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Beyond Brown the Second Round January 25, 2010

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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In the recent Massachusetts election Republican Scott Brown confounded the purveyors of conventional wisdom and caused a magnitude 10 earthquake in the political world by liberating the Kennedy Senate Fiefdom from the grip of the Democrat machine. To the 24 hour talking-heads this changes everything since the Democrats can no longer cut-off debate in the Senate though they can still stifle debate in the House and hold the Executive Department in their iron fist. But did the Party of Power really experience anything besides a bump in the road?
In President Obama’s estimation, “we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people.” In reality Mr. Obama has made 52 addresses or statements specifically on his health care proposals, holding 42 news conferences, participating in 158 interviews, hosting 23 town hall meetings, making 46 out-of-town trips to 58 cities and towns in 30 states. If he hasn’t been speaking directly to the American people what has he been doing? He’s on TV more than Vinny from Sham Wow. Considering that after the seismic electoral event in Massachusetts Mr. Obama’s political Svengali David Axelrod said, “We’ll have to think through this next year from the standpoint of tactics but in substance the mission can’t change.” It isn’t that the President hasn’t talked enough the problem is he isn’t listening. Communication is a two-way exchange and what we have here is a failure to communicate.
The day after the Massachusetts megaphone shouted loud and clear, “We don’t want your big government pork-barrel ways!!!” The party of power signaled their shopping spree wasn’t over yet when they proposed raising the debt limit farther and faster than ever before. Raising the debt limit is nothing new. What’s new is that in our RE-Made America instead of billions now it’s trillions. The Democrat Senate proposed raising the limit by $1.9 trillion in one fell swoop. This is a record increase which raises the official national debt to reach $14.3 trillion.
Although this level of debt is wildly unpopular the legislation is needed to prevent the default of the United States. Maybe if we charge the Visa on the MasterCard and the MasterCard on Discover and Discover on American Express and American Express on the Visa it will all work out? We can’t spend our way back to prosperity and we can’t borrow our way to solvency. The fiscal insanity in Washington is one of the things the American people are protesting against in Tea Parties, town halls and elections.
In the 1890s a movement grew out International Socialism. It manifested itself in many ways in the United States. In religion it became the Social Gospel, in education the Dewey Method and in politics Progressivism. In the first half of the 20th century America had three Progressive Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR controlling both major parties. These three leaders and the movement they represented attempted to change America from a country of limited government to a country of massive government. Once people realized that progressivism meant government intrusion into the smallest parts of their life and the redistribution of wealth through oppressive taxation they repudiated them and sought other leaders.
As people rejected Progressivism the Big Government cadre in both parties perverted an old label and became Liberals. As people realized modern Liberalism is nothing more than a scheme to redistribute wealth and buy votes with entitlements they morphed back into Modern Progressives. As people begin to realize that modern Progressivism is nothing more than a scheme to redistribute wealth and buy votes with entitlements watch as the shape-shifters turn into Populists. It should be interesting to watch as the captured media transform a Harvard lawyer who rails against people clinging to guns and Bibles and makes fun of people driving pick-up trucks into a man of the people. Running out of the besieged Tower of Doom shouting “Down with the Banks!” pretending to lead the crowd marching on his agenda isn’t going to fool anyone.
The defeat of Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts will cause pragmatists to split off from Progressives. Those who’re merely professional politicians especially those in competitive districts will scramble to the middle trying to keep their jobs while those entrenched in gerrymandered districts and the committed Progressives will try to push through their collectivist agenda by any means possible. They’ll get something they can call Medical Insurance Reform through Congress that will metastasize into one-size fits all universal coverage. If they can’t pass Cap-N-Trade the EPA will impose it through regulations. If they can’t pass Import-a-Voter Immigration Reform they’ll continue to tear down what’s left of the Southern Border while winking at the lack of enforcement everywhere else and if they can’t pass Universal Registration extending the vote to every name on a government form they’ve always got ACORN. If they can’t pass Regulatory Reform the Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein will impose it.
Everyone else may see the Massachusetts vote as breaking new ground all the Administration heard was the bell for the second round.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Half Their Brain Tied Behind Their Back January 18, 2010

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Every day to the amazement and delight of more than 20 million people across the fruited plain Rush Limbaugh performs his host duties flawlessly with half his brain tied behind his back. Anyone who has ever spent an objective hour listening to his program knows that Rush has a brain the size of a planet. The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media assure we now have a president who is always the brightest guy in the room instead of one who didn’t have enough brains to tie his shoes.
In addition, with the exception of his Chicago handlers, casino capitalist cronies, and union dons our photogenic president is surrounded by academics eager to implement theories that worked in their labs and computer models with the American people as guinea pigs. The Cavalcade of Czars is filled with the best and brightest liberal education has produced since the Summer of Love. On the Hill Nancy Pelosi rules the house with an iron fist while Harry Reid runs the Senate with parliamentary tricks and his legendary eloquence. Together they preside over the best Congress money can buy. The question is can Alinsky’s dream team fight a war on multiple fronts with half their brain tied behind their collectivist back?
Someone might ask, “What makes you think they are operating with half their brain tied behind their back?” If they aren’t then they aren’t half as smart as they think they are. They may be legends in their own mind and secular saviors of a lost humanism but if what we’ve seen so far is their A game we should exchange the IQ scores for psychological evaluations. Because doing all the wrong things for the right PC reasons only turns into victory in Michael Moore documentaries and on MSNBC.
Let’s look at some particulars. Back in the Dream Time the Hippies used to ask “What if they gave a War and nobody came?” When our first Boomer President took office he elevated this to a national policy. The Islamists declared war on us and he sent in CSI and LA Law instead of Patton and a Band of Brothers. Someone might ask, “How’s that working out for you?” In 1993 we had the first World Trade Center bombing, in 1996 the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, in1998 the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed and in 2000 the USS Cole was attacked in Yemen.
Enter George II who cruises along keeping Clinton’s counterterrorism chief Richard Clark. 9-11 changed everything. Bush found a bullhorn and told us he heard our cry of anguish and anger and he promised us, “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” They did when we invaded Afghanistan knocked down the Taliban and chased Al Qaeda into the wilderness. Then the neo-cons convinced him to invade Iraq squandering the support of the world. Clinton never woke up. George II did but then saw a shiny object and wandered off. However, the last two administrations before the dawn of Re-Made America weren’t operating in a vacuum whistling in the wind hoping a war would just “Go away!”
For political reasons Harry Truman called Korea a police action. This new-speak mind bending never registered with the heroes who fought or the families who sacrificed. It didn’t register with the people or the historians. No one refers to the Korean Police Action. There are no monuments to the Korean Police Action. Everyone knows this was a war.
President Johnson charged into Vietnam promising guns and butter, a war in Asia with guns and a war against poverty with food stamps. America won the War in Vietnam even if the Watergate Congress later threw it away. After multiple trillions of dollars and social decay we now have the same poverty level as when we started. Burying your head in the sand is never a good way to see the path to victory.
During the campaign Mr. Obama promised the troops would come home from the wrong war in Iraq and concentrate on winning the right war in Afghanistan. Now the troops are going into garrison mode in Iraq, the generals are not getting what they say they need in Afghanistan while the enemy has moved to Yemen, Sudan and the Internet. Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary never mentioned terrorism in her confirmation hearing instead referring to man-caused disasters. Like police action these verbal gymnastics aren’t fooling anyone.
We aren’t engaged in a debate we’re in a war. Slick talk may win debates but when it comes to wars actions speak louder than words and if our leaders won’t talk the talk how can they possibly walk the walk? While Mr. Obama’s immediate response to disaster abroad is laudable his slow motion response to multiple terrorist attacks on his watch makes it appear as if this smartest of all administrations either just doesn’t get it or they’re fighting a war with half their brain tied behind their back.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Wanted Community Organizers No Experience Needed January 11, 2010

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Talk about a man-caused disaster have you looked at the recovery lately? The Republicans under the Bush dynasty and the Clinton interlewd paved the way for the current debacle of fiscal debauchery. The only thing growing is the government. Have the Liberals staged a second revolution? Khrushchev predicted the Soviet Union would bury us and since they’re now on the trash heap of history is the Liberal Politburo of leftwing academics, corrupt politicians and their lamestream propaganda machine digging the grave instead?
The Obama administration’s takeover of America’s health care system, the financial industry, the biggest player in the insurance industry, major manufacturing the coming Cap-N-Trade boondoggle, and the soon-to-be-launched drive for import-a-voter immigration reform is a direct assault upon the productive designed to hobble their economic power and limit their personal freedom. The statists know the economically prosperous and individually free people of America stand in the way of their plans to create a centrally-planned economy and the regimented society it requires.
The Cloward-Piven Strategy for overwhelming the American constitutional system of limited government was formulated in the game-changing 60s. The leading tactician of the left, Saul Alinsky embraced and promoted this strategy. President Obama taught Alinsky’s principles at the University of Chicago and recently Christ Matthews in one of his softball interviews with a fellow liberal hailed Alinsky as one of “our” heroes. Applying Alinsky’s methods the cabal of liberal community organizers, corrupt politicians, unions and thinly veiled criminal organizations such as ACORN labor to bring our system to its knees. America is staggering under runaway spending while the Fed turns the dollar into monopoly money. The TARP rip-off has turned into an inexhaustible slush fund of crony capitalist corruption, the stimulus bill isn’t stimulating and the uncertainty of future governmental action discourages anyone from investing anything anywhere. Why would anyone want to overwhelm the system? So they can re-boot the system in their own image.
The contempt the party in power has for the American people and the process of a free people seems to know no bounds. Our president believes the Constitution is a flawed document because it doesn’t deal with the re-distribution of wealth. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks it’s a joke when asked where in the Constitution she finds the authority for her actions. Henry Waxman a leading Democrat Congressman mocked people who dared ask that their representatives read the bank-busting game-changing bills they are passing in the middle of the night, saying unless you have two lawyers and two days you can’t understand them anyway. In his contempt for the American people Waxman even went so far as to hire a speed reader to read a bill in Congress to the laughter of his colleagues. Harry Reid the majority leader of the party that invented Jim Crow Laws and separate but equal the party of Bull Connor has the nerve to compare anyone resisting his attempt to nationalize the greatest medical system in the world with those who opposed the end of slavery. As the country sinks into the economic chaos their spending and regulatory strangulation cause they’ll cast themselves as the framers of a new vision, a new re-made America.
While its Democrats currently shoving collectivism down America’s throat. Remember McCain advocates health care reform, cap-n-trade, and immigration reform. The two major parties are two heads of the same bird of prey an oligarchy of power elites with its foot on the throat of America’s traditional meritocracy. The Republicrats are both run by Progressives dedicated to the transformation of America.
If these agents of change succeed in destroying the economy and neutering the Constitution what will protect the freedom and opportunity of America? How do we save the Constitution, re-institute capitalism and stop our slide into the incentive-killing swamp of collectivism? We need to organize. Use the social networks to communicate and connect. Support local patriot groups. It’s critical that we remain peaceful but it’s just as critical that we use our constitutional rights of assembly and petition to gather our strength and present our case for the traditional American system of limited government, individual freedom and economic opportunity.
Providentially at this fateful juncture we have an articulate spokesman with a national megaphone. Glenn Beck broadcasts every day on hundreds of radio stations and on the Fox News Channel. He launched the 9-12 Project providing a virtual gathering place for all Americans who seek the unity of 9-12-01. Of course Rush Limbaugh is the founding father of conservative talk and always a guiding light and the most respected political commentator and theoretician. Others such as Coulter, Hannity, Ingrahm, Dobbs and Savage are inspiring and educational. The Tea Party Movement is morphing into hundreds of local variants. Get Out of Our House (GOOOH) is building a grass-roots base for political activism. Sara Palin provides some political visibility for the average American. Yet it’s Beck leading the way. If you aren’t watching his daily television program you’re missing some of the best researched and in-depth investigative reporting ever presented. Tune in. Turn on. And throw the bums out!
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Pop Goes the Culture January 4, 2010

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Culture to a human is like water to a fish. We move around in it constantly but we don’t notice it very much. Though unnoticed water can have profound effects on fish. Too cold and they freeze. Too hot and they boil. Not enough oxygen and they suffocate. Too polluted and they choke to death. In a similar fashion the culture in which we move shapes us in many subtle ways. If it’s refined the world we perceive and the world we deal with is refined. If it’s crude the world is crude. If it’s toxic t the world is toxic.
An Icon in our 21st century whiz-bang gotta-have-it-now-twitter-me-when-you-get-in-line world is associated through the cultural tags we’ve recently embedded in our minds through computer screens and cell phones as stylized display figures representing the various functions or resources available on a particular piece of hardware. However, in the jargon of Cultural History an Icon is an image or figure which represents someone or something regarded as embodying the essential characteristics of an era or group.
The first universally accepted Icon in America for America was Miss Columbia. In 1697, Samuel Sewall wrote a poem which suggested a good name for Brittan’s American Colonies would be Columbina a feminized version of Columbus. In 1775, Phillis Wheatley, a former slave, sent George Washington a poem invoking Miss Columbia as the spirit of the Revolution. During the War of 1812, many political cartoons featured Miss Columbia and by the mid-nineteenth century she became the standard figure representing America. She was popularized by Thomas Nast who also gave us other Icons such as the Democrat donkey, the Republican elephant and the American Santa Clause.
Uncles Sam knocked Miss Columbia off her pedestal. Uncle Sam has his origins back in the early days of the Republic but the final version of Uncle Sam that most people are familiar with today comes from World War I. In 1917 James Montgomery Flagg drew the famous “I Want You” recruiting poster and created the enduring image of Uncle Sam.
This is a brief history of the development of American national Icons from the day Hancock wrote his name until the advent of technology-driven mass-media. Since then we’ve alternated between embracing and fending off new Icons coming at an ever-accelerating pace. Like Lucy in the Chocolate Factory we’re dealing with these images so fast we’ve become overwhelmed, and culturally neutered like the Hawki in F Troop.
Ever since Andy gave Barney a bullet, Mary Richards threw her hat in the air and the Jeffersons moved up-town we’ve been trying to manage the swirling images of America. We can’t decide whether we’re the Brady Bunch or All in the Family. Are we happy and contented knowing Eight is Enough or are we forever wallowing in the self-pity of Married With Children? In a simpler time John Boy wished Mary Ellen goodnight with the affection of a brother, and the Fonz was a hood with heart.
That Girl showed us women could be single, decent and successful now we get Sex in the City and Cougar Town. Good guys used to wear white hats. Elliot Ness always won. Now Tony smiles as he drops off his neighbor’s daughter from soccer practice then later shoots the girl’s father in the back of the head without blinking an eye over a poker debt then comes back the next day to take the daughter to soccer practice. It was just business. Larry David endlessly curbs his enthusiasm by making up intricate rules to live by and then expecting everyone else to live by them. The Office shows us how the corporate bureaucracy really works while Parks and Rec shows us how government would work if it was that honest or efficient while 30 Roc shows us how the Media thinks we think it works.
Entertainment is entertainment and news is news but once you see an image you can never un-see it. The Icons we fill ourselves with become the world we perceive. We get to choose what we fill our minds with. Is it positive or is it negative? But the masters of media also get to choose what they promote to portray America. Is it Columbia with flags waving leading us to freedom, Uncle Sam with a kindly face asking us to serve or is it dogs barking at hooded prisoners and people being water-boarded that our media moguls constantly ram down our throat. Do they show the people delivering a Thanksgiving turkey or the homeless pushing a cart full of rags?
A picture is worth 10,000 words so we need to be aware of what images say to us and remember we can choose the movies we watch, the shows we follow and the things we read. And reaching back to that culture as water analogy we’ve gone from a social compass that kept our ship afloat to whatever floats your boat from the Mayflower to the Love Boat and let’s hope not the Titanic.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

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