Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Breakdown

The signs of societal decay are all around. Human life is being devalued, morals are sinking faster than the Titanic and ethics in the public and private sector are almost non-existent. First and most serious is the decline in the value of human life. We are headed down the slippery slope. From abortion, to the "right" to die and soon the obligation to die. To further this end our government now proposes to determine who lives or dies based upon a subjective quality of life. Have you ever noticed the people discussing the quality of life are all healthy.

The moral failures of those in public life are worn like badges of honor. At least Elliot Spitzer had the decency to resign. The great moralizer, Mark Sanford, can't muster the courage to practice what he preaches. The fact that he was so quick to criticize the moral failings of President Clinton, a subject for another day, while so forgiving of his own sins is pathetic. How easy it is hold others to a higher standard while we give ourselves a free pass, disgusting.

Our ethics in the public space are so low we have come up with a special catagory for bribes, campaign contributions. Special interests pay congressmen and congresswomen for their votes. The amounts of money used to influence our legislators is obscene. Both Democrats and Republicans share blame equally. I wonder how long our institutions will hold as the public begins to understand the depth of the corruption of local, state and federal officials.

Finally what about us, the citizens of this great country. How long will we tolerate corruption and what will become of our society when we are no longer willing to accept our debased culture. Hopefully our tradition of individual freedoms and participatory government will hold. For there is one thing worse than a society with a lack of morals, that is a totalitarian society where individual lives and freedoms mean nothing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Showing Weakness is Never a Sign of Strength

"No people in history have ever survived, who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.” -- Dean Acheson

President Obama's policy was to ignore the North Koreans, to deny them the respect they so keenly crave. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared the North Korean government to unruly children. Now in one fell swoop North Korea humbles both American leaders on the world stage. Very shrewd on their part.

I am relieved to know Bill Clinton's mission was successful in gaining release for the 2 American captives, but I must two questions, how did they get there and what price did we pay for their freedom?

Iran has now captured 3 U.S. tourists hiking on the Iran/Iraq border. I hope for their safe return but what price will be pay?

Seems the new international sport is to humiliate the United States; to show the world how weak we are.

Unfortunately weakness is always met with contempt. So expect a rise in agressive behavior toward us, at least until President Obama musters the resolve to stand up to the world's bullies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Citizens vs. Subjects

With control of the Executive branch for the next 3 and 1/2 years, a fillibuster proof 60 seats in the Senate and a 77 seat majority in the House, Democrats appear to be unable to deliver on President Obama's promise to implement "change we can believe in". Legislation on energy and health care is stalled and popular discontent is rising.

Under the pressure of a deeping recession, the Democratic coalition is beginning to fracture. Fissures started with the failed stimulus package. President Obama erred mightily allowing Democrats in Congress to write and pass legislation that started as a well intentioned program to lessen the impact of the recession but morphed into the mother of all pork barrel legislation. The American people know the stimulus was a payoff to democratic constituents. No amount of posturing by President Obama and Vice President Biden will change that.

The root cause of the Democrats problem is leftists do not believe in the principals of government expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They support massive government management of all phases of life. No government of the people, by the people and for the people for them. They seek to change the fundamental relationship between the citizens and the government and think they have the mandate to enact these changes.

Conservative democrats understand the threat to our freedoms. Liberal Americans who support our form of government codified in the Constitution are getting quezy about the left's insatiable appetite for centralized management and control.

As this ideological battle plays out we must as a people choose; are we subjects or citizens? Do we want a society where we serve the government or the government serves us?

This ideological split threatens to short circuit the Obama administration, tear the Democratic party apart at the seams and usher in a new era of moderate to conservative national leadership.
A storm is brewing.

The Problem with Chappaquiddick

The problem with Chappaquiddick is what it did to the baby boomer generation and how it still affects our country today.

Some context; since FDR’s defeat of Hoover in 1932, liberals held the moral high ground on a number of issues; the Depression, WWII, Korea, civil rights, ich bin ein Berliner, the Cuban Missile Crisis, even Vietnam, at least in the beginning.

Then came Chappaquiddick, now the people who held the moral high ground were forced to compromise their morals for something they knew was very wrong; the crime, the cowardice and the cover up. Worse yet the perpetrator was the brother of a national icon, the hero to all liberals and a large percentage of the general population. Remember the intensity of the JFK funeral, the overwhelming sense of loss. This was a bitter pill to swallow, almost impossible to reconcile. It was easier to just look away.

So the people who thought they held the moral high ground on the most important issues of the day compromised their morality. I won’t try to analyze their motives. Some, maybe most of the justifications to look the other way, stemmed from the desire to do well.

Ok if what I’ve written so far makes sense and you care to read further here is my conclusion; the people who viewed themselves as moral had to compromise with something they knew was wrong. Since these people thought themselves above moral reproach it must have been morality that was wrong. This rejection of morality, combined with our culture of narcissism, planted the seeds of the moral relativism we see today.

My evidence of this moral dilemma, George Bush of course. The first time you look away, Chappaquiddick, at least the first time for our generation, it was difficult. The next time, Clinton’s infidelities for example, it got easier. Now we slide down the slippery slope to torture. It’s not so tough to look away in a world where there are no moral absolutes. Why for instance Bob Packwood was unfit to be a Senator and Bill Clinton, fit to be President. Or better yet, why was Larry Craig demonized for having a wide stance in a public restroom and Barney Frank given a free pass to pay a male prostitute for sex while allowing a male prostitution ring to operate out of his apartment. The answer of course is moral relativism. The ends justify the means.

I am not trying to attack anyone. I do NOT believe Republicans are more moral than Democrats. Nor am I trying to blame our conduct today on Ted. I have tremendous sympathy for him and his entire family and I wish him the best. He has tried to champion a better world for all.

That said he showed little sympathy for Mary Jo Kopechni. Ted had his moment to show courage and he failed the test. I don’t know if I could have done any better. I hope I never get the chance to be courageous. If I am faced with such a test, I hope I have the ability to do the right thing regardless of the personal consequences. Most probably I’m no more up to the task than Ted was.

What I am saying is when people chose to look away we all pay a steep price.