Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sarah sees more than Russia from her Window

Excerpts from her speech at the CLSA Asia Pacific Markets Forum in Hong Kong

So far, I’ve given you the view from Main Street, USA. But now I’d like to share with you how a Common Sense Conservative sees the world at large.Later this year, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – an event that changed not just Europe but the entire world. In a matter of months, millions of people in formerly captive nations were freed to pursue their individual and national ambitions. The competition that defined the post World War II era was suddenly over. What was once called “the free world” had so much to celebrate – the peaceful end to a great power rivalry and the liberation of so many from tyranny’s grip. Some, you could say, took the celebration too far. Many spoke of a “peace dividend,” of the need to focus on domestic issues and spend less time, attention and money on endeavors overseas. Many saw a peaceful future, where globalization would break down borders and lead to greater global prosperity. Some argued that state sovereignty would fade – like that was a good thing? – that new non-governmental actors and old international institutions would become dominant in the new world order.As we all know, that did not happen. Unfortunately, there was no shortage of warning signs that the end of the Cold War did not mean the end of history or the end of conflict. In Europe, the breakup of Yugoslavia resulted in brutal wars in the Balkans. In the Middle East, a war was waged to reverse Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. North Korea’s nuclear program nearly led to military conflict. In Africa, U.S. embassies were bombed by a group called al Qaeda. Two weeks ago, America commemorated the 8th anniversary of the savagery of September 11, 2001. The vicious terrorist attacks of that day made clear that what happened in lands far distant from American shores directly affect our security. We came to learn, if we did not know before, that there were violent fanatics who sought not just to kill innocents, but to end our way of life. Their attacks have not been limited to the United States. They attacked targets in Europe, North Africa and throughout the Middle East. Here in Asia, they killed more than 200 in a single attack in Bali. They bombed the Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Last year in Mumbai, more than 170 were killed in coordinated attacks in the heart of India’s financial capital. In this struggle with radical Islamic extremists, no part of the world is safe from those who bomb, maim and kill in the service of their twisted vision.This war – and that is what it is, a war – is not, as some have said, a clash of civilizations. We are not at war with Islam. This is a war within Islam, where a small minority of violent killers seeks to impose their view on the vast majority of Muslims who want the same things all of us want: economic opportunity, education, and the chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. The reality is that al Qaeda and its affiliates have killed scores of innocent Muslim men, women and children. The reality is that Muslims from Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries are fighting al Qaeda and their allies today. But this will be a long war, and it will require far more than just military power to prevail. Just as we did in the Cold War, we will need to use all the tools at our disposal – hard and soft power. Economic development, public diplomacy, educational exchanges, and foreign assistance will be just as important as the instruments of military power. During the election campaign in the U.S. last year, you might have noticed we had some differences over Iraq. John McCain and I believed in the strength of the surge strategy – because of its success, Iraq is no longer the central front in the war on terrorism. Afghanistan is. Afghanistan is where the 9/11 attacks were planned and if we are not successful in Afghanistan, al Qaeda will once again find safe haven there. As a candidate and in office, President Obama called Afghanistan the “necessary war” and pledged to provide the resources needed to prevail. However, prominent voices in the Democratic Party are opposing the additional U.S. ground forces that are clearly needed. Speaker of the House Pelosi, Defense Subcommittee Chairman Murtha, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chair, and many others, recently expressed doubts about sending additional forces! President Obama will face a decision soon when the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan requests additional forces to implement his new counterinsurgency strategy. We can win in Afghanistan by helping the Afghans build a stable representative state able to defend itself. And we must do what it takes to prevail. The stakes are very high. Last year, in the midst of the U.S. debate over what do to in Iraq, an important voice was heard – from Asia’s Wise Man, former Singaporean Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who wrote in the Washington Post about the cost of retreat in Iraq. In that article, he prophetically addressed the stakes in Afghanistan. He wrote: “The Taliban is again gathering strength, and a Taliban victory in Afghanistan or Pakistan would reverberate throughout the Muslim world. It would influence the grand debate among Muslims on the future of Islam. A severely retrograde form of Islam would be seen to have defeated modernity twice: first the Soviet Union, then the United States. There would be profound consequences, especially in the campaign against terrorism.”That statesman’s words remain every bit as true today. And Minister Lee knows, and I agree, that our success in Afghanistan will have consequences all over the world, including Asia. Our allies and our adversaries are watching to see if we have the staying power to protect our interests in Afghanistan. That is why I recently joined a group of Americans in urging President Obama to devote the resources necessary in Afghanistan and pledged to support him if he made the right decision. That is why, even during this time of financial distress we need to maintain a strong defense. All government spending should undergo serious scrutiny. No programs or agencies should be automatically immune from cuts. We need to go back to fiscal discipline and unfortunately that has not been the view of the current Administration. They’re spending everywhere and with disregard for deficits and debts and our future economic competitiveness. Though we are engaged in two wars and face a diverse array of threats, it is the defense budget that has seen significant program cuts and has actually been reduced from current levels! First, the Defense Department received only ½ of 1 % of the nearly trillion dollar Stimulus Package funding – even though many military projects fit the definition of “shovel-ready.” In this Administration’s first defense budget request for 2010, important programs were reduced or cancelled. As the threat of ballistic missiles from countries like North Korea and Iran grow, missile defense was slashed. Despite the need to move men and material by air into theaters like Afghanistan, the Obama Administration sought to end production of our C-17s, the work horse of our ability to project long range power. Despite the Air Force saying it would increase future risk, the Obama Administration successfully sought to end F-22 production – at a time when both Russia and China are acquiring large numbers of next generation fighter aircraft. It strikes me as odd that Defense Secretary Gates is the only member of the Cabinet to be tasked with tightening his belt. Now in the region I want to emphasize today: The reason I speak about defense is because our strong defense posture in Asia has helped keep the region safe and allowed it to prosper. Our Asian allies get nervous if they think we are weakening our security commitments. I worry about defense cuts not because I expect war but because I so badly want peace. And the region has enjoyed peace for so long because of our security commitment to our longstanding allies and partners. Asia has been one of the world’s great success stories. It is a region where America needs to assist with right mix of hard and soft power. While I have so much hope for a bright future in Asia, in a region this dynamic, we must always be prepared for other contingencies. We must work at this – work with our allies to ensure the region’s continued peace and prosperity.I know that you all -- like all of Asia and indeed the whole world – has a keen interest in the emergence of “China as a great power.” Over the past few decades China’s economic growth has been remarkable. So has the economic growth and political liberalization of all of our key allies in Asia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Asia’s economic growth and political development, together with our forward military presence in the region and strong alliances, have allowed the region to prosper in peace for a long time. We hope that Asia will continue to be an engine of world economic growth, will continue to democratize and will remain at peace. Our future is now deeply linked to Asia’s success. Our children’s future. We must continue to strengthen our key alliance with Japan, a country going through its own democratic change. Together the U.S. and Japan built the security umbrella under which so many Asians prospered. While there is so much attention to China these days, we cannot forget the importance of Japan in helping to make this the “Pacific Century.” The recent elections in Japan demonstrated that voters wanted reform and an end to debt and stagnation. We have a substantial stake in Japan’s success -- our alliance with must continue to be the linchpin of regional security.With its open political system and vibrant democracy, South Korea wants to play a larger role on the international stage as well. Of course it wants us to work together toward a future where the peninsula is irreversibly denuclearized, and unified. But it also wants to play a global role. We need to work together with Japan, South Korea and our steadfast ally to the south, Australia, to make sure Asia remains peaceful and prosperous. Australia rightly reminds us to keep our eye on Southeast Asia, where Indonesia has proved that Islam and democracy can co-exist. Indonesia has fought extremism inside its own border and is consolidating a multi-ethnic democracy that is home to hundreds of millions of Muslims. Those who say Islam and democracy are incompatible insult our friends in Indonesia. Our great democratic friend India is also “looking East”, seeking a greater role in East Asia as well. Together with our allies we must help integrate India into Asia. If we do so we will have yet another strong democracy driving Asia’s economy and working on shared problems such as proliferation and extremism. And we must continue working with the region’s most dynamic economy, China. We all hope that China’s stated policy of a “Peaceful Rise” will be its future course. You know better than most the enormous change that has taken place in China over the last thirty years. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have been pulled out of poverty as China has undertaken economic reforms that have resulted in unprecedented growth. Even today, China’s economy is projected to grow by some 8%. It is helping to edge the world out of recession. China has amassed huge financial reserves. Chinese diplomats are engaged on every continent and, through its vote on the United Nations Security Council, China has become critical in gaining UN support on multilateral issues from Darfur to Iran to North Korea. Just four years ago, then-Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick urged China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. He observed the many benefits to China of a “benign international environment.” The peaceful regional environment that China has enjoyed was created through the hard work of Americans, Japanese, South Koreans and Australians. Secretary Zoellick urged China to step up and play its role too. We are working with China to de-nuclearize North Korea. But to be a responsible member of the international community China should exert greater pressure on North Korea to denuclearize and undergo the fundamental reforms it needs. Zoellick urged China to play a greater role in stabilizing the international energy market by ceasing its support of dangerous regimes. China could play a role in stabilizing its ally Pakistan, and working for peace in Afghanistan. There are many areas where the U.S. and China can work together. And, we would welcome a China that wanted to assume a more responsible and active role in international politics.But Secretary Zoellick also noted that many of China’s actions create risk and uncertainty. These uncertainties led nations to “hedge” their relations with China because, in Zoellick’s words: “Many countries HOPE China will pursue a ‘Peaceful Rise’ but NONE will bet their future on it.”See: this is the heart of the issue with China: we engage with the hope Beijing becomes a responsible stakeholder, but we must takes steps in the event it does not. See? We all hope to see a China that is stable, peaceful, prosperous and free. But we must also work with our allies in the region and the world in the event China goes in a direction that causes regional instability. Asia is at its best when it is not dominated by a single power. In seeking Asia’s continued peace and prosperity, we should seek, as we did in Europe, an Asia “whole and free” – free from domination by any one power, prospering in open and free markets, and settling political differences at ballot boxes and negotiating tables. We can, must and should work with a “rising China” to address issues of mutual concern. But we also need to work with our allies in addressing the uncertainties created by China’s rise. We simply CANNOT turn a blind eye to Chinese policies and actions that can undermine international peace and security. China has some 1000 missiles aimed at Taiwan and no serious observer believes Taiwan poses a military threat to Beijing. Those same Chinese forces make our friends in Japan and Australia nervous. China provides support for some of the world’s most questionable regimes from Sudan to Burma to Zimbabwe. China’s military buildup raises concerns from Delhi to Tokyo because it has taken place in the absence of any discernable external threat. China, along with Russia, has repeatedly undermined efforts to impose tougher sanctions on Iran for its defiance of the international community in pursuing its nuclear program. The Chinese food and product safety record has raised alarms from East Asia and Europe to the United States. And, domestic incidents of unrest -- from the protests of Uighurs and Tibetans, to Chinese workers throughout the country rightfully make us nervous. It is very much in our interest and the interest of regional stability that China work out its own contradictions – between a dynamic and entrepreneurial private sector on the one hand and a one party state unwilling or unable to adjust to its own society’s growing needs and desires and demands, including a human being’s innate desire for freedom. I do not cite these issues out of any hostility toward China. Quite the contrary, I and all Americans of good faith hope for the Chinese people’s success. We welcome the rise that can be so good for all mankind. We simply urge China to rise responsibly. I simply believe we cannot ignore areas of disagreement as we seek to move forward on areas of agreement. Believe me, China does not hesitate to tell us when it thinks we are in the wrong.I mentioned China’s internal contradictions. They should concern us all. We hear many Chinese voices throughout that great country calling out for more freedom, and for greater justice. Twenty years ago, many believed that as China liberalized its economy, greater political freedom would naturally follow. Unfortunately that has not come to pass. Ummm, in fact, it seems China has taken great pains to learn what it sees as “the lesson” of the fall on the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union: any easing of political constraints can inevitably spin out of control. But, in many ways, it is the essence of China’s political system that leads to concerns about its rise. Think about it. How many books and articles have been written about the dangers of India’s rise? Almost as large as China – and soon to be more populous – virtually no one worries about the security implications of India becoming a great power – just as a century ago the then-preeminent power, Great Britain, worried little about the rise of America to great power status. My point is that the more politically open and just China is, the more Chinese citizens of every ethnicity will settle disputes in courts rather than on the streets. The more open it is, the less we will be concerned about its military build-up and intentions. The more transparent China is, the more likely it is they we will find a true and lasting friendship based on shared values as well as interests. I am not talking about some U.S.-led “democracy crusade.” We cannot impose our values on other counties. Nor should we seek to. But the ideas of freedom, liberty and respect for human rights are not U.S. ideas, they are much more than that. They are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many other international covenants and treaties. They apply to citizens in Shanghai as much as they do to citizens in Johannesburg or Jakarta. And demands for liberty in China are Chinese, not American, demands. Just last year, many brave Chinese signed Charter 08, a Chinese document modeled on the great Czech statesman Vlacav Havel’s Charter 77. Charter 08 would not be unfamiliar to our Founding Fathers and was endorsed by Havel himself. No, we need not convince the Chinese people that they have inalienable rights. They are calling for those rights themselves. But we do have to worry about a China where the government suppresses the liberties its people hold dear. Nothing of what I am saying should be seen as meaning conflict with China is inevitable. Quite the contrary. As I said, we welcome China’s responsible rise. America and China stood together against fascism during World War II, before ravages took over in China – we were ready to stand together with China to shape international politics after World War II. Much has been accomplished since President Nixon’s fateful visit. And again, we stand ready to work with what we hope will be a more open and responsible China on the challenges facing the 21st century.All of you here know how deeply integrated the economies of the United States’ and China’s are. We rely on each other, sometimes unfortunately in unhealthy ways. America spends too much that we don’t have, and then we go to China as a lender of first resort. Our fiscal policy, lately, seems to be “tax, spend, borrow, tax some more, repeat” and then complain about how much debt China holds. America needs to gets its own fiscal house in order. That’s a Common Sense Conservative perspective. We can hardly complain that China holds so much of our debt when it’s over spending that created the debt. But here’s the reality. If in fact the United States does the “right” thing – if we spend less and save more – then China will also have to rebalance its economy. We need to export more to China – and we’d like China to consume more of our goods – just as we need to save and invest more. This vital process – so crucial to both countries – is impeded by problems of market access. We must talk about these issues with more candor. If China adopts policies that keep our highest value products out of their markets, by manipulating technical standards or licensing requirements, our economic relationship suffers.Our economic interdependence drives our relationship with China. I see a future of more trade with China and more American high-tech goods in China. But in order for that to happen, we need China to improve its rule of law and protect our intellectual property. We need to avoid protectionism and China’s flirtation with state-assisted “national champions.” On our part, we should be more open to Chinese investment where our national security interests are not threatened. In the end, though, our economic relationship will truly thrive when Chinese citizens and foreign corporations can hold the Chinese government accountable when their actions are unjust.I see a bright future for America in Asia. One based on the alliances that have gotten us this far, one based on free and open markets, one that integrates democratic India into East Asia’s political life and one in which China decides to be a responsible member of the international community and gives its people the liberty – the freedom – they so desperately want. Sadly, however, our largest free trade agreement ever in Asia, with South Korea, sits frozen in the Congress. In contrast, China is behaving wisely in negotiating free trade agreements throughout Asia. We want an Asia open to our goods and services. But if we do not get our free trade act together, we will be shut out by agreements Asians our making among themselves.All of you here follow global financial markets and economic policy closely, I know that it will come as no surprise to you that United States leadership on global trade and investment is being sorely tested at this moment. We are struggling with a monumental debate on whether fiscal discipline, or massive government spending, will drive a sustained recovery. We are struggling to repair the excesses that grew in our own economy and served as a trigger to a catastrophic collapse in the global financial system. And we are attempting to do so under the weight of a global imbalance of debt and trade deficits that are not only unbearable for the world’s mightiest economy, but also unacceptable in that they foster tensions between global economic partners like the United States and China.I am proud to be an American. As someone who has had the tremendous opportunity to travel throughout the United States and listen to the concerns of Americans in towns and cities across the country, I can tell you that there is a sense of despair and even crisis afoot in America that has the potential to shape our global investment and trade policies for years, and even decades to come. Never has the leadership of our government ever been more critical to keeping my country, and the world, on a path to openness, growth and opportunity in global trade and investment.It would of course be a mistake to put the entire burden of restoring the global economy on the backs of America’s leaders. There is plenty of work for all of us to do in this matter. Governments around the world must resist the siren call of trade protection to bring short term relief during a time of crisis. Those who use currency policy or subsidies to promote their nation’s exports should remain acutely aware that if there ever were a time in which such policies could be viewed as “tolerable,” that time has now passed. All participants who seek to find benefit in the global trading system must also take the responsibility of playing by the rules. The private sector has responsibilities as well. For instance, it should not be the responsibility of government to dictate the salaries of bankers or the ownership of companies. And yet, due of the excesses committed by some, this is exactly where we find ourselves now because government now owns substantial portions of the private economy – even, unbelievably, in the United States. These are challenging times for everyone, but we in the United States must humbly recognize that if we are to lead and to set the direction for the rest of the world, it must be by our example and not merely our words. And we must tread lightly when imposing new burdens on the imports of other countries. Well, CLSA: My country is definitely at a crossroad. Polling in the U.S. shows a majority of Americans no longer believe that their children will have a better future than they have had...that is a 1st. When members of America’s greatest generation – the World War II generation – lose their homes and their life savings because their retirement funds were wiped after the financial collapse, people feel a great anger. There is suddenly a growing sentiment to just “throw the bums out” of Washington, D.C. – and by bums they mean the Republicans and the Democrats. Americans are suffering from pay cuts and job losses, and they want to know why their elected leaders are not tightening their belts. It’s not lost on people that Congress voted to exempt themselves from the health care plan they are thrusting on the rest of the nation. There is a growing sense of frustration on Main Street. But even in the midst of crisis and despair, we see signs of hope. In fact, it’s a sea change in America, I believe. Recently, there have been protests by ordinary Americans who marched on Washington to demand their government stop spending away their future. Large numbers of ordinary, middle-class Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from all over the country marching on Washington?! You know something’s up!These are the same people who flocked to the town halls this summer to face their elected officials who were home on hiatus from that distant capital and were now confronted with the people they represent. Big town hall meetings – video clips circulating coverage – people watching, feeling not so alone anymore. The town halls and the Tea Party movement are both part of a growing grassroots consciousness among ordinary Americans who’ve decided that if they want real change, they must take the lead and not wait to be led. Real change – and, you know, you don’t need a title to do it.The “Tea Party Movement” is aptly named to remind people of the American Revolution – of colonial patriots who shook off the yoke of a distant government and declared their freedom from indifferent – elitist – rulers who limited their progress and showed them no respect. Today, Main Street Americans see Washington in similar terms. When my country again achieves financial stability and economic growth – when we roar back to life as we shall do – it will be thanks in large part to the hard work and common sense of these ordinary Americans who are demanding that government spend less and tax less and allow the private sector to grow and prosper. We’re not interested in government fixes; we’re interested in freedom! Freedom! Our vision is forward looking. People may be frustrated now, but we’re very hopeful too. And, after all, why shouldn’t we be? We’re Americans. We’re always hopeful. Thank you for letting me share some of that hope, and a view from Main Street with you. God Bless You.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OBAMA and the UNspeech Simplified

Fellow Dictators and Despots I'm finally here with my peeps. Numero OOOOHNO. I'm here to deal. It's all about ME and how I'm going to bring those evil Americans kicking and screaming to their economic knees and then hand them over to you. This past 9 months have been pure Hell and they are not coming willingly believe me.

I can't continue my apology tour cause it looks bad but I will bring them around. Let's be honest we are all Militant Muslims here and we've got to stop shooting each other. I've taken a taxpayer paid vacation around the Muslim World and tried to convince you guys not to ruin our great deal here. In the past 9 months I have freed your locals and stopped those barbarians of the backward Christian nation I live off of to show you I am one of you. I want some Quid Pro Quo.

Afganistan, Pakistan,Iraq man up. We've been your police and now we're pulling out. I need the military money to spend before I am voted out in 2011.

We know we are not maintaining our nukes and they are a hazard in disrepair so we all have to save face and decide to denuke. At least we do. We'll make me look good to the Liberals in my country.

I am trying to give Israel back to the Hamas.

We're still funneling huge dollars down the phoney climate change crapper.

We're still funneling billions to you guys in food and money so you can continue starving your people and selling the food at triple it's value.

We paid the unpaid UN rent and did I say we are antinuke?

But still the World is going to Hell in a handbasket. Why?

Well I blame you all. I am doing my part as surpreme dictator of the USA.

We need to become the strongest alliance of street gangs of the world and stop fighting amongst ourselves. It makes me look bad. We got to stop aiming at each other and aim them at our people and keep them in line blood.

You got to keep the automatics out of the hands of your nutjobs. They aren't needed no more.

We are going to divide Israel and give half to the Hamas.

I'm still going to push this bogus climate change thing to get money for us.

Even though I've bankrupted my people I'm going to get you all money for your pressing needs to keep your starving people from overthrowing you. We got to keep the idiots happy if we want to keep our positions of dictator.

But let it be known. I am not giving up any of my power, so don't even think about it.

I will keep handing out patriotic blah blah and pep my people to do my will. You have to do the same. We can continue to run this world together and plunder her spoils or I can isolate the wealthest nation in the world brothers and plunder just for me. You choose.

OB out Peace Brother.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Catholic Approach to Healthcare Reform

By Jeremey M. Davis

Guest Editorialist

Recent debate regarding the nature of healthcare reform seems to be overly focused on the material aspects: the cost of such programs and the needs of the poor and sick. We hear a great deal about the millions who lack health insurance and those who have been made destitute following the financial costs of disease or injury. These arguments are designed to appeal to our sense of Christian charity in general, and as Catholics our natural inclination (and historically our political leaning) is to support programs that help the needy. There are numerous examples of Catholics voluntarily banding together to provide a safety net for the many needs of the community, from medieval Hospitals, to Parochial schools in the 1800’s. However, does increasing reliance on government programs, rather than private charity, leave us in danger of not only a monetary deficit but a moral deficit as well?

We are called to Serve

It is clear that Christ calls us to minister to the physical needs of the community, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” [Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)]. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we are called to go one step further and care not only to those who mean us well, but to those who may not. We are to extend charity without expectation of recompense.

We who have chosen to take up the cross of Christ accept a personal responsibility to care for the needy. But what of those who may not share our faith? As Pope Leo XIII stated in his encyclical Immortale Dei, "no one shall be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will."1 While we can easily argue that mortal law should uphold the heavenly law prohibiting murder (for example), it is difficult to justify using mortal law to force our beliefs of charity upon those who may not be so inclined.

Having escaped a time when the poor went to prison for not paying their debts, are we to embrace a time when the rich go to prison for not giving to the poor?

It is tempting to ignore the objections of a few in order to achieve a noble end. In our culture we idolize the story of Robin Hood who "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor," and oftentimes our politics seem to reflect this ideology. However as The Very Rev. Joseph di Bruno states, "The false and pernicious principle that the end justifies the means, or that we may do evil that good may come, is utterly condemned by the Catholic Church."2

Confiscating a man's wages and giving them to the poor can still be theft, since one might define it as “the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent." Admittedly, there was once a time when the Church used political power to enforce the collection of the tithe, but like feudalism we have long abandoned such practices. Efforts to fund relief services from mandatory taxes seem to resurrect this concept: while the form is different, the substance is not.

Even if policies that compel people to support charitable endeavors are not theft, they still could do moral harm. Dinesh D'Souza, a Catholic native of India, suggests that "Compelled virtue is no virtue at all."4 By taking a man’s wages in taxes and putting them towards charitable causes, we deprive him of not only his free choice in the matter, but disassociate him from any grace conferred by those causes. Robin Hood, by stealing from Prince John, did not confer any of the grace derived from charitable giving upon the Prince. Involuntary giving crowds out the grace of voluntary giving; private charity and virtue both suffer when taxes increase.

The stratification of our tax code creates divisions in society that invite envy and resentment. Where a man might happily give of his time, treasure or talents to help his community, he will react with apathy at best (and resentment at worst) to shouldering an increased tax burden. Dividing society into those who pay and those who receive might cause a man to begrudge the less fortunate who take from his wages without asking, embittering his heart and causing him spiritual harm.

The Great Commission

Not only are we individually responsible for our good works, but we are also responsible for leading others to charitable giving in Christ. He calls us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” [Matthew 28:19-20] By relying on the power of government to compel others to charity, we take the easy road, rejecting the call to turn others to Him of their own free will. Spreading the teaching of Christ no longer becomes an individual responsibility to minister brother to brother, but an attempt to wield the political power of the majority. In the pride of Babel, we attempt to impose His kingdom here on earth through our political institutions.

Rather than asking “what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” [Matthew 19:6 (NIV)] we are quick to volunteer others to meet the needs of our community. Unfortunately, this approach has less in common with the teaching of Christ than the example of the Pharisees who “tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” [Matthew 23:4 (NIV)]

Unintended Consequences

So far we have presupposed that the government programs are directed for the common good, and that those wielding temporal power have the best intentions. However, the debate regarding whether or not government healthcare will force taxpayers to fund abortions quickly points to the flaws in that assumption. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed concern that “Funds paid into these plans are fungible, and federal taxpayer funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider networks that expand access to abortions.”

Their concern is well founded. As Catholics we have a moral obligation to oppose abortion, yet by relinquishing control to the legislators, we invite the risk that our wages will pay for the deaths of the innocent. If we can clearly foresee the possibility that this power will be abused, we have an obligation to prevent that possibility. Willfully giving up our responsibility to choose between Right and Wrong does not exempt us from the effects of sins carried out by our consent.5

Do the Means even achieve the Ends?

We do not have to reach far back in history to see what happens in countries that put government in the place of God. If we adopt the economic policies of the former soviet countries, can we expect to avoid the social ramifications of such a culture shift? We still may be tempted that the social improvements are worth the cost of government control. Pope John Paul II disagreed: “The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.”

In Conclusion

Charitable giving is part of our personal relationship with God. It is a responsibility which we cannot delegate away nor force upon others. By replacing private charity with public programs, we render unto Caesar what is God’s. As Catholics we should avoid the easy path of expecting politicians and bureaucrats to care for the needy and obligating others to shoulder the cost. Instead, a Catholic approach to healthcare should consist of turning the hearts of others to Christian charity, and asking ourselves what we can do to care for the sick in our parishes and our communities.

Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, “Immortale Dei.” Rome: 1885

Joseph Faa Di Bruno, D.D. Catholic Belief. London: Burns and Oates, 1878
"Theft." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 18 August 2009, 16:20 EST. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 10 Aug. 2004. .

Howard, K.C. "Author's views on Islam fuel debate." Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2004. 18 Aug. 2009 .
O'Neil, Arthur Charles. "Sin." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 18 Aug. 2009 .

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reducing Healthcare Costs Not Rocket Science

The first thing you need to know is you DO NOT WANT THE GOVERMENT TO TAKE CARE OF OF YOUR HEALTHCARE. Just ask any senior on Medicaid, any military person on Tricare,anyone from Ted Kennedy's state,any governor from any state that has tried some of the Obamacare solutions,Canadians,British Nurses,British nationals who became US Citizens, or Cubans. Next you need to know Obama's numbers of uninsured are bogus. You know this because they started out with quoting 50 and then downsizing to 20 M at the latest. The actual number is around 5 percent of the population with about 1% that really need it or want it. You need to know that it is law that emergency rooms take everyone and that includes those without healthcare insurance. EMT's will tell you how many indigent they tranport to emergency for colds, flus and the like. They get a ride,short wait times and state of the art trauma care that includes a physical and drugs. The cost of this is offset by the very wealthy with the premium insurance and generous hospital donations. The wealthy, even before the insurance, have always directly and indirectly subsidized healthcare for the poor and working classes. Walk through any community hospital and you will find it was built by a wealthy businessperson and specialty care units have a long lists of public contributors. So biting the hands that care for us through taxation of successful and productive citizens is to say the least idiotic. Single bills that can achieve medical health care costs revolve around a few key issues that the lawyer heavy legislative and executive branch are really fighting. I'm speaking of "Tort Reform." If we simply went back to reasonable compensation for malpractice and eliminated class action suits in which trial lawyers make the bulk of the money (While drug companies that bear the expense of drug developement,government red tape and FDA testing and paperwork are sued out of business) we could reduce costs dramatically. The other bill we need to create is a bill placing Social Security and Medicare monies in the "LOCK BOX" that Al "Environmental Terrorist"Gore did not come through with during his VP. EVERY YEAR there is a Social Security surplus that since LBJ has been placed into General Funds (DISCRETIONARY SPENDING) and pilfered away on Pork for folks to get re elected in their districts. Health care costs have risen and their mad money is becoming smaller so they thought they would reduce healthbenefits on our hard working seniors to fill their pockets. They don't give a flying rat's posterior about your health. They want the money. Prevent them from their continued money grab and place it in a lock box and only those that put in can take out.

Simply don't buy into the rhetoric of care and concern and sob stories of the poor old lady who had her health insurance canceled. She had it canceled cause these fools have made it impossible for health care to be lower in cost because they will not control Malpractice and class action suits and government over regulations. Tell your representative you want NO BILL of any kind that creates Government Run Healthcare. The Government has already Bankrupt itself, don't let it do it to you and kill ya to boot.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obamacare Speech Simplified

The following is a simplified translation of Obama's healthcare speech.

I know the economy still sucks, you have no money,your kids can't go to college and you still have no job. Don't Worry. Change is coming. I feel your pain.

I do blame you and still blame Bush. All Americans are greedy and evil. You get what you deserve. Suffering.

But let's not talk about the economy it's tanking let's change the subject.
ObamaCare. Other Marxist Socialists have tryed to put American's Health in the hands of the Government. FDR, Carter,Clinton just to name a few. I have another modified number of those without insurance it is 30 million. From 50 to 30. See it's working already. I'll tell you a few undocumented horror stories that people can identify with to prove my point and scare you. And did I say I feel your pain.

Health care costs are on the rise to small business and their employees and it's because of you. You evil people who don't buy health insurance and we have to pay your bill through our premiums. Again it's your fault. Tort Reform and government taxes and overregulation has nothing to do with it. Really.

But what we in DC are really worried about is you darn old people that paid all those social security taxes. Dang nabit you are living longer and longer and those general funds from the yearly Social Security tax surplus we used for pork is getting smaller and smaller. We have to stop that. Our gravy train is dying.

Every one in Washington is worried. Without pork they might not be re- elected or have the funding from their pack money. They all agree something needs to be done.

We looked a number of scams to pawn off on the American people but darn it they just wouldn't buy them. I'm just plain frustrated and mad very mad and you all just need to stop all this bickering. I need my money!

We've paid off every special interest group we can think of and besides we've forced socialized medicine on the elderly and the military because they have no choice. Why don't you all just go a long.

We will offer tax credits for small business even though that won't help.
It's untrue we'll cover illegal aliens. That is until we grant them amnesty. We need the votes.

We will force everyone to have health insurance although unlike cars you can't decide not to have a body.

All insurance companies are evil and greedy. It's their fault.
Free Speech on TV Radio and the internet is evil.
This plan won't cost anything. Trillion Smillion....
I will intimidate and frighten you into my plan so I can take over America. So, stop fighting me. I will rule the world. Hail Obama Hail Obama Hail Obama And don't forget the American people are lying to themselves about me and my plans. I'm good you're evil. Remember that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Job Security

Obama is talking tough to the legislature branch of our government that they WILL pass a national health care government program or they will be sent home without their supper or desert. Guys, Gals you can take him. He's a paper tiger and there is more of you than him even with his hired Czar deputies. Go Bonanza on him and remind him it's the legislative branch that is supposed to hold the power. Have the same brass ones you show when you are accused of missdoings and tell this dude you'd rather get reelected rather than go down with his sinking ship of fools. And after all, in what other country could you make a very nice living without having to raise a sweat or have any real skills? Why mess things up for yourself. Tell him to take a flying leap or you will ask him for his proof of citizenship. Just say No to Obamacare.

Why all the Czars?

Listening to a guest talk radio host I heard him hit the nail on the head with regard to why all the Czars in the Obama Administration. Why? they will never go before the legislature for review. Not that they would not be rubber stamped in, but that their backgrounds are never presented to the American public. None of his appointed Czars would even pass a basic FBI security check. What is even more crazy is the mainstream press, with the exception of Fox News, is even reporting anything about these people that is leading to their resignations and removal. All they are doing is putting down blogs and the internet as the disinformation evil. If the internet was so bad, why do they all have blogs,websites,twitter pages and also follow many of we conservative tweets and blogs? Could it be they hate getting scooped or outdone in the areas of research and digging for facts?
The internet has become the greatest tool of today's patriot revolutionaries and like the early printing press of our forefathers will be a crucial tool in gaining our independence from this opressive regime. We have to fight to preserve this freedom of our press. And we need to continue informing fellow Americans those things in which the Obama Administration want to hide and pay for with our tax dollars.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Take Away Their Guns? You Don't Want to See Mother Superior When She Gets Angry...




So how many guns do you own, legally??

Concerning The Blair-Holt Proposed Legislation:
Senate Bill SB-2099 will require us to put on our 2009 1040 federal tax form all guns that you have or own..
It may require fingerprints and a tax of $50 per gun.
This bill was introduced on Feb.. 24. This bill will become public knowledge 30 days after it is voted into law.
This is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986. This means that the Finance Committee can pass this without the Senate voting on it at all.
The full text of the proposed amendment is on the U.S. Senate homepage,
You can find the bill by doing a search by the bill number, SB-2099.
You know who to call; I strongly suggest you do. Please send a copy of this e-mail to every gun owner you know. is now starting on the firearms confiscation bill. If it passes, gun owners will become criminals if you don't fully comply.It has started.Very Important for you to be aware of a new bill HR 45 introduced into the House.
This is the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009.Even gun shop owners didn't know about this because the government is trying to fly it under the radar.To find out about this - go to any government website and type in HR 45 or Google HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm
Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009.. You will get all the information.Basically this would make it illegal to own a firearm - any rifle with a clip or ANY pistol unless: -It is registered -You are fingerprinted -You supply a current Driver's License -You supply your Social Security # - You will submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their choosing -Each update - change or ownership through private or public sale must be reported and costs $25 - Failure to do so you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are subject up to a year in jail. -There is a child provision clause on page 16 section 305 stating a child-access provision. Gun must be locked and inaccessible to any child under 18. -They would have the right to come and inspect that you are storing your gun safely away from accessibility to children and fine is punishable for up to 5 yrs. in prison.If you think this is a joke - go to the website and take your pick of many options to read this. It is long and lengthy.
But, more and more people are becoming aware of this. Pass the word along. Any hunters in your family pass this along.This is just a "termite" approach to complete confiscation of guns and disarming of our society to the point we have no defense - chip away a little here and there until the goal is accomplished before anyone realizes it.This is one to act on whether you own a gun or not.If you take my gun, only the criminal will have one to use against me. HR 45 only makes me/us less safe. copy and send this out to EVERYONE in the USA, whether you support the Right to Bear Arms or are for gun control.
We all should have the right to choose.


"The greatest glory of a free-born peopleis to transmit that freedom to their children."~William Havard~