Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day: What Were They Fighting For?

This Memorial Day it is time to not just remember the men and women who served and sacrificed. To honor them, we must also remember why they fought. The top link actually will take you to a condensed version of a Winston Churchill address in which he throws down the gauntlet at Hitler and defeatists. Britain will fight for every inch of her island and Empire. Franklin Roosevelt in the next link calls for a declaration of war on Japan after the destruction visited on Pearl Harbor.

The men and women of the armed forces who march into combat and defend our nation fight for the nation and the principles that serve as its foundation. The ememies of this nation were never Germans or Koreans, Chinese, and Vietnamese as much as they were militarists, Nazis, and Communists. We fought ideologies more so than peoples. German militarism under the Kaiser, National Socialism under Hitler, Communism under several different countries served as ideological world views. Radical left wing ideologies such as Nazism and Communism sought to infect, overthrow, and dominate all of the owrld's great nations. We rightfully fought to keep the threat at bay.

Why did we have to fight? Because of who we are. Our culture, both its positive and beautiful aspects as well as its flaws, stem from the ideal that each individual has the right to choose and the responsibility to live with their choices. Other ideologies believe that humans should have little or no choice, be forced into certain lifestyles by political leaders, or religious law in the case of fundamentalist Islam. We are, as Reagan put it, a shining light of freedom in the world. We inspire the individual. That is why they hate us. That is why they attack us from without and within. They must give us a black eye. They must destroy us if possible. Our ideals of freedom have the power of logic and reason. Live and let live. Allow each man and woman to chart his and her own destiny. They believe destiny must be charted by the Leader. as long as the American alternative exists and is respected, they will always have strong opposition to their demands for control.

That is why we have fought and continue to fight. No man or woman is ever rightfully the slave or subject of another. No government has the right to coerce its own people in the name of "the greater good" because that means that a Leader or chosen few has defined the "greater good" and imposed that definition upon all. Our military fights for the freedoms and natural rights of Americans first and occasionally others as well. Only when the entire world recognizes the natural rights of mankind and the God-given dignity of the individual will there be peace. We cannot fight for all of them, nor should we, but as long as we remain the shining light of freedom, there will always be hope and inspiration.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Massachusetts Governor Levies Sedition Accusation

The Governor of Massachusetts heard the grievances of the people. They complained about the increasing tendency of the central government to exercise power. They complained about the increase in taxes. They complained about the increasing meddling of the government in the natural flow of the economy. The Massachusetts Governor responded by calling the mere airing of grievances seditious, dismissing the rights of the people to speak freely as nearly criminal.

This governor was Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts in 1772 and Deval Patrick in 2010.

Governor Patrick described Republican opposition to Obama as seditious recently. Opposition to Obama's radical policies, leftists want to portray as obstructionist and political instead of the threats to America that they really are. The word seditious implies that the speech is criminal and a threat to the government. Left wingers such as Patrick would not be as irritated with Republican tactics but for the fact that most of the country opposes Obama's initiatives.

Compare this to the hate filled speech levied against George W. Bush. Bush allowed the showing of a movie filled with outright lies about America's wars to the troops in the field. Bush placed his belief in free speech above all other considerations. He saw anti-government speech as healthy, not seditious.

Obama has a credibility problem of his own making. When his friends call opposition speech seditious, they make it even worse.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Federal Bureaucracy, Once Again Moving At the Speed of Smell

Thank God we put the federal government in charge of cleaning up oil spills. At least we haven't entrusted the feds with decisions that could actually affect life and health. Oops, too late.

Why, several years after Katrina, do we still have the same dilemma and issues. A monumental disaster occurs and the federal government is shown to be impotent and incompetent. It did not even follow its own rapid response plan because it lacked the necessary equipment called for in the plan. The rapid response plan at the Department of Homeland Security called for quickly surrounding the slick with booms and setting it on fire. The DHS owned no fire booms to implement the plan and valuable time was lost. Now it is trying to hold up Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's plan to use sand barriers to protect wildlife out of fear that the sand barriers might harm wildlife. More than the slick itself?

Here's the problem. Government does not work well. The more massive the governmental entity, the less effective and efficient it is. When will we learn that the federal government is not capable of doing anything well because that is the nature of government. It makes political decisions on every field of endeavor that it gets involved in. The federal government for over a decade thought that the Humvee could be an urban warfare vehicle despite the fact that Somalia proved that idea wrong. Katrina proved that major disasters expose the government at its worst.

State governments with energetic leadership respond much better. Governors know the "ground" and understand best where resources can be used effectively. Arch Moore in 1985 after the floods did what needed done. He angered and annoyed federal officials, but Moore understood the role of sovereign state governors. The job is not being nice to the feds, but doing whatever you can for the people. Bringing in the private sector on different types of disaster response would help. I don't mean trusting British Petroleum to clean up its own mess and remain honest about it. I mean bidding out to a company or consortium of companies the job of quick response. If they have a plan and lack the equipment after signing the contract, they, unlike the federal government, can be held accountable. Yes, the payout would be expensive and the company would be accused of profiting off of disaster, but what we are doing now is not working and will be much more expensive.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Impeachable Offense?

Representative Joe Sestak (D) Pennsylvania, a former Navy officer, wants to be Pennsylvania's next United States Senator. He, like most, did not believe that Arlen Specter could effectively serve after his party switch and challenged him in the primary. Obama's White House, fearful of losing their new friend, offered Sestak a federal job to get him out of the primary. Sestak refused the job and won. He now faces Republican Pat Toomey in the fall.

What most media outlets will not mention with much enthusiasm is that this violates federal law. The president is not allowed to meddle in elections by offering bribes, in this case the bribe of a prestigious job. The last president that failed to serve out an elected term had to resign because he tried to cover up election interference. Richard Nixon's own party rightfully joined the chorus of media and political officials calling first for an investigation, then congressional moves towards removing the president from office.

This is not like "Bush Derangement Syndrome." A well respected member of Congress has accused the White House of actions in the election process that are blatantly criminal. It reflects the general lack of respect that Obama and his followers have for any kind of law, whether it be federal immigration law or the Constitution itself. Obama represents the worst case scenario. When Republicans regain Congress, the first order of business must be strong limits on presidential authority, including regulatory law and executive orders. Of course, like this situation, Obama could simply ignore the law out of belief that no consequences shall arise.