Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) - At least two people have died in fresh protests in a Tibetan part of western China, reports said on Tuesday, as authorities made arrests in Tibet's capital Lhasa in an effort to reassert control over the restive region. State media said one police officer was killed and the exiled Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported one Tibetan protester shot dead and another critically hurt after unrest in Sichuan's Ganzi (Garze) Tibetan Prefecture. "The police were forced to fire warning shots, and dispersed the lawless mobsters," the brief Xinhua news agency report said, without mentioning any deaths of protesters, who it said attacked with rocks and knives. FULL STORY

The "lawless mobsters" attacked the mightly Chinese military with rocks and knives. State media says this lawless mob killed one police officer. State media does not mention how many of the lawless mobsters were killed in the Chinese military response to their assault with rocks and knives. And since China has banned international media from the area, we may never know just how bad this has gotten. Are we looking at another Tiananmen Square on a grander scale? Who knows?

French President Sarkozy has not ruled out an Olympic boycott. President Bush maintains his intention to have America at the Beijing games. As for me, I think the discussion needs to begin.

It has always been a firm inherent belief of mine that ALL men are entitled to liberty. This is an American principle and it is a Christian principle. No one should be forced to be part of a nation they don't want to be part of. No one should be enslaved to another. No one should be forced to serve another against his will. People have the right to govern themselves as they see fit. As Jefferson once wrote, I believe liberty is a God-given human right. The people of Tibet are protesting for independence. They are protesting for liberty. Therefore, they have my full support and should have America's full support since the liberty of men is as fundamentally American as it gets.

China has responded as predicted, with military might. They have built up their forces in western China and if these protests continue you can be certain that China's response will be swift and brutal. Capitalism has taken hold in China and with that comes a gradual loss of power among the communist elites. Communism and capitalism simply can not coexist for long. China's communist days are numbered and their party leaders surely see that, and they won't go down without a fight. Not that the Tibetan protests have anything to do with capitalism, those people simply want independence. My point is that Chinese communist leaders are surely getting trigger happy and won't have much tolerance for any unrest in their country. I am deeply concerned for the Tibetan people and I fear they are facing something terrible. Some people may think that China won't take such bold action this close to their spotlight Olympic games. I disagree. Desperation is a fierce motivator.

I feel that President Bush should sit down with Congressional leaders and start talking about options. Granted, we must tread lightly given China's economic might, but we can't allow that to keep us from advocating for liberty. I don't think threatening a boycott is appropriate. That would simply put the Chinese leaders on the defensive. They won't respond well to threats. But our political leaders must be prepared to boycott the games if China reverts to military brutality in Tibet. This discussion must happen now so that if and when China takes action, we can respond the very next day. I simply don't see how we can possibly send an Olympic team to China so soon after a bad outcome in Tibet. It would violate everything America stands for.

My sincere hope is that China's communist leaders read the tea leaves and see that inappropriate action in Tibet will threaten their beloved games. My hope is that they allow the protests and allow the international media access to the area. It will go a long way in improving China's image just as they prepare to host the world in Beijing.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen!

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to aniont Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?"But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.'"

Mark 16:1-8

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"typical white person"

"Typical white person" - This is the phrase Barack Obama used to describe his grandmother when asked to explain comments he made in his speech. Basically, Obama was saying that sometimes white people, especially older generation white people, fear blacks. When he used the phrase 'typical white person' there was a bit of a gasp in some news organizations. It's a good thing he didn't call grandma a 'silly cracker'.

As a white person, I can proudly say that Obama's 'typical white person' words did not offend me at all. Give me a break. The political correctness in this country has eclipsed the point of ridiculous. We are in territory not yet defined, and things have gotten out of hand. Senator Obama was making a simple point. I don't think he was bashing white folks or suggesting anything racist. There's no need to get bent out of shape about it.

However, I am a bit intrigued by the irony at play. First, the double standard is obvious. While there were a few ripples of offense from Obama's remark, it isn't nearly as bad as the thunderous condemnation that would have echoed had a Republican said something similar about blacks. Let's be honest, is it possible to utter the words "typical black person" in any context without being immediately branded a racist, bigot, etc? And if it were John McCain uttering those words? Well, his campaign for president would be over. But the double standard will always be the rule.

I also found it ironic that the day before this Obama gave a speech about racism, part of which blasted conservative pundits for being dishonest in claiming that reverse discrimination occurs here and there. And the next day Obama utters a phrase that is basically stereotyping white people. It's almost too good to be true and I'm sure the Hannitys and Limbaughs of the world appreciated it.

Again, stereotyping isn't always a bad thing and I don't think we should beat Obama up about it. I am guilty of doing it from time to time. For example, I may say that Democrats tend to believe in Marxism, moral relativism, income redistribution and full government control of just about everything in society. That hardly makes me a bad person or narrow-minded.

So let's be realistic. Barack Obama may be many things, but I don't think he has a problem with white people. However, I did appreciate the irony in his comment.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barack Obama gave a hair-raising speech about race relations in America yesterday. As expected, the Left and his supporters continue to swoon and sing his praises while the Right says it wasn’t enough and continues to ask many tough questions. I found it typical for him, a great speaker but an empty suit. Obama consistently displays a talent for pointing out America's flaws and describing the utopian society that comes after those flaws are corrected. Yet, he consistently falls short of explaining his plan for correcting things, and how he plans to take us to that utopia. What he says sounds wonderful, until you ask how he plans to do it. Meanwhile, in the wake of the recent controversy regarding Jeremiah Wright, non-partisans and moderates are left asking just one simple question…What does race have to do with it?

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with what Obama said in his speech. Yes, race continues to be a heated political issue. Yes, it is divisive. Yes, we need to maintain healthy dialogue and unite to heal our racial divisions. That’s all great and I’m all for it. But what does that have to do with the issue at hand? Unless I’m mistaken, the discussion has been Obama’s ties with a controversial anti-American preacher. Perhaps that preacher has made some racially charged statements, but race is not the driving issue here. The driving issue is how we perceive our country. Is it good or is it bad? Are we right or wrong and where have we sided historically in that great conflict between good and evil? This is a fundamental question that, in many ways, is more divisive than race. Some Americans believe this country is inherently bad and is in need of drastic reform (ie, socialism and Marxism) while MOST Americans feel we are inherently good and have been throughout history. That’s what the issue is. Yet, for some reason, Barack Obama continues to make race a major issue in this campaign and I don’t understand why.

Someone needs to explain to the Senator that the majority of Americans don’t have a problem with the fact that he is black. If he wants to heal our racial divisions, I think it starts with that simple admission. Most Americans would vote for a black candidate if he were qualified. Most Americans would not vote against a qualified candidate simply because of his/her race (or gender for that matter). For someone who insists that his candidacy is not about race, he sure is making a big deal about his own ethnicity.

Once again, as is often the case, a Democrat politician has completely missed the point. Obama is losing favor among moderates and independents because of his affiliation with Rev Jeremiah Wright. That is a fact. And he isn’t losing favor because Wright is black, or because Wright makes racially charged comments. He’s losing favor because Wright is making anti-American comments. That’s the fundamental problem here, and Obama has completely ignored it.

The fact is, most Americans think favorably of their country. Most Americans believe America is a nation that has made mistakes, but is overall a nation of good. Yes, there are many in this country who think America is bad or evil or whatever, but they tend to be radical Leftists and are clearly the minority. Rev Wright is one of these people, and his comments reflect it. THAT’s what makes people mad and that’s what has turned moderates and independents away from Obama. We don’t care that Wright is black. We don’t care that Obama is black. We do care that a sitting Senator and presidential candidate affiliates himself with someone who sees the US and Al Qaeda on equal ground and says there is no moral difference between Hiroshima and 9/11. That kind of statement may find favor and agreement among the radical Left, but it is highly offensive to most Americans. Race has nothing to do with it. If Obama’s pastor were white and still saying these things, Obama would still be facing the same problem.

But, Obama’s speech yesterday focused on race and not the anti-American sentiment voiced by Wright. It is a major oversight and will prove to be costly to Obama. It shows that, as with most Democrats, he just doesn’t get it. The Democrat party has time-and-again sided with the anti-American crowd, dating back to the Vietnam and Cold War days. If there is a cry against America, it is usually coming from our Leftist population and, frankly, that is the major reason why people vote against (or sometimes for) Democrats. That party has slowly become synonymous with anti-Americanism and it has hurt them in the past two presidential elections and will likely hurt them in this one. Anti-American rhetoric is rejected by the vast majority of citizens and this is no different. That’s why I say the Wright issue won’t hurt Obama in the primary season but will certainly hurt him in the general election. We are already seeing it happen.

Senator Barack Obama is a black man and he needs to get over it. Instead of pointing this out repeatedly, he needs to explain why he is qualified to lead the most powerful nation on the planet as Commander in Chief, and he needs to explain why he lends his stature to a man who holds vile contempt towards his country. So far, Obama has failed to do this and if he continues to make his race a primary issue in this election, while ignoring the true issues at hand, he will certainly lose.

We don’t care that you’re black, Senator. Please explain why you associate with and support a man who sees no moral difference between Hiroshima and 9/11.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rev. Jeremiah Wright. If the name doesn't sound familiar, then do an internet search and pay close attention to what you find. The name will certainly become more familiar in the media, especially if Barack Obama wins the Democrat nomination and we get closer to the general election.

Rev. Wright is Barack Obama's pastor and spiritual mentor. He presided over Obama's wedding. He baptized Obama's children. Obama has been a member of his church for nearly 20 years. And he has a history of saying some vile things about America. Some of these things include statements that America is no better than Al Qaeda, that the US government has facilitated the spread of AIDS to kill minorities, that America has "raped" every corner of the globe, and one of his sermons includes the phrase "God damn America" multiple times. Supporters will defend the remarks and say they are taken out of context. I personally find it hard to take a claim that the US is deliberately killing blacks with AIDS out of context. But that's what they say.

In Obama's defense, he states that he was only recently made aware of Wright's remarks and that he adamantly disagrees with them. He stands by Wright as a friend and spiritual mentor, but he denounces the man's anti-US rhetoric. Fair enough.

Pundits say this is going to hurt him badly. Tonight, O'Reilly cited a recent poll showing a 5% drop in Obama's favorability rating since the story broke. And now for my observations:

First, Hillary Clinton is noticeably silent on the issue. She hasn't responded and she doesn't have to. The story speaks for itself. The less she says the better for her. John McCain has made a statement that everyone has friends with whom they don't always agree. He has decided not to get muddy. The GOP in general has also remained silent. Rest assured, that won't last as we get closer to the general election.

I don't think this will hurt Obama in the remainder of the primary race. Granted, many Latinos will reject Wright's rhetoric, and many Jews will not be comfortable with the man's close association with Louis Farrakhan, but Obama's support among those groups wasn't very high to begin with. The fact is, many on the Left and in the Democrat party actually agree with Wright's remarks. There is strong anti-US sentiment on the Left, so I don't see Obama losing that much support among the Left. However, if this story resurfaces during the general election, it WILL hurt Obama. Mainstream Americans will reject this mess and rightfully so.

There is something that bugs me about this. Obama has been a member of this church for 20 years and yet claims he knew nothing about Wright's opinions. I find that impossible to believe. If even my most casual of acquaintances held Wright's beliefs I would pick up on it. And this man has been Obama's pastor and spiritual mentor for the past 20 years who has repeatedly spewed his hatred from the pulpit. These aren't isolated comments. There is no way Obama wasn't aware of Wright's beliefs and rhetoric. For the first time in this campaign, I believe Obama is lying. And I've been more than fair towards him despite my disagreement with his politics, so my sentiments shouldn't be discarded as partisan. At the very least his judgment is in question if he is willing to closely associate, as a US Senator and presidential candidate, with someone who has such vile hatred of America. Is this the judgment of a US President?

But there's more. There was the story of Obama not wearing the US flag on his lapel. Then the story of him not properly covering his heart during the national anthem. Then the story of his wife's comments about being proud of her country. Independently these things may not be a big deal and I would generally dismiss them as isolated and anecdotal. But with the Wright issue, I'm beginning to wonder if there is a pattern here. Obama is adored by socialists and neo-Marxists, and the mainstream media (the center of American Marxism) has buried the Wright story. Is this a pattern? I can't help but wonder how Obama truly feels about America, despite having read one of his books. It certainly warrants discussion.

Obama is in a tough spot. The more he distances himself from Wright, the more he looks afraid of his pastor and friend for 20 years. There really isn't anything he can do to help the situation and is left basically hoping it goes away. I still think he wins the nomination without a problem, which may be a problem for Democrats because they know the GOP won't let this story die. Even if McCain won't do it, you better believe the GOP party will be airing Wright's comments all over the place. The Democrats are having a tough time shaking their reputation as being "anti-American" and this doesn't help. I'm sure there are many in the party wondering if they bet on the wrong horse. Putting this guy up against a bona fide war hero and former POW is going to be an electoral disaster for Democrats. That's fine with me. Minimizing socialism in American government is always a good thing. As for Obama, I'd like to know how he truly feels about America, because now I'm wondering just how truthful the man has been during his campaign.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Character attack x 2

The recent political races have gotten ugly and at the center of the ugliness are a few character attacks that I can't let go without comment.

First, Geraldine Ferraro. She makes a statement that some people disagreed with. I won't detail it but she basically says that Barack Obama would not be where is if he weren't black. I hear this and immediately agree with it. He is a first term junior Senator with zero national defense experience. His record is virtually nonexistant and he relies on incredible oratory talent rather than ideas and solutions to charm his supporters. His rise to the top of the ticket has been fueled by solidarity among blacks, something rarely seen these days. Because of this, he has dominated the southern states, a primary reason for his current lead. Take away the victories in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina and his lead vanishes. These are states with proportionately higher black populations. I strongly feel that a white junior Senator with the same talent and lack of experience would not have such solid support among blacks. Certainly not enough to overcome Hillary in these states. And a similar white candidate would have most definitely felt more scrutiny from the mainstream media for his lack of substance. Ferraro's comments were spot on and hardly abrasive or insulting.

However, the Obama campaign seized upon the moment to paint Ferraro as a racist. Of course, they didn't use those words exactly, but the implications were clear. Obama himself demanded Ferraro be removed from the Hillary campaign, all while maintaining his "high ground" position. This left a nasty taste in my mouth. I'm slowly losing my respect for the man. Geraldine Ferraro may be many things, but a racist isn't one of them. Yet she has been forced to defend her name and character for her insightful comment. This is most definitely a taste of things to come. My gut tells me that if Obama wins the nomination (which he likely will), the race card will be dealt many, many times...often from the bottom of the deck. This, of course, from a campaign who maintains that race is a non-issue in this election. Take it to the bank, ANY republican who criticizes Obama's record, lack of experience, or policy will feel the wrath of the racist witch hunters. Ferraro is just the first victim. Al Sharpton is quickly gathering his army of Betty Parrises and Abigail Williamses to launch their tirades against Obama's opponents. Bet on it.

The other victim of political spin is John McCain. Again, I have my differences with him but I do feel he is an honest man with a solid career and a solid record. I believe my tax dollars are safe with McCain, something I rarely say about any politician. The Air Force decided it was time to upgrade their fleet and, of course, Boeing was there ready to sign the contract. Boeing is an American company. McCain was bothered by the fact that Boeing was about to get a no-bid government contract. He felt that was unfair to American tax payers. So he takes action to get the Air Force to open the contract to bids. After all, competition lowers prices and the tax payers win. The Air Force listens and they open the bids, and European Airbus beats Boeing in the bid. And so the big stink begins. McCain is painted as crooked, as anti-American-business. He is criticized for "cheating" a US company out of a huge contract. His critics cry about the loss of US jobs, etc.

Well, McCain was right. When the government has a big contract they should open it to bids. The idea is to save tax payer dollars. McCain knew he was opening himself to criticism but he did the right thing despite the risk, and I stand by him for it. There won't be any loss of jobs. The planes will be built in Alabama by American workers. The problem is these workers won't be union, and that's likely why the Democrats are crying foul. This, along with the NY Times slander and Obama's recent behavior, has now put me firmly in McCain's corner in the upcoming election.

I'd also like to point out that the same people criticizing McCain for demanding bids on government contracts also attack Bush-Cheney for granting a no-bid contract to Halliburton (a US company) to do a job that only a handful of companies worldwide were capable of doing. They attack Bush for one thing, and attack McCain for the exact opposite. Where exactly DO the Democrats stand on government contracts?

These attacks absolutely sicken me. The Democrats have proven time and again that politics is a nasty game and there are NO limits to the depth they will stoop to gain political favor. They will eat their own if the need arises, Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton can now attest to that. The Democrat party has devolved into a party of pimps, hustlers and snake-oil salesmen in fancy suits. There is nothing these people won't say or do to win an election and the day America rejects them as a legitimate political party is the day America becomes a better country.

Monday, March 10, 2008

WASHINGTON — President Bush, dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East, said the goal is to get Israelis and Palestinians to hold firm to the promises they've made toward peace. FULL STORY

If this gives you a sense of deja vu, you're not alone. It seems to me that every time I look at the news, a politician or dignitary is visiting the Middle East in the latest attempt to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Am I crazy, or didn't Condi Rice just return from there not too long ago? Now, apparently, it's Dick Cheney's turn. I guess it's time to try something closer to a strong-arm tactic. Who knows.

I admire President Bush and I understand what he's trying to do. I've heard the skeptics scoff and say that he's desperately searching for a legacy. I disagree. Bush has always wanted to see peace in Israel and ever since his campaign in 2000 he has advocated for an independent Palestinian state. This is nothing new and it has nothing to do with a legacy. I feel his intentions are true and I respect and admire him for it. That's not to say that I agree with it. While pushing for peace in Israel and surrounding areas is admirable, I feel (like many leftist dreams) it is idealistic and far beyond America's responsibility. Basically, it's none of our business and we're better served by staying out of it. If peace happens, it's going to have to happen between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Our interference won't help the process.

Ever since Israel became a nation, American leaders have worked hard to bring peace to the area, more so since the Carter years, and so far our efforts have been futile. There is no reason to think that Bush's efforts would be different. While I would love to see peace come to that area, I simply don't think it's going to happen in our lifetime. Further proof of this was apparent the day after a gunman entered a Jewish religious institution and opened fire on several unarmed ministry students. The killings were random, the victims innocent civilians. The next day, the streets were full of Palestinians celebrating this horrendous act. That tells me that at least ONE of the involved parties is not interested in peace but would rather see their neighbors eliminated. Until that changes, until we see some evidence that the Palestinians are willing to coexist with Israel as a neighbor, then I don't think we have any business trying to negotiate peace between the two. Israel is busy fighting random acts of violence against its citizens, who are we to ask them to negotiate with those carrying out those acts?

Our areas of intervention should be limited to places that pose a risk of harm to us directly. The Palestinians pose no such risk. They want the extermination of the Israelis. Perhaps one day they will focus on us, but it isn't now. Therefore, we need to stay out of it. Let Israel take care of its own business while we deal with the Husseins, Bin Ladens and Ahmadinejads of the world. We can still be allies and strongly support Israel while taking as less active role in that nation's affairs.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The latest assault on individual liberty and parental rights has occurred in the People's Republic of Californistan. There a three-judge panel has ruled that parents must have a teaching credential to home-school their children, or face potential criminal prosecution. Although they don't say so specifically, this ruling effectively bans home schooling in an obligatory bow to the cornerstone of the Left...the teacher's unions. And they say politics stops at the courthouse doors.

We live in a time when people call for the President's resignation over wiretapping terrorists. Yet, here we have 3 judges mandating that our children can only be educated by government-approved teachers. If that doesn't disturb you, then you either have a problem with naivety or are due to renew your Stalin fan club membership. There are many parents who don't want their children in public or private schools and they have the right to make that decision without facing prison time. Once again, activists judges have chosen to invade and infringe upon the rights and privacy of the people. There is no need for this ruling and I doubt it will stand up on appeal (at least that's my hope). These judges have created law and thus overstepped their bounds, and the people of Californistan should not tolerate it. The precedent is clear, and very dangerous.

The location doesn't surprise me. California is one Bolshevik away from establishing the "people's party". But still, I am a bit shocked at the audacity of the judges, and the lack of outcry. If Bush does something like this in the war on terror he is compared to Hitler and butchered in the press. Yet these unelected judges blatantly assault our individual rights without so much as a whimper from the people and the mainstream media. How foolish we've become. A wise man once said that every time Congress meets, we all lose a little liberty. I think the same can now be said of our courts.