To The Daily Sun,
While we hope and pray for common sense and courage to save us in November 2014 and 2016, I continue to struggle to understand the liberal/progressive mind in general and our current president in particular. So I have turned to writers for American Thinker and Townhall.com. Stu Tarlowe, a blogger for American Thinker, offers some clarity as delivered by Damian Housman, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, who offers some insight into the mainstream media (the left).
Remember how the Oslo mass-murderer was labeled as a "right winger"? Missing from the narrative was that right wing in Europe refers to a form of socialism. He was reportedly part of the Swedish Nazi Forum and we know that Nazi means national socialist, which of course is the antithesis of right wing in America.
Stu asserts that when you read a book of fiction, "Lenin in Zurich", a factual secret comes to life. "Socialism does not exist except in the imagination of the true believer and the useful idiot. It discovers that Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Deng, Pol Pot, Castro and Solzhenitsyn himself all knew this and used it as a means of fooling mass numbers of people into following them." So socialism is anything but a system of providing justice for the masses. It is a deceitful system devised to provide absolute power to tyrants. Please raise your hand if you are shocked to read this revelation.
I next turned to historian Victor Davis Hanson to help me out with the puzzling way that progressive-liberals react when faced with evil. "He believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the 'right side' of history." He also chastises others for being on the 'wrong side' of history — as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot."
Remember the 2009 "green revolution" when millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the theocratic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regime and begged for U.S. support? Our president offered them comfort by promising them they were on the "right side" of history. Hanson notes that Obama often invokes Martin Luther King Jr.'s phrase about the "arc of the moral universe" naturally bending toward justice, when MLK meant that as a metaphor as an incentive to act and not as some assurance that an inevitably positive course will follow.
More utopian, nonsensical remarks by President Obama include two marvelous examples. Remember when he chastised Putin for behavior that doesn't belong in the 21st century? Did ole Vlad go into deep reflection or did he take over Crimea and then more of Ukraine while perhaps setting his sights on the Baltic states. Then our president gets down to some real tough talk. He lectured on about how the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or ISIS has no place in our century and will ultimately fail.
Ideological fantasy, intellectual laziness or incompetent leadership, take your pick. All equate to danger for this country and President Obama epitomizes all three to a disastrous degree. Our president only acts to attack Republicans and conservatives while confronting real evil with disappearing red lines. From Genghis Khan and the Barbary Pirates to Boko Haram and ISIS, human nature in its most evil form has always existed and always will. Some delusional belief in predetermined history of good over evil as a cover for inaction is reckless and irresponsible.
No wonder some believe that the modern day liberal, progressive mindset borders on mental illness. That would be the bunch that wants to micro-manage the lives of ordinary citizens. Is there a psychiatrist in the house?
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
In a recent contribution to this forum, Mr. "I don't have to proof anything" Earle has the audacity to suggest that Mr. Hoyt only voted for President Obama "because he is black"; talk about playing the race card! Obama won 69.5 million votes in 2008 and 65.9 million votes in 2012; is Earle suggesting that all these voters cast their ballots for him just because of the color of his skin? He is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the national vote twice. White conservatives have gone so far as saying that racism is no longer a problem in America and doesn't even exist anymore — apparently Earle didn't get the memo.
While I would never presume to claim why any individual votes the way he or she does, I would like to suggest a number of possible reasons the Democrats won the presidency in 2008.
The previous Republican administration failed to "keep us safe." On September 11th our country experienced the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Despite repeated, urgent warnings from intelligence officials and the prior president about an impending al Qaeda attack, this administration did nothing. Evidence compiled by the 9/11 Commission showed that this Republican administration sought to stymie and mislead the investigation. It has been clear for years that the administration ignored many warnings about Al Qaeda. Conservatives, suffering from historic amnesia, continue to behave as if facts uncovered by the 9/11 Commission never emerged.
This Republican administration embraced global isolationism, first by withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty taking the United States in a direction not seen since World War I. They gutted global political progress by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol which set requirements for 38 nations to lower greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Then squandered global goodwill after 9/11 by thumbing their nose at world sympathy for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, by declaring a global war on terrorism and declaring "you are either with us or against us." Continuing in this vain, this administration abandoned the International Criminal Court and ignored an international ban on torture.
The administration soon started beating war drums for an attack on Iraq, where there was no proven al Qaeda link, instead of Afghanistan where the 9/11 bombers had trained and Osama bin Laden was based. The administration tried to get the U.N. Security Council to authorize an attack on Iraq, which it refused to do. This Republican Administration decided to lead a "preemptive" attack regardless of international consequences. A National Intelligence estimate asserted that the Iraq war increased Islamic radicalism and had worsened the terror threat. It has been estimated that the costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars will read between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, when the long-term medical costs are added in for wounded veterans. In response to veterans, this same administration, that was sending young men and women off to war, cut funding for veteran's healthcare by several billion.
The president of the previous Republican administration was thought by many to be president in name only. The power-hungry and arrogant trio of Cheney running the White House; Rove the political operations; and Rumsfeld overseeing the wars were the ones in control. And while conservative contributors are outraged when President Obama takes a vacation, the previous Commander-in- Chief, distinguished by a dubious military career, to the point of being accused of being AWOL, took 1,020 days of vacation time in two four-year terms — more than one of every three days. No other president comes close. He set the record for the longest vacation among modern presidents — five weeks.
I've only highlighted a few of the many reasons 51 percent of the voters may have cast their ballots the way they did other than the color of a man's skin. Personally, I have always admired John McCain, and despite misgivings, was giving his candidacy strong consideration until his unfortunate chose of a running mate.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 09:58
The tea party mantra, "I want my country back," resonates with many. The racial undertones can be ugly (as well as pointless). But the longing for an economically secure America centered on a strong middle class is on point and widely shared.
Older and mostly white members of the far right tend to see themselves as model Americans who worked hard, saved up and played by the rules. They may have done all the above, but many also have no idea of how easy they had it.
After World War II, Americans with no college could walk into a factory and obtain a job paying middle-class wages. Global competition was a future threat. Today's retirees are among the last Americans to enjoy the most golden of benefits, including a defined pension check, guaranteed for the rest of their lives.
More troubling than the tunnel vision, though, is the right's program for restoring the country it purports to miss. The ideological obsession with slashing taxes, shrinking government and keeping labor as cheap as possible is downright destructive.
The America of yore did not build its middle class that way.
When President Dwight Eisenhower backed the construction of the interstate highway system in 1956, the top marginal rate for individual income taxes was 91 percent. Older taxpayers bore their burdens more or less stoically (and there wasn't Medicare to pay their parents' doctor bills). Building America was the public-spirited thing to do.
Fast-forward to the economic crash of 2008. The infrastructure was in shambles and unemployment high. Robust stimulus spending was the ticket out of both dilemmas. But even though the top marginal rate was only 35 percent, fringe conservatives controlling the Republican Party fought against government intervention every inch of the way — lest Congress raise taxes one dime.
Kansas has become the patient on which to conduct this experiment at its most extreme, and the results are disastrous. Gov. Sam Brownback pushed through wild tax cuts, mainly benefiting the well-to-do, while placing Kansas classrooms, libraries and other public services on a starvation diet.
And what do Kansans have to show for it? The tax cuts drained their state of $300 million in expected revenues for the recent fiscal year. (Where's that explosion of economic activity that the theorists said would make up the difference?) Meanwhile, earnings are falling faster and jobs growing more slowly than the national average.
The bond rating agencies remain unimpressed. Moody's and Standard & Poor's have lowered Kansas' credit rating, making it more expensive for the state to borrow.
Study after economic study shows the 21st-century spoils going to the educated. And here we have Kansas cannibalizing its schools just as competing states are restoring their education spending.
One wishes older conservatives opposed to raising the minimum wage, now $7.25 an hour, took an honest look at the wages government guaranteed them back when. The minimum wage in 1968 was the equivalent of $10.90 in today's dollars.
A new study of the 20 major economies finds the U.S. minimum wage among the lowest relative to the country's average wage. China, Brazil and Turkey did better.
The minimum wage helps less skilled workers but also influences the pay levels higher up the scale. Putting more money in the pockets of those likeliest to spend it fuels economic demand.
Tax policy does matter, and there is such a thing as government waste. But in the end, a middle class is nurtured on good schools, roads and other public services. They cost money.
Americans who want their middle-class country back should follow their elders' example. A little gratitude would be nice, too.
(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 06:55
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to publicly thank a couple who paid for my lunch at Pizza Hut on Friday, September 12. I'm an elderly woman who went out to lunch on my own. A couple at a adjoining booth chose to "pay it forward".
I am so appreciative for the kindness and surprise that this couple paid for my lunch, as well as a tip. It is nice to know that there are still caring and kind people in a world that has gone crazy.
Betty Ann Mayer
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 11:29
To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to 2nd District U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster:
I am a fresh face to the democratic process, having just turned 18. Born and raised in New Hampshire, I know a little about tradition. From county fairs and old home days, to the cutting of Christmas trees and sleigh rides. Though New Hampshire is moving into a new world, tradition remains important.
Politics has always been important to the New England region, and many traditions exist to deal with it. One tradition New Hampshire embraced was the town hall. Even in the beginning, people knew that politicians could be highly suspect characters, quick to turn a blind eye to the blights of their neighbors.
To keep politicians in line, we have town hall meetings. Any and all are invited to inquire the whys and why-nots of a politician's positions. The town hall puts politician and constituent in the same room, face-to-face, forcing politicians to account for themselves while looking straight in the eyes of their neighbors. That is how we keep politicians honest.
So why are you unwilling to participate in this tradition. If you won't even look me in the eyes, should I trust you?
I am more than a vote. I am your neighbor.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 11:27