We’ve Seen This Before (Part 1)

Sure, it seems like the wheels have come off and the world is rolling down the freeway out of control with showers of sparks flying from all four rims.

ISIS. Murderous domestic islamists abroad and at home. Ebola.  A cluelessly inept president who seems embarrassed by America’s historic power and prosperity.

Terrible? Oh, yes.

Unprecedented? Not at all.

Americans under the age of 50 have no meaningful memory of what things felt like in the 1970s. And many of us who lived through it have done our best to forget.

Hi. Remember me.

Hi. Remember me.

Allow me take you back to a few years before Jimmy Carter. To 1973 . . .

>The year begins with the U.S. Supreme Court handing down it’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision–ripping from the individual state legislatures the ability to regulate the delicate, divisive issue of abortion. It will set off decades of polarizing debate–what will later come to be known as “the war within the states.”

>Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union are as high as at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The U.S. is locked in a global chess match with the Soviets. And losing.

It isn’t just that the Soviets have thousands of nuclear missiles–on land sea and air–most pre-targeted on every major U.S. city. On every continent, dominoes are falling to communism as Soviet client states and marxist insurgencies emerged in strategic places–including in our own front yard of Central America.

Many are predicting the ultimate triumph of global communism and believe that the West has entered its twilight period.

>The “ecology” movement–birthed out of the chaotic cultural upheavals of the 60s  is pointing out scarcity and environmental devastation everywhere. Just a few years earlier, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio had become so polluted that it actually caught fire.

We seem to be running out of everything–especially energy. Especially one particular form of energy:

no gas

 

>The economy is in freefall. OPEC cuts oil supplies and the price of oil doubles overnight. Inflation and interest rates are rising at a dizzying rate and people are getting panicky.

>The Watergate scandal has the  government paralyzed even though the nation is facing an overwhelming number of crises–domestic and international. A Constitutional crisis ensues. The President of the United States will ultimately be forced to resign the following February.

>The Irish Republican Army launches a long, deadly campaign of terrorist bombings in the UK.

>In October, an open shooting war breaks out when Israel’s Arab neighbors launch a surprise attack on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. The Soviets are backing the Arabs. The U.S. is supporting Israel. And the two superpowers come perilously close to war themselves.

Munich72>The previous year the Olympics in Munich had been desecrated by the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by a PLO terrorist squad.

> Seemingly every other week either the French and the Soviets are testing a nuclear device. Each test reminds everyone that a nuclear holocaust is hair-trigger pull away at all times.

>A strange new flu epidemic sweeps the world. They name it Hong Kong Flu. In a few years Swine Flu will also emerge.

For the average American in 1973, it seems the madness and cultural decay that began in the late 60s is only accelerating. The nation has lost it’s way. Our enemies are too strong. Our leaders aren’t up to the task. Events are overtaking us on every side.

Understandably, many Americans look around in fear and dismay. It is 1973 and it looks like times will never be good again.

Yes, we’ve seen this before.

Mr. Obama’s Legacy – Part 1: The Weaponization of the Federal Bureaucracy

There are so many terrible and tragic things about the current U.S. administration that it’s easy to get lost in the blizzard of incompetence, corruption and wrongheadedness.

Nevertheless, I think that when we look back on Mr. Obama’s eight years two things will stand out as being the most destructive to the long term health and well-being of our society. One is entirely his fault. The other is not.

1. The Weaponization of the Federal Bureaucracy

2. The Abdication of the Fourth Estate (i.e., The Death of Journalism)

I’ll elaborate briefly on the first of these two toxic legacies here, and will address the second in a subsequent post.

1. The IRS scandal has tended to get lost in the myriad of outrages and derelictions of the last six years. But it is by far the most troubling and is the poster child for a broader disease that has metastasized and spread into many branches of the government.  And it received zero attention from the major news outlets–except, of course, for Fox News. (More on that in Part 2 of this post.)

Destroyer of Hard Drives

Lois Lerner

The U.S. tax system is ostensibly a “voluntary” one–meaning that we’re all basically on the honor system to report all our income and not lie about the deductions to which we’re entitled. To make this work in the face of fallen human nature, we have invested the IRS with the awful power to turn the lives of cheaters inside out. Indeed, few government agencies have the power to destroy a person’s life with so completely and with such impunity as does the Internal Revenue Service.

This is why the unfolding revelations of systematic targeting of conservative organizations  and individuals for audits and denial of tax-exempt status should send a chill down the spine of every American who cares about freedom and the future of this republic. The fishy missing emails, suspiciously destroyed hard drives, and the astonishing lack of backups all reek of a cover up.

Early in his presidency, Mr. Obama joked in a speech about having his enemies audited. The under-reported, under-investigated story of entrenched career employees with liberal Democratic sympathies using the terrible power of the IRS to thwart conservative organizations and harass conservatives is a huge one.

These events should have every investigative journalist in the county crawling all over the Executive Branch asking questions and citing “unnamed sources.” And they would if any of this happened under a Republican Administration.

But it’s not just the IRS. From the very beginning of this administration we have seen a ruthlessly effective marshaling of the federal bureaucracy to attack, obstruct and shackle small-to-medium sized businesses and strengthen Big Labor.

This has been accomplished through regulation and draconian enforcement of murky laws across several Executive Branch agencies–including OSHA, the NLRB, the EPA, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), various divisions of Eric Holder’s Justice Department,  and the rest of the alphabet soup that comprises the federal bureaucratic labyrinth.

Back in the waning days of the Bush 43 administration, a chorus of Democrats and liberal Bush critics accused Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of “politicizing the Justice Department.” These ultimately proved to be a bogus claims.

In retrospect, perhaps the liberal critics of Bush were simply engaging in what the psychologists call projection.

When the voters gave them the opportunity in 2008, they weaponized the federal bureaucracy.

Ramirez cartoon

Paul Harvey–1952

Recently I was told how man outwits his nearest mental competitor, the monkey. He ties a small-neck bottle to a tree. Puts bait in the bottle. The monkey can reach in, but with the bait clutched in his grip he cannot get his fist out again.

And he will not let go. So he is stuck, trapped by his stubborn greed.

Every election year in the United States the politicians are catching a lot of monkeys.

We have been baited with promises, pseudo-prosperity and stage money. We have been lured into a trap.

In the past two decades in the United States . . . a beneficent government has sold us a substitute for freedom. It is called security.

Suddenly the gamble was taken out of job seeking. Taxes took all the excess profits–the bonus of business.

We were promised that the government would take care of us if we get ill or get old and that we will never earn less than 40 cents an hour no matter what. Thus we have lost the good sense and moral integrity that set man apart.

If the old pioneering fire has died out of us, if we will hang on to new deals, fair deals and raw deals at the sacrifice of our i-deals, then we deserve to be trapped by our own clutching fingers because we are animals, nothing more.

History, for six thousand years, is the record of free people made slaves trying to get the free lunch out of the bottle.

Remember These Things (1952)

Paul Harvey

 

"The Twelve Apostles" Cape Town. Shot this years ago.

“The Twelve Apostles” Cape Town. Shot this years ago.

Say It

Clearly, being a capital P Progressive means never having to admit you were wrong. Even when you are utterly, completely, gob-smackingly wrong.

This fact comes to mind when hearing President Obama’s declared intention to go after ISIS. You see, whatever this president endeavors to do in that part of the world, it will surely prove to be far harder and far costlier than it would have been had he not prematurely yanked virtually all U.S. forces out Iraq early in his presidency.

In fact, this endeavor almost certainly wouldn’t have even been necessary if he had done the responsible thing and kept a formable military presence in place in Iraq (much as we’ve done in South Korea.) ISIS arose in the vacuum created by Mr. Obama’s impetuous, foolhardy pull out.

In Fallujah, Ramadi, Mosul and other key cities in northern Iraq, brave U.S. soldiers drove Al Qaeda in Iraq (now rebranded as ISIS) out — house-by-house, block-by-block — often at the cost of many U.S. lives. But, through the expenditure of precious blood and treasure, they succeeded in driving them out.

What is now known as The Second Battle of Fallujah involved the deadliest street fighting the Marines had seen since Vietnam’s Hue City in 1968. The bravery exhibited during Fallujah II has become part of Marine Corps lore. Ninety-two Americans died in the fighting to crush the Islamist stronghold there.

And this Commander-in-Chief abandoned it without a thought.

Then, back in January–before anyone had heard of ISIL or ISIS–Fallujah fell back into Islamist hands once more. And the journalists who had cheered Mr. Obama’s “undoing of “W’s” mistake could scarcely be bothered to report it. At least until heads literally started rolling.

A few evenings ago the President of the United States addressed the nation regarding his plan to deal with ISIS.  What follows is the speech he did NOT make. But should have:

 

My fellow Americans,

I’m sorry. I was wrong.

Blinded by a liberal groupthink narrative that took as an article of faith that George W. Bush was an imbecile and that everything he did must be undone, I have squandered the sacrifices made by our combat troops and rendered the deaths of thousands of our noblest souls meaningless.

What is more, by my short-sighted, irresponsible actions, I have doomed tens of thousands of Iraqi Shia, Christians, Yazidis and others to misery, homelessness, slavery and death. 

The current leader of the group perpetrating these crimes against humanity and beheading innocents on video, is a man I chose to release from our Camp Bucca prison in Iraq in 2009.

Again, I’m sorry. I was wrong.

President Abraham Lincoln, comparisons to whom I have very deliberately attempted to cultivate for myself, once made this statement: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

I have been given enormous power and my character has not been up to the test. Please forgive me.

Good night. And may God bless the United States of America, what remains of her.

They Might Be Islamic If . . .

The Twitter-verse practically melted down with incredulity last night when, in the middle of his speech presenting his newly-found strategy for dealing with ISIS, President Obama asserted that “the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state.”

Wrong. And wrong.

As for “state-y-ness,” as this presentation reveals, IS is highly organized, bureaucratic, hierarchical and technologically sophisticated.

The President and many other Progressives seem determined to be the global arbiters of who and who isn’t an authentic Muslim. They are also clearly confused about it, so I thought I’d provide this helpful guide to identifying Islamic individuals and groups.

Dear Mr. President:

If they scream “Allahu Akbar” when excited, terrified, angry or startled . . .

. . . they might be Islamic.

If they cite Suras from the Quran as justification for everything they do . . .

. . . they might be Islamic.

If they’re obsessed with recreating the Caliphate that 1000 years ago constituted the pinnacle of Muslim conquest . . .

. . . they might be Islamic.

If their ranks are filled by recruits found in mainstream Sunni mosques all over the world . . .

. . . they might be Islamic.

If the organization’s leader has a Ph.D from Islamic University in Baghdad . . .

. . . they might be Islamic.

Hope that helps Mr. President.

 

 

The End-Game of Mindless Political Correctness

It’s an unspeakably ugly story–the details of which are almost too disturbing to absorb. But since most of the major news outlets here in the U.S. have chosen to ignore the unfolding sex trafficking revelations coming out of Rotherham, England (if it doesn’t fit the liberal narrative, it must not exist), I thought I’d provide a couple of links here.

In the event you haven’t heard this horrifying story, go here:

Human Events

Hot Air

 

 

 

I Witnessed a Minor Miracle This Weekend

I believe I witnessed a minor miracle this Labor Day weekend. It’s true.

The miracle I witnessed?

Well, in a moment in history in which Christians are being beheaded and/or crucified in Iraq; crosses are being pulled down from churches all across China; and Christian schoolgirls are being abducted and sold as slaves in Nigeria . . .

. . . a not-insignificant number of American believers had the time, energy and reserves of outrage take to social media this weekend to mock or condemn Victoria Osteen, wife of Houston pastor Joel Osteen, for some sloppy phrasing while speaking off the cuff on the church platform.

As the old saying goes . . . wonders never cease.

“In fatigue and frustration we threw ourselves at the feet of the state and said, ‘Make me a hired hand. It’s too hard to be a son.'”

–Paul Harvey