Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Do I Fear

I wanted to post this blog to address a few issues brought up by someone on a chat room that runs alongside a political commentators radio show.

First, I want to address Obama' czars. I am well aware that other presidents have had people that they have appointed outside the cabinet incl. Reagen. However, what bothers me is the number of Obama's czars compared to previous administations which far outweighs any other president. This appears to be a way to review congressional review which combined with the background of some of the czars leads one to have some anxiety about the goals of the administration. It is also clear that many of these czars have radical ideologies. I don't say this because I watch Glen Beck. I understand this because I know the line of thinking that they get their ideas from. I do read G. K. Chesterton and I highly reccomend anyone reading this blog to do the same. He addressed progressivism far better than Beck.

Second, I want to address the difference between socialism and communism. In many ways, I think those are old terms that no longer apply to current economic realities. It would be a very long blog post if I explained my love/hate relationship with capitalism but believe me, I don't think everything that is capitalist is good. However, I think if it comes down to a choice between large government bureaucracies and capitalism, as flawed as it has been, I will choose capitalism any time. Socialism implies large governement bureaucracies which are destructive to the future health of the US economy. History has shown this to be the case. If you don't believe me, ask the Europeans or the Greeks for that matter.

For a nation be prosperous it has to make something that is valued by others not just something that appeals to a certain poltitical ideology. If you have 10 people on an island and they spend all their time thingking and talking about how to organize their island culture and gather food and make shelter they will all perish because nothing useful will be made. Hiring people to study the migration patterns of a snail (I exaggerate but only slightly) does not make anything. Much of the stimulus money did not help to put people back to work by helping companies make things, it was spent on academic boffins talking about how to build a better moustrap. Putting most of our green eggs into the solar energy basket, for example, is also a waste of taxpayers money because this technology will no produce anything that does more than put a drop of water in a ocean of energy needs. In time, perhaps but for now, its an economic dead end.

Third, I want to address social justice. I am very knowledgeable of the bible and just believe me when I say that I don't need Glen Beck to teach me the bible or what social justice is. However, when Glen Beck speaks about individual salvation and collective salvation he is right on target. I am a devout Catholic and the Catholic Church has strongly condemned liberation theology because it is not consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church. It takes a view of the bible that in my humble opinion is simply not there but is projected by those who have agendas other than those of Jesus Christ. Christ taught about the transformation of the human person not of society as a whole. For Christ, transformation was from the inside out not the other way around. He also walked away when they wanted to make him king. It was also Judas who betrayed him because he was (to put in modern terms) not progressive or social activist. He said that the poor would always be with us.

Forth, I have to admit that I have never lived though a time or presidency like the current. I never feared Bill Clinton and in fact, in some ways I think he did a decent job especially with the economy. He was a pragmatist. When he saw that the American people did not want health care he dropped it. What I fear about this president is that he is acting more like a dictator than president. When I made a few comments in that chat room yesterday, everyone jumped on me as some right wing ignorant lunatic. That frightens me because it looks a whole lot like the fascists in Germany. Those who did not salute the fuhrer with gusto were seen as enemies of the state. The term Obama Zombie is not one coined by Beck. The fact that Obama ratings have drooped like a rock has very little to do with Beck. The anxiety that people have has little to do with Beck.

I fear what I see now not because of Beck's conspiracy theories, I fear what I see because something does not add up for me. I have spent 12 years of my life in the financial field. I also have a masters degree in statistics and have taken classes in both macro and micro economics as well as poltical science. I know longer work in the financial field but I carry that knowledge to this day. I can tell you that the out of control spending in our nation now does not have a good trend line. It can't be sustained and its headed towards something like we see now in Greece. I don't get this from Beck but my own knowledge of economics.

I also fear that government is taking over everything. I recently heard that the head of the Consumer Protection Agency wants the government to confiscate everyones 401K and redistribute the funds through something like the Social Security Program which has failed (as have Fannie May and Freddie Mac) due to government mismanagement.

I fear the administrations desire to control all forms of media especially the Internet. I fear when the government wants to attack people because of descenting political opinions like this blog. I fear when I see people being intimidated and beat up because of their political views and I fear more than the administration and more importantly the press, with the exception of Fox News, which seems blind to it.

Look, I'm not saying that Beck is a scholar. I probably know more about economics than he does. But Beck talks to people. He is trying to put things together and understand what is going on rather than simply being anxious and afraid. Does he get it right? Not all the time no, but I find it interesting that the administration and the press don't even want to address some of the issues he brings up and realize that many times, all he is doing is using their own words, ex. Van Jones. The administation also does not call that phone he has. Why not debate him if they are non the right side of things? What are they afraid of?

I listen to a lot of people so don't label me as anything. I think for myself and believe me, so do most of those who watch Glen Beck. I am not so sure I can say that for those who watch some of the other networks. Realize that turnabout is fair play right? Even the White House got stung my its own rabid racial politics.

I grew up in a country that believed in itself. We used to be a creative people that made things that the world wanted. We believed in a moral code and people used to sit at the dinner table every night and go to Church on Sunday. So yes, I want these things for our nation again. If that makes me a radical then so be it, label me if you must but if you want to argue with me, then disagree with my comments and ideas. Calling me names does not bother me in the least but it also means that I can't debate you any more than I can debate a brick wall or a zombie, Obama created or otherwize.


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  3. This was posted by @schlessse and moved from another blog:

    As a Catholic, I'm sure you are familiar with the "religious left". I do not agree with them. But I also do not ascribe a malevolent motive to them.

    I don't really think GB fans are morons, but many are not able to compare his rhetoric to anything else. All these people saying they knew nothing about the Founding Fathers until Glenn Beck came along??? They should read David McCullough. Conservative thought? Bill Kristol, Bill Bennett, Thomas Sowell, PJ O'Roarke, even Alan Keyes.

    My last point (bet you're sorry you asked) is that Beck himself doesn't stay in the realm of ideas. He mocks the president and his family. I remember once he took his pen and dismissively snapped it onto a picture of Obama. I am sorry, but that was just contemptuous. I guess if you agree that simply being a left-winger makes you a sub-human it's OK in his mind, but I thought it was appalling, especially coming from someone with as little chops as Glenn Beck. Now you may report to your friends that though my thinking may be idiotic compared to their obviously erudite contributions, I'm not a libtard.

    Next chapter: why do New World Order conspiracy theorists flock to Glenn Beck (for now- they will turn on him eventually)

  4. This was posted by @schlessse and moved from another blog:

    First of all I'm a Republican of many years. I voted for Reagan in 1980, and every GOP candidate since. I've been a delegate to 3 state conventions and gave money to George W. Bush's campaign- for governor of TEXAS and I don't live in Texas so all these libtard and hater names and commands to "get a job" are assumptions and quite ridiculous. I know associating with a single political party isn't in vogue these days but it will give you an idea of my philosophical bent.

    I love Rush (saw him live in '93) O'Reilly, and most other conservative pundits as well as authors and presidential historians.

    I liked Glenn Beck when he was on Headline News. Back in June of '09 Glenn changed. He had a mini-nervous breakdown or something but he started to believe the country was on the brink of a catastrophic upheaval with lots of alarmist language and tweets like "we are all going to die". Here is where you need to understand the Mormon religion. They believe in something called "Priesthood Blessings" which are basically prophecies from God through a holder of the priesthood which is all males over a certain age. I admit I have no proof, but I think someone pretty high in the LDS chain told Glenn he was appointed by Heavenly Father (LDS for God) to save the country.

    The problem is that Glenn just does not know enough about either politics or history to be evaluating them properly and many many other conservative writers have pointed this out. If you watch him on Greta or O'Reilly it becomes painfully clear that he has not thought through most things and is half-baked and would be destroyed quickly in the average roundtable discussion of even Meet the Press's mediocre standards.

    Anyway, what he started to do was bring back McCarthy era commie witchhunts based on the underlying assumption that there is a connection, a plan, and the top subversive is Obama himself. OK don't throw back at me all the things that Van Jones said, or Anita Dunn or Kass Sunstein or whatever because I'm sure they said those things. Political appointees are often from the wack fringe, have an unknown level of influence and power, and this is true of EVERY president. Since Glenn lacks the historical context to know that, he decided the "czars" were a cabal of commies. You simply cannot make that leap. Do birds of a feather flock together?? Of course they do! That is different than an orchestrated plan, and again, those chalkboard monstrosities show just that. There are overlaps in groups. Not a big surprise there. What happened is that Glenn decided to recruit his viewers as watchdogs looking for the thinnest vestiges of thought to add ammo for his theories and cause people to get fired from their jobs and trash their reputations. Well my God told me that is a sin. Yeah I'm angry, but that doesn't make me a hater.

    Socialism is NOT evil in itself. Every time something is taken from one to give for benefit of all it is "socialism". By that standard we crossed that line shortly after the Revolution in the form of widow's pensions. Totalitarian communism is EVIL. Glenn uses the terms interchangeably, and that is how he decided that optional civilian service corps and social justice groups are EVIL. I think your guy could use a little logic because he makes logical fallacies every day on his show. Lesson One could be on false premises.

  5. First, I am not sure that one could compare Obama to any other president in terms of czars. I don't have the numbers in front of me but no doubt Obama has appointed more czars then (political appointees) than any other president by far.

    The reason seems clear to me. To fly them under the radar of Congress.

    It's also not clear to me that these poltical appointees have all been radical in past administrations. It would take a considerable study to evaluate this but it is clear that the common theme running though Obama's is progressivism.

    I don't think however that I would really want to label Obama as progressive, Communist, Socialist or fascist. These terms are difficult to apply outside a historical context.

    I do believe that Obama sees himself in a much more global setting than any other president has before. Obama wants justice on a global level which is why he has disparaged the US whenever he has gotten the chance.

    This line of thinking has been in the Universities for a long time.

    I reccomend "The Closing of the American Mind" by Alan Bloom. As I said in my other post, I don't see a conspiracy here as much as a group of people who think alike. Obama is an academnic. He has not real exeprience actualy producing anything so He really does not understand capitalism. he sees the world as he wants to see it at as do many academics because they are boffins who live in ivory towers and don't have to actually make their ideas work in a practical way so they look to poltics to influence a world that they often do not understand.

    I also recommend the movie "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula K. Le Guin. It's about trying to create a utopia, a perfect world. I am not sure that the circles that Obama runs in think utopia is possible but they do see a better world. IMHO they are sadly mistaken. For more, see the movie.

    Is socialism evil? Evil would really depend on one's intent no? I think that those who want to create a better world actually do want to create a better world but they are also blinded by their own intellectual arrogance and lack of real world hard knocks and experience. The problem is that they can do a lot of damage as Obama already has by causing our national debt to rise to dangerous levels as a percentage of GNP.