Monthly archives "May 2014"

The Passing of our World War II Veterans

My father is a World War II Marine.  Nearly 91 now he still stand 6′ 3″ tall.  In my estimation he stands taller than that and so does his generation.   He and his generation were real men whose lives were first molded by  the Great Depression and then by the biggest war the world has ever seen.   My late uncle was 17 when entered the U.S. Navy to fight in the Pacific.   His father picked up his high school diploma in May 1943 as he was already overseas.

Raoul De Chant of Parker, CO said it very well in The Denver Post Open Forum on Memorial Day, 5/26/14:  “From my experience what we really lose when they are gone is their example.  In general, these were tough, no-nonsense men who valued personal responsibility, hard work and respect for others and their property.  The concept of entitlement was a totally alien idea to this generation.   When you shook hands with one of them you knew you were shaking hands with a man.”   Amen!   I think of another late uncle who retired as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army who fought in Europe in WWII, was surrounded in Korea and fought his way out and was prepared to go to Viet Nam when he was retired.   As Mr. De Chant said, “Real Men.”   And we thank their ladies who sacrificed for us as well and shared their husbands’ values.

It is different today.   We have a generation who expects to get rather than give and a President who celebrates their being idle and dependent.   This is such a waste of their talents and we all have God given gifts to share.  On Hays Island during the Revolutionary War some hungry, weary soldiers dragged wounded comrades into a barn.   The war was against them and in their discouragement, George Washington entered the barn.   He said, “Those of you who will follow me further, I can promise no chance of victory for, by God, I see none;   I can promise no glory or laurels on returning home.   Rather there will be wounds and death, cold and disease and winters to come such as this one with our bloody trail in the snow till you shovel each other in with those at Valley Forge.”   And then Washington added more to himself than the men:   “This liberty will look easy by and by when nobody dies to get it.”   Today we are led by a very small man who does not come up to the shoe tops of Washington, Lincoln or Reagan;  a man comically incompetent and radically dangerous in one person.

Sadly today too many young people are not even aware that men fought and won our freedom from Great Britain,  the mightiest military of the time and that our Greatest Generation fought on two major fronts–Europe and the Pacific against the Nazis and Imperial Japan to maintain our freedom.   Today, in too many cases, George Washington was prophetic.   It all looks too easy to an entitlement generation and a President who has gone through life always receiving from the tax payers dime.

How different was Ronald Reagan’s vision of America than Barack Obama’s.   Ronald Reagan said in The Speech for Barry Goldwater in October 1964:   “We need ask ourselves every day who paid for my freedom and at what price.”   The views of real men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan are now running neck and neck with a generation that believes they are entitled to the fruits of another’s labor.

Lord give us again men who share the vision captured in Samuel Walter Foss’s poem:
    Bring me men to match my mountains,
    Bring me men to match my plains;
    Men with Empires in their purpose, 
    And new Visions in their brains.
Lord bring us such men and bring us such women.   Renew us again, O Lord.   Renew us again!

Eutychus 

 

Barack Obama’s Life on the Public Dole

The June 2014 issue of The American Spectator and the May 26 issue The Weekly Standard feature cover stories on French economist Thomas Piketty’s book,   Capital in the Twenty-First Century.   In some ways the review of Washington Post economist Paul Krugman tells us all we need to know about this tome:   “Magnificent.”  This new book on inequality and wealth, “will change both the way we think about society and the way we do economics.”    Krugman is the economist who said the stimulus of a trillion dollars failed because it was not nearly large enough.   

This money that President Obama supposedly poured into the economy in 2009 for shovel ready jobs largely went to public sector unions.   The President would later laugh on late night television that “shovel ready was not really shovel ready.”  But what is another trillion dollars in debt on the backs of our kids;  worth laughing at isn’t it?   Paul Krugman thought it should have been much larger.

Rock star economist Piketty is tough on inequality but soft on elitism.   So is Krugman as both are part of the elite.   In many ways Piketty’s views are not new.  Rather it is simply the latest indictment of free market capitalism and the call for higher taxes that has been the boiler plate of the Left since Woodrow Wilson, FDR and LBJ.   George Will had a fine column in The Washington Post on the failure of Johnson’s Great Society at age 50.   One paragraph stands out:  “In 1964, 76 % of Americans trusted government to do the right thing ‘just about always or most of the time;’ today 19 % do.   The former number is one reason Johnson did so much;  the latter is one of the consequences of his doing so.”

And increasing government spending and control in the 1960’s and 70’s went hand in hand with the collapse of the family, decline of schools, rising crime, welfare dependency, the bankruptcies of the cities and runaway inflation.   And the more people learn about political life in Washington, D.C. the more convinced they become that figures in both parties spend their tax dollars to nurture friends, supporters and constituent groups.   More and more are aware that, even as the average American suffers with no job and/or no advancement, the wealthiest counties in the land surround the nation’s capital.   They also know that the most lucrative and secure salaries, pensions and benefits tend to be government employees.   And these employees do not contribute one thing to the economy.  On the contrary, they make life more difficult for those who do produce.   And it is almost impossible to fire a government worker which is one of the reasons they are so inefficient. 

A prime example is Barack Obama.  He lived a life of privilege in Hawaii with his grandparents who turned part of his rearing over to Communist Frank Marshall Davis.   Davis had such influence on young Barack that the future President could not ignore him in his books but could not fully name the radical either so he simply called him “Old Frank.”   Obama went to elite schools in Hawaii and then on to Ivy League Columbia and Harvard on a rain check for minorities paid for by the government.   He exploited his black half to advance.  

After teaching Constitutional Law (imagine being a student under such a radical as Obama) and community organizing he became a State Senator from Chicago.   We lived in a Springfield, IL suburb in those days and observed both this Far Left individual and the efforts of the Press to prop him up.   For two years he was supposedly our U.S. Senator–supposedly as he never showed for work.   Former Vice-President Dick Cheney says, “I swore him in and never saw him again.”    Where was Barack?   He was busy out blasting Bill and Hill as he ran for President.  Our other Senator was Dick Durbin.   What a pair from the state that gave us Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan–two of our greatest Presidents. 

In many ways Obama is still absent as he claims to learn about Fast & Furious, the I.R.S. and the Veteran’s Scandals by what he reads in the Press.   And he says no one told him the Obamacare roll out was not ready and we have never learned where he was during the Benghazi attack.

The Obamas–the President and First Lady travel the world as if there is no tomorrow and as if we are rolling in cash.   For them we are as they pay for none of this.   It is all on the public’s dime.    And all this by a man, as Charles Krauthammer notes, who has “never even run a candy store.”   In fact, Obama has never met a payroll and never run anything but his mouth.  And when he mercifully leaves the White House he will have a large pension, secret service protection and command large fees for speaking engagements for the rest of his life.   This will all be provided by the tax payers for a man who has spent his entire life on the public dole.

Barack Obama has proven to be a totally incompetent President protected by the Press.   At last some in the media and a few Democrats are blasting him over the V.A. scandal.   He is also a very dangerous man as he still believes he is right about everything, cannot admit errors and, whenever possible still blames Bush.   Even the V.A. scandal he wishes to blame on George W’s wars as so many wounded vets are coming home.   Charles Krauthammer, who is a psychiatrist as well as a brilliant columnist, calls Obama delusional.   Indeed he is.

I pray the public, so exploited by Barack Obama in particular and the Washington elites in general, has learned the lesson.   I pray our next President and other leaders will come from people who have hands on experience at running companies, meeting payrolls, and who see others as individuals to be celebrated rather than groups to be exploited.   May we again have leaders like Harry Truman who attempt to save the tax payers money through rooting out corruption and Jack Kennedy who nearly died to save his men during WWII and who later did give his life for the nation.   May we have a President like Ronald Reagan who honored our Founding Principles and the Constitution.   May we find men and women who believe in our Judeo-Christian roots.  

We once took such for granted.   That is part of the problem.   Let us take noting for granted again.   Jack Kennedy said it right in the second paragraph of his exceptional Inaugural Address:  “The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”   Jack Kennedy accepted no salary for his years of public service.   He had to practically bribe his way into WWII as he was so ill.   More recently we have had a President who dodged the draft and went to Moscow to protest the war in Viet Nam.

Lord, raise up leaders for us again who see public service as that–the privilege of serving, rather than men who wish to be served and live off the sweat of others.   Dear God, revive us again.   Thank You now and in advance.

Eutychus




Foreign Policy by Social Media

The Obama Administration is often compared to Jimmy Carter’s in terms of ineptitude.   There are certainly similarities.  In Benghazi we lost an ambassador and three other brave Americans.   The last time we saw the death of an ambassador in the field was in 1979 under President Carter.   There are also differences.   In 1980 Americans had enough sense to choose Ronald Reagan over Carter.   And when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan Carter pulled us out of the 1980 Olympics which were held in Moscow and, at last, he overcame his misguided trust of the Russians and armed the Afghans.   Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry warn Vladimir Putin, who ignores them, as do the Syrians in face of invisible red lines.   Like Carter, Obama seems to favor the Arabs over Israel and Iran goes on making a nuclear weapon undeterred by anything this Administration says or does.

But Barack Obama more resembles Richard Nixon than Jimmy Carter.   Like Nixon, Obama is a loner with few friends on Capital Hill.   Both men keep enemy’s lists.  Both employed the IRS to exploit those enemies–particularly Obama and his Party.   No signs the GOP joined Nixon in his keeping track of opponents and dirty tricks on them.   We are now learning that numbers of U.S. Senators including Michael Bennet and Mark Udall of Colorado were part of IRS smearing the Tea Party to help the President in 2012. 

There are also differences.   Nixon was paranoid;  Obama is a radical who dislikes the nation and its Founding Principles.    He thinks still that he is the smartest man in any room.  As Charles Krauthammer, trained psychiatrist, columnist and truly the smartest man in most rooms says,  “Obama is delusional.”    Indeed he is and one does not have to be a psychiatrist to see it.   

The Press hated Nixon and went after him;   the Press helped make Barack Obama, though that appears to be changing with the Veterans scandal and the Obamacare roll out fiasco.   Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post questions his core competence to govern.   Better late than never.   And Obamacare and the death of veterans waiting for healthcare touches everyone and demonstrates that Progressive government (or any other kind) cannot do everything and that the private sector is much better at delivering services.

Nixon was also very smart though also very awkward.   David Gergen who worked for Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan,  George H.W. Bush and Clinton says Nixon was the smartest of the lot. Barack Obama reminds one of the Clint Eastwood line as Dirty Harry,   “He is a legend in his own mind.”   A delusional man makes a dangerous President and that is what we have.

Even Richard Nixon’s enemies recognized that he was most insightful in foreign policy in opening China and playing the Red Chinese off on the Soviets.   Meanwhile Obama’s foreign policy is not The Old Time Amateur Hour–that is an insult to the non-professional.   No, his is foreign policy by social media.    We see this in the First Lady’s tweet, “Bring Back Our Girls.”  It is foreign policy on Letterman and Leno and The Daily Show with John Stewart.

Henry Kissinger said that Jimmy Carter had confounded our friends and comforted our foes and thrown domestic affairs into chaos all at the same time.    Obama rewards our enemies and punishes our allies, most especially Israel.   Because it was popular at the time he backed throwing Egypt’s Mubarak out of office and Khaddafi’s death in Libya.   Egypt, largest of the Arab nations, is in turmoil and Benghazi, Libya is where we lost our ambassador, two navy seals and a member of our embassy staff.

This foreign policy by social media and popular demand is leading to world wide chaos as one always sees when America is not strong.   And this time we may not come back.   The average length of time a nation is a world power is 200 years–Assyria, Babylon (present day Iraq), Persia (present day Iran), Greece all around two centuries as great empires.   At 238 as of July 4, 2014, we may be living on borrowed time.  

But it is never too late for individuals to turn to faith in God through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   His is the Name above every name and His Light will shine even if ours is going out.   And one does not need to tweet a message on a smart phone to reach Him.    There is a poem by William Blake, two lines of which are:   “Weep a tear and He is near.   Sigh a sigh and He is by.”   He is nearer than breathing and the beating of our hearts.   And He never takes a vacation nor do we ever get a busy signal when we call upon Him.   

These are fearful days with more to fear than just fear itself as FDR said.   But there is an antidote in Psalm 34:4:   “I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears.”   Isaiah 9:6 says”. . .and the government will be on His shoulders.”    His shoulders alone are broad enough to carry all our sins and meet all our needs.   Turn to him, not any government or any other leader.   He is never found wanting.   Praise God!

Eutychus  

Our Moral Foundations

I was inspired by the Hillsdale College on-line lectures on the Constitution (particularly those led by Dr. Larry Arnn, President of the College) to read George Washington’s farewell address.   Our first President, rightly known as the Father of the Country, makes the case for the moral foundations of our nation.  He writes:  “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. . . .And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”

Not all the Founders were evangelical Christians but they were well versed in Scripture and felt that what they were fighting for was divinely sanctioned.   Thomas Jefferson makes four references to the Almighty in the Declaration of Independence.  He speaks of “nature’s God,” says “they are endowed by their Creator,”  appeals “to the Supreme Judge of the world,” and has “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”

During the Revolutionary War there were official calls by the Continental Congress and leaders like Washington in the field for private and civic prayers and fasting for the Cause.  These moral foundations based on faith in God sustained them and helped give them the victory.   Before drafting the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson had written to King George III that he grant the colonists their God given rights lest he be “a blot in history.”   The King refused and became a blot in history.

After our freedom was won when the Founders gathered in Philadelphia in the spring and summer of 1787 to draft a Constitution for the new Republic, there were times they were ready to give up.   At one of those moments, Benjamin Franklin, something of a secular man, rose to say, “I have lived, Sirs, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth:  God governs the affairs of men.  If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an Empire can rise without his aid?   I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business;  and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”   A new tone was set and our Constitution, the envy of the world was the result.

Unfortunately we seem to be running headlong away from these spiritual roots.   We do so at our own peril.   President Obama has two times, when quoting the best known lines of the Declaration of Independence, left out the key phrase, “by their Creator.”   So his version reads. . .”all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights. . .”    That is infinitely different and dangerous to leave out the Creator from  our great national confession of faith and from the public square.   And it takes license to misquote a great man who authored a great document by a small man who does not come up to Jefferson’s shoe tops.  Yet that is what we are doing.

There is a new book out by Todd Starnes titled God Less America.   It is a very sobering look at how our military is being employed to punish soldiers of faith as bigots–especially evangelical Christians.   This is also happening in our schools at every level.  A Commander-in-Chief willing to leave Creator out of the Declaration of Independence is quite willing to wink at the bullying of soldiers and students.    

In 2000 we took a summer trip to Washington, D.C. with our daughter and two sons, the older of which had just graduated from high school.   In 4th of July and Memorial Day addresses I had quoted Thomas Jefferson thus:   “Our Freedom is Rooted in our Faith.”   On this trip we went to the Jefferson Memorial and indeed, etched in stone in very large letters, is that great quote by our third President. 

What should we do?   I would make several suggestions.   If you are not in the habit of attending worship, I would encourage you to find a church where the Word of God is preached, studied, honored and lived.   There are such churches in most every community.   This is a time to steel ourselves in God’s Word.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.”   Corporate worship is important.   It strengthens and encourages us and reminds us we are not alone in seeking to live for God and honor Him.   Our family visited George Washington’s home in 2000 and the church where he worshiped.   There is pew there marked where he faithfully sat each Sunday.  Let Washington inspire us rather than a leader who skips worship for time on the links.

Second, develop a plan for personal Bible study.  Our favorite is the New International Version Study Bible but there are many good readable Scriptures available.  There is Power in the Word of God because it is exactly that–the Word of God.   Along with Bible Study develop a life of prayer.   Frank Laubach has a book titled Prayer, the Mightiest Force in the World.   His thesis is in his title.  Prayer is the mightiest force because it moves the Hand that moves the world.   One of his statements is that heaven will tell us the number of times God staid that Hand waiting for His people to pray.

This leads to a third call–a call to courage.   Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears.”   With worship and Bible Study and prayer we know we are not alone.   One of the great names of our Lord is the name Emmanuel which means God With Us.  George Washington practiced this Presence of God in his life.   One of the things his men noted about him was his calm, his steadfastness, his placidity in the face of battle and death.   He was often out front with guns trained on him but the Commander of the Continental Army pressed on with his men behind him.  

This is leadership based upon knowing he was under Divine Protection.   If he had been killed, Washington was still under Divine Protection as heaven lies ahead for every believer, Authored by Christ our King.   When we know the Lord we too can have that courage and we need it in our land now as much as ever.   So let us also stand for God and His People and His Truth.

I would also encourage us to read and re-read our founding documents, The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.   They inspire us also as they inspired our Founders.   Read the writings of Washington which are up to date.   His inaugural address could have been written for this moment as he said, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”   Similarly Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are up to date as they too understood the human heart and the Providence of God.   

One President exceeds even Jefferson in his ability to write–Abraham Lincoln.   Read again the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, considered the greatest ever delivered.   And he wrote it himself.   In our day Jack Kennedy’s Inaugural is also a classic.   His second paragraph contains the following:  “. . .the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around
the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”   Amen.

And finally, let us not lose heart.   We are on the winning team.  Communism began to fall in the late 1980’s due in large measure to the vision of another great President, Ronald Reagan who was in the same line as Harry Truman and Jack Kennedy in fighting Communism.  A church in Czechoslovakia was putting a sign on their marquis for the first time in 45 years as the Iron Curtain fell.   They prayed about what that sign should be.   This is what the church family and passersby saw on their marquis:   THE LAMB WINS!!   The Russian bear did not prevail.   Neither will secularists in this country prevail.   No matter how dark it sometimes seems–we are on the winning team.   THE LAMB WINS!!   PRAISE BE TO GOD.   THE LAMB WINS!!

Eutychus