Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Did Glen Beck Help or Hurt the Tea Party Movement?

August 31st, 2010

After reflecting for a while on Glen Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally I wonder what faction of American politics was helped, or perhaps harmed. It is obvious, based on the large number of participants, that the event is significant. The odd thing about it was the apparent marriage of Tea Party participants with an overtly religious message from Glen Beck.

On the one hand, the Tea Party crowd had clearly been listening to Glen Beck’s political message, otherwise they would probably not have attended. Within the Tea Party’s spirit there is support for the idea that the country’s founding principles include the idea that freedom and human rights are divinely granted. Tea Party opponents, the Obama Democrats, are thought to see human rights as government granted and supervised. But as one who has keenly observed and participated in the Tea Party movement, I believe that its main motivating force is the desire to protect liberty and establish fiscal sanity. Whatever spiritual undercurrents exist have, heretofore, been reserved to a philosophical background.

At this muted, philosophical level of significance I am comfortable with Tea Party references to the founders’ principles of “God given rights” and the ceremonial references such as “In God We trust.” Likewise, I think it wrong to deny the historical Christian underpinnings of this country’s founding. However, I’m quite sure that I am not alone being uncomfortable with overt religion, in the form of Christianity or Mormonism or any other religion, being welded into a political movement. Religiosity at this level commonly leads to zealotry and intolerance.

The Tea Party movement has been rightly focused on liberty, patriotism and fiscal responsibility. This focus has been its major source of strength. It has avoided taking on “social issues” such as abortion, morality, gay marriage and other disputes about which the government has no business being involved in the first place. This is good because it enables the movement to attract support from a wide swath of the political spectrum to focus on what needs to be done.

The question,then,is whether Glen Beck’s call to make “God” central to reforming American politics will help the Tea Party, or will it drive away those of us who strongly believe that organized religion should always be a discrete and private exercise with no more than a formal ceremonial role in public governance. If Beck’s motive is to push back against those who wish to strip all references to “God” from our traditions, then I can support him. But to make “God” a political figure is anathema to many Americans, and it would destroy the Tea Party movement.

More Stealth Regulation

August 29th, 2010

Deep within the Health Care legislation was buried a provision to expand 1099 reporting to cover nearly all business transactions — a stealth move by congress. More stealth consisted of a government takeover of the student loan program — within the Health legislation. Within the Financial Reform bill are hidden regulations regarding racial diversity. The EPA has been used to implement back-door CO2 regulations far beyond the authority of the original legislation. And now, the Sun God’s minions want to use the EPA to clamp down on gun ownership by implementing an EPA ban on the use of lead in ammunition. This would make gun use much more expensive and would obviously make the EPA a mechanism for regulation of private weapons ownership. What about an EPA regulation concerning the fumes expelled from firearms, or some Consumer Protection laws regulating firearm design? It boggles my mind to imagine the design that the Consumer Protection Agency would come up with for a regulatory compliant revolver.

Once you start down this road of unlimited extensions to regulatory authorities, the possibilities are unlimited. There are a lot of things I don’t like that the regulators could put right with some new regulations, including chewing gum smacking (sprays spittle – a health hazard), farting in elevators (air pollution, EPA take note), loud music, especially rap from auto boom boxes (we might need a new agency for that), political robo-calls (attn. FCC), tatoos, especially on women, and piercings, especially on men (National Endowment of the Arts Alert!), most government regulations … oops, we’re getting carried away because I don’t know how to suppress them.

One of the problems with run-away government regulations is that they inevitably produce one or more unintended consequences. A prominent consequence is the development of a black market for regulated or banned products or services. There are instances where entire economies resort to a black market in order to survive in an over-regulated economic environment. The second unintended consequence is that the inevitable government attempts to suppress the black market result in crime. Criminals supply the goods or services that are in demand — torpedoes, laws,and police be damned.

Is Terrorism an “Islamic Thing”?

August 27th, 2010

Terrorism isn’t an “Islamic thing” say Muslim spokesmen. Besides, even if the terrorists du-jour are predominantly Muslim, the non-Muslim/Western world has committed greater violence says Imam Rauf, he of the Ground Zero Mosque. And a bunch of American liberals chime in saying that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, and even if a few Muslims flew airliners into buildings on 9/11/2001, this was an aberration, not a reflection of “true Islam.” How do these people know? Have they (with the exception of Rauf) read the Koran? Probably not.

I haven’t read the Koran either, but several undeniable facts and historical incidents are relevant to whether or not present day terrorism is an “Islamic thing” or not. These facts need to be clearly stated:

1) The people currently performing habitual acts of mass murder against civilians are Muslims. No other category of people fits this definition. And contrary to the accusations of racism often hurled at those who make this assertion, Islam is not a “race.” So what race are they protecting? Although a lot of Muslims are Arab, the largest Muslim communities are in Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and others. Similarly, the Muslim Beslan schoolhouse murderers were Chechens from southern Russia. So what race are Muslims? It has nothing to do with race.

2) These mass murders are killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Non-Muslims are not terror bombing Muslim civilians anywhere in the world. It is not part of our culture to do this kind of thing. World wars, contrary to some terrorism apologists, are not an analogue for mass murders of peaceful civilians going about their normal business in otherwise peaceful countries. Now that communism has been somewhat whittled down to size after committing the world’s most horrific mass murders, the present day practitioners are all Muslims.

3) Muslim acts of mass murder span the globe to include the U.S, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Somalia, Russia, Kenya, and Sudan, among numerous others. But what they all have in common is that they are carried out in the name of Mohammad and Allah. Nobody is murdering people in the name of Jesus, YHWH, Buddha, or Hindu deities.

4) Ample evidence has been presented that the Koran preaches violence against infidels. If Muslim and liberal experts on Islam and the Koran believe otherwise, then they have a duty to clearly explain violent passages to non-Muslims, to denounce these aspects of Islamic teaching as obsolete and evil, and to vigorously promote a non-violent interpretation among their fellows. It is up to Muslims, themselves, to restrain or re-interpret these violent teachings in their Koran. Christians can’t do it for them, any more than Muslims can restrain and civilize the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” teachings in the Old Testament Bible. It is Christians and Jews who have successfully done that. Muslims should do it too.

5) We have been at war against Muslim terrorists in two predominantly Muslim countries, but we’re not fighting Muslims, we’re fighting terrorists who define themselves as Jihadis for Islam. Because our war enemies hide and shield themselves among civilian populations, including the skirts of women and among children, some of these hostage human shields lose their lives. We are good at fighting wars and try to avoid civilian casualties, but we do not perform deliberate mass murders of innocent civilians. If the Al-Qaeda and/or Taliban want to face our troops man-to-man then civilians won’t be endangered.

6) Most Americans think that stoning women, so-called honor killings of female family members, suppression of women’s freedom and education, amputation of hands and other quaint Islamic practices are ugly and vile. If confined to Muslim lands we could, and should probably ignore these Sharia practices. We could even ignore it when Muslims riot and kill each other over cartoons by Westerners. But when the insults from the Muslim world toward the West include the murder of Israeli school bus riders, the murder of U.S. soldiers in a civilian German cafe in peacetime, the Khobar Towers bombing, the murder of Theo Van Gough, a Dutch film maker, the Beslan schoolhouse massacre, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the Lebanon Marine barracks massacre, the death fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie, the murder of over 100 people in the Bali bombings, the Mumbai attack against tourist hotels and a Jewish cultural center, the murders in the name of Allah of American soldiers by a Muslim-crazed American, Maj. Hasan, and not to forget the murder of 3,000 Americans in the World Trade Centers, just to name a few of those all-Muslim atrocities — these are worse than cartoons and insults that too many Muslims claim to be justification. These are acts of murder wrapped in Muslim notions of Jihad.

7) Curiously, those who point out the ugly atrocities committed in the name of Allah are accused by some of being Islamophobes. Since most of us critics are at least nominally Christians, and since all the people we’re complaining about are Muslim, why hasn’t this evolved into a religious war? Certainly the radical Muslims are trying to portray it as a holy war, “a revenge against the Crusaders,” as I’ve heard them say. So why haven’t we crusaders taken up battle axes and spears, put on chain armor and mounted our steeds to go to battle? Well, it’s quite simple, really. We are people of the 21st Century. The Muslims seem stuck in the 9th Century. Crusaders we’re not. Although we respect Israel’s right to self-defense, we could care less about “holy lands.” We are not “phobic” about Islam or anything else, because we are a strong civilization with a strong military. Those Americans who would prefer for us to be a weak/meek civilization are few and wrong.

8) So what should we do now? a) Recognize that this is a Muslim problem with roots deeply embedded in the Koran. b) Quit fooling ourselves that Islam is basically a peaceful, tolerant creed. Insist that Muslims prove to us and to their own followers that Islam is peaceful and tolerant, maybe by permitting a Church and a Synagogue in Mecca, for example. c) Wage merciless war against the terrorists wherever they hide. d) Recognize that political correctness, pandering and appeasement will get us nowhere with Muslim leaders. They’ll respect us better if we’re honest and forthright about our attitudes towards them, their Islamic faith and their tyrannical leaders. e) Have the guts to recognize that the main source of this puss filled ulcer is Saudi Arabia. Until we figure out how to deal with the Saudis as financiers and sponsors of radical Islam we’ll never see a resolution to this struggle.

9) To those Muslims living around the world and going about your business peacefully, why not recognize that there is a problem within your religion? Only you can really solve the problem, and to do so you must recognize the problem, raise up your voices, accuse and expel the radical elements and teachings that give your religion a bad reputation. The soft excuses and protestations of victim-hood by some of your present leaders are not credible or effective. The solution really is entirely up to you.

Congress Hiding From Citizens

August 25th, 2010

Ever wonder where your member of congress is during the breaks?

Here in Arizona’s District 4 we have a Congressman Pastor (who used to represent my district, but was somehow gerrymandered to another district 7 a few years ago). We never saw him or read anything about him except a few days before an election. The belief was that Rep. Pastor was actually dead, and the Democrats had to dig up his body for a photo-op prior to each election.

Oh-Well. This election there’s a reason other than death for why they’re hiding from their constituents. In my 7th Congressional district we have Congressman Raul Grijalva, whose idea of public service is to recommend that tourists and visitors avoid Arizona on account of the 1070 law. No town meetings for this cowardly dirt-bag either. When things got a little heated earlier this year he actually closed his local office and hid out in Washington until the fuss died down.

Grijalva has a credible challenger this year, but the ignorance of the voters who originally put him in office may be too strong to break through.

My Blog Belches Carbon

August 23rd, 2010

Click image left for an explanation courtesy of sweasel.com.

And for a mad cow update, click this image (lifted from the source -Recommended!. ): It’s great to see this madness coming to an end, but the author is right to warn that the worst consequences can often occur after the fact as politicians and regulators fail to grasp the reality that the panic was unjustified in the first place.

This insight comes from England. It’s nice to see some individualist activity on the other side of the pond. Based on the recent news from Europe and Britain one might have concluded that the socialists had taken over without a struggle. But there seem to be remnants of guerrilla forces still at large. Hope lives on for individual freedom.

Out of Control Government Spending Destroying America

August 23rd, 2010

Brian Riedl published a report for the Heritage Foundation entitled: New CBO Budget Baseline Shows that Soaring Spending—Not Falling Revenues—Risks Drowning America in Debt. The title might just as well have been “The President and Congress are Killing America.” See an abstract from the report below and click the link to read the rest.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has updated its 10-year budget baseline, and America’s fiscal outlook continues to worsen. The CBO projects $6.2 trillion in additional deficits over the next decade. This darkening budget forecast would have been even worse, were it not for the unrealistic assumptions that Congress requires the CBO to employ to make future budget deficits appear smaller.

With more realistic assumptions, the budget baseline shows that:
Even as war spending phases out and the economy recovers, the projected budget deficit never drops below $1 trillion, and reaches nearly $2 trillion by 2020;
The national debt held by the public is set to surpass 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020;[1]
By 2020, half of all income tax revenues will go toward paying interest on a $23 trillion national debt;
Federal spending per household, which has risen from $25,000 to nearly $30,000 over the past three years, would top $38,000 by 2020. The national debt per household, which was $52,000 before the recession, would approach $150,000 by 2020;[2]
Even if all tax cuts are extended, revenues will still surpass the historical average—18 percent of GDP—by 2020. The reason the deficit will surge 6 percent of GDP above its average is because spending will surge to 6 percent of GDP above its average.

These spending and deficit trends are completely unsustainable. Yet President Obama and Congress continue to push spending and budget deficits even higher with endless failed “stimulus” spending that is now expected to continue into the middle of this decade. They have also enacted a massive new health care law that—far from reining in spiraling health care costs—increases spending (and likely deficits) even further. In short, Washington is digging this budget hole deeper.

The article clearly defines how the congress has instructed the Congressional Budget Office to use unrealistic assumptions to minimize the apparent scope of their folly. Read the article.

How anyone could simply wave off this ugly situation saying it doesn’t matter is beyond me. And how anyone can conclude that the behavior of the President and the Congress (both parties) is anything less than criminal baffles me.

Land Grabs & Toxic Bureaucracies

August 21st, 2010

Behind the scenes of the Jihaddi-Mosque controversy, hidden from view by pictures of the Sun God bathing in the Gulf of Mexico, and the catastrophe in Pakistan, behind all of this is the ongoing frenetic activity of the Sun God’s leftist wrecking crew as they take crow bars and hammers to America’s natural resource industries. Thanks to the ever vigilant Michelle Malkin, we learn about Obama’s War on the West and now the Stealth Ocean Grab. These activities are designed to destroy oil & gas extraction on-shore and off-shore, killing thousands of jobs and raising the price of fossil fuel energy. These are goals of the so-called “environmental” or “green” lobbies for the expressed purpose of “ending America’s addiction to oil and reducing CO2″ plus the unstated but overriding purpose of destroying free market capitalism in the United States.

I highly recommend your exploration of the link, above. The subject is exhaustively covered and documented on Ms. Malkin’s site. Then join me in thinking about how in the world we can dismantle this web of toxic bureaucracies that is being assembled by the Obama Socialists. It won’t be easy.

Hillary’s Puppy in Pakistan, a Climate Expert

August 20th, 2010

Once again, the Obama political regime spares no opportunity to use a crisis for its political mileage.

In an interview with PBS’s Jim Lehrer yesterday, which focused mainly on the humanitarian and political dimensions of the Pakistan floods, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke made the spontaneous claim that Pakistan’s floods and Russia’s fires were caused by global warming. Here’s a quote from the transcript:

So, I need to underscore that, today, we’re doing what we’re doing for Pakistan out of pure humanitarian need. There’s one other point I would like to make which is extremely important, and it was made today by both the foreign minister, Qureshi, and Dr. Rajiv Shah, the head of AID, USAID, at the Asia Society Conference this morning of NGOs.

They both said that this was a manifestation of global warming, that the melt off the Himalayan glaciers they both thought it was possibly linked to the fires outside Moscow. And Dr. Shah said very clearly that he thinks the world should expect more of this kind of event.

I know that sounds almost like a science fiction movie, but I think it’s worth your viewers recognizing that we’re at the we’re we may be in the process of seeing a dangerous new trend. I’m not sure about that. Our focus tonight is emergency rescue and relief, but I thought that’s important to mention.

So what’s wrong with that? Why does he consider it “important to mention”?

First, these claims are made without any scientific backing whatsoever. Secondly, the IPCC claim that the Himalayan glaciers are rapidly melting has been proved to be absolutely fraudulent bunk. The IPCC admitted that error and apologized for including it in its reports. Holbrooke repeats the fallacy with a straight face. As to the Russian fires, that’s just plain fear mongering. Either he’s ignorant of the facts or he believes that those listening to the interview are ignorant fools. More charitably, he’s probably just saturated with the inane chatter of the Washington crowd to which he belongs.

More important is the fact that he volunteers a “global warming” cause for these catastrophes. This is proof of the Obama administration’s fixation on passing climate legislation such as Cap and Trade and defending the EPA’s new “carbon dioxide as a pollutant” regulations regardless of the truth, regardless of the science, regardless of devastating economic consequences. What’s the benefit then? It’s obvious that this gives government direct control over major sectors of the U.S. economy. Now who could be against that?

U.S. State Department Sponsoring Fund Raising for Ground Zero Mosque?

August 16th, 2010

In an article describing the terror group Hamas’ endorsement for the ground zero mosque, the author goes on to report that:

Abdul Rauf raised eyebrows last week when he departed on a State Department-sponsored goodwill mission to the Middle East, despite concerns that the trip may be helping him with the mosque’s $100 million fund-raising goal.

The Obama administration insisted the trip, reportedly with stops in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, was strictly to improve understanding about Muslim communities in the United States.

But a London-based Arabic-language newspaper that interviewed Abdul Rauf reported that he said he would also collect money from Muslim and Arab nations around the world — raising the possibility that the American government is helping him build contacts in oil-rich states.

Could this be true? Is the U.S. State Department sponsoring this radical Muslim imam’s fund raising efforts?

Please tell me it’s just a false rumor.

OOPS! Mexican Border Too Dangerous for Border Patrol

August 14th, 2010

WeaselZippers.com published this piece in which Sheriff Dever of Cochise County Arizona describes how the U.S. Border Patrol is pulling back their efforts from proximity to the Mexican border on orders from their higher-ups. See:

Arizona Sheriff: Border Patrol Forced to Retreat From Parts of Border Because it’s “Too Dangerous,” Upper Management Afraid of “International Incident” if Shooting Breaks out…

What kind of unconditional surrender is this? What kind of cowards are we?

What do we have here? Have we ceded border territory to become a Cambodian sanctuary for the Viet Cong? Are we becoming a Waziristan sanctuary for the Taliban? No, we’re becoming a border sanctuary for the Mexican drug cartels! THAT’S COMPLETELY INSANE!

The Cordoba Mosque and Free Speech

August 14th, 2010

Our president, the Sun God, proclaims that he sees nothing wrong with Muslim radicals building a mosque at the “hallowed ground” site of the Muslim 911 terror attack. He maintains that this isn’t a judgment about the wisdom of allowing them to build this particular mosque at this particular site, but just an affirmation of his country’s principles of religious tolerance and freedom.

This detached bit of sophistry is like saying that because of our country’s principles of free speech and assembly, the Ku Klux Klan is free to burn a cross at the grave of Martin Luther King. In principle, of course. In practice it’s a local matter.

This is similar to the liberal left’s attitude toward flag burning and desecration as a form of free speech. Yes,in principle this is free speech, but in practice it can and should be taken as an insult. So the guy who smacks the flag burner in the chops is fully justified in doing so. That’s my opinion.

The same goes for the Ku Kluxers burning crosses and the Muslim radicals building their “Cordoba Center” at ground zero. They won’t even reveal where the $100 million cost is coming from. One reasonably suspects that it’s from Saudi Arabia, from whence came the 911 Muslim jihadist perpetrators.

It has been pointed out that New York City hosts over 100 mosques already. Saudi Arabia hosts no Christian churches and no synagogues. Practitioners of those faiths can and are routinely stoned to death or beheaded in peaceful, tolerant Muslim countries. So with a dose of proportionality I can’t see anything wrong with telling the backers of the Cordoba Center to build elsewhere.

We are a free and tolerant people, but we need not be meek fools.

Tea Party Today and Tomorrow

August 13th, 2010

Congressman Pence takes issue with Democrat politicians who demean the Tea Party participants.

It’s Summer and I’m just back from a vacation trip to Maine, the home of Olympia Snow and Susan Collins. But I tried to think about sailing and cool breezes instead of politics, so it was very pleasant, indeed. In fact, blissful ignorance of things political and economic would be easy to fall into.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a very good and old friend, a retired school teacher. He thinks I’m being completely alarmist about the future, saying we always muddle through. But I judge the immediate future to be one of economic misery and probably a hyper-inflation. I told him he’s completely ill-informed.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Tea Party movement if and when (next year) the Bush tax cuts expire and government printing presses start pumping out dollars to cover payments on this mountain of debt and future obligations — when people’s savings suddenly evaporate and the cost of living skyrockets. I sincerely hope it won’t turn violent, but I would not be surprised if it did.

My friend says, “This is not Argentina.” I respond that it begins to look more like Venezuela. In either case, fixing the mess requires both discipline and sacrifice, both qualities quite lacking in a large part of the U.S. population, and universally absent in the political class.

But stranger things have happened. Germany, in contrast to most of Europe and certainly America, is pursuing an austerity program that seems to be bearing fruit. We Americans are resourceful when we need to be, so after throwing out the leftist bums in Washington and the state houses, perhaps a catastrophe can be avoided. Let’s hope so.

Racism? Not In Tea Party!

August 5th, 2010

Are you sick and tired of the leftist charges of racism against the Tea Party movement? Watch this and show it to your doubting Thomas friends.

Isn’t UTube Wonderful!!!

Your Healthcare Future

August 3rd, 2010

How’s this for healthcare hope and change?

Oh SUN GOD, we worship you!