Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chris Varano, report to the sports department, please!

When it comes to pontificating on the contemporary political scene Chris Varano might make a pretty fair sports broadcaster. Sports broadcasting is, after all, the Dallas native and Texas Christian University sophomore’s major. As such, his next editorial for TCU’s online newspaper should touch on Brett Favre’s myriad retirements, leaving politics alone, lest he become another (God forbid) Keith Olbermann.

Varano believes opposition to the “
ground zero mosque” is Islamophobia in the first-degree. And he quotes Al Franken--Minnesota’s dubiously elected, self-proclaimed expert on everything--to validate his claim. That Mr. Varano, is strike one. Citing Sen. Franken on serious matters is akin to heeding Terrell Owens’ advice on improving team chemistry.

Varano states, unequivocally, that the proposed--and already financially troubled--Islamic center in lower Manhattan is peaceful. “It is not going to (be) a training ground for terrorists or a symbol of victory on 9/11,” writes Varano.

So, Chris, is that a Namath-like guarantee? Can we sue you if you’re wrong? Remember, the flight school where Mohamed Atta and his box cutter chorus trained wasn’t known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism either. As for being a symbol of victory, how can America consider it otherwise? A mosque at the WTC is as much a sign of victory as the U.S. flag atop Mt. Suribachi. I doubt you’ll find the famed Iwo Jima photograph hanging in many Japanese living rooms.

Strike two!

The fact is that Chris, like most Regressive leftists, is a walking contradiction. He’s critical of “the American people” for “holding entire groups responsible for the actions . . . of a few.” Yet the phrase “the American people” is itself all-inclusive. The author has engaged in the stereotyping he claims to despise, blanketing all opposition to the “ground zero mosque” with the Islamophobia quilt.

Chris, think for a moment. Your head won’t explode, I promise. Can Americans be the Islamophobes you claim when there
100 mosques in New York City, and approximately 2000 nationwide, operating freely? Plus, if memory serves (it does, thank you) Islamic radicals orchestrated 9/11. They bombed the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers, a Beirut barracks, a German nightclub and a jetliner in Lockerbie, Scotland. And that’s just for starters.

If the mosque in question is to be Islam’s olive branch to America, as its proponents claim, shouldn’t a less controversial sight be chosen? Conversely, a mosque near ground zero is perfect for poking America’s eye.

That’s strike three, sports broadcaster. You’re out! Yet I hope I’ve clarified why so many Americans oppose the “ground zero mosque.” It’s not that we’re murderous cannibals, desiring to kill, cook and eat every Muslim in the contiguous forty-eight states. We just never again want to wear the “paper tiger” badge.

Now, grant us a boon and concentrate on your sports broadcasting degree. Then, when you return to “Big D”, you can rail on Tony Romo’s latest interception and why the Texas Rangers won’t win in October. America can use good sports broadcasters. We need more Keith Olbermanns like we need relief pitchers with double-digit ERAs.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Bad, the worse and the foolish: A frustrated look at recent events

Maxine Waters aided the sub-prime crisis

You might consider Rep. Maxine Waters’ funneling of TARP money to her husband’s friends and business associates at OneUnited Bank an abuse of both her office and the public’s trust. Not so for her California constituents.

Arturo Yrbarra, a director at the Watts Century Latino Organization, praised Waters’ for persuading banks to increase lending, thus increasing home ownership. Translated that means she helped pressure banks into approving mortgages they otherwise wouldn’t have touched with ten-foot poles. Excuse me, but wasn‘t that the cause of the economic downturn, which led to high unemployment and the exponential growth of our already enormous national debt? For this she receives praise from her constituents?

Waters is far from alone. Her actions are part and parcel to the Democrat Party platform, a platform congressional Republicans have lacked the courage to identify, much less oppose. Small wonder our fiscal house is out of order.

Bad news from the Gulf

Since the Deep Water Horizon oil spill we’ve been treated to one doomsday scenario after the other. The Louisiana bayous would be flooded with oil, with the advancing crude ruining the delicate wetlands. The Gulf Stream would pick up the oil, spread it across every inch of Florida’s beaches and deposit tar balls and sludge from Georgia to Maine. Fisheries would die and the entire Gulf of Mexico would become a giant dead zone. Communist organizers and their empty-headed zealots called for the federal government to seize British Petroleum.

That was then; this is now.

The marshes are healing and the gulf is cleaning up the crude, essentially eating the oil. Marsh grass is growing through the dead plants and new growth is evident in the mangrove trees. Only a month ago both were given up for lost.

This isn’t the word of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity or some other “anti-environment” conservative pundit; it’s the word of scientists. And it’s bad news for environmentalists who’d hoped the BP spill would spark the public outrage necessary for them to forcibly implement their “green” agenda.

So, the earth is addressing a perfectly natural substance that has escaped its proper place, much like our bodies deal with infection. Is it just barely possible that God, the Creator of both crude oil and the Gulf of Mexico, knows a little bit more about how the two interact than does the Sierra Club and Greenpeace?

Tyranny gets a makeover

A New Zealand teenager was stripped of her beauty pageant title for conduct the pageant director considered unruly. There appears no evidence the young lady posed nude or sent compromising photographs to her boyfriend via her smart phone. She doesn’t appear to be a budding Lindsay Lohan. Her transgression is far more severe; she dyed her hair. Director Barbara Osbourne confronted the girl, Olivia O’Neil, on Facebook.

“You’re not going far in this world,” Osbourne raged, “Hand over your crown.”

O’Neil merely returned to her natural hair color. It’s not like she dyed her hair the colors of the rainbow and joined the gay and lesbian liberation front (bet you wouldn’t have heard a peep from Osbourne if she had). And shouldn’t beauty pageants have more important worries, like their winners engaging in the aforementioned unbecoming activities?

Yes, rules are rules. But petty tyrants are petty tyrants, too. They are every bit as evil as other tyrants, save on a smaller scale. Barbara Osbourne is the one with the problem. For her to lash out at a teenage girl over such a trivial matter indicates a person with one foot outside the plane of reality and the other seated firmly in Adolf Hitler’s boot.

A new purpose for the Supreme Court

Despite attempts to rally opposition, no one realistically expected Elena Kagan’s judicial nomination to fail. She was presented by a Democrat president, reviewed by a Democrat Senate and had public support from four Republicans, meaning a filibuster was out of the question. With the confirmation secure, President Obama was free to speak candidly concerning his desire for Kagan to be a judicial activist.

A White House press release expressed Obama’s pride in how Kagan would make the SCOTUS “a little more inclusive, a little more representative, more reflective of us as a people than ever before.”

May I remind Obama and Kagan that the Supreme Court’s job isn’t to be inclusive, or to be “reflective of us.” And we have the House to represent us, in theory at least. Those qualities aren’t prerequisite to sit on the Supreme Court. Justices are to apply the U.S. Constitution to the cases brought before them; no more and no less. But, admittedly, that notion’s a little quaint these days.

Harry Reid is at it again

Does anyone remember when Harry Reid complained about visitors to Congress smelling of body odor? He’s at it again. Reid said, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK? Do I need to say more?”

No Mr. Reid, you’ve said plenty. Let me talk for a while.

Frankly, I don’t see how anyone with the requisite mental capacity to tie their own shoes could be a Democrat. I don’t know how anyone could vote for a man who rammed a mammoth, unread healthcare bill down our throats and then bitched about its contents. That would be you, Senator Reid.

I don’t know how any poor person could be a Democrat when the party’s policies have ensured a perpetual underclass the sole purpose of which is to ensure Democrat electoral victories. I don’t know how any poor person can be a Democrat, Sen. Reid, when you and your ilk have robbed the poor of their independence and their self-esteem.

I don’t know how any urban black person can be a Democrat when the problems urban black people face--drugs, blight, illegitimacy and family decline--are as bad, or worse, as when your party first promised to fix them.

I could go on, Mr. Reid. Do I need to say more?

From Islam, peace by upon it

Everyone knows about the brutal execution of ten Christian medical missionaries in Afghanistan (peace by upon it). Essentially, these people were treated with less respect than the cattle at your local abattoir. Not only were they executed, their bodies were unceremoniously dumped in a wooded area.

The Taliban (peace be upon it) claimed responsibility for the killings. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid (peace be upon him) said the Christians were killed for “preaching Christianity.”

Well, at least there was good reason to systematically shoot these dangerous, although unarmed, subversives. And if that’s not enough reason to kill the infidels, they were found in possession of Bibles translated into the local language. Hmmm? Perhaps shooting was too good for them after all.

This is done in Afghanistan (peace be upon it still) in the name of Islam (peace be upon it) while the American Left (no peace be upon them) gives itself a collective pat on the back for its tolerance and open-mindedness in approving construction of a mosque within spitting distance of Ground Zero. We wouldn’t want Muslims (peace be upon them) to soil their prayer rugs (on them, too), hijabs (once more) and burkas (ditto) during a long trip to spit on our 3000 incinerated countrymen, would we?

It’s a good thing Islam (peace be upon it once more), is a religion of peace. Otherwise, Muslims might get ugly about this infidel thing.

A parting dose of tolerance

Regressives claim that conservatives never say anything positive about the Obamas. Well, when you can’t think of something nice to say it’s better to remain silent. Therefore I’ll say nothing about Her Royal Highness Michele Obama’s trip to Spain, the taxpayer funded entourage that accompanied her, or the Spaniards who were shooed from their beaches so Her Highness could frolic in the surf. Consider my silence an act of tolerance.

Atlanta’s mob scene results from Democrat policy

One sure way to draw a crowd is to offer a benefit paid for with someone else’s money. That’s why 30-thousand people congregated in Atlanta to apply for taxpayer funded federal housing subsidies. You needn’t be an Old Testament prophet to foresee how such a gathering would unfold. There was shoving, pushing, cursing and a mob scene or two. Big surprise, huh?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution attributed the lack of public decency to impatience, frustration and confusion brought on by the high summer temperatures. The mercury hit the low 90s before the crowd dispersed around 2 PM.

You know what? Summer temperatures are hot in most cities at two in the afternoon. In fact, on the day Atlanta’s Section 8 housing chaos unfolded the temperature reached the mid to upper 90s for quite a few people whose day didn’t end at 2 PM. They were at a place they visit each and every day. It’s a place that helps them provide for their families and meet their financial obligations; a place called work.

Work serves another purpose, too. It’s allows productive people to earn the money their government will confiscate to construct the dependent mentality that prompts 30-thousand people to gather in search of a slice from their countrymen’s pie.

“But Hager,” you say, “times are tough and people need assistance.”

Yes, the economy is tough and I’m quite thankful for gainful employment during these down economic times. But the incivility and near-riots on display in Atlanta aren’t the result of the recession or of industrious people who’ve caught some bad breaks. They are the result of a long-standing problem that was created, apparently with malicious intent, when the welfare state was initiated.

Government has excused and rewarded a lack of productivity for so long that indolence has become a celebrated lifestyle. Subsidies, paid for with tax money, are now considered rights. The entitlement mentality these attitudes have fostered is a contributing factor to our nation’s fiscal abyss. It is a death knell for personal and economic liberty regardless of how Democrats spin it.

Don’t bother telling me about how your Uncle Joe spent his entire life working his fingers to the bone and is now dependent on government programs to make ends meet. The claim hasn’t been made that everyone seeking government assistance--even among the 30-thousand in Atlanta--is a worthless bum. But the mentality that produces the Atlanta episode isn’t compatible with people like your Uncle Joe. It is, however, compatible with your Uncle Joe if he votes based on which politician will best help him live at his neighbor’s expense.

There is no question that social welfare programs have created a dependency attitude wherein government is seen as lord and savior. There are indeed women who consider pregnancy an opportunity for a pay raise and men who bequeath to government their family responsibilities. There are people who have no qualm with having government provide for them from cradle to grave.

What happened in Atlanta, similar to the scenes in New Orleans following Katrina, is the predictable result of regressive social policy. Democrats have long preached dependence under the guise of civil rights. The lack of decorum at this gathering identifies people who have lost their moral compass, disregarded their talents, ignored their purpose for living and become comfortable with entitlements funded by their neighbor. No amount of federal subsidy or government program will change their social status.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The façade of elitist empathy

Few expressions are more vacant than the political elite’s public displays of empathy. Empathy is a vicarious emotion, allowing empathizers to feign compassion for other people’s hardships without the actual experience. It is a handy device, and one the elite class routinely utilizes.

Elitists relish the opportunity to parade their empathy before their underlings. Who better to provide an example than Vice President Biden?

credits the administration with saving our financial system and preventing an economic disaster that would’ve sent Western Civilization spiraling toward a quasi-Stone Age existence. Everyone now has health care and the sewer called Wall Street--whose alleged abuses the federal government initiated, exacerbated and subsidized--has been thoroughly sanitized. These steps were necessary because Biden’s opponents (meaning Republicans) “are wildly out of touch” with America.

Mr. Biden has suffered yet another recurrence of foot-in-mouth disease, a chronic malady among elitist empathizers. Biden championed the administration’s achievements during a speech he delivered to $500-per-person Democrat donors in Chapel Hill, NC. How many truck drivers, welders, nurses and retail sales clerks attend $500 political fundraisers? Tell us again, Mr. Biden, who is out of touch?

The elitist’s empathic expressions are a façade intended to conceal their love for the private luxuries they publicly condemn. If only Biden were alone in is condescending attitudes. Sadly, he has ample company on Empathy Hill.

President Obama stands on that hill too, sided by the wealthy real estate potentate Neil Bluhm. Don’t let Bluhm’s apparent capitalist successes fool you. He is a Regressive to the core, having
contributed more than $60,000 to various Democrat political causes over the last two years.

Mr. Bluhm also hosted a birthday
party for our 44th President. But the downtrodden, toward whom Regressives extend their boundless empathy, didn’t attend. They couldn’t afford the prerequisite $30,000 donation to the Democrat National Committee that Bluhm assigned to his extravaganza. If the attendees were truly concerned about the unfortunate, why not make $30,000 contributions to the nearest children’s home? After all, to paraphrase ex-President Clinton, no donation to the DNC ever fed a hungry child.

The Clintons are also elitists in good standing. Chelsea’s recent
nuptials are estimated to have cost between $3 and $6 million dollars. Chelsea herself was reportedly adorned with a quarter of a million dollars worth of jewelry. The driveways at the wedding’s plush mansion locale were widened, not to accommodate an influx of public transportation buses but swanky limousines.

The portable toilet facilities cost $15,000. Minimum wage employees--routine targets for elitist empathy--will barely earn that amount for a year’s labor. Even the electricians were instructed to wear tuxedos, perhaps with a combination cummerbund and tool belt. There was no word on the dress code for stand-by plumbers.

In all honesty, the Clintons, Obama and Bluhm can spend any sum they desire on their parties; it is their business. Their extravagances would be wholly inconsequential save for one small detail: their duplicity. Elitists, illuminated in the Clinton-Obama-Bluhm triumvirate, wallow in the wealth and luxury they
condemn for anyone outside their clique. Small wonder Rasmussen polling finds an extensive disconnect between “regular” Americans and the ruling political elites.

Wealth is acceptable only when the elite class controls its use. A person must adhere to the elite political ideology; otherwise their attainments are attributed to avaricious philosophies. Achievers are deemed winners in life’s lottery, born to the silver spoon. The elites’ strategy is to divide and conquer, leaving the elites themselves to determine for whom wealth and luxury are acceptable.

The elites who lead the Regressive Movement are experts in smugness and sophistry. They think nothing of flaunting their wealth and status while claiming empathy with the poor and obscure. Elitists then ease their consciences with “charitable” government entitlement programs funded through legislative theft.

We of the great unwashed are to stoke the elitists’ egos, marvel at their wisdom, praise their compassion, beg their generosity and grovel for their acknowledgment. We are to unquestionably adhere to the diktats of our superiors, forsaking our individual goals for their vision of the collective good.

The elitists’ empathy extends only to the point that their agenda is served. Actually, elitist is a misnomer. They are the contemporary royalty, bidding us live as they decree while they indulge as they wish.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Home of the free? Or land of the slavish?

Americans take pride in being the world’s freest people. We celebrate freedom on Independence Day. We sing of it before our sporting events. But haven’t history’s most brutal regimes concealed tyranny behind veils of patriotism and rhetorical allusions to liberty? After all, dictators don’t gain power while pledging chains and slavery. They gain power with glowing promises to free the masses.

Any 20th Century communist regime you’d care to name has followed this model. Hitler did, too. Islamic republics boast of the liberation wrought via their revolutions. And Hugo Chavez is utilizing this game plan to solidify his hold on Venezuela, much as did his Cuban hero, Fidel Castro.

To argue that the United States now mirrors Venezuela or the defunct Soviet Union is premature. However, it’s seems clear that Americans have less regard for liberty--and less liberty for that disregard--than did our forebears. Certainly our political leadership holds individual liberty in low esteem. We have ignored
Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom and surrendered large chunks of liberty in return for temporary security. Just as Franklin warned, we have less liberty and security to show for our submission. To confirm the point let’s look at traits common to the free and slavish mind.

Free people revere the rule of law and its role in preserving civility. Yet it’s also understood that law enforcement’s prime purpose is to investigate crime scenes after the fact. Seldom are police able to foil crimes in progress.

Liberty requires it’s possessors to shoulder the burden of self-defense. Toward that end free people rely on some combination of mental preparedness, physical strength and weapons proficiency. These qualities, especially regarding arms, are paramount to that defense.

The slavish mentality accepts nothing related to self-preservation. Personal protection means petitioning governments to
restrict or abolish the legal possession of arms. Ignored is the reality that criminals, by definition, disregard such laws. In absence of self-preservation the slavish person will demand surveillance cameras on every street corner. The just and the unjust are then treated as equals, which is the greatest of inequalities.

Freedom asks nothing more than an opportunity; a free person seeks only a chance. Liberty’s desire is to utilize individual talent, ingenuity, initiative and intellect to their greatest capacity and profitability. There are no guarantees and success is unpredictable. Whatever the results may be, that which was gained was earned, not granted.

The slavish mentality wants government to alter the starting line. It isn’t opportunity that slavish minds demand; it is
advantage based on known or arbitrary criteria. What’s more, there must be an artificial outcome. Predictability, even when producing poor returns, is preferable to the risks of an unknown future. The product is invariably the equal distribution of mediocrity, which is considered preferable to the “inequalities” of the bourgeois meritocracy.

Personal responsibility is tantamount to the free individual. Meeting obligations is as natural as drawing breath. That may mean working one job, two jobs, or launching a primary or secondary business. Conversely, one spouse may drop from the work force to raise children, accepting the corresponding loss of income and necessary reduction in expenditures.

No so for the slavish. Only so much responsibility is acceptable. They will generally tolerate the burden of providing for their leisure and entertainment. But beyond that the onus rests on
government. Nearly everything under the sun has become a collective concern. It is the state’s responsibility to keep human needs adequately supplied.

The fact that government can provide nothing to the slavish and indolent without first confiscating it from the free and productive is immaterial. Tragically, the demands of the willingly dependent eventually enslave the free as well, despite their best efforts to maintain independence.

Whether America remains the land of the free or becomes the home of the slavish rests on which mentality prevails. The free must love, protect and incessantly preach liberty. We haven’t yet descended into irreconcilable servitude. But we stand at the precipice.