Monday, October 25, 2010

Choices, Transformations And Observations

I’m tired of being told that my way of looking at the world is less moral than the ways of other people. I’m tired of being told to disregard what my eyes are seeing because other people may find it offensive.

I am the child of people who survived the Holocaust. My mother was first taken from her home in a small village called Nisni Slatina and taken along with other Jewish people to a decaying, disease ridden ghetto. From there she was taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. As she arrived in Auschwitz, she asked a woman Gestapo where her parents were. The woman Gestapo pointed to the smoke bellowing from the chimneys and said, “You want to know where your parents are? That is your parents.” My mother was wearing earrings and the Gestapo pulled down on them, splitting her ears and creating the scars that she still bears today, at 92 years old.

My mother was taken out of Auschwitz as one of 300 girls to do slave labor in a factory called Telefunken. She was treated better at Telefunken doing slave labor than she was at Auschwitz. She was lucky to be sent there. As the tide of the war started to turn, my mother was sent to Bergen Belsen, where she was lying among the dead and dying when the camp was liberated by the British. My mother survived, as did three of her sisters. Two other sisters and her brother, along with both of her parents, were killed.

My mother told me of her experiences often. She told me about how when she entered Auschwitz, she saw the women there behaving like animals, fighting for every scrap of dirty food and swore she would never act that way. But hunger was the over-riding emotion and one day when she spotted a dirty potato skin on the floor, she grabbed at it. She said this to me many times with a lot of emotion in her voice; “Howard, that dirty potato skin tasted like an apple to me.”

As a child, I never fully understood the significance of the Holocaust. I knew it was bad. My mother would have nightmares where she would scream in such a horrified way and you couldn’t wake her up! I would run into their room and literally shake the bed. My father was always afraid that waking her up from these dreams would be too sudden and traumatic. She would finally wake up and start to relax, though with tears in her eyes. I would ask her what happened in the dream. All she would ever say was that big dogs were chasing her. She never went into more details about those nightmares and would just say that she didn’t remember the rest.

As I started to get a little older I started asking questions. What about all the other people? Didn’t anyone see that what was going on was wrong? My mother told me one story about how the neighbors in Nisni Slatina, people who had been over for dinner, people who they had been friends with, took advantage of the growing anti-semitism and started to steal things from their home. This outraged me. The evil of the Nazis was self-evident, though hardly explainable. But that average people would not only do nothing to help, but actually use the situation for petty thievery – that just stuck in my craw.

Some thoughts that you have as a child stay with you forever. Perhaps it is because these are your formative years and you are thinking things out for the first time. As you get older, thoughts come into your mind and leave and you never even knew they were there! The thought that stayed with me and shaped me forever is this; I would never be a person who would allow other people to intimidate me into going against what I knew instinctively to be true or morally correct. I didn’t always live up to this idea but it is the idea that shaped who I am.

As I grew up, it seemed obvious that a liberal ideology was morally correct. Liberals were supposed to stand up for what was right. But as I grew older I started to see things in a different way than many of my friends. I think it started with the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. President Carter was so inept and then Ronald Reagan came in and talked about peace through strength. No one wants war but there is honor in defending what is right. Cowering and hoping that things will change is what led to the Holocaust. I long ago made a pledge to myself that I would see the world as it was and not how other people said it was, and now for the first time, I was forced to act on that pledge.

Even little things started to irk me in their inconsistencies and misrepresentations. In 1984, when Walter Mondale was pressured to pick a woman as his running mate, he chose Geraldine Ferraro. Everyone said how courageous he was for picking a woman and I thought that given the NY Times and every liberal organization was pressuring him to pick a woman, courage at that point would have been to pick a man! It’s not that he was wrong for picking a woman, just that it wasn’t courageous; given the pressure he was under to do so.

It’s funny because people on the left point to the new media and say that these outlets preach to people who don’t know any better, thereby belittling people like me as being easily deceived when the exact opposite is true. My observations of the world led me to becoming conservative before there was a conservative media and when I saw the new conservative media pop up, I was happy to know that there were more people out there who saw the world the way I saw it.

Now in 2010, I’ve seen what my parents saw -- the resurgence of anti-semitism. I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime but I always promised myself that if I did see it, I would do what I could to fight against it. This anti-semitism is coming from the Muslim community and from left-wing groups and it makes no sense to try and be politically correct and pretend it is something else.

In the UK, many schools have dropped the Holocaust from history lessons because of fears that it might offend Muslims. Why would Muslims be offended by the teaching of the Holocaust? The fact that the UK education system has given in to this re-writing of history is shameful and eerily reminiscent of the giving in to nazism in the 1930s.

People keep saying that all Muslims are not terrorists, but was every German a nazi? Did people say “Don’t judge all Germans by the actions of a few”? The fact was that the few controlled the many and unfortunately, it’s the same today with the Muslim religion. I will believe that the Muslim religion is a religion of peace when people of the Muslim faith come out to protest the radicalism among them with the same fervor that they protest against a cartoon of Muhammad.

Recently, Juan Williams was fired from NPR for saying what everyone instinctively knows to be true – on airplanes, people will look at Muslims with suspicion and fear. While it’s true that most Muslims are not terrorists, most terrorists are Muslims and they, not other people, are responsible for that reaction. I would like to see the people who fired Juan Williams take a lie-detector test and be asked the question of whether or not they do a double take when a person with Muslim garb walks onto a plane. I would bet that they would fail the test if they said anything other than “Yes”.

In New York, people who call themselves liberal stand up for the rights to build a mosque near the World Trade Center. Does it matter that the people building the mosque don’t condemn the acts of terrorist organizations such as Hamas? Does it matter that it is being funded by anti-semitic organizations?

In Palestinian classes, Jewish people are portrayed to children as less than human. There are cartoons portraying Jewish people as money grubbers and monkeys. Why isn’t the world angered by these portrayals? Is it because the Jewish people haven’t threatened anyone? Are Jewish people worth less than others? These cartoons are no different than that of nazis. They would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

Ayn Rand once said “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see”. It is exhausting trying to explain something that seems so self-evident yet it is an obligation, especially for me, to keep trying. I owe this to all the relatives of mine who died in the Holocaust.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Truth And Nothing But The Truth

I recently saw a movie called “The Invention of Lying” with Ricky Gervais. The movie took place in a mythical society where there was no concept of lying. I wondered what a speech by Barack Obama would look like if he had lived in this mythical society and had to tell the truth as he saw it. The speech might go something like this…

Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Two years ago I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Now let me be clear, I would have never been elected if everything was running smoothly in the country. I was elected because I promised that I would change and improve these things. I offered hope.

It’s been two years and while we are still at war, while our unemployment has skyrocketed up to almost 10%, and while our debt has grown to unsustainable levels, I am amazed that I can still get away with blaming the previous administration.

America elected me because we decided to move forward as one nation and one people. But some of you have decided you do not want to be one nation. Selfish people who watch FOX news and listen to talk radio -- unpatriotic people who have formed tea parties are trying to misrepresent and ruin the change I have proposed. If we are truly to become one nation and one people, then those of you who have ideas that are different than mine need to shut up and stop standing in the way.

People need to understand that I, as President of the United States, know better than you about what is good for the country. We need to get away from our colonial, imperialistic and nationalistic way of thinking about our country and about the world. We need to understand that we are world citizens, not just citizens of one country. We cannot afford the arrogance that has marred this country in the past. We are just one country out of many and we need to have relationships with other countries based on mutual trust and mutual respect.

As to the economy, we cannot afford another so-called economic "expansion" like the one from last decade – what some call the "lost decade”. I don’t personally know anyone who actually called it the “lost decade” but after this speech, there will be people who will start to use the term “the lost decade” and it will seem as if that phrase has been around for a while. It’s a little trick that I and my speech writers use to fool people. We create a new term and make it seem as if others have been saying it all along.

The economic expansion of the last decade was built on a housing bubble that was unsustainable. I have said in the past that the bursting of the housing bubble was caused by Wall Street greed and unregulated financial speculation. What I haven’t said, but what is no less true, is that by forcing banks to give loans to people who had bad credit and little assets, was that we were creating a situation whereby if the housing bubble burst, a lot of innocent people would be left holding the bag. As an advisor to ACORN, I personally played a big role in seeing that this policy of bad loans continued. This, of course, was done with the best of intentions.

In fact, many of my close associates have also played a part in the forcing of banks to give bad loans with the goal that home ownership is a right, rather than a privilege. These include Barney Frank, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Dodd, Franklin Raines and many others. The reasons for the financial collapse are very complicated and I rely on most of you to not take the initiative to look into what actually caused the crisis.

I know that most of you are tired if the partisanship, the shouting, and the pettiness in Washington. So in order to have a more civil and bi-partisan tone, people need to believe in me. I ask for your trust. My opponents on the other side of the aisle try to bring up facts to confuse people. We will have a much more civil and democratic society if my opponents would stop trying to throw their opinions into the political debate. This only serves to create a partisan tone in Washington. It would be much more beneficial to the country if you would simply accept that the financial crisis was caused by Wall Street greed and leave it at that.

We all hated to have to bail out the banks. It was about as popular as a root canal but it needed to be done. So I supported the last administration's efforts to create the financial rescue program. I know that I bring up the previous administration quite a lot. There are two reasons for this. Number one: When I do something unpopular or reckless, it is beneficial to me if the previous administration has also done something unpopular or reckless. Number two: If the unpopular and reckless thing I have done doesn’t work out, I get to blame the previous administration but if it does work out, I get to take credit for it.

We need to make sure consumers and middle-class families have the information they need to make financial decisions. We can't allow financial institutions, including those that take your deposits, to take risks that threaten the whole economy. From this point forward, I will see to it that only government will be allowed to take risks that threaten the whole economy.

In fact, many companies have now paid back their loans so it has been a complete success in staving off financial disaster. Therefore, tonight I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. Because I’ll be dammed if I’m just going to take that money and give it back to its rightful owners – you the people.

As to international issues, as most of you probably know, I was against the Iraq war right from the beginning. What many of you may not realize is that I was just as firmly against the surge strategy in Iraq that brought us the ultimate victory there. Nevertheless, I have ended the conflict in Iraq and see no reason to give credit to anyone other than myself (well maybe the soldiers deserve a little credit as well). The war, after all, did end on my watch.

Illegal immigration is looked at by some as a problem. And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation. We need to get more immigrants to come to the US, to offer their hard labor, to pay taxes, to fill jobs that Americans won’t do, and to register as democrats.

As to my healthcare plan, if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. I will listen to your ideas before I dismiss them completely. I will then point out that elections have consequences and that I am the president. If you continue to make noise challenging that my healthcare plan will do all that I say it will do, I will make sure that you are portrayed as an out of touch troglodyte who doesn’t care about average working people.

Now I will be the first to admit that my administration has had some political setbacks and some of them were deserved. My administration should have done a better job of communicating how bad things were. In short, we didn’t take enough advantage of the economic and international crises both at home and abroad.

I did not come here to do what was easy and I did not say that change would happen overnight. We can do what's necessary to keep our poll numbers high or we can do what's best for the next generation. Or we can create a crisis that we can use to our political advantage. We can spend so much money that we dig a hole so deep it is impossible to get out of and when we’re done spending us into insolvency we can blame it all on George Bush.

Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Anti-Americanism --- The Radical Religion Of The Left

In Poker, the hierarchy goes something like this:
Two Pairs beats a pair. 3 of a kind beats 2 Pairs. A Straight beats 3 of a kind. A Flush beats a Straight. A Full House beats a Flush. 4 of a Kind beats a Full House. A Straight Flush beats 4 of a Kind. Finally, a Royal Flush beats a Straight Flush.

In the liberal world view, the hierarchy goes something like this:
Free speech beats Religious rights. General Feminist rights (not including abortion) beats Free speech. Gay rights beats General Feminist rights (not including abortion). Environmentalism beats Gay rights. Union rights beats Environmentalism. Abortion rights beats Union rights. Racial Equality or preferences beats Abortion rights. Finally, Anti-Americanism beats Racial Equality or preferences.

Seems ridiculous you say? Tammy Bruce, who was the head of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW), wrote about how she thought that the OJ Simpson case was a prime example of violence against women, and how the OJ case should have been publicized by feminists to generate an understanding of the issue of spousal abuse.

Here was OJ, a man in power, systematically beating his wife and getting away with it. Eventually, of course, his wife wound up dead. The powers that be at NOW, however, didn’t want to use this case as an example of domestic violence. The reason? -- It conflicted with the racial aspect. In fact, Patricia Ireland publicly censured Tammy Bruce by name for damaging “political alliances”.

Tammy Bruce also wrote about how rap music routinely objectifies and promotes violence against women. Again, this was not acceptable at NOW. Though the mission of NOW is to promote women’s issues, there is a bigger issue that trumps the main mission of NOW. Hence racial sensitivity, in both the OJ case and in rap music, prevents bringing up and dealing with the very circumstances that NOW is supposedly in existence to deal with! Incidentally, Tammy Bruce, after seeing this hypocrisy, became a conservative.

And who can forget the feminist reaction to Bill Clinton? Clinton was accused of not just having an affair, as with Jennifer Flowers, not just accused of inappropriate behavior and possible abuse of power, as with Monica Lewinsky, but of sexual assault and worse! These accusations came long before anyone ever heard of Ken Starr. Juanita Broaddrick, Eileen Wellstone, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Regina Hopper Blakely, Kathleen Willey, Sandra Allen James, Kathy Bradshaw, Cristy Zercher, Paula Jones, and Carolyn Moffet were some of the women that came forward with assault or harassment accusations. It would be difficult to imagine that each of these women made up these incidents. We’ll never get to the truth behind these accusations because there wasn’t enough of a demand to find out what the truth was.

Time contributor and White House correspondent Nina Burleigh said
"I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a [crude word for oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."
So Nina Burleigh seems to accept the fact that Clinton abuses women and is even willing to participate in that abuse because it furthers a bigger cause – Abortion. Hence, in the liberal Hierarchy of Needs, feminism without abortion is separated from abortion as a separate issue and Abortion as a separate issue trumps all other feminist issues.

The “Holy Grail” of the liberal Hierarchy, to be treated with reverence and never questioned, is anti-Americanism. It is the Royal Flush of the left. It is important to define anti-Americanism because people on the left will say that they only want to improve the country; that we are an imperfect people and should always strive to get better. Who would argue with that?

But anti-Americanism, as it has come to be practiced and perfected by the left, is not about improving America, it is about re-making it in a new image. Barack Obama has said himself, on more than one occasion that he wants to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” If the United States is a good country, does it need to be transformed? – Fundamentally no less?

The anti-Americanism which is at the top of the liberal food chain is rooted in hatred of the history, the morals, the religion, and the very people who created the unique idea of the United States as a country. The most important of these rights is the idea that freedom and liberty are not passed to people from the government but that freedom and liberty are “inalienable” rights. The most unique and beautiful part of the US Constitution is that it doesn’t say what government can do; it says what government can NOT do.

Barack Obama spoke about the idea that there are restrictions on what government can do, and he called it “negative liberty”. But as Bruce Walker said in an article in American Thinker, “How can liberty be anything other than negative? Liberty is the absence of external control.” Obama said that sometimes government needs to do things in order to improve the lot of ordinary people. The problem is where does that idea end? And what should government do and what should it not do? Once you accept government as the solution to problems, then you open the door to tyranny because in order for government to deal with problems for one group of people, it inevitably has to invade the rights of a different group of people.

In a recent survey, about 20% of Americans said they were unsure of Barack Obama’s religion or thought he might be Muslim. Personally, I don’t think Obama is Muslim or that he is a religious man in any traditional sense. His religion is the ideology of his pastor Jeremiah Wright, not that of any actual religious teachings such as the Bible or even the Koran. It is an ideology that says Supreme Court justices can bypass the legislative process. It is an ideology that says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can act without the input of congress. It is an ideology that forces citizens to buy a product they may not want. In short, it is an anti-religious ideology practiced with fanatical religious zeal that has no respect for the traditions of the United States and no understanding of how the country came to generate such unprecedented wealth and freedom.

Perhaps people think Obama is Muslim because he has criticized the New and Old testaments in a way that he has never criticized the Muslim religion. He criticized Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and the Sermon on the Mount by saying that a civilized country can’t be based on such ideas. No religious text has as many violent passages as the Koran but Obama has had nothing but praise for the Muslim religion – why?

In countries that practice strict Muslim law (Sharia law), every doctrine that liberals supposedly hold dear is trampled upon. There is no free speech or freedom of or from religion. A woman is considered at fault if SHE is raped and can be stoned to death if caught committing adultery. Women have their genitals mutilated so that it will be difficult for them to have sex. This way they can fulfill their one real purpose – having babies. Men have the legal right to beat their wives. Women do not even have the right to file grievances in court except under very stringent circumstances. But enough of the wonderful lives women have in these countries, what about gays? At Columbia University, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there are no gays in Iran. He’s probably right – they’ve all either disappeared or kept very silent. In countries that have Sharia law, the rich live in castles, the poor live in tents.

You could go on and on with this but the question is why do Barack Obama and the left feel so at ease criticizing Judeo-Christian values and feel so uncomfortable criticizing the religion of Islam? The answer is anti-Americanism. The United States of America was founded on Judeo-Christian values. The left does not like the United States as it is. In a chicken or the egg scenario, it’s difficult to determine if their dislike of Judeo-Christian values is due to hatred of America or if their hatred of America causes them to have hatred of Judeo-Christian values.

The Muslim religion has constantly criticized the west and America – to the point where many Muslims consider themselves to be at war with the west. Every doctrine held dear by the left is trampled upon by Muslim countries (even moderate ones). Yet the left continues to defend Muslims and blame America. The left seems to share the same anti-Americanism as radical Muslims and that anti-Americanism trumps everything else that they claim to stand for as supposed liberals.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tolerance For Intolerance Is Not a Virtue

A phobia is an irrational fear. When people use words such as “Islamaphobe” or “homophobe”, they are implying an irrational fear of Muslim or gay people. The “phobia” implication is misleading. If a person disagrees with policies (say gay marriage), that does not mean that the person fears gay people, yet he is likely to be hit with the “Homophobe” slander for that opinion.

Recently, with the Islamic “Cultural Center” being proposed near the World Trade Center, people have had to ask some poignant questions about why it shouldn’t be built. Is there an irrational fear of the Muslim religion and are people who want to prevent this Cultural Center/Mosque from being built truly “Islamaphobes”? Are they judging the Islamic religion in a different way than they would judge other religions and if so, is that justified?

Both George Bush and Barack Obama made the point that Islam is a religion of peace that has been co-opted and used by those who want to pervert the religion. But if the people who have co-opted the religion are the ones in charge of the religion, and if the people who have co-opted the religion are the ones who are making the rules, then the religion, itself, is not a religion of peace. If the people who practice the religion are afraid of those who have co-opted it, and have no power to change it, then why pretend that the religion is something that it clearly is not?

In a book titled “The Trouble With Islam”, the author Irshad Manji brings up a term that should be better known and understood, yet it is rarely mentioned. The term is “ijtihad”. According to Manji:
“Not jihad, but ijtihad…the Islamic tradition of independent reasoning…allowed every Muslim…to update his or her religious practice in light of contemporary circumstances.”
Unfortunately, the radical ayatollahs and imams have crushed the idea of ijtihad.

Every religion is filled with some contradiction and, to some extent, has to grapple with interpretations of religious texts as times change. People have always struggled trying to maintain their faith and meaning in a constantly changing world. For true believers of a religion, science and changing times don’t change the intent of religious texts. They can interpret their religion to the changing times while maintaining the faith, the meaning and the good of what the religion stands for.

Unfortunately when radical imams took control of Islam and took it upon themselves to determine the meaning of that faith, they created a religious dictatorship. In getting rid of “ijtihad” they put themselves in a position where they couldn’t be questioned or contradicted. In so doing they didn’t take the best of the Muslim religion, they took the worst of it and institutionalized it so that theirs was the only interpretation possible.

There are passages in the Koran and in the hadith that speak of Jews and Christians in praiseworthy ways as “People of the Book”. In other passages, Jews and Christians are described as inferior and sometimes, even subhuman. This is where a rational and sane interpretation would be needed but that is exactly what the people who are in control of the religion are NOT doing.

Even outright lying in negotiations and breaking signed treaties has been deemed acceptable if it furthers Muslim goals. This goes back to an interpretation of the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. This treaty was signed in 628 AD and declared a truce between the Meccan tribe of Quraish and the Muslim community in Medina. It was a 10 year treaty but was broken when Muhammad invaded Mecca and forced the people there to convert to Islam.

The imams who make the rules for Islam constantly refer to the Treaty of Hudaybiyya when they negotiate with those whom they consider to be their enemies such as Israel. How can any sane person or country negotiate with people who say right up front that they have the right to break a treaty any time it is convenient for them to do so? Their word is worth nothing and that is their official stated policy!

In every country where Islam has become part of official government policies, there is cruelty and intolerance, even in the so called moderate ones. Those who write books critical of Islam such as The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, get contracts put out on their lives. A simple cartoon critical of the religion causes riots and death threats. A film maker, Theo Van Gogh, who made a film that was critical of the way women are treated in Muslim countries, is murdered for daring to tell the truth. Van Gogh’s film was based on actual facts of the treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who writes in her book “Infidel” about how she was genitally mutilated and about how women are told to bear the treatment of being beaten by their husbands because that is what the religion demands of them.

The Muslim religion has become a cruel, cultish nightmare for those who are forced to live in countries where the religion works its way into government policies. Terrorism is just a natural byproduct of a religion where a few “privileged” people get to rationalize any behavior, no matter how cruel or immoral, if it is deemed to advance the cause if the Islamic religion.

Countries, in general, and the U.N., in particular seem very selective in how they condemn the actions of different nations. They rightly condemned South Africa for practicing apartheid but where is their condemnation to Muslim countries that routinely discriminate against non-Muslims? Non Muslims living in Muslim countries live in Dhimmi status which means they are officially second class citizens and have inferior rights to Muslims. Why won’t the U.N. condemn the concept of “Dhimmi” status as the discriminatory policy that it is?

The sad reality is that the U.N. and many nations are afraid of the Muslim religion. Perhaps, even though they may disagree with the cruel treatment of women and non-Muslims, they have a common enemy with them in their hatred of America, Israel and, in some cases, the west in general. It’s been said that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” so many excuse the behavior of crazy Jihadists in the name of some perceived greater good and end up rationalizing and excusing the behavior of these crazy imams and Ayatollahs.

They are doing no one a favor by turning a blind eye to this radicalism. The people who live under these religious dictatorships, those who want to raise a family and make a better life for themselves and their children, are not helped by this pandering to the crazy imams. The people of Iran tried their best to let the world know they wanted freedom but the world, to its everlasting shame, did nothing. By doing nothing they sided with the bad guys.

George Bush had it right and hopefully history will correct the record on his Presidency. Help the people who want freedom, give them reliable support and the Muslim religion can get rid of the crazy imams and ayatollahs that are making these people (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) live in misery. When the people of Iran saw what happened in Iraq they were inspired. They wanted their chance at freedom. Unfortunately, things have gone back in the other direction. The people in these Islamic dictatorships know that they can’t count on reliable help from the US and from the west, in general, and therefore are forced, out of fear, to submit to the crazy imams.

So now the crazy imams want to build a 13 story “cultural center” near the site of the World Trade Center. People who have tried to bury Jewish history by building mosques on top of Jewish shrines and temples, people who have taken over the city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and created an atmosphere where Christians are afraid to be in their holiest site, people who have destroyed ancient Buddhist statues and artifacts that could never be reproduced now have the unmitigated gall to talk about tolerance?

Muslims need to clean their own house before lecturing others on tolerance. It is not for the US to show that it is tolerant of the Muslim religion. The burden of proof is on the Muslim religion to show that it is tolerant of others. Perhaps one day when “ijtihad” returns and Muslims can be allowed to interpret their religion in a way that is not so cruel, then there can be a “cultural center” near the WTC. In the meantime, the one being proposed is nothing more than a tribute to the worst, not the best, of the Muslim faith. It is a tribute to the very imams that have taken this religion back to the seventh century and it should not even be considered to be built at the holy site of the WTC.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

President Obama’s Long Lost Ancestor From The 17th Century

There has been controversy surrounding the ancestry of Barack Obama. A top research team has looked into this matter and traced Obama’s family tree back to the 1600s, where Obama’s ancestor Barack Shakespeare Obama was a great leader and community organizer in Oxfordshire, England.

A parchment was discovered that documented a speech given by this ancestor of Obama’s. The parchment was in bad shape but was taken to parchment restoration experts where a process called infilling was used to fill in missing areas. The parchment was cleaned and tears were carefully mended using goldbeater’s skin, which is the outer membrane of a calf’s intestine. Even with the best efforts of top restoration experts, there are some parts of the speech that were unrecoverable. Nevertheless, with the best of intentions and with hopes that any missing sentences have been filled in true to the original intent of the document, here is the speech given by Barack Shakespeare Obama, probably at some point in the 1660s.

Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, friends, Romans and Countrymen, I come here today to praise our great nation. Almost two years ago, I took office amid religious wars such as that between the Catholics and the Huguenots, and that between the Muslims and the Hindus. There were wars breaking out all over the world. There was the Polish-Ottoman War, the Franco-Dutch War, Russo-Turkish Wars, and the Nine Years War in Ulster. The Spanish Armada was invading England. The English Armada was invading Spain. The Bubonic Plague had killed hundreds of thousands of people. Weapons of mass devastation such as high powered cannons and flintlock muskets became all too common and threatened the safety of law abiding citizens. We were in a period of unprecedented inflation as greedy speculators in London and Paris had drawn wealth away from the rest of the world, while devastating the environment in the New World by mining silver and gold.

In short, I inherited a mess. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a catastrophe. So we acted – immediately and aggressively. And two years later, the worst of the storm has passed. The storm is receding and the skies are brightening but problems remain. Many people are still out of work. Those who lost loved ones to the Bubonic plague, which my Health Department now refers to as the U1C1 Virus, can attest to the need for a national health insurance plan. Religious wars and wars of aggression are still raging all over the world.

O, a woman has lost consciousness! What dastardly deed is this? Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here for my smile was too much for this poor woman to bear!

At this point, Barack Shakespeare Obama, for some unexplained reason stopped his speech and turned to the side of the stage as if speaking to an invisible person, and said the following:

Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose to remake civilization.
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself.
Perchance I should consider the desires of the people.
But that would be giving in to conscience.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly.
They don’t see my greatness or they fear it.
Be not afraid of my greatness!
Lord, what fools these mortals be.
O, what more favour can I do to thee,
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Though we have seen better days,
It is not me who is to blame for the mess.
The way of mine enemies is wrong.
That way madness lies.
I will thrive for I am a wolf ready to strike though
He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf.
My strength is my words and while
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.

The people in the audience were confused by this sudden stream of consciousness but one person in the crowd was heard shouting:
One may smile, and smile, and be a villain!
Obama replied “That’s alright, that’s OK…”, as the person who shouted was removed by Knights and Centurions.

BS Obama then continued his speech:
I believe we have to talk to our enemies in order to understand them better. Strong leaders talk to their adversaries, and we will do so, no matter what anyone else says. For this reason, I have scheduled a series of meetings with Ivan the Terrible. Whatever differences exist between countries and religions, we can solve by talking. Therefore, myself, Ivan the Terrible and Napoleon will sit down for a summit where the finest ale and mutton will be served.

Now I want to take a moment if I may to give a shoutout to a great man in the crowd today. Copernicus, would you please stand and take a bow. Thank you. For those of you who may not know, Copernicus is the man who realized that it is the earth that revolves around the sun and not the sun that revolves around the earth. There are people who would like to go back to the days when it was thought that the sun revolved around the earth. My administration is not here to go backwards.

We will not be a bystander in the fight against climate change. We will lead the world in new green technology. There is scientific consensus that the conglomeration of people into large cities has created the need for too many horses. Matter that is expelled from the horse’s intestines has created a change in the earth’s atmosphere resulting in the heating of the earth. In addition, the constant burning of lamps for street lighting creates smoke which stays in the air and traps sunlight.

There is a liquid called oil that may be the salvation of all our environmental problems. With this ‘oil’ we will one day be able to have carriages without the pollution that horses create. We will also be able to create bright light without all the smoke. Until that day happens it is incumbent upon all of us to use our horses less. Those of you who insist on riding horses can eliminate tons of pollution by feeding your horses properly. By not over-feeding your horse, we can save thousands of pounds of horse waste. We should also get into the habit of using smaller horses. People who are in the habit of saying “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” should change their thinking and say instead; “Give me a waste efficient horse or I’m going to walk.”

This is the leadership that we are providing – an ale and mutton summit that advances the common security and prosperity of all people. We have gone from a bystander to a leader in the fight against climate change. We are helping developing countries to feed themselves, and continuing the fight against the Bubonic Plague. Our strength lies in our diversity. Sweet are the uses of diversity. In addition, we are going to provide new green jobs which will help the economy and the environment.

Right here in Oxfordshire, we have opened up a new factory that will provide 75 new jobs. This factory will manufacture graphite pencils. Graphite pencils are the future and we must look forward. Why should we buy graphite pencils from China or any other place when we can produce them here at home? We have spent millions of pounds in order to create this new, clean graphite pencil industry and these new jobs are the fruit of our hard work.

So, despite plagues, economic catastrophes, wars, religious intolerance, and global warming, we are continuing to move forward with the change I promised. I didn’t say it would be easy as these are all the problems that I inherited from my predecessor. I still have confidence in the citizens of the country. You are all masters of your fates. And I will make sure that your fates turn out in a way deemed positive.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Main Stream Media And the Void It Leaves Behind

There has been a lot of discussion recently about media bias. Liberals point to the fact that the media has become consolidated among a relatively few big corporations and therefore, has a bias to the right. Conservatives point to the fact that most people in the media, based on surveys, are registered democrats and vote consistently for the democrat candidate, thereby displaying a bias to the left.

In fact, neither of these claims proves media bias. It is ludicrous to say that because the media is consolidated among a few corporations that it is, therefore, biased to the right. Historically, corporations have donated as much to democrat candidates as to republican ones. There are as many democrats who run big corporations as there are republicans.

For example, according to, these corporations all contribute significantly more to democrats than republicans; Comcast, General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, Capital Group Companies, Exelon Corp. In fact, most corporations hedge their bets and contribute just about the same amount to democrats as they do to republicans. For the ones that actually take a stand and make a point of going to one party over the other, most actually contribute more to democrats than to republicans! The idea that corporations are interchangeable with republicans is a myth.

Similarly, to say that because most people in the media vote for democrats does not prove bias either. It is possible to vote predominantly for democrats (or republicans) and still be an objective reporter (possible but in practice, not likely). The only way to prove media bias is to look at what the media actually does – What does it cover? How much time does it devote to certain stories? How does it frame those stories?

It is clear that the Main Stream Media (MSM), which consists of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The New York Times and the overwhelming majority of print and broadcast media, including most of the entertainment industry in Hollywood as well as news magazines such as Time and Newsweek, devotes time to some stories and neglects others. The decision to neglect certain stories has created a void for those stories. An alternative media has sprung up out of necessity to fill that void. The alternative media consists mostly of Fox Cable News and talk radio. The internet has been successfully used by both the MSM and the alternative media.

Looking at actual stories, it is clear that the Jeremiah Wright controversy was not going to be looked into with any investigative zeal by the MSM. What the MSM failed to realize is that a large number of people cared about this story. People were enraged at the hatred this reverend demonstrated towards the United States and they questioned why a presidential candidate would sit in a church for over 20 years and listen to rants against the very country that the candidate wanted to be the president of!

Recent quotes pulled out of “Journolist” which is a listserve (think of it as a long email chain) show that journalists were actively seeking to bury the Reverend Wright story. These were not just people writing on a blog. They were journalists with the power to effect the editorial decisions of major newspapers, networks and magazines.

For example, Michael Tomasky, who writes for the Guardian, said to other members of “Journolist”: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy (ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos had the nerve to bring up the Wright issue) in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the (mainstream media) kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”

Who is Michael Tomasky to decide how to “serve the people”? A reporter’s job is to ask questions and to get at the truth. When a story is “uncomfortable” to your belief system, is it appropriate to bury the story and smear those who want to get to the bottom of it? Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent tried to create a climate of fear so that no one would dare talk about the Wright story. He said on “Journolist”, “Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.” In fact, this very scandal is now a story in and of itself but don’t hold your breath waiting for the MSM to cover it. If Fox news, however, threatened to arbitrarily smear people for talking about certain stories, the MSM would be on it and there would probably be a congressional investigation!

For many people, a “smoking gun” email chain wasn’t necessary to prove media bias in the MSM. People have observed this through the years such as in 1994 when Peter Jennings described the republican takeover of the house as a “temper tantrum”. Dan Rather was willing to put doctored documents on the air in an effort to put George Bush in a bad light. The funny thing about “Rathergate” was that it wasn’t much of a story, even if were true! It just goes to show what lengths reporters will go to in order to put someone they don’t like (conservatives) in a bad light. When Newt Gingrich received a bonus for a book he was writing while he was an active member of congress, the MSM criticized him endlessly for it but when Senator Clinton got an even bigger bonus the only thing heard was crickets. The examples are endless.

More recently the MSM has ignored horrific details in Obama’s healthcare bill and “stimulus” plan. They’ve misrepresented the situation of the Shirley Sherrod firing and slandered Andrew Breitbart for daring to post a video of the speech. Just for the record, days before Breitbart posted that video; the NAACP said that the Tea Party had racists in their group. This statement was given with no proof whatsoever but the MSM reported it dutifully.

Whatever context the Sherrod video was in, it showed that NAACP members were laughing when Sherrod spoke about “sending a white person to one of his own”. That is an outrageous statement and the reaction by members of the audience to the speech was telling. Yet no one in the MSM brought up that angle of the story. Now the MSM is talking about Sherrod as if she is a hero and Breitbart as if he is Satan. But Breitbart did a service to the truth showing that those who condemn others of racism should clean their own house first.

The alternative media has risen because of simple supply and demand. People on the left don’t seem to understand supply and demand when it comes to basic economics so it’s not surprising that they don’t quite catch the connection when it comes to the media. Bill Press, who wrote a book about bringing back some form of the “Fairness doctrine” to talk radio, said on an interview recently that his book was only concerned about talk radio and not about biases on television or newsprint. Yet one cannot talk about the success of conservative talk radio in a vacuum.

Conservative talk radio has succeeded because there is a ravenous hunger for information. People are tired of seeing the MSM misrepresent who they are and what they believe in. They are tired of the condescension shown by the MSM to anything religious or patriotic. They are tired of having their views and beliefs belittled. Not only at news networks but in the movies, conservative characters are presented as evil. It may be one unnecessary line or part of the main theme of the movie but it is there more often than not. It may be at a concert where all you want is to hear the music but have to listen to the singer denigrating the things you hold dear to your heart.

People can say whatever they want. Free speech is a good thing but choice of where to get information is also a good thing. People have turned away from the MSM and flocked to other sources because their priorities of what is important are not the same as those held by people in the MSM. People in the MSM don’t seem to care. Those who don’t share their vision of the world and what is important are just mere troglodytes. The MSM will never change to satisfy the needs of their audience for information because that kind of information is “beneath” them. In the minds of people in the MSM, they have a “higher” calling which only they get to define and only they get to judge.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slavery And Racism – Is The United States To Blame?

There is a lot of antagonism toward the United States in certain segments of the African American community. People such as Louis Farrakhan have made hatred of the United States “fashionable” and “cool”. President Obama has been a part of this community, much of it originating in Chicago, where Jessie Jackson, Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Williams Ayers and Reverend Michael Pfleger have spouted this anti-Americanism in the name of both real and perceived past wrongs.

Barack Obama’s pastor of over 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, has said the following things about America:
“Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!…We (in the U.S.) believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America!”

Recently, the US Justice Department dropped a case against members of the New Black Panther party for “lack of evidence”. Members of the New Black Panthers were accused of intimidating voters at a polling place in Philadelphia. There was clear video evidence of the incident. J. Christian Adams, who was involved in the prosecution of the case, quit the justice department alleging that people in the justice department were told to ignore cases where the defendants were black and the victims were white.

Last summer, Barack Obama criticized the police in Cambridge, Massachusetts saying that the police acted “stupidly” in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. He made this accusation in a prime time speech after he just admitted in the previous sentence that he didn’t know all the facts of the case.

Does Obama’s view of the US differ from that of Jeremiah Wright or the New Black Panther party? Obama’s policies are often prefaced with the phrase “an even playing field”. In reality, however, it amounts to “Getting even”.

Of course there has been slavery and discrimination in the United States. Slavery is a stain on humanity but it didn’t start with the US. Physical Evidence of slavery dates to around 11,000 years ago in southern Africa. Western slavery goes back 10,000 years to Mesopotamia. Egyptian hieroglyphics show that they practiced slavery. Where is the hatred of Egypt for originating such a vile practice? Where is the demand of Egypt for reparations?

In ancient times, conquering armies in Europe and Asia found it more profitable to enslave captives than to massacre them. Black slavery between antagonistic tribes existed in Africa long before the advent of the Portuguese in the 1400s. Portuguese slave trading began in 1442, particularly on the west coast of Africa in an area that became known as the ‘Slave Coast’. Soon the Spanish entered the slave trade in 1517, followed by the English (1553), the French (1624), and then by Holland, Denmark and the American colonies.

Once the United States was formed as an independent nation, it inherited the mess of slavery. Obama should be familiar and sympathetic to the idea of inheriting messes since he reminds us each day that he inherited a mess and that it takes time to solve such things (whether he inherited or caused the mess is another question for a different day). Slavery was a mess that was created over 10,000 years ago so solving it while trying to create and unify a new nation was no easy task.

The United States was a nation built on compromise and yes, there were many people in the new country that owned slaves. Yet the people who wrote the constitution did recognize the inconsistency of creating a nation based on equal rights and opportunities while allowing an evil such as slavery to exist. Unfortunately, in order to unify the Unites States as one nation, they had to compromise on the issue. Yet written into the constitution in Article 1, Section 9 is a mandate that slavery would be outlawed by the year 1808.

So slavery existed for over 10,000 years and this new nation, while trying to fend off foreign threats, unify disparate views and create a constitution to live by, did as one of its first priorities, write into the new constitution that slavery would be outlawed within 32 years of its founding. In fact it was the United States and England, the two nations most accused of practicing slavery, that were the most involved in ending it!

They were not completely successful but their intentions were clear. John Jay wrote in 1786:
"It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honour of the States, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused."
Patrick Henry wrote:
"I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery."

It of course is true that the founding fathers owned slaves and this has caused many in the African American community to have contempt for these “dead white men”. The founding fathers were not perfect people but they inherited slavery, they didn’t cause it. They knew it was wrong, and were the first in over 10,000 years history to take real steps to end it. For this they deserve praise, not criticism.

There are those who will say that the wealth of America was built on the backs of slavery. If this is the case, why didn’t all the other countries who practiced slavery achieve wealth and success? Why didn’t Egypt, which had thousands of years of a head start on slavery, not become the world’s foremost economic power? Portugal was the first country to be involved in the African slave trade to the new world so why didn’t that country produce the wealth and innovation that later came out of the United States? Spain and Portugal brought slavery to South America so why didn’t any countries on that continent generate success comparable to the United States?

The wealth and success of the United States is due to a system that recognizes the rights of the individual. It is due to a unique idea that says the government governs only by the CONSENT of the people. Thomas Jefferson once said:
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

The reason why so many major inventions and patents have come out of the United States is because people know they can invest their own time and money in an idea and if successful, reap the rewards from it. People have been able to feel confident that the success or failure of their idea is up to them and not on some arbitrary person in government who may decide on a whim to change the rules. There is a reason why people risk their lives to come to the United States. It is amazing that people would call this a racist country while at the same time fighting in every way possible to come here and enjoy the opportunities it provides.

Like every country on earth, the United States has done shameful things. While the United States didn’t create slavery, segregation existed in this country well into the 1960s. That is a stain on this country that can’t be ignored. And yet, while imperfect, it is a country with a conscience. It eventually ended slavery and while far too late, eventually ended segregation as well.

The “Get even” battle being fought against America by the likes of the New Black Panther party, Louis Farrakhan and Reverend Wright is not a battle against the forces of racism. That battle has already been fought and won. Ironically, the battle being fought by this “Get Even” crowd is a battle against all that is GOOD about America. They are actually fighting against the very forces that were able to eliminate the evils of slavery.

Barack Obama seems to be a part of this “Get Even” crowd. He demonstrates this by his actions, his words, and by who is friends are. His vision of “change” would be to remove the principles that ended slavery and replace them with the ideas that tolerated and caused slavery. Skin color, social rank, and class all play prominent roles in Obama’s agenda. These are the evils that were behind slavery and what the constitution put in place to eliminate. It took almost 200 years to finally get it all working properly and now Obama and his “Get Even” crowd would have us go backwards again.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Radicalism Of Moderates And Independents

There seems to be an unwritten rule, in the minds of many, that being a Political Independent makes a person more “reasonable” than people on the extremes of the political spectrum. Many on the right look to “soften” their views in order to gain acceptance from the MSM (Main Stream Media). They may say things such as “I’m a fiscal conservative but a social liberal”, or the all too popular “I’m neither a republican nor a democrat”.

People on the left don’t need to soften their views because the MSM never views a far left view as “extreme”. The only time politicians on the left look to soften their views and move to the right is during election time which shows that either consciously or subconsciously, they know that it is THEIR views that are not in the main stream. Yet people who are independent of both parties seem to have a special arrogance as if they are more reasonable than people on the left OR the right.

One of the worst offenders of the “I’m an Independent and therefore better than the rest of you” mentality is FOX pundit Bill O’Reilly. If O’Reilly criticizes Michael Moore, he may also feel obligated to criticize someone associated with the right such as Ann Coulter. When O’Reilly criticizes far left websites such as moveon or the DailyKos, he seems to feel obligated to say that he also criticizes far right websites. He is constantly bloviating about being an “Independent”.

Bill O’Reilly, to his credit, has been at the forefront of a number of controversies. One of his uncompromising issues is child abuse and the need for laws to protect children. O’Reilly would never feel the need to justify his uncompromising stance in protecting children by saying something such as “We need to look at the underlying reasons that cause a person to commit child abuse.” There is only one issue and that is the protection of children. O’Reilly gets this here but on issues such as healthcare, the environment, the economy, national defense, taxes and many others he bends over backwards to show his “independence”.

The issue here is not that everyone on the right must agree on every issue. The left is far more intolerant of people within their ranks. They basically threw Joe Lieberman out of the democrat party because he disagreed with them on one issue – national defense. The right does, and should, tolerate differing views on all issues. However, what is happening today is that people on the right, by constantly justifying and rationalizing their views, cede the moral superiority to the left.

If someone on the right points out that Reverends Jeremiah Wright or Al Sharpton are racists, he may feel obligated to point out that he would feel the same way if they were white racists. Former KKK member David Duke has not been in the news for years but his name keeps popping up, as in “I would feel the same way about Jeremiah Wright as I do about David Duke.” Do the filthy words of Jeremiah Wright not stand on their own? Does it make it acceptable to criticize a minority as long as you throw a white racist former KKK member into the sentence?

When Bill O’Reilly points to extremes, he falls into the same trap that the MSM does. For example, in the Michael Moore-Ann Coulter comparison, saying that one is on the far left and one is on the far right gives them both equal status. Michael Moore has been caught lying many times. David T. Hardy in his book “Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man” documents these deceptions. There are NO deceptions of a like status in any of Ann Coulter’s writings. People can debate what she says but there aren’t misrepresentations in her writings. There is a far greater difference between these two people than “far left” and “far right”.

Sometimes the truth is crazier than fiction. If this is the case do you turn the truth into fiction in order to sanitize it and make it more believable? If I said that Barack Obama is fundamentally trying to change this country from a constitutional republic where the government is put into place and run only by the consent and the permission of the people, into one where the government doesn’t care whether or not the people consent to how they are being governed and, in fact, is closer to a dictatorship in that the people have practically no say at all in what the government could do to them, you might say that I am being a radical. Certainly, politicians such as Barney Frank or Anthony’s Weiner would label me as “extreme”.

Perhaps the solution is to say “Barack Obama is gaining dictatorial power but David Duke is a racist and I’d feel the same way if he were gaining dictatorial power.” There is no need to rationalize the truth! Republicans seem to live in constant fear of what democrats and the MSM may say about them. Ronald Reagan was loved by the right because he never rationalized his beliefs. He stated his case eloquently and wasn’t intimidated by how the democrats or MSM characterized what he said. John McCain, Bill O’Reilly and many others labeled as “moderate republicans” or “independents” are looked at with suspicion from the right because they sometimes seem to look at the right with the same condescending attitude that the democrats and the MSM does.

There is a radicalism to Independents that rivals any on the right or the left. There is a need to take any situation and find an alternative to it to show that there MUST be another side to the argument. Ayn Rand spoke about this issue. She said:
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.

Today, the strategy being used by democrats is to label all criticism of Obama as “extreme”. During the election, John McCain did not bring up a number of vital campaign issues because he didn’t want to be divisive. McCain failed in his duty as a candidate in the same way that a lawyer might fail in his responsibility if he left out critical evidence that could have exonerated his client. The citizens of the US are not children and they have the right to know the truth no matter how strange the truth is!

It is not radical to ask the President of the US and the leader of the free world (if there is such a thing anymore) to put forth the same paperwork as a person applying for a job at a local bank. Yet republicans run from this by saying it is not a winning strategy. Maybe it’s not, but it’s not a crazy idea to want to know the truth! And this truth involves much more than Obama’s birth certificate. It involves organizations he was part of, his sealed college records, his associates over the years and much more.

Republicans and conservatives will never be successful until they learn how to defend their vision, rather than excuse it. Bi-partisanship is not a virtue when you give up your principles in order to be perceived as a “moderate”. Again, according to Ayn Rand:
Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue…When people call themselves moderates, ask yourself: “Moderate—about what?” Since the basic question today is freedom versus statism, or individual rights versus government controls, to be a moderate is to advocate a moderate amount of statism, a moderate amount of injustice, a moderate amount of infringement of individual rights. Surely, nobody would call that a virtue.

People on the right need to stop worrying about how they are perceived. To lie even when the truth and the facts are on your side makes people doubt what the truth and facts are. Informed people will respect a person who honestly fights for his convictions. Let the left and the democrats lie – they need to!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Obama Testament

In the beginning there was only Hillary.

And the Democrats were without form.

And there was corruption, and lying, and deceit, and intimidation.

And then the spirit of Obama came and moved upon the waters.

And Obama said Let there be hope and change.

And Obama saw the hope and change, and said that it was good.

And Obama said Let there be a stimulus plan.

But unto Obama and his plan, the people had not respect.

And Obama saw the wickedness among the people of the United States.

And Obama said unto the people of the United States 'Let my stimulus plan pass'.

And Obama gave money to banks, insurance companies and car companies and said that it was good.

But the hearts of the people were hardened.

And the people wanted to know why the unemployment rate was over 10%.

So Obama needed to speak to the Lord.

And he went to the special place where he could seek the counsel of the Lord.

And from the other side of the mirror, God spake unto Obama, saying, Go speak to your wife Michelle and tell her to speak to the children of the United States.

And Michelle went forth and spake unto the people of the United States, saying unto them,

Whatsoever containeth polyunsaturated fats, ye shall not eat.

All fast food, whether it cometh from dwellings with golden arches or from Kings, shall be an abomination unto you.

And every earthen vessel that containeth carbonated water with sugar shall be unclean to you. And you shall break it and not drink from it.

And Obama listened to his wife with pride and said that it was good.

But the hearts of the people were still hardened.

And the anger of Obama was kindled against the United States,

And Obama went into the land of Egypt and said that the United States was arrogant.

And Obama shamed members of the Supreme Court and said that their decisions were wrong.

And Obama said Cambridge cops acted stupidly.

And Obama said that doctors cut off healthy limbs for profit.

And Obama said bankers were greedy.

And Obama said Oil companies were greedy.

And Obama said Insurance companies were greedy.

And Obama criticized the state of Arizona.

And Obama criticized Fox news.

And Obama criticized Republicans.

And Obama criticized BP.

And Obama criticized Israel for building houses.

And Obama criticized people for going to Las Vegas.

And Obama criticized George Bush.

And Obama criticized John McCain.

And then Obama went to the United Nations and said how much he respected the Islamic Republic of Iran and that he wanted a new beginning based on mutual trust and mutual respect.

And the children of the United States saw what was happening and they were angered.

So angered were the children of the United States that they formed a new group and called it the Tea Party.

And Obama spake to the people of the Tea Party saying,

Do ye not know that I have rescued you from the republicans?

But the people were angered and they spake saying, We had a $500 billion deficit under Bush and now we have a $2 trillion deficit.

And Obama stopped them, saying You dare question Me? I am Obama. I will provide for your needs and all I ask is that you are faithful to me and pay 70% of your income to me in taxes.

Wherefore the people did chide with Obama, and said Give us back our money, that we may invest it and create jobs and have freedom.

And then it came to pass that Obama started nominating people to the Supreme Court. And Obama said to his two Supreme Court nominees, Thou shalt have compassion and empathy, and set precedents when I tell you to and change laws when I deem them to be unjust.

And the people said there is this thing called the constitution...

But Obama interrupted them and said Enough!

And then Obama spake again to the people, saying, Ye are upset with me. But my power will be revealed when I give you the most precious gift of all the earthly gifts. I grant to all the children of the United States free healthcare.

And the people of the United States stood up and said, What?!

And Obama spake to the people again and said, Take heed to yourselves that ye not go up into the halls of congress to watch the healthcare bill debated.

And it came to pass in the second year of his reign, in the fifteenth month, in the twenty second day of that month, that the healthcare bill passed.

And Obama walked out of the Whitehouse with the two thousand seven hundred page health care bill held under his arms.

And Obama had grown a long white beard while debating the heath care plan and the people did not recognize him at first.

And Obama went forth among the people and raised the healthcare bill above his head and spake, saying, I am Obama, who hast brought you forth from the presidency of George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who hast brought you out of the bondage of the right wingers and conservatives.

And the people murmured against Obama, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of a republican controlled government to then burden us with high taxes, healthcare that takes away our freedoms, regulations that punish small business. You take away our pride in ourselves and our country. You leave us vulnerable to those who wouldst do us harm. You burden us with debt that we can't pay back. The things that thou doest are not good.

And Obama was provoked to anger. And he raised the healthcare plan above his head and proclaimed to the children of the United States in a thundering voice,

Those who will not live by the healthcare shall die by the healthcare!

And Obama threw all two thousand and seven hundred pages of the healthcare plan at the people.

And the healthcare plan struck the ground and paper exploded everywhere. And paper dust filled the air and it was difficult to breath. And people couldn't walk, or even see, for all the paper that was all over the land. And paper was on the roads and paper filled the fields. And all the animals and all the people were covered with paper. And the people gathered the paper together upon heaps: and the land stank.

But despite the paper plague upon the land, the hearts of the people were still hardened, for they knew that they were dealing with a false prophet. And the people spake saying,

Well, at least that's the end of the health care plan.

But Obama had made copies.

In the end, there was corruption, and lying, and deceit, and intimidation.

And there was debt as far as the eye could see. And the children of the United States were so burdened with taxes that there was no money left to invest, and there was no more innovation and no more entrepreneurs. And the constitution was changed and people weren't free to speak their minds anymore. And people couldn't sell their homes without approval from the government. And people couldn't sell their cars without approval from the government. And the United States was only one state in a world government. And the United Nations ran the world. And the people had no redress for their grievances.

All this happened and it was not good. It was not good at all.

Want to change the ending? Then End the Change!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Proposal For Updating The US Constitution

For Making The Constitution More Compatible With The Modern Age

This proposal has been created and authorized by our organization, the Bastion of Urban Renewal and Progress (BURP). This is a community organization which has its home office on the upper west side of Manhattan, and is dedicated to the betterment of humanity, the cleanliness of the earth and the causes of equality within and between all nations.

We here at our organization (BURP) have always considered the constitution a living and breathing document that should be updated periodically to reflect the changing needs of our community. However, it has gotten more difficult over the years to take a document that was written in the 18th century and keep it contemporary. Therefore, rather than amend the constitution, and continue to put tape and paper clips on an old and out-dated document, it is time for a complete re-writing of the constitution. We will start here with the first 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights.

The first amendment to the constitution reads thusly:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Many people in our organization were shocked to learn that the phrase “Wall of separation between church and state” was not actually in the document. We need to remedy this. The phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” seems fine on the surface but we want to be careful in limiting the power of what congress can do. We want congress to be able to freely pass laws for the benefit of the many people who may not know what is in their best interests.

It is also important to define what religion is. Is a religion anything that prays to a God? Is it anything that utilizes a church? And how can a church be defined? All this needs to be written into the new document so that there is no ambiguity.

Just to digress for a moment, we are not concerned about the intent of the so-called “Founders”. Our goal in this re-writing is to come up with a fair and just document by which the country can be moved into the modern age and to stop being governed by outdated and unfair concepts.

The phrase “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is a problem. Congress must have the power to prohibit religious practices because it conflicts with the new “Wall of Separation” clause.

Speaking of the important “Wall of Separation” clause and just as a side anecdote to this, I had a conversation the other day with my son Rainbow. He told me that at school the teacher was talking about the “big bang” theory and how all life was formed by the random combination of trillions of molecules and atoms. Another student actually had the nerve to offer the ill-advised opinion that maybe it wasn’t random, that maybe there was an intelligent design to all this. Can you imagine the arrogance of people to think that they were created by some invisible mythical being rather than the random combination of molecules? Now if someone wants to have a misguided opinion, that is his or her right but to try to force that religious view on a classroom of kids is exactly the kind of situation that this new revised constitution will stop. My son Rainbow should not have to listen to the rantings of a religious fanatic in a classroom setting.

As for “Freedom of Assembly” and “petitioning government for grievances” – these have become huge problems. We are very concerned that the freedom of congress to act in the best interests of the people has been severely limited by this ill-defined clause. Clearly the “founders” did not anticipate such things as talk radio, the internet, cable TV and so forth. The improvements to the printing press, alone, make much of the language concerning “freedom of speech” obsolete.

We have seen recently with the tea party movement that government clearly needs to have a role in how and when people can assemble and petition the government for a “redress of grievances”. We have seen how people can distort what congress and the president are trying to do. Congress and the president must and shall have the freedom to do what is in the best interests of the people and must be able to restrict the people from putting out information that contradicts the good intentions of the government.

So, without further adieu, here is the new revised first amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

There is a distinct separation between church and state. Church is defined as any dwelling, be it of brick, metal, or other structural materials, or any boundary whatsoever, where there is reverence or prayer being given to any being or entity which cannot be substantiated through scientific means. Church is distinct from the word religion which is defined as any belief system that involves prayer or devotion to any being that cannot be scientifically verified. Prayer is defined as words or gestures, thoughts or feelings directed towards a being or entity that cannot be verified through the scientific method. Worship of the sun, the earth, water, or any other physically verifiable, scientific entity is not considered a “church” or “religion” under this definition and therefore is not subject to restrictions.

Whereas the church and the state are considered to be two distinct entities, all activities associated with the church, including but not limited to prayer, religious clothing and jewelry, religious ornaments such as trees or candle holders with religious intent, are not to be permitted in buildings that are owned, operated or rented by the government or used by the government for any purpose, be it official or otherwise.

Whereas the practicing of religion, regardless of the location of the said practice, involves the training of people in such practices, and whereas these practices, thoughts and opinions are likely to be brought into government offices or schools, either consciously or subconsciously, it is incumbent upon the congress to restrict these practices . Congress, therefore, shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. In rare circumstances, private religious events may be permissible but congress shall have the authority to levy a tax on the religious event and to monitor the proceedings in such an matter as is deemed appropriate.

Whereas people (people being defined as living beings of the homo sapien species who are not a member of the United States congress, senate, judiciary or executive branch of government) have gathered in public places and contradicted the words, intentions, policies, and strategies of congress and whereas said people have made it difficult for the government to act in their interests, and whereas said people have violated the right of congress and the executive branch of government to levy new taxes, and whereas these same said people have raised money to disseminate information in a manner not approved of by congress, we do declare on this 17th day of April in the year of our Mother Earth of Two thousand ten the following:

That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in congress and the senate ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place outside of the congress and the senate.

That the gathering of people to protest the good policies of congress without the consent of congress is pernicious and illegal.

That criticism of the President, whether through print, broadcast, internet, or radio, is tantamount to incitement to violence and is illegal, unless that President is deemed, by a special commission (see more on this commission in the addendum to the First Amendment to the Constitution), to be worthy of said criticism.

Well, that’s it for the new First Amendment! You can download the addendum to the first amendment in PDF format (all 36 pages), as well as the rider to the new first amendment (27 pages), at www.burp/newconstitution/

We here at our organization (BURP) are dedicated to creating a more perfect union. To this end, we have recognized that the people have encroached upon the freedom of congress. The government needs to get on with the job of ruining the country without interference. We will continue to work tirelessly to this end. Look for continued updates to the constitution as next time we will offer you our new second amendment!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Deceptive Arguments And Specious Reasoning - Political Debate Gone Wrong

There are a lot of ways to win an argument and a lot of ways to deceive others into thinking you’ve won an argument. There is one set of rules to follow when you have facts on your side and a different set of rules when the facts are not with you. The first rule is to never use any of these rules in arguing with your wife. If you do, it should be under controlled circumstances and only when there is professional supervision.

There are situations of absolute fact. For example, OJ Simpson either killed two people or he didn’t. People may disagree as to what evidence shows but there is a Yes/No answer to the question of whether OJ did it or not. No matter what anyone believes, the event did happen in a particular way and was caused by specific actions.

Other situations are more theoretical. Global warming is a theory based on models and evidence. Whether it exists, is caused by human activity, the extent of damage (if any), what might or might not happen in the future, all has to be based on honest scientific inquiry. In the first situation with OJ, you are dealing with a known fact (two people were murdered) while in the second, you are dealing with a future event (some say an event that has started already), but in any case, one that is not as specific as a Yes/No answer can provide.

The last situation is one of morality and spirituality. Issues such as abortion or the death penalty fall into this third category. There is much passion in these debates. A belief in God is a matter of faith. The ongoing evolution vs. creationism debate also falls under this last category.

While there may be some issues that cross the line between these three categories, in most situations they will fall in one of these three groups and not more. When propaganda is used, it is usually done by blurring the distinction between these categories.

A good example of this is to look at how Al Gore argues the inevitability of global warming. First, backing up a step, if you are going to debate an issue, one of the best ways to do it is “Search and Destroy”. You find your opponent’s arguments, you list them one by one, and then you point out why they are specious or why their reasoning is faulty. When people have truth on their side, they are eager to display why the arguments of their opponents are wrong.

Getting back to Al Gore, when he is faced with a question challenging his belief in global warming, he never answers it. He simply labels people who don’t agree with him as “deniers” or “flat earthers”. Some people may not disagree, per se. They just may not be sure, not being as scientifically trained as Al Gore, they just want more of a debate before committing so much money, resources, and lifestyle changes to a theory that they don’t know enough about.

If Mr. Gore had the facts on his side, he would bring out all these challenges to then tear them down (“Search and Destroy”). Some arguments against global warming (there are many more):
- The ice in Antarctica has been growing since 1979.
- Temperature measurements during the 90s (the supposed warmest decade) did not use weather stations in some of the coldest climates which artificially increased the average.
- There is evidence of warming on other planets indicating that sun spot activity may be a cause of temporary warming.
- Ice core samples show the middle ages to be warmer than the present.
- The earth has been cooling in the last 15 years.
- Many of the same people who are now warning about global warming were warning about the coming ice age as recently as 1975!
- There is evidence, also from ice core samples, that the cause and effect of global warming is backwards. In other words, increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere didn’t cause global warming in the past but, in fact, periods of warming caused increased levels of CO2.
These are just some of many arguments against the theory of global warming. Not being a scientist, I would welcome hearing the other side to these points but all I hear is crickets. That no one does a “Search and Destroy” on these points leads me to believe they are true. Al Gore smears people who don’t believe global warming to be “settled science” and with that, hopes to stifle debate on the issue.

Stifling debate, by the way, is not the same thing as winning the debate. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has become a party that can’t debate on facts and therefore, they debate by character assassination. Whether it is global warming or the Tea Party movement, the left is constantly trying to impugn the integrity and motives of whoever has a different point of view. Personally, I would never want to stifle the opinions or speech of people on the left. Every time they speak, they tell you who they are and what they want to do. The fact that they don’t extend the same courtesy to people on the right is a great indicator of who is telling the truth and who is lying.

Uh-Oh, I think someone just fainted while reading this article. If anyone knows the address of the person that just fainted would you please get him or her some water? Maybe have him or her lie down and prop some pillows up so he or she can breathe. Please give him or her plenty of room….

The final straw in this Global Warming/Climate Change/Greenhouse Effect thing is when Mr. Gore labels people who want more evidence into global warming as equal to Holocaust deniers. Global warming is a theory. The Holocaust is a historical fact backed up by evidence including hundreds of thousands of witnesses, physical evidence, film archive and even admissions by some who committed the horrific acts. To compare this to a subjective theory such as global warming is an insult to the memories of the people who died in the Holocaust, as well as to the survivors and their children.

Barack Obama’s way of dealing with a challenge (not that he faces many from the main stream media) is different than Al Gore’s. Obama’s preferred method is to ramble meaningless phrases as if by the magic of his oratory skills, people will forget what the question was. Asked what his favorite Whitesox player was on opening day of the baseball season, he couldn’t just say he didn’t know or remember any. He talked about being an Oakland A’s fan while living in Hawaii, blathered a few other meaningless things about liking the Cubs as well but never answered the simple question! You’d expect that from a kid in third grade, not the President.

What is amazing about this is that Obama made a specific point of showing the world that he was a Whitesox fan. He pulled out a Whitesox cap to display in front of 40,000+ Washington Nationals fans and millions watching on TV. You’d think he’d be prepared to answer, just as a matter of common sense, some questions about the team since he made such an unnecessary spectacle of bringing it up. It makes you wonder, if he is that unprepared for a question that is the logical result of an action he has taken, then how is he to be trusted negotiating with Russia or China? Who knows, maybe he put on the Whitesox cap to give fans an excuse to boo. That way, he could say they were booing the cap, not him or his actions, but he couldn’t be that narcissistic, could he?

If he can’t answer a simple question about his favorite player, how is he to answer questions about health care or taxes? The answer to that is a 17 minute incoherent response to a question about whether or not the US is already too highly taxed to shoulder the additional burdens to pay for health care. If Obama had truth on his side, he wouldn’t need to spend 17 minutes on a disjointed dissertation while still not answering the question! Obama mixes in all tactics. He confuses fact with theory, and throws in a hefty dose of moralizing and somewhere in between all the meaningless words you are almost tempted to say “Stop already! I give up -- just stop talking!

The old joke says “How can you tell if a politician is lying?” Answer: “If his mouth is moving”. Some, however, lie more than others. Propaganda involves turning facts into subjective concepts while turning subjective concepts into facts. It involves taking bad policy and packaging it as an absolute moral good so that no one dare oppose it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Generational Insanity – The Stupidity And Greatness Of Each Generation

Every generation has its own style. Each era has a unique vocabulary, its own taboos and its own definition of what is considered cool or hip. Each era has its style of fashion, music and entertainment. Some fads and vocabulary are temporary and some make it past the generational stage and become permanent fixtures of society. Some go away but still leave their influence in other ways. The expressions; “That’s groovy man” and “Far Out!” have long been replaced by “At the end of the day” and “That’s how I roll!” Thankfully the expression “Don’t go there” seems to have seen its last days. Some styles or expressions are driven by technology such as “LOL” or “ROTFL”. At times, we use new expressions without thinking. They all of a sudden find themselves inside our vocabulary repertoire and we don’t know how they got in there or how we can get rid of them.

In a recent controversy, Tom Hanks spoke about United States racism during World War II. Most of the time, when actors get involved in political issues, they show how uninformed they are of the real world outside of a Hollywood film set. However, in this case Tom Hanks has a point. The U.S. was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor and then took appropriate action in everything it did to defend itself. But in marketing war to its citizenry, there were words used and characterizations made of the Japanese people that were over the line. We could have “sold” the war in the Pacific based on the horrible reality of the sneak attack without demonizing everyone of a particular race and culture. The same thing is true of the wars in Vietnam and Korea where other offensive terms and characterizations were used.

Today, we’ve gone in the exact opposite direction. The United States and, in fact most of the world, is at war with a fundamentalist form of Islam yet we are afraid to mention the true nature of the enemy. This does not mean that we have to use terms for Muslims that are comparable to words used in the past for the Japanese, Vietnamese or Koreans. At the same time, however, we can’t pretend that reality is something other than what it is. The threat of terrorism is real and won’t go away by pretending it doesn’t exist or by calling it by a different name.

It’s amazing how some things in society are considered taboo while others are acceptable. It’s even more amazing how what is taboo and acceptable changes over time. An old episode of the television show I Love Lucy had to show a husband and wife in different beds; it couldn’t even use the word “pregnant” on the air. Yet just about everyone, men and women alike were always smoking cigarettes! Today, you’ll see women kissing women on prime time TV, sexual innuendo all over the place but they won’t dare show someone smoking a cigarette! These are two distinctly different societies -- one society smokes like chimneys calling people of different races bad names while no one anywhere in the world has ever had sex. The other society has so many rules regarding how to speak about different cultures that they are afraid to say anything but they are all having sex with each other.

Language is a reflection of the society. Watch an old movie from the 30’s and you are likely to hear the coolest character in the film say something such as “That’s swell!” As the language gets updated and revised, so do the customs. Usually started by the younger generation in revolt of some perceived wrong, they feel the need to be different. They may grow their hair long and wear psychedelic colored clothes or they may wear 20 gold chains and polyester suits. They may wear baggy jeans (see dungarees) that reveal the boxer shorts within or they may have tattoos and piercings all over their body. Perhaps it’s a midriff shirt worn at just the right length to reveal the tattoo on the back. And when, exactly, did butt cracks become a statement of style? I guess it depends on whose butt crack it is, to answer my own question.

Every generation thinks it knows better than the previous one. Eventually, the customs of every generation fade away and give in to newer ones. Each generation laughs at previous generations thinking that they, the current generation, are the coolest, the smartest, and the most aware. They are always laughed at by the generation coming up behind them. The cycle never ends. The generation that has been replaced is permanently memorialized in the books, in the movies and in the music that it has produced.

When history is looked at objectively, some generations face more problems than others. Some react differently, causing either good or harm. As time passes, it is important to understand that each generation has a responsibility, at the end of the day (Argghhh!), to understand that it is not as unique as it thinks it is. For this reason, it is important that no generation of people leave such a legacy that future generations lose the ability to laugh at the previous one. No single generation should have so much importance as to limit what the following generation can or can’t accomplish. Each generation should have an equal chance to be just as stupid and annoying as the previous one.

While there are things to be laughed at in each generation, there are also things that each generation adds to our society. It is important to take the good out of every generation. It is in this way that we gain accumulated knowledge and wisdom. By taking the best out of every generation and understanding that the current generation will always be limited by issues of a particular time, we can continue to grow as a country or as a society. We need to learn from history, rather than abandon it or label it as “old fashioned”. In a sense, this idea of understanding that the present is always clouded by the moirĂ©s, fashions, styles, and biases of any particular time and that the past is something to be respected is the definition of conservatism.

The founding fathers, whom recent generations would label as dead white males, understood that everything had to be balanced. They brilliantly balanced the power of states to the federal government, the power of the legislative branch vs. the power of the executive and the judicial branches. What is lesser known is how they knew to balance the whims of one generation against the proven successes and failures of previous generations. This is why the constitution makes it difficult to change or amend a law or a bill. The framers of the constitution recognized that the perceived needs of any present time may not always be in the best interests of future generations.

In Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on January 28, 2010, he said the following:
"if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, a supermajority, then the responsibility to govern is now yours, as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions."
In saying this, President Obama showed that he either doesn’t understand the constitution or that he doesn’t respect the constitution. He has his logic completely backwards. The framers wanted to make the process difficult so that if a law was changed or created, it would have to be something that transcended the ambitions of any individuals. It is precisely that reason why the framers made it so that 60 votes are required. Barack Obama was trying to criticize the Republicans but he was actually criticizing the constitution, itself. In effect, it is his own ambitions that he is putting ahead of the constitution. It was precisely for this type of person that the framers made it so that 60 votes would be necessary!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “All times are good times if we but knew how to use them.” We obviously haven’t always used our times in the best ways. There have been times of fear and insanity where people have rationalized absolute evils such as slavery and mass extermination. Other times have shown incredible innovation, ingenuity and kindness. Because at any given time, the way people perceive reality can change, it is important to keep the present in perspective to the known successes and failures of the past. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the current United States administration. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid all think they are bigger than anything that came before them and that is a recipe for disaster.