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Restoring Honor 8-28-10 August 30, 2010

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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To say that climbing on a bus with fifty strangers to join a caravan of hundreds of other buses jostling our way up the yellow-brick road to Oz put this Historian out of his comfort zone would not be an understatement; it would be a gross understatement. However, having fallen through the rabbit hole in the fifties and taken the red pill in the sixties, the slow motion train wreck that is the Progressive’s deconstruction of traditional America combined with the light speed transformation of our beloved Republic as a European-style nanny-state since the November Revolution of 08 compelled me to go. Stoked by daily doses of Radio-free Glenn and incited by the daily drip-drip-drip of the government take-overs and serial bail-outs the anticipation has built for months.
Now that the GREAT EVENT is over we have to ask ourselves, “What did we go to Washington to see?”
Did we go to see a politician? No! Politicians are people dressed in fancy clothes or people giving eloquent speeches? We can see those twenty-four hours a day on C-Span. The Best Congress Money Can Buy has this down to a science. They know how to look and sound important. They even know how to look and sound relevant, caring, concerned, and informed. The only problem is that time and time again we elect people to change the anti-liberty anti-individual freedom agenda rotting the core of the American Experiment, and time after time we find out that instead of sending in the cavalry we have sent in the clowns and the beat-down goes on. We did not see a politician at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?
Did we go to see a religious leader? Having been one myself I speak with a certain familiarity if not authority. No! Religious leaders, though they may selflessly and honestly present the message of their particular religion, are members of organizations, and they seek the advancement of those organizations: that is their job. We did not see a religious leader at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?
Did we go to see a promoter of hate? No! Promoters of hate sent out invitations to their event based on race, saying every one of certain races should come. The people of hate displayed a huge banner with a picture of Dr, Martin Luther King labeled “The Dream” above a huge picture of Glenn Beck labeled “The Nightmare.” The people of hate wandered through the largest crowd I have ever seen holding up signs calling the Americans of ever race and nationality who attended the Restoring Honor Rally the “KKK” and other provocative slogans. We did not see a promoter of hate at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?
Did we go to see a self-promoter? No! Self-promoters seek to make money and/or build their own kingdom. Self-promoters constantly point to themselves as the answer to the questions they ask, and the solution to the problems they pose. Self-promoters use others as props and always shine the light on themselves. Self-promoters make it big then live large leaving others to calculate how much those serial-vacations cost as they send us the bill for one more glittering gala in the midst of a crisis too good to waste. Self-promoters wag their finger in our face saying we should realize we can no longer lead the world as they cozy up to our enemies, insult our friends, and walk all over our Constitution. We did not see a self-promoter at the Restoring Honor Rally. So what did we go to Washington to see?
Did we go up to see a prophet? Yes! We went to the Restoring Honor Rally to see a prophet and more than a prophet. A Prophet is never a person who declares themselves to be one, but instead is a person others recognize as one. I am calling Glenn Beck a prophet. He is seeing beyond the present and pointing to a horizon others cannot see. He is drawing together people of all faiths, races, and nationality and is pointing the way out of a wilderness of our own creation, through the sea of bureaucratic newspeak, to the promised land of limited government.
Some may ask, “Who is Dr. Owens to proclaim Glenn Beck a prophet?” I am but the chronicler of the History of the Future and my discernment that Glenn Beck is a prophet will mean little beyond the narrow pale of my columns and websites, but many hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans echoed this discernment by traveling from all over this country to see Mr. Beck and hear what he had to say.
And what he had to say was a reminder that long ago God told His people if they ever strayed from His path the way back was found in the wisdom of His word, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Whose Responsibility is It? August 21, 2010

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Having spent time describing the three unalienable rights of life, liberty and property upon which our Republic was founded and from which all others flow it is necessary to speak of the natural responsibilities which form their inverse image. Peering through the looking glass at original intent we try to make sense of the present wonderland where rights and responsibilities are never what they seem.
There are five natural responsibilities. First, we’re responsible for our actions. No one can make us do anything. Even when forced it is still us who must make our muscles move and make our voices speak. We are responsible for the validity of our word and it should be our bond that we will do what we have said we will do when we have said we will do it. Second, each person is responsible for their own sustenance. We should provide for ourselves not expecting others to meet our needs or supply us with the comforts we desire. Third, we are responsible for our children. It is the duty of every parent to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual support of our children until they are old enough to care for themselves. Fourth we are responsible for the fulfillment of all contracts we have freely accepted. And fifth, everyone has a responsibility to a social system which provides them freedom to use their own talents and energy for their own goals.
As stated earlier these natural responsibilities are directly linked to the natural rights of humanity to life, liberty and property. A person’s right to life inherently carries a responsibility to provide for them self and for their family without making demands upon the goods or time of others. This responsibility to care for our family extends existentially in both directions. Just as it is incumbent upon all of us to care for our own children, each of us, initially claims the support of our parents, therefore it is equally incumbent upon us to care for our parents if they can no longer care for themselves. As we have the liberty to use our time and talents for our own improvement we are inherently responsible for how we use them and for any consequences that flow from their use. And since legitimate government exists to protect our natural rights we are responsible for contributing to its ability to fulfill this function. This would include reasonable taxes and public service.
This is the extent of our natural responsibilities. Once we move beyond these we enter into the realm of moral or religious responsibilities. While natural responsibilities like natural rights are objectively arrived at by the nature of humanity moral or religious responsibilities are by their nature subjectively learned. Consequently the fulfillment of natural responsibilities flow logically from life while in most cases unless moral or religious obligations are personally perceived and agreed upon they must be fulfilled through the application of law and its ability to compel compliance.
As these secondary type responsibilities are most properly the purview of a moral code or religion and as each moral code or religion may carry different obligations it is presumptuous of government to impose upon its citizens what should instead be a free choice. For, the imposition of one moral code or religion could possibly transgress or ignore the moral obligations of another the sanction of one moral code or religion over another inherently restricts the citizen’s enjoyment of their unalienable rights.
Today our ever-expanding government invents new responsibilities and then force feeds them to a powerless public. These include responsibilities to the nation and the world. On a daily basis we hear of our responsibility to the poor, the uneducated, or the uninsured. And these new responsibilities do not just extend to our fellow Americans. Through the continuous imposition of these constantly proliferating rights internationalists seek to transfer the wealth of the United States to the third world as their open borders policy invites the third world to come here to claim it. Using our tax money the government seeks to care for everyone’s needs from cradle to grave. The inefficiencies of bureaucracy ensure that a large percentage of these resources get flushed down the sewer while we fall deeper into debt.
These newly invented responsibilities are not natural and our government must violate the natural rights of its citizens to fulfill them. They do this by expropriating our property and the enjoyment of the fruits of our labor which diminishes our lives from all they could be to what they allow them to be. In addition, the only way the government can expropriate these things and distribute them from who earned them to who they believe deserves them is to increase their power by diminishing ours.
If not from nature where do these government enforced responsibilities originate? They spring from ideology and the quest for power. By preying upon the gullibility of the uninformed, the culpability of the greedy and the lethargy of the uncaring the Progressive clique has gained control of the American experiment. It has used the ideology and terminology of extreme socialism, “From each according to their ability to each according to their need” to construct a conveyor belt transferring wealth from producers to consumers. The Progressives buy votes and continued support by dividing the swag from their plunder of American capitalism. Even though the government’s propaganda arms drone constantly about these enforced responsibilities still the majority of Americans instinctively know the difference between natural responsibilities and government mandated ones. If we don’t demand a stop to this proliferation of imagined responsibilities and the expropriation of resources needed to fulfill them we will lose our natural rights and the ability to fulfill the natural responsibilities which flow from them.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Between Barack and a Hard Place August 14, 2010

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People learn by moving from the known to the unknown. An analogy inherently proposes the idea that if things agree in some respect they probably agree in others. Secular prophecy uses knowledge of the past and the present to predict the future. The past is the womb of the present and the present is the history of the future. As the past may be interpreted and the present may be misunderstood the future is never certain. Platitudes may outline the shape of something, but they can never define anything.
If Michelle is like Marie Antoinette to whom shall we compare Barack? The thought that he’s Louis XVI is unthinkable. George III is too easy. All of the megalomaniacs or despots of the twentieth century would be politically incorrect in the extreme. Some would be considered too far left and some too far right though in reality the extreme on both sides meet at the intersection of totalitarianism and brutality. Since he rode a wave of secular messianic fever into power perhaps an appropriate paraphrase would be, “Who do men say that he is?”
Recently a woman who fled Venezuela to escape Hugo Chavez and his democratic revolution was heard crying, “Obama is doing the same things as Chavez! He’s following the same path, going to the same place, but now we have nowhere to run.” Someone who escaped the USSR told me, “I’ve seen all this before. He’s like Nikita Khrushchev. He says he brings hope and change but really he’s just blaming the past because he hopes to rule the present while destroying the hope of the future.” According to an escapee of East Germany, “He’s like Leonid Brezhnev. He promises security, pensions and benefits but all he will do is bring taxes, regulations and more bureaucrats, always more bureaucrats.”
Not a Hitler, not a Stalin, not a Mao, not even a Mussolini to whom shall we compare this man who has brought the crest of the long building Progressive wave crashing against the American experiment? Perhaps we should see who he compares himself to?
President Obama announced his run for the presidency in Springfield, Illinois on the steps of the old state capitol building. Choosing a setting in Springfield where Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech condemning slavery and calling for the United States to unite inspired even the Progressives at ABC News to observe, “Springfield allowed Obama to immodestly and continuously compare himself to Lincoln.”
Immediately after his victory the cover of Time magazine depicted the President-elect as FDR riding in an open car with his trademark cigarette holder clamped tightly in his smile. So we know his promoters in the press want us to compare him to the four term president-for-life who until now has been the epitome of a Progressive president. But does President Obama make the comparison himself? According to Politico, “President Barack Obama compared himself to FDR.” Major portions of FDR’s new Deal were declared unconstitutional, .many economists believe his policies prolonged the Great Depression, Alger Hiss really was a communist spy, and at Yalta Roosevelt gave Poland, whose freedom World War II was fought to preserve, to Stalin. If we forget all that comparing yourself to FDR is a good thing.
In the words of the Washington Post when running for the presidency Mr. Obama, “Sells Himself as the New JFK.” While at the time other news outlets noted, that even fellow Progressives disputed the comparison using the headline, “Hillary to Obama: You’re No JFK.” President Obama continued to cast himself as the successor to Camelot. While he may be the rightful heir to such military adventures as the Bay of Pigs or such questionable victories as the Cuban Missile Crisis he has parsed the meaning of “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” In newspeak this becomes, “If you’re a non-tax payer let me tell you what I’m going to do for you –if you’re a tax payer let me tell you what your country is going to do to you.”
President Obama also compares himself to the icon of the anti-Progressives Ronald Reagan. According to Politico in an interview with a print journalist the President, “made the case that his movement is as much about a national moment as about him as a ‘singular’ individual” also noting “he drew a rather odd analogy for a Democrat: Ronald Reagan.” President Reagan told us, “government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” President Obama told us, “Only Government Can Fix the Economy.” President Ragan told us, “We are today, the last best hope of man on earth.” President Obama told us, “America is no longer what it could be, what it once was.”
All the people mentioned above who escaped socialism, who left homes, families, countries seeking freedom remind me of something else Ronald Reagan said, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

Too Many Rights on the Left August 7, 2010

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The United States was founded as a representative republic inspired by the soaring philosophy of the Enlightenment. As humanity clawed its way out of the depths of the Dark Ages thoughts of freedom found root and germinated in the minds of thousands. Rising from this rebirth or Renaissance came the realization that humanity inherently possess certain rights and that among these are the right to life, liberty and property. These foundational rights are not conferred by government they are endowed by God. A godly government acknowledges them. An ungodly government claims to be the arbiter of rights. These fundamental rights are part of the original design and necessary for humanity to reach its full potential. Without them we are but a shadow of what we’re meant to be. The leader-molded citizen of any earthly tyranny is restrained from success in ways alien to the free citizen of nature and of nature’s God.
The fundamental qualities of these rights speak for themselves:
Who can possibly obtain the legitimate possession of the life of another? How would they obtain that possession? Over thousands of years of darkness many societies granted the right to own the lives of others. The dismal slave blocks and markets of shame, and the wasted lives and stunted relationships of both slaves and masters attest to the fraudulent nature of this barbarous custom. According to the Theory of Natural Rights the life we hold we hold in trust. It has been endowed, and it is unalienable, which means even the legitimate possessor does not have the right to discard it or count it as a commodity to be sold or bartered away. This being true, how could any third party ever legitimately advance the idea that they can own the life of another? Life is sacred and without the right to life no other rights have any meaning.
Without liberty there is no ability to choose one’s own course of action or to make real-time decisions pertaining to relationships. Without liberty individuals are but pawns in the game of others: grist in the mill of history. Without the freedom to choose society is locked in a culture of command which restricts the free flow of ideas and materials thus throttling creativity and erecting artificial bottlenecks. In societies where bureaucrats try to replace the free choices of individuals there are always shortages, because no one can accurately predict how many widgets others want. They can only decree how many should be made to fit what they believe will be the demand. In other words, person A can never really know the thoughts or desires of Person B. They can only estimate and guess, thus a command economy and a regimented society always have maladjustments of production and distribution. Without liberty life is stunted and prevented from reaching its full potential.
Without the full and free use of property life and liberty are held within a death grip which leads to a mere caricature of reality, shadows of people pretending to be motivated, marching to the leader’s arbitrary drumbeat and saluting the flag. Or as the hopeless drones of the USSR used to say, “We pretend to work because they pretend to pay us.” This necessity for the full and free use of property in order to make meaningful life and practical liberty possible is absolute. It can operate at 50% but then it is only 50% effective while at the same time being 50% defective. As the right to use the property we create or earn is taxed and regulated away so is meaningful life and practical liberty. If the state has abrogated to itself the power of God to decree what portion of life and liberty is applicable to that portion of humanity within its grasp then it will gradually take more and more of the properties of its citizens until only serfs are left. Partial tyranny begets absolute tyranny just as sure as night follows day, for once the plundering begins its appetite is never abated until it has drunk the dregs.
These are the three fundamental and unalienable rights, life, liberty, and property. These are the rights recognized and enshrined by our founders. These are the rights meant to stand as the guardians and facilitators of American society. And for hundreds of years they have done so. The blight of slavery, which obviously ran counter to the ideals upon which this country was founded, was abolished, the rights proclaimed by our constitution were eventually guaranteed to all and today all but the unenlightened seek to judge each by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. These three rights provide the fertile soil that birthed the greatest nation ever to exist, the one nation all the world seeks to either immigrate to or to imitate.
However, today a glut of imagined rights advanced by demagogues to ply the emotions of hyphenated voting blocs threatens to smother the three which make everything else possible. The Progressives have actively attempted to push these bogus rights upon the nation since FDR in his fourth Inauguration speech proclaimed a Second Bill of Rights to include; “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; the right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; the right of every family to a decent home; the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; the right to a good education.”
All of these sound good and it’d be wonderful if everyone had them, but this is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. These self-proclaimed rights are benefits which may flow from the exercise of our three unalienable rights but they are not rights in and of themselves. If they are rights then government must violate the three real ones to provide the rest of the imagined ones. To provide the laundry list of progressive rights, the life, liberty, and property of all must be suppressed to generate the funds and the power to manufacture and allocate these benefits for those who have not earned them on their own.
Leave the bogus rights of the progressives to be allocated by tyrants to serfs who have no possibility of earning them for themselves because they have bartered their inheritance for a handful of promises. Instead give us the freedom and opportunity provided by our natural right to life, liberty and property and America will be great again.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

The Fix is In August 1, 2010

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Falling like the staccato drumbeat of a pouring rain, the day-by-day assault by the ruling Progressives on the traditions and sensibilities of America has the no-longer-silent majority reeling. We were warned. The watchmen on the walls Buchanan, Limbaugh, Beck and others told us what was coming. They tried to alert those willing to vote for an untried community organizer because they wanted change that the change would change once the organizer got organized, so none of these transformative changes should surprise anyone. Obama the candidate told us what Obama the president would do. He said he wanted to be a transformative president. He told us his administration would be all about fundamentally transforming America. But it seems not many of the people who hoped for change were listening except to the hope and change part.
Today many of these erstwhile supporters, the casual voters who tune in for the last week of the race and then decide who to vote for based on emotion and those who even vote for the same party their father voted for, are beginning to wake up. They’re beginning to see the sheer drop of the cliff we’re being driven over. Suddenly the scales are falling off eyes and they see the emperor has no clothes. The Progressives are being exposed for the corporatists and statists they’ve always been. These Rip Van Winkle voters are now saying, “We were fooled” and “We didn’t know.” But they were warned. They just didn’t listen. Which makes one wonder, when they’re warned now about how bad this transformation is going to get, what are they hearing?
The Progressives long pursued dream of having the power and authority to implement their cherished Cloward-Piven Strategy to collapse the economy is coming into focus as America watches in stunned horror. It’s so hard to believe anyone really wants to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The free American economy has created more wealth and spread it farther and faster than anything else in history. A key to the Progressive’s plan to re-boot the system and impose their command economy is the destruction of our capitalist system. When General Cornwallis marched out of Yorktown his regimental band played “The World Turned Upside Down.” Perhaps this should be the dirge of the mourners for Mom, apple pie, and the American Way?
The 60s radicals who marched in the streets waving Viet Cong flags, burning draft cards and calling licentious living free love have become the establishment. The silent majority has become the peaceful protesters who want their country back. Political correctness censors free speech in the name of free speech. Government mandated racial quotas enforce the most rigid racism since Jim Crow in the name of fairness. We apologize for our past, bow to foreign leaders of the present and look forward to a future where China not the United States is the engine that drives the world economy. Is that the change we were hoping for?
George the Second abandoned free market principles to save the free market throwing a TARP over the biggest boondoggle in history starting the serial hand-out binge the shills now call the Government Bailout Era. The bursting of the housing bubble caused the economy to almost come to a halt. Listening to his Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel to “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” President Obama set about fixing everything that was broken, or was that breaking everything he thought needed fixing?
First he fixed the economy as a whole with what he and his Progressive cohorts call the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Subsequently many others call this bill the bailout for Democrat campaign contributors. Then President Obama fixed the health care system assuring us there would be no rationing, costs would go down, and the federal government would never fund abortion. Once again the bill was thousands of pages long, and no-one had a chance to read it before it passed since as Speaker Pelosi told us “We have to pass it so you can learn what’s in it.” Or Representative John Conyers who laughingly said, “I love these members that get up and say, ‘Read the bill!’ Well, what good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you’ve read the bill?” Now we learn it must of course include rationing, of course it means costs will go up and it will fund abortions. But at least now it’s fixed. The Dodd-Frank team of congressional slight-of-hand artists handed President Obama the Financial Reform bill, which we are assured will fix the Banking system except for Fannie and Freddie which are exempt. This bill too is thousands of pages long. No one has had a chance to read it. Senator Dodd has had his chance at the microphone to tell us, “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works.” How could this go wrong? This sets up thousands of bureaucrats to stand on the throat of the financial industry, but at least it’s fixed.
And that’s not all. We’re told every day the energy industry is broken. That fix is on the way. Representative Waxman, the chairman of the committee writing the coming cap-n-trade tax bill, admitted he didn’t know what was in the bill. As an in-your-face demonstration of power, he hired a speed reader to read his bill for those upset, because he wants to pass a bill that would make energy costs sky-rocket without reading it. Be assured more fixes are coming. If we get one more free election the Democrat party will pay for what they’ve done. But before the door closes on these fixers they will fix America until it’s so broken all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to put America back together again.
The never-ending crises haven’t been wasted and everything is being fixed or, as we used to say in Chicago the fix is in.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

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