"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some Tuesday Morning Links

My wife and I went to see the final Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises its first weekend in theatres.  I highly recommend this movie.  The action and excitement are non-stop and the plot has some unexpected twists.  And surprisingly (for Hollywood), the movie had clear conservative themes as well.  World magazine had a great review analyzing the ideology behind The Dark Knight Rises.  As World puts it, the movie "powerfully portrays the logical results of relativism and socialism."

The Daily Caller has released information from a soon-to-be-published book by Richard Miniter about the attack on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound.  Miniter claims, based on an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the operation, that Obama canceled it three times over a period of several months and continued to waffle on whether or not to give the order to carry out the mission right up until the last minute.  I had the privilege of hearing a Navy SEAL involved in planning the bin Laden mission speak in person about the operation last year, and he mentioned something similar about Obama.  Obviously, we should be careful about putting too much stock in allegations based on anonymous sources.  This story may or may not be true, but if true I think it is very damaging to Obama.  It shows him both as a weak, indecisive leader and also as a President unwilling to take the terrorist threat seriously.

Finally, I found a couple of interesting links relating to the topic of same-sex marriage.  One is an excellent post by William Jacobson from the blog Legal Insurrection that notes that the anti-gay bigot card is now "on full display as a centerpiece of Democratic politics," thanks to Obama's convenient flip-flop-flip on same-sex marriage.  The goal is to silence all dissent by branding support for traditional marriage as hate speech.  The other essay is by Matthew Franck and discusses a recent book called Debating Same-Sex Marriage, which is co-authored by same-sex marriage supporter John Corvino and same-sex marriage opponent Maggie Gallagher. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Messiah vs. "the messiah"

Back in 2008, some people referred to King Barack I as a "messiah", some in jest and some in all seriousness.  Just for fun, let's compare and contrast the messiah, Barack Hussein Obama, with the Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (NOTE: This is tongue in cheek, with no disrespect intended (toward Jesus, that is).  Please don't take this too seriously.)

  1. Jesus fed the 5000.  (John 6)  Obama is the food stamp president.
  2. Some of Jesus's followers were only in it for the goodies.  (John 6:26)  And so are some of Obama's followers.
  3. Jesus commands the waves. (Mark 4:35-40) Obama thinks he can do the same.
  4. Jesus told his disciples to carry swords.  (Luke 22:36) Obama told his followers to carry guns.  (Some of them also carry billy clubs.)
  5. Jesus told a rich man to sell everything that he owned and to follow him.  (Luke 18:22)  Obama wants the rich to pay more in taxes.
  6. Jesus is the King of Kings.  Obama thinks that he's a king.
  1. Jesus turned water into wine.  Obama turns teleprompter text into whine.
  2. Jesus blamed the devil.  (Matthew 17:18)  Obama blames Bush.
  3. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me."  (Matthew 19:14)  Obama said, "Let the little children die alone in a closet."
  4. Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  I'm not quite sure where Obama was born. 
  5. Jesus bows to God only.  (Matthew 4)  Obama, on the other hand...
  6. Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's.  (Matthew 22)  Obama appointed a tax cheat to his Cabinet. 
  7. Jesus healed the sick.  He did not assess a tax for not being healed.  (For that matter, he did not tax the people that he healed, either.)  Obama's signature piece of legislation penalizes taxes people who don't buy medical insurance.
  8. Best of all: Jesus will return one day.  Obama is limited to two terms as president.
This is fun!  If you can think of anything that I missed, then add your two cents' worth in the comments section.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Latest First Amendment Threat

A few days ago, a couple of co-workers were talking about how the president of Chick-Fil-A had come out against gay marriage and commenting that this might be detrimental to their business.  I didn't think much about it at the time, although it did kind of annoy me that everyone seemed to think it was so inappropriate for Chick-Fil-A's management to express any opinion on gay marriage but no one seemed to care that Starbucks has listed support for gay marriage as one of its core business values.  Why is it controversial to express an opinion in favor of traditional marriage but not controversial to express an opinion in favor of gay marriage?

It's been pretty common knowledge for some time that Chick-Fil-A is owned by devout Christians, and gay activists have been attacking it for years.  I heard months ago that there was a movement to try to shut down the Chick-Fil-A on the University of Maryland campus.  I found that to be pretty appalling, but at the same time boycotts are a legitimate way to express disagreement.  Many Christians, for example, decided to boycott Starbucks following its very public endorsement of "marriage equality."  While I don't go out of my way to buy from Starbucks, I don't really see the point of a boycott.  If I were to refuse to use the goods and services from any company whose political and social opinions I disagreed with, my list of approved companies would be pretty small.  I don't agree with Wal-Mart's support of ObamaCare.  I don't agree with Target's refusal to allow the Salvation Army bellringers in front of their store at Christmas time.  I don't agree with Costco and Google's large donations to Democratic candidates.  But by boycotting all of them, I am merely inconveniencing myself while doing nothing to promote my own beliefs (and possibly making other people think I'm an ideological nutcase in the process).  Politics doesn't have to enter into every buying decision, and it is not necessary to be in full agreement with the beliefs of a company's management in order to enjoy its products.

However, the Chick-Fil-A issue has gone far beyond a mere boycott of a company over a political disagreement.  First of all, the media has been quite dishonest in reporting about this issue, as Mark Hemingway from the Weekly Standard blog notes.  Numerous media outlets claimed that the owner, Truett Cathy, condemned gay marriage and cited an interview with the Baptist Press; however, in this interview the owner said nothing to attack gay marriage or supporters of gay marriage but merely reaffirmed his belief in the Biblical definition of marriage and the family.  He was asked a question about it and he responded honestly.  He also stated that he did not consider Chick-Fil-A to be a Christian business but that it tried to operate according to Scriptural principles.  Cathy was a bit more harsh in condemning attacks on the traditional family in some statements in a radio interview which were subsequently uncovered, but he still did not single out gays or gay marriage for criticism.  Yet Time magazine's headline said that Cathy's comments were "homophobic."  Apparently, supporting traditional marriage and the family equates to homophobia.  Sad.

Even worse, the mayor of Boston has now threatened to deny Chick-Fil-A a business license to operate in the city solely based on Cathy's supposedly anti-gay comments.  This is a truly chilling development and speaks volumes about how intolerant "tolerance" can be.  The government has absolutely no right to deny a business the right to operate based on the personal beliefs of the owner.  This is religious discrimination and a significant attack on freedom of speech.  It would be one thing if Chick-Fil-A were violating non-discrimination laws in who they hired or in how they treated customers, but there have been no such allegations.  If the government can shut your business down simply because it doesn't like your opinion (even if that opinion is unpopular), there is no true freedom of speech.  Even The Boston Globe, hardly a bastion of conservative thought, has condemned the Boston mayor's threats as dangerous to the First Amendment.  And now the Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel is issuing similar threats against Chick-Fil-A (while at the same time welcoming Louis Farrakhan to his city).

Along with the recent story about the photographer who was found guilty of discrimination for declining to photograph a gay commitment ceremony, this is further confirmation of what I wrote a couple months ago about the real goal of the gay rights movement.  Its real goal is not "marriage equality," but rather to force full societal approval of homosexuality.  Religious people who refuse to go along with this agenda must be marginalized and silenced at all costs.  If recent news is any indicator, the gay agenda is succeeding beyond its wildest dreams.  In ten years, we have gone from being a country where gay marriage was a fringe idea to being a country where anyone who opposes gay marriage is an anti-gay bigot.

I admire the fact that Chick-Fil-A's management refuses to be intimidated by the bullies on the Left (both activists and politicians).  Most businesses would have capitulated long ago.  I admire the fact that they stand up for their beliefs and always have, even to the point of being closed on Sunday.  Mike Huckabee has proposed August 1st as Chick-Fil-A Day and is encouraging people who are upset about the Boston mayor's comments to go to Chick-Fil-A on that day.  My wife and I are doing so and would encourage readers of this blog to do the same!  This is a way to show your support for the First Amendment and for a good family-run company that gives away large amounts of money to charity.  And the fact that you will get a great-tasting chicken sandwich doesn't hurt either!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No, This Is Not a Parody

As a political junkie, I read plenty of online articles relating to politics.  I frequently read articles that frustrate or anger me, but I rarely find articles that shock me.  This opinion piece from The Christian Science Monitor actually shocked me.  I am genuinely surprised that a mainstream news journal would publish this, not as parody or satire, but as a serious op-ed contribution.

You really need to read the article for yourself.  Just to whet your appetite, here are some of the main points of the article:

1. Black candidates do not run racist ads; white candidates do.  Therefore only Romney's ads need to examined for racist themes
2. Romney's claim that Obama is untrustworthy is racist
3. Romney's ads have shown Obama's photo while simultaneously claiming that he is a liar, which is racist
4. Romney's ads have shown Romney surrounded by white supporters, which is racist
5. Romney's ads use third-person pronouns, which is racist
6. Romney's ads identified above are being run in geographical areas that are heavily white, which is racist

Yes, this drivel was actually published by The Christian Science Monitor.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  About the only positive thing I can say is that out of the 60 comments posted by readers, 59 of them express outrage or disbelief.  The most frequent comment is that this piece should have been published in The Onion instead.

In our morally upside down world, racially-charged nonsense like the above article passes for mainstream opinion.  On the other hand, genuinely good people like Jay Nordlinger of National Review who don't have a bigoted bone in their bodies are routinely accused of racism by the Left.  Nordlinger has a great piece reflecting on his experience and how it relates to the current state of American journalism here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Which Candidate Do You Agree With Most?

I found this interesting website called isidewith.com.  You take the quiz giving your opinions on a wide variety of issues and the site calculates how much you agree with each of the candidates.  I do think the site has a lot of good questions and I like the fact that if you don't want to give a straight yes or no answer on a particular question, you can click on the third option "Other opinion" and it will give you a variety of other more nuanced options.  I assume the results are fairly accurate.  One thing that bothers me about the site is that it has no questions about issues relating to the national debt, the deficit, and federal spending, which I think is the single most important issue facing our country.  But I still think it's an interesting quiz.

My results: 93% Mitt Romney, 79% Ron Paul, 73% Gary Johnson, 10% Obama, 0% Green Party candidate.  That seems about right to me.  If you decide to take the quiz for yourself, feel free to post your results in the comments.

Some Thoughts on Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court's ObamaCare Ruling

One of the most significant news stories of the year occurred on June 28, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold ObamaCare as constitutional by 5-4.  Unfortunately, it happened one day before I left on a vacation for more than two weeks without Internet access, so I didn't have the chance to comment on it at the time.  This week, a friend sent me a column from a Florida newspaper by Jack Tymann entitled "Chief Justice John Roberts - Brilliant" and asked for my thoughts about it.  Not surprisingly, I ended up writing him a long response which I have decided to post on the blog as well.

I strongly disagree with most of what Tymann wrote.  The one thing I agree on (other than obviously agreeing that it was a good thing the Supremes denied the feds the right to pull the states' Medicaid funding over failing to participate in ObamaCare) is that the ruling has the potential to help Romney in the presidential race, because it gives him the opportunity to point out that Obama was responsible for one of the most massive tax increases ever, according to the Supreme Court ruling.  And obviously, I strongly want Romney to win.  But not at the expense of the Constitution.

The author is claiming this was some kind of brilliant political calculation on the part of Justice Roberts.  Well, I say that it is not the job of Supreme Court justices to make political calculations.  Their job is to interpret the laws in accordance with the Constitution and leave the political calculations to the politicians.  ObamaCare is a truly awful law that violates the Constitution.  It forces people to purchase a product (government-approved health insurance) by means of a coercive penalty enforced by the IRS.  There is no way that can be squared with the individual liberty and strictly limited government guaranteed by the Constitution.  The individual mandate was not designed as a tax, but as a penalty.  Obama and the Democrats explicitly declared it was not a tax.  How can someone be taxed for not doing something?  People are taxed for buying something, or owning something, or earning something.  You cannot be taxed for an absence of activity.  That is utter nonsense.

I think Roberts knew full well that both based on the language and intention of the law and based on the nature of the mandate, ObamaCare was not a tax.  But he wanted to uphold the law to "preserve the reputation of the court" and avoid a decision that seemed politicized in an election year.  Maybe he was hoping Obama would stop attacking the Court.  So he decided to literally change the law and twist logic beyond recognition to turn the mandate into a tax.  This explains perhaps why he initially sided with the four conservative justices in striking down the law, but later changed his mind.  He thought he had found a clever way out that would enable him to avoid striking down the law while at the same time making it easier politically to overturn the law. 

I think Roberts is very far from a hero.  I think he's a pathetic squish who sold out his principles and the Constitution in order to avoid criticism and appear "bi-partisan."  There is no way this law can be squared with our Constitutional freedoms.  If government can compel us to buy a product of their choosing, there is no limit to what they can compel us to do.  It doesn't matter what Constitutional clause they use to justify it.  So what if Roberts said ObamaCare was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause?  What does that matter if it's constitutional under government's power of taxation?  The power to tax can be made just as unlimited as the power of regulating commerce.  I like how Fred Thompson described this decision as "a result in search of a rationale."

What is truly scary is that this decision removes the best hope that this terrible law will be repealed and our country will be saved from socialized medicine.  I think the likelihood that this law will be overturned legislatively is not great.  First of all, Romney must win the election, which is far from certain.  Secondly, the Republicans must take control of the Senate, which is also far from certain.  Third, even if Republicans gain the majority in the Senate they will have to contend with the filibuster, which may make it difficult or even impossible to permanently repeal the law, at least right away.  Fourth, we have to assume that Romney and enough Republicans in Congress will stick by their principles and do what they say they will do rather than giving in to pressure from the media and the left or being fooled into some kind of a bogus compromise.  All these things must happen and happen quickly after the election, because ObamaCare takes effect fully next year and once it takes effect it will probably never be undone.  It would have been much easier if Roberts had just followed the Constitution and repealed the law, instead of playing his little political games.  So yes, I am far less optimistic than this author, and I think conservatives are deluding themselves if they think this is a victory for limited government and the Constitution.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Some Links from Jennifer Rubin, Andrew McCarthy, & Karl Rove

I always enjoy reading Jennifer Rubin's Right Turn blog on The Washington Post's website, but today she made a couple of exceptionally good posts.  One highlights the media's pathetic inability to distinguish important news stories from unimportant news stories, and the other has some interesting excerpts from Mitt Romney's recent stump speech in Pennsylvania which has been getting a lot of favorable attention from conservatives for its passion and substance.

Another interesting article is by Andrew McCarthy of National Review, which summarizes Obama's repeated disrespect for our constitutional system, laments the weakness of Republicans in Congress in challenging his lawless behavior, and warns against a likely attempt by Obama to circumvent Congress with regard to closing Guantanamo Bay after the election. 

Finally, Karl Rove provides a great summary of Obama's lies, distortions, and hypocritical claims directed against Romney on the campaign trail lately.  I am glad to see that Romney is starting to hit back, hard.  He certainly doesn't lack for legitimate policy issues to attack Obama on.  He should take the gloves off and keep them off until after the election.

And by the way, I think Romney should give this response every time the media or the Obama team asks him why he won't release his old tax returns: "I promise to release all my old tax returns to the public as soon as Obama agrees to release all the information requested by Congress relating to the Fast & Furious operation."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Latest Proof of Obama's Radicalism

The Obama Administration's latest stunt is to issue a policy directive to attempt to undo the wildly successful welfare reform initiative passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in the 1990's.  Read more here.

Of course, all this comes on the heels of Obama's Attorney General being held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents about a scandal that resulted in the death a U.S. border agent, an executive order by the Obama Administration to refuse to enforce certain federal laws relating to illegal immigration apart from legitimate action by Congress to change the law, and Obama's attempt to raise taxes on all Americans making more than $250,000 and his threats to allow taxes for all Americans to go up if Republicans don't agree to his demands.  Then there was Obama's campaign's outrageous charge, without any evidence, that Romney may have committed a felony in his SEC filings and a subsequent refusal to apologize.  This charge comes on the heels of millions and millions of dollars of brutal and dishonest negative advertising about Romney's involvement in Bain Capital.  Dishonest according to numerous people involved in Bain Capital who know the facts, some of whom are Obama supporters.  And then there was Obama's recent campaign statement that businesses should pay more in taxes because "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Barack Obama is a blight on our country.  He is a radical leftist and ruthless demagogue with no respect for our Constitution or our free market system.  And yes, he is a scumbag.

UPDATE: Here is the full quote from Obama mentioned above:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
James Pethokoukis paraphrases this incredible statement from Obama: " There is no such thing as individual achievement or merit. All success is directly due to society’s collective effort as manifested by government."

This is not a gaffe on Obama's part.  He said exactly what he really believes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Arizona ballot initiative

I was listening to the Don Kroah Show recently, and the guest on the show mentioned an initiative which will be on Arizona's ballot this November.  It sounds like some Arizona citizens are fed up with the lawless federal government under King Obama I and are trying to amend their constitution in order to stand up for themselves.  I read it, and it's awesome.

Section 3. Supreme law of the land


If this amendment passes, this will inevitably lead to a conflict.  Remember back in high school when you saw two guys nose to nose and a crowd gathering and then somebody yelled, "FIIIIIGGHHHT!" ?  That's me right about now!  After all the shenanigans with the Department of Justice suing to prevent states from purging the voter rolls of dead people, the constitutionally-dubious Obamacare law, the refusal of the federal government to enforce our borders, the refusal of the government to deal with lawless "sanctuary cities"...it's about time that somebody said enough's enough.  This amendment sends a message loud and clear that the Constitution means what it means, no matter what any court, president, or Congress may say.

The complaints from the left will be predictable.  Democrats will suddenly gain a cynical interest in law and order and in the institutions of our nation.  They will accuse Arizona of lawlessness and appeal to the authority of the Constitution.  Of course, the irony is that by passing this amendment, Arizonans will be upholding the Constitution while the Democrats have used it as toilet paper.  I hope that this amendment passes and that other states follow suit.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A little good news for a change...

There has been a lot of bad news lately in politics, but this story made me giggle with glee, and I don't even use the words 'giggle' or 'glee'.  On July 2, the North Carolina state legislature voted to override the governor's veto of a bill which would allow hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in North Carolina.  Becky Carney (D-Oofus), a North Carolina state legislator, accidentally cast the deciding vote, which made the vetoed bill law.  I just have one thing to say about that...