President and his “friends” back in 2008. While the views expressed are definitely conservative in nature, the articles always present a diversity of thought that is based, not only on the authors’ ethnicity, religious affiliations and personal experience, but also on their varied backgrounds in business, science, technology, medicine, management, and economics. That being said I would like to now share a particularly disturbing article regarding our nation’s military.
February 13, 2014
The Pentagon’s Bow to Islamic Extremism“Caving to pressure from Muslim groups, the Pentagon has relaxed uniform rules to allow Islamic beards, turbans and hijabs. It’s a major win for political correctness and a big loss for military unit cohesion,” said a recent report.
This new relaxation of rules for Muslims comes at a time when the FBI is tracking more than 100 suspected jihadi infiltrators of the U.S. military. Just last month, Craig Benedict Baxam, a former Army soldier and convert to Islam, was sentenced to seven years in prison due to his al-Qaeda/jihadi activities. Also last month, Mozaffar Khazaee, an Iranian-American working for the Defense Department, was arrested for sending secret documents to America’s enemy, Iran.
According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the new religious accommodations — to allow Islamic beards, turbans, and hijabs — which took effect very recently, would “reduce both the instances and perception of discrimination among those whose religious expressions are less familiar to the command.”
The report concludes that “[m]aking special accommodations for Islam will only attract more Muslims into the military at a time when two recent terror cases highlight the ongoing danger of Muslims in uniform.”
But it’s worse than that. Not only will it attract “more Muslims,” but it will attract precisely the wrong kinds of Muslims — aka “Islamists,” “radicals,” etc.
This is easily demonstrated by connecting the dots and understanding that Muslims who adhere to visible, non-problematic aspects of Islam — growing beards and donning hijabs — often indicate their adherence to non-visible, problematic aspects of Islam.
Consider it this way: why do some Muslim men wear the prescribed beard, and why do some Muslim women wear the prescribed hijab? Most Muslims would say they do so because Islam’s prophet Muhammad commanded them to (whether via the Koran or Hadith).
Regarding the Muslim beard, Muhammad wanted his followers to look different from “infidels” — namely, Christians and Jews, so he ordered his followers to “trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” Accordingly, all Sunni schools of law maintain that it is forbidden — a “major sin” — for men to shave their beards (unless, of course, it is part of a stratagem against the infidel, in which case it is permissible).
The question arises: if such Muslims meticulously follow the minor “outer” things of Islam simply because their prophet made some utterances concerning them in the Hadith, logically speaking, does that not indicate that they also follow, or at the very least accept as legitimate, the major “inner” themes Muhammad constantly emphasized in both the Koran and Hadith — such as enmity for and deceit of the infidel, and, when possible, perpetual jihad?
In the Islamic world, this connection between visible indicators of Islamic piety and jihadi tendencies is well-known. Back in 2011, when Islamists were dominating Egypt’s politics, secularist talk show host Amr Adib of Cairo Today mocked the calls for a “million man beard” march with his trademark sarcasm: “This is a great endeavor! After all, a man with a beard can never be a thug, can never rape a woman in the street, can never set a church on fire, can never fight and quarrel, can never steal, and can never be dishonest!”
His sarcasm was not missed by his Egyptian viewership, who knew quite well that it is precisely those Muslims who most closely follow the minutia of Muhammad — for example, growing a beard — who are most prone to violence, deceit, and anti-infidel sentiments, all of which were also advocated by Islam’s prophet.
Speaking more seriously, Adib added that this issue is not about growing a beard, but rather that “once you grow your beard, you give proof of your commitment and fealty to everything in Islam.”
Similarly, after Egypt’s June 30 Revolution ousted the Muslim Brotherhood, “overt signs of piety [beards and hijabs] have become all it takes to attract suspicion from security forces at Cairo checkpoints and vigilantes looking to attack Islamists.” Clubs and restaurants banned entrance to those wearing precisely these two “overt signs of piety.”
While Egyptians instinctively understand how fealty to the Muslim beard evinces fealty to, or at least acceptance of, all those other problematic things Muhammad commanded, even in fuzzy Western op-eds, the connection sometimes peeks out. Consider the following excerpt from a New York Times piece titled “Behold the Mighty Beard, a Badge of Piety and Religious Belonging”:
[A]ll over the Muslim world, the full beard has come to connote piety and spiritual fervor…. Of course, the beard is only a sign of righteousness. It is no guarantor, as Mr. Zulfiqar [a Muslim interviewee] reminds us: “I recall one gentleman who came back from a trip to Pakistan and remarked to me, ‘I learned one thing: the longer the beard, the bigger the crook.’ His anticipation was people with big beards would be really honest, but he kept meeting people lying to him.”
The italicized portion speaks for itself. Whereas the Muslim beard ostensibly represents religious piety, some people — mostly Westerners — are shocked to find that those who wear it are often “crooks” and “liars.”
In Islam, however, outer signs of religiosity on the one hand and corruption and deceit on the other are quite compatible. After all, the same source — Islam’s prophet Muhammad, as recorded in the Hadith — that tells Muslims to grow a beard also advocates deception, the plundering of infidels, the keeping of sex slaves, adult “breast feeding,” and all sorts of other practices antithetical to Western notions of piety, if not decency.
Incidentally, it’s the same with the hijab, or the cloak that some Muslim women wear, also on Muhammad’s command. One reformed Islamic jihadi from Egypt accurately observes that “the proliferation of the hijab is strongly correlated with increased terrorism. … Terrorism became much more frequent in such societies as Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, and the U.K. after the hijab became prevalent among Muslim women living in those communities.”
And so, at a time when the U.S. should at the very least be wary of those who openly wear their Islamic radicalism around their face and head — beards for males, hijabs for females — the U.S. Pentagon (of all places) is embracing them in “celebration of multiculturalism.” Where loyalty to the U.S. is most needed, the Pentagon embraces those who show that their loyalty is elsewhere (among other things, the beard and hijab are meant to separate “pure believers” from “impure infidels”).
Of course, none of this is surprising considering that the Pentagon also considers Evangelical Christians and Catholics “extremists” on par with al-Qaeda.
Please, Please, Please click on the blue links………..it is imperative to be fully informed and to remember the history of this President in order to understand what is happening to us and to our country. Our children and grandchildren will be the future victims of the policies of the progressive elitists on both sides of the aisle. Let us not pretend that everything is going to be all right while we silently ignore the push toward a secularist, collectivist “cradle to grave” nation.
February 10, 2014
Obama’s Loafer Nation
By Ed Lasky
President Obama has broken many promises. One that he has not broken is his boast that he would “fundamentally transform America.” He and his fellow Democrats are on the verge of doing just that by turning us into a nation of loafers.
A loafer is an idle person who lives off others. Barack Obama seemingly has no problem with such people. He might even relate to them. He does have a serious problem with his own work ethic, and finds work boring. He also denigrates the work of others who build businesses through dint of hard work and risk-taking (“You didn’t build that“); talks incessantly of “fat cats” on Wall Street; embraced the Occupy Wall Street Movement of squatters and pumped up their own inflated self-importance by telling them “You are the reason I ran for office“; and accuses doctors of running up the tab by, among other evils, taking tonsils out for money instead of diagnosing problems as allergies). He has yet to speak critically of union leaders, class action lawyers and others who run up the tab for all Americans because they are, after all, the Democratic Base.
But Obama and his Democratic Party allies seem to be gleeful about the rise of the loafer class. Recent revelations from the Congressional Budget Office bear witness to this phenomenon. When the CBO’s prognosis on the future of Obamacare revealed that the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs would be lost because the provisions of the law would create disincentives to working (as well as hiring) what was the response from the left side of the political spectrum?
“ObamaCare will give more of us more time away from work. This is a good thing.”
- It “will enable more than 2 million workers to escape ‘job lock.'”
- It “gives workers more choices, including the option to work less.”
- Because ObamaCare will make people less willing to work, companies will “have to pay more per hour to get those workers in the door.”
- One lawmaker even boasted ObamaCare will give parents more time to “tuck their children in at night.”
Jason Furman, Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, also tried to spin these projected job losses into good news by saying ObamaCare would allow workers greater “choice.” Furman said, “This is not businesses cutting back on jobs. This is people having new choices.” If taxpayer-funded health insurance encourages some people to work less, “that, in their case, might be a better choice and a better option that what they had before.”
Then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi unwittingly revealed this goal years ago in a comment that unsurprisingly got little airplay in the mainstream media when she toasted the fact that the health care reform that she and her fellow Democrats forced down America’s throat would be a godsend for the “creative class”:
Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.
Yes…think about it! The lady from San Francisco does not think about the plumbers, contractors, accountants, sanitation workers and legions of other Morlocks toiling away for the benefit of artistic Elois and their patrons. Maybe performers can be hired to entertain government bureaucrats during over-the-top government junkets, or for IRS training films, or sculpt artwork that can be sold at outrageous prices to grace American embassies across the world for the delectation of Obama donors-ambassadors.
Well, these people’s choice to work less in order to qualify for subsidies to pay their health insurance premiums means that other people are paying for their liberation from work and from the responsibilities of being an adult and an American (at least what used to be considered an American). But such a goal is very attractive for loafers.
ObamaCare also makes it very appealing for children to be coddled by their parents. Instead of becoming fully-functioning adults, paying their own way in the world, they can stay under their parents’ insurance policies until the age of 26-further reducing the incentive to mature out of loafer-dom. Paul Ryan noted this sad state of affairs at the Republican National Convention:
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
More 27-year olds are living in their parents’ basements than with roommates-and this is true for college graduates, as well.
But what if the Democratic Party does not want them to be anything other than loafers? That can be a very appealing prospect for many people.
After all, Obama telegraphed his goal in 2008, making a Kinsley gaffe (a politician accidentally telling the truth) when he went off the teleprompter and told Joe the Plumber that his goal was to “spread the wealth.”
How have Obama and his fellow Democrats achieved that goal? Count the ways:
Endless extensions of unemployment insurance to anesthetize jobless Americans from the pain of reckless Democratic anti-growth policies;
Record high food stamp usage;
A record number on disability were getting the highest-ever monthly benefits;
Labor Force participation rates have declined; people not in the labor force are at a record 91.8 million;
Democrats are encouraging people to get on the government dole at an early age. High-school students are constantly exhorted to go to college.
John Kerry typified the view of liberals when he told a crowd of Ohio voters:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
Barack Obama has repeatedly said that he thinks everyone should go to college — seemingly oblivious to the reality that college may not be appropriate for everyone. Millions of people have come out of college with degrees that do not lead to jobs but have led to unsupportable debt loads. Collectively there may be more than a trillion dollars in student loan debt — and it is a growing menace to the health of America. But the federal government has continued to feed the beast because colleges may not to lead to jobs but do lead to many more Democratic voters. Democrats have hinted of future plans to wipe away the debt of college students –effectively transferring the debt to taxpayers.
Michelle Obama recently urged high school students to grab as much taxpayer money as they can by applying for federal aid when they go to college. At T.C.Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia she told students that applying for federal student aid is easier than they think:
“Don’t leave money on the table,” Mrs. Obama said. “Almost everyone is eligible for some form of financial aid, and all you have to do to access that aid is fill out this one little form. It’s so simple.”
“Through FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid], the Department of Education provides more than $150 billion every year in low-interest loans, in grants that you don’t have to pay back, and work study programs that can help cover your educational expenses,”
As Dr. Susan Berry wrote at Big Government:
Mrs. Obama, however, emphasized that there are “thousands of dollars to help you and your family pay for college,” and that students could receive federal aid regardless of how well they perform in school or even if their families are not at poverty level.
“You don’t have to be the valedictorian. You don’t have to major in a certain subject,” the First Lady said. “You don’t even have to be at the very bottom of the income ladder to receive the money…”
Yet student loan defaults continue to skyrocket. One day the bubble will burst and Republicans will be handed the blame.
If the cliché that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is true, then the Obama administration is certifiable (that’s okay since mental health care is covered by Obamacare and by the time he finishes his second term many Americans will be seeking mental health professionals). Obama’s pick to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, former Congressman Mel Watt, has made clear his intention to spend taxpayer dollars to help otherwise unqualified home buyers to purchase homes. Formerly, one had to work and get a good credit rating to be able to take out a mortgage and purchase a home. Not anymore. There is a new sheriff in town and he is not interested in enforcing reasonable and sound credit standards and rules .
The administration is also pressuring banks, and cities to make it far easier for people to buy cars and homes –– regardless of how sensible and sustainable such purchases and loans may be or how solid the job prospects are for purchasers.
Obama has used his executive authority to gut workfare — one of the great bipartisan reform efforts over the years to transform welfare and get people off the government dole and into the workforce. Barack Obama also subtly changed the federal definition of “poverty” so that many people on welfare don’t have to “worry” about being dropped from the welfare rolls, secure in the knowledge that the checks from taxpayers will continue to flow.
So when Republicans declare their goal is to grow the economy and create more jobs and thus more taxpayers, they lose the loafer vote.
And when Democrats are in the forefront of legalizing marijuana even for non-medical purposes they gain the loafer vote. As the liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote:
“…persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education.” Long-term users saw an average decline of eight IQ points.
Once again, teenage toking was the problem. The decrease in IQ was linked only to those with adolescent marijuana use, not those who started in adulthood
Lassitude, lethargy and lack of motivation follow — sounds like a drug tailor-made for loafers.
Barack Obama was a member of the Choom Gang in his fancy Hawaii high-school. One wonders if those effects can persist?
Didn’t Obama make clear he was all out for the loafer vote — and that his goal was to create another class in America, the loafer class?
After all, wasn’t his animated campaign pitch “The Life of Julia” celebrating cradle to grave dependency on big government (the role of taxpayers was left on the cutting room floor)?
As Ethel Fenig wrote on American Thinker:
Julia would attend a government school complete with Head Start, go on to a government college thanks to government funds, start a business with government help, birth and raise a child supplemented with government funds and finally retire to a happy, healthy old age with her living and health care expenses all paid for with government funds.
Isn’t Julia’s perfect match, Pajama Boy, a poster child for the loafer life: lolling about in PJs, sipping hot chocolate, advocating Obamacare at Thanksgiving instead of, say, talking about his job?
Rich Lowry wrote in “Pajama Boy, An Insufferable Man-Child” about Julia and PJ Boy:
But it’s hard not to see Pajama Boy as an expression of the Obama vision, just like his forbear Julia, the Internet cartoon from the 2012 campaign. Pajama Boy is Julia’s little brother. She progressed through life without any significant family or community connections. He is the picture of perpetual adolescence. Neither is a symbol of self-reliant, responsible adulthood.
And so both are ideal consumers of government. Julia needed the help of Obama-supported programs at every juncture of her life, and Pajama Boy is going to get his health insurance through Obamacare (another image shows him looking very pleased in a Christmas sweater, together with the words “And a happy New Year with health insurance”).
The breakdown of marriage and its drift into the 30s mean there are more Julias and Pajama Boys than ever. The growth of government feeds off this trend, and at the margins, augments it.
In other words, they are loafers.
But wouldn’t Pajama Boy, though androgynous in a metrosexual way, be more suited as Julia’s mate? Barbie had Ken; Eve had Adam. Addicted to Other People’s Money, mainlined by Democrats, hooked at an early age they could have the politically correct two children and raise them as True Believers in Big Brother.
Brave New World!
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