Monday, November 26, 2012

Tom Swift, Full throttle: In the aftermath

Admittedly I have been in a funk since the elections.  But I've recovered, I’m back, I’m bad and I’m pissed off.  It has become clear that in a nation of changing demographics, our fate is being decided by a peculiar amalgamation of young, single, college educated females, blacks, and non-Cuban Hispanics. Despite amassing the largest percentage of the white vote in recent history, there are apparently just not enough whites for that to matter anymore.  Obama’s campaign manager prophetically announced just prior to the election:  we have the Black and Hispanic vote.  We just need to be “competitive” with white voters. Savvy computer geeks for the democrat party analyzed the demographics, divided voters into categories, targeted them, and then told them what they wanted to hear.  Rush Limbaugh called it “Santa Claus”. Romney called it “gifting”.  And the democrats actually objected to the characterization.  Stop it.  In an entitlement society of your own making you dumbed down the issues and promised young women reproductive nirvana, the lesser compensated more handouts, the blacks more social programs, the Hispanics looser immigration policies, the students forgiveness of their college loans and, oh yeah, how about free health care for all.  And they bought it.  Hook, line, and sinker.  The economy?  What economy.  Never mind about jobs, we’re going to tax the rich.  They’re going to pay their fair share.  Unemployment?  Under my plan it’s improving.  A work in progress. Look at that, it’s only 7.8%. And besides, I saved Detroit. That national debt figure?  Just a number, my friends.  In the words of that modern day philosopher Forrest Gump:  Stupid is as stupid does.  Welcome to the United States of Entitlement.

On Catholics and Hypocrisy

Mr. Swift is often amazed by the habits of the Catholic faithful, particularly in the northeast United States.  Seemingly pious, regular, church going Catholics pack the pews, wish one another signs of peace, smear their foreheads with ashes, confess their sins, and accept the communion host as the body of Christ every Sunday, and yet they remain the most ardent, ferocious supporters of the democrat party.  You know, the party that is pro-choice and all about Catholic institutions tossing their archaic church doctrine aside in favor of distributing buckets of condoms, oral contraceptives, and paying for abortions.  Yeah, that democrat party.  As far as I know, the Catholic Church is pretty clear on the issue:  abortion is a sin and contraception by any means other than the preposterously ineffective rhythm method is forbidden. No further discussion.  Hmmm.  It seems to me that what we have here is pretty much the standard definition of hypocrisy.

I have a friend who once said that he was often amused by the faithful who, after shaking his hand and wishing him peace moments before, were obviously willing to kill him to get out of the parking lot faster.  Why is that?  How are the seemingly pious able to separate Church from their daily lives?  Perhaps it is the mixed message that the Catholic Church sends.  Mr. Swift has often been subjected to a sermon on the evils of accumulating wealth and the special place in heaven for the poor, as if the wealthy will somehow be denied access by a benevolent God, based solely on their portfolios.  “I’m sorry sir, but it seems that St. Peter has noticed that you scored big on that Microsoft stock back in the 90’s” Please proceed to the elevator on the right.  Going down”.  And let’s not even get involved in a discussion of  the Church’s disastrous handling of rogue priests and their pedophilia. But all this is particularly entertaining when viewed through the lens of charitable giving.  It seems that those pesky evangelical Republicans aren’t just getting naked and rolling in their stockpiles of cash, but actually donate large amounts of that cash to charitable organizations.  And at a significantly higher rate than their democrat counterparts despite the Church’s insistence that you give it all away in favor of a vow of poverty and a life of service.  And in an interesting feat of accounting, the very priests that have taken that vow are part of an organization that, if thought of as a country, would be one of the wealthiest on the planet.  Yes, that country would be the Vatican. If defined by redistribution policies, then isn’t the Catholic Church by definition also a socialist organization?  And that’s not to say that socialism in this context is a bad thing. In fact, charitable giving used to be the only thing before government cut in on their action. The fact remains that we are not obligated to give our wealth to the church despite some subtle coercion in the form of eternal damnation.  Thus, our contributions that are redistributed for the maintenance of the organization and to the needy are just that: our contributions.  They are clearly not taxation.  They haven’t been taken from me against my will and used for purposes that I may find personally reprehensible.  And therein lies the rub.  Can we regard charitable giving and redistribution to the poor by the Church as being evidence of our true character, whilst simultaneously supporting a government that allows redistribution not only to the poor, but for programs not consistent with our core beliefs?  If so, then perhaps it is not hypocrisy that you liberal Catholics are practicing but instead you are suffering from schizophrenia.  Mr. Biden may be your template.  You decide.

On the Female Vote

Now at the risk of being accused of being a sexist, out of touch elderly white male, allow me some observations and you are welcome to object and express your opinion just as I am mine. Young single, college educated, white women tend to be single issue voters and apparently think with their uterus.  There, I said it.  And that single issue is S-E-X.  I’m talking sex in all forms.  The act of, with whomever, and the consequences thereof. Why is it that young females are so preoccupied with reproduction, rape, abortion, contraception and homosexuality to the exclusion of all other issues?  The entire fabricated “war on women” was a clever tactic by the democrats foisted on an apparently gullible demographic.  Talk about recognizing your target audience.  Bravo. The entire Sandra Fluke episode was so pre-mediated and heavy handed that it remains a remarkable achievement in that it led the way for the media propagated lie that Republicans somehow don’t care about women’s health.  Really? The quantum leap from contraception to a woman’s overall health aside, the facts remain that Ms. Fluke was formerly employed by the Clinton administration, was certainly aware that Georgetown University is a prominent Catholic institution prior to her matriculation, and undoubtedly saw an opportunity to promote a secular agenda by forming her organization for reproductive rights knowing full well that she was bucking Catholic doctrine.  She was, pure and simple, an operative. The additional fact that Ms. Fluke is of Jewish faith is not often mentioned but leaves one wondering what the reaction would have been had an evangelical Christian enrolled at Yeshiva University and demanded that the cafeteria serve pork.  With cheese. And where were you Catholics on this issue? Crickets.

Now Mr. Swift is not saying that the critics are completely wrong about the Republican stance regarding women’s health, but it may be a matter of semantics.  Mr. Swift actually agrees that the majority of Republicans don’t care about women’s health in this context. But they don’t care in the true libertarian fashion: not my business, not my problem, not my check.  Now I know that in an effort to appeal to the evangelical base, it is necessary to stand on the stump and object to abortion as is preached by the faithful, to object to artificial means of contraception. But no thinking voter could possibly suspect that a personal opinion by a candidate, and a pandering one at that, would translate into an outright assault on contraception and Roe v Wade.  Seriously, they are not going anywhere.  A true libertarian recognizes your right to do whatever you want with that uterus of yours, as long as it doesn’t affect me. Use contraception, don’t use contraception, sex with him or her, abort or don’t abort.  But in exchange for me not meddling in the affairs of your sex organs, I shouldn’t be financially responsible for your decisions regarding the consequences of your sexual exploits.  Your decision.  Your responsibility.  Period. Now if you want to press me on my personal opinions, allow me to digress: Contraception is, in my humble opinion a good thing.  Keeping reproduction in check yields a twofold benefit, less people on an already overpopulated planet, and less offspring that many of us, but mostly you, cannot afford to raise.  And despite the Catholic Church’s widespread objection to contraception, it never ceases to amaze me that the countries well-known for sexual exploits and contraception are those most often associated with Catholicism.  Witness Italy and France as the poster children for modern romance.  So have at it, kids.  But once again listen carefully: not my decision, not my financial responsibility.

Abortion is a much stickier issue.  Mr. Swift is a man of science, and has a particular, shall we say, histologically acute insight into this issue but recognizes that human nature being as it is, mistakes will happen when biology is set in motion.  But when it is, that is the time to demonstrate some level of common sense and humanity.  For the very reason that pro-choice advocates went apoplectic when it was suggested that pregnant women considering abortion would be required to see pictures of fetal development, the pro-life folks recognize that you’re actually engaged in the process of growing a human.  Thus, the cut and dry reduction of the argument to pro-life/pro-choice is inherently preposterous.  The Catholic doctrine that life begins at conception notwithstanding, exactly where in this process does it become human to the secular? Somewhere along the line, what starts as aborting a bundle of cells progresses rapidly to something that is considerably closer to baby than zygote.  So as far as I am concerned, if it has hands and feet and purposeful movement, you may have missed the window of opportunity to be, what is in my estimation, morally responsible in your actions.  If you’re going to do it, put on your big girl britches and do it early in development.  This 20 week stuff is, in my humble opinion, bordering on the obscene. Have a look at those photos. Why is it that we are so outraged by infanticide yet we are numb to a similar insult that differs by 5 months and a few hours of labor?  And once again, if I didn’t get you into this mess, then it certainly isn’t my financial responsibility to get you out.  So once again repeat after me: when it comes to your sexual exploits…..not my problem and not with my tax dollars.  And besides, the government shouldn’t be messing around in your uterus anyway.  And neither should the candidates. Yuck.

On Youth

Ah, the children of baby boomers.  The offspring of the worst generation of parents in history. The entitlement generation. But then again, what would you expect from a group that has been pampered, coddled and grown to expect that everything they say or do has been incredibly important, and all their needs should be provided for them.  This is the “everyone gets a trophy” generation. Even IBM lamented that this generation of workers has to be handled carefully with a new set of parameters.  Where at one time it was understood that you started at the bottom and worked your way up to a title and the corner office, this generation expects immediate gratification.  They need to feel included from the start and have to have a sense of contribution and worth and most importantly recognition.  In today’s world, young entry level employees expect to be regarded as something special.  But the missing ingredient is the work ethic of generations past and the accomplishment to warrant that sort of respect.  They want to be your equal in the corporate hierarchy on arrival and have little respect for the old dog that has attained a position of authority by busting his ass. Years of being catered to by Mom and Dad and being taught to question authority has made today’s job applicant self-important, self-indulgent and a potent over estimator of one’s own talent.  It’s all about me, the wonderful things I’ve done, my meaningful tweets, my cellphone, my music and the number of friends I have on my facebook page.  So in their evaluation of a presidential candidate, is it any surprise that their vote will be cast with emphasis on “what’s in it for me?” Thus the democrat party, the party of entitlement is a perfect fit for a demographic that expects immediate reward without having contributed to their own well-being, or anyone else’s for that matter.  After all, once they leave the nest, someone has to take the place of their parents in the provider role.

On Culture

We are in an age of easy celebrity.  Guidos and Guidettes on the Jersey Shore, fat precocious, overindulged, pre-pubescent beauty queens, genetically fortunate, vacuous, super-models, obnoxious, uninhibited, pregnant teenagers, dysfunctional, drug addled pop stars, and a host of rehabbed, over-compensated, serial marrying, Hollywood bubble-heads all achieving instant celebrity status in a reality TV world gone amok.  Entertainment Tonight, American Idol, People Magazine, MTV, even the Disney Channel are places where celebrity is manufactured, promoted, and worshipped. Style has replaced substance and self-promotion in the vein of “any publicity is good publicity” is the rule of the day.  What has happened to us? Has class been replaced by crass?  Has humility been shoved aside in the name of self-aggrandizing, shameless, self-promotion?  Has accomplishment been overshadowed by appearance, by the perception of cool, by the rock-star persona?  Is it then any surprise that, with overwhelming support from the youth vote, we have elected a president devoid of accomplishment, devoid of credentials, but oozing that X-Factor, praised for his ability to read from a teleprompter?  Where are all the adults?  When interviewing for a company, or in this case a country, in economically dire straights, do you hire the successful CEO with experience in righting the ship or the charter member of the “Choom Gang”? And while on that subject, t is well documented that our current Commander-in-Chief was, at least during his high school years, a “stoner”.  What is truly amazing is not the fact that he was a prominent member of an organization that indulged in the wicked weed regularly, it is how the media reacted to the news.  He wasn’t condemned and raked through the headlines like George Bush for his youthful indiscretions.  He wasn’t lambasted in the press like Romney was for his unsubstantiated incident of supposed high school bullying.  No, on the contrary he was praised for his “innovation”. For those of you drinking the liberal Kool Aid allow me to enlighten you.  Whilst most of us were participating in varsity athletics, becoming members of the chess team, or playing the clarinet in the high school band, your President was a founding member of a group known as the “Choom Gang”, “choom” being Hawaiian slang for pot smoking.  And this is not anecdotal.  This is very well documented through interviews and period photographs.  Ironically, no hysterically, a documentary on the two candidates appeared on PBS (of all places) where the narrator actually lauded Obama for not just being a charter member, but for introducing innovations like “roof hits” (where after finishing smoking a joint in a closed car, you place you head against the ceiling and inhale any residual smoke), and “intercepting” (where one gets up from the circle when the joint is being passed around and cuts into the other side of the circle to get another hit before your turn).  He was also praised for his introduction of punishment for a member who exhales too quickly (thus wasting the THC load in the smoke) by not allowing the offender his next turn.  And we are to believe that he just up and quit.  While living in the People’s Republic of Cambridge? Wow. You can’t make this stuff up (Go ahead….Google it).

But hilarity aside, how is it that Obama got a free pass in the media and more importantly a free pass by the electorate?  The perception of celebrity, that’s how.  He’s perceived as cool.  He shoots hoops, hangs out with ballers, he doesn’t walk, he struts, he drinks beer, he even smoked weed, man.  Now if I was at all interested in basketball, partying and getting stoned, then perhaps Obama would get my vote, although I suspect that I would be stuck with the tab.  For that matter, I think Bill Clinton is probably the better choice, although I don’t particularly care for cigars or his taste in interns.  But let’s be adults for a moment here.  We are electing a man to the most powerful position in the free world, a man that can shape the future of America, and world economy.  A man with his finger on the switch.  And we elect the stoner?  Seriously? This is not a popularity contest.  This is not the prom king. This is not funny, kids. This is the President of the United States of America.  Grow up.

On the Hispanic Vote
Mr. Swift is a fan of Mexico.  He vacations there, he does business there.  But if he wants to go to Mexico, he will go to Mexico.  He does not want to bring Mexico here. Therefore, he can’t understand the Hispanic vote.  I always suspected that they immigrated to this country to get a better life.  But then they want to import their former country here with all the problems they fled from.  Huh? Newsflash: It’s not the country, it’s the people in it. And that segment of the Mexican population that wishes to immigrate is most likely not your skilled, upwardly mobile, intelligentsia. I don’t see too many Mexicans climbing over the border fence wearing Armani. Maybe I’m old fashioned.  When I go to a foreign country, I don’t expect them to cater to me, to offer me health care, to provide me with a translator, to give me free stuff.  Hell, I don’t even like it when I see a McDonalds. But it appears that Hispanics have become single issue voters and support the democrat party solely on the basis of a loose immigration policy and we are luring them here with the promise of work and benefits.  And why not?  Let’s break up this rant with an exercise:  Google “government benefits”.  First hit is “your path to government benefits at www.”.  Click on that.  Big letters: “Looking for Benefits? Upper left hand corner: “En Espanol”. In other words, your roadmap to entitlements. This is your tax dollars at work, my friends.   And if you don’t think that the democrat party hasn’t identified this demographic as a quick and easy way to retain power in perpetuity, recognize some startling statistics.  Puerto Rico, an island of 4 million has voted in favor of statehood, potentially injecting 2 million welfare recipients into the voter rolls.  Wonder which way they will vote.  Democrats are also in favor of gifting our illegal alien population citizenship.  It is currently estimated that there are 11 million illegal aliens in the United States, although that estimate ranges from 7 to as much as 20 million.  Wonder which way they will vote.  And Hispanics are, if anything, prolific.  They can effectively reproduce and are doing so at a remarkable rate, becoming the fastest growing segment of the US population.  Wonder which way they will vote. So in short, continued democrat policy toward looser immigration is fostering an invasion of sorts.  Mexico is taking territory back and the democrats are apparently good with that, as long as they get their vote and retain power.  Just imagine the rush on the border on December 31 if suddenly the democrats decide that anyone in the country as of January 1, for example,  is granted immigration amnesty.  Not a good day to be Border Patrol. And deny it all you want, but Rush had an interesting thought in the name of comromise.  If democrats truly want illegal aliens to be granted citizenship on the basis of humanitarian reasons alone, then grant it to them.  BUT, and that’s a big but, you can’t vote for twenty years.  Brilliant.  See what kind of support that gets.

On Legacy

The political pundits, having rejoiced in the re-election of their savior, are now philosophizing on the direction his final term will take. The consensus amongst the democrat talking heads is that Obama will no longer be concerned about campaigning, will be less concerned about partisan politics and will be focused more on his legacy.  They unanimously think that he will want his legacy to be similar to that of Bill Clinton, a second term of moving towards the middle, a coming together for the benefit of the country, a setting aside of our differences in favor of bipartisan efforts to restore our nation to its former glory, economically as well as in the eyes of the world.  Even Obama’s immediate post-election banter was all about meeting with the vanquished republicans to hash out the differences, to avoid the fiscal cliff, to invite Romney to the White House for a discussion, to embrace John Boehner as a partner in charting America’s course.  That didn’t last.  Within days it became apparent that Obama’s position remained unchanged, there would be no compromise, and the socialistic ideals of increased taxation and redistribution will remain basic tenants of this administration.  Economy be damned.  And why would his policy suddenly change?  Mr. Obama has not met with Boehner since back in June and has only spoken to him on the phone since September.  And how about all those off the cuff remarks he made prior to the election that were unknowingly recorded (and given yet another pass by the media)?  Comments such as the one to Putin: “I will have more flexibility after the election” or the pucker to Sarah Brady about “flying under the radar” regarding gun control. Obama has shown himself to be aloof and clinical, he is not a people person, and he has no desire to work with Republicans.  His style is heavy handed, with policies rammed through Congress in the dark of night. He looks at the election results as a mandate that his policies are what America wants, regardless of the 27 states and 47.5% of the electorate that felt otherwise. He is a loose cannon no longer concerned with campaigning for a second term.  Obama is an ideologue, pure and simple. A man so firmly rooted in socialist policies, so possessed with a visceral drive to alter the fabric of America, that compromise is not likely to appear in any of his future dialogue. Obama is not a man who wishes to have compromise or moving towards the middle associated with his legacy. He wants his legacy to be that of the man who fundamentally changed America. And that will be an America that our Founding Fathers will not recognize.

                                                    So there I'm vented !!

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