Socialism and Secularism Suck Vitality Out of Society

http://townhall.com/Common/PrintPage.aspx?g=7da1359b-3c03-465c-b8ff-016be2fd2db5&t=c
Dennis Prager
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?

Even well-informed people who love art and literature and who follow developments in science and medicine would be hard pressed to come up with many, more often any, names. In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen.

This is particularly meaningful given how different the answer would have been had you asked anyone the same question between just 80 and 120 years ago — and certainly before that. A plethora of world-renowned names would have flowed.

Obvious examples would include (in alphabetical order): Brecht, Buber, Cezanne, Chekhov, Curie, Debussy, Eiffel, Einstein, Freud, Hesse, Kafka, Mahler, Mann, Marconi, Pasteur, Porsche, Proust, Somerset Maugham, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tolstoy, Zeppelin, Zola.

Not to mention the European immortals who lived within the century before them: Mozart, Beethoven, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Manet, Monet, Hugo and Van Gogh, to name only a few.

What has happened?

What has happened is that Europe, with a few exceptions, has lost its creativity, intellectual excitement, industrial innovation, and risk taking. Europe’s creative energy has been sapped. There are many lovely Europeans; but there aren’t many creative, dynamic, or entrepreneurial ones.

The issues that preoccupy most Europeans are overwhelmingly material ones: How many hours per week will I have to work? How much annual vacation time will I have? How many social benefits can I preserve (or increase)? How can my country avoid fighting against anyone or for anyone?

Why has this happened?

There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state).

Either one alone sucks much of the life out of society. Together they are likely to be lethal.

Even if one holds that religion is false, only a dogmatic and irrational secularist can deny that it was religion in the Western world that provided the impetus or backdrop for nearly all the uniquely great art, literature, economic and even scientific advances of the West. Even the irreligious were forced to deal with religious themes — if only in expressing rebellion against them.

Religion in the West raised all the great questions of life: Why are we here? Is there purpose to existence? Were we deliberately made? Is there something after death? Are morals objective or only a matter of personal preference? Do rights come from the state or from the Creator?

And religion gave positive responses: We are here because a benevolent God made us. There is, therefore, ultimate purpose to life. Good and evil are real. Death is not the end. Human rights are inherent since they come from God. And so on.

Secularism drains all this out of life. No one made us. Death is the end. We are no more significant than any other creatures. We are all the results of mere coincidence. Make up your own meaning (existentialism) because life has none. Good and evil are merely euphemisms for “I like” and “I dislike.”

Thus, when religion dies in a country, creativity wanes. For example, while Christian Russia was backward in many ways, it still gave the world Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Tchaikovsky. Once Christianity was suppressed, if not killed, in Russia, that country became a cultural wasteland (with a few exceptions like Shostakovich and Solzhenitsyn, the latter a devout Christian). It is true that this was largely the result of Lenin, Stalin and Communism; but even where Communism did not take over, the decline of religion in Europe meant a decline in human creativity — except for nihilistic and/or absurd isms, which have greatly increased. As G. K. Chesterton noted at the end of the 19th century, when people stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything. One not only thinks of the violent isms: Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, Fascism, Maoism, and Nazism, but of all the non-violent isms that have become substitute religions – e.g., feminism, environmentalism, and socialism.

The state sucks out creativity and dynamism just as much as secularism does. Why do anything for yourself when the state will do it for you? Why take care of others when the state will do it for you? Why have ambition when the state is there to ensure that few or no individuals are rewarded more than others?

America has been the center of energy and creativity in almost every area of life because it has remained far more religious than any other industrialized Western democracy and because it has rejected the welfare state social model.

Which is why so many are so worried about President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party’s desire to transform — in their apt wording — America into a secular welfare state. The greatest engine of moral, religious, economic, scientific, and industrial dynamism is being starved of its fuel. The bigger the state, the smaller its people.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

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What Can We Do To Win Back Our Country?

From: http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/04/saving_the_republic.html

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April 17, 2009
Saving the Republic
By Larrey Anderson

“What can we do to win back our country?” Conservatives are asking themselves that question — with increasing urgency — every day. They are desperately groping for a way to stop the twin avalanches of deficit spending and socialist programs that are hurtling down and shattering the once great mountain of a free republic that was the United States of America.

Most of the conservative remedies offered to date (including mine) have been specific policy recommendations: cutting taxes, imposing term limits, or reforming entitlement programs.

Something is missing in these propositions. Conservatives have some good suggestions for how to fix our runaway government — but we have failed to convincingly address the issue of why the government needs to be fixed in the first place.

This article is all about the why.[i] Understanding why America is America (and not some third world country) is crucial knowledge. The why of America is information that must be not only be understood by conservatives; the “why” must be promulgated and shared with all of our fellow citizens before conservatives can convince their fellow citizens the need for the “how” — for adopting any specific conservative solutions.

There are three “whys” that ground America’s historical success and prosperity. They are tradition, the Constitution, and education. These three concepts are interrelated and interdependent. If one of them falls then all three fall. And, at least at this moment in time, all three are in jeopardy — not only of falling — they are in danger of being destroyed.

Tradition: Private Property

Stated as simply as possible, America was founded on two truths. Both of these propositions were manifested in traditions that were established initially by the observation and practice of Judeo-Christian principles and then, over several centuries, were further developed under British common law. The first, and the most important tradition, was the right to private property.

John Locke, the British philosopher, explained the importance of the right to property as the foundation of any secure and free political regime:

Men, therefore, in a society having property, they have such a right to goods, which by the law of the community are theirs, that nobody hath a right to take them, or any part of them, from them without their consent; without this they have no property at all. For I have truly no property in that which another can by right take from me when he please against my consent. Hence it is a mistake to think that the supreme or legislative power of any commonwealth can do what it will, and dispose of the estates of the subject arbitrarily, or a take any part of them at pleasure.[ii]

Locke stumbled upon a fascinating political truth. The stability of any polity is directly related to the government’s ability to protect its citizens’ rights to buy, sell, own, exchange and/or keep their private property.

The Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, has done groundbreaking research that has proven the John Locke was correct. Professor de Soto’s monumental book, The Mystery of Capital, explains in shocking detail what happens when governments hinder, refuse to protect, or actively intervene in preventing the free exchange of private property.

In his review of de Soto’s great work, Thomas Sowell gives us this insight into the results of incongruous governmental meddling with private property:

Third World peoples “have houses but not titles, crops but not deeds, businesses but not statutes of incorporation.” Why then do they not get legal titles? Because it can be an unbelievable ordeal, especially for people with little education and in countries where red tape is virtually boundless.

When bureaucracy and frustrating legal systems drive economic activities underground, the losers are not simply those engaged in these activities. The whole country loses when legal property rights are not readily available because investment is stifled.

De Soto gives this stunning example:

In Egypt, the person who wants to acquire and legally register a lot on state-owned desert land must wind his way through at least 77 bureaucratic procedures at 31 public and private agencies. This can take anywhere from 5 to 14 years. To build a legal dwelling on former agricultural land would require 6 to 11 years of bureaucratic wrangling.

America, until just a few months ago, had a two hundred year tradition of protecting the free exchange of property between its citizens. One of the most important aspects of that process of exchange is called bankruptcy. If a business fails, the property or assets of that business are offered for sale to other citizens or businesses.[iii]

In other words, the state, in a self-governed and stable society, does not enter into the business of saving businesses. In a free society, the government allows its citizens to “sift through” the remains of a failed enterprise and to either restart the business or to salvage whatever valuable assets remain in the failed enterprise.

But rather than let the market place sort out the value of the abandoned homes, the heavily mortgaged properties, and the over promised benefits that resulted from the burst of the “housing bubble,” the collapse of the auto makers, and the incompetence of the insurance industry, many Americans seem more than willing to put the federal government in charge of “solving” these problems.

In allowing the government to not only intervene, but actually purchase, these failed businesses and at risk assets, Americans have abandoned the most important and cherished tradition that grounds our freedom: the right to property.

The ultimate result of this kind of capitulation by the citizens to the state has been known for centuries. Once the government becomes involved in the actual distribution of private assets the result is always the same: corruption, ineptitude, injustice and tyranny:

Then the LORD said to Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, “Go to King Ahab of Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard, about to take possession of it. Tell him that I, the LORD, say to him, ‘After murdering the man, are you taking over his property as well?’ Tell him that this is what I say: ‘In the very place that the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood they will lick up your blood!'[iv]

Read the entire story of the state’s seizure of Naboth’s property. Many citizens of Jezreel were complicit in the king’s successful attempt to kill Naboth and take his vineyard. The parallel between the biblical story of Naboth’s vineyard to our government’s current “bailouts” (rapidly turning into buyouts) is stunning.

Tradition: Privacy

I have argued at length elsewhere that the right to privacy can only exist in tandem with, as an addendum to, and as a corollary of the right of property. Put as simply as possible — privacy takes place. And it must have a private setting in order to take place. As I have demonstrated, the venue, that is both sufficient and necessary for the existence of the right of privacy, is the right (and the sustained existence) of private property.[v]

When people lose their right to property they lose, and they lose it quickly, the right to privacy. We have witnessed, in the last few weeks, dramatic examples of this fundamental political truth.

Within weeks of “bailing out” AIG both state and federal governments demanded the release of the names of the employees who worked for AIG who had signed bonus contracts.

AIG employees’ lives were threatened and “concerned citizens” picketed some AIG executives’ homes.

Within weeks of receiving financial aid from the federal government, the Chairman of General Motors was forced to resign by President Obama. The right of the shareholders to hire and fire the head of the company that they own is an example of the right of privacy that stems from the right to property. (A contract is a private agreement between the owners of the company and their employee — the CEO.)[vi]

These are but two examples (there are others) of losses of the right to privacy that have occurred within months of the passage of the first TARP bailout and since President Bush’s infamous declaration, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

Abandoning free market principles does far more than increase the federal deficit. Abandoning the free market not only devastates free markets … it destroys freedom.

The Constitution

Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the twin principles of the right to property and the right to privacy. In fact they knew that the two concepts were inseparable:

Government is instituted no less for protection of property, than of the persons, of individuals. The one as well as the other, therefore, may be considered as represented by those who are charged with the government.[vii]

If the government protects the right to property, it protects the persons and their rights to privacy within their property (their homes and their businesses.)

The Constitution was specifically written to limit the power of the federal government and to protect the citizens’ rights to property and to privacy.

For example, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution specifically itemizes the power of Congress. In fact, that’s the name of Article I, Section 8: “The Powers of Congress.”

So how many powers does the Congress have and what are they? You can read them here. There are less than 20 powers and the particular capacities of Congress are fully enumerated in less than 500 words.

That’s it — at least according to the Constitution that’s it. No mention in Section 8 of buying up auto companies, or bailing out banks, or providing medical services, or spending money on schools, or windmills, or building bike paths or … well, the list of what Congress has done, compared to the list of what Congress is allowed to do in the Constitution is almost endless.

So who has the power to do all of the things that Congress now does — powers that are NOT specifically listed in the Constitution? You do. And I do. And, to a certain extent, so do the individual states and local governments in the United States.

To emphasize and to make it perfectly clear that the new federal government was a limited government intended primarily to protect the property and the persons of the new nation, the Founders added a list of ten amendments that we call “The Bill of Rights.”

Of particular interest in our discussion are the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Here is what the Ninth Amendment says:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The list of rights granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8 (the enumerated rights of the Congress) contains all of the “Powers of Congress” granted under the Constitution.

If any particular right is not granted to the Congress in Article I, Section 8, then that right belongs to you and me. We, the people, retain all of the rights that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

In order to make the Ninth Amendment absolutely explicit, the Founders added the Tenth Amendment. I like to call the Tenth Amendment the “And We Really, Really Mean It” amendment. Here is what it says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Founding Fathers really, really did mean it.

Education

America is founded on the right to property and the accompanying and complimentary right to privacy. Our Constitution was written to protect these two most precious forms of freedom — the joint liberties from which all other rights and human dignities flow. These are the two simple truths that, for more than two hundred years, made America the most powerful and prosperous nation on the face of the earth.

We have failed as a nation to teach the majority of at least the last two generations of our citizens these fundamental truths. This is why we a loosing our republic. The Founders warned time and time again that they had given us a free republic “if you can keep it.”[viii]

The first step conservatives must take to preserve our republic is to understand the importance of these truths and to teach them to our children, our friends, and, yes, even to our political opponents.

Start with our children. Millions of Americans study the scriptures with their children — some on a daily basis. How many of these same Americans study the Constitution with their offsrping? The Bible and its message are available in almost every country in the world (including autocracies like Cuba and Venezuela). But God blessed only America with the Bible and with our majestic Constitution.

My advice for the millions of religious conservatives in America: read your kids the Bible and the Ten Commandments but don’t neglect reading them The Constitution and the Ten Amendments.

There are some great resources available for teaching our children the history of the founding of America. National radio talk show host Mike Church has produced an entertaining series of recordings on compact disc that tell the story of the struggle for independence and the founding of America. The series includes The Road to Independence and The Fame of Our Fathers.

These fascinating, and historically accurate, CDs are a must for home school history classes. Children who attend public schools would greatly benefit listening to these CDs. New citizens, or adult Americans who don’t know much about early American history, will enjoy them as well.[ix]

Take the time to sit down with your like-minded friends and study the Constitution. Are you in a book club? Insist that the Federalist Papers be included on the reading list.

Learn the Constitution. Understand the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. In an argument with any one on the far left, being able to refer to specific sections of the greatest political document ever written is the most effective debating tool you can possess. Be able to show them that the Constitution is all that stands between their inalienable rights to property and privacy … and tyranny.

Larrey Anderson is a writer, a philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. His latest award-winning novel is The Order of the Beloved. His memoir, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market, has just been released.

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[i] My suggestions in this article for solving the current crisis in our republic are very simple and straightforward. But the principles behind these ideas are not so simple. My proposals are based on philosophical premises that I have published over the last several months here on American Thinker. I suggest that the reader review these articles before considering the manifesto that follows: (1) Privacy and Property Rights; (2) The Myth of Relativism and the Cult of Tolerance; and (3) Intellectuals and Philosophy vs. Conservatives and Tradition.

[ii] Second Treatise, Section 138.

[iii] The state’s role in the redistribution of the assets of a failed enterprise is fair and just judicial oversight of the sale of the remaining holdings. It is also important to realize that a corporation is a legal fiction created to be able to allow a business to act as a single “person” to buy and sell property, to provide goods and services, and to enter into the contractual obligations to do so.

[iv] I Kings 21: 17-19. See also Exodus 22:1-4.

[v] Here was the summation of that argument: “Whenever the state restricts a private activity, thus limiting the activity to a specific site, if there is no private property (no specific site) then there is no place in which that activity can occur. Prisons are not private.”

[vi] See note 3. The traditional (and constitutional) role of government in contract law is to act as a referee (once again through the judiciary) when one side or the other fails to keep its part of the contractual agreement.

[vii] The Federalist, Number 54.

[viii] The Federalist, Number 10 outlines the need for continuing education and the frailty of a free republic to be captured by “factions.”

[ix] Professional actors read from the actual historical letters and documents. The CDs were recorded with convincing sound effects and a stunning musical score.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/04/saving_the_republic.html at May 24, 2009 – 04:18:28 PM EDT

Gut Wrenching Truths About US Public Education

From: http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/leave_it_to_the_educators.html

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March 28, 2009
Leave it to the educators
By Jed Gladstein

See also: The Futility of American Educational Reform

Public education today is a mess. It has been ruined by parents whose legitimate concern for their kids has been translated into illegitimate interference with the educational process. Aiding and abetting the parents are legislators who have passed laws that empower parents and students at the expense of professional educators, and a judiciary that imposes its will on the educational process without regard for the realities of education.

About thirty years ago, it became fashionable to think that everyone who had an opinion about education should weigh in on the appropriate way to teach children. A thriving cottage industry grew up in our colleges and universities, an industry that ever since has been churning out doctors of education whose graduate theses elaborate experimental ideas about the best way to give children a proper education. Armed with their freshly minted credentials, this class of modern day education wizards has been stunningly successful at infiltrating its ideas into the educational fabric of our society.

Capitalizing on our country’s almost compulsive preoccupation with things quantitative, these wizards have infused their experimental ideas with methodologies derived from the so-called science of statistics. Waving the banner of statistical analysis, they elaborated theories of education that fly in the face of common sense, theories that have now been widely adopted in school districts throughout the country at the expense of proven methods of educating children employed for over a century.

Ever ready to please parent-voters by trying out the newest and most politically correct solution to the age-old problem of producing an educated citizenry, and with a grateful glance in the direction of the education wizards just in case someone might need to be blamed for future failures, our legislators have mandated or approved such miracles of modern education as:
Learning how to read without phonics (ironically labeled “whole language” learning);
Learning mathematics without addition and subtraction (laughably labeled “new math”);
Learning mainstream history through the fisheye of the historically disaffected or politically disenfranchised;
Learning literature by abandoning luminaries like Shakespeare in favor of “more modern” authors;
Dumping students into classrooms in which multiple teachers simultaneously try to teach multiple curriculums to multiple grades of children;[1]
Grouping non-English speaking students with students whose knowledge of English is essential to mastering the subject being taught; and,
Deserting the historically successful practice of grouping children according to their intellectual abilities so that appropriate teaching strategies and instructional tempos can be used to maximize the student learning experience.

The result of this brave-new-world approach to education has been to produce two or three generations of disgracefully under-educated and woefully under-performing citizens. If statistics tell a tale, it is here that they speak most persuasively. In the last thirty years, the statistics show a decline in literacy and intellectual achievement in our country that is nothing less than shocking. It is no coincidence that, during this same period of time, professional educators in this country have been under continuous assault from parents, politicians and even public school administrators.[2]

By now, everyone has heard of the “law of unintended consequences.” One of its corollaries may be that “no good deed goes unpunished.” However cynical that sounds, it highlights an unfortunate fact about human beings: no matter how good our motives, we are capable of doing great evil when we act without giving due regard to the context in which we are acting. To paraphrase Henry James, there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood.

In the context of education, this means that policies and procedures have for thirty years been adopted in order to remedy real or perceived deficiencies without regard to the realities of education, and in derogation of the educational methodologies that have proven successful for many generations. A notorious example will help illustrate this point.

Three decades ago, a few parents with a very specific and rather narrow agenda hired some like-minded lawyers to challenge the way public education was funded in California. In the 1971 case of Serrano v. Priest, they complained that insufficient money was allocated to schools in poor districts because school funding was partially tied to the property tax base of the school district’s local community.[3] This resulted, they said, in a funding scheme that violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. In consequence of their lawsuit, the state Supreme Court issued a ruling that resulted in California changing its entire scheme for funding public education.[4] The basis of funding was transformed into what is now known as ADA (average daily attendance). ADA, coupled with some other legislative enactments, puts administrators and teachers in the position of having to please parents in order to keep students in their schools. The removal of a student from a school by a parent represents a financial hardship for a school, and in extreme cases may actually threaten financial catastrophe.

Parents understand that if their children are to get good jobs they will need to get good grades, get a diploma, and move on to get credentialed or certificated at some post-secondary level. Because, as a rule, parents are more interested in their own children’s future than they are in the future of the Republic as a whole, they will, if they are allowed, exert direct pressure on a school if their children don’t receive high marks, no matter how educationally inappropriate that pressure might be.

ADA funding of public education is one of the things that allows parents to exert such pressure. Moreover, notwithstanding the good intentions surrounding the school voucher movement, if and when parents can go school shopping by way of vouchers, they will have even more power to blackmail educators into debasing the quality of education by giving good grades to students that haven’t earned them, and by giving a free pass to misbehaving students who are in dire need of sound discipline.

The ADA debacle thus illustrates how a few parents with apparently benign motives can, by their ill-informed actions, produce exactly the opposite result from the one they actually seek. The parents in Serrano complained that, due to lack of funding, their children were receiving an inferior education. Aided and abetted by a well-meaning but ill-considered judicial opinion, those parents have now produced an educational system in California that provides an inferior education to everyone, not just to their children. No doubt that meets the Constitutional criterion for equal protection, but it clearly does not constitute sound educational policy.

If our nation is to have any chance to reinvigorate its historical commitment to producing a civilized society, it must re-empower educators to educate. This means that education policy must be structured to support the educators who labor day in and day out to do the educating. It means that educators must be protected in the educational decisions they make, not made subject to the interference of parochial-minded parents, vote-seeking politicians, frightened administrators, high-minded jurists who lack educational experience, or intermeddling theorists masquerading as education wizards. Protecting our teachers from the decisions of educationally ill-informed people won’t solve all of the problems of public education, but it will reverse the direction of the last thirty years and set us back on the high road of civilization.

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[1] Perhaps the most notorious failure in this regard was the Disney sponsored school in Florida, which lasted for a whole three years before the parents yanked their kids out of such an unworkable environment.

[2] I don’t wish to imply that all administrators are complicit in this evil. But even administrators who understand and personally oppose what is going on in public education often feel compelled to yield to the evil by forces that threaten their personal economic survival. For example, some high school administrators are actually interviewed for their positions by hiring committees that include students; and student complaints about administrators are often accorded a degree of solicitude by parents and boards of education (which are composed of parents) that any reasonable person would expect to be accorded to the administrator, instead.

[3] Wealthier communities had higher property tax bases — especially in the days before California voters passed Proposition 13 that put the brakes on property tax increases.

[4] The Serrano case was reaffirmed by the state Supreme Court in 1976 and, along with subsequent legislative enactments, has resulted in school funding decisions being taken out of the hands of local communities whose children benefit or suffer from those decisions and put into the hands of the state legislature.

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Isn’t that worth sacrificing such ethereal and frivolous notions like freedom, individualism and principles?

From: http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/i_wish_i_were_a_liberal.html

May 19, 2009
I wish I were a liberal
By Nancy Morgan

I wish I were a liberal, because then everyone would like me. My family would start talking to me again, and chances are, my ex-husband would want to renew the marriage vows he broke when I started spouting conservative opinions.

I’d like to be a liberal because it’s ever so much easier to allow others to form my opinions for me instead of researching an issue myself. That always gets me in trouble, especially when the facts I discover diverge from the latest politically correct consensus.

I’d like to be a liberal because then I’d be rewarded for all my shortcomings and nothing would ever be my fault. I’d be an important cog in the wheel of social justice, and a cherished warrior in the current fight for equality.

If I were a liberal, I would be free to have sex whenever and with whomever I want — and be considered ’empowered’ to boot. I could abort any inconvenience with nary a thought because my rights to my body trump the life I would have suctioned out of me.

I’d like to be a liberal because any guilt I would normally feel for what used to be considered deviant, irresponsible behavior may be assuaged by merely advocating the expenditure of other people’s money on whatever the cause du jour is. Very cool. Especially since my stock portfolio has tanked.

I want to be a liberal because they care so much. They have a lock on all the fashionable emotions, like tolerance, diversity, equality and patriotism. And as long as my intentions were pure and I ‘care’, I wouldn’t have to accept responsibility for any negative consequences that my actions might cause.

I’d like to be a liberal because everyone knows that conservatives are racist, homophobic, stupid and, well, beneath contempt. Conservatives are motivated by — gasp — profit, instead of being nice. Enough said.

It would be swell to be a liberal because I’d be able to redefine reality to my own specifications. I could turn failure into success, murder into choice, lies into ‘misstatements’, and theft into investment. I would automatically be considered wise, instead of opinionated. Best of all, I could make up the rules as I go along, change them in midstream and then demonize anyone who doesn’t agree with me.

It’s great to be a liberal because everyone knows they hold the moral high ground. They don’t lie, cheat or steal. Oh, and they don’t condone torture. The media says so, so it must be true.

Before I am able to join this community of man, however, there are a few ground rules:

I have to acknowledge that government is the best and only solution for any problems America has. Despite the fact that pretty much every government solution to date has been a disaster.

I must agree that America is bad and white Christian males are responsible for all that is wrong with the world. Further, I must agree that terrorists and third world dictators are either freedom fighters or misunderstood men of good would.

Oh, and I must acknowledge that dialogue is better than war. Even though decades of dialogue haven’t worked, things are different, now that Obama is president. I must have faith. After all, the times, they are a changin’.

I’d, of course, be expected to not only condone, but happily embrace gay marriage and the long list of newly minted sexual behaviors, and swear to never mention the adverse health risks or the proven harm they do to traditional families.

I’d also have to quit judging people. (Except conservatives.) After all, liberals would allow me to do whatever I want, free from moral censure, and it’s only fair I do the same for them.

I’d have to immediately quit smoking, in public at least. I’d be required to agree that global warming is real and man is the cause. Even though the earth has cooled in the last decade, everyone knows its still getting warmer. I’d also have to renounce Christianity in favor of Mother Earth and believe that the Constitution is a ‘living instrument’.

I’d have to agree that victimhood trumps merit and that liberals know best. Always. And lastly, I’d have to support the notion that racism is still rampant, even if it is the silent ‘institutional’ type.

In return, I’ll be accepted, popular, and invited to the best parties. I’ll be eligible for the right to housing, health care, a living wage (even if I don’t work) and happiness. And as long as I remain a liberal, no-one is allowed to insult me. How cool is that?

I’ll finally get my columns published in my own hometown paper and would have a good chance of getting face time on MSNBC. Best of all, I’ll be able to atone for my sins by merely paying Algore for a few carbon credits. Then, I would live happily ever after. Isn’t that worth sacrificing such ethereal and frivolous notions like freedom, individualism and principles?

Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for RightBias.com. She lives in South Carolina

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/i_wish_i_were_a_liberal.html at May 20, 2009 – 10:31:46 PM EDT

Gingrich: Pelosi Is “Vicious” And “Dishonest”

From: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/05/15/gingrich_pelosi_is_vicious_and_dishonest.html
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) tells ABC News that current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has “viciously” and “dishonestly” turned on the troops.

Gingrich said:

“It’s very hard for me to talk calmly about where we are. I think this is the most despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort I’ve seen in my lifetime. Right after 9/11, this country was terrified. We had an anthrax attack; we had a real danger that there might be a nuclear attack. We were deeply worried about terrorists.

Nancy Pelosi was the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee. She had an absolute obligation to know what was going on and she had an absolute obligation to speak up.

Men and women risk their lives all over this planet protecting us. And she has now viciously and dishonestly turned on them.

It is despicable. As an Army brat, I find it unbelievably offensive that left wing Democrats don’t care about defending America. They care about hunting down and purging their political opponents in a way which is going to cripple ths country.

If you were a young man or woman out there today would you feel comfortable doing anything to defend America knowing that tomorrow they could decide you are a criminal?

I think people need to understand that this is really, really dangerous, and it is going to get a lot of people killed, if we don’t call a halt to it.”

The Declaration of Independence — Obama Style

From: http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obamas_declaration_of_d.html

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May 13, 2009
Barack Obama’s Declaration of Dependence
By Pamela Meister

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one Messiah to dissolve the historic bonds that have connected his subjects with the fundamental beliefs of a bunch of dead white guys, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Marx entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that I should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, womyn, transgendered and questioning individuals deserve equal division of goods, that they are endowed by Me with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the right to abort life, servitude to the state, and the pursuit of taxpayer-supported benefits. That to secure these rights, government is instituted in Me, deriving my just powers from the consent of a Democrat Congress, ACORN, and Universal Voluntary Public Service. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of Me to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Big Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing (with the help of the groups previously named) My powers in such form, as to Me shall seem most likely to effect My subjects’ safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that My government short established should be changed for causes I deem appropriate; and accordingly all my inexperience hath shown that personkind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the oppressive regime instituted by dead white men to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce my subjects under absolute Evil Capitalism, it is My right, it is My duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future Social Security. – Such has been the patient sufferance of these downtrodden victims of Evil Capitalists; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. This history of the present Representative Republic is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute freedom for these victims. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a slavering mainstream media.

This Representative Republic was founded on the principles of limited government, and does not allow Me to make all decisions without impunity.

This Representative Republic allows for too many States’ rights.

This Representative Republic allows Me to serve only two terms in the highest office in the land.

This Representative Republic allows for too much personal freedom, assuming that individuals know best how to spend the money that they earn and how best to live their lives.

This Representative Republic allows for the free market, not all-knowing bureaucrats, to right any wrongs in the economy.

This Representative Republic expects judges to uphold, not enact, law.

This Representative Republic allows private citizens to own firearms, thus allowing them to protect themselves and their family from all intrusions (including those from government).

This Representative Republic does not guarantee electoral outcomes for any one particular party – namely, My party.

This Representative Republic guarantees citizens equality before the law – not social justice as defined by activist judges and legislators.

In every stage of these oppressions, I have petitioned for redress in the least humble terms: My repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Representative Republic, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define oppressive Evil Capitalism, is unfit to be the government of a people yearning for Hope and Change.

Nor have I been wanting in attention to my Global Citizen brethren. I have warned them from time to time of their attempts by their elected leaders to follow in the footsteps of the United States. I have reminded them of the circumstances of America’s many mistakes. I have appealed to their systems of justice and social programs, which I hope to emulate. I have also appealed to our enemies, as I have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow the usurpations of America, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. I must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces America’s sovereignty, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, superiors in war, in peace superiors.

I, therefore, the Messiah of the United States of America, acting of my own volition, appealing to Myself for the rectitude of my intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of Myself, solemnly publish and declare that the United States ought to be dependent states; that they are absolved from the Tenth Amendment, and that all political connection between them and the Federal Government, is and ought to be of a dependent nature; and that as subservient and dependent states and citizens thereof, they have no power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, or do any other acts and things without express permission from Federal Government thus represented by Me. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Nanny State, I pledge to oversee your lives, your fortunes, and what is left of your sacred honor.

Signed,

No other signatories needed

Pam Meister is editor for FamilySecurityMatters.org. She also contributes to Pajamas Media and Big Hollywood. The opinions expressed here are her own.

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The Coming Ice Age

From: http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/the_coming_ice_age.html

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May 13, 2009
The Coming Ice Age
By David Deming

Those who ignore the geologic perspective do so at great risk. In fall of 1985, geologists warned that a Columbian volcano, Nevado del Ruiz, was getting ready to erupt. But the volcano had been dormant for 150 years. So government officials and inhabitants of nearby towns did not take the warnings seriously. On the evening of November 13, Nevado del Ruiz erupted, triggering catastrophic mudslides. In the town of Armero, 23,000 people were buried alive in a matter of seconds.

For ninety percent of the last million years, the normal state of the Earth’s climate has been an ice age. Ice ages last about 100,000 years, and are punctuated by short periods of warm climate, or interglacials. The last ice age started about 114,000 years ago. It began instantaneously. For a hundred-thousand years, temperatures fell and sheets of ice a mile thick grew to envelop much of North America, Europe and Asia. The ice age ended nearly as abruptly as it began. Between about 12,000 and 10,000 years ago, the temperature in Greenland rose more than 50 °F.

We don’t know what causes ice ages to begin or end. In 1875, a janitor turned geologist, James Croll, proposed that small variations in Earth’s orbit around the Sun were responsible for climate change. This idea enjoyed its greatest heyday during the 1970s, when ocean sediment cores appeared to confirm the theory. But in 1992, Ike Winograd and his colleagues at the US Geological Survey falsified the theory by demonstrating that its predictions were inconsistent with new, high-quality data.

The climate of the ice ages is documented in the ice layers of Greenland and Antarctica. We have cored these layers, extracted them, and studied them in the laboratory. Not only were ice ages colder than today, but the climates were considerably more variable. Compared to the norm of the last million years, our climate is remarkably warm, stable and benign. During the last ice age in Greenland abrupt climatic swings of 30 °F were common. Since the ice age ended, variations of 3 °F are uncommon.

For thousands of years, people have learned from experience that cold temperatures are detrimental for human welfare and warm temperatures are beneficial. From about 1300 to 1800 AD, the climate cooled slightly during a period known as the Little Ice Age. In Greenland, the temperature fell by about 4 °F. Although trivial, compared to an ice age cooling of 50 °F, this was nevertheless sufficient to wipe out the Viking colony there.

In northern Europe, the Little Ice Age kicked off with the Great Famine of 1315. Crops failed due to cold temperatures and incessant rain. Desperate and starving, parents ate their children, and people dug up corpses from graves for food. In jails, inmates instantly set upon new prisoners and ate them alive.

The Great Famine was followed by the Black Death, the greatest disaster ever to hit the human race. One-third of the human race died; terror and anarchy prevailed. Human civilization as we know it is only possible in a warm interglacial climate. Short of a catastrophic asteroid impact, the greatest threat to the human race is the onset of another ice age.

The oscillation between ice ages and interglacial periods is the dominant feature of Earth’s climate for the last million years. But the computer models that predict significant global warming from carbon dioxide cannot reproduce these temperature changes. This failure to reproduce the most significant aspect of terrestrial climate reveals an incomplete understanding of the climate system, if not a nearly complete ignorance.

Global warming predictions by meteorologists are based on speculative, untested, and poorly constrained computer models. But our knowledge of ice ages is based on a wide variety of reliable data, including cores from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In this case, it would be perspicacious to listen to the geologists, not the meteorologists. By reducing our production of carbon dioxide, we risk hastening the advent of the next ice age. Even more foolhardy and dangerous is the Obama administration’s announcement that they may try to cool the planet through geoengineering. Such a move in the middle of a cooling trend could provoke the irreversible onset of an ice age. It is not hyperbole to state that such a climatic change would mean the end of human civilization as we know it.

Earth’s climate is controlled by the Sun. In comparison, every other factor is trivial. The coldest part of the Little Ice Age during the latter half of the seventeenth century was marked by the nearly complete absence of sunspots. And the Sun now appears to be entering a new period of quiescence. August of 2008 was the first month since the year 1913 that no sunspots were observed. As I write, the sun remains quiet. We are in a cooling trend. The areal extent of global sea ice is above the twenty-year mean.

We have heard much of the dangers of global warming due to carbon dioxide. But the potential danger of any potential anthropogenic warming is trivial compared to the risk of entering a new ice age. Public policy decisions should be based on a realistic appraisal that takes both climate scenarios into consideration.

David Deming is a geophysicist and associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/the_coming_ice_age.html at May 13, 2009 – 05:27:35 PM EDT

“We both suddenly became aware that something had grown really dark in the Democratic Party.”

From: http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/letter_of_amends_from_a_recove.html

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May 11, 2009
Letter of Amends from a Recovering Liberal in Berkeley
By Robin

Dear friends, family, loved ones, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, my brother in law, Sam, and my cousin Joe: I am sorry and you were right.

These are not easy words for anyone to utter, much less a leftist from Berkeley, or a recovering leftist, that is. Even though I’ve been in recovery for 14 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days, leftists are always right in your face, in an I-hate-you-if-you-disagree sort of way. Hence, this letter of amends to all the people I’ve lectured, scolded, ranted and raved at, and otherwise annoyed during my 30 plus years of “progressive” politics.

My recovery program urges a fierce moral inventory, a cleansing of heart and mind (kind of like a “forgiveness tour” but without the scary dictators), so here goes:

To my brother in law, Sam, for blasting you in that Chinese restaurant for voting for Reagan, mea culpa.

To my cousin Joe for calling you a traitor when you became an MBA, started holding a real job (as opposed to most of us Berkeley types who are psychotherapists, massage therapists and aromatherapists), and became a conservative, my bad.

To my goddaughter whom I told when she was l0 years old that Republicans were bad, Democrats were good (yes I really did say this), and who got confused and tearful because she lives in a suburb where most people are Republicans, kid, what in the world was I thinking?

To my leftist friends, with whom I agreed that 9/ll was the US’s fault, you and I were all such jerks.

To those potential friends whom I dumped when I found out you were conservative, your gain is my loss.

To all those columnists and editors whom I harangued with angry letters and e mails, sorry, sorry, sorry.

And finally to me, Robin, for installing you for the last 27 years in the far left cult of the People’s Republic of Berkeley, where Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the SLA, where the Black Panthers had their violent beginnings and the heads of the Black Muslims are jailed for murder and rape, my apologies, girl.

I didn’t know any better. I thought the whole world lived in areas where the streets are filthy, aggressive street behavior is allowed because the perps are victims of capitalism, and where you can easily get mugged walking down a street or eating in a restaurant at noon. (By the way, with the Left in charge, expect gangs, crime, indoctrination of 5 year olds and general anarchy to be coming soon to a neighborhood near you.)

Given that the media is pretty much censored (good luck finding a conservative book in your local “independent” book store or hearing a Republican speak anywhere), you didn’t know that a party of grown ups even existed that didn’t advocate screaming at others as the preferred mode of communication. So to my dear Robin, apologies for what I put you through, what I deprived you of, and my pledge to do better.

Cousin Joe, Sam, et al, you may be wondering how I did a l80 in 1 1/2 years. How did I go from a rabid, sanctimonious liberal whom you steadfastly avoided at family gatherings to a fan of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage? Recovery encourages us to share our story, so here’s mine:

In February of 2008, I saw a new client, a bright and sensitive young woman who came in looking like she just escaped a war zone. In some ways she had; she had innocently shared with others at her job that she voted for Hillary rather than Obama. Immediately she was being targeted for abuse that put her in fear for not only her job, but her life.

We both suddenly became aware that something had grown really dark in the Democratic Party. I started hearing about many other incidents where loyal Democrats were being physically and emotionally threatened for supporting Hillary. A woman in Berkeley had her front window broken because it displayed a poster of Hillary. Randi Rhodes, an Air America talk show leftist, called Hillary a f______ witch. (Rhodes was recently promoted to a national talk radio show, illustrating another disturbing trend: the deafening silence about what Rush Limbaugh has dubbed the new “thug-ocracy.)

An acquaintance had her car broken into, and the only item stolen was a NoObama bumper sticker. A South Park episode featured an episode where a nuclear weapon was being aimed at Hillary’s genitals. My local greeting card store sold very flattering cards about Obama, insulting ones about Hillary, and a Hillary “nutcracker.” When I complained, the young male manager literally laughed in my face.

Things went from bad to worse when Sarah Palin entered the scene. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President, there was no debasement of her character, no sexual threats. But with Palin, a full scale “wilding” ensued that chillingly reminded me of the random sexual attacks on women by gangs of men in New York. She was called every vile name in the book by both male and female liberals.

Actress Sarah Bernhardt hoped a gang of black males would rape her. When Palin’s church was torched with children inside, the press was missing in action (somehow I imagine the press would have been all over this if Obama’s church were torched). Not only was the misogyny disgusting, but the classism was abhorrent. The Democrats, by ridiculing Palin’s voice and her education, were acting like arrogant snobs. The party had changed, I had changed, and the differences looked irreconcilable.

The final straw for me was when a close friend flew into a rage at me when she learned I wasn’t supporting Obama. The political became personal when she began impugning my character. Worse yet, she tried to intimidate me into changing my mind by threatening to dump me.

Suddenly a light went on. The peace and love and flower power of the old left was dead and gone (if it even existed to begin with except in my imagination). The Democrats had morphed into a power hungry Thought Police, and I was done with them. My new motto in life: don’t PC on me.

So this is my letter of amends, and I hope that I can be forgiven by all whom I’ve offended. I knew not what the heck I was doing. But now the problem is: how in the world does one be a conservative these days? How to stay brave and committed when conservatives are being targeted, punished, and shunned on a daily basis? How to sleep at night knowing that the country I have finally come to love may be destroyed from within by a massive Big Brother government?

I guess I’ll just have to do a step one, as we 12 stepper’s call it, and turn it all over to my Higher Power.

Love,

Robin

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