Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Barack Hussein Obama, The First True Anti-Israel And ANTICHRIST President

October 20, 2015

Barack Obama just demonized Israel again.

In the face of a wave of vicious knife attacks in which rabid Palestinian youth are slashing at any Jew they can find with a knife.  There have been NUMEROUS vicious “lone-wolf-style” attacks so far in Israel against Jews whose crime was being Jewish in a world that hates Jews.

The Palestinian leadership, including the Palestinian Prime Minister himself, have been egging on those attacks.  They maliciously and falsely began reporting that Jews were destroying the Al Aqsa Mosque.  They began publishing on their state-controlled television and in their state-controlled schools propaganda material such as “How to kill a Jew” detailing the points to stab Jews.  At the very top levels of their leadership, there are “Statements by Fatah, Hamas and PIJ spokespersons have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel’s crimes.”  These leaders of the Palestinian people are publicly and routinely broadcasting outright lies, with the Prime Minister claiming that the Jews had “executed” a Palestinian terrorist who had just viciously attacked a 13-year-old Jewish boy with a knife.  That was a lie, but when does the truth matter in these dark days just before the Antichrist?

One of those who hates Jews is Barack Obama.

Amazingly, Obama Administration tools have continued to mock – I mean make – the claim that Obama has been the most pro-Israel president like EVER.  I mean, you know, aside from Hitler, who loved Jews so much he decided to keep them all nice and warm by putting them in ovens.  I mean, okay, Obama has been calling for Israel to return to the completely indefensible pre-1967 borders which would force them to give up their holy city of Jerusalem – but pissing on their religion is good for them, I mean, right? – and force them to die to the last man trying to keep a border that is only nine miles wide from being cut which would cut the nation in half and allow the hundreds of millions of Muslims on all sides of them to kill them all.  Obama wants Israel to be forced to give all the strategically vital high places to the enemy so that they can rain down artillery fire that would destroy them city by city.  The Muslims are already showing their desire to do precisely that in their incessant launching of rockets.   And you need to understand that those thousands and thousands of rocket attacks were made possible because the Obamas of the world talked Israel into withdrawing from Gaza.

Adolf Hitler, I mean Barack Obama, sold Israel out to Iran.  Or at least please explain to me why the “pro-Israel” thing to do is to impose a nuclear deal with Israel’s most vicious enemy that is opposed by Israelis on the order of seven against to every one in favor of the end-times horror that Obama wrought in his wicked “deal” with Lucifer.  Maybe it’s because the woman who runs the Obama administration is a native of Iran, maybe it’s just because Obama spent his entire adulthood under a rabidly anti-Israel reverend in a rabidly anti-Israel church which was part of a rabidly anti-Israel denomination.

Iran has ALREADY violated the deal:

U.S. envoy says recent Iran missile test violated UN sanctions
By Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press 12:04 p.m. EDT October 16, 2015

UNITED NATIONS — U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said Friday that Iran’s recent ballistic missile test was “a clear violation” of U.N. sanctions.

Power said that after reviewing available information the United States has confirmed that the medium-range ballistic missile launched on Oct. 10 was “inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.”

Can anyone explain to me why Iran continues to work on ballistic missiles if they truly aren’t determined to build a nuclear warhead to put on the damn missiles???

Just like every opponent of the deal said Iran would do.  Only they didn’t even wait for the damn INK to dry before they showed what a butcher Obama will be the moment Iran gets nuclear weapons AND the ballistic missiles to deliver them BECAUSE of Obama’s damn deal.

Obama is FINE with that.  In fact, Obama just gave Iran $150 BILLION to invest in their nuclear missiles and their worldwide campaign of jihadist terrorism.

Obama is either a militant atheist or he is a Muslim.  The only reason I wouldn’t just flat-out call him a Muslim is because Obama is such an arrogant narcissist that it’s hard to believe he believes there is actually a deity greater than himself.  Obama has called himself a Christian and even gone into a church a very few times during his presidency – much the way I could call myself a car and lay down on a parking space.  The problem is that Obama’s “Christianity” has about as much to do with what the Bible teaches as the homosexual marriage he imposed on America.  Obama is considered a “Christian” to a postmodern nation that has wildly abandoned the concept of “truth” and therefore believes we each create our own “truth” – as long as that “truth” is deemed politically correct.  So Obama claims he’s a Christian and that’s supposed to settle the matter – you know, the same way that if Donald Trump claims he cherishes women then every Democrat ought to accept that claim at face value.  But the fact of the matter is that Obama’s “Christianity” is utterly incompatible with Christianity according to the Holy Book that DEFINES Christianity.

So what is biblical faith?

Look at this PDF handout and read the Bible verses.  Biblical Christianity versus cultural (pseudo) Christianity:

Christianity_Biblical vs Cultural

You find Obama’s version of “Christianity” in the Bible.  Show me where Obama’s declaration of “collective salvation”

“… working on issues of crime and education and employment and seeing that in some ways certain portions of the African American community are doing as bad if not worse, and recognizing that my fate remain tied up with their fates, that my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country.

– can be found in the Word of God.  Because it CAN’T be found.  It is a lie.  It may sound nice, it may sound selfless, but it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what the Holy Bible teaches about salvation.  What Obama is doing is claiming that only by his socialism, only by his economic Marxism, only by imposing his vile ideology onto the world and only by perverting true biblical Christianity with his socialist blasphemy and creating a “secular humanist theocracy” that makes Government the Savior and Provider rather than God and His people, can there be salvation.  That is a LIE from the devil.

Obama is telling us that he – and implicitly all the rest of us unless he’s such a malignant narcissist that he is arguing that God has a different way of saying Barack Obama from the rest of mankind – are saved not by faith in Jesus Christ but by the works we do.  And specifically that work is the work of leftist socialists making the human State more powerful.  He’s telling us the only way to salvation is to bring the work of human socialist Government to the country.  We’re all saved by Government, not by faith in God in Christ.

Barack Obama is dead, wicked, demonic wrong.

And any true Christian knows it.

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, the crowds heard His teaching and asked him this question: “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 6:28).  And Jesus answered:

“This is the ONLY work God wants from you: believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:29).

Everything Barack Obama believes is in massive, fundamental contradiction to what Jesus taught.  Obama doesn’t believe in Jesus, worship Jesus, or have ANY part in Jesus or in His Church; Obama’s “god” is GOVERNMENT.  It is Government that he is determined to exalt and he is using his wicked government to routinely persecute true Christians while he allows true Christians all over the world to be murdered in the greatest numbers in all of human history.

I mean, let’s compare and contrast Obama’s belief in “collective salvation” through his government-as-savior with what actual biblical Christianity teaches (as I’ve presented before):

What does Jesus say?  Consider Matthew 16:24-25:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any one (individual) wishes to come after Me, he (individual) must deny himself (individual), and take up his (individual) cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his (individual) life will lose it; but whoever loses his (individual) life for My sake will find it.
 Consider 2 Corinthians 5:10 for the thoughts of St. Paul:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one (individual) may be recompensed for his (individual) deeds in the body, according to what he (individual) has done, whether good or bad.
 And again, St. Paul in Romans 14:12:
So then each one of us (individual) will give an account of himself (individual) to God.
 Or consider Galatians 2:20:
“I (individual) have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I (individual) who live, but Christ lives in me (individual); and the life which I (individual) now live in the flesh I (individual) live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me (individual), and delivered Himself up for me (individual).”
 And, again, in the words of Jesus as recorded in Revelation 3:20:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If any one (individual)  hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (individual) and will dine with him (individual), and he (individual) with Me.”
 Barack Obama is most certainly not a Christian to so miserably misunderstand that we are EACH INDIVIDUALLY saved by our PERSONAL faith in Jesus Christ through what He did for us on the cross.  This is not some esoteric “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” sort of question; it is a core fundamental of the Christian faith.

Barack Obama’s concept of “salvation” frankly is “a doctrine of demons” that “preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we [the apostles] preached.”  Which is why Obama has a “different spirit” from the Holy Spirit Who fills genuine Christian believers.  St. Paul in his second to last letter before his martyrdom nailed the essence of Barack Hussein Obama:

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. — 1 Timothy 4:1

And the last days is precisely where we ARE, baby.  And we have a son of hell as our president to lead us to that promised land of hell.

Now that I have documented that Barack Obama’s gospel has nothing whatsoever to do with the teachings of the apostles or the Bible they wrote through the Holy Spirit, let me share this:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! — Galatians 1:8

The literal Greek rendering is “let them be damned by God.”  And Barack Obama and because of Barack Obama the nation he leads are under God’s curse as a result of Obama’s deceiving wickedness.

Obama worships GOVERNMENT, not God.  He believes inherently in human Government as his power that saves us.  That’s NOT what the Bible teaches about human government.  Jesus Christ will ultimately be the Rock that smashes and DESTROYS wicked human government (Daniel 2:44-45).  God condemned wicked man’s desire to replace Him with human government (1 Samuel 8:4-22).  When Jesus was on earth, and the crowds were hungry, He did NOT order His disciples to go to King Herod or Governor Pilate to start a government welfare program; He told them YOU (the CHURCH) feed them (Matthew 14:14-21).

Barack Obama is NOT a Christian; he is a wicked man with a wicked agenda to replace people’s faith in God with his own blind faith in human government.

Obama calls himself a “Christian”?  SERIOUSLY?  Even the NEW YORK TIMES is openly asking this question that is a result of Barack Hussein Obama’s wicked policies:

Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?
ISIS and other extremist movements across the region are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight.
By ELIZA GRISWOLDJULY 22, 2015

It is an amazing aspect of what St. Paul referred to as “the secret power of lawlessness” that in the last days a man would call himself a “Christian” while doing more harm to Christ and His Body than every human being before him combined.  Millions of Christians are either fleeing or they are murdered or they are sex slaves to Islamic State animals because of the brutal contempt Barack Obama has demonstrated for the followers of Christ.

Barack Obama has made it his mission in life to destroy religious freedom and the conscience of Christians.  Christians no longer have the right to their Bible or their conscience under this demon-possessed man.  He is coercing them and punishing them if they take any stand against the abortion that has murdered sixty million innocent babies in flagrant violation of Psalm 139 or if they take any stand against the homosexual marriage that is promised to bring God’s WRATH according to Romans chapter one.  He’s a bully and a tyrant who has attacked the Christian baker and the Christian florist and the Christian wedding photographer and the Christian fire chief and the Christian county clerk and he will not stop until he’s attacked every true Christian in every true Christian church.

Barack Obama has inaugurated a demonic America where you can choose your Christian faith or you can choose “personal ruin.”

What is “religious liberty”?  What is “free speech”?  It is a threat to liberalism and it must be quashed in the interest of the State.  Just as the 2nd Amendment and the right of the people to keep and bear arms so they can resist tyranny is a threat to liberalism that must be quashed in the interest of the State.

Freedom is an anathema to the Democratic Party member.  You must be placed in a position of submission where you are compelled by the naked power of the State to do what liberals want you to.  In that the liberal is no different from the jihadist Muslim.

Barack Obama’s “faith” is not in God, but in Government.  He worships the State, and the unholy POWER of the State to impose socialism which has always before been state atheism.  Only Obama’s form of state atheism is like an M&M candy with aforementioned atheism masquerading as a secular humanistic version of  universalistic “Christiantiy.”

You call Obama a Christian.  I call you a LIAR.  I call you a demon-possessed moral idiot.

And so here we are, with Obama the “pro-Israel” president whose administration has just officially accused Israel of being a terrorist state no different from the terrorist group Hamas because Obama’s people equally condemned them both in the same moral equivalent breath:

As Palestinians assailants continue to murder Jews across Israel, the Obama administration on Wednesday accused the Jewish state of committing acts of “terrorism,” drawing outrage from many observers.

As the number of Israelis murdered during a streak of Palestinian terrorism continues to rise, the Obama administration sought to equate the sides and told reporters that, in its view, Israel is guilty of terrorism.

“Individuals on both sides of this divide are—have proven capable of, and in our view, are guilty of acts of terrorism,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters following questions about the spike in violence.

Kirby also said the administration has obtained “credible reports” of Israelis using excessive force as it deals with a rash of terrorist murders carried out by Palestinians seeking to cause havoc and spark an intifada.

I’ll give you some examples of “individuals on both sides” being “terrorists”: how about Jews destroy the Dome of the Rock the way Muslims just destroyed Joseph’s Tomb???  How about if Benjamin Netanyahu directly incites acts of violence with anti-Palestinian LIES the way Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas falsely and maliciously publicly claimed that Israel had “executed” a Palestinian youth whose only crime was trying to slash to death a 13-year-old Israeli boy???  See here and here for that one.

Barack Obama is a demon-possessed man who seethes with hatred for God and for God’s people, whether they be Christians or Jews.

He embodies the spirit of antichrist.  And soon the one true Antichrist will be revealed.  This coming world leader will be a master deceiver.  He will take total power over all government and Government shall be his weapon against the faithful.  He will take total power over the economy and will institute the infamous mark of the beast, by which no one will be able to buy or sell ANYTHING without having taken that mark that will cause all who accept it to burn in hell.

That spirit is now alive in America as it has never been in the entire history of the republic.

I tell you, Obama is about to fulfill the last-days war of Gog-Magog with his demon-possessed foolishness.  He has not only allowed, he has practically INVITED, Russia to enter Syria so they could destroy every vestige of the US-backed rebels Obama cowardly turned his back on after YEARS of dithering as a quarter million Syrians were slaughtered.  Russia in turn invited Iran.  Right on the doorstep of Israel.  Just as the prophet Ezekiel declared would happen in the last days more than 2,600 years ago.

Advertisements

Redistributing Wealth: Why Not Just Be Consistent And ‘Redistribute’ Beauty And Justice, Too?

March 31, 2010

Max Baucus gave us yet another remark from a Democrat acknowledging the REAL purpose of ObamaCare:

“Too often, much of late, the last couple three years the maldistribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that maldistribution of income in America.”

Well, that and “to control the people.”  And to inevitably lead us into a fully socialist single payer system, or course.

Here’s Baucus on Youtube explaining the need to use Obamacare to redistribute wealth:

We can go back to Obama himself, of course, and hear him talking about “spreading the wealth” to Joe the Plumber.

Redistribution of wealth wants to “spread out” equality, such that we’re all  level.

But we’re NOT all level.  Some people are smarter than other people.  Some people are bigger and stronger and faster than others.  Some people are more creative than others.  Some people have a higher work ethic or ethics in general ethic than others.  Some people work harder than others.  And darn it, some people are just better looking than others.

And since we’re not all level, we see wildly disparate economic results.  When liberals try to “level the playing field” and “spread the wealth around” and “address the maldistribution of wealth,” what they are doing is not merely ignoring fundamental economic realities, but fundamental human realities.

If they’re going to “level the playing field,” they should be consistent, and apply their philosophy across the board.

Even when you get aside from the blameworthiness of the poor (i.e., never bothering to get off one’s butt to look for a job; or never working hard enough or showing responsibility enough to advance to the next level), you’ve still got some issues with wealth redistribution.  For instance, is it “fair” that some people are far more physically attractive than others?  Those pretty people get all the opportunities; whereas, non-pretty people, through no fault of their own, must struggle.  We should redistribute beauty!!!  We should be carving up the pretty people and giving some of their beautiful features to the non-pretty people!!!

I mean, why feel sorry for somebody who never bothered to apply himself or herself?  Who never bothered to work hard, or pursue training/schooling, or made smart choices?  It would seem that that short, fat, butt-ugly guy with the unfortunate flatulence should be the one who merits our sympathy, if anyone does.

Here’s another nice take on the idea of redistributing beauty (I wanted to see if redistributing beauty was my brainchild, and darn it, but it wasn’t!).

That’s the SAME idiotic reasoning that is used to justify wealth redistribution.

We could also move to re-distributing justice.

Let’s take it on the liberal’s argument.  It’s not that black inner-city gang banging kid’s fault that he’s a violent criminal; it’s society’s fault.  That poor kid is a victim.  That poor kid didn’t get the economic opportunities that others did.  He didn’t have a safe home environment.  He didn’t have good public schools.  He was surrounded by poverty and the grinding consequences of poverty, and he was literally conditioned into his life of crime.  So let’s take the punishment that falls on that kid for his crime and redistribute it, spread it out, and make it “fair.”  It seems to me that if that inner city gang-banger murders some innocent kid in a drive-by shooting, Al Gore should go to jail.  Maybe Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi, and we can “spread the justice” between the two of them.

I mean, that poor guy doesn’t have any freedom (metaphor for wealth).  He’s facing life.  And there are all sorts of people outside the penitentiary who have all sorts of freedom.  So we can help that guy out by grabbing you and taxing some of your freedom so we can redistribute it to the convict.

If that welfare queen shouldn’t be held responsible for her “inability” to get off her butt and work, why should the gang-banger be held responsible for his “inability” to live an ethical life?

You know what the liberal will say: “Well, that welfare queen isn’t hurting anybody.”

But she damn sure is: she’s hurting me.  She’s hurting my kids.  Because some jerk keeps seizing my wealth and the wealth I want to leave for my children and giving it to that welfare queen.  She sure IS hurting other people with her laziness and indolence.  And in point of fact the only way she’s NOT going to hurt other people is if liberals stop taking other peoples’ money and redistributing it to her.

Burton Folsom, Jr. points out how this mindset was anathema to America until FDR came along:

Throughout American history, right from the start, charity had been a state and local function.  Civic leaders, local clergy, and private citizens, evaluated the legitimacy of people’s need in their communities or counties; churches and other organizations could then provide food, shelter, and clothing to help victims of fires or women abandoned by drunken husbands.  Most Americans beleived that the face-to-face encounters of givers and receivers of charity benefited both groups.  It created just the right amount of uplift and relief, and discouraged laziness and a poor work ethic.

The Founders saw all relief as local and voluntary, and the Constitution gave no federal role for the government in providing charity.  James Madison, in defending the Constitution, observed, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.”  In other words, if relief, and other areas, were made functions of the federal government, the process would become politicized and politicians and deadbeats could conspire to trade votes for food” (New Deal or Raw Deal, page 76-77).

The way it used to be is the way it ought to be again.

Folsom goes on to document how A) administrations and courts had throughout history repeatedly ruled “welfare” programs unconstitutional until the New Deal and B) how they did in fact become a political boondoggle during the New Deal.  And that has been the growing trend ever since.

Benjamin Franklin put it this way: “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

Samuel Adams said:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

Franklin also said:

“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. … Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.”

These three statements, when combined together, mean: 1) Those who don’t pay their own way are a disgrace to themselves and a disgrace to their countrymen; 2) If you ARE forced to pay your own way in life, you will ultimately be the better for it, both in your provision and in your character; and 3) If we continue on the social welfare spending track we’re on, we will destroy our nation.

Liberals yearn to be more like Europe, just as they always have.  Thomas Jefferson said, “With all the defects in our Constitution, whether general or particular, the comparison of our government with those of Europe, is like a comparison of Heaven with Hell.”  And that is every bit as true today as it was when Jefferson said it.

FDR waged a war on poverty that has been going on for 77 years.  Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty anew in 1964.  And poverty has been kicking our asses ever since.  We’re no better off than we were before; in fact, we’re worse off.

What has the war on poverty got us?  As much poverty as ever, and a debt of ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE TRILLION DOLLARS (just add our total US debt with our debt in unfunded liabilities).

There’s that Dr. Phil question: “How’s federal government war on poverty working for you?

Frankly, if we had been “redistributing” pieces out of Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s faces to give to the less beautiful, or if we’d been “redistributing” justice by taking freedom from Al Gore or Hillary Clinton to give more freedom to convicts, it would have been morally idiotic.  Still, if we’d done those things instead of redistributing wealth, it would have saved us a few million tons of money.

White House Ignores War In Afghanistan To Pursue New War On Fox News

October 12, 2009

Up until the exaltation of The One – may socialist Scandinavians place golden medallions around his neck forever – the Democrats’ spiel on Afghanistan was that it was the right war, the top priority war, the just war, the necessary war, but that the devil Bush ignored Afghanistan while he focused on Iraq.

Iraq, of course, was the unwinnable war (even after Bush won it), and the surge strategy was bound to be a costly failure (even after it worked).

Well, now that Obama – in the words of a leftist “journalist” – “stands above the country” and “above the world” as “sort of God,” well, the “change” the left kept blathering about resulted in a change of focus:

Afghanistan is no longer the “war of necessity,” or the “top priority,” or the “cause that could not be more just.”  Nope.  That war morphed into the war that the White House has declared on Fox News.

White House communications director, Anita Dunn:

“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director.

And:

“The reality of it is that Fox often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

And:

“As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

Mind you, every major totalitarian dictator in the world is more “legitimate” than Fox News, as far as the White House is concerned:

White House communications director Anita Dunn also said this:

“What I think is fair to say about Fox — and certainly it’s the way we view it — is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party,” said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”

Yes, that’s right.  Dunn is referring to CNN — the same CNN that demonstrated that it is so completely in the tank for the Obama agenda that it actually “FACT-CHECKED” a Saturday Night Live skit.

That’s the criteria for “a news network”: complete ideological loyalty.

Obama pretty much pointed that out himself when he addressed White House correspondents:

“Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me.  Apologies to the Fox table.”

Unlike all the other media, Fox correspondents didn’t vote for Obama.  And that’s enough to declare war.  For all must love The OneNo dissension can be tolerated.

Mind you, while the White House asserts that Fox News is evil because it – alone by itself – is not in the tank with Obama, it’s interesting to see that Obama himself is in the tank for SEIU and the hard-core union agenda as he vows to “paint the nation purple.”

We’ve seen this reaction to media criticism by a president before – from the darkest and most evil days of Richard Nixon.  It wasn’t pretty, and it didn’t end well.

Is Fox the media arm of the Republican Party?  Viewers who are flocking to Fox News in droves don’t seem to think so:

Fox News Channel was the 2nd highest rated cable channel on all of television during the first quarter of 2009 in prime time Total Viewers. CNN was 17th and MSNBC 24th for the first three months of the year. FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined and gained the most compared to the first quarter of 2008, up 24%. 2009’s first quarter was FNC’s 3rd highest rated quarter in prime time in the network’s history — just behind Q4 ’08 and Q3 ’05. In prime time, ages 25-54 demo, and in total day in both categories, FNC grew more year-to-year than CNN and MSNBC combined. FNC had nine of the top 10 programs on cable news in Total Viewers.

The hardly right-wing UCLA seems to find plenty of bias from all of those journalists that Obama boasted voted for him, rather than Fox:

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

To the extent that Fox News is biased to the right, every single other news outlet is biased toward the left.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs’ study concluded that Fox News was in fact the most fair and balanced network, concluding:

Fox News Channel’s coverage was more balanced toward both parties than the broadcast networks were. On FOX, evaluations of all Democratic candidates combined were split almost evenly — 51% positive vs. 49% negative, as were all evaluations of GOP candidates — 49% positive vs. 51% negative, producing a perfectly balanced 50-50 split for all candidates of both parties.

Sacred Heart University’s media study discovered that Fox News was the most trusted in the nation:

Researchers were asked which national television news organization they trusted most for accurate reporting. Fox News was named by 30.0% of all respondents – up from 19.5% in 2003 and 27.0% in 2007.

Those named most frequently as the television news organization most trusted for accurate reporting in 2009 included: Fox News (30.0%), CNN (19.5%), NBC News (7.5%) and ABC News (7.5%). Fox News was also the television news organization trusted least. Just over one-quarter, 26.2%, named Fox News, followed by NBC News (9.9%), MSNBC (9.4%), CNN (8.5%), CBS News (5.3%) and ABC News (3.7%).

In fact, it didn’t come all that far from being TWICE as trusted as the runner-up, CNN (the network that fact-checks SNL sketches that are negative to Obama).

So this war – that again seems to be replacing the “just war of necessity” that Afghanistan was SUPPOSED to be is just ridiculous.

It merely shows just how dramatically ideological this administration truly is.

It also explains why former longtime ABC correspondent Chris Wallace said of the Obama administration:

“They are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.”

Let’s just take a second to consider what Obama seems to think about the media, as evidenced by his selection of Mark Lloyd to be his FCC Diversity Czar.  Remember that cartoon of dictators that Obama has met with?  Obama’s FCC Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd admiringly said this of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez:

“In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution.  To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela….The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

Just as Obama is now taking Fox News seriously in this country.

But how did Hugo Chavez “take very seriously the media”?

Newsbusters answers that by simply pointing to the facts in Venezuela:

NGOs Warn of Restrictions in Pending Venezuela Law

Associated Press – May 7, 2009

Prominent Venezuelan nongovernmental organizations warned Thursday that a bill being drafted by lawmakers loyal to President Hugo Chavez could be used to financially strangle groups that criticize the government.

Chavez clamps down on broadcast media

Irish Examiner – Friday, July 10, 2009

President Hugo Chavez’s government is imposing tough new regulations on Venezuela’s cable television while revoking the licenses of more than 200 radio stations.

Report: Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez aggressively seizing control of media

Miami Herald – August 14, 2009

An unclassified report lists examples of Venezuelan government efforts to crack down on or seize control of media outlets to stifle criticism.

How’s that for a chronology of authoritarian censorship?

And Obama’s choice for FCC Diversity Czar also had this to say:

[From a 2005 Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice]: “Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions.  And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem.

We’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power.”

It’s nice of Mark Lloyd to acknowledge that there are “good white people” around – just before he announces the need to have a purge of white people from the media.  But Mark Lloyd is a racist who has also said:

“There are few things I think more frightening in the American mind than dark skinned black men. Here I am.”

And Barack Obama also showed what he thought about free speech rights when his selection for FCC Diversity Czar said:

“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.

“[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance.”

So we pretty much know where the Obama White House is coming from: the media should be the exclusive tool of leftist propaganda to advance the Obama agenda.  Only Obama voters need apply to be considered as “journalists.”  Free speech is a terribly overrated thing, which needs to be “reinterpreted” to exclude ANYONE who has ANYTHING but a far-leftist revolutionary agenda.  And Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has provided the American left with the model as to how to proceed in that direction.

Obama is dithering around in Afghanistan while our soldiers languish and die for lack of support.  But he seems all to willing to pursue his war on Fox News with a gusto.

In both the war in Afghanistan and the war on Fox News, the threat is to freedom itself.

Tax Increases on ‘Rich’ People Planned by Democrats Would Hit Over A Million Small Businesses

July 17, 2009

Let’s file this under the category, “Yet another stupid Democrat idea”: Let’s finance a socialized medicine plan that Americans don’t want by taxing the owners of small business who create the few jobs we’ve got left.

Tax Increase on ‘Rich’ People Planned by House Democrats Would Strike More Than a Million U.S. Small Businesses
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
By Christopher Neefus

(CNSNews.com) – More than a million small business owners and about two-thirds of the profits earned by U.S. small businesses would be hit by the income tax increase on the “rich” that House Democratic leaders want to enact to pay for the health-care reform plan President Obama wants passed this summer, a taxpayer watchdog say s.

Ryan Ellis, director of tax policy for Americans for Tax Reform, told CNSNews.com he calculated that 1.09 million of 21.5 million small business owners would see a one- to three-percent surtax on their profits in order to fund the House of Representatives’ trillion-dollar health care reform bill.

While only about five percent of small business owners would be exposed to the extra charge, Ellis says two in every three dollars of profit made by small businesses would be subject to it.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, announced late Friday that Democrats want to enact  this tax increase.

The plan reportedly would include a one percent increase in the income tax rate paid by individuals earning $280,000 or more and by households earning at least $350,000. Steeper rate increases of up to three percent would be imposed on those earning $500,000 and $1 million or more. The committee hopes these income-tax rate increases will raise about $540 billion for the federal government over a decade.

Small business owners would be subject to the income-tax rate increases because many of them report the profits of their small businesses on individual tax returns. As a result, the roughly five percent who make more than $200,000 a year would be hit with the extra tax.

Ellis said the Obama administration’s claims that only a few small businesses will be affected misses the point. “(T)hat’s what the Obama guys will always tell you. It’s a small, single-digit percentage of small businesses that would be affected by this, and that’s absolutely true. It’s probably somewhere between five and 10 percent … of all small businesses.

“But if you actually look at the small business profits being reported, two-thirds of all small business profits are reported in these households.”

Indeed, IRS figures from 2006, the most recent year reported, show that $479 billion of the $707 billion in small business profits was reported by households in the top two percent of earners, those earning more than $200,000.

Republicans went on the offensive after Rangel’s Friday announcement. A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “In the middle of a serious recession, with unemployment nearing double digits nationwide, the last thing we need is a tax increase on small businesses, which will cost the American economy even more jobs.”

Blue Dog Democrats in the House also voiced some concern. Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) told CQ Today, “I have a concern with going outside the health care system” when discussing funding options.

“I feel like the House has moved this issue so far to the left we’ve taken ourselves out of the discussion entirely.”

But Ways and Means Committee member Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) told The Washington Post that “if (the bill) works right,” the high earners who pay extra taxes will also see lowered health insurance premiums.

Ellis, however, is skeptical. “If you’re a very successful company and you’re making more than a million dollars a year,” he said, then at “a three percentage point surtax, you basically have to assume that their healthcare costs will go down by 3 percent of their profits in order to even themselves out.”

“That’s just not reasonable to expect,” he told CNSNews.com. “(T)here’s not one example of where the government is going to go in and take over something and start spending money on something and then it saves money.”

Rea Hederman, assistant director of the Center for Data Analysis at the conservative Heritage Foundation, also said small business owners will not see their money back unless they force their employees to take the proposed public health care option.

“The only way they would see reductions in health care,” he said, “is if small businesses just say we’re not going to offer health care to our employees all together, and I don’t think that’s a direction that people want to go,” Hederman said.

While the surtax for small businesses may top out at three percent, Hederman said, “in percentage terms, the tax burden is jumping somewhere between four and a half to five percent, and this is going to be combined with the expiration of some of President Bush’s tax cuts.”

The health care surtax would come in addition to the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of 2010, which will move the federal top rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

In a statement, Thomas Hodge, president of the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, said total top rates, including federal taxes, could push past the 50 percent mark in some states.

“Combining top federal and state rates, and factoring in all deductions, the government would be taking over half of every additional dollar from high-income taxpayers in two-thirds of the states under this latest funding scheme.”

According to Hederman, “Unfortunately, right now, businesses are going to have trouble pricing in (these) cost increases.

“(So) businesses will continue to try to wring out as much efficiency as they can in the labor force, and that means cutting back hours and cutting back jobs,” he said.

A May 2009 survey performed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, small business owners identified high taxes as the second biggest problem facing them, trailing only poor sales.

The tax increase, if enacted, would take effect in 2011.

People see the “small number” of small businesses affected by the tax and think it’s no big deal.  But think about it: there’s the difference between small businesses that are truly small and small business that are big enough to actually hire people.

When I was a kid I had a paper route.  I didn’t work directly for the newspaper; rather, I was listed as “an independent contractor.”

I had a small business.  And like the overwhelming majority of small businesses, I didn’t make a ton of money, and I certainly didn’t hire anybody.

The small businesses that are going to be the most impacted – and the most negatively impacted at that – are the ones that hire people.  And given that these small businesses are going to experience the double whammy of having to pay for Obama’s imposed health care burden even as their profits are taxed to pay for everyone else’s health care, there are going to be a lot of job losses, as surely as 1 + 1 = 2.  Only a fool, or a Democrat, would 1) raise a business’ cost while 2) reducing its profits and NOT expect that business to cut back.

The Democrats’ plan imposes an additional 8% payroll tax on businesses unless they meet the Democrats’ health care requirements.

Another (related) factor that needs to be contemplated emerges from thinking about the concern of the blue dog Democrats regarding going outside the health care system to fund the Obama health care system.  If the darn Democrat health care plan is REALLY something that will save money for the health care system, then why do you have to go outside the system to pay for it?  Why impose so much in additional taxes for something that is supposed to cost LESS? The fact of the matter is that this thing is going to cost TRILLIONS.  It will be like Medicare, with its $61.6 trillion unfunded liabilities, and which is expected to go completely bankrupt by 2015.

And a frightening corollary to that is exactly why people like me keep calling Obama’s health care grab “socialized medicine” to begin with.  Because the plan will necessarily push people into the government plan in FAR greater numbers than Democrats claim will go in.  Small business who employ most American workers, squeezed by the double whammy, will have absolutely no choice but to push their workers into the government plan.

Democrats naively argue that a government plan would not be intended to replace private health care plans, but would only reduce costs by “competition.”  They just don’t have enough functioning brain cells to understand that a government system – which does NOT have to depend upon profitability the way private systems do, and which can draw its funding by forcing even its competition to pay for it through taxation – doesn’t “compete.”  It devours.  The way Republican Rep. Mike Pence put it:

But what I heard yesterday at my town hall meeting was profound skepticism about the introduction of a government option to compete with private health insurance companies within this economy. I think most Americans know that the government competes with the private sector the way an alligator competes with a duck. It consumes it.

That, and of course, the fact that every conspiracy theory about government health care is about to come true: Democrats are openly claiming that they are going to use Obama’s health care plan as a backdoor to socialized medicine.

Bottom line: we’re going to tax our producers into non-producers in order to create a socialized medicine boondoggle that is going to be a disaster.

It is long past time we stopped listening to liberals’ Marxist class warfare messages.  The rich aren’t the bourgeoisie, and the rest of us aren’t the proletariat.  Rather than welcoming the government seizing the rich’s wealth to create one social program after another, we seriously need to start demanding that government finally get the hell out of the way and let all the people have the freedom to invest and spend as we see fit.  For it is liberty and freedom, rather than tyranny and big-government control, that made this country great.  And only returning to the fundamental principles of liberty and freedom are going to be able to get us out of the massive crisis that too much government has forced us into.

‘Celebrating’ DEPENDENCE Day Under Barack Obama

July 4, 2009

As we survey the despotism of the world around us, we can admire our founding fathers – and celebrate their achievement – all the more.

Think of Iraq under Saddam Hussein; or think of Iran under the Ayatollah and the mullahs.  And then look around and see all the millions, even billions of peoples, under some form of tyranny and totalitarian rule.  It was not the Iraqi people, but the people of the United States of America, who threw down Saddam Hussein and instituted a democracy in place of tyranny.  And the Iranian people may have rioted in their streets, but they failed to throw off the shackles of their tyrannous and repressive regime.  And it is very unlikely that they ever will lest some free people liberate them from their own government.

Think of the history of human civilization, and realize just how few times peoples under such rule have thrown off the shackles of bondage for themselves.

We were one of that tiny number.  And our forefathers instituted in place of tyranny the greatest example of democratic and republican government that the world has ever known.

The rarity of America’s achievement, and the resulting greatness that has since resulted, should be celebrated with more than fireworks.  It should inspire Americans – and the world – to pursue freedom and liberty over any obstacle which gets in the way.

Many historians have argued that the British government, and the king who embodied that government, really did not seek to impose anything that tyrannous.  The king didn’t seek to impose an Orwellian-style regime; he merely wanted to modestly increase taxes to help pay for a war that had been fought for the Colonies’ behalf.

The British Empire had spent some 60 million pounds fighting the French and Indian War less than a decade previously.  And the British justifiably believed that the Colonies should share some of the burden for that massive cost.  They weren’t consciously attempting to impose tyranny; all they wanted to do was raise money.

But the patriots didn’t view it that way.  What they saw was taxation without representation.  What they saw was an imposition on their property without their consent.  They looked at taxes (such as the Stamp tax and the Tea tax), and asked themselves, “If they can impose this upon us, what else can they impose?”

And when their protests were met with thousands of British troops, the patriots believed they had their answer: the king believed he could impose power upon them at his whim.

Unlike most other peoples in human history, our founding fathers did not wait for the yoke of oppression to become so heavy that it could not be thrown off.  Rather, they were willing to fight at the very first signs of tyranny.  And in so doing, they not only won their freedom, and the freedom of their descendants; they won the freedom of millions and millions of peoples whom their descendants would subsequently fight to liberate.

Part of the problem with tyranny and totalitarian rule is that there will always be people who say, “It really isn’t that bad.  Why are you making such a nuisance of yourself by protesting?”  The analogy of the frog in water comes to mind: if a government takes away our freedoms little by little, it is very likely that won’t comprehend the deprivation until it is too late to do anything about it.

Alexis de Tocqueville – one of the great political thinkers who recognized the import and result of American freedom – also wrote about one of the most pernicious forms of tyranny in the second quarter of the 19th century:

“Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances; what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

C.S. Lewis wrote about a century later:

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

The tyranny described by Alexis de Tocqueville and C.S. Lewis is the tyranny we face in America today: the tyranny of the nanny state; the tyranny of big government; the tyranny of the welfare state.  Naysayers can always continue to say, “It’s not that big of a deal,” or “It’s not that much worse than it used to be,” or “This is what we need right now.”  And they always will be able to say such things.  And that is precisely why most peoples find themselves in forms of tyranny that they have neither the power nor the will to free themselves from.

There is no question that the massive anvil of fiscal insanity will ultimately fall on the US economy due to the near doubling of the national debt as Barack Obama adds a projected $9.3 trillion to the $11.7 trillion hole we’re already in.  Obama is borrowing 50 cents on the dollar as he explodes the federal deficit by spending four times more than Bush spent in 2008 and in the process “adding more to the debt than all presidents — from George Washington to George Bush — combined.”  And what is most terrifying of all, Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

What will be the result of all this insane spending, and not very long from now? A quote from a CNS News story should awaken anyone who thinks the future will be rosy:

By 2019, the CBO said, a whopping 82 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will go to pay down the national debt. This means that in future years, the government could owe its creditors more than the goods and services that the entire economy can produce.

I look at the recent past, and see debts that our children’s children’s children will never be able to hope to repay; debts that will soon shackle us, and most certainly shackle our future generations.  And I realize that these debts have been accumulated in order to forge the very sort of society that de Tocqueville and Lewis warned us about.

The nanny state doesn’t celebrate the peoples’ independence; it celebrates their dependence.  As big government assumes more and more control of the economy, it creates more poverty and therefore more need for the government to come to the increasingly dependent peoples’ rescue.  It systematically and progressively creates a vicious cycle of dependency that becomes increasingly difficult for a once-free people to sever themselves from.

I think of two attempts by the Obama administration to seize government power that are most pernicious of all: health care and cap-and-trade.  Consider for a moment that if the government assumes control over our health care, it will have the potential to control everything that goes into our bodies, and even the activities of our bodies in the name of our “health.”  And as for cap-and-trade, what doesn’t require energy to produce or transport?  Under these two programs alone, nearly total control can be exercised.

What would our founding fathers – who were willing to fight over taxes on stamps or tea – have to say about these massive government power grabs?

International Scholar Ajami Explains How Obama Is Failing Re: Iran

June 23, 2009

There is no question that Barack Obama has been widely criticized for offering weak statements on a developing Iranian situation with demonstrators literally risking death to protest what they view as a

While women are being gunned down in the streets, Obama has said he doesn’t want to “meddle” in Iran.  While such women and hundreds of thousands of others are demonstrating and even dying for their vote of Mousavi to be counted against the man whom the Iranian mullahs put in power (Ahmadinejad), Obama has publicly claimed that there is no difference between the two.  And while the Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a progressively harsher and more lethal crackdown on his people, Barack Obama has taken the Ayatollah’s side, claiming:

President Barack Obama says he believes supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has deep concerns about the civil unrest that has followed the hotly contested presidential election there.

Obama repeated Tuesday at a news conference his “deep ir own, concerns” about the disputed balloting. He said he believes the ayatollah’s decision to order an investigation “indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns.”

The Iranian Ayatollah really isn’t that bad of a guy.  You heard it from Barack Hussein first.

It’s not a question as to whether Obama has been tepid in his response to the mass demonstrations in Iran; it is OBVIOUS he has been tepid.  To date, he has delivered three statements on Iran — having been forced to make the third, somewhat more strongly-worded statement, as a result of Congress’ display of unity in its resolve to stand with the Iranian people.  His first statement delivered on June 15 was simply pathetically weak.  Pure and simple.   And even the French and the Germans have shown more moral backbone and more moral indignation than Barack Obama.

When a French president displays moral outrage, while an American president displays political appeasement, it is more than a shame: it is an absolute abdication of leadership.  And, even worse, when an American president is behind Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in exhibiting moral courage, it is truly a sign of the last pathetic gasps of a fading republic.

No, the question isn’t whether Obama is being tepid; it’s merely a matter of asking why he is being so incredibly tepid.

The reason, from all accounts, is that Obama (cynically if realistically) expects the Iranian leadership to prevail in this current struggle, and he doesn’t want to antagonize the Iranian regime in a way that might undermine his subsequent efforts at the direct negotiations he campaigned on.  That, and he doesn’t want to be accused by the Iranians of “meddling” when that has already been proven absurd: the Iranians have ALREADY accused us of meddling whether we have been or not.

I would argue that Ronald Reagan’s “meddling” when he called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” and when he  said, “Mr. Gorbachev: tear down this wall!” are what is in order.  It isn’t “meddling” to call a spade a spade.  It is hardly “meddling” to decry in the strongest of terms the absence of liberty and freedom in support of a demonstrating people who clearly yearn for them.

We can never know what would have happened had we only done something that we were too timid to do.  It is right to stand with the Iranian people against an evil and unjust system; it is wrong to cynically play realpolitic in the faint hope of having that same evil and unjust system offer a diplomatic bone down the road.

But, getting back to the main point, are Obama’s concerns that he might undermine future negotiations with Iran valid?

I would argue that Obama’s whole project of attaining success through diplomacy with Iran was a fool’s project to begin with.  We are talking about a regime that has based itself for over 30 years on conflict with and opposition to “the Great Satan”, America.

At no time during the Obama presidency have they demonstrated any willingness to cease their efforts toward nuclear weapons.  They simply have no reason to do so.  And there is virtually no reason to believe that Barack Obama will be able to give them one.

By any realistic expectation, Obama’s policy of diplomacy and negotiation with Iran has ALREADY FAILED, as even the New York Times recognizes.  There is nothing left in terms of hopes of future negotiation breakthroughs to hope for.  If nothing else, how is Obama going to personally meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the Ayatollah Khamenei, when the fundamental legitimacy of their government is in such open question?

An insightful article by one of the premier experts on Iran offers insights on precisely how and even why Barack Obama has failed on Iran:

JUNE 22, 2009

Obama’s Persian Tutorial: The president has to choose between the regime and the people in the streets.

By FOUAD AJAMI

President Barack Obama did not “lose” Iran. This is not a Jimmy Carter moment. But the foreign-policy education of America’s 44th president has just begun. Hitherto, he had been cavalier about other lands, he had trusted in his own biography as a bridge to distant peoples, he had believed he could talk rogues and ideologues out of deeply held beliefs. His predecessor had drawn lines in the sand. He would look past them.

Thus a man who had been uneasy with his middle name (Hussein) during the presidential campaign would descend on Ankara and Cairo, inserting himself in a raging civil war over Islam itself. An Iranian theocratic regime had launched a bid for dominion in its region; Mr. Obama offered it an olive branch and waited for it to “unclench” its fist.

It was an odd, deeply conflicted message from Mr. Obama. He was at once a herald of change yet a practitioner of realpolitik. He would entice the crowds, yet assure the autocrats that the “diplomacy of freedom” that unsettled them during the presidency of George W. Bush is dead and buried. Grant the rulers in Tehran and Damascus their due: They were quick to take the measure of the new steward of American power. He had come to “engage” them. Gone was the hope of transforming these regimes or making them pay for their transgressions. The theocracy was said to be waiting on an American opening, and this new president would put an end to three decades of estrangement between the United States and Iran.

But in truth Iran had never wanted an opening to the U.S. For the length of three decades, the custodians of the theocracy have had precisely the level of enmity toward the U.S. they have wanted — just enough to be an ideological glue for the regime but not enough to be a threat to their power. Iran’s rulers have made their way in the world with relative ease. No White Army gathered to restore the dominion of the Pahlavis. The Cold War and oil bailed them out. So did the false hope that the revolution would mellow and make its peace with the world.

Mr. Obama may believe that his offer to Iran is a break with a hard-line American policy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In 1989, in his inaugural, George H.W. Bush extended an offer to Iran: “Good will begets good will,” he said. A decade later, in a typically Clintonian spirit of penance and contrition, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright came forth with a full apology for America’s role in the 1953 coup that ousted nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

Iran’s rulers scoffed. They had inherited a world, and they were in no need of opening it to outsiders. They were able to fly under the radar. Selective, targeted deeds of terror, and oil income, enabled them to hold their regime intact. There is a Persian pride and a Persian solitude, and the impact of three decades of zeal and indoctrination. The drama of Barack Obama’s election was not an affair of Iran. They had an election of their own to stage. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — a son of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary order, a man from the brigades of the regime, austere and indifferent to outsiders, an Iranian Everyman with badly fitting clothes and white socks — was up for re-election.

The upper orders of his country loathed him and bristled under the system of controls that the mullahs and the military and the revolutionary brigades had put in place, but he had the power and the money and the organs of the state arrayed on his side. There was a discernible fault line in Iran. There were Iranians yearning for liberty, but we should not underestimate the power and the determination of those moved by the yearning for piety. Ahmadinejad’s message of populism at home and defiance abroad, his assertion that the country’s nuclear quest is a “closed file,” settled and beyond discussion, have a resonance on Iranian soil. His challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, a generation older, could not compete with him on that terrain.

On the ruins of the ancien régime, the Iranian revolutionaries, it has to be conceded, have built a formidable state. The men who emerged out of a cruel and bloody struggle over their country’s identity and spoils are a tenacious, merciless breed. Their capacity for repression is fearsome. We must rein in the modernist conceit that the bloggers, and the force of Twitter and Facebook, could win in the streets against the squads of the regime. That fight would be an Iranian drama, all outsiders mere spectators.

That ambivalence at the heart of the Obama diplomacy about freedom has not served American policy well in this crisis. We had tried to “cheat” — an opening to the regime with an obligatory wink to those who took to the streets appalled by their rulers’ cynicism and utter disregard for their people’s intelligence and common sense — and we were caught at it. Mr. Obama’s statement that “the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as had been advertised” put on cruel display the administration’s incoherence. For once, there was an acknowledgment by this young president of history’s burden: “Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons.” No Wilsonianism on offer here.

Mr. Obama will have to acknowledge the “foreignness” of foreign lands. His breezy self-assurance has been put on notice. The Obama administration believed its own rhetoric that the pro-Western March 14 coalition in Lebanon had ridden Mr. Obama’s coattails to an electoral victory. (It had given every indication that it expected similar vindication in Iran.)

But the claim about Lebanon was hollow and reflected little understanding of the forces at play in Lebanon’s politics. That contest was settled by Lebanese rules, and by the push and pull of Saudi and Syrian and Iranian interests in Lebanon.

Mr. Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo did not reshape the Islamic landscape. I was in Saudi Arabia when Mr. Obama traveled to Riyadh and Cairo. The earth did not move, life went on as usual. There were countless people puzzled by the presumption of the entire exercise, an outsider walking into sacred matters of their faith. In Saudi Arabia, and in the Arabic commentaries of other lands, there was unease that so complicated an ideological and cultural terrain could be approached with such ease and haste.

Days into his presidency, it should be recalled, Mr. Obama had spoken of his desire to restore to America’s relation with the Muslim world the respect and mutual interest that had existed 30 or 20 years earlier. It so happened that he was speaking, almost to the day, on the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution — and that the time span he was referring to, his golden age, covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American standoff with Libya, the fall of Beirut to the forces of terror, and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Liberal opinion would have howled had this history been offered by George W. Bush, but Barack Obama was granted a waiver.

Little more than three decades ago, Jimmy Carter, another American president convinced that what had come before him could be annulled and wished away, called on the nation to shed its “inordinate fear of communism,” and to put aside its concern with “traditional issues of war and peace” in favor of “new global issues of justice, equity and human rights.” We had betrayed our principles in the course of the Cold War, he said, “fought fire with fire, never thinking that fire is quenched with water.” The Soviet answer to that brave, new world was the invasion of Afghanistan in December of 1979.

Mr. Carter would try an atonement in the last year of his presidency. He would pose as a born-again hawk. It was too late in the hour for such redemption. It would take another standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan, to see that great struggle to victory.

Iran’s ordeal and its ways shattered the Carter presidency. President Obama’s Persian tutorial has just begun.

Mr. Ajami, a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is the author of “The Foreigner’s Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq (Free Press, 2007).

It is more than fitting that, in an article that is ostensibly about Barack Obama’s poor handling of the Iranian election opportunity, Dr. Ajami should begin and end with Jimmy Carter.  Because we truly have seen much of Barack Obama’s native and failed policies before in the person of Jimmy Carter.

The biggest problem facing Barack Obama is that he is viewed – and I believe very rightly – as weak.

Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” – and he defeated it without even having to fire a shot simply by forceful and continuous confrontation.  George W. Bush called Iraq, Iran, and North Korea “the axis of evil” – and he defeated one of its members and replaced it with a stable democracy (over Barack Obama’s opposition, by the way).

Barack Obama is viewed by rogue regimes as being unwilling to go to war to stand up for American policy or American values.  He will pursue negotiation and diplomacy come what may – and in so doing allow tyrants to take advantage of the United States.

That is why “North Korea’s Kim Jong Il has challenged President Obama more in four months than he did President George W. Bush in eight years.”

Bottom line: with a Reagan, or with either Bush, dictators knew that there was a point beyond which they dared not go, lest the U.S. unleash its might upon them.  They have no such fear about Barack Obama, and for good reason.

Bush, Obama, the Mainstream Media and the Iranian Election Demonstrations

June 21, 2009

Watching the mainstream media coverage of the demonstrations in Iran following their elections, you would think that the protests have been all about Obama and his Cairo speech delivered on June 4.

Barack Obama appeared to take great credit for whatever would happen when he delivered a rambling answer to a press question about what was happening in Iran prior to the election results being released (and Ahmadinejad being declared the winner):

“Uh, we are excited, uh, to see, uh, what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran. And obviously after the speech, uh, that I made in Cairo, uh, we tried to send a clear message that, uh, we think there is the possibility of change, uhhh, aaaand — ehhh, yuh– oh – Ultimately the election is for the Iranians to decide, but just a-as has been true in Lebanon, uh, what’s, uh — can be true in Iran as well is that you’re seeing, uh, people looking at new, uh, possibilities. And, uh, whoever ends up winning, uh, the election in Iran, the fact that there’s been a robust debate hopefully will help, uh, advance, uh, our ability to engage them in new ways.”

But there are some major problems with the “Obama’s speech changed the world” thesis:

For one thing, Obama’s speech failed to offer any new changes in American policy. As an example, even PBS’ positive article on the speech confessed:

While President Obama’s speech contained no new policy proposals on the Middle East, he called upon Israelis and Palestinians alike to live up to their international obligations and to work towards a two-state solution.

And with all due respects, it’s not like Obama’s devoid of actual policy change “call” ignited the Islamic world.

Any many Muslims rightly said, “Nice speech, but let’s wait and see what Obama actually does.”

One late night comedic take on the speech a group of terrorists wearing masks and bandoleers of weapons and ammunition listening to Obama’s speech in front of a television. When Obama seemed to say something about offering peace, they got up, “high-fived” one another, and began to take off their weapons. But then, even as they were in the process of taking off their weapons, Obama seemed to say something that went against the grain of his immediately previous statement, so the terrorists shrugged and started putting on their weapons again.

Bottom line: the comedic take ended up with the terrorists still armed with all of their weapons, just as they had been prior to the speech.

Fausta’s blog dealt with some of what was missing from the speech:

1. The word TERRORIST. “Violent extremism” doesn’t happen on its own. It’s done by terrorists.

2. Details on closing Gitmo “by early next year.” Surely Pres. Obama realizes that it’s not enough to say “I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Where will those terrorists be sent? What will be the international reaction?

3. A firm position on women’s rights. As Peter Ladou said regarding the tepid language on this issue:

Is that a joke?With women being stoned, raped, abused, battered, mutilated, and slaughtered on a daily basis across the globe, violence that is so often perpetrated in the name of religion, the most our president can speak about is protecting their right to wear the hijab? I would have been much more heartened if the preponderance of the speech had been about how in the 21st century, we CANNOT tolerate the pervasive abuse of our mothers and sisters and daughters.

Most troubling of all, the speech lacked
4. An unequivocal, firm stance on democracy: A “commitment to governments that reflect the will of the people” is not enough. Tyrants since the dawn of history have been summoning the masses to demonstrate their regimes “reflect the will of the people.”

Additionally, the statement, “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone” is equivocating on a moral point. America, from its birth, has been a champion of democracy, and should remain stalwart in its position.

Did Obama truly think there was little or no difference between the so-called “glass ceiling” women might find in America with the stonings and mutilations of women all-too common in the Islamic world?

As to this last point, Charles Krauthammer – after citing specific examples of just such moral equivalency from Obama’s speech – says this:

Obama undoubtedly thinks he is demonstrating historical magnanimity with all these moral equivalencies and self-flagellating apologetics. On the contrary. He’s showing cheap condescension, an unseemly hunger for applause and a willingness to distort history for political effect.

Distorting history is not truth-telling, but the telling of soft lies. Creating false equivalencies is not moral leadership, but moral abdication. And hovering above it all, above country and history, is a sign not of transcendence but of a disturbing ambivalence toward one’s own country.

Let me offer a rival explanation as to why Iranians are revolting against the results of the elections, even after the Ayatollah “sanctified” the results by claiming the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reflected a “divine assessment.”

How about the hard-fought-for result of an actual democracy in Iraq right next to Iran?

How about the fact that Iranians had the chance to see not one, but now several, freely-held elections with Iraqi people being able to victoriously hold up purple-ink-smudged fingers as proof that they had been able to freely vote for the candidates of their choice?

Just how is it that Obama’s speech is somehow more important than that?

Let’s not forget the fact that neither Barack Obama nor the mainstream media wanted the Iraqi people to be able to freely vote for the candidates of their choice. They opposed the toppling of dictator and tyrant butcher Saddam Hussein – who had murdered at a minimum 400,000 of his own people and buried them in mass graves – having the opportunity to vote that George Bush and the magnificent American military courageously won for them.

And these same people who opposed the establishment of an Iraqi democracy in the heart of the Arab world are now telling you that a damn SPEECH filled with meaningless moral equivalencies and devoid of substance or policy accomplished a change in the heart of the Iranian people?

Seriously?

The mainstream media gleefully covered every death and every failure in Iraq and continued to cover it – until President Bush and the American military began to turn things around. And then the coverage dried up. These dishonest peddlers of propaganda were unwilling to represent the effort in Iraq as successful.

You can go back and find the left predicting in 2003 that “Bush’s declared attempt to introduce democracy in Iraq by force seems set to fail.” In 2005 the naysayers who called hope for democracy in Iraq “the province of fools” abounded. Then you can find media elites in 2006 suggesting that the elections in Iraq are good news, but still not as good as it should have been. Now we have a full-fledged stable democracy in the heart of the Arab world, and it is seemingly irrelevant to whatever positive pro-democracy changes that might be taking place immediately around Iraq.

The mainstream media allowed the Democrat Party to literally cut-and-run from its earlier positions on Iraq without coverage or analysis. Democrats were allowed to be for the deposing of Saddam Hussein before they were against it. Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were allowed to claim “I believe that this war is lost“ while our troops were still fighting on foreign soil to secure victory.

Articles still condemning Bush for Iraq by the mainstream media continue to go for about a dime a dozen, but the Wall Street Journal on January 31st, 2009 offered this far more accurate and honest conclusion:

Say what you want to say about the administrative debacle the situation became after Saddam was ousted, but Saturday’s endeavor is a sign of a better Iraq in a region infested with despots and tightly-gripped political systems, where elections, if allowed, are not that different from those held under Saddam – sham, corrupt and pointless. Arab regimes across the Middle East and Arab people around the world who bristled when they saw Saddam toppled, and later executed — and who may still easily shrug off Iraq’s elections as unconstitutional for being held under U.S. military occupation — have a right to know what it means to have a sense of hope. True, Iraq was safe under the Baath regime and walking in Baghdad at any time of the day felt to me even safer than walking in some parts of New York now, but give me any police state in that region or elsewhere that doesn’t enjoy a relative sense of protection.

The left got to take credit for the good times, and blame Bush for the bad ones. On December 15, 2003, Hillary Clinton crowed upon the capture of Saddam Hussein:

“I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote.”

Hillary Clinton was for that war before she was against it. And the mainstream media – dishonest, deceitful, and disingenuous itself – allowed Hillary Clinton to be dishonest, deceitful, and disingenuous.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, prior to his declaration of defeat in Iraq, had justified the war in 2002 when “being tough” was politically in vogue. On October 9, 2002 he was on the record saying:

“We stopped the fighting [in 1991] on an agreement that Iraq would take steps to assure the world that it would not engage in further aggression and that it would destroy its weapons of mass destruction. It has refused to take those steps. That refusal constitutes a breach of the armistice which renders it void and justifies resumption of the armed conflict.”

He was not only allowed to be for that war before he was against it by the media, he was allowed to utter outright treason by declaring a war our troops were still fighting “lost.”

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, said on October 10, 2002:

“I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, as one at the end of 10 years in office on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President on focusing on this issue and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein. … Others have talked about this threat that is posed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons.”

But the mainstream media allowed Nancy Pelosi to get away with the outright moral depravity of attacking President George Bush as a liar when she had publicly held the very same positions herself.

And now we have these same deceitful, dishonest demagogues ignoring the hard-fought accomplishments won under George Bush, and crediting an empty speech as the driving force behind any changes in the Islamic world.

Following the beginnings of the Iranian public demonstrations, even in the aftermath of public statements of condemnation by European leaders, Barack Obama had failed to take a public stand. EVEN FRANCE HAD DISPLAYED MORE COURAGE IN STANDING BEHIND THE IRANIAN PEOPLE THAN OBAMA.

Obama finally provided a weak statement of support for the Iranian people. But it was criticized as being not nearly enough. Finally, he offered a somewhat stronger statement, but only after both the House and the Senate passed strongly-worded resolutions:

Congress voted resoundingly Friday to condemn the Iranian government’s crackdown on protesters, sending a strong bipartisan signal to the White House that it wants less caution and more outrage.

Obama hasn’t been at the forefront of democracy for Iran; he has in fact been the Western and American leader most behind on the issue of supporting true democracy in Iran.

But we’re supposed to believe that it was an empty-worded speech from an empty suit on foreign policy that is rocking the Iranian world?

Don’t believe it for a nanosecond.

Children Sing Praises To Dear Leader Obama

September 30, 2008

In North Korea, Kim Jung Il has led his nation to disaster.  Two million have starved to death during the past ten years.  Preschool children in North Korea were up to 5 inches shorter and up to 14 pounds lighter than children who were brought up in South Korea, and adults in the North are 3 inches shorter than adults in South Korea.  prisoners.  And flying over North Korea at night is like flying over a country in the Dark Ages.

There is a spirit of fear and paranoia.  There are as many as a million North Koreans are being held in gulags for political prisoners.

But none of that matters.  North Koreans still live under the yoke of propaganda devoted entirely to the personality cult of Kim Jung Il.  He is revered as “Dear Leader” among his people, who can know nothing but what they are taught to know.  A picture of Dear Leader is prominently displayed in every building and every home.  Some even worship him.

I remember when the last real famine hit North Korea.  Dianne Sawyer was able to visit this black hole of human misery.  The world – and particularly the United States – provided food aid.  But the packages of food were swiftly re-labeled, and guess who the people gratefully bowed their heads to and humbly thanked for their sustenance?

I imagine that many North Korean children sing praises to their Dear Leader.

And many children are singing the praises of our Dear Leader, as well.

“We’re gonna spread happiness! We’re gonna spread freeeeedom! Obama’s gonna change it, Obama’s gonna lead ’em…”

There are whole choirs of exploited five and six year olds singing Obama’s praises.

We used to view government as providing for the common defense, building infrastructure, and staying out of the peoples’ way as much as possible.  Not any more.  Now government’s job – as epitomized in the person of our Dear Leader Barack Obama – is to bring us happiness.

Our children used to be taught that it was the Truth – as epitomized by Jesus Christ the Son of God – that gave us freedom (John 8:31-36).  Now children sing the praises of a new and very different messiah.

Watching children sing the praises of Barack Obama just creeps me out on a viceral level.  Because I remember when I was a child.  Somehow, I was never encouraged – even once – to ever sing the praises of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, or even the great Ronald Reagan.  Somehow that’s different now.  Something frightening has happened.

I look at this glassy-eyed little girl singing about how happiness and freedom are somehow bound up in the person of Barack Hussein Obama, and I wonder: what if he loses the election?  Is happiness and freedom dead?

May God protect us as the same sort of Stalinist media that dominates North Korea begins to dominate our culture as well, and as the same cult of personality that has taken over there begins to take over here, as well.

How Postmodernism Leads To Fascism (part 2)

May 2, 2008

[See How Postmodernism Leads To Fascism, part 1.]

We can begin to see that the presuppositions of postmodernism lead us inexorably toward a totalitarian – and ultimately a fascist – state. And yet these philosophical principles are held by a growing number of today’s intellectuals. The fascist ideas of the 1930s and 40s did not begin in the mind of Hitler; rather, they slowly germinated in the minds of German intellectuals until the ideology attained a sufficient following such that a Hitler could ignite his culture.

To be completely clear, the vast majority of postmodernists today do not explicitly advocate totalitarianism, nor do they even want it. On the contrary, they actually intend their positions to be liberating, freeing oppressed groups from the “one truth” view proclaimed by what they suppose to be oppressive cultural forces. But it is extremely difficult to see how their premises could in any way support a free society as the implications of those premises begin to manifest themselves. Clearly, democracy rests on the precise OPPOSITE of postmodernist tenets – on the freedom and dignity of the individual, on the foundation of human values, on the validity of reason, on God rather than the state as the source of all values, on a transcendent moral law that constrains both the tyranny of the state as well as the tyranny of individual passions.

Thoughtful postmodernists are themselves becoming aware of the dangerous political implications of their ideology. Steven Conner recognizes that rejecting universal values leads either to “the adoption by default of the universal principle that might is right; or to the sunny complacency of pragmatism, in which it is assumed that we can never ground our activities in ethical principles which have more force than just saying, “this is the sort of things we do, because it suits us.” (In the end, in fact, the pragmatic option will always turn into the agonistic, since it will only work satisfactorily until somebody refuses to agree with you, or refuses to allow you to disagree with them” (Steven Conner, Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), pp. 243-44).

By “agonistic” Conner means struggle. (And here we arrive at the example of the typical liberal Muslim contextualizer’s blithely muddying the waters with alternative speculations regarding the word “jihad,” even as tens and even hundreds of thousands of “jihadists” openly talk about violence and/or carry out incredibly violent acts). The end result of postmodernism is necessarily violent struggle. The only alternative to transcendent values is a power struggle in which might makes right. Many postmodernists do in fact proudly claim to be pragmatists – they will work to solve particular problems and adjust to life in a flexible way, without any kind of overarching moral code. Conner realizes that pragmatism alone must turn into a power struggle whenever it confronts opposition. Conner notices also “the apocalyptic inheritance from Nietzsche… which suggests that the only form of value is to be found in the embrace of theoretical extremity” (Ibid., p. 212), which is simply another catch phrase for “violence.”

This is to say, postmodernists tend to be extremists. [We see this today in pro-abortion and pro-gay groups, who consistently steer away from objective argumentation and justify their actions simply by saying “it suits us to do this.” Then they employ crushing political and legal power in an attempt to destroy their opponents]. We are seeing such tactics with increasing frequency at universities (which are supposed to be bastions of free speech). The very people and groups who demanded a voice because of the human right to free expression now oppose by any means the right of others to have such freedom. Students are now routinely shouting down invited speakers (such as former California University of California regent Ward Connerly over his stance on affirmative action policies) or use even more aggressive measures to shut down or intimidate speech they oppose. The most terrifying development of all is that universities – once bastions of academic and intellectual freedom – are now themselves routinely shutting down conservative speech as well.

Groups opposing (and oppressing) free speech for conservative-friendly ideas claim that such speakers and organizations are “intolerant,” and thus do not deserve free speech. But they merely demonstrate their own profound intolerance; the conservatives, after all, are doing nothing more than disagreeing with them. The whole point of tolerance has always been to tolerate those with whom you disagree. But such is no longer the case. Now the “tolerant” feel perfectly justified in shouting down and intimidating the right of others to even speak.

While classical Marxism has been discredited in former communist countries, it still appeals to Western intellectuals, partly out of sheer rebellion against their own societies. But theirs is a different form of Marxism from that of Engels and Lenin. Classical Marxism believes that economic change, culminating in socialism, will transform the culture. The new Marxists – following the teachings of Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci – teach that cultural change must precede socialism. Today’s left emphasize cultural change. Changing America’s values is seen as the best means for ushering in the socialist utopia. This is why the Left today champions any cause that undermines traditional moral and cultural values and why leftists gravitate to culture-shaping institutions such as education, the arts, and the media (for influence of Gramsci on the American left, see Carl Boggs, Gramsci’s Marxism (London: Pluto Press, 1976), and S. Steven Powell, Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute for Policy Studies (Ottawa, IL: Green Hill Publishers, 1987).

Post-Marxist radicalism constructs new revolutionary ideologies by replacing Marx’s concern for the oppressed working class with other oppressed groups (such as blacks, women, and gays). Status and moral legitimacy come from being “excluded from power.” The victim has the favored role (see Charles Sykes, A Nation of Victims: The Decay of American Character (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992). As an example of this line of thinking, much current postmodernist thought views racism as a power relation, rather than as an attitude. Since blacks are not and were not in a position of power in America’s racial scheme, they claim, they cannot cause racially disparate effects and thus cannot be racist. No matter how much they might despise or even injure people merely on account of the color of their skin.

Because of the “romance of the marginal,” even affluent university professors cast themselves in the role of victim of oppressive power (take, for example, former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. This is a man who lied about his resume, lied about his ethnic background to obtain preferential treatment, plagiarized the works of other scholars, routinely engaged in fraudulent un-American hate speech in the name of scholarship; and yet was still held up by the left as a martyr-figure, persecuted for his views). Scholarly papers today quiver with outrage, self-pity, and “theoretical extremity.” To be black, female, or gay is to enjoy a sort of secular sainthood. But even these categories are segmenting and unwinding into ever-smaller sects of victimology. Interestingly, this is a complete reversal of Nietzsche’s “eagle vs. lamb” presentation: on this view, it was weak (and frankly pathetic, on Nietzsche’s view) Christian morality using guilt and shame to attack the superior, essentially postmodernist view that he championed. Today, postmodernists – who embrace Nietzsche’s premises – have made themselves the “lambs” and those advocating Christian morality the “eagles.” That’s a rather fascinating study of self-contradiction in itself, especially given the fact that Christianity today is far less culturally influential than it was during the time that Nietzsche wrote!

Amongst postmodernists, as John Leo reporting on an academic conference at a California University (“Today’s Campus Politics Seems Right Context for Meeting on Rage,” Milwaukee Journal, 6 July 1993, p. A9) “There was a general agreement that America is inherently oppressive and that the only correct response is to organize around group victimization and rage.” Individual groups, fueled by their self-righteous indignation and recognizing no moral constraints beyond the interests of their groups, are not a genuine threat to society beyond the constant threat of terrorism (but consider tree-spiking environmentalist groups and lab-bombing animal rights organizations). However, as an entire movement, postmodernism is exerting its power and influence over society. And once its advocates are able to obtain power, they proceed to use every oppressive means to hold that power and prevent the ones they continue to call “oppressive” from having a voice.

An article in National Review by Allen Levite begins, “Is there a prevailing liberal bias among the major news media? Until now, this has been largely a matter of opinion. Conservatives typically complain of it, while liberals often deny its existence. It is usually admitted, however, that political liberals are much more heavily represented among people working for the major media than among the general public. The well-known study by S. Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman, and Linda Richter, The Media Elite, based on in-depth interviews with 238 major-media journalists, found that liberals outnumbered conservatives by 54 per cent to 17 per cent. A nationwide Los Angeles Times study (August 11, 1985) administered its own poll to 3,000 reporters and editors and got almost exactly the same result: 55 per cent liberal and 17 per cent conservative. (The Times survey, which also polled 3,000 members of the general public, found that in the latter group 24 per cent were liberal, 29 per cent conservative, and 33 per cent ”neither,” a striking contrast to the findings for journalists.)” The article titled, Bias Basics: the data clearly demonstrate that liberal journalists report the news liberally, proceeds to document just that fact. While a biased media does not itself entail fascism or totalitarianism – which invariably controls the media and uses it for propaganda purposes – it does present yet another troubling sign: a willingness to allow an agenda to prevail over objectivity under the very masquerade of objectivity.

Already free speech (condemned as “B.S.” by the gay activists at the “Rage!” conference) is being restricted on campuses – both by informal pressure and by statute – in the name of sensitivity to aggrieved groups. The anti-democratic implications of postmodernism are evident in the explicit rejection of “free speech” and presumably other human rights (See Stanley Fish, “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech and It’s a Good Thing, Too” in Debating P.C.: The Controversy over Political Correctness on College Campuses, ed. Paul Barman, (New York: Laurel, 1992)). Stanley Fish, a literary theorist and administrator at Duke University who is at the center of the “politically correct” controversies, argues that universities should censor offensive speech. Fish admits that he has no objective standards by which to judge. Robert Lundin summarizes Fish’s thinking: “Since all principles are preferences – and only preferences – they are nothing but masks for the will to power, which is the ultimate source of what we call “values.” Instead of appealing to authority outside of ourselves, we can only seek to marshal our rhetorical abilities to wage the political battles necessary to protect our own preferences and to prohibit expressions of preference that threaten or annoy us. Fish is candid about the groundlessness of his own beliefs and about his willingness to wage political battles to silence those of whom he disapproves” (Lundin, Culture of Interpretation, p. 25). “Someone is always going to be restricted next,” says Fish, “and it is your job to make sure that someone is not you” (Anderson, Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be, p. 13). In other words, scream first, scream loudest, and be willing to go to any lengths – including violence – in order to obtain your own will to power over and against competing voices.

Arthur Pontynen summarizes the connection between postmodernism and “political correctness” policies on the university campus: “Because there is no wisdom, we are told, there is no such thing as free speech (and policies are put into place to limit free speech on campus). We are told that there is no such thing as individual responsibility and dignity (and policies are advocated which promote the treatment of persons not on the basis of individual merit but on the basis of such restrictive categories as race, gender, and class…). We are even told that there is no such thing as science, only meaningful fictions; that there is no such thing as culture, only paradigms of oppression” (Arthur Pontynen, “Oedipus Wrecks: PC and Liberalism,” Measure, February 1993, p. 2).

[Continue to How Postmodernism Leads To Fascism, part 3.]

Pope Benedict: The anti-Maher, anti-Wright Christian leader

April 20, 2008

I was so pleased that Fox News gave the Pope’s celebration at St. Joseph’s Seminary full coverage. I am not Catholic, but I would have gladly kissed that ring today.

I think about Bill Maher’s recent comments against Pope Benedict (see my article, “Bill Maher vs. Pope Benedict: and the winner is…). I think about the remarks of Trinity United Church of Christ’s (and Barack Obama’s) paster, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In contrast to such bitter men, it was so inspiring to see a wise, gracious Christian giant demonstrate the true virtues of the Christian faith.

My home page is set to MSNBC. It really shouldn’t be, but I’m too lazy to change it. I am glad that their forecast (something like, “Pope Benedict is visiting America, but nobody cares”) was so completely dead-wrong.

The Pope, addressing an audience of mainly young people, was able to draw on his own experiences as a youth in Germany under the “monsters” of Nazi fascism. He said, “My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers; its influence grew — infiltrating schools and civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion — before it was fully recognized for the monster it was. It banished God and thus became impervious to anything true and good. Many of your grandparents and great-grandparents will have recounted the horror of the destruction that ensued. Indeed, some of them came to America precisely to escape such terror.”

The Pope praised God for the strength of Democratic governments who finally stood up and removed the evil that marred his youth even as it marred the world, and called upon continued resolve to stand up for freedom. “Let us thank God for all those who strive to ensure that you can grow up in an environment that nurtures what is beautiful, good, and true: your parents and grandparents, your teachers and priests, those civic leaders who seek what is right and just,” he said. He urged the young people and the future priests in the seminary to faithfully carry on their Christian works while enjoying the liberties that they were blessed to have.

“The power to destroy does, however, remain. To pretend otherwise would be to fool ourselves. Yet, it never triumphs; it is defeated. This is the essence of the hope that defines us as Christians; and the Church recalls this most dramatically during the Easter Triduum and celebrates it with great joy in the season of Easter! The One who shows us the way beyond death is the One who shows us how to overcome destruction and fear: thus it is Jesus who is the true teacher of life (cf. Spe Salvi, 6). His death and resurrection mean that we can say to the Father “you have restored us to life!” (Prayer after Communion, Good Friday). And so, just a few weeks ago, during the beautiful Easter Vigil liturgy, it was not from despair or fear that we cried out to God for our world, but with hope-filled confidence: dispel the darkness of our heart! dispel the darkness of our minds!”

“The German-born pope lamented that what he called “the joy of faith” was often choked by cynicism, greed and violence. Yet he drew an analogy to show how faith can overcome distractions and trials. ‘The spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral are dwarfed by the skyscrapers of the Manhattan skyline, yet in the heart of this busy metropolis they are a vivid reminder of the constant yearning of the human spirit to rise to God.'”

These words were as beautiful as they were inspiring:

“The Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, tells us that God does indeed find a place among us. Though the inn is full, he enters through the stable, and there are people who see his light. They recognize Herod’s dark closed world for what it is, and instead follow the bright guiding star of the night sky. And what shines forth? Here you might recall the prayer uttered on the most holy night of Easter: “Father we share in the light of your glory through your Son the light of the world … inflame us with your hope!” (Blessing of the Fire). And so, in solemn procession with our lighted candles we pass the light of Christ among us. It is “the light which dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride” (Exsultet). This is Christ’s light at work. This is the way of the saints. It is a magnificent vision of hope — Christ’s light beckons you to be guiding stars for others, walking Christ’s way of forgiveness, reconciliation, humility, joy and peace.”

Pope Benedict did not turn a blind eye to the darkness that constantly threatens to eclipse the world. Rather he defines it, and describes the path to attaining victory over it:

What might that darkness be? What happens when people, especially the most vulnerable, encounter a clenched fist of repression or manipulation rather than a hand of hope? A first group of examples pertains to the heart. Here, the dreams and longings that young people pursue can so easily be shattered or destroyed. I am thinking of those affected by drug and substance abuse, homelessness and poverty, racism, violence, and degradation — especially of girls and women. While the causes of these problems are complex, all have in common a poisoned attitude of mind which results in people being treated as mere objects ? a callousness of heart takes hold which first ignores, then ridicules, the God-given dignity of every human being. Such tragedies also point to what might have been and what could be, were there other hands — your hands — reaching out. I encourage you to invite others, especially the vulnerable and the innocent, to join you along the way of goodness and hope.

The second area of darkness — that which affects the mind — often goes unnoticed, and for this reason is particularly sinister. The manipulation of truth distorts our perception of reality, and tarnishes our imagination and aspirations. I have already mentioned the many liberties which you are fortunate enough to enjoy. The fundamental importance of freedom must be rigorously safeguarded. It is no surprise then that numerous individuals and groups vociferously claim their freedom in the public forum. Yet freedom is a delicate value. It can be misunderstood or misused so as to lead not to the happiness which we all expect it to yield, but to a dark arena of manipulation in which our understanding of self and the world becomes confused, or even distorted by those who have an ulterior agenda.

Have you noticed how often the call for freedom is made without ever referring to the truth of the human person? Some today argue that respect for freedom of the individual makes it wrong to seek truth, including the truth about what is good. In some circles to speak of truth is seen as controversial or divisive, and consequently best kept in the private sphere. And in truth’s place — or better said its absence — an idea has spread which, in giving value to everything indiscriminately, claims to assure freedom and to liberate conscience. This we call relativism. But what purpose has a “freedom” which, in disregarding truth, pursues what is false or wrong? How many young people have been offered a hand which in the name of freedom or experience has led them to addiction, to moral or intellectual confusion, to hurt, to a loss of self-respect, even to despair and so tragically and sadly to the taking of their own life? Dear friends, truth is not an imposition. Nor is it simply a set of rules. It is a discovery of the One who never fails us; the One whom we can always trust. In seeking truth we come to live by belief because ultimately truth is a person: Jesus Christ. That is why authentic freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in; nothing less than letting go of self and allowing oneself to be drawn into Christ’s very being for others (cf. Spe Salvi, 28).

How then can we as believers help others to walk the path of freedom which brings fulfillment and lasting happiness? Let us again turn to the saints. How did their witness truly free others from the darkness of heart and mind? The answer is found in the kernel of their faith; the kernel of our faith. The Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, tells us that God does indeed find a place among us. Though the inn is full, he enters through the stable, and there are people who see his light. They recognize Herod’s dark closed world for what it is, and instead follow the bright guiding star of the night sky. And what shines forth? Here you might recall the prayer uttered on the most holy night of Easter: “Father we share in the light of your glory through your Son the light of the world … inflame us with your hope!” (Blessing of the Fire). And so, in solemn procession with our lighted candles we pass the light of Christ among us. It is “the light which dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride” (Exsultet). This is Christ’s light at work. This is the way of the saints. It is a magnificent vision of hope — Christ’s light beckons you to be guiding stars for others, walking Christ’s way of forgiveness, reconciliation, humility, joy and peace.

At times, however, we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage! Fix your gaze on our saints. The diversity of their experience of God’s presence prompts us to discover anew the breadth and depth of Christianity. Let your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship. Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith.

Some more marvelous words that reveal the genuine transformational power of the Christian faith, as well as an incredible source of power to do good in the world:

“In the liturgy we find the whole Church at prayer. The word liturgy means the participation of God’s people in “the work of Christ the Priest and of His Body which is the Church” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7). What is that work? First of all it refers to Christ’s Passion, his Death and Resurrection, and his Ascension — what we call the Paschal Mystery. It also refers to the celebration of the liturgy itself. The two meanings are in fact inseparably linked because this “work of Jesus” is the real content of the liturgy. Through the liturgy, the “work of Jesus” is continually brought into contact with history; with our lives in order to shape them. Here we catch another glimpse of the grandeur of our Christian faith. Whenever you gather for Mass, when you go to Confession, whenever you celebrate any of the sacraments, Jesus is at work. Through the Holy Spirit, he draws you to himself, into his sacrificial love of the Father which becomes love for all. We see then that the Church’s liturgy is a ministry of hope for humanity. Your faithful participation, is an active hope which helps to keep the world — saints and sinners alike — open to God; this is the truly human hope we offer everyone (cf. Spe Salvi, 34).

Your personal prayer, your times of silent contemplation, and your participation in the Church’s liturgy, bring you closer to God and also prepare you to serve others. The saints accompanying us this evening show us that the life of faith and hope is also a life of charity. Contemplating Jesus on the Cross we see love in its most radical form. We can begin to imagine the path of love along which we must move (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 12). The opportunities to make this journey are abundant. Look about you with Christ’s eyes, listen with his ears, feel and think with his heart and mind. Are you ready to give all as he did for truth and justice? Many of the examples of the suffering which our saints responded to with compassion are still found here in this city and beyond. And new injustices have arisen: some are complex and stem from the exploitation of the heart and manipulation of the mind; even our common habitat, the earth itself, groans under the weight of consumerist greed and irresponsible exploitation. We must listen deeply. We must respond with a renewed social action that stems from the universal love that knows no bounds. In this way, we ensure that our works of mercy and justice become hope in action for others.”

I hear and read these great, wise, potent words, and then I compare them to the cynicism of Bill Maher and the bitterness and divisive racism of Jeremiah Wright. The gulf is astronomical. Such a beautiful description of such a beautiful worldview. Contrary to the sickness that has come out of the mouths of Maher and Wright, the first German Pope is the anti-Hitler, the anti-Wright. The light he offered to the young people at Yonkers contrasts dramatically with the darkness we have heard from others.

Daniela Rizzo brought her husband and their infant son from Connecticut. “You can feel the energy,” Rizzo said. “You can feel the faith.”

I felt it too.

Welcome to America, Pope Benedict. May your visit be as happy as the joy you are bringing to millions.

A full transcript of the Pope’s remarks at St. Joseph’s is available at

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/19/nyregion/19popeyouth.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ei=5088&en=2a1a37f9f94e066d&ex=1366344000&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss