Time magazine has named Pope Francis “Person of the Year” for 2013. The Pope’s face graces the December edition of Time. So it begs the question, “What criteria determine their pick?” As far as I can ascertain, its “the person who most influences or impacts the world” in the prior year.
It’s not about position or popularity, or political agenda. In fact, I recall when Time named the Ayatollah Khomeini “Person of the Year.” I remember because it angered me. Yet, under Time’s stated criteria, it made sense. It was 1979 and the plight of American hostages imprisoned in a takeover of the American Embassy there by Islamic extremists relentlessly gripped the world’s attention until they were released.
This year’s pick of Pope Francis angers me also, albeit for different reasons. I am angered now as I was when Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Angered because these men did nothing to warrant their awards prior to receiving them. In the case of Pope Francis, he hasn’t been Pope long enough, or done enough in the office, to have influenced much of anything.
Yes, he embraced a few disfigured people and he initially shunned fancy digs for more modest ones. But he also dished, just days ago, Capitalism. You know, the economic system that provides 60% of all contributions to the Catholic Church thereby allowing it to be the largest landholder in Manhattan, and the United States generally.
Really, what else has he done?
So, the award couldn’t have been given based upon the stated criteria, just as the Nobel Peace Prize couldn’t have been given Barack Obama for creating peace. In both instances, the choice of those men was, and remains, an affront to every thinking person. Whatever the rationale behind Time’s choice, it wasn’t about the person who most influenced or impacted the world in 2013 because that simply does not apply to Pope Francis.
The selection committee of Time Magazine has an agenda. I don’t profess to know what it is. What I do know for certain is that each day that passes by trust in the media withers away. Instead of maintaining the honorable position of “The Fourth Estate” they have been corrupted becoming deceitful and manipulative.
This reality is just the latest reason why, in a world of rapid change and power struggles, thinking for yourself is the surest guarantee that you will remain your own Person of The Year rather than become enslaved to someone else’s agenda.
When I began practicing Family Law it was as a sole practitioner. I graduated law school, passed the Pennsylvania State Bar Exam, and rented space in an existing attorney’s offices. I had gone to law school at age 33 to fulfill a life-long love affair with the law. I was undeniably an idealist, who revered Socrates and his unyielding commitment to truth and ethics. And so, I practiced as that idealist. I never “played the game,” never golfed or drank with my colleagues, never turned a blind eye or failed to make known a corrupt lawyer or a biased judge. My focus was my clients and how to best represent them while maintaining my own commitment to truth and ethics.
After about two years of practice, one day I walked into the attorney’s office from whom I rented space and asked to speak with him privately. As I sat down I filled up with tears and said, “Steven, they’re calling me a bitch” (referring to what was being said about me by fellow lawyers). He looked me in the eye, smiled and said, “Let them… because soon they’ll all settle. None of them will want to go against you in a courtroom.”
It took me awhile longer to understand why that was true. I was relentless in playing fair but with a zealousness for every client that set me apart from most. I never compromised my client’s best interest to “get along” or be accepted or speed up resolution of a case because I had too many active cases to handle. Whatever it took, I always did what I believed to be the right thing under law and for my client, no matter how it inconvenienced me professionally or personally.
So I understand what they are trying to do to Senator Ted Cruz as he filibusters to defund Obamacare. He has dared to show up waving the Constitution that each of those Congressman and Senators has sworn to uphold and he’s demanding accountability. He’s playing by the rules but relentlessly seeking to do what is right for We The People.
His opposition has called him worse than what mine called me. But it’s for the same reasons. He refuses to compromise his ethics or what he perceives to be the necessary commitment a member of Congress owes to the Nation. He refuses to go along to get along. And while some may say that he is grandstanding in his own personal quest for the White House, only someone devoid of reason would believe that he would subject himself to the vitriol and ostracizing now, and in the future, that his actions will bring.
No, Ted Cruz is a person who has passion in his belly not for self-aggrandizement but for principles and values. It takes one to know one. Hang in there, Senator Cruz. In the end, Steven was right.
They all did settle with me.
Whether you are pro-gun ownership or pro-gun control, there is no doubt that an airsoft gun is not a firearm. This simple fact makes the suspension from school of Khalid Caraballo, age 12, and his friend, Aidan for “possession, handling and use of a firearm” the latest example of politically motivated efforts to redefine reality and subjugate our children’s behavior to the directives of government control.
Did I mention that the boys were playing in their own front yard awaiting the arrival of a school bus at the time of the alleged behavior? Yet, the misdirected punishment is…suspension from school?
How do reactions such as this by administrative bodies and government entities continue to have legs? Well, when the President of the United States uses a memorial service, as President Obama just did, to shamelessly put forth a political agenda and seize the moment to actually encourage “transformation” and “obsession” it’s no wonder.
This isn’t about the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Nor is it about the propriety or impropriety of children playing with guns of any ilk. Those are topics for another day. This is about common sense and the relentless redefinition of what is right, wrong and politically correct by the powers that be.
The President (and all Progressives) commonly refer to the United States simply as a democracy. As a former Professor of Constitutional Law myself (as was the President) I find this to be incomplete and misleading. A “democracy” is one person/one vote. It is ultimately mob rule. The Constitutional Republic established by the Framers was a deliberate and carefully crafted effort to avoid creation of yet another failed democracy. Historically, that model of government had never worked. A fact that remains true as of this writing.
We are not governed by mob rule and the Administration’s and media’s efforts to incite “transformation” and “obsession” to achieve their goal of gun control leads not to an end that is in the highest interest of all, but rather to incidents such as the one where a 12-year-old child is punished for…well…being a 12-year-old child.
If Khalid Caraballo’s mother and father have an issue concerning their child playing with a toy gun, if their particular morals and values prohibit it, they will act accordingly in directing and educating their child. Absent that, the powers that be, in this case school Administrators, need to mind their own damned business.
If you aren’t incensed by this latest and blatant display of arrogance and overreaching power, it’s because enslavement is a slippery slope and you’ve past the point of recovery.
On 8/28/2010 I did something I had never before done. I awoke at 3AM to be on time to catch a chartered bus to Washington, D.C., along with about 50 people I had never met, to attend a rally on the Mall. If the date rings a bell it’s because it was Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally and, for the most part, all of the attendees were people you’d categorize as Tea Party members, 912 Project members, political Conservatives or Libertarians. As a registered Democrat for the greater part of my life…“a fish out of water” would be an apt phrase to describe my presence among that crowd.
I went because my daughter was a senior in high school and, having listened to Beck on radio for quite some time, I decided his intention was a good one and it would make a great Mother/Daughter road trip memory in years to come.
I probably had reservations about what I might experience but went with an open mind none-the-less. Imagine my surprise when what I encountered was 500,000 civil, polite and patriotic individuals. The amount of respect shown person to person was unparalled in my life experience…and certainly an anomaly in a crowd that size. In fact, the Capitol Police and Sanitation Department said afterward, they had never before (and probably since) seen a crowd leave the Mall as spotless as when it arrived. No trash, no desecration, no graffiti, no disrespect. Just a gathering of like-minded, decent people come to share their love of God and country.
So, shame on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for using the word “anarchist” to describe those of us who today oppose the implementation of Obamacare and seek to defund it as a result. Not only must he not understand the definition of the word as it relates to a political group (Tea Party members seek less government, not no government) but he also sinks to a level that pits American against American in a most hateful way.
If Harry Reid can’t hold on to Obamacare through legitimate and Constitutional means he should give it up, not seek to demean citizens who disagree with his (a/k/a the Progressive) agenda.
If I had to get up again at 3AM to spend time with those same people, or others like them, I would not hesitate to do so. Of course, that’s assuming Harry Reid wouldn’t be on board. I’m a Libertarian today and who knows what he’d call me.
Yes, it was a terrible tragedy that took place at the D.C. Navy Yard yesterday. Yes, there are those who will use the event as yet the latest call for “gun control.” I wonder if those same gun control advocates are nearly as upset about the “gun control waiver” that President Obama granted himself yesterday.
In case you remain unaware of what President Obama did yesterday (I would not be surprised if you are unaware given the media’s silence on the issue thus far) he waived a law that prohibited the United States from transferring weapons to designated terrorist groups. No, I didn’t mistype anything nor did you just misread anything. The President of the United States waived a law that would stop him from providing weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria. The Syrian opposition, by our own estimate and admission, is made up of 15% Al Qaeda. We are knowingly and deliberately arming those who brought down the Twin Towers.
An egomaniacal lust for power, total disregard for the Constitution and an ideological framework that disdains all that is truly American. That’s what Benghazi was all about and, having gotten away with it, he proceeds now with impunity. He simply doesn’t want to be found guilty of a crime. So our President abolished the law that would have made him a criminal. It’s as absurd as if the killer in the Navy Yard had been able to revoke the laws against assault and murder just prior to committing…assault and murder.
We mourn the senseless loss of lives in yesterday’s killing spree in D.C.
I suggest you prepare to mourn the loss of millions of lives that will result from President Obama’s stroke of the pen yesterday in that same city. His was a shameful and criminal act that should be prosecuted and quickly.
History repeats itself. Unfortunately this axiom is true when humanity fails to learn the error of its ways. A demoralized populace in the Weimar Republic was hungry for food, self-respect and leadership. Enter Adolph Hitler who had all the right buzz words and charisma to lead sheep to slaughter. By sheep, I refer not just to the Jews but also to “the good people of Germany” who followed their Pied Piper all the way to devastation by the Allied forces.
We, here in the United States, have been on a slippery slope for decades. Never mind the sociological and economic reasons why. Suffice it to say it is truth. Now, having experienced staggering unemployment, an over-extended and weakened military, a dollar of diminishing value, and dangerously incompetent leadership, Vladimir Putin enters stage left via a New York Times op-ed piece.
Putin has the hubris to lecture Americans on just behavior as he arrives cloaked in language that belies his own history of repression and thuggery not to mention religious and human rights oppression. Yet, in the absence of real leadership, the forcefulness of his conviction as devious as it may be makes this one-eyed monster appear as a King in the Land of the Blind.
We, here in the United States, have become the Land of the Blind. We turned not only a blind eye but also a deaf ear to the lies and manipulations of those to whom we entrusted power even as we knew in our hearts they were abusing it and us.
We have arrived at the door to our own demise.
Do not touch the handle. Do not think there is any way back from what is on the other side. Turn now. Run as far and as fast as you can in the other direction. Leave Putin and Obama behind. Become your own leader until such time as you come upon one who is genuine and does not seek the position. There you will have found meritorious leadership.
In the meantime, act swiftly and keep an eye out for John Galt. Let’s also pray that neither he nor Galt’s Gulch are fiction.
They want us divided. No, this isn’t a conspiracy post. It’s an epiphany.
You know the old saying, “United we stand, divided we fall?” Well, it’s old. Very old. It goes back to Aesop, the Ancient Greek story teller who lived between 620 and 654 B.C. Maybe it’s older than that. I suspect it is because it holds a fundamental secret that is the difference between destruction and survival…between lack and prosperity.
I’d been thinking about the seeming deterioration of race relations in this country over the past few years and wondering what was the impetus? The more I thought about it the more I decided that there really is no racial deterioration…just the promotion of a false sense of one by the media and others who have more to gain, and more to retain, by our division than by our unification.
After 9/11 we saw what we were made of. We experienced our connection and our love for one another. We each know that we are all One in humanity. We know it and we exhibit it whenever we are called upon to do so…and sometimes even when we are not. But we each feel insecure and alone in some ways as well. Maybe it’s just the impermanence of life as we know it that gives us a feeling of unease that is so easy to exploit.
And exploit our insecurity they do.
Those of us on a spiritual or God-focused path know that we are at a tipping point of understanding from deep within our hearts such as the world has never seen. And those who would rather that awakening not occur will do everything and anything in their power to make certain we do not get there. The tool most within their power is division by way of fear. Therefore, in order to to strengthen their grip on humanity and retain the positions of power they have cheated, lied and stolen to achieve, they are pulling out the “big guns”…figuratively and literally. War is on the horizon. Whether its nation against nation in the Middle East or black against white in the West. Divide and conquer.
Gandhi had it right. So did Martin Luther King. We, the People, can overcome. But our only hope is the acknowledgement of our Oneness and the expression of that knowing through Love. Without it we remain divided. And divided we fall.
Let each of us be the change we wish to see in the world, as Ghandi admonished. Let us be loving and truthful in our daily dealings with those we encounter. Let us not perpetuate the worst of humankind by being part of it.
I have a Catholic friend who just returned from Amstedam where she visited The Anne Frank House. She asked me, “How could people do that to one another?” “They forgot there is only One of Us and that we’re born for the sole purpose of remembering that single, life altering fact” was my reply.
Remember now. Unite now. Love now.
I am a Jew. As such, I have heard the refrain “Never Forget” my entire life in relation to the Holocaust. Like other Jews, I always took it as a caution to be aware that under the right conditions, it could happen again. To the Jews. But as I hear and see what is happening to Christians in the Middle East and particularly in Egypt, I fully understand that the admonition goes far beyond we Jews. It is a mantra that every compassionate human being must recite because we, as a species, remain capable of horrific persecution and devastating destruction.
In the moment that perverse banner is being carried by the Muslim Brotherhood as they seek to exploit the political unrest in Egypt by scapegoating Christians, burning their churches, looting their places of business, raping their women and executing them simply because they are seen carrying a bible.
There is not a Jew alive whose stomach should not turn and whose body should not feel a chill at the familiarity of these events. Been there. Done that.
So what is the issue? The issue is, “Do we as Jews have the courage to stand in solidarity with Christians of the Middle East?” “Do we as Americans retain yet enough of what has made us a beacon of light throughout our history to now shine that light on the atrocities being inflicted upon Christians?” “Are we as humans still able feel the pain of others who, though outwardly different from us, are inwardly the essence of who we truly are?”
There is only One of Us. Today, we are all Coptic Christians.
I have never understood how so much of the world sat silently by and turned a blind eye while Hitler and the disease called National Socialism embarked upon its campaign of annihilation. I am sad to say that I have begun to understand it. Today, the silence of our media and paralysis of our Administration are eerie portents of what may follow.
We are each responsible not for the carnage being inflicted upon Christians in Egypt, but for our silence in the face of it. God help the Muslim Brotherhood extremists who are looting, burning raping and murdering.
But who will help the silent?
In Rose, Michigan, a 6th grade student is groomed for two years then raped by a 40-year-old pedofile teacher at the public school. The teacher is then tried and convicted by a court of law and sentenced to 15-30 years. The School Board, the local Lutheran Church and the faculty stand in support of the pedofile.
In Ontario, Canada, a mother with an autistic son moves into a new neighborhood and receives an anonymous letter in her mailbox suggesting she euthanize her son and donate “whatever non-retarded body parts he has” to science because the sounds the child makes when playing outside are “not normal” and disturbing. The letter further states that no one is ever going to employ or love him. The surrounding community is silent.
Al Jazeera, a purported “news” channel owned and operated by the nation of Qatar, began cable broadcast today into 49 million homes in the United States. Not only is this the network that promoted and broadcast tapes by Osama bin Laden, but Qatar is currently the outcast Arab nation that is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda and atrocities in Egypt, much to the public dismay of its Arab neighbors who deem the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. What the Arab world deems terrorist, the United States welcome into its homes and families.
If Adolf Hitler knew one thing it was how reluctant people are to take a stand against what they know in their hearts to be wrong. Behavior can defy reason and decency and yet we humans, all too readily and in the end tragically, remain mute for fear of reprisal.
There is historical instruction on this issue. And its not WWII but rather the biblical Book of Esther. Esther, a Jew, is married to the King of Persia who is unaware of her heritage. When the King’s Ambassador and confidant Haman attempts to eliminate all the Jews, Esther’s uncle Mordechai tells her to go to the King and plead for intervention to reverse the decree. Esther, fearing for her own life should she reveal her Judaism to the King, at first declines Mordechai’s request. In reply, Mordechai tells her that if she seeks her own personal safety at the expense of her People, the Jews will die but inevitably so shall Esther. His admonition: Your silence will cost you the very thing you seek it to protect.
Whether the issue is a pedofile teacher, a cruel and cowardly neighbor lacking all compassion, or the media outlet of our sworn enemy being invited into our children’s minds, silence in opposition will cost you the protections and peace you hope it will bring.
What has happened to us? When did we lose not only our sense of humor but also our freedom of speech? A rodeo clown in Missouri dons a mask of the President and seeks to “get chased down” by a bull and its cause for a federal investigation not to mention a lifetime ban on the clown?
In my lifetime, I cannot recall a President who was not spoofed, mocked, made fun of or characterized in a mask by some person or another. Yet I cannot recall it becoming an event of such monumental proportions nor resulting in the firing of an individual from his professional line of work.
Yet, here we are having reached either the absurd but inevitable end result of political correctness or, worse, the “fundamental transformation” of the role of President into the role of a “god” who cannot be “blasphemed.”
I am fairly certain that just as with Oprah’s recent mis-characterization of what she experienced in Switzerland, calling a communications malfunction a personal and racial affront, so too has the P.C. mentality turned political satire (however base) into a personal attack on the first black President simply because he is black.
I think not.
The spoof was much more likely a political statement by someone who disagrees with the President’s policies and found a way to express that in the humorous context of what is his life’s work.
As Thomas Jefferson said, we are duty bound as citizens of the United States to “question with boldness even the existence of God.” Surely, given that directive, it should come as no surprise, nor insult, for someone to question or even mock with boldness, the President of the United States.
Think this one over carefully. What’s happening here isn’t about P.C., race, or politics. It’s about the silencing of free speech. The rodeo clown’s. Then, soon to follow, yours and mine.
It’s been done before and eloquently memorialized before.
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.”
History repeats itself. Speak up before there is no one to speak for you.