Saturday, September 26, 2009

Passing the torch

Seems the cranky old man who gave us President Barak Obama is anxious to assist in his re-election. George Bush betrayed the Reagan revolution. And the Republicans passed the torch to John McCain who, in turn is fundraising for Mitt Romney.

That John McCain's support for Mitt Romney should assure Barak Obama's re-election may seem counter-intuitive. But it bears a striking resemblance to what happened in Michigan gubernatorial politics. Ms. Granholm has run Michigan's economy into the same hole that Mr. Obama is sending the national economy. But she got re-elected.

She did so by being a class-warrior and the Michigan Republicans obliged her by putting a billionaire who inherited his wealth up against her.

You can see it by way of an analogy. Imagine you're a black man running for Governor against Lester Maddox or George Wallace. These guys made a career of exploiting hatred against people because of an accident of their birth. They had non-governmental organizations such as the KKK to fan the flames of hatred and organize direct action while maintaining plausible deniability for themselves and their political parties.

If you're a guy (of any color) who inherits billions running against a class warrior, it's like being a black guy running against a racist. It's just a different "accident" of your birth.

When Rich DeVos ran for Governor he was demonized as an exploiter of the working classes. This turned Michigan's cruddy economy to Ms. Granholm's advantage. This gave an unpopular Jennifer Granholm a second term. Should Mitt Romney run against Barak Obama, he'd lose by the same dynamic.

Mitt Romney is the son of George Romney, a successful Michigan politician and former President of American Motors Corporation. He has no doubt inherited many good things from his family. Including a pile of cash. This makes him vulnerable to accusations of being a child of privilege.

Moreover, Mr. Romney has added to his family's wealth by his successful career in Finance. Finance, that's the subject of the movie "Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story." If you think that won't be used against Mr. Romney in a general election, ask Mr. DeVos what was said about him and "outsourcing."

I'm not saying Mr. Romney is a bad man or an inept administrator. He brings several demonstrated skills that are sorely lacking in the current Chief Executive of this country. But he's vulnerable to attack from the left. Either the economy will improve: whereupon Mr. Obama will claim that Socialism works and he'll promise to tax and spend even more. Or it won't, and he'll point fingers of blame at everyone who has money and promise to punish them for their greed. That evil Romney is just another fat cat exploiter Michael Moore is telling us about. That's why Mr. Romney will be like a black man running for Governor of Alabama or Georgia against a Segregationist.

Another troubling thing about Mr. Romney is the Massachusetts health care law that he signed into law. It bears many similarities to ObamaCare that no Republican will admit to. Let's suppose Mr. Romney runs against Mr. Obama and tries to make ObamaCare an issue in the campaign. You can be confident that the Massachusetts health care law will NOT be ignored by the Obama campaign.

This will take away the sharpest weapon in the Republicans' arsenal. And I can see a couple million Tea Partiers finding no reason to vote for the Republican candidate. Like they did last time. Why vote for a Republican who promises the same big government that the Democrats are foisting upon us?

This brings us to the "Maverick" who handed the election to Mr. Obama. Disloyalty is not a good leadership trait. Mr. Romney, happily, does not share the single worst character flaw of John McCain. That he should host a fundraiser for Mr. Romney instead of his own running mate reflects his poor political judgment and his inherent disloyalty. We're well rid of him.

Where can I go to find another Ronald Reagan?

Can We Trade?

It is only getting play in the foreign press. But it seems there was a disagreement of opinion between our Dear Leader and the French President. This isn't the first time these two have been in the news as being less than sympatico.

I think I know why and I have a proposed solution. Sarkozy has the nickname in France of "the American" and his pro-American attitudes are incongruous in a French leader. He has forcefully resisted rioting Moslem youth in his country. And he's been the first non-Socialist in the recent history of French presidents. Pretty much the opposite, at every point, of what the Dear Leader would do.

The first thing Sarkozy did after he got the job was to get a spouse-upgrade to a smoking-hot model.

As for our Dear Leader and the First Lady, I'll say nothing you don't already know. He has been running the country after a fashion reminiscent of French socialism.

So, France, here's the deal: Let's trade Presidents.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barak Hussein Obama, you're no Joe!

I thought the country was in trouble last year when late in the primary season all three surviving candidates were SENATORS. You know, the guys whose jobs consist of doing nothing but talking and voting. Not a lot of administrative or governance involved in that gig.

I also thought the Republican Party was in trouble last year when it had a radioactive/toxic lame duck President Bush who talked like a Conservative, but governed like a me-too Socialist. (Same destination, more leisurely pace.) And the Republicans were led by a "Maverick" who's sole demonstrated competency was stabbing his allies in the back for headlines. The one bright spot was a now-unemployed housewife who has been reduced to posting the occasional essay on Facebook despite being called a Cancer by various and sundry "Conservative" commentators.

But government propaganda is no substitute for competent leadership. Turns out King Barry wasn't the clean, articulate numinous black man like Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty. No, he's a lot further left of the moderate candidate that a lot of Democrats, Independents and Republicans voted for. So sorry, too bad, we got your votes and you've been had. (I feel your pain: I voted for a Conservative and got a Bush instead.)

King Barry is also unlike Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty because, (to his dismay) in that he is not God. Unlike King Canute, our President apparently believes his own propaganda. He's the guy who promised the oceans would stop rising. Stand aside, Canute, watch Barry...

...fall on his face. Barak Hussein Obama, you are no Joe Stalin! Say what you will about the brutality and murderous character of the old Soviet union--never more brutal nor murderous than when Uncle Joe ran the show. Joe didn't make the trains run on time, he did something more difficult. He made the Soviet bureaucracy jump through any hoops he set before it. He knew how to pull the strings and make things happen. And the Soviet bureaucracy became a finely honed instrument of Joe Stalin's will.

The Good News is that investigation of ACORN will be performed by the Federal bureaucracy. Barak Hussein Obama can command the investigations to cease, but he lacks the administrative skills and experience of the youngest governor of the smallest state of the Union. If he shuts down investigations, there will be leaks. I don't think it's a coincidence that the bureaucracy has been ahead of everyone else in cutting off ACORN at Commerce and Treasury.

If I were a Democrat, I'd be ashamed to have anything to do with this racketeer influenced corrupt organization. But I'm curious about ELECTED Democrats. How many of them lie awake at night thinking these words "'re going down with me."

This seems to be the thinking behind the suit that was brought by ACORN against James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart. Here's what lawyers have explained to me: When you sue me, I get a fishing license to go through all your records in a process called "discovery." All I have to have is a reasonable expectation that you have information that will help me defend myself. Now, this shouldn't be a problem if everything's on the up-and-up, but if you're a politician with, say, 20 years of history with this racketeer influenced corrupt organization, you might not want that. Let's hope the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy can hire a lot of lawyers and data miners to go through ACORN's underwear drawer. (And this little scandal has demonstrated that Breitbart, et al. are playing chess and thinking a few moves ahead.)

Conversely, if you're a politician with, say, 20 years of history with this racketeer influenced corrupt organization, and also the head of a major political party, a lot of members of that political party will want to make this law suit go away just to stop discovery. Will the state of Maryland dispense marsupial justice in the case of ACORN versus Breitbart, et alia?

Hard choice, I figure. Canute-on-the-Potomac may command it, but the Federal bureaucracy has an institutional-will of its own. If you're IRS or DOJ, you really don't want to let tax cheats (who aren't in Congress or the Cabinet) get away with openly advising tax evasion. And you really don't want them to get away with child-sex-trafficking. Not because you love the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, but because it makes your job harder.

Also hard, because elected officials (unlike Joe Stalin) you have to stand for re-election. If you're explaining why you helped ACORN perpetrate a travesty of justice, you're not accusing your opponent of taking No-Doz. Or demanding he condemn the boiling of rubber frogs.

Perhaps his imperial royal highness King Barak Hussein Obama can issue pardons to everyone involved in the ACORN suit. Pardon's didn't hurt Bill Clinton. and they didn't hurt Richard Nixon, either. (Not the ones he granted, the one he got.)

If you're a Conservative, it really is good news that our Emperor-God is so incompetent at runningthe bureaucracy. Thank God, Barak Hussein Obama is no Joe Stalin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On Public Health Care

The last time the Democrats controlled all three branches of US government, they tried to push through HillaryCare. At the time, I thought it Fascist. Not in the sense of German Nazism, but in the sense of Mussolini making the trains run on time. I.e. private ownership of the means of production, but state control thereof. (No, I didn't call anyone a Nazi.)

Next time the Democrats got control, we got the Porkulus bill, and the Government/UAW bail out (or should I say buy-out) of GM and Chrysler. And when the American electorate realized that Porkulus would not create any jobs any time soon, Mr. Obama's popularity took a dive. (Note to politicians: if you vote to spend a trillion bucks to create jobs, create jobs. Don't just print road signs about "recovery.")

With Mr. Obama's flagging popularity came some real push-back to ObamaCare. During the August recess many politicians were reminded that some of their subjects are laboring under the impression that they are citizens who elected representatives. How provincial of them.

Like any good PR campaign, the White House had a narrative ready for the state-controlled (soon to be state-owned) channels: The opposition to ObamaCare is mere astroturfing.

Trouble with that. About the same time they were running that con, the White House, we learn, was marshaling the efforts of America's artists. Nobody gives as much money to artists as the National Endowment for the Arts. And the White House really would like some pro-ObamaCare art. Not that anybody offered any provable quid pro quo...

Or maybe that's what the guys at have up their sleeves. Look at what happened recently. Every day we got to see ACORN in another city, acting like a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization. And before ACORN could say "spin cycle" the Commerce Department had announced that someone else would work on the census and the Senate & House had separately voted to cut funding. (Not that they won't try to sneak it back in under cover of darkness.) State-controlled (not yet state-owned) media tried to ignore it as Faux news, but at some point even New York Times readers grow curious about what's going on... But I digress.

Suppose that in addition to the NEA conference call tapes that Glenn Beck played on the air a couple weeks back, there is some hidden-video of "payola for propaganda" sitting on Andrew Breitbart's staging server?

Wouldn't that be a nice October Surprise.

Even if not, imagine the PR strategy:
1) claim anti-ObamaCare is just Astroturf
2) fund Soviet-style propaganda that is pro-ObamaCare
3) use it to counter those people you're calling Astroturfers

Is the White House so stupid that they don't realize that pre-printed signage that coheres to a single theme looks like Astroturf whereas hand-painted signage looks like real grassroots? Those guys with hand-printed signs, getting roughed up by purple-shirted SEIU thugs. They were the astroturfers, not the guys with pre-printed signs and t-shirts. Right. Maybe folks wouldn't have made that connection, if you hadn't been talking so much about astroturf.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Did You Vote For Tiger Woods or Al Sharpton?

One comparison has been omitted when regarding the Obama-as-promised and the Obama-as-realized. And that is one Tiger Woods. Mr. Woods is as multi-racial as Mr. Obama and extremely good at what he does and highly sought after as an endorser of luxury goods. He's a person of enough-color-to-be-regarded-black who is regarded as sensible and prosperous. He realizes what Mr. Obama (or whoever penned Dreams Of My Father) wrote describing the non-threatening black man. I think that many of the 53% who voted for him expected a President much like Tiger Woods.

Conversely, Obama-as-realized has demonstrated he is much more like Reverend Al Sharpton who hides a core of thuggish race-hustling extortion behind an expensive suit.

This isn't as much as racial thing as a social thing. Or subcultural thing. Power plays that work for Reverend Jeremiah Wright on his congregation do not generalize to the wider American culture. That there is a black subculture (to which Mr. Woods shows no signs of membership) is a signal failure of integration efforts of the 1960s. Rather than demonstrating the success of civil rights, Mr. Obama demonstrates black power at the expense of civil rights.

Had Mr. Obama truly been the Tiger-Woods-sort-of-man who was sold to the American electorate he could have easily assumed the Clintonian role of triangulator-in-chief. To the contrary, he has become the extremist whose words do not match his actions. So much that an unemployed Alaskan housewife has schooled him with a half-dozen Facebook posts. It should be noted that Ms. Palin began her demolition of Mr. Obama with an exhortation to civil dialog after the Mr. Obama had advised his followers “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Tiger Woods would have brought golf clubs.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Girl In The Amish Dress

I went to Camp Barakel for the Labor Day weekend family camp. This is a yearly ritual that we've enjoyed as a family since my kids were very young. At family camp there are chapel services. The best part of any chapel service was a testimony given by the speaker's son. The speaker is a natural storyteller and his son has inherited his skill.

He told a story of going to Shipshewana, IN where there's a lot of Amish-themed stuff. Also, it is not unusual for a young, single man to notice an attractive young lady. And the speaker's son told the story of seeing an Amish girl in a shop who caught his eye. He spent some time wondering how he might make this girl's acquaintance and just happened to notice when she finished work. As he watched, he discovered the Amish girl wasn't Amish at all, because she walked up to a car and tossed her Amish dress into the trunk. Turned out she wasn't Amish at all.

He made this a metaphor for the person who wears his Christianity like that Amish dress, but he does not make it an essential part of his character. I liked this a lot at the time and I still do.

But there is an assumption that I made at the time that NOBODY can take for granted. Phoniness is always bad. Sincere belief is not necessarily good. Suppose I sincerely believe in Ba'al or Molech: one of those human sacrifice demanding Pagan deities. That's bad, too. Still with me? Suppose I sincerely believe in a monotheistic deity commonly referred to as Allah. That's less revolting, but it is not Christianity.

When J. Gresham Machen confronted theological liberalism in the 1920s, and later when Francis Schaeffer confronted religious existentialism in the 1970s, they condemned an object-less faith in faith. Christianity doesn't work this way. Christianity makes specific truth-claims about God and Jesus.

For one thing, God is holy. This means two things: God is morally pure and God is transcendent. That morally pure business does not mean he subscribes to all the cultural norms of Baptists like me. It means God embodies everything in the Ten Commandments--the entirety of the Law.

The Ten Commandments are not something the Pharisees could keep, so they substituted their own traditions that they thought they could keep. I think this was a subtle form of idolatry--replacing the God that is for another more amenable to them. Baptists like me are at risk of doing this, too. And so, I expect any normative statement made by any Baptist preacher to be grounded in God's law. If you start telling me to do extra stuff, I'm skeptical, because I don't want to be that kind of idolater.

You see, when God tells me to do stuff, He's obligated to help me. If some Baptist preacher tells me to do extra stuff, I've noticed that God doesn't help me. And Baptists measure status by the extra stuff we're reputed to do.

And then there's Jesus. I'm a sinner, because I've broken God's law. I stand condemned by God and my dead works will not merit anything with God. My only hope is Jesus Christ, his sacrifice on my behalf and his righteousness imputed to me. Jesus is more than the "Get Out Of Hell Free" card, but the life-principle of my every worthy action in this life in this world. I'm not only Justified by faith in Christ alone, I'm Sanctified by faith in Christ--his life, his righteousness, right now. It is the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit that makes me straighten up and fly right.

Conversely, there is another gospel that the apostle Paul speaks of in Galatians 1:8-9
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Let's think back about that girl in the Amish dress. Phoniness is always bad. I think that the apostle Paul says right here that sincere belief in another gospel is accursed. I'm anxious that we retain the real gospel and reject another gospel.

It's my opinion that the real gospel is centered on the merit and righteousness of Christ imputed to the individual. It's also my opinion that another gospel will be predicated upon human effort; lacking the Holy Spirit it relies upon psychological manipulation tricks to spur people into action. You can read about it here.

The girl in the Amish dress is a great story because it exhorts us to sincere belief. We need to question ourselves and our beliefs. Do we believe in the gospel that the apostle Paul preached, or do we believe in another gospel? Make sure it is the former and make sure you're sincere about it.

Call Me A Tenther

I just learned a new epithet. If you want to insult and marginalize someone who opposes the unrestrained use of federal power and unrestricted rule of the Federal Government over its subjects. You're a "tenther."

The nickname refers to those who cite the 10th Amendment to argue that federal intervention in areas not authorized by the Constitution, like health care for example, is unconstitutional.

This follows other names such as 'birthers,' 'deathers' and 'tea baggers.'

I believe in a representative democracy. This is a form of government where citizens elect representatives who reflect their interests. This is in contrast with a tyranny where rulers dictate to their subjects.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

I.e. Power to the people.

To make this real, you've got to have a realistic chance of an elected incumbent politician getting replaced on any given election day. This is not the case and despite the fact that 53% of the public would completely replace Congress at the next opportunity, we won't see it happen. Mostly, because when the Republicans were last in power they proved to be venal and corrupt enough to be indistinguishable from the Democrats.

I live in Grand Rapids, MI. We have a Republican Congressman I've voted for repeatedly. He's an incumbent for life. Like his predecessor (who died in office). But here's an offer. I'm not mad at him and he's done nothing particularly good or evil that I'm aware of. But he is an incumbent.

I'll promise to vote against this guy if enough Democrats in other congressional districts will promise to vote against their incumbent. If all incumbents in the House of Representatives were replaced, their replacements might actually act like Representatives instead of Rulers.