Words like credibility and gravitas get tossed around a lot and in the process land in places they don’t belong. Sometimes, however, they land dead on. Such is the case with Bob Woodward. I think for those of us who lived through Watergate, and were at least old enough to grasp the fact that something politically earth-shattering was occurring, “Woodward and Bernstein” are names tattooed on our brains. Since their extraordinary investigative journalism led to the resignation of then President Richard Nixon, Bob Woodward has spent decades rightfully earning a certain amount of respect for the seriousness with which he continues to approach reporting, and critiquing, our politicians and our nation.
Woodward, based upon his decades-long access to and writing about every President since Nixon called President Obama’s approach to the sequestration issue “mad”…as in insane. Needless to say his comment landed with a thud at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Questioning the sanity of a sitting President is bold under the best of circumstances. But with a President as “thin-skinned” as this one (again Woodward’s language, not mine) and as intentionally insulated from criticism by a generally fawning press, it turns out to be dangerous. The response to Woodward’s comment came from a high level White House staffer who chewed Woodward out for thirty minutes on the phone then followed up with an email warning him he would “regret” what he was saying publicly.
This President and those who surround him govern by bullying, disregard and hubris. I’ve written about their approach long before this latest incident. What I find so disturbing, as should every American, is the now fully unmasked disregard this President has come to exhibit for the dignity, sanctity and scope of the office to which he was elected. Further, he seemingly couldn’t care less about the desires and preferences of the citizens who put him there.
Bob Woodward has verbalized what many of us have thought for some time now. Either Barack Obama does not care about the destruction of the United States or he intends it to happen. Either way, he is mad. And either way, Bob Woodward has had the courage to call it like it is.
Finally, credibility and gravitas in action.
To know Barney was to love him. He was a sweet-natured feline who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Unfortunately, he also didn’t have any sense of, or respect for, boundaries. At his worst, Barney would think nothing of jumping into your lap even if another cat was already there. He simply was “wired” in such a way that wherever he wanted to be, and whenever he wanted to be there…well, his intention was always his priority regardless of who or what was in his way.
Michelle Obama’s appearance as a presenter at the Academy Awards last night instantly brought back memories of Barney and his total lack of appropriate boundaries.
There appears to be no aspect of our lives that this Administration, and other Progressives, consider beyond the scope of their involvement and/or regulation. Like Barney, and his dismissal of all laws natural, Progressives proceed full steam ahead with a “damn the Constitution and God-given rights” attitude should either be in their way.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to tell you how much soda you can drink with disregard for the Bill of Rights and First Amendment. President Obama and Vice President Biden want to prohibit, or restrict, how you can defend yourself and your family despite your rights under the Second Amendment. Michelle Obama wants to tell you what vegetables to eat and she wants to dress up as an Oscar to tell you how good movies are for you, even when they are not so subtly indoctrinating you with a particularly Progressive agenda.
Call me crazy, but just as I wanted Barney to understand there were places and times that his appearances were unwelcome, so too do I want my politicians to understand that they are not my nutritionists, my parents, or my movie critics.
When I was in law school I had a professor who called me into his office one day to impart some unsolicited “fatherly advice” as he phrased it. He told me he had seen lots of students pass through those hallowed halls over the years and it was his observation that I “just didn’t have what it takes” to be a lawyer. He recommended that I “drop out of school and find another career.” I listened respectfully and when he finished I replied, “I have a father. If I want fatherly advice I’ll ask him.” I went on to graduate and successfully practice law. He died a year later.
It’s important that we know our boundaries. Deliberately ignoring them indicates a level of hubris worth noting. Therefore, I want Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, Vice President Biden, Michelle Obama and all the other Progressives who lack any sense of boundaries to “step back jack” and stay out of those areas of my life that God and the U.S. Constitution deem mine to live and regulate.
While most of the country is easily distracted (and manipulated) into following either the Grammy Awards or a firefight between a heinous ex-LAPD cop and various law enforcement agencies, some of us have been otherwise engaged. There are actually reasons to be concerned, but among them aren’t Taylor Swift’s latest stab at an ex-boyfriend or the political rant of an ex-cop gone bad.
In case you missed it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has bought enough gold over the last decade to equal three times the size of the Statue of Liberty hedging against collapse of the EURO and the U.S. dollar. His secretary of State has deliberately snubbed our recently confirmed Secretary of State by not returning Kerry’s phone call relating to North Korea’s provocative nuclear test (a direct diplomatic smack in the face). Further, two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam just prior to President Obama’s State of the Union speech apparently directly addressing and taunting President Obama’s unrelenting determination to dismantle our nuclear deterrent capabilities.
I don’t write a blog to instill or escalate fear. There’s enough of that in main stream media, Hollywood productions and video games. I do, however, write to awaken and inform. Yesterday, on my talk radio show “The Gold Standard” I spent the hour looking at “apathy” and “victimization” and how they lead to enslavement and violence, respectively.
Unless enough of our citizens awaken to the immanent need to question his or her focus, values and energies… we are in for a boat load of trouble that will make what happened on the Carnival cruise ship “Triumph” look like a stroll in the park.
If, by chance, you feel overwhelmed and tend to take the stance that you are just one person so what can you do anyway, well… try writing U.S. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas a “Thank You.” He may be the “new kid on the [Congressional] block” but he’s doing the heavy lifting in Congress you say you always want from your elected officials. He’s taken on the status quo and refusing to play by the “accepted” rules. You can thank him for the delay in the Chuck Hagel nomination for Secretary of Defense, a delay that is warranted if, for no other reason, than dubious and misleading statements Hagel made under oath that necessitate further scrutiny.
Email the thank you to Senator Cruz and write your own Senators praising Cruz’s courage as exemplary. Then rethink whether you ought to be a passive follower of movie star romances and real-time gun fights or an informed and engaged citizen.
Is there anyone out there who is still unconscious enough to believe anything our politicians say or do? I suppose the incredulous answer is “Yes” because they’re still “saying and doing” and, as in the President’s staged statement made just moments ago concerning the pending fiscal cliff… they’re still allowing themselves to be used as useful idiots positioned for the camera behind the President with smiles on their faces. Amazing. Truly!
These corrupt, disingenuous and self-serving public servants have just been given a pay raise by our President to be paid for with your tax dollars while they vacationed for Christmas at their respective homes (in the President’s case Hawaii) while we were left twisting in the wind over the potential price of milk and our tax burdens for 2013 and beyond. Then, they did us a favor and returned from holiday to perhaps cut a totally inadequate and piecemeal deal at the 11th hour when they should have, and could have, worked this out months ago.
This is but the latest example of why you have to disengage from “The Game.”
The purpose of The Game is to keep you twisting in the wind and therefore, frightened. Frightened people are infinitely more manageable and easily manipulated (read: “enslaved”) than are independent, internally directed, personally responsible people. Hence, why they perpetuate all the uncertainty and fear.
I love board games but I don’t play chess. The reason I don’t play is because no matter how many times it’s been explained to me, I don’t get it. Besides, there are a multitude of other games to play with rules I do understand. Now, maybe it’s not the best analogy. After all, the rules of chess don’t change mid-game as do the rules of elite power brokers. Power brokers, and those sycophants who hang by their sides, play by rules and change them at will while the rest of us are forever playing catch up.
But where the analogy is GREAT is that we don’t have to play this game. We can get off this board and choose another game.
The one I like is “The Game of Oneness.”
It has many dimensions but the rules are constant no matter which one you’re in:
1. Be personally responsible. 2. Have unfaltering integrity. 3. Think for yourself. 4. Buy only what you like regardless of what is marketed. 5. Back off technology. 6. Exhibit compassion for yourself and others. 7. Spend time in Nature and realign with its rhythms. 8. Cultivate joy in your heart and spread it outward. 9. Do no harm.
When you get to the end of that board, having played by the rules, the win is so much more than dying with the most toys.
The win is Eternal Life.
I understand why Jesus smashed the tables in the Temple courtyard. I could smash a few myself. There simply comes a time when enough is enough. When every rational and civil attempt to right the wrongs has failed.
- Members of Congress have gone home for Christmas. Really?
- The President and his family are vacationing in Hawaii. Really?
- We’re told we’re in an economic recovery and should believe the numbers… not our personal experience. Really?
- Congress has a better healthcare plan that the rest of us. Really?
- Sasha and Malia have guards with guns to protect them at school. Really?
- The children of many Congressman and Senators go to private schools with enhanced security. Really?
- In 2000, then President Bill Clinton requested $60 million in federal funding for a program called “COPS in Schools” that does exactly what the NRA has now proposed and which the media is currently mocking. Really?
There is such a thing as righteous anger. Righteousness, as I define it, is the “rightful use of energy.” When energy is properly utilized and directed so that both the intent and the outcome are in alignment with eliminating that which is diseased and corrupted, then such use is necessary. As our “leaders” vacation and provide themselves with exceptions, exemptions, protections and perks unavailable to the rest of society, I am reminded of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
At the moment I have but one prayer: “Please, God, show me the way to the tables.”
I don’t know why he did it. No one does. It was a tragic and senseless act by a troubled soul. I wept as did the Nation and as we each try to find some fact, some new information that could perhaps bring something resembling meaning to the chaos I am certain of one thing.
Hatred and further polarization are inappropriate and destructive responses. Whether media personalities or politicians… family members, friends or co-workers…“coming at each other” over gun control is to wildly miss the point. Only a world that has lost its moral and value-based compass could have strayed as far from Truth and harmony as we have strayed.
It’s about so much more than guns. That is precisely what we will try to avoid. We will try and tie it all up in a political package aimed at curbing assault weapons rather than accepting personal responsibility for how we have abdicated doing what is right when confronted with the opportunity to do what is expedient.
We have shunned putting forth the time to be parents to instead turn the children over to be influenced by technology. We have avoided living lives that establish standards that would then give us the right to demand the same of our elected leaders. We have failed to provide decent facilities and care for the mentally ill. We have determined the success of our personal lives by our incomes rather than our degree of inner peace, and that of the Nation by its Moody’s credit rating rather than its citizens proliferation of compassion. We have neglected to revere life in all its forms thus destroying at will that which is inconvenient or burdensome. We have lost the patience to allow our lives to unfold in harmony with natural rhythms and, by so doing, misplaced conscience as we took what we wanted when we wanted it without regard for consequence. We belittle and mock our own inner connection to the Divine while falling prostrate at the feet of material false idols.
There is no President, no legislation, and no committee to see about all the ways in which we have erred and rebelliously refused to self-correct. For in the end, this is what it has come down to. Self-correction. For if we do not use this moment, this tragedy, this waste of human life to stop the hatred, name calling and polarization… to awaken to our Oneness… then it will be too late to Self-correct.
We will have moved beyond any remedy conceivable by our limited capacities and inflated egos to turn the tide of self-destruction. If that should happen, the correction will come from a place outside of our understanding and may God have mercy on us.
Awaken now. Stop the separation now. Take responsibility now. Feel your humanity now. There is only One of Us.
What I do to you I do to myself. What I think of you I think of myself. What I wish for you I bring upon myself.
This is law and it is incontrovertible.
It now seems the Obama Administration has decided upon a new, definitive and focused approach to Israel regarding the latest contention in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It goes something like this (and I paraphrase): “Remain silent and let the other guys do the dirty work.” This is, in essence, the approach the Administration will take towards Israel’s announcement to commence new settlement construction in Judea and Samaria (a/k/a/ the West Bank).
According to American Jewry liberal spokesman Peter Beinart, also considered one of Obama’s associates, the President and Secretary of State Clinton have decided that they will sit back and say nothing while allowing the EU members to put the pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli’s to forego construction plans. The Administration also hopes this strategy will put additional pressure on what they perceive to be a recalcitrant Netanyahu to make more concessions to “the peace process” as no Special Envoy will be sent to kick start peace talks.
Further, Daniel Levy, Middle East director at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, has noted that in recent days the Administration has not been “investing diplomatic capital” in seeking to call off the escalating EU criticism of Israel.
This approach by the Administration is resulting in a progressive (no pun intended) isolation and alienation of Israel in relation to other world governments. Such a turn does not bode well for Israelis, Jews around the world, or free societies wherever they may exist.
To think that we in the United States can remain silent in the face of Israel’s escalating vulnerability and its condemnation by surrogates doing our bidding is foolhardy. It also flies in the face of history. The world, and the United States in particular, once before remained silent while Hitler sought to deliberately, methodically and without opposition marginalize and isolate Jews with the intention to destroy them. The inevitable outcome was disaster not only for the Jews but for the entire free world.
The Obama Administration may think it is being clever by its silence, providing itself a veneer of impartiality and distance from the unfolding Middle East scenario as it relates to Israel’s security and Islamic extremism. However, as German pastor and dissident anti-Nazi Deitrich Bonhoffer so succinctly stated in the face of this same emerging pattern of behavior 72 years ago, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
I would add that silence will neither insulate the silent from the taint of evil nor will it exonerate them from being judged culpable co-conspirators. However, culpability is not limited to political leaders. It is incumbent upon each of us awake enough to comprehend the magnitude of this error to speak and act. One voice can change history. It has and will again.
Yours may be that voice.
Qu’ils mangent de la brioche, commonly translated as “Let them eat cake,” was not actually spoken by either French Queen Marie Antoinette or First Lady Michelle Obama although it could have been uttered by either. Like Marie, Michelle continues to display her propensity for excess and luxury while espousing, through word only, her compassion and understanding for the economic plight of the Nation and its citizens.
We need look no further than Christmas. You know, that time of year when we step outside our own wants and egos to fulfill the needs and wants of others. In theory, it’s a season of compassion, charitable giving and unity. Even when we fall far short of the theory and the ideal, finding ourselves caught up in the materialism of it all, we none-the-less stretch our minds, and our pocketbooks, to give what we hope others will delight in receiving. During tough economic times such as we presently find ourselves in, the stretching is all the more challenging and therefore, perhaps more heartfelt. We make do with less in order to give more.
Except for the Obamas.
A $4M taxpayer funded vacation to Hawaii in the face of looming economic crisis and 54 (yes I said 54!) Christmas trees throughout the White House is the First Couples way of saying not “Merry Christmas” but rather Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.
I do not begrudge a sitting President a Christmas break. Nor do I think the First Family should deny themselves a Christmas tree or two. After all, it’s a big house. And besides, there is nothing inspiring about your leader living like a peanut farmer in the most respected residence in the world. However, it’s a long way from peanut-farmer-austerity to the excesses of French nobility…or, in the instant case, those of the current inhabitants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Don’t even get me started on the President’s “my way or the highway” proposal to Congress to resolve the fiscal crisis that was delivered this week by an arrogant, self-impressed and unapologetic Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner. That’s the earlier hubris reference.
We have serious and mounting challenges to face. You and I are living the reality of those stresses every minute of every day. Yet those in whom we have placed both our confidence and the power to solve, or at least try to solve, these challenges are going about their lives arrogantly, uncompromisingly, and extravagantly.
Lately, I hear people attempting to compare President Obama to Abraham Lincoln. I will admit that both faced a fractured Nation. They are also both thin. Beyond that, I find the comparison laughable. If there is a leader with which to compare our current President I would suggest not Lincoln but Louis…as in Queen Marie’s husband, Louis XVI.
Louis started his reign as a popular monarch, but his indecisiveness led to the populace eventually perceiving him as part of the tyranny they sought to shake off. It was also the people’s belief that Louis was seeking foreign invasion as a means of political salvation. His credibility eventually undermined, his reign foreshadowed the end of the monarchy and likely birth of the Republic.
At the recent Soul Train Music Awards, actor Jamie Foxx referred to “…Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama.” I think that was a bit extreme. King Barack, and Queen Michelle, would have been just fine.
Perhaps with prayer and an awakened populace this too will end with (a return to) the Republic.
A Palestinian terrorist breaks into the home of an Isreali woman asleep with her two children. He is wielding a knife and a pipe. His intentions are clear. Absent a miracle, the horrific scene from Itamar where the Fogel family was slaughtered in their sleep will be repeated. I am uncertain whether this qualifies as a miracle or just good defensive planning…but the mother, Yael Matzpun, trained in Krav Maga (an Israeli defense technique) battles her attacker, secures him in a bathroom, and calls for help. Upon trying to escape the bathroom window while refusing to put down his weapons, the terrorist is killed by the arriving IDF forces.
I have a few politically incorrect questions.
2. What is wrong with a culture/religion that breeds such men, labels them martyrs and celebrates their atrocities?
3. How amoral or blind has the worldwide media become that it sees no distinction, or lacks the courage to articulate, the difference between the basic humanity of these two societies?
If you approach it like a quiz, the answers are 1) there are none; 2) it is perverse; and 3) very amoral and cowardly.
There comes a time when those with eyes to see and ears to ear are called upon to use their voices to speak truth to power. We are living in such times. The world should cease deluding itself while labeling terrorists as freedom fighters. Both use violence to achieve their ends but that is where the commonality stops.
Freedom fighters seek autonomy and a free society. Terrorists seek death and total destruction using fear as their means of achieving it. The people living in Gaza have an autonomous society (Hamas is their “democratically” elected government) that is free of Jews. It is not enough because neither freedom nor autonomy are their goals. Their goal is murdering every Jew until none remain then obliterating the Jewish homeland.
The terrorist who broke into the Matzpun home to carry out Hamas’ mission is where he belongs; Yael Matzpun is a hero whose children are alive as I write this because she knows who she is dealing with; and I have called it as I see it.
To hell with political correctness.
In Koheleth 3:1 (Ecclesiastes 3:1) it states,“Vanity of vanities, said Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” It’s a much quoted, and as much interpreted, phrase. Recently, I have come to a new understanding of vanity.
Vanity, the isolated ego, likes to say, “I did this” or “What a great person I am to have accomplished this” or “I got this all by myself.” Vanity is the false belief that any one individual, solely of their own power, accomplishes success or greatness.
This thought immediately led me to President Obama’s recent statement that became so controversial during the campaign. The President said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” His statement, on its face, seems true and consistent with my definition of vanity, which caused me to reflect upon how I, and many others, had so negatively reacted to the President’s statement.
But I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about Abraham Lincoln. Mainly because I’ve been trying to figure out what has prompted the “revival” of his story. The sixteenth President seems to be suddenly emerging everywhere…in novels, new biographies, re-printing of former biographies, reissuing of his own writings, as well as movies. Why?
I’ve concluded that in no time since the Civil War has our Nation been so divided. While in 1861 it was North against South and abolition against slavery, it is today poor against rich, black against white, Republican against Democrat… but it’s the same deeply held differences and the same destructive hatreds. What saved the Union was President Lincoln.
Lincoln, who was not traditionally religious but deeply theological, believed in both Divine Presence and Divine purpose. To that end, he called upon Creator for guidance and strength. However, he also bound himself to certain behavior based upon Divine purpose. For example, he vowed to God that if, at the Battle of Fredericksberg (Virginia), the North was successful at turning back Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln would issue the Emancipation Proclamation he had written two weeks earlier. Upon the North’s success at Fredericksberg, Lincoln did just that citing his vow.
Lincoln none-the-less understood that Divine principles had to be realized within the context of the morality of the times. Therefore, he saw the error and danger of both the radical Abolitionists (who would have instantly forced the end of slavery and destroyed the Union) and the pro-slavery advocates (who would have had their goal reached at the same destructive price).
Lincoln knew he had a partner in his vital mission to preserve the Union. He also knew his partner had the grander vision and the greater plan. Which brings me back to President Obama’s statement.
Everyone, and every idea, has its “shadow side.” This is the person or idea turned on its head, so to speak, misusing its energy to accomplish not the highest good but rather the expedient and/or self-serving outcome. Both Presidents Lincoln and Obama tell us that if you build it you do not do so or succeed alone. You have a partner. The critical difference between these two leaders is the end to which their perspectives lead a nation.
President Obama would have us believe that our “partner”…with a small “p”…is everyone and anyone along the way who had any input into our journey. Therefore, they too deserve the benefits and profits of the outcome. It is this belief in “entitlement” that has caused so much division and, now hatred, among the citizenry. This perspective generates a “right” not found in either our Bibles or our Constitution. Even God demands action on our part as a quid pro quo to Divine protection and prosperity.
President Lincoln had a “Partner” as well. However, that Partner was the Supreme Being Itself to whom Lincoln turned, drew upon, and publicly acknowledged. He was, after all, the President who initiated a Federal Day of Thanksgiving and signed a Proclamation for a National Day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” during the Civil War. President Obama is the first President in the history of the Nation not to mention God in his formal Thanksgiving Proclamation.
Contrary to President Obama’s words, which result in ego-based entitlement and the remedy of forced redistribution of wealth, President Lincoln’s actions sought spiritual and national unity engendered by submission to the purpose and power of Divine principles.
As a result of Lincoln’s certainty in his beliefs and willingness to publicly acknowledge the role of the Divine in human history, the Civil War was followed by a stronger Union than had ever before been achieved. We truly became The United States of America. This was in no small way attributable to the insight, foresight and deeply held theological beliefs of the Nation’s leader at the time.
My conclusion is my prayer. That the Nation awakens to the shadow side of the principles that President Obama supports and advocates. We will not be joined, and will not survive, so long as we believe not in God but in government as the authority and power that makes life worth living. As we traverse these potentially perilous times, we have had quite enough “vanity of vanities.” Let us now seek to rediscover humility by acknowledging Divinity.
Devotees of Ayn Rand ask “Who is John Galt?” I would concur adding, “and where is our Abraham Lincoln?”