“Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.”
John F. Kennedy
When the Soviet Union tried to park nuclear missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida….President Kennedy showed the world what true leadership was. He backed up strong words with military might and stared down the Soviets with a Naval “quarantine” of Cuba. Kennedy understood that United States foreign policy had to have clearly communicated objectives, goals and an actionable strategic response plan if it were to achieve desired results.
Unfortunately….President Obama has failed to learn this lesson. His continued “dithering” during the Syria Crisis may just be the final blow to what little credibility America possessed with both allies and enemies alike. Clearly what Americans and the rest of the world have viewed over the last two weeks on CNN, Fox and MSNBC is the complete dismantling of American foreign policy.
Syria has been in the grips of a Civil War after Arab Spring protests against the Bassar Al-Assad regime turned violent in April 2011. To date….over 100,000 have been killed in the fighting. For the most part…America has remained on the sidelines despite pleas from some in Congress to aide the rebels with weapons and logistics. In August, 2012, President Obama warned that the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” in the eyes of the United States and would trigger “enormous consequences”. Allegations that chemical weapons have been used in Syria first began to emerge in December 2012, when Al Jazeera released unconfirmed reports that a gas attack killed 7 civilians in the rebel-held neighborhood of Homs. Last month….opposition forces reported two separate chemical attacks that reportedly killed over 1,000 people including hundreds of children. American intelligence sources confirmed these victims tested positive for sarin gas exposure.
Now….apparently trapped by his own “red line” comment (you may remember Obama was caught joking about Benjamin Netanyahu’s “red line” comments on Iran’s nuclear program), the president is struggling to obtain international support for a “limited” strike on Syria targets. Britain’s parliament recently voted down participating in a military strike on Syria. Furthermore, after weeks of insisting he didn’t need congressional approval for military action, Obama surprised the nation when he did an about-face and said he would seek congressional approval for the use of force in Syria.
Such indecision in the face of an international crisis begs the question – Does President Obama even have a foreign policy? I doubt any journalist could accurately articulate it. Other than his campaign promise to end the Iraq War….his other foreign policy objectives were rather ‘fuzzy’. During his campaign, Obama emphasized the importance of diplomacy and development as tools to aid the U.S. in building new and even stronger alliances, re-building broken relationships and repairing the United States image abroad. In addition, he stated that one of his foreign policy objectives was to combat global poverty, generate wealth and build educated and healthy communities as a means to combat extremism. Well….now that he’s been in office almost five years….have these ‘fuzzy’ objectives been achieved? Let’s take a look at his record:
Egyptian Speech, June 2009: Obama delivers “A New Beginning” speech at Cairo University….basically apologizing to all Muslim for the errors of American policy. Even though he is basically next door….he snubs Israel and flies from Cairo to Germany instead.
The Iran Green Revolution: In his first real test as the leader of the free world, President Obama remains silent for days when violent protests erupted in the streets of Tehran following their 2009 elections. It was only after the ‘Death of Neda’ became a Twitter sensation did Obama issue a statement of condemnation. Little else was done by the administration.
The Libyan Crisis: Once again…President Obama remained silent for days while Moammar Gaddafi turned his guns on his own people. After the UN initiated a no-fly zone, US forces took a back seat to other NATO nations in enforcement. Libya today is still struggling with Gaddafi loyalist and disbanded militias who refuse to integrate into the Libyan Military. Islamist extremism is on the rise.
Iraq: While he ended the war, he left little American personnel there to assist with a transition to a democracy. As a result….Iraq is slipping back into sectarian warfare and Al-Queda is once again on the rise.
Egypt: Another example of Obama policy gone wrong. Rather than support Hosni Mubarak until a better replacement could be found….Obama called for his resignation and he was thrown to the wolves (and literally imprisoned)….only to be replaced by the Islamic Brotherhood! In less than a year there was a military coup and more blood in the streets of Cairo. The fighting still continues.
US & Russia Relationship: Russia and US relations are at their lowest levels since the end of the cold war. Obama and Putin clearly do not like each other and the Syria Crisis continues to erode the relationship. Russia recently granted American traitor Edward Snowden political asylum.
US/China Relations: China continues to build out its Military and Space program at accelerated rate. China continues to engage in government sponsored computer hacking on American corporations and possibly government installations.
US/Israel Relations: While trying to put on a happy front, Israel and the Obama Administration continue to butt heads on the issue of a Palestinian state, Israeli settlements and Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has currently deployed its “Iron Shield” missile defense system and citizens are lining up for gas masks in fear of a retaliatory strike from Syria. Many Israelis consider President Obama a coward for how he has dealt with the Syrian crisis.
Terrorism: Despite degrading Al Qaeda leadership ranks with drone strikes, the United States continues to be targeted by Muslim extremist. Four America’s were killed in a staged attack at a US consulate in Libya on September 11, 2012. The Obama Administration is still embroiled in a scandal when they tried to call it spontaneous violence spurred by an anti-Islamic video. Three died and over 260 were injured when two Muslims brothers (formerly from Russia) exploded two bombs during the Boston Marathon. A mass shooting killed nine people at Fort Hood by a Muslim officer who had ties with an extremist cleric. The attack was ridiculously labeled as work place violence and many soldiers and families were denied battlefield benefits and purple hearts.
OK OK….he killed Bin Laden! He didn’t actually pull the trigger but I do give him credit for not capturing him and bringing him to trial. But what about all that jargon about “rebuilding relationships” and “repairing the US image abroad”??? Clearly….President Obama’s foreign policy is a complete and utter failure and that failure continues with his handling of the Syrian Conflict.
I have to feel for Secretary of State Kerry who really delivered an impassioned plea for immediate action in Syria in a national covered speech on Saturday. However…the hypocrisy of his word didn’t escape me. Absolutely everything he said about Bassar Al-Assad could have been said about Saddam Hussein yet I don’t remember Kerry or Obama supporting regime change in Iraq. I guess things are different when it’s your legacy at stake.
President Obama had a real chance to impact the outcome in Syria back when the conflict started in 2011. He should have approached both Turkey and Jordan and offered covert assistance of weapons, logistics and intelligence. But I guess that would have smelled like Bush interventionism. Instead, he waited until Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah moved in and then he opened his big political mouth in an unscripted press conference! Now he has a red line all over his face. Makes you think…will this limited strike actually be about helping the rebels in Syria or is this just a way to save political face?
This is John Galt Speaking!
“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”
Almost one year after launching his reelection campaign there…President Obama returned to The Ohio State University to deliver the 2013 commencement address. Before 57,000 student, teachers and relatives, Obama once again evoked class warfare claiming today’s ill-functioning government works for the benefit of society’s elite. While calling on the students to fix our economy, fight poverty and climate change….he urged them to “reject these voices” that warn of the evils of government saying:
“Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
The cynics may be the loudest voices—but they accomplish the least. It’s the silent disruptors—those who do the long, hard, committed work of change—that gradually push this country in the right direction, and make the most lasting difference. [Emphasis added]”First of all…..the last thing that President Obama believes in is “self-rule”. The Obama Administration is perhaps the biggest violator of law in our history. His insistence of bypassing Congresses constitutional authority to make laws proves his contempt for the United States Constitution and our system of governance. He’s done more to expand the entitlement society than any President since LBJ. He believes now and has always believed that big government can make better decisions than an individual. Perhaps President Obama misunderstands the concept of self-rule. I wonder if he mistook “self” as “himself”?
So who specifically were the “voices” which Obama referred to? Radio Talk Show host Rush Limbaugh believes it’s wasn’t his voice but the parents of these young graduates. I couldn’t disagree more. No…the parents of these graduates spent more time trying to be their friends….rather than their parents. It was these same parents who voted Obama into office back in 2008 and again in 2012. These new graduates come from the “Millennium Generation” or more amply named the “Peter Pan Generation”. They enter the workplace with an inflated sense of entitlement (no doubt reinforced by their left leaning teachers) and are more likely to live with their parents well into their mid twenties.
No….Obama was likely referring to the new breed of Constitutional conservatives. Voices like Rand Paul whose appearance at this years CPAC conference attracted a much younger crowd.
Matt Kneece, director of the youth leadership school at the Leadership Institute, a conservative non-profit organization that focuses on campaign, public speaking and fundraising training, said he thinks many young people, particularly recent college grads, are finding themselves in a sort of “political purgatory,” abandoned without jobs in a bad economy. He believes that many young voters don’t really feel like they have a home in either party, but desires a government which believes in personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility and self-ownership….all attributes which Rand Paul embraces.
Rand Paul is only one example of “those” voices. Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have risen quickly through the conservative ranks, appealing to both the young and the Latino demographic….two voter segments which the Republicans need to bring out in the upcoming 2014 elections. If that isn’t enough for you….don’t forget the conservative women in the line up. Voices like Mia Love and Kelly Ayotte help bring yet another voter segment into the fold.
This is what President Obama doesn’t want younger voters to hear. He certainly has nothing to fear from the ranks of the establishment republicans…..many of which aren’t far different from their democratic counterparts. Voices like McCain, McConnell or Sessions are already ignored by young and older voters alike. These new younger voices are the future of the Republican Party….and they far better understand what faces these graduates than the so called “establishment”.
Robespierre was right….the secret of freedom lies in education. Unfortunately….these graduates from the class of 2013 will have to learn the hard facts without the influence of their leftist professors. Now that they are out in the real world…they’ll soon discover what it means to “make it on your own”. No free lunches…..no happy faces…..and everyone keeps score! If these new graduates just open their eyes…and realize they were sold a bill of goods….the young voices of the Republican Party might just flourish. But if they ignore these voices of reason….and remain ignorant….they will learn what real tyranny is.
This is John Galt Speaking!
Follow up: Not more than a week following President Obama’s remarks to ignore the voices warning of government tyranny and while I was writing this article…..the IRS was forced to apologize for targeting Tea Party and other patriot groups applying for tax exempt status during the 2012 Presidential elections.
In addition….both e-mail evidence and congressional testimony confirmed that the Obama Administration knowingly covered up and lied to the American people regarding the truth surrounding the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya along with three other Americans in the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Both of these incidents are indicative of a gross “injustice in the exercise of power”…the exact definition of Tyranny from the online Encarta dictionary. Now….if only the mainstream media would cover these stories…perhaps all of the American people would know about it.
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
The siege of Watertown is over. After nearly five days of terror….Bostonian are venturing out and returning to their daily routines. The Red Sox will play their scheduled game against the Kansas City Royals and the Bruins will take the ice to play their postponed game on Saturday against the Pittsburg Penguins. However the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing after his brother was killed in a shootout, presents authorities with decisions which may have far reaching implications for what it means to be a US citizen. Should authorities classify Tsarnaev, a naturalized US citizen, as an enemy combatant?
Calls to hold Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant began even before his capture on social media. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain issued a joint statement calling for the administration to hold the 19-year old Chechen under the Law of War. John Bolton, former UN Ambassador, repeated the call on Fox News.
“Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel. Our goal at this critical juncture should be to gather intelligence and protect our nation from further attacks. We remain under threat from radical Islam and we hope the Obama Administration will seriously consider the enemy combatant option.” McCain and Graham wrote in their joint statement.
At the time of this writing….Tsarnaev has not yet been read his Miranda Rights. He is under guard and listed in serious condition in Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. The Obama administration said it would invoke the public safety exception to the Miranda rule and would withhold the warning normally read to suspects under arrest when the accused terrorist is physically able to be interrogated. The administration did not mention how long they would invoke the public safety exception but media has largely been stating 48 hours as these are the Justice Dept. guidelines to the FBI. The clock does not start ticking until Tsarnaev is physically able to answer questions.
It’s important to understand that the Supreme Courts ruling which established the public safety exception (New York v. Quarles) did not specify a time limit. The exception was created without specific constraints because the Supreme Court knew that it could not foresee all possible scenarios in which the exception could be applied. The FBI guidance was issued months after Attorney General Eric Holder offered to work with Congress on a law that would provide clarity to law enforcement in applying the public safety exception. Holder, who doesn’t exactly have a great reputation with Congress following the Fast & Furious scandal, failed to get any legislation passed.
Questioning a suspect without administering his Miranda Rights only means that that particular information, if any, cannot be used in a criminal prosecution. Clearly….there is enough video and material evidence to bring a conviction in this case. However…any information gleaned during this questioning can be used to track down any additional collaborators or suspects that may have provided assistance to the Tsarnaev brothers including any international terrorist organizations.
Understandably, conservatives are concerned that the Boston Bombing prosecution can take the same path as the bungled Nidal Hasan trial. Hasan, an Army Psychiatrist, opened fire on unsuspecting soldiers at Ft. Hood on November 5, 2009 killing 13 people and wounding 30. Despite proof of Hasan communicating with known terrorist Anwar-Al-Awlaki and screaming Allahu Akbar during his attack…the Obama Administration classified the event as “workplace violence” and not an act of terror. The trial continues to drag on in a Military court and survivors have been denied purple hearts and other benefits associated with combat injuries. Truly…..a national disgrace.
Try as I may…..I cannot seem to forget that the younger Tsarnaev is a citizen of this country. I’m torn between my desire to classify him as something foreign and undeserving of the protections bestowed him as a citizen and my respect for the constitution and due process. It seems to me the real enemy combatant was his dead brother, Tamerian Tsarnaerv, who posted extremist Islamic videos on You Tube and was questioned by the FBI after an undisclosed country informed them of his extremist views. But make no mistake… Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a stone cold killer and terrorist not unlike Ted Kaczynski, Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh. All of which were found guilty but with their constitutional rights intact. The question is one of gathering intelligence.
If played correctly….the Obama Administration can obtain the intelligence they need while protecting Tsarnaev’s constitutional rights. They would be wise to push the envelope of the public safety exception to it’s fullest so that all agencies have the opportunity to question the suspect and gather all needed intelligence. Of course, this will require a cooperative Tsarnaev and a willing Obama Administration. If this questioning uncovers an international terror link…Tsarnaev should be classified as an “enemy combatant”.
Regardless of what transpires with Tsarnaev….terrorist worldwide have seen firsthand how a soft target public gathering incident can transpose a major metropolitan area into a localized police state. Safety concerns for malls, theaters, parks and parades will need to be re-thought. What happened at the Boston Marathon on Monday changes everything we thought we knew about public security.
But it shouldn’t change our values or our beliefs as Americans. We must find a way to preserve our liberties and our individual rights while maintaining an acceptable level of security. But if political grandstanding results in the degeneration of our constitutional protections and the militarization of our justice system……the terrorist win.
This is John Galt Speaking!
Woodward calls out Obama for saying the sequester was created by Congress. | AP Photo
“People react to fear, not love; they don’t teach that in Sunday School, but it’s true.”
Richard M. Nixon
As a product of Chicago politics…I think we all know where President Obama leaned how to use fear and intimidation. And last Thursday, he targeted his intimidation machine squarely at veteran reporter Bob Woodward. According to ABC news, the Washington Post journalist said he was threatened by the White House regarding a story he wrote regarding the sequester.
Woodward claims that a very senior White House official in President Obama administration threatened him prior to the publication of an editorial he wrote for the Washington Post. The article claimed the idea for the sequester came from the president himself but the White House has been blaming a dysfunctional Congress for the automatic budget cuts.
Republicans, however, point to reporting by Bob Woodward who said that former White House budget director Jack Lew and legislative liaison Rob Nabors hatched the idea of a “trigger” of automatic cuts during the negotiations on the debt ceiling during the summer of 2011. However, the President and Lew promoted a different story about sequestration when on the campaign trail. Woodward quoted President Obama on Oct. 22, 2012, when he said: “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”
It’s not surprising the White House would be upset with the Woodward’s article. In addition for calling out the President for lying about creating the sequestration, the article claims President Obama has basically “moved the goal posts” by insisting that Republicans agree to new tax hikes as part of any replacement for the sequester. Woodward stated this was not the deal Obama made.
The White House machine wasted no time attacking Woodward’s article. Former White House advisors – David Plouffe – came out Wednesday night and strongly criticized the editorial suggesting Woodward was past his prime. Woodward also claims he was yelled at and bullied for 30 minutes by a senior White House official. Later he received an e-mail from the same official who apologized for his behavior and then warned Woodward that he would “regret” his position. The official was late identified as Gene Sperling, head of the Presidents Economic Council, when the actual e-mail was leaked.
Shortly after the news of the Sperling-Woodward tiff was released…..Woodward discovered he wasn’t the only reporter threatened by the White House intimidation machine. Washington Times columnist and Democratic insider Lanny Davis said his editor, John Solomon, “received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn’t like some of my columns, even though I’m a supporter of Obama. I couldn’t imagine why this call was made.” Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, “that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials.”
You might also remember when the White House had to issue a formal apology to veteran journalist Charles Krauthammer after White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer called one of his articles patently false and ridiculous. In the article….Krauthammer reported that President Obama returned a gift of a bust of Winston Churchill which was on display in the Oval Office to the British government. Choosing to shoot off his mouth before checking the facts….Pfeiffer later learned that there were two busts of Churchill in the White House and that one had indeed been returned to the British.
The previous examples of intimidation and threats hearten back to the Nixon era when numerous journalist were found on Nixon’s “enemy list”. The youngest member of that list, Democratic Strategist Pat Caddell, said this in a Fox News article:
“While Barack Obama may not share the Nixon pedigree, he and his White House are the closest thing to the Nixon regime of any that we have seen since then — both in the extent of their paranoia and their willingness to suppress the truth and push the boundaries of law.”
Sadly the press focused on the wrong issue in this Woodward-Sperling tit-for-tat. The real story wasn’t how Woodward was treated but that President Obama was caught….once again… lying to the American people. In one way…President Obama intimidation machine is far worse than Nixon’s. Obama has a powerful ally which has helped him cover up such blunders as “Fast & Furious” and the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi. That ally is the majority of the mainstream media….who have abandoned journalistic integrity to protect their anointed President.
I admit it….I never thought I would say this….but we need more journalist like Bob Woodward!
This is John Galt Speaking!
“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy….hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”
Frederick William Robertson
One wouldn’t have to search far to find examples of hypocrisy in the rhetoric and policies of Barrack Hussein Obama. Perhaps it’s the promise of transparency while he hides the truth of the embassy attack in Libya or the details behind “Fast & Furious”. Or perhaps you prefer his call for civility on the campaign trail while he labeled his presidential opponent a felon and a liar. This week you can add yet another example to the list….. classifying lethal drone attacks against American citizens as constitutional while prohibiting enhanced interrogation techniques against captured foreign terrorists.
Of course….we would never have known about this latest hypocrisy if it had not been for the leak of a secret Department of Justice “White Paper” called “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S Citizen”. This paper, obtained by NBC News, lays out the administrations rationale for killing Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was also a leader of the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. Obama considered Alwaki a grave threat to America and ordered him killed in a drone attack in September 2011. Civil libertarians and human rights activist quickly argued the killing amounted to a summary execution of an American citizen without due process.
You won’t find me shedding a tear for Awlaki. He was indeed a known terrorist and traitor who had plotted numerous terrorist attacks against the United States. I consider his killing justifiable as he was certainly an enemy combatant. Clearly….the war on terror presents some unique and unexamined challenges as to who constitutes an enemy combatant. While I would rather capture and interrogate any terrorist, I have no problem using lethal force against a traitor of the United States provided they meet sufficient criteria. Unfortunately…I’m not sure the criterion is sufficiently laid out in the newly leaked DOJ white paper.
The white paper lays out the justification for an “informed, high level official of the U.S government” to order a lethal strike against a U.S citizen in a foreign territory if the target is:
1. a “Senior Operational Leader” of Al Qaeda or “associated” force…or
2. “posses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and
3. That an attempt to capture that individual is “infeasible”.
Clearly Awlaki was a “Senior Operational Leader”….but what about the next American to be in the crosshairs? One only needs to read a little deeper into the 16-page white paper to find a gaping hole in the justification to kill Americans on foreign soil. While the term “imminent threat” seems reasonable (and a traditional standard for military action) the white paper seems to attach a rather broad definition to the phrase. The paper states “the condition that an operational leader presents an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” Huh?
Instead….the “high level official” can determine the target was “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of attack and that ”there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities”. The paper does not define “activities” or “recently” leaving that up to the administration to determine. That’s a rather long leash to attach to a drone missile…..especially if it’s pointed at an American citizen.
White House Press Spokesman Jay Carney certainly had his hands full following the leak of the secret DOJ paper. Carney said these drone attacks were “consistent with our Constitution and our laws” and that they were “necessary”, “ethical” and “wise”. However…he seemed tongue tied when a reporter asked him about Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki.
Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, also an American citizen, was killed by a CIA drone just a couple of weeks following the death of his father. “When asked by a reporter if Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a “Senior Operational Leader”….Carney reverted to press speak and said “I’m not going to talk about individual operations that may or may not have occurred.” How’s that for transparency? He’ll talk about the policy but not how it’s actually administered?
The Obama Administration use of drones has been under the microscope since a May 2012 New York Times article which highlighted civilian casualties in drone attacks. The article stated civilian casualties were misreported because the administration counts all military age males in a strike zone as combatants.
In the days following the strike that killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, U.S. officials suggested that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was not a teenager, but rather a “military-age male” in his 20s. Under international protocols of conflict, recognizing Awlaki as a “military-age male” provided justification for his killing. However, the family refuted the U.S.’s claim that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was of military age by releasing a copy of his U.S. birth certificate showing that he was born on August 26, 1995 and was aged 16 at the time of his death.
It seems clear that the Department of Justice White Paper is just a manufactured justification for any lethal action the Obama administration wishes to take anywhere in the world. It’s hard for a rational individual to accept it’s more ethical to kill a suspected terrorist with a drone…..be they American or otherwise ….rather than capture and interrogate them. We can continue to argue the most effective and acceptable methods to interrogate captives but dead men tell no tales…nor provides any intelligence.
Sadly…it seems President Obama is more concerned with avoiding a political scandal than obtaining actionable intelligence. Lets face it….it’s just easier to kill them.
This is John Galt Speaking!
President Obama takes the oath of office for his second term. January 2013
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”
While I agree with Mrs. Roosevelt on her basic premise…..politicians do not have the luxury of remaining silent through their campaign…..or in the case of President Obama….in his inaugural address. Anyone who has paid any attention over the last four years should be well aware of President Obama’s “philosophy”. For those who have been less then attentive…let’s take a look at some of the words used by President Obama in his inaugural address earlier this week. Perhaps it will shed some light on his future “choices”.
My ears perked up not more than a couple of minutes into his speech when he said:
“But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
Of course many Presidents have faced new challenges throughout history but they have always been required to work within the boundaries required in the Constitution. We can argue the founding fathers intention on “principals” till we are blue in the face….but the powers bestowed to the executive branch are clearly laid out in the Constitution. Any so called “new responses” must fall within these boundaries regardless of the challenges. Is he laying the framework for a venture beyond these boundaries?
Even more troubling was the statement “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action”. My first question is…..who exactly is threatening our individual freedoms? Apart from the unlikely possibility of a foreign superpower taking over our country…the only force capable of jeopardizing our freedoms is the actions of our own government! And who exactly is the “collective” that must act? If it is our elected representatives in Congress…why doesn’t he say this? In fact….the only “collective” that has any power to act….IS our elected representatives in Congress.
Of course he goes on to explain that a single individual is incapable of certain accomplishments and only the collective can move our country forward. “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores” Obama said. You may remember he said the same thing on the campaign trial when he made the infamous quip….”you didn’t build that!”
President Obama seems confused and unable to distinguish between “individual rights” and “individual ability”. According to Ayn Rand…. “the only proper, moral purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights.” As far as ability goes….free men may pursue their own personal interests and make their own private fortunes…..to the best of their abilities. Government should have no role in this.
So once again we obtain a glimpse into President Obama’s real philosophy…Collectivism. What his speech really translates to is embodied in the following quote but I doubt it would have played too well in his inaugural remarks: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Sadly…he seems prepared to “redefine” our founder’s principals in order to move us closer to his vision of a collective society.
President Obama confusion with the proper role of government is once again evident in his closing remarks when he says:
“That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.”
It’s no secret Obama has his own progressive view regarding the role of the federal government. Sadly…he envisions a world which makes people dependent on government and forces individuals on a pre-determined path to his version of happiness. And if words mean anything at all…..don’t we have to agree on definitions? We may disagree on how best to achieve liberty….but shouldn’t we all agree on what liberty is?
It’s interesting that President Obama used words from the Declaration of Independence yet said nothing about the Constitution. Just minutes before he made this speech….he pledged to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States (perhaps they should add the phrase “adhere to” in the future?). There was nothing in his oath regarding the “Declaration of Independence”.
Historically….inaugural addresses usually embody ideals such as freedom, democracy and liberty in order to appeal to all Americans…regardless of who they voted for. Instead…President Obama twisted these ideals in a polarizing and partisan description of his liberal agenda for the next four years. If Republican’s felt the sting of his words on Monday….they should be prepared for the upcoming State of the Union address. I would recommend Kevlar long johns and a pair of good ear plugs because it isn’t going to be pretty.
This is John Galt Speaking!
U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by 8-year old letter writer Hinna Zeejah (L), 10-year old letter writer Taejah Goode (3rd L), 11-year old letter writer Julia Stokes and 8-year old letter writer Grant Fritz (R, signs executive orders on gun violence during an event at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
“Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.”
Those who enjoy the theater must have been pleased with President Obama’s latest staged political event. Only a month after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama and Vice President Biden rolled out a long list of gun control restrictions behind the protective curtain of four small children.
Sharing the stage with four children who wrote letters to the White House following the Newtown shooting, President Obama called for a renewed ban on assault rifles, limits on high capacity magazines, more stringent universal background checks, and 23 executive actions the President will take on his own. While an overt attempt to sway public opinion (any appeal to the betterment of children must be righteous and worthy), the President’s real obstacle is Congress where he faces resistance not only from Republicans but from some Democrats up for reelection.
The President is no stranger to exploiting children for political gain. Do you remember 11-year-old Marcelas Owens? He was the nattily dressed youngster who stood next to the President when he signed the Healthcare reform bill into law….now known as Obamacare. Owens was selected because his mother, Tiffany, had died of pulmonary hypertension at the age of 27 after losing her job and health insurance. Not to be outdone in the exploitative arena, MSNBC paraded Owens back on stage for an interview on the one-year anniversary of Obamacare. Andrea Mitchell tossed softball questions at the 11-year old activist while he provided predicable answers to explain the case for the healthcare law.
Ironically….24-hours earlier it was the White House criticizing the use of children for political advantage. White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the NRA crossed the line when the group referenced the President daughters in an ad calling the commander-in-chief an “elitist hypocrite” because his girls get armed Secret Service protection.
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” the narrator of the NRA commercial asks. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”
Be it the President or the NRA….using children to advance your political agenda is about as low and distasteful as one can get. Of course the main stream media only seemed focused on the NRA’s ad and basically gave the President a pass for his exploitive behavior. I guess they’re just use to it by now. The President has a history of parading doctors, teachers, policeman, first responders, small business men and minority women on stage depending on whatever bill he was signing at the time. He’s just running his standard script……I guess children aren’t the only group he exploits.
What’s really sad is none of the President proposals will do much to make our children any safer in their homes or schools. As expected….he took the left fork in the road and focused on the tool rather than the person using the tool. While one of the President’s executive order calls for a national conversation on mental health….there is nothing that expands mental health services or the laws surrounding hospitalization in his long list of actions. Besides…..having a Washington politician host a discussion on mental health is akin to the patients running the asylum.
If children are as intelligent as Huxley believed….those four kids must have known they were nothing more than a prop in Obama’s latest political production. It stared one of the great thinkers of our time, Vice President Joe Biden, who spent a few days to come up with a solution for a problem that has haunted our country for decades…..gun violence. Of course…it was nothing more than a sham. Another item checked off their political wish list. Now they can move on to the next item in their futile attempt to create their own version of ….Brave New World.
This is John Galt Speaking!
“When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
John F. Kennedy
I don’t know when President Kennedy made this statement. He had several domestic and international situations, like the Cuban missile crisis, where he may have said this. Unlike the “Fiscal Cliff”, these were real crisis’s…..not some political passion play created by Washington’s deal making machine to one-up one political party over the other. No….Kennedy had to show true strength and leadership to avoid a nuclear showdown with the Soviet Union. Sadly…true strength and leadership appear all but lost in Washington DC today as evident by the Fiscal Cliff deal struck yesterday.
If you can think back through all the political clutter over the last two years….you may remember that the Fiscal Cliff was created by Washington deal makers in November 2011 when the “Super Committee” failed to approve a 10-year, $1.5 Trillion deficit reduction program. As a result, a much larger “sequestration” of across-the-board budget cuts (mostly defense related) would immediately be implemented along with the expiration of the Bush tax rates effective January 1, 2013. Most analysts agreed that the combination of the two would plunge the country back into a recession. So…like global warming…another man made crisis is born.
I’m not the only person who believes the Fiscal Cliff was man-made. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had this to say on Fox News: “I think we ought to recognize this entire fiscal cliff is an artificial invention of Washington, created by people in the Congress and the presidency” Gingrich told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren.
“I think this whole fiscal cliff language is designed to maximize a sense of fear that’s nonsense,” Gingrich said. “The very same people, the Congress and the president, who invented the fiscal cliff — this is all an invention — could break it down into 12 foothills, or 15 foothills or 20 foothills. They could tackle one problem at the time” Gingrich said.
Of course…that would make too much sense and would certainly destroy the inherent opportunity for Obama to belittle and humiliate his foes in Congress. There’s a small chance that House Speaker John Boehner may lose his house seat over this to Eric Cantor. Remember…Obama was taught never to let a good crisis go to waste.
So as Wall Street rallies and Congressmen slap themselves on the back on Capital Hill…what actually was accomplished for the American people in this so called Fiscal Cliff deal? Obama can claim he raised the tax rate on the 1% and instilled his version of fairness to the tax code. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell can claim he saved tax rate increases for the middle class. Both can lay claim to the AMT and Medicare Doctor fix (albeit short term). And once again….the unemployed can suckle at the breast of their federal parents for at least another year.
What wasn’t accomplished in the Fiscal Cliff deal? Well any meaningful spending cuts which could reduce the deficit. Certainly no changes to entitlements which may lessen our ever increasing long term debt. But wait….wasn’t the Fiscal Cliff a result of the failed Super Committee? Wasn’t the whole point to come up with a long term plan to address our debt & deficit? What actually happened to the sequestration?
Any automatic spending cuts from the sequestration have been put off for two months….just in time for another debate on the debt ceiling. President Obama has already vowed not to negotiate on the debt ceiling. So get ready for another two months of fear mongering in the media….for another rollercoaster ride in the stock market….and certainly more chest thumping from Capital Hill.
But what did you really expect? Did you actually expect any meaningful spending cuts coming out of this administration? Perhaps we would have been better off going over the fiscal cliff…only time will tell. But what you can expect from this irresponsible administration is yet more orchestration and theatrics with our economy. The debt ceiling debate will likely spawn a blockbuster sequel like….”Son of Sequestration”…”The Super Duper Committee” or maybe “Fiscal Cliffhanger” staring Sylvester Stallone himself!
Perhaps John Kennedy knew something we didn’t? Maybe we should all learn the meanings of Chinese symbols. You see…if we do not get our fiscal house in order, we may just be seeing a lot of them in our future.
This is John Galt Speaking!