Monthly archives "October 2014"

Our Broken Bonds

Jonathan Last is a gifted young writer for The Weekly Standard, a publication filled with young and gifted writers.   He is also the author of the important work What to Expect When No One is Expecting.   It deals with the crisis of our declining birth rate at a time when more and more seniors are retiring and relying on Social Security which is funded by the young.  The Weekly Standard, a conservative intellectual counter part to Time, is an enclave of sanity in an ocean of madness.

Mr. Last has an editorial and a book review in the 10/27/14 issue of The Standard.   The editorial is titled “Six Reasons to Panic” and deals with the Ebola crisis.   One of the reasons to panic is the incompetence of Obama and his Administration in this and every other crisis–ISIS, Putin in the Ukraine, Iran and domestic chaos.   Even the Democrats are angry and distraught with Obama.   At a hearing recently on Ebola a Democrat Representative from MA said that at this point when a government agency comes and says, “Don’t worry, that is when I begin to worry.”   Such is the concern and confusion now loose in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Last’s review, “Our Endangered Species,” deals with a book, Broken Bonds, What Family Fragmentation Means for America’s Future by Mitch Pearlstein.  Both of his articles are sobering looks at State and Home.  As I read them I found myself reflecting on the final book of the Bible, Revelation, Chapter 6. and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  The White Horse is thought to symbolize the increase of war; the Red Horse, breakdown of civil order;  the Black, ensuing famine;  and the Pale Horse, death.   Some interpret the Pale Horse as representing a society that is pale with illness (pestilence) leading to death.

Each article had elements of these, particularly the Pale Horse of Pestilence in the Ebola scare and the Red Horse of civil breakdown, which accompanies the American family’s being endangered and so battered at every turn.  Finally Ebola has the attention of most everyone including even the President.   Michael Ramirez is a very talented, conservative cartoonist whose work appears each week in The Standard.  This week he captured President Obama’s lack of interest–whatever the crisis–with a 5 to 1 Defcon chart.   At the highest is 5 where Obama cancels golf; 4 he cancels fund raisers; 3 means there will be a press conference;  with 2 the President gives a speech, and 1 means Fore as in hit the links.   Two weeks ago Obama cancelled a Democrat fund raiser to concentrate on Ebola.  Even Democrats are now on board with travel bans from West Africa so long as Ebola looms, but the President is not.   He continues to lead from behind which is not leading.    Most likely he too will call for travel bans as part of the protection of Americans’ health.  But not yet.

On the breakdown of the American family even the Left is finally beginning to acknowledge the importance of family structure to society.   No nation remains strong without strong families.   This is also a real threat which is bringing with it the long term chaos of the Red Horse riding beside the current Pale Horse crisis of Ebola.   In these and most everything else we face, we see the need for the wisdom of God and His Word rather than the foolishness of men like Obama who reach power with no rudder save serving self and Party.  The Old Testament book of II Chronicles, Chapter 7 verse 14 comes to mind:  “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face. . .I will heal their land.  A false messiah named Obama will not heal the planet.   Neither will the United Nations.  But the Almighty can.

There is an illustration out of the sinking of The Titanic that fits here.   The British ship, The Californian, was nearby on April 15, 1912 and had stopped for the ice bergs while The Titanic, tragically, did not.   But their captain ignored the distress flares from the stricken giant and their wireless man had fallen asleep and missed the emergency signals from The Titanic.  Another ship, The Carpathia, picked up the S.O.S. but was too far away to do anything but pick up survivors when they were finally able to reach the scene.   When the captain of The Californian belatedly realized there was a real crisis they found nothing but debris and empty lifeboats.  No survivors.

Obama and his Administration are like the captain of The Californian ignoring the crises as Junior Varsity or responding to them in exactly the wrong way–as if they have a death wish for the country as we know it and for our freedoms.   It is hard to think or say but that seems to be their agenda.   And, in too many cases, the American people are like the wireless man on The Californian, asleep at the switch.

There is an awakening to the evil all about us.   But there is also illness unto death delivered by the Pale Horse.  I trust we can still turn the ship around and get on a course worth sailing.  The Great Prophet, Jeremiah, tried to warn his people, the Hebrews, but they would not listen and were conquered by the Babylonians.   We did not listen in 2012 and reelected a man worse than Jimmy Carter–certainly far more dangerous.   Romney was not Reagan but he has run something big successfully.   Barack Obama has not.

God keeps raising up people to warn us.   I pray it is not too late.  Let us not be asleep at the switch on November 4 or any of the days that follow.  Jeremiah writes in Lamentations 5:21, “Restore us to Thyself, O Lord, that we may return;  renew our days as of old.”   Restore us indeed, O Lord.

Eutychus

 

A Teachable Moment

The Obama Administration has been a major disappointment to the Left.  Even the old-line Press such as The New York Times and The Washington Post and NBC, ABC and CBS have begun to question the Administrations competence.  The E-bola virus has many running scared and we again see Obama’s words not matching reality.   He promised with virtual certainty that the virus would not reach our shores.   Now it has.  He then said we can handle its spread.   We are not so sure, particularly when Obama’s rhetoric seldom squares with the truth.   At home the economy remains weak, Obamacare is failing, the Justice Department chokes off legitimate businesses with endless regulation and green energy pipe dreams.   And abroad we see the rise of ISIS, Putin on the march in the Ukraine, Iran nearly nuclear and Israel standing virtually alone.

On the Right, we are not surprised as we knew Barack Obama was a false messiah and did not expect the planet to heal or the oceans to recede.  We did not think the President and his crowd were the ones we were waiting for.   All that seems rather comical now but few are laughing as these Obama failures also bring with them great danger.   I suppose we should be grateful for small favors as Barack cancelled a fund raiser last week to stay home and focus on e-bola.   His usual answer to a crisis is to hit the golf course or fly on Air Force One to raise money for Democrats.

But Conservatives cannot simply sit on the side lines, watch Obama and his Administration implode and pick up the pieces in the 2014 mid-term elections.   As Rahm Emmanuel said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”   Emmanuel said that as a cynic and an opportunist.   Let us employ the moment to help the nation.   William Kristol does that in his editorial in the October 13 issue of The Weekly Standard titled “A Teachable Moment.”   Dr. Kristol has a PhD from Harvard in Political Science.   One of his professors was the late, great conservative James Q. Wilson.   Bill says that at these low moments help has arrived in the person of President Barack Obama.  The collapse of the Obama Administration is a teachable moment.

Young people’s hopes have been dashed as they cannot find work due to the crush of Obamacare on businesses.   Their debt is staggering.  This is a time, says Kristol, when young minds can be opened to conservative truths, ears can be induced to hear conservative arguments, eyes can be fitted with contact lenses so as better to see conservative insights.   The simple fact is that Obama and his Administration have been exposed as farcical.  When Liberalism’s domestic policies are not working as they are supposed to, Bill would turn the young to his late father, Irving Kristol:   “I have observed for years that the unanticipated consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.”

In the face of the terrible failures of Obama’s foreign policy,  we can learn from Winston Churchill.   When Neville Chamberlin returned from Munich still trying to appease Adolph Hitler, Churchill met him with this stinging rebuke:  “You had a choice between war and dishonor at Munich.  You have chosen dishonor and now you shall have war.”   Our young people may be inspired by this and wonder at our loss of courage.  That is a good time to remember Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s address at the Harvard commencement in May 1978.   Said the Soviet Dissident like an Old Testament prophet with long beard and flailing arms:  “A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today.  The Western world has lost it civic courage. . .Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elite, (and where do we find more of those than at Harvard) causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society.”  C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters XXIX:  Courage is not simply ONE of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality.  Pilate was courageous till it became risky.”

Barack Obama has handed us an opportunity if we but know what to do with it.   He still thinks himself the smartest man in any room and that he is never wrong.   Charles Krauthammer rightly calls this delusional.  Back in 1911 John Masefield wrote about such foolishness in his monumental poem “The Everlasting Mercy.”

The trained mind outs the upright soul, As Jesus said the trained mind might.

Being brighter than the son’s of light, But trained men’s minds are spread so thin,

They let all sorts of darkness in;  Whatever light man finds they doubt it,

They love not light, but talk about it.

Romans 8:28 reads, “We know all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”   Barack Obama is a foolish, dangerous failure.   Bill Kristol is right.  Let us seize the day.   Grasp the moment.   Don’t let this crisis go to waste.   In all things, God works.   Praise be to God.

Eutychus

 

Jimmy on Barack

Jimmy Carter is not considered a strong President. In fact, the 39th Chief Executive ranks near the bottom in the ranking of our White House occupants.  But like any former President his words are covered in the Press and studied by the Public.   On October 8 Mr. Carter told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram that President Obama is violating the Constitution in terms of spying on Americans, drone strikes that are killing Americans and he says it is hard to see what the President’s foreign policy is as it keeps shifting around.    In addition to being a former President, Jimmy Carter’s words have credibility as he has defended Barack Obama many times on many issues. Other heavyweights have also been critical of the President on foreign policy.   Leon Pinetta is one of the most respected men who served in Washington.   The former Secretary of Defense is now home in CA on his walnut farm.    He was interviewed recently on Denver’s 850 KOA Radio by April Zesbaugh.    She asked if he were thinking of running for President.   He said, “Are you kidding?   I am here in CA working with a different kind of nuts.”   He has a book titled Worthy Fights in which he criticizes President Obama for leaving Iraq without residual forces which has helped lead to the rise of ISIS.   Like the generals Mr. Pinetta believes we will now have to reinsert ground forces which could have been prevented had we left 25,000 ground forces behind rather than leaving Iraq with only embassy staff.   And he does not spare President Obama or then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failures in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 and for the whopper that a “video did it.” Robert Gates is considered to be the finest Defense Secretary of the Post WWII era.   In his book, Duty:  Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Mr. Gates says that the President was never committed to the mission in Afghanistan despite his calling it the “good war” in the campaign of 2008.  Dr. Gates, PhD, served as Secretary of Defense under both George Bush and Barack Obama and is highly respected by both Democrats and Republicans.   He praises President Obama for taking out Osama bin Laden but is very critical of the victory laps that followed. Sensible Presidents, like sensible individuals, would take stock of critics and consider changing course on matters of foreign policy or whatever the issue might be.   The late Howard Cosell said of his critics (and there were many), “I consider the source.   If a critic is someone I respect, I listen.   If not, I laugh and go on.”   Barack Obama does not laugh at critics.   He hates them and ignores all and carries on.    He is a stubborn man as I have heard said by Bill O’Reilly, Brit Hume and Matt Continetti, brilliant young contributing editor to The Weekly Standard. But Barack Obama is more than stubborn.   Charles Krauthammer, gifted journalist, writer, essayist and author of the best selling, Things That Matter, is also a psychiatrist.  I have heard him say:   “Let me put on my psychiatrist hat for a moment.   Barack Obama is delusional.”    I have also heard Krauthammer say in the face of the Ukraine, Putin, ISIS and other overseas crises, “We need a President, and we do not have one.” In face of all this there are things we can do.  The Denver Post this week endorsed Congressman Cory Gardner for the U.S.  Senate for CO over sitting Senator Mark Udall.  It is very rare for this newspaper to endorse a Republican for a major office.   Part of their rationale is that we do better when one Party controls Congress and another the White House.   Though they did not say it that is particularly true when we have a delusional President who still thinks he is right on all things.   Bob Woodward of Watergate fame has said that, no matter where he is,  Barack Obama still thinks he is the smartest man in any room.   Let us vote for Cory Gardner and other such candidates. Second, let us speak our minds rather than fear all of the “isms” of the Left.   I sometimes wonder where the radicals would be without their cries of racism, sexism, ageism, regionalism and all the rest of their ad nauseum isms.   This is finally wearing thin and people without work and without hope want someone in charge who knows what they are doing rather than the endless, “We are now going to pivot to the economy,” or whatever the current pirouette is. Third, let us not be afraid.  David, the Psalmist, wrote as he faced Abimelech the Philistine King (Abimelech is a general term for a Philistine King somewhat like Pharaoh is the title of an Egyptian monarch):   “I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears.”  (Psalm 34:4)   We have the greatest of allies with us, God Almighty.    Barack the Delusional will pass from the scene.   The Lord will not and we are on the winning team so let us be of good cheer. Finally, let that lead us to keeping a sense of humor.    C.S. Lewis wrote in his Reflections on the Psalms:  “A little comic relief in a discussion does no harm, however serious the topic may be.  In my own experience some of the funniest things have occurred in the gravest and most sincere conversations.”  When Obama speaks now on any subject I think of what SNL can do with it or Jay Leno at his best.  Obama is a very small man in a job too big for him and even the Press now seems to know that.   Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrates that Hollywood is still swooning but that is predictable and comical in itself. But it is important that we learn from the mistake of electing Barack Obama President and the greater mistake of reelecting him.  His first term should have demonstrated that this man is worse than Jimmy Carter with whom we opened this blog.   We cannot make such a mistake ever again and certainly not in the next election.  We chose Ronald Reagan after Jimmy Carter.   Among our 300 million plus American people surely we can do better than this and that does not mean a return to the bimbo eruption 90’s of Bill and Hill.   As I said, surely we can do better than this.  A George Washington; an Abraham Lincoln; a Ronald Reagan anyone?   Heaven help us find them AND give us the good sense to vote for them. Eutychus

Eleven GOP Principles

In 1994 Newt Gingrich led the Republicans in A Contract For America which led to a GOP take over of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years and Mr. Newt to the Speakership. Now the former Speaker is featuring 11 Principles for America by Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus.
Those Principles follow:

1. Our Constitution should be preserved, valued and honored. (Remember when most simply believed this. Hopefully they still do).
2. We need to grow America’s economy rather than Washington’s.
3. We need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Our candidate for the 4th District in the House of Representatives for CO, Ken Buck, believes this.
4. We need real Healthcare reform that puts patients and their doctors in charge rather than Washington bureaucrats.
5. Our veterans have earned the right to good healthcare rather than months and years of waiting to see a doctor.
6. To keep America safe and strong we need to rebuild our military, our economy, and to be energy independent behind strong borders.
7. Every child should have an equal opportunity to a great education under local control.
8. The best anti-poverty program is a strong family and a good job. Washington is not helping with either–and, in fact, is a hindrance.
9. Our nation should honor the traditions of family, life, liberty, religious freedom and hard work.
10. America should be energy independent through domestic energy which will provide good jobs here. Keystone anyone?
11. We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts the economy.

William Kristol of The Weekly Standard notes that under Obama decline was a choice.   This makes the conservative task in implementing these principles daunting.   But it is also exciting.   To paraphrase Tocqueville:   New thinking and new policies will be needed for a world altogether new.  This calls for leadership like that of Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s and Newt Gingrich in the 1990’s.

Barack Obama has become a boring figure with tedious speeches, ineffectual policies and his worldview is largely discredited.   That does not mean he should be ignored.  For the next month Republican candidates will and should tie their Democrat opponents to Obama’s failures.   But that is not enough to effectively govern.   The Eleven Priebus Principles noted by Newt Gingrich are a good start and a positive alternative to the Obama/Democrat dangerous nonsense.

During the depths of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln turned to humor to keep his balance.    This is Scriptural as Proverbs 17:22 states:  “A merry heart is good medicine.”   And Lincoln  once said after an especially discouraging day before he found his General in U.S. Grant, “This too will pass.”  The Obama Administration will too mercifully pass on January 20, 2017.   Let that begin on November 4, 2014 with a Republican Senate and a strengthened House of Representatives.  Let the rebuilding begin after the years that the locusts have eaten.

Eutychus