Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The story of a great religion began in England around the time of Elizabeth I. Publication of the English Bible and especially the King James Version in 1611 created an explosion of literacy and religiosity in England. People learned to read from the Bible because they yearned to read the Bible.

The Bible was a subversive book; ordinary Englishmen saw it as a direct connection between themselves and the Lord. The British Enlightenment and national pride in budding democratic forms were tied to the Old Testament. Worshipers began to see England as “ancient Israel reborn – with an exalted destiny and special relationship to the Almighty.” After all, it was agreed that ancient Israel built a nearly perfect republic dating from the Exodus. Israel was seen as a divinely designed state dedicated to liberty and social justice. The British, with great pride, saw themselves too as a “chosen people.”

And they took this belief to the New World. Before the Puritans embarked for America, John Cotton preached a sermon to the pioneers: “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own.” God would plant these Puritans in a new “promised land.”

On the voyage to the new land, John Winthrop wrote in 1630: “Wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all peoples are upon us,” invoking the famous verse in Matthew: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” The Puritan travelers believed themselves to be a chosen people and they were almost ridiculously optimistic. “Choose life and live! – you and your children” quoted Winthrop on shipboard.

Other immigrants proclaimed a biblical mandate for democracy (Thomas Hooker) and introduced freedom of religion (Roger Williams). John Adams said in 1765: “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence.” The founding fathers thought of their new nation as blessed and possessing a mission from God. “We are entered into Covenant with the Lord for this work,” John Winthrop wrote; “we shall find that the God of Israel is among us.”

What work did the Lord expect of us? The founders elucidated a uniquely American Creed: liberty, equality and democracy. [The American Creed was described and celebrated by Gunnar Myrdal in his 1944 book American Dilemma.] The settlers believed that God expected democratic chivalry, a willingness to intervene on the side of right, to spread the American Creed to oppressed peoples around the world. American leaders returned to this commitment again and again over the decades and centuries.

Thomas Jefferson described the Creed in the Declaration of Independence as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And he referred to his countrymen in his first inaugural address as “possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth generation.”

In 1783, soon after the Revolutionary War was won, Ezra Stiles delivered a sermon “upon the political welfare of God’s American Israel.” In 1788 Samuel Langdon, president of Harvard, delivered a sermon entitled “The Republic of the Israelites as Example to the American States.” President Washington was quoted as saying “there never was a people who had more reason to acknowledge a Devine interposition in their affairs than those of the United States.”

When the Continental Congress invited Jefferson, Franklin and Adams to design a national seal their proposal showed Israel crossing the Red Sea, lit by the divine pillar of fire, with the motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” In his second inaugural address Jefferson made explicit the analogy between America and ancient Israel. “I shall need,” Jefferson said, “the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life.”

It is clear that the founders saw America as a chosen country inhabited by a chosen people. In a remarkable new book, Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, David Gelernter propounds the theory that Americanism emerged from Puritanism as a religion in its own right.

Americanism is a religion insofar as it tells an absolute truth about the meaning of human life, a truth we must take on faith. “We hold these truths to be self-evident” says the Declaration of Independence, without a shred of proof. Americanism is a “sublimely humane” religious concept, says Gelernter, “built on strong confidence in humanity’s ability to make life better.” And with that faith comes an obligation to spread the American Creed. Life, liberty and democracy are meant to be spread to the whole world. It is our “Covenant with the Lord.”

Of course, like all religions, and all believers, Americanism was flawed at the outset. It took the greatness and courage of Abraham Lincoln to make the American Creed whole. When he spoke in the Gettysburg Address of a nation “conceived in liberty” and of “the proposition that all men are created equal” and of “a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” he was fulfilling the American Covenant with the Lord. Slavery had to be abolished. In his second inaugural address he resolved to walk with the Lord, “with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.”

Lincoln understood democracy as the Lord’s voice speaking through the people. “I must trust in the Supreme Being” he said, “who has never forsaken this favored land.” Lincoln hoped to be “a humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty and of this, his almost chosen people.” For Lincoln, the American creed: Life, Liberty and Democracy – comes from the Bible and the Almighty. “We shall nobly save,” he said, “or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth.”

America: the last, best hope of earth.

Down through American history, the Creed has been held sacred and the Covenant with the Almighty has been invoked as justification for deeds of supreme chivalry.

Woodrow Wilson, a couple of years before we entered the First World War, spoke of Americanism: “I believe that the glory of America is that she is a great spiritual conception.”… “America came into existence in order to show the way to mankind in every part of the world to justice, and freedom, and liberty.” In his 1917 speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war Wilson said “the world must be made safe for democracy.” Wilson saw his mission as divinely inspired.

Harry Truman believed in Americanism. He accepted the Soviet challenge in Greece and Turkey, taking the United States into the Cold war. He fought the Korean War to keep the South Koreans free from communist tyranny. Ronald Reagan believed in Americanism. He said why not win the Cold War, against all accepted wisdom – and he did. George Bush believed in Americanism. He insisted in spreading the American Creed for the good of mankind and America. Had he more eloquence, Bush might have echoed John Kennedy’s classic statement of democratic chivalry: “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

For their good deeds all these great men were reviled by European and American converts to the religion of peace and appeasement. No good deed goes unpunished.
With the possible exception of Jimmy Carter, all American presidents believed in Americanism and American Exceptionalism. Barack Obama does not. JFK must be turning in his grave.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just Say NObama

PalosVerdesBlog has been essentially dormant for a little over a year since Linda Henson came into my life. It’s been a wonderful and fulfilling time. Now, however, with perhaps the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime looming, I felt it was time to put my thoughts into bytes and send them to my friends and old readers.

Mark Steyn was commenting on the prissy treatment of Barack Obama by the presidential debate moderators and the rest of the main stream media (MSM). It's like the Victorian matron who covers her piano's legs -- there are some questions the MSM just won't ask the candidate Obama. So who is this guy who would be our president?

Fortunately for us, Investor’s Business Daily has looked in depth at one troubling aspect of Obama's character in an 18-part series. In the following I will borrow extensively from the IBD series and try to frame what, I think, is a critical issue as we formulate our election decisions.

“Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.”

Sounds a bit like Karl Marx. But it's the former Kenya bureaucrat, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Harvard-educated economist, challenging the ruling pro-Western government for not being socialist enough. In a scholarly paper published in 1965, he argued for eliminating private farming and nationalizing businesses “owned by Asians and Europeans.”

Obama's dad was a devoted communist.

Obama Sr. advised the Kenyan government to “redistribute” income through higher taxes. He also demonized corporations and called for massive government “investment” in social programs. “What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all,” said the senior Obama. “This is the government's obligation.” Here is what “the Old Man,” as Obama Jr. and his siblings called him, wrote in proposing government-run farms: “We have to look at priorities in terms of what is good for society, and on this basis we may find it necessary to force people to do things they would not do otherwise.”

Echoing his father, Obama Jr. argues that the government should impose “tax laws that restore some balance to the distribution of the nation's wealth.” The acorn does not fall far from the tree.

As a youngster, Obama's mentor “Frank” was none other than the late communist Frank Davis, who fled after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his “subversive, un-American activities.” In fact, Davis was a member of the Moscow-controlled Communist Party USA and “a bitter opponent of capitalism.” Davis wrote militant poems as a black writer in Chicago, including one in which he hails the Soviet revolution: “Smash on, victory-eating Red Army.” He also attacked traditional Christianity, titling one inflammatory screed, “Christ is a Dixie N*****.”
After college Obama Jr. followed in Davis’ footsteps, becoming a “community organizer” in Chicago. His boss there was Gerald Kellman a disciple of the late Saul “The Red” Alinsky, a radical Chicago socialist who wrote the “Rules for Radicals” and agitated for social revolution in America.

Stanley Kurtz answered the question on everyone's mind: “WHAT exactly does a community organizer do?” Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit. In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct billions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers. In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama Jr. spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

In the 1980s, Obama served as director of the Developing Communities Project, which operated using Alinsky strategies and was involved with another Alinsky-oriented entity, ACORN . Capitalism always was considered the enemy. “America's corporations are a spiritual slum,” Alinsky wrote, “and their arrogance is the major threat to our future as a free society.” Obama Jr. calls his years as an Alinskyesque community organizer in Chicago “the best education I ever had, and where I learned the true meaning of my Christian faith.”

In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to block business expansion enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions. Banks already overexposed by these shaky loans were pushed further in the wrong direction when government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up their bad loans and offering them for sale on world markets. Fannie and Freddie acted in response to Clinton administration pressure to boost homeownership rates among minorities and the poor. The result of this systematic disregard for normal credit standards has been a financial disaster.

After graduating from Harvard Law, Obama returned to Chicago and joined the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright who preaches a Marxist version of Christianity called “black liberation theology” and has supported the communists in Cuba, Nicaragua and elsewhere. Obama pledged allegiance to a system of “black values” that demonizes white “middle classness” and other mainstream pursuits. Obama was now ready for a political life.

In 1995, Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district's influential liberals at the home of two well-known figures on the Chicago left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, former members of the terrorist Weather Underground.

Ten years earlier Alice Palmer was an executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council, a Soviet front group. In 1986, Palmer wrote an article for the Communist Party USA's newspaper detailing how impressed she was by the Soviet system. Palmer gushed at the “Soviet plan to provide people with higher wages and better education” and spoke of the efficiency of the Soviets’ five-year economic plan, attributing its success to “central planning.” She praised their “comprehensive affirmative action program, which they have stuck to religiously — if I can use the word — since 1917.”

Palmer also marveled that all Russian citizens were guaranteed a job matching their training and skills, free education, affordable housing and free medical care. Because Soviet school curricula were established at the national level, she said, “There is no second-class track system in the minority-nationality schools as there is in the inferior inner city schools in my hometown, Chicago, and elsewhere in the United States.”

Alice Palmer was yet another of Obama’s socialist mentors. Throughout his career, Barack Obama Jr. has worked closely with a network of stone-cold socialists and full-blown communists striving for “economic justice” by punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat.

Among Obama's biggest current admirers, for example, is Pepe Lozano a leader in the Chicago Young Communist League and an editorial board member of the People's Weekly World, newspaper of the Communist Party USA. Lozano believes that Obama is the communist party's best hope: “This is a history-making process,” Lozano told a Chicago gathering in June 2008, “and we will be missing it if we don't do all we can to elect Barack Obama president.”
The next month, the People's Weekly World editorialized in favor of Obama, calling his a “transformative candidacy that would advance progressive politics for the long term.” The communist support is nothing new, however. Joel Wendland, managing editor of Political Affairs: Marxist Thought Online, another CPUSA magazine, suggested in February that Obama could be “the people's president.”

Now I am not suggesting that Barack Obama Jr. is a communist. It is sadly true, however, that he is the favored candidate of communists in America and of terrorists around the world. That is hugely troubling, to say the least.

So what are some of the socialist deeds that will come with an Obama presidency?

“We are citizens of the world,” Obama told thousands of Germans during his recent tour of the Middle East and Europe. And if the Global Poverty Act he has sponsored becomes law, we're also going to be taxpayers of the world. “With billions of people living on just dollars a day around the world, global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges and tragedies the international community faces.” Obama calls for the “eradication of poverty” in part through the “redistribution (of) wealth of land” and “a fair distribution of the earth's resources.” In other words: American resources. Obama's bill would force U.S. taxpayers to fork over 0.7% of our gross domestic product (about $100B this year) every year to fund a global war on poverty.

In talking about his national service, Obama made this startling statement: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren has estimated that this civilian national security force alone would cost somewhere between $100 billion and $500 billion, and that doesn't include the cost of the brown shirts. In a speech in California, Michelle Obama, who has made a small fortune in the “helping industry,” said: “Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism; that you come out of your isolation; that you move out of your comfort zone. . . . Barack Obama will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual — uninvolved, uninformed.” Welcome to American Fascism.

Obama also fails to understand how taxes change behavior. He thinks raising taxes on the most productive members of society won't “curb incentives to work or invest.” Even TV news anchor Charlie Gibson knows better. During a primary debate, the Gibson took Obama to task for his proposal to double the capital gains tax. History shows, he pointed out, that raising the cap gains rate actually ends up costing the government revenues. Obama just didn't get it. “Well, Charlie,” he argued, “what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

Obama Jr. is pushing massive taxes and “investments” in social programs — at the expense of free enterprise. He wants to raise the top marginal income-tax rate to at least 39%, while increasing Social Security taxes on those with higher incomes by completely removing the payroll cap. That means many entrepreneurs would be paying 12.4% on Social Security payroll taxes alone, plus the 2.9% on Medicare taxes, for a total federal tax rate of 54%. Since 1960 when the top marginal tax rate was 90% it has been decreased by Republican presidents to the current 35% while federal revenues grew by 400% due to the expanding economy. Might this signify a cause-effect relationship, Mr. Obama?

Obama Jr. just does not get it. His “tax plan” calls for 95% of American families to receive a federal “tax cut.” He fails to disclose that 40% of American families do not pay any federal income taxes. His handout is just another welfare program. It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. The remaining 55% who do pay taxes but would receive an Obama handout should beware: Obama will first increase their federal taxes by eliminating the Bush tax cuts and keeping the Alternate Minimum Tax, and then give them a minor refund. Not such a great deal.

And his idea of increasing corporate taxes is just brain dead. Corporations only pass on the taxes to consumers in the form of higher prices and thus become less competitive on the world stage. The “enlightened” European countries are cutting corporate taxes at the same time that Obama wants to raise them. Guess where the jobs are going to go. Obama, “with a flick of his fingers, will show American corporations how to create more jobs with less money. It's simple, really. He has a wand.”

Kimberley Strassel notes that The Great Obama will perform a feat never yet managed in all history. He will create an enormous new government health program, spend billions to transform our energy economy, provide financial assistance to the world, invest in infrastructure, increase education spending, provide job training assistance, and give 95% of Americans a tax (ahem) cut -- all without raising the deficit a single penny! And he'll do it in the middle of a financial crisis. And with falling tax revenues! Voila!

If we want to restore the American economy, avoid a crippling depression and make the 21st another American Century, we need to say – NO to Obama!