educational system, health care options, inequality, medicare, military power, obama-administration, Popular culture, same-sex marriage, social security, Socialism, tax system, tradition—marriage, unions
Posted on 05/22/2012 by By Alan Caruba @ papundits
“I have always been an optimist. And, I hope, a realist. Of late though, I have been entertaining some pessimist thoughts about the future of America. This runs contrary to one of the enduring attributes of Americans because, like me, they too are optimists.”
He goes on to say,
“The 2008 crisis of the housing mortgage and the banking meltdown is the result of government sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that own half of all the mortgage loans made. There is no reason why the government should be in the mortgage business that for most of the nation’s history was the providence of the banking industry. It was the “bundled” mortgage “assets” that seduced many banking institutions to purchase them.
“The nation’s tax system is shot through with special breaks to various elements of the nation’s economy and includes the highest corporate tax of any nation on earth. It requires legions of lobbyists to maintain the special favors and it ignores the lower corporate tax rates that have made other nations more competitive than ours in the global marketplace.
“The problem with America is not that it has millionaires and billionaires, but that it does not have more of them. They and other wealthy Americans pay the bulk of all income taxes while some forty percent of Americans pay nothing. That level of inequality is criminal. So is the tax system. It must be reformed as it threatens to make criminals of all who must deal with it.
“The failure to reform Social Security and Medicare is yet another problem threatening the economy as a smaller workforce is required to pay for a growing aged population. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 64% of voters would prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes. The findings are consistent with findings since 2006. Just 25% want more services.
“The hollowing out of the nation’s military power is a major concern because a strong military is vital for the defense of the nation and, by extension, peace in the world.
“Ours has a geriatric fleet of fighter and transport airplanes and a naval fleet that hasn’t been so small since the end of World War II. Our missile system is growing moldy in its silos. Our Army, Marines, National Guard and Reserves are worn out from constant rotations in and out the Middle Eastern conflicts in a world where asymmetrical warfare is the order of the day, not massed armies.
“Our society is suffering from the erosion of the most fundamental tradition—marriage. The Obama administration announced it will not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and the President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is abhorrent.
“Popular culture has degraded to films that are either cartoons or based on characters from comic books. Movies made for adults are becoming a vanishing genre. The nightly fare of situation comedies is filled with characters for whom casual sex is the norm. The nation remains a mecca for drugs at the same time our southern border remains superficially protected while drug cartels fill the streets of Mexico with the beheaded bodies of their rivals.
“Our educational system has been so debased by the teacher’s unions since the 1960s that it is commonplace to learn that our children continue to lag behind all other nations in the fundamental knowledge of reading, writing, science, history and all other fields of knowledge on which a successful nation depends.
“The nation’s unions are bankrupting states with their excessive demands for salaries, health care options, and pensions. They must be curbed and we are witnessing states like New Jersey and Wisconsin that have begun to reduce this drain on public treasuries.
“Lastly, the programs advanced by wealthy environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, and others have imposed a vast matrix of laws and regulations that are putting at risk our ability to conduct any business enterprise. The Greens are successfully denying Americans access to reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas and have been seeking to erode property rights, the keystone of capitalism.”
Religion once again stands on the front lines of liberty.
by John Hayward
LifeNews reports on a powerful new legal challenge to ObamaCare, launched by groups that have been given ample reason to take up arms against it:
Notre Dame, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and dozens of Catholic hospitals and organizations have filed a total of 12 lawsuits today against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration over the controversial HHS mandate.
The lawsuit challenges the Obama administration’s unprecedented mandate that attacks the freedom to practice religion without government interference. Under the HHS mandate, employers must provide insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs, as well as contraceptives and sterilization procedures.
Franciscan University maintains that the requirement to fund and facilitate such activities violates its core religious and moral convictions as a Catholic university.
“Franciscan University’s mission is and always has been to teach from the heart of the Church,” said University President Father Terence Henry, TOR. “The Obama administration’s mandate is a grave threat to our ability to carry out that mission. It makes it impossible for us to operate freely as a Catholic institution without overbearing and invasive governmental interference.”
Father Henry touches upon a point commonly obscured by the fashionable leftist tendency to paint religious organizations as budding theocracies, forever fiddling with the laces on their jackboots. They never seem to slip those jackboots on and stomp anyone, do they? No American religious organization of the modern era has ever been able to impose its will upon nonbelievers in a manner approaching the way Barack Obama imposed his will upon them.
Even the most commonly cited “sinister” item on the Religious Right’s agenda, repeal of Roe v. Wade, would throw the question of abortion back to the states… precisely the way President Obama now claims we should deal with the question of marriage. Would some elements of the pro-life coalition like to go further, and pass national laws outlawing abortion? Sure, but success in that effort would be fantastically difficult. It’s so remote from anything occurring in our current political discourse that any analysis of the effort would be purely speculative. Social conservatives are always getting castigated for what they might do someday.
Meanwhile, ObamaCare’s assault on economic and religious liberty is happening right now. The expansion of government necessarily involves the loss of individual liberty; the State consumes everything else as it grows. Every new book of regulations is a list of things we are no longer allowed to do… or, perhaps even more troubling, a list of things we must do.
Far from serving as incubators of domination and control, American religious institutions have always found themselves on the front lines in the battle for liberty – from the Revolution and Civil War, through the civil rights movement. They are exemplars of a concept crucial to our Constitutional understanding of freedom, and entirely poisonous to central planners: the existence of a power higher than the State, which is the source of rights the State cannot take away. No particular religious belief is necessary to embrace humility, the crucial virtue that separates a prosperous and lawful Republic from a socialist basket case.
The absolute rights of individuals are not, by definition, subject to review and suspension by the State. It doesn’t matter if the State has really good intentions. It makes no difference if a vocal minority, or even an absolute majority, of the people offer their support for suspension of a core liberty. It doesn’t matter if respect for that liberty proves inconvenient. No pile of expert “studies” should be heavy enough to crush one of our Constitutional rights. There is a point at which compulsion must end, and locating it cannot be a matter of political expediency. Liberty is incompatible with the notion of a government that can draw its own boundaries, and redraw them whenever popular resistance against its appetite for power flags a little.
It’s not surprising that religious institutions sound early warnings against encroachments upon liberty. Not only do they expound upon the existence of powers higher than the government, but they assert prerogatives that can seem irrational to those outside the faith… and therefore easily trampled. Why are those Catholic fuddy-duddies refusing to pay for other people’s birth control? That stuff’s expensive, and “everybody knows” it’s essential to public health!
Besides, didn’t our betters already carve out a generous exemption for churches? The LifeNews report addresses this topic:
When first proposed in August 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services, the mandate was met by strong objections from numerous Catholic bishops, hospitals, and institutions. Although a small exemption for some religious institutions was written into the original proposal, it was too narrow to cover the vast majority of them, particularly those, like Catholic universities, which both employ and serve people of other faiths or no faith at all. The mandate effectively puts the federal government in the position of deciding which organizations are “religious enough,” the lawsuits claim.
(Emphasis mine.) True liberty is not a dispensation, to be handed out at the government’s pleasure. Power is not limited when the powerful get to decide when their “limits” are valid. Perhaps these new lawsuits will emphasize a point that should have been crystal clear all along: no one, of either political party, should have been willing to sign a law that would proactively force American citizens to do something that violates their conscience.
John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at email@example.com.
This is the time for men and women of faith to set aside our differences and stand together to preserve our right to worship as we choose! It’s time to link arms across faiths and denominations and stand as ONE eople of faith! And by all means – PRAY!!! ~ B
The battle is on. The Catholic Church has thrown down the gauntlet in the front lawn of the White House.
The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has declared the period from June 21st through Independence Day, July 4th as the “A Fortnight for Freedom” to protest the continued encroachment on Religious Liberty in the United States by the current administration in Washington.
The Catholic Church In America Has Religious Freedom To Shut Up and Hand Out The Abortion Pills