Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?

Peter Heck - Guest Columnist - 4/14/2009 7:50:00 AM
As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he's been out of the U.S. Navy, that's still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, "We saved that continent twice...how dare my president apologize for this country's arrogance." My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.

Barack Obama's first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle. But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it. Neither is excusable.

Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with 65-year-old blood of "arrogant Americans."

Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, "One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has 'shown arrogance' by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership." But all that appears lost on the president's seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush.

If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it. But all Americans should make clear that no man – even if he is the president – will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us. Ours is not a history of arrogance. It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.

When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them. When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them. When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them. When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them. When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them. When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it. When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them.

This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left. If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores.

This "obsessive need to put down his own country," has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a "stunningly ignorant man" who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao's purges.

Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt. Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa's eyes...a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country.

As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes...plenty of them, in fact. But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes. God willing, they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Letter to the Editor: "Letter to YOU"

I received this via email as a "letter to the editor" sort of deal. I liked what she had to say, so I'm posting it. If you would like to write a respectful response then please feel free to email me your letter as well: sophiesperspective [at] gmail [dot] com.

Please take time to read the whole of this post, even though it is a tad lengthy. Thank you!

Letter to YOU
picturesbystephanie [at] gmail [dot] com

Let me ask you a question you may or may not have ever thought about. What do the income tax system, welfare, and government stimulus packages all have in common?

They are all ways the government takes your money away from you and uses it however it sees fit. Or rather, since the government is in fact made of individuals, they are ways that those officials you elected to represent your interests are taking your money away and using it however they see fit. Apparently, that now includes firing businessmen.

If you hadn’t heard, President Obama recently told the CEO of Chrysler that he had to leave the company, in terms that made it seem like he had an option. Tell me this: If you were pressured by the president of the United States, with the support of Congress, saying he would only bail out your company if you quit, do you really think you would stay and face continued government pressure and public outrage? I ask again, not if you think it would be right or wrong, but would you dare to refuse? And if you did initially, how long would it last?

That’s not all. The US Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Geitner, has demanded that he have personal and individual power over US companies and businesses—and Congress has granted it. This is yet more power concentrated in one person, and that person has the power to shut YOUR business down if he thinks it is not helping the economy—or for no reason at all. Maybe he won’t like your morals. Maybe he won’t like your slogan. It doesn’t matter and you’ll have no say in the situation. How do you feel about that?

What else do the income tax system, welfare, and government stimulus packages all have in common?

They are all parts of a socialist economy. Don’t believe me? Check out this economic plan proposed by the Socialist Party USA. You’ll find the income tax advocated under point number 6, welfare under number 12, and government “investment” (aka stimulus packages) under number 13. Much, much more is there for your perusal. Sit back and think, how many of those are already in place in the American economy today? Are we really capitalist anymore—or perhaps we have a mixed economy with capitalist roots that is swiftly heading towards socialism? America has not been a nation with a capitalist economy for a long time, and FDR’s socialist New Deal policies pushed American economics down a steep hill heading toward a cliff. We’re currently picking up more speed.

As you read the list of a few socialist goals for America, remember that no matter how good some of those goals sound, the money has to come from somewhere. And you can bet (figuratively speaking of course, since betting is poor financial management and will get you in trouble) that all those millions and billions of dollars needed for employing everyone who wants a job—and supporting those who prefer to be unemployed—will not come from the pockets of the Party leaders. No, they don’t have that kind of money. They are poor socialists who give all their extra money away to those poorer than them, at least if they follow their own theory. Their solution is to force YOU to give up your money to finance these endeavors.

What’s the point of me talking so much about socialism? Didn’t I start off talking about President Obama’s economic plan and actions he’s taking to intervene in the economy? Yes, I did. They are connected. Joined. Inseparable. By the way, I know you understand what I’m saying perfectly. Our president is a socialist. He can deny it all he wants, but he can also deny being black. It doesn’t change the facts. If you can’t tell just by his policies, here's an article that might help convince you. It summarizes many references, including socialist websites, providing evidence to that effect.

Here’s another article for your rumination. It counters socialist economics at some basic levels and shows that our current economic woes are not coming from capitalism as President Obama and other pro-socialist leaders would have you believe. Despite all the central planning (remember that term; you’ll see it again) that our government is doing, the economy is still going downhill—or perhaps because of it. Did you know that many of the interventions have mirrored FDR’s New Deal policies? Oh, those wonderful policies that saved this country from the Depression. Wouldn’t it be nice if we listened to tried-and-true economists who shout warnings that the New Deal actually prolonged the Depression?

Let’s look at a couple of other countries that had the income tax system, welfare, and government stimulus packages, and what happened when their leaders used those facets of the economy to take control of the nation. As you’ll see, both of these sound remarkably like our economy—excessive control of businesses through the Secretary of the Treasury position, excessive regulation, “stimulus” stipulations, government interference in income and government interference in the country’s standard of living (i.e. welfare). We’re heading the same direction as those countries if something doesn’t turn around in the way we think about several key things, economics being one of them.

Then first leader is famous—infamous in fact. He got his start taking control of the economy-- know who he was? Here’s a hint from that article you should still be ruminating on:
In other words, [socialists say] the real solution is central planning; the very thing that turned middle and Eastern Europe into a vast slagheap and gave birth to the Gulag. (Central planning and totalitarianism are both sides of the same coin).
Yep, Stalin.

Now guess who this refers to:
[They had] an all-around system of central planning. In [their] economy there was no question of private initiative and free enterprise. All production activities were directed by the [Minister of Economics—similar to the Secretary of the Treasury]. No enterprise was free to deviate in the conduct of its operations from the orders issued by the government. Price control was only a device in the complex of innumerable decrees and orders regulating the minutest details of every business activity and precisely fixing every individual's tasks on the one hand and his income and standard of living on the other.
Yep, Nazis. Hitler.

Thanks, Mr. President.