Monday Brief

Brief

Feb. 15, 2010

The Foundation

“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.” –Thomas Jefferson

Vancouver Olympics

For the Record

“NBC (which is owned by General Electric) [has begun] broadcasting the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver, Canada. … [But some] events will be difficult to pull off. Why? There is no snow in Vancouver. And International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge knows exactly what is to blame: global warming. Rogge tells AFP: ‘Global warming of course is a worry, it is a worry for the entire world.’ Considering that NBC/GE has already received billions in TARP bailout cash from the Obama administration and is actively lobbying for a global warming energy tax bill so that it can receive billions more in government green-energy subsidies on top of the millions it already receives, we are sure to hear lots from NBC announcers about how the lack of snow in Vancouver is just another reason Washington needs to act now to stop global warming. But back in Washington, the global warming scare-monger crowd is singing a slightly different tune. Facing record snowfalls, Time is reporting: ‘Snowstorm: East Coast Blizzard Tied to Climate Change.’ But do not confuse this headline with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s column from two years ago claiming that global warming was causing ‘anemic winters’ in the Washington region. No snow, too much snow. It does not matter to the enviroleft crowd. For them, global warming always is to blame.” –The Heritage Foundation “Morning Bell”

Washington’s Birthday

In some circles, today is observed as “Presidents' Day,” jointly recognizing Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but it is still officially recognized as the anniversary of “Washington’s Birthday” – and that is how we mark the date in our shop. (Washington’s actual birthday is next Monday, February 22.)

As friend of The Patriot, Matthew Spalding, a Heritage Foundation scholar, reminds: “Although it was celebrated as early as 1778, and by the early 19th Century was second only to the Fourth of July as a patriotic holiday, Congress did not officially recognize Washington’s Birthday as a national holiday until 1870. The Monday Holiday Law in 1968 – applied to executive branch departments and agencies by Richard Nixon’s Executive Order 11582 in 1971 – moved the holiday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Section 6103 of Title 5, United States Code, currently designates that legal federal holiday as ‘Washington’s Birthday.’ Contrary to popular opinion, no action by Congress or order by any President has changed ‘Washington’s Birthday’ to ‘Presidents’ Day.‘”

In honor of and with due respect for our first and (we believe) greatest president, arguably our nation’s most outstanding Patriot, we include two quotes from George Washington which best embody his dedication to liberty and God. The first from his First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789, and the second from his Farewell Address, September 19, 1796.

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American People.”

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.”

These quotes aptly sum up The Patriot Post’s mission and purpose.

Opinion in Brief

“Two centuries ago, King George III was told that President George Washington, who had eight years earlier turned down the opportunity to be the king of the United States, was planning to give up the presidency at the conclusion of his second term and return to his farm in Mount Vernon. The astonished monarch, who had lost a war to General Washington, said, 'If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.’ Washington did, and he was. Does anything more clearly illustrate how far we have fallen in 210 years?” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

Government

“Government is taking us a long way down the Road to Serfdom. That doesn’t just mean that more of us must work for the government. It means that we are changing from independent, self-responsible people into a submissive flock. The welfare state kills the creative spirit. F.A. Hayek, an Austrian economist living in Britain, wrote ‘The Road to Serfdom’ in 1944 as a warning that central economic planning would extinguish freedom. … Hayek meant that governments can’t plan economies without planning people’s lives. After all, an economy is just individuals engaging in exchanges. The scientific-sounding language of President Obama’s economic planning hides the fact that people must shelve their own plans in favor of government’s single plan. At the beginning of ‘The Road to Serfdom,’ Hayek acknowledges that mere material wealth is not all that’s at stake when the government controls our lives: ‘The most important change … is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.’ This shouldn’t be controversial. If government relieves us of the responsibility of living by bailing us out, character will atrophy. The welfare state, however good its intentions of creating material equality, can’t help but make us dependent. That changes the psychology of society. According to the Tax Foundation, 60 percent of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes. What does it say about a society in which more than half the people live at the expense of the rest?” –columnist John Stossel

Re: The Left

“If you’ve been paying attention to the left-wing punditry these days, you may be under the impression that the nation’s institutions are on the verge of collapse. Or that the rule of law is unraveling. Or maybe that this once-great nation is crippled and nearly beyond repair. You know why? Because the 40 percent (or so) political minority has far too much influence in Washington. Don’t you know? This minority, egged on by a howling mob of nitwits, is holding progress hostage using its revolting politics and parliamentary trickery. … President Barack Obama, after his agenda had come to a halt, claimed democracy is a ‘messy’ process – as if that were a bad thing. Actually, ‘democracy’ is not only messy but also immoral and unworkable. The Founding Fathers saw that coming, as well. So we don’t live under a system of simple majority rule for a reason, as most readers already know. The minority political party, luckily, has the ability to obstruct, nag, and filibuster the majority’s agenda. Otherwise, those in absolute power would run wild – or, in other words, you all would be living that Super Bowl Audi commercial by now. … [T]oday’s argument that the ruling party doesn’t have enough power is a reflection of a nearly spiritual belief in the wonders of government, not democracy.” –columnist David Harsanyi

Political Futures

“How could such smart people do so many stupid things? That question, or variations on it, is being asked in Washington and around the country about the Obama administration. The same people who directed the campaign that defeated Hillary Clinton and routed John McCain, a campaign that raised far more money and attracted far more volunteers than any before it, have within a year come up with a legislative program that is crashing in ruins and that, to judge from recent polls, has left the Democratic Party weaker than I have seen it in almost 50 years of closely following politics. … Team Obama failed to realize they were no longer running in Chicago or in the Democratic primaries or facing an electorate fed up with Republicans. And, more important, they failed to realize that vastly expanding government goes deeply against the American grain – and against the basic appeal of their successful campaign.” –political analyst Michael Barone

The Gipper

“There are those, of course, who claim we must give up freedom in exchange for economic progress. Well, pardon me, but anyone trying to sell you that line is no better than a three-card-trick man. One thing becoming more clear every day is that freedom and progress go hand in hand. Throughout the developing world, people are rejecting socialism because they see that it doesn’t empower people, it impoverishes them.” –Ronald Reagan

Liberty

“Most of us want to be fair, in the sense of treating everyone equally. We want laws to be applied the same to everyone. We want educational, economic or other criteria for rewards to be the same as well. But this concept of fairness is not only different from prevailing ideas of fairness among many of the intelligentsia, it contradicts their idea of fairness. … This more hands-on concept of fairness gives third parties a much bigger role to play. But whether any human being has ever had the omniscience to determine and undo the many differences among people born into different families and cultures – with different priorities, attitudes and behavior – is a very big question. And to concentrate the vast amount of power needed to carry out that sweeping agenda is a dangerous gamble, whose actual consequences have too often been written on the pages of history in blood.” –economist Thomas Sowell

Culture

“Seventeen years ago, General Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, helped formulate the policy that has come to be known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It allows gay men and lesbians to serve in the armed forces, provided that they keep their sexual orientation to themselves. Today, Powell is in favor of repealing the policy he crafted and advocated. Well, he was right then, but wrong now. According to Powell, ‘attitudes and circumstances have changed’ since ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was adopted. Sure, attitudes toward homosexuality have changed in the culture at large. But what hasn’t changed is the need for ‘order and discipline in the ranks,’ to use Powell’s own phrase, and the possible impact of allowing openly gay people to serve in the armed forces. … The bond between men in a sound military unit is more like agape – the love that moves men to sacrifice their lives for their buddies. … Allowing openly gay men threatens this cohesion by raising the possibility of a different kind of love – eros – which is ‘individual and exclusive.’ ‘All for one and one for all’ could give way to ‘sexual competition, protectiveness and favoritism,’ with disastrous military consequences. Nothing has happened in the last 17 years that makes this less possible or the possible consequences less dire. All that has changed is that many Americans now see everything through the prism of ‘rights.’ For them, sexual rights and personal autonomy trump everything else. Thus, any opposition to changing military policy must be the result of ‘bigotry’ or ‘homophobia.’ I suspect I’m not alone when I say a military unit which openly celebrates the gay lifestyle in the trenches is not a military unit I want to serve in.” –commentator and author Chuck Colson

Reader Comments

“When I watched that Audi ad my jaw literally dropped open. Other’s watching it thought it was funny or at worst cute. I was sitting there thinking to that there exist people in the nation that would LOVE to see a green police become the law enforcement of the land. Very scary indeed.

"My neighbors have been shoveling over 50 inches of snow so far (the last three snow falls) and we are going to get four more inches today of ‘inconvenient truth.’ Everything has been paralyzed for almost a week. God works in wonderful ways, always with a plan, yet the liberal/progressives started spinning immediately this across-the-nation record snow and cold into evidence of global warming. How one’s mind can make such a connection, it is unbelievable. Liberalism is a mental disorder, to quote a famous radio talk-show host.” –Ileana

“Man-made global warming is the greatest hoax of all time. It has nothing to do with the planet, and everything to do with concocting excuses for bigger government to take greater control of our lives.” –MichaelSSEC

The Last Word

“In lecturing us about blowing our money, The Great Ozbama displays breathtaking gall. Given that he is blowing trillions of our money, not his, and burying us in debt as no president in history, silence on the subject would seem more reasonable. To be nit-picky about it, since he is in citing trips to Vegas as particularly objectionable, I hold in my casino chip-calloused fingers a list procured from CanadaFreePress.com of Mrs. Obama’s staff and their salaries. She reportedly has a staff of 22 assistants. Yes, I said twenty-two. (Previous First Ladies' dedicated staffs were in the single digits). Michelle’s little army includes a Chief of Staff costing $172,000 a year; a Deputy Chief of Staff at $90,000; a Director of Policy and Projects at $140,000; a Director of Communications at $102,000; a Deputy Director of Scheduling at $62,000; two Social Secretaries – mysteriously, one at $65,000, one at $64,000; an Associate Director of Correspondence at $45,000, an Assistant to the Social Secretary at $36,000, and more, in total consuming $6.3-million annually thus $25-million during her 4-year term. Not to mention a make-up artist and hair stylist. I have one assistant. Answer my own correspondence. Keep my own calendar. … Mr. President, sir, if you are going to lecture me about blowing my money in Vegas or turning down my thermostat or inflating my tires, do you think you could rein in your wife’s blowing of my money just a teeny bit?” –columnist Dan Kennedy