Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Where is Our Vision?

An ancient proverb declares, "Where there is no vision, the people waste away..."

Without a compelling picture of our preferred future as a nation, there is no social cohesion and calls for sacrifice make no sense.

What does a healthy 21st century America look like?

Leaving aside the "good old days" that never were and utopian sci-fi visions, we must find in our history the deepest values and images that can once again call forth private and public virtue in our citizens. We must learn to live with our deepest differences while we forge consensus on those "first principles" that will unite us.

So far, there is nothing in the current speeches of our Presidential candidates that move us past the cultural, ideological and political divisions that render us morally vacuous and weaken our ability to command world respect in the war on terror.

America can not be a colonizing/occupying power in hostile lands.
At the same time, thinking we can negotiate with terrorists is self-destructive.

We can not talk about equal opportunity without equal sacrifice. Education is not only about skills, it must promote responsibility.

A free market and just socieity are linked by morality in the heads and hearts of the citizens. To the Left I say, "Please read ALL of Adam Smith again." To the Right, I challenge, "Where is the compassionate use of your accumulated wealth?"

Caring for the environment is NOT a religion, but the moral and practical responsibility of all of us. Did you know that the apparently eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs are full of mercury and not recyclable? Alternative energy sources and fuels are great, but European insistence that the USA adhere to UN standards is utterly hypocritical since a large portion their energy in nuclear!
Lest the Right misread the previous paragraph, I challenge them to consider the sustainability of their current enterprises. Are you thinking of the generations to come or your current stock prices?

How do I see a bright future for America in the 21st century? Consider working with me to see a nation

  • With safe borders and opportunity for all who are here legally.
  • With budgets in the black and accountability for every dollar spent by representatives of the people.
  • With health care for all through private-public partnerships
  • With citizens committed to the virtues of humility, integrity and mutual respect, allowing for debate about all topics while respecting the democratic process.
  • With religious freedom where people of all faiths or none live harmoniously, but not enslaved to politically correct shibboleths or the intellectual totalitarianism of Right or Left.
  • With economic and environmental policies that stimulate entrepreneurial solutions, shared sacrifice and real scientific debates. No dissenters should be cut off from their freedom of expression. If a meterologist disagrees about global warming, he or she should not be exiled but challenged. Fear is not a sustainable foundation for progress.

This is just a start. I am very concerned about the neo-paganism in Hollywood. I am equally troubled by the vacuous "prosperity" preaching on TV. Let's roll up our sleeves, sharpen our pencils and leave this nation better for our children.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Forward in Iraq...Iran...Syria

My last posting was highly critical of the power brokers in Washington, D.C. Current military policies are not abating the violence; however, the Democrats have no strategy other than withdrawl and a UN presence. The lessons of the 1970s have not been learned by either side in this conflict.

Our momentary military strikes overseas are necessary actions in our war against terrorism. Our permanent occupying presence is detrimental. We must create new boundaries and strategies against enemies that not only threaten Israel and the West, but every current Islamic regime as well. Our enemies will be satisfied with nothing less than Shari'a Law in every land. There is no pluralism or tolerance in their world-view. So how do we proceed forward?

Our military needs to be intelligent, lethal and mobile against known terrorist locales. We should alert allies and adversaries just prior to non-covert raids designed to destroy terrorist bases of operation. Regimes that legitimize terror need to be on notice that their support opens their land not to invasion and occupation, but incursion and pinpoint destruction of forces arrayed against us. We should encourage democratic movements where they are found, but be very clear we are not colonizers.

There are other, more sinister forces at work in this war. Russia and other EU nations have vested interests in our instability and in the destruction of Israel. Russia's imperial aims have not changed and European hubris and antisemitism makes working together problematic. The world enjoys the humiliation of the USA.

Instead of general "surges", let's strike with overwhelming force against the hot spots of terror - regardless of borders. Then let's go home and let local leaders decide if they want to move toward a civil world or risk further attacks.

Friday, February 09, 2007

History Ahead of Time

I am a Judeo-Christian, pro-life, moderately conservative, thoughtful person. I diligently look for a dynamic "third way" on divisive issues. Global warming is happening, but the panic is accelerating beyond the science. Developing World debt needs resolving, but part of the resolution includes liberation from tyrants who confiscate the resources that are donated. Medical care should be available to everyone, but not centrally administrated by an overbloated federal system. Israel desrves secure borders and full recognition and the Palestinians deserve better leadership as they move toward statehood. These are just some of the thoughtful positions I try to articulate. I have suppported our current president due to his unswerving pro-life position, including stem-cell research, and his desire to protect us from terrorism.

Sadly, I must now go on record in full opposition to the current administrations in the White House and on Capitol Hill. I will continue to pray for them, respect the offices and hope for change; however, as a historian and scholarly observer, I now view the current leaders as destructive for the American Future.

There are three issues no one is willing to tackle seriously that undermine our future as a free nation. The first is immigration. The agendas of the global capitalists and one-world government advocates (with a North American Union as an interim step) are converging. Legal immigrants from anywhere in the world but Mexico face a tortuous gauntlet of red tape, legal fees and petty tyranny at the hands of corrupt government officials and lawyers. One exception to this is the full-tuition-paying foreign student! Meanwhile, we imprison border guards, call any enforcement racist and declare that a sane policy will hurt the economy. The loss of any sense of the rule of law and what citizenship means will do more to destroy our nation than endless reruns of "reality" shows. The current leaders on both sides of the aisle are too busy cozying up to powerful constituencies. The result may well be the loss of national sovereignty. President Bush - you are a threat to our future with this policy. Speaker Pelosi - if you care for our children, you will want them to value our heritage, ideals and laws.

The second issue is fiscal restraint. Neither party seems to understand Economics 101. Revenues have never been higher, yet we are told that it is not enough and that the "rich" (variously defined) do not pay enough. Meanwhile, the Republican Party sells its birthright for a mess of pragmatic, symbolic pottage. There is no surplus in Social Security and foreign nations hostile to our long-term well-being hold us captive in trade and T-bills. The entire tax system is designed to coddle the canny and soak the unwary. "Atlas may shrug" one day and spendthrift Americans may well become the servants of the rest of the world. Mr. President and Ms. Speaker - you fail us by not delivering a balanced budget and curtailing the pork.

There is a third issue that goes way beyond presidential or congressional control. Unless our citizens experience a moral awakening and understand that real freedom depends upon virtue and genuine virtue rests upon permanent principles, all the policy changes will be for nought. As long as Americans are content with the 21st century equivalent of "bread and circuses" there is no hope for a better future. As long as we "amuse ourselves to death" (Neal Postman), there will not be the courage to confront the challenges. Here aagin, the bully pulpits of politicians can be helpful. Where is the call for sacrifice as we confront terrorism? When will we learn that we can not have all the guns and butter we want? What is the strategic policy for our military once we leave Iraq? Conservatives love to say "smaller government" until their pet projects are involved! Liberals want to slash military spending - unless their local base is being shut dowm (thank you, Ron Dellums!).

The years 1968 to 2008 will go down in history as the era of erosion and subversion of all that is dear to Americans - unless there is a broad awakening among our populace. The Bush Administration will be villified as the great "bait and switch" school of political manipulation. A few pro-life tidbits for social conservatives can not make up for terrible fiscal, immigration, and military policies. The Democratic Party continues to be haunted by the 1968-1974 leftist takeover. They are equal partners in the destruction of the American Experiment.

I hope that this "history ahead of time" is proven wrong.