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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Systemic Racism

What is "systemic racism?"  The answer is that it is a term used by those who believe the "system" is itself the cause of discrimination and racism in America.  It's a sort of code word for identifying the free enterprise system and the limited government created by the Founders as being endemically corrupted by racism.  The message is that regardless of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and regardless of legal protections against discrimination, American society, in general, is racist.

In reality, "systemic racism" is a term or phrase developed to cast aspersions on all of American society and to justify tearing down long-established institutions in favor of an all-powerful government run by a select few.  It is pejorative, ideological term.  It's a term that is used without argument, justification or logic to attack people and institutions with whom Marxists disagree.  In lieu of identifying specific cases of racism or discrimination, the charge is levied that the entire system is racist.

Ironically while the Marxists are wrong about the limited government created by our Founders and wrong about our free market system, I would argue that, in fact, there is "systemic racism" in America.  The fact is "systemic racism" has been the official public policy of the US government at least as far back as the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson.  What else do you call public policies that undercut the self-sufficiency of poor people, especially black Americans?  What do you call official policy that turns citizens into wards of the state?  It's not that poverty did not exist in 1935 or in 1964, but rather that the laws imposed on those in poverty, especially black Americans, made their situation worse, not better.  Such laws and policies fit precisely the definition of "systemic racism."  These policies, even today, receive the approbation of the liberal/progressive movement.

The fact is that well before the advent of the New Deal and the Great Society, the intactness of black families matched or even exceeded that of white America.  And, by all rational and logical standards, the nuclear family is the foundation of any successful society.  Historically, nations and families do not prosper unless the family unit is strong.  But, the Great Society and AFDC—Aid for Dependent Children, formerly ADC (under the Social Security Act of 1935), and now called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—succeeded in destroying the nuclear family in the black community.  It didn't just damage the black family, it utterly decimated it, wreaking havoc and causing human misery almost beyond comprehension.  By penalizing marriage and paying bounties for babies, TANF continues to rip apart black families, especially in the central cities of our nation. 

TANF not only makes marriages financially impractical, it trivializes marriage as a building block of society.  Further, by undercutting black males and denying them their self respect, TANF has destroyed lives.  Without a positive male role model, millions of young black males have fallen through the cracks and become involved in gangs, violence, and truancy, embracing destructive moral values. 

The damaging record of what began as ADC goes on and on.  The "systemic racism" of TANF and the Great Society has denied black Americans access to the economic ladder of success.  Who can provide the example to young black males of working your way up out of poverty when there is no father in the home?  Who can climb the ladder of success when the first rung—an entry level job—has been removed through the imposition of an arbitrary minimum wage.  Minimum wage scales are created at the behest of labor unions seeking to close off access to the marketplace by those who are willing to offer their services at a lower wage in order to take the first step up the ladder of opportunity.  Today the minimum wage is set so high that the unemployment rate among young black Americans approaches 50%!  This cynical payoff by the unions denies black Americans and others who are poor the opportunity to begin the climb up the ladder of economic success.

This is not mythology, this is reality.  Tell me of one non-trust fund child in America who has achieved success who did not get his start in an entry level job.  I worked as a "sacker" in a grocery store at $1.00 per hour.  Like all new hires, I learned how the business world worked from that job.  I was proud of the fact that the boss told me I was the best "sacker" he ever hired.  What did I learn?  I learned punctuality and I learned how to dress in the right way.  I learned that hustling was the way to move up the ladder.  I learned how to take orders and how to do them to the best of my ability.  I learned how to communicate clearly and and I gained a strong respect for authority.  I saw all kinds of people in action and that helped me to decide what I wanted to do and what I did not want to do.  That's what an entry level job is all about, learning the ropes so that you can ascend the ladder of success.  It's nearly impossible to ascend the ladder when the first rung has been removed.

But climbing the ladder of success wasn't just denied the black community by imposition of the minimum wage, it was also blocked by the lack of a father in the home that exercised discipline, modeled success, and modeled how men treat women.  Driving fathers out of the home is undoubtedly the worst aspect of the TANF program.  Everything that government has done in poor, black communities has made the situation worse, not better.

Healthy communities cannot survive in a dangerous climate where crime thrives.  It is a primary responsibility of society to establish and maintain order and safety in all our communities.  In this respect, government has once again failed the black community.  What business, that offers entry level and higher level jobs, wants to operate in an area where petty crime and even violence are common occurrences?  When there are no businesses to employ workers due to high crime rates the challenge facing a young black man seeking a job is exacerbated.  A healthy community is a safe community.  When government fails in one of its primary responsibilities to protect its citizens, society fails.

Government further compounds its "systemic racism" by providing schools where neither discipline, nor education flourish.  We know that great schools are possible in the worst areas of our nation because we have shining, successful examples in the form of KIPP—Knowledge is Power Program—schools that number more than 90 throughout the United States.  In the worst area of the Bronx, NY, there is a high-performance KIPP school that consistently turns out top performing, successful students. 

Prior to the creating of school choice, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, schools ranked 47th in the nation.  The advent of the Milwaukee school choice program has resulted in highly successful schools like St. Marcus School.  More than 97% of the graduates of St. Marcus elementary and middle school finish high school.  Students from this same community experienced a drop-out rate from high school of more than 50% prior to the establishment of St. Marcus.  It's not the students who were not capable or smart enough to become productive, successful members of society, it was government in the form of failing government run schools that failed them.  It was the teacher's union that cast them aside and gave up on them.  A good education is the foundation of a successful and productive life and the "systemic racism" accepted and even promoted by government failed these young Americans.  They have been rescued by compassionate people unhindered by the "systemic racism" of government run schools controlled by teachers unions.

And what about the "systemic racism" of government policies that punish the poor by artificially raising the price of energy?  Energy costs take a huge chunk out of the standard of living of the poor.  While energy costs—for heating, AC and for gasoline—hurt the middle class, high energy prices for the poor destroy jobs and make their economic situation even worse.  The record shows that most black Americans who live in the central city must travel farther for work.  Higher energy costs mean higher transportation costs.  Government policies that cause higher energy prices amount to nothing more than "systemic racism" and they hurt poor black Americans the most.

Surprisingly, entrepreneurship occurs more frequently among the poor in black communities than it does even in the middle class.  Actually, it's not so surprising when you consider that while other avenues of opportunity are cut off, starting your own business is another means of climbing the ladder of success.  Opening your own laundry, your own barber shop, your own taxi service, your own handy-man service is a way of creating your own job and making a decent living.  But even here the "systemic racism" of government conspires with established businesses to create rules, regulations, special taxes and licenses that effectively bar entry into the marketplace.  Once again, government saws off the bottom rungs of the ladder of economic success in order to select winners and losers.  Businesses like unions, seek to use government to create monopolies and cartels that effectively block entry into the marketplace.  Corrupt politicians, both Republican and Democrat, are always more than willing to accommodate both parties, providing there is a quid pro quo in terms of support for re-election.

The "systemic racism" idea promoted by black radicals and white liberals is an excuse for tearing down the supposedly unfair and corrupt free market system.  It's a lie.  But the "systemic racism" that I have described above is real and devastating to those who suffer under it.  It is particularly frustrating that government, and liberals in particular, have so utterly failed and targeted one segment of our society—black Americans—causing them to be victims of government instigated, government condoned, and government sponsored racism.

It makes no difference if the "systemic racism" of government was instigated with good intentions or with cynical political intentions, the result is the same.  Through the agency of government we have systematically betrayed the poor, especially black Americans, by disallowing them access to the economic ladder of success.  The real racists of the 21st century are those who knowingly hurt those in the black community by perpetuating failing schools, destroying intact families, denying safe, crime free streets, causing higher fuel costs, advocating for higher minimum wages and more regulations and difficult-to-obtain business licenses, in order to keep the people in those communities dependent upon them for political gain.  Their policies have broken up homes and denied the poor the self-respect that comes from earning a living wage, caring for your family, and seeing your children advance to a higher standard of living than you have achieved.  Such upward mobility is a key part of the American dream, but that dream is only possible when government does not interfere in the marketplace.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Our President has made it clear that he doesn't like the idea of corporations making profits.  He apparently sees profits as unnecessary and unjustified.  Time after time he has attacked those who have achieved success, especially in the business world.  He finds their success to be odious.  Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia on July 13, 2012, President Obama said, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen…"  Clearly the President does not believe in Horatio Alger's America.  He doesn't believe America is the land of opportunity where anyone, regardless of what condition they were born into, can climb the ladder of success.  For Obama, the government is the end all and be all of everything.  Perhaps that's because he has never worked one day in the private sector.  He knows very little about America and everything he has accomplished in life has been thanks to government.

While the reality is that government is an impediment to success in business, our President sees government as the key to success.  He believes that no businessman really achieves success on his or her own and, therefore, all citizens share equally in that success and should be rewarded equally from that success.  It's his rationalization for socialism.  It's his rationale for attacking corporate profits.  It's why he can say in the midst of the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression that "the private sector is doing just fine."

Our President has no understanding whatsoever that it is the private sector that funds the government.  Government workers, including politicians, create no wealth of any kind.  They get their wealth from those in the private sector—those businessmen that make profits, and those people who have jobs that offer consumer goods and services.  I seriously doubt that this President understands that a dollar is simply a convenient representati0n of wealth that has been created in the private sector.  The dollars he receives as President come from those who produce goods and services; they don't just appear out of thin air.

And just in case he is interested, the private sector is not doing fine.  The private sector is struggling because it is laboring under a crushing load of taxes and endless regulations issued by the government he is in charge of.  Twenty-four million Americans are unemployed, under employed or are no longer seeking work because they have given up.  Forty-eight million Americans are on food stamps.  Mr. President, your policies created this mess!  Your policies have caused businesses to be unprofitable and to go out of business, laying off workers.  You are the problem, not the solution.

In a recent speech the President bragged about General Motors and said he wanted to do for other businesses what he did for General Motors.  Setting aside the fact that according to a Forbes headline "General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy – Again" the President is talking about what all socialists dream of, nationalizing major industries.  His view is that if he can only nationalize all the major industries he will have access to their profits that he can then spend on more socialistic schemes.  Of course, as history shows, those profits will disappear once the government is running these businesses.

The President has no problem with the rich in Hollywood that feather his political nest, and provide millions for his re-election campaign.  What the President has problems with is businessmen who are successful and think that they earned that success.  Like all good liberals, the President doesn't believe that risk taking should be rewarded.  He believes it is without merit whatsoever.  In fact, as I have been told by a professed liberal, those who are successful in business have simply been lucky in the lottery of life.  I'm not kidding.  That's what liberals believe.  They believe all success is just built on luck.  Some people are lucky and some people aren't.  Similarly, these "intellectual liberals" believe that some countries are lucky and some are not.  That's how the President arrived at his conclusion that America is no more exceptional or unique than any other country.  Left unsaid is his belief that America is prosperous just because it is lucky. 

Now I believe that success in business is a product of many things including hard work, innovation, risk taking, decision making, leadership and God's blessing.  I do not believe in luck, but I do recognize that most business start-ups fail.  Starting a business is a high risk proposition and staying in business is also a high risk proposition.  If a businessman makes just a few missteps or bad decisions, he will go over the cliff.  That's what running a business is all about, walking along the edge of a cliff, doing your best not to fall over the edge and into the abyss of failure.  This analogy applies to all businesses—small, medium or large.  Each year businesses of all sizes—including billion dollar companies—file for bankruptcy.  New businesses, established businesses and businesses that have been around for a hundred years make bad decisions, take bad risks and fall by the wayside.  That's the nature of being in business.  Staying in business is a high wire act.

So why do people go into business in the first place?  The truth is that in most cases it's not to earn a lot of money.  Sure, profits are essential, but they are not the driving force for most businessmen.  While investors put their money into stocks and bonds for one purpose—to get a financial return, entrepreneurs are born risk takers.  They like the risk and excitement of doing something new or better than others are doing it.  They are willing to risk everything to start up and run a successful business.  Most learn by doing and most have failed at one time or another.  As for me, I successfully started my business (although I did not plan to go into business for myself), but I made bad decisions that jeopardized everything I had built.  At one point my wife and I had three mortgages on our home and the company had a negative net worth of nearly $2 million.  Most successful businessmen can tell a similar story.  But our President doesn't see that aspect of being in business, he only sees profits—profits that he wants to build his socialist utopia.

The catch is that profits make it possible for an enterprise to not only stay in business, but the necessity of making a profit imposes on a businessman a discipline that demands his business be run with a maximum of efficiency.  Without efficiency a business is sure to fail.  It is this discipline in the marketplace, combined with the demands of customers and clients for quality services, quality products and good prices, that makes the free market system work.  It is the reason that free enterprise is the best economic system in the world.  Businesses that are not run efficiently and don't provide quality goods and services at good prices fail.  A business that does not innovate is destined to fail.  The President has derided the idea that businessmen are smart and he may be right.  Who in his right mind would risk everything to start a business? 

But, on the other hand, who in their right mind, would pack up all they had and sail to a land they had never seen before to start all over again?  That's exactly what my grandparents and millions and millions of people from around the globe did.  They risked everything, including their lives, to come to America.  It is because they had a dream, the American Dream of a better life—a life of freedom and opportunity, including an opportunity to worship their own God and live their lives free of government interference.

Those who were cruelly and evilly forced to come here as slaves did not see America as the land of opportunity.  But, amazingly, through faith, courage, and incredible insight they survived slavery, Jim Crow and other racist indignities.  They eagerly grasped the opportunities that only America offers.  Men like Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington saw the promise of America in the US Constitution.  Today, thanks in large part to them and brave leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the United States is filled with African American men and women of great accomplishment and success.  These men and women include business leaders who founded and head up some of the most profitable enterprises in our land.  To these men and women and the tens of thousands of people they employ, profits are not a dirty word.

These business leaders know that profits are not evil.  They understand that profits are essential to staying in business and that they provide an incentive for offering clients and customers better products and better prices.  It hardly needs saying that socialism cannot compete with businesses that are run by free men and women.  There is no mechanism in socialism for setting the price for goods and services or determining the amount of wages.  Socialism eliminates all incentive to innovate, to seek high quality goods and services, and to provide good service at the best price possible.  There is simply no mechanism in a government operated business to create efficiency and quality—none.  Socialism is a dangerous, goofball idea that has never worked and can never work.  It can only exist in a society that settles for economic misery for all and limited freedom for all.

Freedom, on the other hand, enables entrepreneurs to risk everything to create a better widget.  And freedom works!  In spite of America's problems, the standard of living for Americans is far higher than it is in any non-free socialist country.  Freedom rewards the hard working, the perseverant, and the honest with jobs that pay fair and good wages.  And, as Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev learned when he visited Disneyland, and saw all the cars owned by average Americans, it is the best economic system for distributing wealth all across the spectrum to anyone willing to work.  While Socialism claims to be the most fair, the most just economic system in the world, reality tells a different tale.  In socialist nations around the globe there is no middle class, there are only the wealthy, powerful government apparatchiks, the rich crony capitalists, and the poor.  Everything about socialism is a lie, from beginning to end.

Government does not work.  I've been employed in both city government and in the federal government.  I defy anyone who has worked in government at any level to say with a straight face that government operates efficiently and without corruption.  You can say it, but it would be a lie.  From top to bottom, from Washington, DC to the smallest city, government is inefficient and subject to corruption.  All the money that goes to government is a drag on the economy and lowers the standard of living of all Americans.  We should all take comfort in the words of the late Nobel winning economist, Milton Friedman, "We're just lucky we don't get as much government as we pay for."

As for President Obama and his braggadocio in regard to General Motors, the company is failing again not in spite of, but because it was bailed out.  It doesn't help your child to bail him or her out of all their problems.  That just breeds future failure.  Businesses, like children, need to suffer the consequences of their actions.  I'm not shocked at all that GM is losing market share and is about to go bust again.  It was a mistake to bail out GM.  They made bad decisions and they were not forced to make the hard decisions necessary to survive in business.  Of course, it didn't help that the stockholders and the bondholders were screwed by government and those who were primarily responsible for the failure, i.e. the unions, were given half of the stock in the new GM corporation.  On top of that, the Obama Administration forced GM to build the non-marketplace Chevy Volt.  Even after an $8,000 per car subsidy to buyers in the form of tax credits, they can't give the Volt away.  It's a glorified golf cart that no one wants. 

No business should be hurt or helped by government.  Right now my business is suffering because of government.  We depend on the Post Office for delivery of our mail.  Postal rates have accelerated at the rate of medical care and college tuition increases due to gross mismanagement and inefficiency.  Any business that is a government monopoly, like the Post Office, has no marketplace imposed discipline that demands efficiency, quality service, and market rates for wages and benefits.  Such discipline is essential to survival.  Bailing out the Post Office and General Motors once again will only guarantee failure again in the future.  Let's let them both go bust and instead let those in the free market provide better services and products at a lower cost.

Ford Motor Company risked all and won.  Ford mortgaged every asset of the corporation to avoid a government takeover—$27 billion in all.  Unlike GM and Chrysler (another candidate for failure) that demanded bail outs so that they could continue their profligate ways, Ford refused all government help.  And today as the market share of GM continues to contract, Ford's market share continues to expand. 

General Motors pays nearly double the hourly rate its competitors pay for wages and wonders why it cannot compete in the marketplace.  Obama had a solution.  His solution was to force all the other car companies located in right to work states to pay the same wage rates and bloated benefits as General Motors.  What a stupid solution.  Let's punish millions of American car buyers and force them to pay non-marketplace prices for their automobiles whose cost is already inflated due to unnecessary government imposed regulations.  Like the cost of government itself, government intervention in the marketplace always lowers the standard of living of all Americans.

Those companies that do not make profits deserve to fail.  That's a bold statement for a businessman because everyone who has been in business knows that they are only a few missteps or bad decisions away from failure.  But it is a true statement.  I do not deserve to be in business if I do not make good decisions that lead to profitability. 

The problem in America is not profits, but a lack of profits that cause businesses to go out of business and lay off workers.  The President of the United States has it backwards.  We need more profits, not less profits.  Government needs to unshackle business so that we can once again become a prosperous nation.

And speaking of this unshackle thing that the Vice President likes to talk about, the fact is that the policies of President Obama have hurt those in poverty more than any group of Americans.  By attacking quality education in the most impoverished areas of our nation, by artificially keeping the price of gasoline high, by imposing higher and higher minimum wages, the President's policies have driven unemployment among young black Americans to nearly 50%!  In order to have a good job, you first must have an entry level job. 

Obama's policies are destructive to the poor because he is denying the poor a good education by putting the wishes of the teacher's union above the needs of his own people.  And by driving up energy prices he is hurting the poor the most because energy is a much higher percent of expenses for the poor than it is for the middle class or the rich.  His spendthrift ways have made the ladder of success harder and harder to climb for the poor.  He is denying poor Americans an opportunity to share in the American Dream.  And his attack on profits has reduced the number of jobs available for all Americans.

Like businesses, government must learn to live within its means.  Politicians need to understand that their first and most important role is to maintain and preserve freedom for individual Americans.  It's not to give them something, or to tell them what to do or how to live.  Their number one responsibility is to guard our liberty and get out of the way of those who want a piece of the American Dream.  As Vice-Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, said, "America is an idea."  The idea is that you and I are more capable of running our own lives than are those in Washington, DC.  We are the masters, they are the servants.  Under the US Constitution we have the right to succeed or fail, and we have the right to choose where we will live, how we will live, what we will eat, what kind of car we will drive, what kind of light bulb we will use, and what kind of business we will run.  We have the right to succeed and to fail in business.  Businessmen and women have the right to make a profit.

When government interferes or when public leaders like President Obama attempt to demonize free men and free women who have started and run businesses, he is attacking the foundation of American prosperity.  When he attacks profits and sets one American against another, he is dividing our nation.  We expect our President to unite us and to appeal to our better angels, but this President seeks to bring us down and to set one person against another.  He defames our nation, he besmirches the American Dream, and seeks to make the United States of America just another nation.  His socialist schemes, irresponsible spending, and dictatorial policies undermine our freedom and threaten our democracy.  His policies have taken this nation to the brink of bankruptcy and still he blames everyone but himself for his failures that span the globe.  Mr. President it's time to stand up, take responsibility and act like a man.  If you owe an apology to anyone, you owe it to the American people for stomping on the American Dream.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


My wife received a mailing the other day from NARAL Pro Choice America. Their former name was National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League (NARRAL). Apparently they changed their name to get rid of the word “Abortion” which does not poll well in the political arena. But it is abortion that they are about. NARAL is in favor of all kinds of abortion—in the first trimester after conception, the second trimester, the third trimester and even the horrific partial birth abortion. We don’t agree with NARAL, but for some reason my wife did receive their fund appeal and since I’m in the direct mail fund raising business, I decided I would take a look at it.

The first sentence of the fund appeal sounds so noble and caring…

“If you have ever known a woman who has faced an unintended pregnancy, you know the deep and fundamental importance of freedom of choice and the right to privacy.”

Truthfully, it makes me want to laugh out loud. The sentence sounds so clinical and decent. What, pray tell, does freedom and privacy have to do with killing a baby? Just why does that baby deserve to be killed because its conception came about without intention? Are we now God? Do we now have the right to stop a beating heart and kill a human being, no matter how small or yet unborn, because it is inconvenient?

The most ironic line in the letter runs like this…

“It is frightening to think that 39 years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, many women face more obstacles in exercising their right to choose than their mothers did a generation ago.”

I’d like to ask one of those women this question….

“Are you thankful that your mother did not abort you?”

Killing babies is nothing new. In the Old Testament we learn of the heathen throwing their newborn babies into the fire as a sacrifice to their false gods.

The first sin in the Garden of Eden was rebellion against God. The Devil promised man that he could be like God, having power over others, making his own moral decisions, and when man succumbed to the Devil’s promises he reaped the whirlwind.

When you designate yourself as God and ascribe to yourself the right to make life or death decisions over others—including the elderly—you have crossed the line from a civil society into a violent society. Violence begets violence.

It’s hard to ascribe caring and compassion to someone who cavalierly destroys the life of a baby given life by God. It is well documented that those who do so suffer immensely. They never fully recover from the knowledge written in their heart that they have committed murder. They can, of course, be forgiven by God, but they will be tormented by the truth that they will never know or hold in their arms the baby they killed because his or her birth was inconvenient to them.

Is it really hard to understand why we have become such a course, violent, and uncaring nation? Why should our children believe in life and in compassion when the example they see before them is of an uncaring society that puts personal convenience before everything else? If abortion on demand is the law of the land, then the message is that life is cheap and nearly meaningless. You can’t champion life, and practice murder.

The fund appeal runs on for four pages with specifics about efforts to stop abortion, but never once does it talk about a specific woman who has had an abortion or about a child that was aborted. This is the most curious thing I find about all pro-abortion arguments. They never want to use the word abortion or baby or life. It’s just a fetus they say. Yet, if a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman in an accident he is charged with double manslaughter for the death of the child and the mother.

We take the most defenseless members of our society—the unborn and the elderly—and we expedite their deaths to make our life more comfortable. After all, “It wouldn’t be fair to let a child be born into such conditions” and “She lived to a ripe old age and her quality of life just wasn’t worth living anymore.” What vapid moral free rationalizations!

Like the NAZI socialists and the Soviet socialists before them, they seek freedom only for themselves and seek to be like God, deciding who shall live and who shall die. As with all dictatorships, the weak, the infirm, the babies, and the elderly are dispatched with total callousness as if they were cattle.

I have found that there is one inconvenient truth to which the pro-abortionists cannot stand up, as a vampire cannot stand the light of day. That truth is dealing with a person who was adopted.

My wife and I adopted our daughter, Beth, when she was just 28 days old. All the blather about freedom, privacy and choice is silenced when I ask a pro-abortion advocate this simple and straightforward question—

“Our adopted daughter, Beth, is married and has three children. She and our grandchildren are the joy of our life. Do I understand your position correctly? You believe that Beth’s birth mother should have had the right to abort her?”

Silence is the only response I have ever heard.

And I know why there is no answer.

It’s easy to talk about statistics and to discuss vague circumstances and to stay away from specifics. There’s no blood or gore or death in such discussions, especially when you avoid the word abortion and simply talk about privacy and freedom and rights. But such esoteric discussions fade away when you talk about real life human beings.

Abortion is murder. There is no getting around it. There is no rationalization for it.

Abortion is not about rights or privacy, it’s about making a selfish choice to kill a human being whose birth is inconvenient to the mother. A mother killing a baby runs counter to nature and counter to the laws of God.

Our Founders proclaimed equal justice for all. The “all” includes those whose heart is beating, even if they have not yet come into this world. And what of the millions we have murdered? Did we kill off the greatest athlete of all time, the doctor who would have found a cure for cancer, AIDS or autism?

The bottom line is that only God has the right to decide when a life should end. My will and your will are not important. Only God’s will counts.

As I told my daughter when she was a little girl, “God planned for you to be my daughter before he created the world.” Beth is my daughter not because of a plan by Kathi or me, but because God planned for her to be our daughter before time began. Kathi and I are so thankful that he did. We are so thankful that God also guided Beth’s birth mother to let us adopt her. Our life would not have been the same without Beth.

The last paragraph in the NARAL fund appeal reads like this…

Quite simply, it’s up to you and me. NARAL Pro-Choice America is here to ensure that politicians stay out of women’s most personal, private decisions, but we cannot do it alone. So please make your answer to the question “Who decides?” heard across America, right now!

Either the voice of those who advocate violence against the unborn will triumph or the voice of morality will triumph. There is no middle ground. As for me, my daughter, Beth, is the one who motivates me to pray and work toward ending the killing of the unborn.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

“Never Let Crisis [or a Tragedy] Go to Waste”

All Americans of good will mourned the senseless deaths of men, women and children at the Sikh Temple in metropolitan Milwaukee, Wisconsin this past Sunday. How does anyone make sense of mass murder? How can anyone one understand the sick mind of the man who committed this atrocity? Yet, some in our society are so base that they look for political advantage, even in a tragedy. Instead of mourning the dead and praying for the children and families of the victims, they calculate how they can use this tragedy to advance their ideological agenda. Such callousness is born of an ideological blindness that can justify anything that strengthens their political hand. It is driven by a belief that this is all there is. Man is supreme, you only go around once, etc.

From the Huffington Post to USA Today, the drumbeat continues. It’s about guns. It’s about those who are anti-government, etc., etc. ad nauseum. It’s about conservatives and those who seek a smaller government, it’s about those who dislike Muslims, don’t you get it? Just as in the case of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford and others, and the Colorado theater murders, leftist ideologues rush to print and speak on air blaming those who are defenders of our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms for the deaths of those slain. What other conclusion can we come to but that they care more about their ideology and political gain than they do about the victims and their loved ones. And they don’t even have their facts straight. They blame Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and anyone else they can with a broad brush, instead of simply blaming the men who did the shooting.

These are the same people who bemoan the rise in callousness and crime in America and fail to see that it is their policies that have contributed mightily to the debasement of America. They reject traditional values, but expect people to exercise self-restraint. They drive Christianity and religion from the public square and wonder why ethical practices are in such decline. They insist that distribution of pornography is simply free speech, and then are shocked at the sharp increase in sexual child abuse. They mock those who believe in marriage “’til death us do part” and then wring their hands over the tragedy of children living in poverty. They use tragedies like the Wisconsin, Colorado and Arizona shootings to attack American’s right to keep and bear arms, while ignoring the fact that crime is lowest in right to carry states.

Former Obama advisor and now Chicago Mayor, Rahm Immanuel insisted that the Obama Administration must “never let a crisis go to waste.” Sadly, this administration sees a crisis and a tragedy like Wisconsin as simply an opportunity to advance their political cause.

On March 30, 2011, Jim and Sarah Brady attended a special commemoration at the White House of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. This tragedy included not only the shooting of President Reagan, but also of several Secret Service agents and Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary, Jim Brady. Subsequently, Sarah Brady became active in the anti-gun cause. Assuming that this 30th anniversary of the shooting of President Reagan was a solemn occasion, it is ironic to see that in the eyes of the left it was simply an opportunity to advance a political agenda. When the President said hello to Sarah and Jim Brady, Mrs. Brady asked the President what he was doing about advancing gun control. In response, President Obama said, “…we’re working on it…but under the radar…”

If this reference is the Operation Fast and Furious as it seems to be, just what did the President and his political cronies expect as a result of selling hundreds of high powered AK47 rifles to known drug gangs? We now know that no attempt was made to trace the weapons, they were just sold along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

If the goal was to create mayhem at the border and thus raise a public outcry for gun control, did the White House simply accept the death and destruction that criminals using these guns would cause as an acceptable cost for implementing gun control? What other conclusion can there be? What a cynical, cold-hearted approach.

Yet, a compliant news media doesn’t even report on Operation Fast and Furious. There was no coverage at all until the Attorney General of the United States was held in contempt of Congress for stonewalling an investigation of the operation.

With this White House and with their allies in the news media, everything is about politics and the 2012 election. Obama’s connections with Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis are covered up, as are his ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayres and his radical wife Bernadine Dohrn. The dedication of Obama’s book to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who called on God to damn America and said that on September 11, 2001 “the chickens came home to roost,” was dismissed as a casual relationship. Obama attended Wright’s church for more than 20 years, donating in excess of $20,000, having his children baptized there and yet it is just a “casual” relationship.

Obama has bowed to dictators, and referred to Marxist Venezuelan henchman Hugo Chavez as his “amigo.” He trashed our long-time ally, Israel, refused to proceed with installation of defensive missiles in Poland, for fear of offending Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Upon taking office, he summarily sent the bust of Winston Churchill back to the British Embassy as a means of insulting our special friend, England. An open mike caught the President telling the Russian Ambassador to be patient and that he would have a lot more flexibility after the election. Just what was Obama promising to give away after the election?

Obama has attacked Mitt Romney as the most secretive candidate for president in history while he refuses to release his college transcripts, took three years to release his birth certificate, and holds countless deliberations in secret. A man without accomplishment or achievement, Obama condemns those who have been successful.

And now the news media joins in a chorus of demands that Congress ignore the second amendment, guaranteeing American citizens the right to keep and bear arms, and pass restrictive gun control legislation. There is no evidence of any kind that such legislation stops such crimes, but that doesn’t deter the demands. The truth is that the lowest crime areas are states that have right to carry laws, allowing law abiding citizens to carry firearms in public areas. When law abiding citizens are disarmed by the government, then only criminals and the government will have weapons. Neither of these parties is trustworthy with our lives or our freedom.

The fact is that the average American citizen who, as Obama has said, “clings to guns or religion” has far more wisdom than those on the left. Who do those on the left look to for wisdom? The answer is that they rely on their own intellect. In fact, most don’t even believe in wisdom. If they do, they believe that intelligence and education add up to wisdom. They reject the idea that wisdom comes from God, and God alone. How ironic, they who reject wisdom insist that they have the answers for all problems, real and imagined. Their answer to everything is another scholarly study, a blue ribbon panel, a government investigation or a new law curtailing your freedom.

The truth is that President Obama and his assembled radicals in Washington, DC represent a very serious threat to our nation. They have the power of government at their beck and call, they are guaranteed “protection” by their allies in the media, and they have successfully brainwashed young people and others into believing that they are promoting an agenda that is good for our nation.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

They dislike the prosperity of America. They detest the power of America. They reject the American dream. They don’t believe in the free market system that has created such prosperity. They are embarrassed by the fact that American citizens have more prosperity than anyone else in the world. They think it is unfair that we have more wealth and more energy resources than any other people. In their distorted world, economics is a zero sum game. Every dollar you have is a dollar denied to someone else. There is really nothing that they like about the Founders or about our American way of life. They are not proud and patriotic. They are ashamed to be Americans.

That’s why, when talking about businessmen and businesswomen, President Obama angrily insisted, “You didn’t build it! Someone else did.” He really believes that. When he said, “The private sector is doing just fine” he meant it. He believes in government as the solution to all problems. Barack Obama wants to take America down a notch. After all, from his distorted prism, the United States of America is prosperous only because it has plundered the world. It has grown wealthy on the backs of the poor and the needy. Through slavery the Founders became rich, and through neo colonialism we stole the natural resources of other nations. President Obama is not a liberal, he is a Saul Alinsky radical. He is a soul mate of radicals like Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn.

President Obama’s goal is to make the United States of America just another country in the world, no better, no worse, and no more prosperous than any other nation or people. He and his radical friends see this as an opportunity to transform America from the free and just nation our Founders envisioned into a government-entric nation where a few tell the rest of us how to live.

That’s why we must not only pray fervently and work hard, but also donate generously to elect men and women to office who realize the greatness of our Founders and the limited government they created. But we must never underestimate an opponent who will go to any lengths to gain power. Today you and I face the greatest threat to our nation since its founding. If we had lost the Revolutionary War, Americans still would have eventually gained their independence, but without the vision of our Founders it would not have been the same nation. If the Civil War had successfully divided our nation and sustained slavery, two nations would have lived side-by-side, but the American dream would forever have been tarnished and corrupted. If we had not defeated Adolph Hitler and his National Socialist Party, millions would have become enslaved, yet the USA might have survived as the lone bastion of freedom. Had Ronald Reagan not led us to victory in the cold war, the Soviet Union would have continued its enslavement of millions of men and women. But if we do not defeat Obama and his internal threat to our nation, the United States of America as the land of the free and the home of the brave will cease to exist. And we know from history, that freedom once lost is not easily regained.

Today you and I are called upon, as were patriots before us, to defend our nation. It is not with guns and ships and planes that we must defend our nation, but it is with the principles and values of our Founders that we hold forth the banner of freedom and justice for all.

Our children and grandchildren are counting on us to not be found wanting.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Foundational Principles and the 2012 Election

People generally vote for what they believe to be in their personal best interest. Of course, if they are short sighted, they may vote for something that gives them an immediate benefit, but actually damages them in the long run. Few people have a clear understanding of the foundations of a free society. They aren’t aware of the precepts that guided the Founders in creating this uniquely free land filled with hope and opportunity for everyone.

It’s not that they don’t love their country. It’s just that they are either uninformed or misinformed. It’s hard to select the right leaders if you do not understand the principles that are essential to preserving freedom. And make no mistake about it, freedom is cherished by Americans more than in any other nation. It’s what the United States of America is known for, and it’s what we have fought for many times. The freedom we enjoy and the resulting prosperity it brings is the envy of the world.

But throughout history, periods of freedom are rare. A free society is the exception, not the rule. And America (beginning with the Pilgrims and the Puritans and those led by John Smith in Virginia) didn’t become free by some accident or stroke of good luck. Only a naïve fool would believe that freedom and prosperity just happened by luck in America. To believe that freedom was an accident of history would take more faith than believing that a tornado went through a junk yard and the result was a stylish new sports car. American freedom happened by design and by the grace of God. And, just as freedom is not the result of dumb luck, neither is the great prosperity of America the result of some accident of history.

The Founders of our society weren’t just Washington, Adams, Henry and Jefferson, they were the men and women who landed at Plymouth Rock and the others who came after them. To suggest that the Founders were just Deists is simply silly. Nearly half the signers of the foundational document of the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence, had formal training in a Christian seminary. The other men were well read in the classics, but the book they knew the best and read the most was the Bible. The Bible was the book that formed their views and their understanding of human nature. It gave them unique insight into the fallen state of every man and thus the danger of giving any one person or even a small group of individuals unlimited power.

In writing first the Articles of Confederation and later the United States Constitution, the Founders focused laser like on limiting the power of government. Patrick Henry, one of the Founders with the greatest insight, opposed ratification of the Constitution on the sole grounds that it would devolve into a tyrannical government. He feared that free men would become slaves to government, rather than the masters of it. The Constitution was barely ratified in Virginia and even then it was done with the understanding that a Bill of Rights would be added to the Constitution as then written.

All the care the Founders took to divide government into three branches—congressional, judicial, and executive were designed to limit and check the power of government. In the Founders view, the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights was absolutely crucial, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This was the final and most important safeguard of the people included in the Bill of Rights to ensure that government did not grow out of control, and that the states and the people would have supremacy.

Today commentators and politicians say silly things about the 10th Amendment. They say things like, “The 10th Amendment, who knows what that means?” There was no doubt in the Founders minds what the 10th Amendment meant. The powers of the new federal government drafted by the Founders were specific and enumerated. What the 10th Amendment says is that any power not specifically given to the federal government belongs to the states or the people. It was to be a federal government that recognized the sovereignty of the individual states. The states created the federal government, the federal government did not create the states.

Of course, fallen man will always devise ways to get around and avoid following the law. We are told that the “general welfare clause” of the preamble to the Constitution gives broad, virtually unlimited powers to the federal government. The preamble reads…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The preamble, of course, is a statement of intent. It is not in any way a governing document and it takes only a cursory reading of the writings of the Founders to understand that their intent to promote the general welfare of the citizens of the United States was not in any way intended to grant the federal government unlimited powers to do whatever it wished.

The other scheme to get around the clear intent of the 10th Amendment and indeed the intent of the Founders themselves was to interpret Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (the so-called general welfare clause) to give broad, far reaching, non-enumerated powers to the federal government. Clearly this was not the intent of the Founders as you can glean from reading this clause…

“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

It doesn’t take a college professor or an attorney to see that the intent was only to give the federal government power to make laws necessary to carrying forward the execution of the powers enumerated in the Constitution. It doesn’t say anything more than that. It is a simple and straightforward clause that was intended to handcuff legislators who wanted to pass extra-constitutional legislation that would give them more power over the people.

Patrick Henry didn’t buy it. He was sure that no matter what safeguards were placed into the Constitution that crafty, sinful man would find a way around them. The Founders set out to create a government of laws, rather than a government of men. In other words, they wanted all men, no matter their status or their position in government, to be under the law. The law was to be clear and supreme.

For more than 100 years the Founders experiment in freedom worked. Yes, men and women of African descent were excluded from participation in the American dream, but as abolitionist leader, Frederick Douglass, said,

“…the Constitution is a glorious liberty document.”

Douglass saw in this document the principles of individual freedom. He saw it not as a document that justified slavery, but just the opposite, “a glorious liberty document” that guaranteed individual freedom for all.

And this is what he had to say of the Founders…

“Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too-great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.”

“They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited, it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country, is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.”

“They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was "settled" that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were "final;" not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.”

“How circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements! How unlike the politicians of an hour! Their statesmanship looked beyond the passing moment, and stretched away in strength into the distant future. They seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defence. Mark them!”

Douglass understood the “eternal principles” of the Founders upon which the United States Constitution was based. He understood the importance of not trusting men to be public servants. He knew they would, as fallen men, always strive to be masters and to make American citizens their servants.

And so it has been throughout the history of the United States. Nothing ever changes. Men will always ignore St. Paul’s advice, “…not to think of yourselves more highly than you should.” (Romans 12:3)

In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, the assault on the United States Constitution intensified. And, of course, there was a rationalization. Men like Richard T. Ely (1854-1943), a founder of the progressive movement, concluded that some men had progressed ethically beyond others and thus they could be trusted to handle more power over others. In fact, the thesis was that such men would actually be doing a favor to others if they had power over them. And thus the modern liberal/progressive movement was born. One of the first things this new movement did was encourage re-segregation of the South in the belief that African Americans had not yet progressed to the ethical level of their white brothers.

Woodrow Wilson, recognized as the first “progressive” President, studied under Ely who was a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. At first Wilson disliked Ely and disagreed with his anti-capitalist, pro-socialist views, but Ely won him over to his economic views as well as to other progressive positions. A Southerner, who at the age of 12 living in Georgia cheered for a victory by the Confederacy, Wilson adapted Ely’s view that the black Americans had not progressed sufficiently to govern themselves. Upon being elected President in 1912, Wilson included a number of Southern politicians in his Cabinet and to the chagrin of black leaders like Booker T. Washington, one of his first acts was to re-segregate the government in Washington, DC. In addition, he summarily fired a number of appointed black office holders. When Washington and others complained, Wilson was defiant, “I do approve of the segregation that is being attempted in several of the departments. I think if you were here on the ground you would see, as I seem to see, that it is distinctly to the advantage of the colored people themselves…”

Under Wilson, for the first time, a US President talked about what the government ought to do for its citizens. It’s not that prior to that time Congress had not gone beyond the Constitution and doled out money to special interests, but this time a US President was advocating policies that were clearly contrary to the vision of the Founders and decidedly outside the purview of the United States Constitution. And, of course, Wilson unlocked the floodgates of money to the federal government by advocating and successfully passing an amendment to the Constitution allowing a federal income tax.

This misunderstanding or perhaps rejection of the Founders’ vision was accelerated under Franklin D. Roosevelt who, in his famous “four freedoms” speech included two new freedoms—freedom from want and freedom from fear. The age of government dependence was in full swing. Government now guaranteed freedom from want, and with the passage of the extra Constitutional Social Security act, guaranteed the retirement of every American citizen. The promises were false and hollow, but in supporting these acts the people gave away part of their birthright as American citizens, their individual freedom.

In 2001, future President Barack Obama said during an interview over Radio WBEZ in Chicago, in regard to the US Constitution and the Warren Court…

“But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.”

Clearly Obama is bemoaning the fact that the Warren Court wasn’t more radical and didn’t use its power to engage in redistribution of income. Of course, the United States Constitution does not give the federal government any power or right to do anything to or for the American people. The Founders knew that any government powerful enough to first take your money from you and then give it back to you was a government that could and would erode your individual freedom. Nevertheless, through all manner of extra Constitutional laws and edicts, including Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare, our freedom and opportunity are being swallowed up by bigger and bigger government.

With one government employee (local, state and national) for every 18 Americans creating goods and services, we have come a long way down the road to tyranny. The American spirit of self-reliance is being replaced by government dependence. This not only kills off prosperity, but also shrinks opportunity for the next generation of Americans.

The time is long past to return to the sound principles of limited government. Thankfully, the election this November gives us an opportunity as we have never had before to restore these principles to government. Government can promise anything, but since it creates nothing and has only the dollars it takes from us in the first place, its promises will always fail.

Your children and grandchildren are not learning about foundational principles in school. It’s up to you to help them understand what George Washington said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Government is just pure, raw power. The more powerful government is, the less freedom you and I and our children and grandchildren will have. If we don’t pass this understanding along to the next generation, the America you and I love and hold dear will disappear from the face of the earth. We must not let that happen. This November, support those candidates for public office that have the perspective of our Founders. Urge others to do so, too.