Conservative Political Commentary

[Under the Radar?] Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context (This blog was given its name before I decided it was going to be a political blog.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Glorifying Government: “You Didn’t Build That.”

President Obama believes no one should take credit for accomplishments in our society because government is ultimately the source of everyone’s success. This is right in step with Marxist theory which decries religion and puts government in the place of God. Obama is trying to spread the false gospel that America’s success has come because of government. The fact is that success for American citizens virtually always comes in spite of government, not because of it. For entrepreneurs as well as established businesses, government is the hindrance and the obstacle that tries to block the path to success. Whether through outright criminal corruption, unconstitutional (hence illegal) government intervention, or ridiculous and unnecessary red tape and bureaucratic regulation, government is the force that must be overcome in order to achieve business success – as if market competition were not enough.

Government acting outside its enumerated constitutional powers hinders; it doesn’t help.
It is government which gives rise to crony capitalism and tries to pick winners and losers. It is government that wants to control everything citizens do and to shape society in the image it desires. Obama is the greatest crony capitalist of modern times, trying to get his fascist hands into as many economic enterprises as possible, in order to extend government control.

He favors campaign donors and pals; it seems not to matter whether any project is likely to be successful. He uses taxpayers’ money to reward his favorites, and when they go bankrupt even after receiving many millions from government, he shrugs it off and spends even more. It’s not about the economy; it’s definitely not about jobs: it’s all about control. There is no other reasonable explanation for such things as the regulatory stranglehold the EPA is putting on American energy, for example.

The greatness of America has come from the hard work, genius, skill, and cleverness of her people. People like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Steve Jobs, and numerous others more or less gifted, have led the way to American success, brought about by great ideas and hard-working citizens, who have not shied away from their responsibilities to support themselves and their families, and who have had the courage to take risks in order to follow their dreams. People who have succeeded, failed, and succeeded again.

Yet Obama would tell them, “You didn’t build that.”

Entrepreneurs, professionals, employees at all levels have contributed to the great success of America. Today, government is contributing much toward her destruction and downgrading.

Those who have built successful enterprises are the ones Obama is going after. He thinks that they owe their success to government and it’s time to pay up through higher taxes and greater regulations. To Marxist/fascists like Obama, government is everything. As Mussolini said, “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Obama’s plan precisely. Government growth, government control of every aspect of life from health care to diet to all finances (government feels it owns the money, you see), to control of public discourse, the economy, and whatever else they can think of to control. Instead of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” it’s more like life (if you don’t get aborted or euthanized), the liberty to let the government run your life, and the dedication of oneself and possessions to state control.  Oh, and a life of luxury for high government officials and their chosen friends.

It is sad that in the space of a few years, the stable and relatively secure (it seemed) American system has seen its decline accelerated to such a condition as we have now. It’s not simply that we have unemployment at depression levels, and a shaky economy; that’s bad enough. But worse, we have government and central bank system that continues at full speed with the very things brought on the collapses we’ve seen. Peter Schiff should be taken seriously when he forecasts a major collapse that will be worse than Europe:

But much of it could be avoided through some common-sense changes. Get the government out of the economy as much as possible. Restrain the money-creating power of the Fed. Don’t bail out anyone or anything, period. Let failing enterprises fail; write off the debt instead of perpetuating it. Stop trying to stop the recession. The market will correct itself fairly quickly if left alone. Recognize the realities of our economic situation and deal with them instead of kicking the can down the road. Repeal job-killing, capital-destroying programs like Obamacare. Start balancing the budget sooner, not decades down the road (which means never). Reduce the size and scope of government. Only Romney and conservatives offer any hope of any of this. Otherwise, it’s unlimited spending and government control until we are a full dictatorship, and we wake up one morning to find our currency worthless and almost all citizens poor, with no help in sight.

Further reading: 

Ben Shapiro, “Shapiro: Our Business-Hating President,” 07/18/12, GOPUSA
Photo: President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Map Room. White House photo by Chuck Kennedy, 07/12/12.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Obama Personality Cult and the Dearth of MSM Journalism

It is no secret to anyone paying attention that President Barack Obama projects a narcissistic and arrogant style in his public communications. He often says, “It’s not about me,” knowing full well that in his oratory, it’s all about him. He uses the first person singular pronouns more than any speaker I’ve heard. He relates incidents from his past very often, as though only he has ever experienced such things. Yet much of his past remains hidden. He speaks of transparency, but rules a secretive domain.

The Obama personality cult – his idolization by not only his associates, but also the mainstream media, is reinforced every day. The network news and liberal cable outlets exercise a startling degree of selective reporting and non-reporting that betrays their willingness to abandon journalistic standards to serve the messianic figure they worship, i.e., Barack Obama.

He insists on taking personal credit to a degree that far exceeds the standards of past presidents. His willingness to pile lie upon lie (e.g., falsely accusing Mitt Romney of “outsourcing” jobs) makes Bill Clinton look like Honest Abe. He recently claimed credit for inspiring the Lexus hybrid, which was actually begun in 2004.

The president has bragged about killing Osama bin Laden in a way that would have embarrassed Dwight Eisenhower, architect of D-Day, and George Washington, victorious general of the American Revolution – and probably even General George Patton.

Media Research Center, which documents media bias, lists numerous instances of liberal “news” outlets singing the praises of the great, god-like, amazing Obama. In fawning (MRC’s word: slobbering) over the president, they throw journalism to the winds. And further, they either under-emphasize, ignore or distort anything that might be a serious question about Obama’s policies.

MRC elsewhere notes that the morning shows totally ignored the House of Representatives’ vote to repeal Obamacare, and the network news barely mentioned it, and with obvious disdain. CBS News decried the “cost to taxpayers” of dealing with the issue, a cost which is completely irrelevant, since it is incurred regardless of what business the House is considering. If you want to complain about the cost of doing House business, how much do you suppose it cost the taxpayers to pass Obamacare, in terms of paperwork, House session time, secret meetings, bribery sessions, etc.?

(In terms of government costs, taxpayers are charged overwhelmingly for programs, activities, and propaganda that are destructive to them and to our country. But such is the nature of government, at best a necessary evil.)

Journalists used to feel responsibility for holding government to honesty, and honestly questioning its many questionable things. They felt a responsibility to the citizens to report the news accurately and comprehensively. Now, they appear to think that their main responsibility is to make Obama look good, and go on about how ignorant conservatives must be to express distrust or dissatisfaction toward the government. Quite a turnaround, but many today are too young to remember a time when journalists seemed to feel accountable to the public. Now they are accountable to liberal politicians and write largely to impress one another.

While the Obama personality cult may seem harmless enough, it is a sign of dangerous tendencies. With the kind of adulation the president surrounds himself with comes the temptation for him to feel above everything else. He demonstrates that he considers himself above the Constitution, and above the other branches of government, and the states by usurping power on a level not seen since FDR. The history of his administration is one of continual power grabs, massive over-regulation, large expenditures of public funds in “green” projects doomed to failure. Bailouts and takeovers will be a large part of his legacy, but he will be mainly remembered, I believe, for blaming his predecessor for practically everything since the Vietnam War.

All the main dictators we know of built a personality cult, enforced by secret police, and resulting in death and destruction to citizens. Obama’s hasn’t approached that level, but the same temptations are present for him. The end result is paranoia and collapse. Consider Saddam Hussein, who reportedly could not sleep in the same bed two nights in a row for fear of his enemies. Or Nicolae Ceausescu, dictator of Romania, who was executed, along with his wife, on Christmas Day 1989, following a popular uprising against his brutal, wasteful, and murderous regime. Or Benito Mussolini. Or Muammar Gaddafi. What fate do we suppose awaits the likes of Hugo Chavez?

America has accomplished something very important and rare in world history: the peaceful transfer of power. Americans hate political violence, and have developed ways to peaceably accomplish political objectives, particularly a trusted election system. Many people are tired of politics of any kind, and try to insulate themselves from it. Thus they risk their freedom, because behind-the-scenes events are proceeding that chip away at our individual liberty. Too often, we see only that which immediately and personally affects us and do not consider the long-term effects and unintended consequences.

It is sad that our political system has come to encourage kicking the can down the road on important issues that are apt to rise up and do great damage at any time if left unattended. Thus we have unending borrowing and spending, and an economy based too much on debt and consumption instead of saving and building. We are content to leave this to experts who are unwilling to acknowledge, let alone face, economic realities, but are content to pat themselves on the back and present themselves as great personages, while presiding over undeniable decline. This can and must be changed

The 2012 elections promise to be a turning point such as we rarely see. We will turn one way or the other, either to Marxism or else a “return to normalcy” of some kind that will stop or slow these dangerous trends. Democrats will never change the course we are currently on, but will give us ever-increasing debt and ever-decreasing freedom. With Mr. Romney, we can put a stop to this decline and start rebuilding our economy and our future. Even if Mr. Romney wins, citizens must stay engaged and keep the attention on the true issues, not distractions.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Roberts’ Decision Shows No Entity of Government Can Be Trusted To Protect Liberty

Chief Justice John Roberts, official portrait
What are we to think of Chief Justice John Roberts’ deciding vote in favor of upholding the manifestly unconstitutional and deeply harmful Obamacare law? Was this some kind of legal move that somehow helps conservatism in the long run, or simply a betrayal of our constitutional liberty? After the Chief Justice’s defense of free speech in prior cases, it is surprising and almost shocking that he should come down on the side of socialism and loss of freedom in this instance.

Roberts’ legal gymnastics defy logic and law. He has seemingly made the unconstitutional constitutional. As a constitutional scholar, in this case he showed no more concern about or knowledge of the Constitution than President Obama does on a typical day. The Anti-Injunction Act states that a tax cannot be challenged in court until someone has had to pay the tax. In this case, that would not be until 2014. As Byron York points out,

Roberts’ sleight of hand drove his conservative colleagues nuts. “The government and those who support its position on this point make the remarkable argument that (the mandate) is not a tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, but is a tax for constitutional purposes,” wrote dissenters Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. “That carries verbal wizardry too far, deep into the forbidden land of the sophists.”
It’s either a tax or it isn’t.

Was Roberts intimidated by the media and Obama into the decision he made? Dennis Prager quotes CBS News as follows:

As reported by CBS News:
“Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending . . . . They've explained that they don't want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.

“But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public. [“The public” means liberal media and academics]

“There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court — and to Roberts’ reputation — if the Court were to strike down the mandate….”
Prager notes that if Roberts voted to strike down Obamacare, this could be seen by liberals as a violation of judicial restraint (as Obama suggested). I say that the Executive and Legislative Branches showed no restraint in writing, passing, and signing this monstrous legislation and, after the Court’s decision, will now show less and less. The Chief Justice ought to be less concerned with how the public views the Court and more concerned with how the Court views the law.

It’s clear to me that something other than legal logic led to Roberts’ decision. Whether it was intimidation, hubris, or something else, he has voted to uphold a bad law, and done it on bad grounds.

Roberts wrote, quoted by Patrick Buchanan in an excellent article called, “John Roberts Makes His Career Move,” “We (the Court) possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

There are cases where this is correct, but this is a very lame excuse for upholding the unconstitutional.

Buchanan’s evaluation is worthy of consideration:  “He does not want Anthony Kennedy, the swing justice, to be making history, while he is seen as a predictable conservative vote.

“John Roberts aspires to be a man of history, to have this court known to historians as ‘the Roberts Court.’ And if there is to be a decisive vote in future great decisions, he wants that vote to be his.”

This episode underscores the fact that no entity of government can be relied upon to protect our liberty. The Court had the power in this case to do something about protecting constitutional liberty, but chose not to by upholding an unconstitutional law. God bless the minority who voted to strike down the law.

At least the Court chose (7-2) to protect states from the over-reaching threat to cut off all Medicaid funds if the state chose not to expand Medicaid as the law provides. But that, although important, pales in comparison to the main decision.

If there is any upside, it is only that the conservative base may be energized enough to be united in support of Mitt Romney, and then hold him to his promise to get Obamacare repealed. They should also get to work on replacing weak-sister RINOs who either support Obamacare or have a defeatist attitude about repealing it.

The final power still rests with We the People. We cannot be silent and acquiescent on this issue. Obamacare must go, or with it we’ll soon get full socialist dictatorship with no one in government to protect us from whatever the authorities want to do to us. The Tea Party is needed more than ever. God help us to correct this massive error and save our freedom and our economy. Both are in grave danger now.

Further reading:

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