Saturday, November 27, 2010

America is becoming a nation of “Boxers”

In the George Orwell classic Animal Farm, there lived a horse named Boxer. He was strong, willing and dependable. In fact, Boxer was so dedicated to his assignments and his leader that he often said, “Napoleon is always right,” followed by his personal pledge to “work harder” toward accomplishing the state’s goals.

Boxer was a good, faithful horse. But his fault was his blind devotion to his leader and his willingness to sacrifice himself to Napoleon’s grand goals. Boxer never benefited from his loyalty or from Napoleon’s phony promise of an easy future. When he was no longer useful he was shipped to the glue factory, ironically under the guise of receiving state provided medical treatment. Let that sink in, Obamacare advocates.

On Animal Farm, appeals to necessity, subtle changes to established rules and revisionist history were the tools used to control Boxer and his comrades. Boxer willingly accepted his marching orders until his fate was sealed. The tactics that led to his demise, and the enslavement of his friends, are now deployed at airport security checkpoints across America. I can’t help but wonder if we’ve become a nation of “Boxers.”

Even before John Tyner’s videoed confrontation with body image scanners and full-body groping sessions there was Joe Sharkey, who
wrote of his own experience with the TSA. Sharkey also refused to be scanned, which prompted security screeners to repeat a vocal alarm that might have been necessary had Osama bin Laden himself tried to board a plane. But there was no reason to suspect Sharkey. There was nothing conspicuous or suspicious about him. His sin was balking at being treated like the terrorist he isn’t.

Sharkey’s article mentioned another flier, Bruce Delahorne, who faced a similar situation. When Bruce questioned the need for the unfamiliar tactics to which he was exposed he was informed that nothing had changed in airport security screenings. “We have always done this,” the TSA agent explained. After passing through the checkpoint Delahorne asked the same question of another agent. He received a similar answer, “the process has always been the same.”

Well, airport screenings haven’t always been this way. Sure, we live in a post-9/11 environment and caution is prudent. But body imaging every air traveler isn’t the same as intercepting specific phone conversations between Abdullah the Butcher and a cave in Waziristan. We’re dealing with de facto strip searches of everyday Americans, pat downs of nuns and confiscation of shampoo and nail clippers. All of this nonsense is done so as not to offend Islam, whose virulent adherents fostered this “necessity.”

The rules are changed and history is rewritten so that everything appears constant. Napoleon is always right. And we, like Boxer,
adapt and comply.

The TSA has released
images from both the millimeter wave and backscatter imagers currently in use. The fact is that the TSA images aren’t exactly fodder for next month’s Playboy centerfold. Other images are circulating that depict an inverted scan that reveals both nudity and identity. But such photos are easily faked and there appears to be no proof that they are authentic. That’s little comfort to air travelers who are exposed to humiliating body scans and invasive pat down searches. Even the stance assumed for the scans--feet apart and hands held above the head--portrays a submissiveness that belies a free people. Fellow Americans, our government has declared us guilty until we prove our innocence.

There remains the argument that body scanners are necessary to prevent terrorists from smuggling bombs aboard aircraft. That may be true, but realistically the scanners do nothing to combat terrorism as a tactic. A terrorist attack isn’t like an advancing army; it doesn’t acquire territory and it need not commandeer or destroy an airplane to accomplish its goal. Terrorism need only sow doubt and fear to be effective.

When innocent Americans are essentially strip searched in airport concourses the terrorists have achieved their goal. In fact, terrorists are equally served without boarding an aircraft at all. Suicide bombers need only detonate their payload at a crowded TSA checkpoint. Scores of unsuspecting travelers would be killed or injured. Such an attack would do more to shatter our illusion of security than blowing up an airliner.

We’re being sold a false sense of safety from a Department of Homeland Security that can’t muster the courage to
identify our real enemies, much less target them. But Napoleon is always right. Thus we’ll be scanned and probed so not to offend the very people who hate us, our liberties and our culture simply because we’ve refused, thus far, to adopt their ways.

The day will come when we won’t be able to enter a sports arena, a shopping mall, or a public parking deck without passing a body imaging checkpoint. Maybe then we’ll realize we’ve become like Boxer, dutiful and obedient until securely locked in the knacker’s wagon.

This column originally appeared at American Thinker: Americans Learning to Submit.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finally! A politician with nothing to hide

If there were a Spin Doctorate program at Political University the requisite course would be Obfuscation 101. No one survives in contemporary American politics without a thorough mastery of the subject. Obfuscation 101 instructs the neophyte politician on how to tell voters what they want to hear while having no intention of fulfilling the obligation when elected. The politician becomes adept at issuing promises and making pledges that are as foreign to their character as Sharia Law is to the Southern Baptist Convention.

That’s how the world turns in American politics and there seems to be little anyone can do about it. Aren’t there times when you long for a politician who has nothing to hide? Rest easy, I have found just the candidate for you.

Meet Sara May, a candidate for a district council seat in Warsaw, Poland. Sara is self-described as honest, sincere, independent, consistent, ambitious and hardworking. In short, Sara May appears everything you could want in a politician, everything most politicians aren’t. She’s also willing to prove that she has nothing to hide, as her campaign poster (shown below) attests.

That’s our babe, uh, I mean, candidate. As you can see, Sara isn’t exposing all of her secrets. But she has revealed more about her self than will most political candidates. And the few personal “issues” she’s kept hidden are much more appealing that what most politicians conceal. At any rate, Sara is quite a change from the stereotypical leader in the once-communist Poland, huh?

Sara’s campaign poster will get her noticed, that much is certain. Whether the notoriety translates into votes is another story. But for us, here in America, Sara May’s poster should cause us to reassess our desire for more openness from our own politicians. Imagine Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, or Barbara Mikulski adopting Sara May’s nothing to hide campaign philosophy. Now there’s a standard for mean-spiritedness that would make even Rahm Emanuel cringe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A five-step program for the Republican majority

The mid-term elections are over. Republicans celebrate their victory while Democrats chase their tails, apparently in a state of denial. The GOP won 239 House seats and control 46 Senate seats with the Alaska race still undecided. Even if Lisa Murkowski prevails she is a Republican who will be at least as dependable as Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

Republicans also hold
29 governorships and a majority of statehouses, which means they will redraw the congressional districts following this census year. If Republicans have the fortitude they can align congressional districts to favor conservative candidates for the next decade.

Even seat counts don’t tell the whole story of the Republican’s November 2nd dominance. No Republican incumbent lost their Senate seat while Democrats struggled to hold serve in Regressive heavy Washington and Colorado. House Democrats lost one seat in which their candidate was a prohibitive favorite and five where they were expected to win with ease. Republicans lost nary a House race they were favored to win. Republicans won 30 tossup races, unseating Democrat incumbents in 29 of them. Democrats won only 12 such elections. Democrats unseated just three sitting Republican representatives, and one of those was in Hawaii where a Democrat victory is about as rare as spotting a corn stalk in Illinois.

What happens now? Winning elections is one thing; wielding power is quite another. How should the GOP proceed? Where should they flex their newfound muscle? What must Republicans do to prove they are a genuine conservative alternative to the defeated Democrats? Follow the five-step program.

First, Republicans must realize that America voted for conservatism, not liberalism. When a confident football team intercepts a pass or recovers a fumble they try to capitalize immediately on the momentum shift. The GOP’s strategy should be similar. Why allow the losers to define the debate? Introduce legislation to repeal Obamacare. It’s won’t pass the Senate, although some Senate Democrats--like
Joe Manchin (WV)--may buck their party and the administration. If repeal does survive the Senate the President will certainly veto it, which Republicans can’t override. So what? Introduce the bill again and again and again. Force the Democrats to defend their collectivist programs.

Second, avoid appeasement; it offers nothing for Republicans. Losing doesn’t equal defeat in the Regressive’s dictionary. In fact, Democrats are likely to be
aggressive in defeat. What do they have to lose? Meet the lame duck Democrats with a hefty dose of obstructionism and gridlock. Republicans hold enough Senate seats right now to stonewall Democrats until the 112th Congress is seated. Just do it!

Third, ignore the Democrat’s character assassinations and obtuse rhetoric. Any conservative knows, or should know, that these tactics are the first options for Regressives and their media allies. Deal with it; it’s as common to politics as sand to the Mohave Desert. Conservatives have few friends in the media and none in the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Cabal. Why try to impress them? Cater to the people who’ve granted the GOP a second chance at governing, not the Washington elitists. Their agenda is the one you were elected to stop.

Fourth, forget about bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake. There’s no compromise with Regressive Democrats. If the electorate wanted the snake oil Democrats have been peddling they wouldn’t have swept them from power. Obama himself has said that elections have consequences and that victors set the tone. Go for their jugular; don’t give them a hand up. Let the Regressives “reach across the aisle” for a change.

Fifth, the Republican Party must remember where their new lease on life came from. Conservatives are wary and watching for signs of betrayal. If Republicans promote big government, as past Republican Congresses have done, voters have no reason to trust them in 2012.

Republicans aren’t as devoted to statism as are Democrats. But the slow boat to socialism eventually docks in the same harbor. The GOP has a chance to prove that they aren’t a watered-down version of the Regressive Movement. They better make a good showing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The five myths of Regressive politics #2: Conservatives benefit from poverty.

Sometimes you have to hand it to your enemies. Regressives are masterful at portraying themselves as the administrators of “economic fairness.” No Regressive oration would be complete without a splash of class envy. Be it “tax cuts for the greedy rich” or “the rich getting wealthy on the backs of the poor,” the message is the same. Conservatives benefit from keeping poor Americans impoverished. But the Left’s advantage is nullified when conservatives meet their charge head-on.

Conservatism finds no joy in anyone’s economic suffering. Rather, conservatism promotes attitudes that loose people from poverty’s chain. Optimism, resilience, self-reliance and ethics are the qualities that build successful and enduring futures. While setbacks are common they aren’t cause for surrender. The individual remains superior to politicians, bureaucrats and busybody activists who display their so-called generosity in the redistribution of their neighbor’s earnings. These qualities are fundamental to conservative thought.

The notion that honor resides in effort and ingenuity is neither foolish nor outdated. And poverty isn’t a cause for shame but for resolve. Conservatives embrace this concept because the benefits are demonstrable, having lifted some of America’s highest achievers to unimagined accomplishments. That’s why conservatives resist expanding the so-called social safety net. There’s no enmity toward the poor, just toward the entitlements that encourage their economic stagnation.

The old fishing adage fit’s the conservative outlook perfectly. Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. Conservatives enjoy teaching people to fish.

Regressive policies ensure that the poor remain poor. According to the Cato Institute, 32-percent of America’s population was impoverished in 1947. The poverty level fell to 13.9-percent by 1965. That’s when Regressives launched Lyndon Johnson’s infamous War on Poverty. Since 1965 the poverty rate has remained relatively constant, hovering between 10 and 15-percent.

If discussing poverty with a few quick statistics sounds cold and impersonal, it shouldn’t. Each number represents millions of Americans whose faith has been diminished and whose futures have been damaged by Regressive policies.

The grandiose promises of the left’s anti-poverty crusade remain predictably unfulfilled, a vapid collection of shell games, pipe dreams and collectivist utopianism. Instead of eradicating poverty, as advertised, Regressives have stifled initiative, fostered dependency and encouraged stagnation. The role of father has been swallowed in statist bureaucracy, the family unit is fractured and inner cities--ostensibly the target of the War on Poverty--are economic disasters.

Regressives toss fish to the poor, much like a marine biologist feeds a seal, thereby ensuring that destitute people, like seals, look to Regressives each time they have a need. There’s nothing compassionate about it. In fact, it’s a heinous immorality.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Climate change debate promises confusion for Pontius Pilate

Of the questions posed throughout human history few are more pertinent to contemporary culture than one from Pontius Pilate. Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who presided over Jesus Christ’s trial, uttered the far-ranging query: “What is truth?”

Varied opinions are the norm concerning Jesus Christ. Some people see him as a good man, a wise teacher, or an extraordinary prophet. He is Savior to others. Despite such divergent opinions few people argue against Jesus being a keen judge of humanity. If Pilate failed to recognize this truth, face to face, how could he distinguish truth in today’s climate debate?

Governments, scientists and journalists have declared the global warming debate settled. It’s happening; man is the culprit and regulation is the cure. But journalists are generally sympathetic to an expansive government. The global warming scientific community receives funding from government organizations. And government itself stands to strengthen in scope and influence with each environmental regulation.

The climate debate is an example of supplying half the story while silencing opposition. And half of a story is misleading at best. At worst, it’s a lie. Could Pilate grasp truth in the media/science/government climate triumvirate?

Not even the title, global warming, has survived the spin machine. Global warming evolved into climate change until the current White House dismissed both terms in favor of
global climate disruption. Each title sounds menacing. But do any of the three carry a substantive meaning? Or, would they leave Pilate asking, “What is truth?”

Following the climate debate in the traditional media, print or broadcast, leads the non-scientific observer to accept global climate disruption as settled fact. Every expert in climate-related scientific fields, reports claim, accepts the idea of climate change. Science is of one accord, human activity is driving this world toward an apocryphal environmental calamity. That is the truth, settled and sure. Yet Pilate would do well to retain his skepticism.

Earth’s temperature and climate hasn’t remained
static through the eons, having ranged from ice ages to tropical periods. And who’s to say if Earth has deviated from its optimum temperature, or what that prime temperature should be? Furthermore, there are credible scientists questioning the “consensus” regarding climate change. In fact, there are many who shun the theory that modern living is the instigating factor in what climate and temperature fluctuations may have occurred previously, are happening now, or will in the future.

The late physicist Frederick Seitz initiated a
petition that netted over 30,000 signatures from scientists skeptical of manmade global warming. The signers represent diverse scientific disciplines, from climatologists to medical doctors. But with few exceptions the signers are credible professionals representing scientific fields. Yet such climate change skeptics are assailed or ridiculed. Their professionalism is impugned and their opinions are dismissed with rolling eyes and deep sighs.

“What is truth?”

Skeptics are labeled shills for “Big Energy” and “Big Oil.” Their views are declared biased, since energy and oil interests stand to profit from debunking climate change theories. However, climate change proponents receive funding from government interests. And governmental organizations, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, expand their influence with each anti-global climate disruption initiative.

So scientists are in total agreement. Mankind is the global warming culprit, except that a large number of scientists don’t accept the manmade climate change theories. And skeptics are ridiculed as stooges if they receive one dime from energy interests while green church apostles are considered unbiased even though governments funds their research.

What would the Judean governor make of “truth” now?

Climate change centers on the carbon dioxide generated in fossil fuel combustion, ranging from coal-fired power plants to grandpa’s
wood stove. Carbon dioxide is treated as the most noxious gas since methyl isocyanate (of Union Carbide fame). The Environmental Protection Agency has even declared CO2 a dangerous pollutant.

Carbon dioxide is portrayed as the most dangerous element known to man, a veritable death sentence for anyone exposed. Yet no one can escape its presence, for humans produce CO2 with each exhale. Are we then healthier when we aren’t breathing?

Let’s examine the scorecard. All scientists agree that manmade global warming is settled fact, except for the scientists who disagree. Climate change science is prejudiced when the research funds come from energy interests, but are pristine and unbiased when funded through governmental entities. Finally, carbon dioxide is the hazard of our era, a lethal pollutant that must be controlled. Only CO2 can’t be controlled because life doesn’t exist without its production.

Pontius Pilate could rightly ask, “What is truth?”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Why do we go to the polls?

Tea Partiers have waited nearly two years for this Election Day. We’ve dreamed about it, worked toward it and suffered unsubstantiated slanders for our efforts. Our opponents, who live for the Washington establishment, call us racists, xenophobes, homophobes, Islamophobes and the sexually derisive “tea-baggers.” We’re Limbaugh’s, Beck’s and Hannity’s puppets, intellectually vapid and thoroughly Neanderthal.

Such derision is unwarranted but not surprising. When an ideology is under assault its adherents will fight. Therefore the Washington establishment--well represented in both dominant parties--is retaliating against the Tea Party, for we threaten to tear the playhouse down.

We’ve traveled a long road to this day and many a long road lies ahead. With polls showing large conservative gains across the electoral spectrum complacency becomes a danger. We must send a loud message on November 2nd. And our motivation lies in the reasons the Tea Party was born, why it grew, and why it’s redefining the two party system.

Our national balance sheet is corrupt. The debt is $13 trillion, give or take a few hundred billion. That’s roughly an entire year’s worth of national production. Obama, who campaigned on reducing deficits, has proposed a $9.7 trillion increase in debt over the next ten years. Yet our federal “representatives” claim the answer lies in more government, higher taxes and an expansive cradle-to-grave welfare state. Therefore we go to the polls.

Social Security and Medicare are runaway trains hurtling toward a washed-out bridge. There is no Social Security trust fund and the touted “surplus” is but an accounting gimmick backed by worthless IOUs. Medicare is just as bad, if not worse. The Part D prescription drug plan and Obamacare only expand the problem.

Productive Americans--rich, poor and in between--are taxed to fund programs for the dependent. Politicians tantalize ignorant voters with promises to soak “evil” corporations and institute mythical visions of regulatory “fairness.” Yet the costs of such measures are paid by people, not legal entities. Each tax, each burdensome regulation is absorbed by the people, for the cost is passed to the consumer. Economists call this phenomenon the “unseen consequence.” It’s time we, the unseen consequences, were both seen and heard. Therefore we go to the polls.

We must repeal the onerous healthcare bill that promises high costs, poor service and shoddy results while granting enormous power--and the probability of abuse--to the central government. A majority of Americans, even if those who aren’t Tea Party activists, want this law repealed. Furthermore, it is another unconstitutional program sold to us “for our own good.” Therefore we go to the polls.

We are tired of arrogant “public servants” like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who invents Bible passages to promote her global warming agenda. She holds our freedom, the U.S. Constitution and her duty to both in utter contempt. Truth and honesty aren’t character traits for Nancy Pelosi; they are obstacles to overcome. This woman is unfit to hold public office, much less the Speaker’s gavel. Therefore we go to the polls.

Sen. Harry Reid thinks you and I stink. We, the great unwashed, are just too gamey for his aristocratic olfactory. When the Capitol Visitors Center opened Reid expressed his joy. A sensible, reasonable person would’ve been happy for the Americans who would no longer wait in the broiling sun to tour Congress. Not Reid! The air conditioned center meant no more smelly peasants near his office. Frankly, a herd of filthy goats couldn’t stink up the Capitol like Sen. Harry Reid and his ilk have done.

Reid ramrodded the healthcare overall into law despite deep objections from a sizeable number of Americans. Oppose amnesty and you’re racist in Harry Reid’s world. He is arrogant, unresponsive, sanctimonious and insulting. Even Reid’s own son views him as damaged goods, shunning the family name while running for the Nevada governorship. Therefore we go to the polls.

On Tuesday we strip power from the tyrants who kept the healthcare bill hidden, changed it indiscriminately, lied about its content and their pledge for an open review, and then passed it via a secretive, backroom vote. The bill itself was unreadable; a labyrinth of legalese, vagaries and cross references intended to prevent public understanding. Supporters of Obamacare blithely told us how wonderful the legislation would be for all Americans, yet said that the bill must pass before we can know what’s in it. Not even Sen. Max Baucus, the bill’s alleged author, bothered to read this nonsense before it became law. It’s naïve to think Congressmen and Senators read these large bills. But their contempt for our intelligence can’t go unchallenged. Therefore we go to the polls.

We go to the polls to prevent cap and trade from sacrificing our economy to an unproven theory. We go to the polls so card check won’t transform employer-employee relationships into one-sided AFL-CIO/SEIU playgrounds, which will ultimately fund our further demise. We go to the polls to correct our fiscal future and secure our national sovereignty.

Government is too large. It is unmanageable and unrestrained. Our representatives have stretched government far beyond its constitutional limits while scoffing at the Tenth Amendment, state sovereignty, property rights and individual liberty. We go to the polls to save the greatest hope for human liberty from a destructive Marxist agenda.

Ultimately, the reason we go to the polls is to fire the first salvos in a long and arduous revolution--fought each election cycle, as our Founders intended--to restore constitutional principles, fiscal sanity and common sense to American government at all levels. And we do this not only for ourselves. We go to the polls for our posterity, that future Americans may live as government’s masters, not its servants. We go to the polls because we are liberty’s last line of defense.