Monday Brief

The Boy Scouts and Timeless Values

Jun. 3, 2013

The Foundation

“[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” –George Washington

Faith and Family

Timeless values or PC values?

“The recent decision by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to allow ‘openly gay’ youth to become members of the Boy Scouts was nothing short of a betrayal – a betrayal not only of the values scouting has represented for decades but also of the families whose support for the Scouts has spanned generations. … It’s worth noting that the law does NOT require the change in Scouts' policy: the ban on homosexual members was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, which affirmed the right of the Boy Scouts to remain true to their mission and decide, on a principled basis, who may become a member of their group. How ironic: After years of successful battles to maintain timeless principles, the BSA has fallen by their own hand. … [A]ll parents should use this sad moment to explain to young people, in particular, that the freedoms we hold dear will not survive if the moral fabric of our country continues to crumble. As those of us who have left scouting and now mourn the death of the BSA, let’s bind up our broken hearts and resolve to continue to honor the many leaders, families and churches who worked so hard over the years to build the character of young men through scouting. And to all former scouts – especially the Eagles – I urge you to write down your own treasured scouting memories so that you can share with your own kids one day what it was like when the Boy Scouts of America stood for principle and truth. RIP, BSA.” –columnist Rebecca Hagelin

Culture

“Score another triumph for modern American culture – the sexual assault scandal now racking the military. … The idea of pretending male and female personnel are the same in military terms and deserve the same status is the loopiest idea of our loopiest century, the 20th. … Sexual assault is what happens when you mix men and women in the same pot, then season it … with the cultural nonsense of the past 50 years; all the rubbish spoken by men and women alike, and approved by our intellectual/activist caste, about the necessity of ditching moral guidelines and guardrails, letting people operate pretty much the way they want to. Ideas have consequences, ladies and gentlemen of the political establishment. Pour into the intellectual pipeline a lot of nonsense about the oppressiveness of moral codes, and what comes out at the end of the pipeline is – ta-da! – 26,000 sexual assaults in the military, made easier, made more logical, by the complaisance of our post-1965 culture in the demise of standards and restraints of all kinds. What you sow, you reap.” –columnist William Murchison

Government

“In August 2009, HHS and the White House Office of Health Reform called on their ground troops to report on fellow citizens who dared to criticize their federal health care takeover. Team Obama issued an all-points bulletin on the taxpayer-funded White House website soliciting informant emails. Remember? ‘If you get an email or see something on the Web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov,’ the Obamacare overlords urged. … Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn protested at the time that ‘these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program.’ The flagging operation was shut down, but a plethora of federal disclosure exemptions protect the Obama administration from revealing what was collected, who was targeted and what was done with the database information. White House lapdogs dismissed the concerns of conservatives as paranoid delusions. Now, fast-forward three years. In light of the draconian IRS witch hunt against tea party groups and the Justice Department’s plundering of journalists' phone records and email accounts, every tax-subsidized Obama ‘outreach’ initiative warrants heightened scrutiny.” –columnist Michelle Malkin

Political Futures

“I think when one adds up Benghazi, the AP mess, the IRS scandal, the politically correct laxity about domestic terrorism and radical Islam, the deliberate leaking of classified documents to preapproved in-house reporters, and what Kathleen Sebelius is trying to do, the impression given is Nixonian to the core: scores of ‘blindly’ ambitious underlings, competing with each other to outdo the next, in order to gain attention or brownie points from the man at the top, who lets it trickle back down that he is in a virtual push-back war with certain Americans (e.g., the Tea Party, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the NRA, the post-2010 Republican House, and assorted conservative groups). … Everything Nixon did was suspect, often with good cause, and seen through the prism of his excesses; in the case of Obama, from Fast and Furious to Solyndra to the EPA and NLRB freelancing to the selective enforcement of the law, the press has more often been an enabler, working to explain why a scandal or an excess is really some sort of right-wing obsession, emanating from suspect or even racist motives. Something very scary started in 2009-10 – and that this new way of doing business was supposedly done for the proverbial ‘people’ to ensure ‘fairness’ has made it even more insidious and far more difficult to come to terms with.” –historian Victor Davis Hanson

The Gipper

“Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We’re not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline.” –Ronald Reagan

Essential Liberty

“The oil business is fiercely competitive. If one company charges a penny too much, other companies steal its business. Apple’s profit margin is about 24 percent. McDonald’s makes 20 percent. Oil companies make half that. Per gallon, ExxonMobil makes about 7 cents. Governments, by contrast, grab about 27 cents per gallon. That’s the average gas tax. If anyone takes too much, it’s government. … Almost no one seems to speak up for a true free market in energy, with competition, innovation and unfettered consumer choice. People say regulation is needed to counter industry ‘greed.’ But if anyone’s greedy here, it’s government – and unlike oil companies, government doesn’t have to work hard and compete to give you good service at the lowest possible price. Government just sits there, telling companies to charge less, telling car companies to make smaller and more dangerous cars, mandating and subsidizing alternative fuels like ethanol – and then telling us that we benefit from the politicians' efforts. The truth: We rarely benefit.” –columnist John Stossel

Insight

“We are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of men, but for foreign nations, complaisant nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace – these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare, and surely it is becoming bare! … When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself.” –Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

Re: The Left

“Liberals are waving around a new Congressional Budget Office analysis that shows higher earners benefit most from tax breaks in the federal code. ‘The 10 major tax expenditures considered here are distributed unevenly across the income scale,’ reports CBO. ‘In calendar year 2013, more than half of the combined benefits of those tax expenditures will accrue to households with income in the highest quintile (or one-fifth) of the population.’ Predictably, Democratic leaders in Congress are drawing the wrong conclusions. ‘This shows that we could achieve a significant amount of deficit reduction by limiting the preferences to the highest income earners,’ said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, according to Reuters. Actually, what the report shows is that when you have in place a system where the top 20% of earners pays nearly 70% of federal income taxes – and the top 1% pays 37% – it follows that tax breaks will disproportionately benefit higher earners. Nearly half of American households pays no federal income tax at all.” –Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley

For the Record

“In a speech on May 23, Obama insisted that we can’t continue prosecuting a ‘boundless global war’ against terror, and that we must attempt to dismantle specific extremist networks. Once again, he reiterated the idea that the war on terror is winding down. Yet he remains remarkably obtuse. ‘Now, make no mistake, our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth,’ he insisted. ‘But we have to recognize that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11.’ Shifted and evolved? Note the key word the president has yet again willfully omitted: we are threatened overwhelmingly by Muslim terrorists. Furthermore, it is utterly specious logic that posits the threat has shifted and evolved from that which occurred on 9/11, simply because the Islamists have failed to perpetrate another attack of that magnitude – or worse. Do anyone other than progressives seriously believe they’ve ‘evolved’ beyond wanting and trying to do so?” –columnist Arnold Ahlert

Opinion in Brief

“There was another reason Obama labeled the war on terror transformed: It allows him to claim that Benghazi was a black swan attack, different in kind from attacks that preceded it, and therefore unpreventable. He termed Benghazi a ‘localized threat.’ He said it was not directed by al-Qaida (actually, it was directed by Ansar al Shariah, an al-Qaida ally in Libya). He compared it to the Boston Marathon bombings repeatedly, trying to turn it into a random case of Islamists acting alone. Perhaps this is a mere attempt at diversion from the president. Perhaps he doesn’t mean what he says. Or perhaps he’s dooming America to a future of increased terrorism, state-sponsored, organized or disorganized, all to avoid scandal now.” –columnist Ben Shapiro

Reader Comments

“Mark Alexander’s essay, Political Agendas and Half-Staff Flags, was an excellent, cogent, and well-thought-out piece. God bless your Dad, Mark, for his service. You are spot-on in pointing out the obvious political agenda at work in the ‘half-staff or not’ debate. Keep up the good work!” –Rob in Eugene, Oregon

“Excellent essay on the flag! I have been screaming about this ever since Obama started politicizing when it’s lowered. He does nothing lest it be for his political agenda (and that of his handlers). Thanks for bringing these points to the fore.” –Killer63 in California

“I enjoyed reading about your trip with your Father to the National Cemetery in Chattanooga. I was out there also with my brother ( both of us former Marines) to place flowers on our Father’s grave, Navy WWII. It is always with the utmost reverence for both of us when we go. As a Vietnam vet I also take time to to reflect on those Marines that I served with who gave their last full measure of devotion in the defense of Freedom. I concur with your reasoning for lowering the flag on those day you mentioned. Keep up the good work. Thank you for all you do.” –James in Georgia

“The flags were not lowered in honor of former SEAL Chris Kyle either. What a patriot! His death was not even acknowledged by the coward in chief. I had the privilege to attend Kyle’s funeral. How many lives he saved we will never know. May God continue to bless his wife and kids.” –Vanessa in Arlington, Texas

The Last Word

“[A]lthough the commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, visited Obama’s White House no fewer than 157 times, which is 156 times more than his predecessor Mark Everson ever visited the White House, we know that this was for legitimate Easter-egg rolls, as he testified to Congress, and meetings to discuss Obamacare. The Easter Bunny, one should note, visits the White House two to four times as often as the average IRS commissioner did before Mr. Shulman came along. But you can’t make a health-care omelet without breaking Easter eggs: It is one of the many distinctive features of Obama-style ‘health’ ‘care’ ‘reform’ that, while it has not led to the hiring of a single additional doctor, nurse, or hospital janitor, it did require the biggest expansion of the IRS since the Second World War. So, when he wasn’t rolling Easter eggs and advising the moppets on whether they needed to declare the luxury Belgian white chocolate balls with praline filling, he was participating in vital meetings on how many extra SWAT teams he was going to need to enforce the new colonoscopy non-compliance penalty.” –columnist Mark Steyn

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team