Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Maladjusted Barack Obama

It's a sad state of affairs when a French president shows more leadership and courage than the American president.  President Hollande's response to the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris was completely justified and appropriate. President Obama, on the other hand, seemed cold and detached when speaking of the murders.  Where is his anger?  Why isn't he outraged like most of us? The answer isn't that he's simply "cool" and is "no drama Obama".  He displays anger against Republicans, reporters who dare to ask him pressing questions and anyone else who has the temerity to disagree with him.  His reactions raise the question of his mental and psychological condition.

Could it be that the American president has no moral compass?  Is it possible that he is so incredibly narcissistic that he believes he can do no wrong?  I'd say the answer to these question is "yes".  It's been obvious over the years of his administration that he is incapable of admitting that he's mistaken about anything.  He is a man who learns nothing from his mistakes.  

There have been people who claim that Obama is a Muslim.  I don't believe he's a religious man at all, but I think there can be no doubt that he is a Muslim sympathizer.  He seems to have an antipathy toward Western cultures, especially that of America.  Perhaps that's due to his being raised partly in Indonesia and the fact that his father was from Kenya.  I'm sure that his mother's abandonment had a negative impact also.

Whatever the reasons for his psychological shortcomings, it seems to me that Barack Obama does not understand nor does he experience normal human emotions.  He's angry and petulant when he should be civil, he's cold and detached when he should be angry and outraged; in other words, his reactions are unusual and inappropriate.  I pray to God that the United States and indeed the world can survive the remainder of this man's presidency.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What Has Changed?

For over two hundred years, the United States has been a country in which people owned and sometimes carried guns. When I was growing up, I don't recall ever hearing about mass shootings such as we've had in the past few years.  If people have always had guns, yet the mass shootings have increased, what has changed?

People who lean left politically always predictably call for gun control after these heinous acts. The problem is that only law-abiding people will obey the laws and we're not the ones you need to be concerned about. Criminals are, by definition, those who violate laws and new gun laws will be no exception.  

These horrible mass shootings present a multifactorial problem. Our society has changed over the past thirty years or so and not for the better.  It's not the presence of guns in society that's the basic problem.  There are other social factors at play:  broken families, too many parents who fail to teach their children right from wrong and a lack of respect for law and order.  On top of this, many children are exposed on a daily basis to extreme violence in video games, television and movies in which human life is portrayed as expendable and not worthy of reverence. In addition, our society has become less religious and more secular which sometimes results in a broken moral compass.  Add all of these factors together and you get a mixture that is toxic and potentially explosive.  

One of the supreme ironies of this day and age is that even as our communication technology has become ever more sophisticated, more and more people seem isolated and alienated from others.  There was a time in the not so distant past that most people had ties to their neighbors, communities at large and churches.  Now, it's not uncommon for people to not know the people who live right next door to them.  The loosening of these community ties contribute to people feeling disconnected from those around them, and when a person doesn't feel connected to others, it's easier to harm those people.  

While I'm in favor of common sense gun laws, we can all play a role in keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.  We must have the courage to speak up if we know of someone who seems unstable, perhaps with violent tendencies, or someone who talks or writes about hurting others.  If you sense something is wrong, don't ignore it!  You could possibly be saving lives by taking notice and trying to get help for those who need it most.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What's the Difference?

Abortion has long been a hot button issue in this country.  The "undercover" videos that have recently surfaced about Planned Parenthood have added fuel to the fire, causing even staunch abortion advocates to wince at the callous attitudes shown by Planned Parenthood doctors and personnel about the harvesting of organs from aborted babies.  

I've had debates with family members in the past about whether abortion is a moral outrage or whether it's acceptable in a civilized society.  The point made by my relative was that abortion is legal.  My point is that while it is legal, it's not moral.

"Legal" and "moral" are two entirely different standards. Ideally, they should overlap, but this is sometimes not the case.  Legality is conferred by man-made laws and thus are subject to the whims of society.  Man-made laws can and do change with societal norms and mores.  

Morality, however, is derived from God's laws, which are constant and unchanging. In my opinion, God's laws should always trump man's laws. Legality does not confer morality on actions. For example, in the early days of the United States, slavery was legal.  Did that mean it was moral?  Did it become immoral only when it became illegal?  Of course not!  It was always immoral, even when it was legal.

I believe humans have an immortal soul.  Greater minds than mine have contemplated the question of when the soul enters the body.  Is it at conception, at birth, or after birth?  The truth is that no one knows for certain. An analogy may help illustrate my point here.  Let's say you go out into the woods to hunt.  You see movement in the bushes:  is it the animal you're hunting, or is it possibly another hunter?  You don't have to know with certainty that it's another hunter to be morally constrained from shooting.  The fact that it is possibly a hunter means that you are morally bound not to shoot.  Thus it is with abortion. You don't have to know with certainty that the soul has entered the body to be morally constrained from ending that innocent life.  The possibility that this being is fully human, with an immortal soul, means we should be morally constrained from ending it.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Who's Coming Across Our Southern Border?

The southern border of the United States is extremely porous, despite what this administration has been telling us about it being as secure as it's ever been (which isn't saying much anyway).  When Republicans talk about securing the border, Democrats and the butt-kissing press that supports them scream about Republicans hating Hispanics and immigrants in general.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Republicans in turn too often shrink from talking about stemming illegal immigration for fear of totally alienating Hispanic voters.  Is there anyone out there who has the courage to stand up for doing what's right and protecting our borders?

While it's impossible to completely halt illegal entry into the country, the federal government could do a damn sight better at controlling the border than it's currently doing.  This is not a matter of hating immigrants or Hispanics; it's a matter of national security.  In this day and age of terrorism, with the rapid spread of ISIS (or ISIL if you prefer), isn't it just common sense to suspect that there are more than just poor Mexicans coming across the border into the U.S.?

Indeed, there is evidence to support the contention that those who would love to kill Americans are indeed entering the country via the southern border.  
The Tucson Weekly reports that the Bureau of Land Management estimates that there is a total of eight pounds of trash per day, per person dropped in Arizona by this invasion of illegal immigrants.  Alarmingly, prayer rugs, juice boxes in Arabic, and an Arabic diary have also been discovered, among other things.  An illegal female migrant knocked on the door of an Arizona rancher one night, asking to use his phone.  He complied; the call she made was to Libya!

Obama talks often of "fairness".  How fair is it to the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are going through legal channels to enter the United States, only to see the president allow millions to enter through the southern border illegally?  Republicans need to remember the legal immigrants who are outraged at the illegal entry so many people make into this country.

Improving border security is not discrimination.  It would be a step toward bringing order to a chaotic situation, enabling us to know who is entering the country and where they are going.  This would be of benefit to everyone living here; the failure of our government to do so is a dereliction of duty.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

There's Something About Trump

Anyone who's paying even a little bit of attention knows that Donald Trump has recently made some very blunt - some would say outrageous - comments about immigration, other Republican candidates for president and now about John McCain.  This has caused an uproar and condemnation from both Democrats and  Republicans.  In spite of this, polls show Trump in the lead for the nomination.  What's going on here?!

I think the explanation is quite simple.  First, Trump is saying what many people are thinking, but are afraid to say.  Political correctness has run amok and muzzled many people who lack the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what they believe.  Regardless of whether you agree with Trump or not, you can't deny that he says what he thinks, however artless and broad it may be. When he receives criticism for his words, he doesn't immediately back down and apologize, as so many do.  Second, when he's asked a question, he actually answers it!  What a concept!  People are sick and tired of politicians who dodge answers to direct questions.  They talk and talk while saying very little.  Equivocation is the name of the game for most politicians.  Third, many Americans are rejecting the weakness and dishonesty embodied by the Obama administration.  These people, who I believe constitute a majority of Americans, would like to see the United States project strength again.  I'm not talking about being a bully or rushing willy-nilly into military action.  The United States needs to be an honorable country and an example for good in the world, as it so often has in the past.  The current administration has no honor; our allies no longer trust us to keep our word and our enemies don't fear us.  This is unacceptable to many Americans.

Whether you agree or disagree with what Trump says and how he says it, he at least is saying things that politicians are afraid to say and in doing so, he has initiated conversations about issues that need to be addressed.  Whether Trump has the personality and temperament to be president is debatable, but at least he's not afraid to speak his mind and that's a refreshing change from the status quo.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hate Crime Legislation: Smart Idea or Stupid?

I've never understood the reasoning behind hate crime legislation.  I personally think it's a dumb idea and suspect it's a product of those on the left who would just love to control our thoughts, biases and motivations.  

I oppose the concept of "hate crimes" mainly because it seeks to punish people for their thoughts, prejudices and motives, when in reality we can only punish behavior.  If someone commits murder because of racial, religious or sexual prejudice, is that somehow worse than if one commits murder because of, say, greed or jealousy? If so, why?  The end result is the same - the death of a human being at the hands of another, and we already have laws against that. Years ago, two white men in east Texas killed a black man in what was clearly a racially motivated crime.  This was in the days before the inception of hate crime legislation, yet the two perpetrators were given the death penalty. What else could have possibly been done to these two killers if we had had hate crime laws at the time?  

I believe this is a misguided attempt to abolish bias in all forms, but it won't work.  While we can pass and enforce laws related to behavior, we will never be able to control what people think, feel and believe, although I'm sure there are many out there who would like to try to do just that.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can We Talk - Honestly?

Mayor Bill de Blasio, President Obama, Eric Holder and others have suggested we have a conversation about race relations and the police in this country. Okay, let’s talk, but let’s do it openly and honestly.  This is no time for thin skin on either side.  We must also remember that an important component of true communicaton is listening, not just talking.

I admit that I’m usually willing to give police the benefit of the doubt.  They put their lives on the line every day when they put on that uniform and go out on the streets.  When faced with tense moments that are fraught with danger, they don’t have the luxury of taking time to mull their options; they must make split-second decisions.  Sometimes those decisions have fatal consequences.

The media have attempted to lump the Ferguson, MO case with the New York case and to me they’re different.  Both involve white cops and black men who died at the hands the police, but similarities end there.   In the Missouri case, black eyewitnesses, as well as forensics, supported the narrative that Michael Brown did not have his hands raised in surrender, was not obeying the policeman’s orders and was behaving in a threatening, bullying manner.  In the New York case, it appeared to me that the police were unnecessarily rough in the treatment of Eric Garner, although perhaps I didn’t see it all. Selling individual cigarettes may be a crime, but doesn’t NYPD have more important things with which to deal?

Racism exists – there’s no denying it.  It always has and, to be realistic, it always will to one degree or another.  It’s not something that happens only in this country; it’s a world-wide phenomenon.  I happen to believe that the majority of police in this country are not racist.  However, Barack Obama and Eric Holder have huge racial chips on their shoulders, even though they are two of the most powerful men in the world.  They have not worked to improve relations between the races; they have actually stoked the fires of anger and resentment that exist in black communities, and when they speak of problems between the police and blacks, they address only one side of the equation, i.e., bias on the part of the police.

If things are to improve, both sides must recognize and be willing to accept certain responsibilities.  As far as law enforcement goes, they have a responsibility to build ties within the communities they police.  I seriously doubt that law-abiding black people want the police to disappear from their streets.  They must treat people with respect and reasonable restraint. 

 Black people also have some responsibilities.  First and foremost should be honesty in facing and dealing with the social chaos that exists in so many predominantly black communities.  Too many young black men and women are growing up without a good male role model in their lives.  I’m old-fashioned – I happen to believe that fathers are important in their children’s lives.  It’s fathers who teach boys how to be good men.  Fathers are important to daughters too; he’s the first important man in her life and has the obligation to show his daughter how good and decent men should be.  A daughter’s relationship with her father will affect her relationships with men as an adult.

We must work to ensure that equal opportunity exists for Americans of all races, but we can never assure equal outcomes.  That will require taking personal responsibility for one’s own life and being willing to work hard to achieve goals.  I’ve read several of Dr. Ben Carson’s books and one thing in particular has stuck with me:  Dr. Carson’s mother refused to allow Ben and his brother to use racism as an excuse for failure. 

There are two options:  wallow in being a victim or work to become the most excellent person you can be.  The choice is yours to make.