Saturday, November 15, 2008

Other Voices

What can I write about our ruler - uh - I mean president-elect that hasn't already been written? Am I worried about a catastrophic next four (and possibly more) years? You bet. I've been getting chain emails from deluded liberal Jewish relatives and friends trying to soften our fears because Obama has chosen a high profile Jew, Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. Debbie Schlussel has an interesting profile (and another piece here) on Mr. Emanuel. The fact that somebody is Jewish is no guarantee that they are pro-Israel or even pro-Jewish. Rahm Emanuel may turn out to be Obama's "show-Jew" a term I first heard from Woody Allen years ago.

Carolyn Glick, as always, gives us more to worry about in an Obama presidency, especially if like me, you think the terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran should be fought rather than appeased.
Due in large part to media credulousness, Obama's new image as a centrist was widely accepted by the public. And it is likely that Obama owes a significant portion of his support in the American Jewish community to the campaign's success in distancing Obama from men like Brzezinski and Malley.

But now that the campaign is over, it appears that as his critics warned, Obama's moves toward the center on issues relating to the Middle East were little more than campaign tactics to obscure his true policy preferences. Two days after his election, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius gave a sense of the direction in which Obama will likely take US foreign policy. And, apparently directed by Obama's campaign staff, Ignatius based much of his column on his belief that Obama's foreign policy views have been shaped by his "informal" advisor, Brzezinski.

Based on what Brzezinski and Obama's "official" campaign told him, Ignatius wrote that the two major issues where Obama's foreign policy is likely to diverge from Bush's right off the bat are Israel and Iran. Obama, he claimed will want to push hard to force Israel to come to an agreement with the Palestinians as soon as he comes into office. As for Iran, Obama plans to move immediately to improve US relations with the nuclear weapons building ayatollahs.

As for Malley, an aide of his told Frontpage Magazine this week that acting on Obama's instructions, Malley traveled to Cairo and Damascus after Obama's electoral victory to tell Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Assad that "the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests."
I sent this column to a cousin who emailed me a Rahm Emanuel column. I haven't heard back from her.

David Warren has some non-Israel related worries about Obama and his legion of unquestioning followers.
As I have quoted in the past, let me quote again, the profound words of the late Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, replying to the central lie in Marxism, which remains the central post-modern or post-Christian lie: "A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death -- the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders, we are not going to be judged."

A great danger in democratic politics comes with just this denial. We are tempted to think that just by voting for a demagogue, a charlatan -- for any politician who tells us cynically only what we want to hear -- we can change the facts of nature.

We think that we can "make the rich pay," or otherwise transfer our personal responsibilities to the Nanny State. By some mysterious "social contract," we transfer to politicians the responsibility for what we have ourselves decided. And in due course, we may punish them, for what we got wrong.
And then there are the political cartoonists. They're going to get the final word . . . and picture.

I have to keep reminding myself though; no matter what happens, we must never give up, because there is always-

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Times, They Have a'Changed

During Harry Truman's 1948 bid for reelection, he gave a speech in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, September 26. David McCullough, in his biography of Truman, on page 676, quotes a piece of that speech.
Our government is made up of the people. You are the government, I am only your hired servant. I am the Chief Executive of the greatest nation in the world, the highest honor that can ever come to a man on Earth. But I am the servant of the people of the United States. They are not my servants. I can't order you around, or send you to labor camps or have your heads cut off if you don't agree with me politically. We don't believe in that . . .

By way of Michelle Malkin, I found this video, wherein an Obama staffer presents a completely different attitude to holding the office of President of the United States. I'm not claiming any conspiracy here, merely a change in the expectation of what this office means.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Are We Healed Yet?

Some people, no matter how much they deny it, are obsessed with skin color. I don't want to claim that all liberals are racists though, just some of them. After all, some of my best friends are - um - liberal . . . really. With Obama's election to the presidency, the obsession with race, rather than abating, seems to have increased. Take Rochelle Riley's column in the Detroit Free Press. On the one hand, she does call on Detroit's black community to adopt an "I can" attitude.

On the other hand,
But black America must not miss Tuesday's greater lesson: Even as white people reevaluate their prejudices, black Americans -- some, not all -- must embrace a new standard of achievement.
Those accursed white people and their prejudices! They surely must be the only people on Earth who still harbor prejudices. Thank God they have reevaluated them.

Later in the piece,
We must work, regardless of race, using a language that doesn't split our country into colors and cultures, one that doesn't include words from a past our children do not remember. Black Americans must demand more of each other.
Does that include white people now that we have reevaluated our prejudices? (Well, except for me, you see . . . shhh, don't let this get out, but I didn't quite vote for Obama).

Rather than harping on the prejudices of white people, how about an examination of the prejudices of liberals? I googled it and came up empty, so I'm sure Ms. Riley wrote nothing on the liberal and black racist campaign against Maryland's Lt. Governor when he ran for the Senate. However, according to an article in the Washington Times, by way of Michelle Malkin,
Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.

Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an “Uncle Tom” and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.

Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report — the only Republican candidate so targeted.

But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with “pointing out the obvious.”
Am I the only one who smells an insane and insulting double standard at work?

Malkin, of course, because she is officially a "woman of color" and therefore automatically afforded protected minority status, is routinely and viciously attacked by liberals and progressives because she dares to think for herself and embrace a conservative point of view. Since she doesn't toe the accepted party line, her protection has been stripped away and she's fair game . . . for the Left.

But Rochelle Riley and other members of the Obamanation don't want to admit, that much of the prejudice, hatred, and intolerance is a manifestation of the Left and is based on their self-image of moral superiority. This self-image has a long way to go before it gets close to reality.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fooled Again?

It's early on this voting day morning. I'm going to do my duty before work. And all I've been asking is, will we be fooled again? Well I'll be pulling the lever for the old guy, you know, Obama's opponent, the one who doesn't want to fundamentally change the U.S. because he believes in it.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Best Laid Plans . . .

I had planned to write a scathing post firing the MSM due to the total abdication of their mission by so many mainstream journalists. Not surprisingly I'm not the only one bemoaning the lack of honesty and professionalism of the current crop of newsfolk. So rather than write, I'm going to link to others who have already written what I was planning on writing for the past two weeks. These links are much better written than what I would have turned out anyway. You would think that some of them are professional writers.

Victor Davis Hanson writes about the end of journalism.
There have always been media biases and prejudices. Everyone knew that Walter Cronkite, from his gilded throne at CBS news, helped to alter the course of the Vietnam War, when, in the post-Tet depression, he prematurely declared the war unwinnible. Dan Rather’s career imploded when he knowingly promulgated a forged document that impugned the service record of George W. Bush. We’ve known for a long time — from various polling, and records of political donations of journalists themselves, as well as surveys of public perceptions — that the vast majority of journalists identify themselves as Democratic, and liberal in particular.

Yet we have never quite seen anything like the current media infatuation with Barack Obama, and its collective desire not to raise key issues of concern to the American people. Here were four areas of national interest that were largely ignored.
Diana West points out some of the episodes of media failure to inform.
Despite the disgrace of our free-but-self-caged press, many voters have managed to learn for themselves that Obama has spent a lifetime associating with the kind of anti-Americans and subversives that, by rights, make him ineligible for a federal security clearance — something Daniel Pipes has noted. Many voters understand that when you "spread the wealth around" you are enacting a basic premise of Marxism, or communism, or socialism, or something once upon a time derided as plain old commie-pinko. But that was a long time ago, and the fact is, we just don't know how many Americans are still put off, if not outraged, by such things.

And maybe this becomes the most important question to be settled on Nov. 4: How many Americans still consider mixing with and supporting bomb-throwers and radicals to be un-presidential? How many Americans still consider a Marxist basis for economics to be, in fact, downright un-American?
The most forceful piece is by Orson Scott Card. He calls it, "Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?" You should read all of these in their entirety, but if you can read only one, read this one.
An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefitting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.
On the other hand, this did save me a lot of writing.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

One Fine Day at the Bookstore

I wanted to buy a copy of Michael Rameriz' new book of cartoons, Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion. That's all I was there for. I was at a book store I've been frequenting for years, one of the last remaining independent book stores in the Detroit area. The owners are very liberal, but I've always liked them. Everyone likes them. And they have a really good book store.

I was talking to one of the owners and the conversation turned, as all conversations seem to turn to in these final days before the election, to the election. And as has been happening more frequently, I surprised her with my current political views. As we were debating the relative merits of each presidential candidate, I noticed another shopper listening in. Actually, everyone was listening. It's not a very big store, and there weren't many people in the store. Then the other shopper joined in. We have a small community of Russian/Jewish immigrants in the area and she was one of them. She filled us both in on how Socialism, no matter if it's being proposed by Obama, or Putin (who we all agreed was a murderous dictatorial thug) or any other progressive politician, leads away from freedom. While we in the United States have been debating Capitalism vs. Socialism for years, she got to live in a socialist worker's paradise. That's why she and her family came here.

When the owner suggested that we look at the allegedly benign socialism of Sweden, the Russian lady brought the discussion closer to home: Canada. They have socialized medicine, which is why so many Canadians are sneaking into the U.S. for medical care. After all, what's a Canadian to do when you have to wait months for an MRI? Die, or cross the border? Then I brought up another area where Canadian freedom has been sacrificed, The Canadian Human Rights Commission. Neither of my conversation partners had heard of it.

That's no surprise. The American Mainstream Media have been as quiet about it as they've been about Obama's past (non-existent) record of achievement and his past dubious associations.

We covered all of the points of contention: environment, economics, foreign policy, the Press, abortion, VP choices, and the thing that surprised me was the weakness of my bookstore owning friend's arguments. There were no comebacks. And she is an intelligent, well-read person. I'm sure she only reads her side, so there was a lot she was unaware of because it isn't reported . . . by her side.

When I argue with my sister, and she can no longer refute my arguments, she just sinks into the classic progressive defense of "you're a hatemonger" and agrees to disagree. Or, as when I was sending her articles on ACORN and The Community Redevelopment Act being the root causes of the current economic meltdown, and being made worse by the malfeasance of Barny Frank, Chris Dodd, and the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate, she simply never read them. After all, other people are saying other things. Who really knows?

Obama and his team, of course, attack the messenger, engage in character assassination, or refuse access to the offending opinionated parties. I hadn't realized how weak arguments for Liberal policies are. They have to engage in subterfuge to sneak their policies in under assumed Orwellian names, like the Fairness Doctrine, or create an echo chamber where the only voice they hear is theirs, or put their hands over their ears and kill the messenger. We've seen all of this for years. I've finally started paying attention to in the past few years.

Getting back to the original thread of this post, we still had a polite discussion. There was no hysteria, no screaming; we all listened to each other. Probably, nobodies views were changed. We are still friends, and I will still shop at that bookstore. The owner asked if some of our mutual friends knew of my views. Some do and some don't. Sometimes they don't want to listen. I tried to get into a discussion with one of my friends when he mentioned that the Soviet Union was not that bad. After all, they had the Bolshoi Ballet. When I started mentioning daily bread lines, he quickly changed the subject and began talking to someone else. When I mentioned to another friend a while back that I was reading Victor Davis Hanson on why the West was able to spread its influence around the world, he started raving about the environment and how we've destroyed it.

One day all of my friends will know that I'm not a liberal anymore. It will be on the day that they bring up politics.

I'm an embarrassment to Barack!

I only scored 17 on the Obama Test

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