“Walking” the Talk
No matter how we label ourselves — conservative, liberal, moderate or none of the above — we all must grapple with the ever-expanding size and scope of government.
America has reached a tipping point. The federal government has grown exponentially, not just in spending, but in its reach. Government intrudes into virtually every aspect of our daily lives, from the type of toilet we can buy, to the mix of fuel we put in our cars, to the kind of light bulb we can use.
Government policies have stifled domestic energy production while pouring billions of tax dollars into alternative-energy subsidies, reflecting the elitist, “progressive” faith that bureaucrats can pick winners and losers better than individuals making voluntary decisions in their own interests can. Unelected bureaucrats have been empowered to stipulate what health services we will purchase, and how and from whom we will receive them.
Excessive government intervention not only limits individual freedoms, it stifles entrepreneurial creativity and job creation. It locks the poor into a lifetime of dependency and poverty. And it limits the ability of hard-working Americans to enjoy upward mobility.
The federal government also dominates in spheres of activity traditionally reserved to the states. This leaves little or no room for state-level innovation in areas such as education, transportation, health care, welfare and even law enforcement.
The pace of expansion has been breathtaking. The rapid growth of federal grasp and reach is unsettling, leading Americans to question whether their children will inherit a better future — and even whether it’s still possible to achieve the American Dream.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for us, as we begin a new year, to recommit ourselves to the principles that led to the founding of our great nation.
At the heart of these principles is the belief that people are free by nature and possess inherent rights. The use each of us makes of these rights will naturally differ, and the outcomes of those choices will naturally differ, too. The choice remains ours.
Freedom is thus inextricably bound up with living our lives as we see fit. This is self-government in the truest sense of the term. We the people need not slavishly defer to experts. We can be trusted to govern ourselves.
That is why government must remain limited. The people have given it only limited powers, as described in the Constitution. When government takes more than we have given it, it renders our choices meaningless. At worst, unlimited government is tyrannical; at best, it imposes a dull uniformity that crushes true diversity and saps the independent spirit of the people.
The Founders understood this. That’s why they avoided creating a government that could be dominated by a single faction. Whether that faction was a minority or a majority, it would seek to promote its own narrow interests at the expense of the people’s liberties. The Constitution’s checks and balances are intended to restrain the ambition of the powerful — to ensure that government genuinely promotes “the general Welfare.”
As the federal government has grown over the past century, the business of government has increasingly become taking from Paul to benefit Peter, and then borrowing from Peter to pay off Paul. What the supporters of big government call the general welfare is merely the artful distribution of favors to particular factions.
The federal government is not supposed to be the most important institution in America. In securing the general welfare, it is supposed to do only those things that are provided for in the Constitution.
It must, for example, provide for the common defense and regulate our relations with foreign nations. It must respect our right to enjoy the fruits of our labor by taxing lightly, and defend the freedom of the marketplace by ensuring the rule of law.
And it must remember that the family and religion are where we learn virtue — and that without virtue, government cannot be both limited and free.
Let’s see if we can move America back in the right direction together during 2014.
Originally appeared in The Washington Times
Tolerance. Diversity. Poverty. The Rainbow. Leftists are exceptional at taking concepts, stripping out the entrails, stuffing it like a sausage with their own utopian brain-farts, and then beating us over the head with it until the concept loses all vestige of original meaning. It’s like that game you used to play as a kid on road trips where you’d repeat the same word over and over until it sounded unrecognizable to your own ears and everyone else in the car was ready to give you a wood shampoo.
They demonstrate Tolerance and Diversity by chastising and ostracizing anyone who disagrees with them. They agitate for more wealth confiscation from the rich so that Americans on welfare don’t have to choose between keeping their cable and getting a new cell phone. A new cell phone, by the way, manufactured in Chinese factories where the working conditions are deemed so terrible that people are committing suicide in order to bring attention to the plight of their fellow workers, in other words made by folks who are actually poor(1).
How pervasive is American poverty when 92% of poor households (as described by the Census Bureau) have a microwave? 31% have 2 or more automobiles. Nearly 2/3rds of them have cable TV or satellite and 1/3rd have LCD televisions.
This is poverty? Our poor would be considered wealthy in half the countries around the world. On a side note, why do we only compare ourselves to the rest of the world in hand-picked situations? If we have to hear about how much better Costa Rica is because of their eco-tourism and commitment to green initiatives, why don’t we talk about the fact that their GDP is ranked #82 in the world, behind countries like Myanmar and Sudan?
Let’s not forget the most popular banner under which the Left marches today: the Rainbow. Its original purpose was to serve as a covenantal reminder between mankind and God that He would never send torrential rains to wipe out the entire human population, as He nearly did during Noah’s time. In a twist of biting irony, the rainbow now serves as a battle standard for the very forces which led to the flooding of the earth in the first place. One can almost see the former residents of Sodom and Gomorrah gleefully marching in today’s Pride Parades under the banner signifying God’s eternal forbearance.
But why stop there? Why not continue the adoption of ironic symbols, so as to stick the thumb further into God’s eye? Forget the Ground Zero Mosque, we should build the Ground Zero Tower of Babel.
Let’s design mobiles for infant cribs. Instead of falling asleep to gently rotating stars and a moon, your baby can drift off to slumber while sleepily watching plush cut-outs of fire and brimstone circling above her head, signifying how proud and tolerant Dad and Dad are.
How about an awards show, called The Salties where salt-pillar trophies are given to the members of the Christian community who made the most difference on behalf of the LGBTQWFNXAIR community over the past year. It sure would be a nice way to say thank you to the hapless Christians who know better than God and can’t be troubled to turn their Bibles to Romans 1.
But there are few concepts which have suffered a worse drubbing than Equality. It is almost Orwellian how gruesomely the Left has twisted the concept of Equality. No one has described it more aptly than LBJ: “[F]reedom is not enough… [T]he next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights is not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result… To this end, equal opportunity is essential, but not enough.” – President Lyndon B Johnson, Howard University 1965
Apparently, the Founding Fathers were slack-jawed idjits. “Equality as a right is so-so”, is what he’s saying. But what he’d really like to see is equality as a result and a fact. So what he and his fellow Progressives have been doing ever since is trying to reverse-engineer our society to arrive at the desired result. This is their playbook. They pick a goal and then twist the existing framework to try to artificially manufacture their desired goal.
They did this with our housing market by punishing banks which refused to lend to sub-prime borrowers. Why? Because that’s how they planned to reach their goal of increasing home ownership amongst the poor. They did this with our currency when they created the Federal Reserve system, which allows them to tinker with interest rates and money supply to achieve their ideological goals. Time and again, they have refused to let natural forces operate and have forced us to suffer through the inevitable course corrections.
There is no way to achieve “equality is a fact” or a “result” without abandoning equality to get there. And what good is achieving something you have to violate to obtain? The first mistake is expecting Leftists to adhere to the laws of logic. The second is expecting them to see beyond their myopic, Machiavellian machinations. In their brilliance, our Founding Fathers realized that no man-made government could achieve equality of results and so they crafted a system that recognized the equal value of each American citizen and offered them an equal opportunity at success and happiness.
The American Dream is not wealth, success, and happiness. Many are born with that in this country or exert little effort to obtain it. No, the American Dream is found in the space between that equal opportunity and achieved success. It is the ability to make the journey, not the destination itself.
(1) The author is well aware that there are Americans who are desperately poor and is sensitive to their plight. He also understands that the number of truly poor Americans is dwarfed by the number of Americans who are perfectly capable of working and perfectly comfortable not working. These are the people who soak up available tax revenues which should be going to those who are truly in need.
Democrat Senator, Chuck Schumer of New York, has over 30 years of sleazy experience in the art of political espionage. Schumer has a well documented history of voting to weaken immigration laws and contributing to the explosion of illegal immigration and drug trafficking crime plaguing America today. Yet once again, he wants Americans, and his naïve Senate colleagues, to take him at his word that this time he is going to get it right and honor his commitments.
Let us take a gander at Senator Schumer’s honorable record on U.S. Immigration and Border enforcement policies and his new “immigrant prevailing wage” agenda.
In 1986, then Congressmen Chuck Schumer, a protégé of liberal Senate lion, Ted Kennedy, voted in support of the Democrat praised Reagan era “Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)”. The 1986 IRCA made historic changes to existing U.S. immigration law and granted citizenship to an underestimated 3 million illegal aliens. This amnesty, offered as an attempt to curb illegal immigration, allowed illegal aliens living and working in the US to apply for lawful permanent residency if they filed 3 years of back tax returns and paid their back taxes. In turn, our government, Republicans and Democrats, promised to work to secure the U.S. southern border with Mexico, and pursue legal penalties against American businesses who continued to employee undocumented alien workers.
Almost immediately after voting for the IRCA, Schumer went to work betraying his word to his colleagues, and more importantly the American people through his attempts to have the IRCA’s illegal alien tax filing obligations undone in another historic piece of legislation, the “Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA)”. Although Schumer was unsuccessful in forcing amendments to the TRA to abate the IRCA’s immigrant tax filing/paying requirements, Schumer eventually voted in support for the passage of the legislation.
Shortly after passage of the TRA, Schumer began pressuring the U.S. Treasury to issue an independent regulation, exempting illegal alien citizen candidates from the tax filing provisions of the IRCA reconfirmed in the 1986 “Tax Reform Act” Schumer supported. In a letter to the Treasury, Schumer argued that Congress “did not intend” to subject amnestied aliens to the tax disclosure and payment requirements he voted for 2 weeks earlier. According to Schumer : “Obviously, we could not have a successful legalization program if by submitting an application an alien became vulnerable to an enforcement action by the IRS.”
The IRS never issued the regulation requested by Schumer, however, in 1988 Congress issued 499 pages of new tax legislation entitled the “Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988“. Buried deep inside this piece of legislation was one sentence absolving illegal aliens of their past tax filing and debt obligations. So much for “shared responsibility.”
Fast forward to 2006, when President Bush signed the token border security law we know as the “Secure Fence Act (SFA),” The SFA’s goal was to secure the U.S. southern border with Mexico to decrease illegal entry, drug trafficking, and security threats, by building 700 miles of fence and authorizing funds for more vehicles barriers, checkpoints, lighting and an increase in the use of advanced technologies like cameras, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce infrastructure at the border. Senator Schumer tried to filibuster the 2006 Secure Fences Act and has also opposed all border security infrastructure spending, choosing instead to support the liberal position that building border fences is not an effective deterrent to illegal border traffic.
Opponents of the SFA claimed border fences have the potential to damage U.S./Mexico relations, disrupt the environment, and inhibit natural animal migration patterns. Further, liberals claim that border fences increased the risk to illegal workers, who used to return home after pursuing seasonal work and fences might force them to bring their families with them and remain permanently in the United States. I’m not making this up.
Chuck Schumer has vigorously opposed every single piece of legislation designed to commit resources to improving US border security and slowing the growth of illegal immigration. During a recent trip to the Arizona/Mexican border, Schumer was heard to express his reservations about the federal government’s ability to secure our southern border given the ineffectiveness of currently available technology. Would this be the very same technology that he has consistently opposed funding for over two decades? Or is this the technology he lavishly praises for improving border security under the stewardship of the Obama Administration? That is, before he actually visited the border, and then recently condemned it? Oh brother.
Now we hear that Senator Schumer has brokered a backroom deal between Richard Trumpka’s AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to establish as part of proposed Immigration Reform legislation, an immigrant “prevailing wage” plan. I won’t bore you with the details, since the specifics of this new Democrat idea—much like the details of bio-metric worker I.D. cards—have yet to be made public. However, it is in your best interest to read up on this garbage, because you’ll be paying for it.
Funny, I don’t remember electing Richard Trumpka or the US Chamber of Commerce to anything, so why are they involved in government efforts to curb illegal immigration, reduce immigrant entitlement dependency, and control the growth of Mexican gang violence and drug trafficking in America? More importantly what does an “immigrant prevailing wage” have to do with border security and decreasing illegal immigration? I guess it must be that old campaign contribution thing popping up AGAIN. Either way, there goes all that cheap illegal immigrant labor right into the ranks of the Obama loyal SEIU.
Chuck Schumer wants nothing more than to increase the size of his loyal Democrat voting entitlement dependent constituency. The only thing you can trust about Senator Schumer, is his history of going back on his word, and his use of political sleight of hand and outright criminal deception to get what he wants. If Mr. Schumer, and his gang bangers of 8, are working on legitimate and trustworthy immigration reform efforts, why is it that everything must be done in secret, behind politically expedient closed doors?
A Florida college professor causing national outrage for requiring students to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper, then put it on the floor and stomp on it, turns out also to be a top official in the local Democratic Party – the latest in a string of acute leadership embarrassments.
Although one student who refused to participate claims he was punished by being suspended from the class, Florida Atlantic University is defending the controversial assignment.
The dissenting student, Ryan Rotela, told the local CBS TV affiliate WPEC that his instructor, associate professor Deandre Poole, told everyone in the class to write the word “Jesus” on a piece of paper in bold letters, then put it on the floor and stomp on it.
Rotela, a junior from Coral Springs, said some of his classmates complied, but he refused.
“Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value,” he told WPEC.
A religious Mormon who attends church every Sunday, Rotela complained to school officials but said they responded by suspending him from the class.
According to Florida Atlantic University, Poole was conducting an exercise from the textbook “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.”
A synopsis of the lesson plan in question, obtained by Fox News, goes like this:
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”
Grove City College professor Paul Kengor, author of “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor,” told Fox he wasn’t surprised by the “lesson.”
“These are the new secular disciples of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ – empty buzzwords that make liberals and progressives feel good while they often refuse to tolerate and sometimes even assault traditional Christian and conservative beliefs,” Kengor told Fox, saying classes like the one at FAU reflect “the rising confidence and aggression of the new secularists and atheists, especially at our sick and surreal modern universities.”
Kengor added: “Gee, I wonder if the instructor would dare do this with the name of Muhammed.”
It turns out, the “stomp-on-Jesus” professor, Poole, also has a prominent position in local politics. As Bizpacreview reports, Poole is vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.
Moreover, this isn’t the local party’s first brush with negative publicity.
The former chairman of the county Democratic Party was forced to resign in September after comments he made at the Democratic National Convention last year in Charlotte, N.C.
As WND reported, Mark Siegel reportedly told an interviewer Christians who support Israel want to see Jews “slaughtered.”
Siegel was quoted as saying, “Oh no, the Christians just want us to be there so we can all be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
And two months earlier, a Democratic Executive Committee member from Palm Beach County also slammed Israel. Evelyn Garcia sent an email accusing the Jewish state of atrocities, writing, “By supporting Israeli occupation with U.S. foreign aid, we are all complicit and guilty of their crimes against humanity.”
“And, I deeply resent U.S. taxpayer funds being used to continue Israeli aggression (yes, confiscating other peoples’ land and building illegal settlements is aggression), not to mention ‘incursions’ that kill PEOPLE, destroy civilian homes and infrastructure all over, mass concentration prison camps, etc,etc,etc,” she added.
Garcia quit her post after a public outcry.
In the meantime, still no word from Florida Atlantic University on whether it will discipline the professor who urged students to stomp on “Jesus” and whether Ryan will have his suspension from class lifted.
FAU did, however, email this press statement: “Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate.