Should we not turn from the course we’re on…

Election 2016

Imagine America continuing on her present course.  What would that look like in 5-10 years?  What if the fundamental transformation started by President Obama were to be locked in and even expanded upon?  The number of entitlement programs and our national debt would explode.  Our military would lose its ability to serve as a deterrent. Our sphere of influence would diminish, as the spheres of those who don’t have America’s best interests in mind would expand.  The culture we refer to as “Americana” would cease to exist, replaced by a perverted, dystopic version of itself.

One thing is clear from listening to the Democratic contenders, the number of things that Americans have a “right to” would go off the charts.  They assert that everyone has a right to free healthcare.  The planned obsolescence of Obamacare would serve as an excuse and opportunity to move to a single-payer system.  Higher education would become a right.  Someone would have to pay for that, and of course it would be the wealthy, who the left claim don’t pay their fair share.  Of course, progressives have named themselves as the arbiters of fair share.  Every special interest group that the Democrats pander to have something they want in exchange for votes.  Whatever they want, will quickly be deemed a ‘right’.

“Doing more with less,” has long been the mantra for military planners.  Under continued liberal leadership, that may soon become “doing not enough with less than adequate”.   The left has always been skeptical of the military.  While progressives increasing declare there is no military solution to the worlds problem, other countries will have no problem with enacting military solutions, even if our allies, or possibly even our own forces are on the wrong end of their solution.  Weakness is provocative.  If the world seems a dangerous place, just wait until our adversaries become emboldened. Expect a Crimea or Syria every year.

The President during his last State of the Union address told us that terrorist organizations while a danger to the region, don’t pose an existential treat to us.  This is based upon fallacious logic.  He derides their power to harm us because they drive around in pickup trucks equipped with machine guns.  The notion is completely wrong.  It’s wrong because it assumes that an existential threat can only manifest itself militarily.  A German citizen might tell you different.  Germany is facing a very real existential threat from a horde of migrants from the Middle East who refuse to assimilate.  More than that, they expect the host nation to change their culture to accommodate them.  Some of these so-called refugees have taken to violent means as witnessed by the attack in Paris last year.  The vast majority of migrants have arguably been much more effective in supplanting Western culture without force of arms.  New Year’s Eve celebrations were marred by scores of sexual assaults, even rapes.   Now there is open talk in Germany recommending that native German women alter the way they dress and act as to not provoke more attacks from Middle Eastern men.  Sharia law has become the de facto local law in parts of France.  When countries are forced to make fundamental changes to their culture it suit an alien one, the existential treat can be said to have succeeded.

We can extrapolate from the past and see our fate as suffered in the present by other countries well enough to forecast what an America dominated by Progressive thought and rule would look like. We know what happens when we expand the entitlement state—more debt, less choice.  Last year, Greece was brought to the brink of bankruptcy by progressives promising more than the state can afford to gain votes.  We know what happens when a superpower allows it influence to wane, others come in to fill the void.  We can see in real time, the very identity of countries being altered under the crush of multiculturism.  Migrants who assimilate into their adopted country’s culture make that country stronger.  When this not the case, that country as it has existed, maybe for centuries, gets swallowed up by the alien one.  The history of the world is replete with examples of this. From ancient Greece, to Rome, to Russia under the Tartar yolk, to the Spanish conquistadores in Latin America, cultures without the will or strength to survive are subsumed by those who do.   Turn on your TV and you can see the beginnings of this, not on the History channel, but on the evening news.  Like Scrooge in the Christmas Carol, we have been shown a glimpse of our possible future.  Will we be moved as he to change our collective direction, back to what we were as better people, or will we sleepwalk into the liberal abyss?  The good news is it’s not too late yet to change, but the first Wednesday in November will be.

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The Left’s Recent Foolish Ideas for Combating Gun Violence.

Apparently, after another tragic shooting that could not have been prevented by the “common sense gun laws” being proposed by the Progressive left, they have begun to sense this line by itself is not being bought by most of America. Now with terrorism back on the front pages, the left has sized upon a new strategy to gin up support for stricter gun laws, equating gun rights advocates with terrorists.  This comparisons are intellectually dishonest, not to mention absurd. In some cases, the ideas may actually be dangerous.

A recent front page of the NY Daily News pictured among undisputed terrorists, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre.  By extension, the NRA could be considered a terrorist organization. The Daily News must have a very different definition of terrorism than the rest of us.  Terrorism is an effort to use violence to intimidate the population with aims toward achieving some political goal.  Sorry, buy exactly what acts of violence do the editors and staff of the Daily News allege LaPierre and the NRA have committed?  Maybe if they could cite one, they might have some credibility.  They can’t because their assertion is not only wrong, but ridiculous.

If you think that the New York Daily News has a lock on tragically foolish ideas concerning gun violence, sadly you’d be wrong.  There is a piece published on IrishCentral.com on Dec 4 by Cahir O’Doherty wrote a piece entitled:  Irish-style peace process needed for gun situation in America.  The title says it all.

For background, the IRA’s violent campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland known as “the troubles” was in full swing in the 1990’s when a cease fire was being brokered with the help of U.S. Senator George Mitchell.  The efforts to achieve a cease fire in Northern Ireland saw numerous setbacks but also advances. Finally, after the (completely unrelated) 9-11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., IRA leaders saw an opportunity for settlement and agreed to decommission their arms.

From the article:

“In America the time for a temporary cessation of hostilities in pursuit of peace may also have arrived. The nation clearly needs a peace process of some kind – and perhaps a respected outside mediator in the mold of Senator George Mitchell – to address the exploding crisis over guns.”

A cessation of hostilities?  The Troubles were hostilities, there were definite objectives being pursued with by both sides.  When both sides reached a compromise that contributed towards their respective positions, the hostilities ended. What are the objectives of a mentally ill person who shoots up a school or movie theater?  What is the common ground that a mass murderer shares with the rest of society that can be negotiated?  One cannot negotiate with someone acting out of rage and without reason.

Perhaps Mr. O’Doherty sees the NRA as one of the sides engaged in hostilities.  He seems to be casting the NRA in the role of the IRA in his analogy.  Any analogy between the IRA and the NRA is absurd on its face, but let’s play along for a moment with that notion.  The IRA was an organization, whose genesis came from an actual military organization– the Irish Republican Army, hence the name. They used violence to further their political goals of Irish nationalism. The NRA is not an army, it’s an association of like-minded American citizens interested in preserving their second amendment rights, rights that virtually every American already has.  They fight for to maintain these rights through exclusively peaceful means.  The right to bear arms was won over 200 years ago.

Again from the article:

“Outside mediators can see the path not taken and the forgotten angle, they can push past all the over familiar gripes and discover new ground. They were essential to the success of the Irish peace process, so why not here?

Is it wrong to suggest that America needs a peace process when there have been 73 different school shootings since the Newtown schoolchildren massacre? San Bernardino and God knows what else lies ahead.”

One wonders what the author means by “familiar gripes” as pertaining to gun violence.  Adam Lanza, who perpetrated the above mentioned Newtown school shooting was not part of some bigger organization, not the NRA, not the IRA, not anybody. He was not a ‘soldier’ fighting for some cause in common with the others who committed school shootings.  Many of those other shootings were part of gang and/or drug violence. Just what sort of peace accord do we reach with common criminals, save sending them to prison in exchange for their not menacing society while there?

Some who carry out mass shootings such as those in Paris and San Bernardino are members or affiliates of a terrorist organization with definable political and societal objectives, namely the complete domination of every human being on earth.  Cahir O’Doherty somehow does not seem to see them as one of the parties to be engaged in his proposed peace process.  Instead he maintains the ridiculous notion that NRA is somehow directing or is otherwise a driving factor behind the recent rash of shooting committed by them mentally ill, common criminals, and terrorists.  He tries, stunningly, to equate the NRA with the IRA, and suppose that if someone could just make a deal with Wayne LaPierre, guns en-masse could be decommissioned and the mass shootings would stop.

The anti-gun faction of the far left is actively trying to dupe the American people into conflating terrorists and mass-murders with pro-gun activists. The NRA is not ISIS or the IRA.  Wayne LaPierre is not a terrorist mastermind, directing school and other mass shootings. To even suggest so is irresponsible, not to mention defamatory.  Unlike in Northern Ireland, there are no two sides that if they could just reach some sort of accord, could end the violence. Law abiding gun-owners are not the problem, they are not one of the sides engaged in the “hostilities” being mentioned.  The cause of ending gun violence is not served by demonizing those who support the second amendment.

Jack O’ Lanterns Scare Climate Change Liberals

Jack O' Lantern
Jack O’ Lantern

Though their origins are Irish, Jack O’ Lanterns have become a distinctly American symbol of Halloween.  They’re meant to scare away spirits on All Hallowed’s Eve.  They also scare some of the living, namely climate change alarmists. Yes, the Department of Energy has determined that the scary, hand carved gourds are not environmentally correct.

According to the Department of Energy website:

“With the passing of Halloween, millions of pounds of pumpkins have turned from seasonal decorations to trash destined for landfills, adding to more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste produced in the United States every year,” the agency warns. “This Halloween, think of turning this seasonal waste into energy as a very important ‘trick’ that can have a positive environmental and energy impact.”

Think about that.  Forget for a minute whether or not you agree with the concept of man-made climate change, or the specific science behind the statement.  Consider that someone in the Department of Energy, at some point evidently looked at a Jack O’ Lantern and made a conscious decision to try to tie the beloved holiday decoration to climate change.  Not only that, but some communities are attempting to ban Halloween costume parades in schools.  Their rational: Some kids might feel left out.  Really?  What kids?  If they feel excluded, it will be because of self-imposed exclusion.

Is it really cynical to see this as further evidence that the left has a pathological need to destroy all western traditions, particularly those uniquely American?

For decades now, the left has fought a war against Christmas.  They fight against public displays of the American flag.  (Forget about flying a Confederate flag!)  They fight against displaying the Ten Commandments in public places. They fight against even fallen warrior memorials.  Columbus Day?  We might just as well celebrate Hitler Day in the eyes of the militant Progressive. Now they have turned their sights on Halloween, a holiday only celebrated as such in America.  Undoubtably, they will very soon get around to condemning Independence Day fireworks displays.  If the smoke from the fireworks isn’t identified as a pollutant, then there will be some other objection on the left.  They will, mark these words, use the “some will feel excluded” excuse.  Yes, it is likely that at some point in the near future, you will hear some on the left being critical of our nation’s birthday celebration, and the reason will be that some people will be either offended by blatant displays of American pride, or they will actually argue that immigrants in America, many American citizens, will feel alienated by fireworks, parades and flying the American flag.

Again, are these cynical views, or just canny predictions base upon trends in our current culture?  Mere casual observation over time shows that any tradition, holiday, or custom overtly identifiable as Christian or American in this country eventually finds itself in the crosshairs of the Secular Progressive crowd.  The more distinctly Christian or American a holiday or tradition is,  the more those on the left will seek to put an end to it.  In the mean time, happy Halloween!

What is “Liberal/Progressivism?

First, for the sake of convenience, let’s agree that liberalism and Progressivism mean essentially the same thing and thus share a common definition.  Liberalism in general is a social/political movement for change away from the predominant, existing system or culture in question to something different. Our Founding Fathers would by that definition have been considered liberal by King George and the British aristocracy.  President Lincoln would have been considered liberal in his day by most Americans, though the notion of emancipation was around in the time of the Revolution.  Any philosophy calling for a significant departure from existing political or social norms could be considered liberal.  Like conservatism, descriptions of liberalism depend upon one’s point of view.  In a fascist state like North Korea, liberalism could mean a move toward greater liberty.  Likewise, in the former Soviet Union, liberals there may well have been more closely aligned with American conservatives than liberals.  Ayn Rand’s beliefs would certainly have been considered “liberal” in her native Soviet Union, but here in the United States they are associated with libertarianism and are at odds with liberalism in many respects.

Why not Liberalism Icon

The word “liberal” shares its root libre, (meaning free) with “liberty” and “libertarian”.  But as liberty implies freedom with consequences, “liberal” connotes a freedom from consequences. Where the libertarians tend to seek freedom, but accept the consequences of their choices, liberals seek choice, regardless of consequence.  There are then, subtle but important differences between liberals and libertarians. Take for instance a person who loves junk food:  The Libertarian wants to eat junk food, and if they get fat, so be it.  They accept the consequences and so have no one else to blame but themselves if they get fat.  The liberal wants to eat junk food, and if they become fat, demand you not notice– or if you do, don’t dare hold a critical opinion of them, for the blame lays with the fast food joint that pushed the food on them.

Liberalism in general can be either a force for good or ill, depending on what political or societal change is being pursued, and what one is moving away from.  So what is the problem with American liberalism?  When one considers how and why America was founded, the answer becomes clear.  The principles on which this country was founded were those of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  They were a direct response to tyranny meant to provide liberty and freedom for its citizens.  Any attempts to move away from these principles more often than not point us back in the direction of a centrally controlled economy and serve to restrict those freedoms the Founders fought for.