Sunday, March 30, 2008
By Laura Armstrong
The fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq coincided with my visit to the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance. It was a privilege to speak at their March meeting, where I encouraged them to keep standing fast for the troops currently filling their rather large boots.
Guys like President Jim Baskin, Bob Humphries, Lou Costello, Al Rowe, Jack Moses, Chuck Johnson and Robert Ledee (Lt. Col. Ledee is executive director of Armor 4 Troops) are among Alliance vets continuing to work on behalf of their brothers in arms.
As I reminded, there's a domestic war being waged on today's troops that's bolder, more organized and better funded (don't we wonder, by whom?) than ever. The rhetoric and actions of groups posturing for "peace" have become violent. First they defamed troops; now they bomb recruiters and incite murder.
"Freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors …" English professor John Daly to Marquette University freshmen, 2005.
"We support the troops when they kill their officers." - "Peace" slogan.
They "killed innocent civilians in cold blood…" U.S. Rep. John Murtha, slandering subsequently cleared U.S. Marines.
"Put the gun down or turn it around." - Peaceniks' message to troops, Portland, last week.
We military families are usually tolerant, but our patience with this ongoing rhetoric is about gone. One mom, blogging at www.bluestarchronicles.com, sounds off:
"Those who call for the murder of our troops do so openly, without one second of consequence to themselves. They're cowards, covering their faces and marching … where they don't have to worry about snipers or roadside bombs or dictators making them disappear … or look into the eyes of their enemies, of someone trying to kill them.
"They can go home and go to bed, not realizing the damage they do. They're just out having a good time … hiding their faces, calling for the death of MY SON.
"… It's a safe shot for them, they'll sleep in their warm beds tonight and attend classes tomorrow, while our sons don't sleep.
"God help me, I despise them … for their cowardice … their disloyalty to our nation … their lack of understanding of the fortunes they inherit simply by accident of birth.
"While they're out chanting and covering their disgusting cowardly faces, our sons and daughters are fighting people with real guns and a real will to kill them. This isn't a GAME.
"…Here's a clue you little wussy, snotty-nosed, prissy wimps:
"We have an all-volunteer army. You're free to go about your littsle meaningless lives and pursue your dreams ... without interference from the unpleasantness. Go back to class, drink wine and eat cheese in the park and discuss the philosophy of Marxism with your elitist latte liberal friends. Leave the work of this nation to people who can deal with real life.
"Now shut up, sit down, suck on your bong, cry to your mamas about how everybody is unfair to you and let the adults run the freaking nation."
Way to go Blue Star Mom!
And to the 233 heroes of the Marines' Red Dog squadron (HMLA 773), returning to Marietta Friday after serving with distinction in Iraq - A Heartfelt and Proud Welcome Home! Semper Fi.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Posted By Chuck Muth On March 25, 2008
According to three California judges, parents "do not have a constitutional right to home school their children."
By thus ruling, the judges turned the parents of some 166,000 home-schooled children into criminals with the snap of their fingers and the stroke of a pen. According to these paragons of justice, parents should be forced to send their children to government-run education camps, whether they like it or not.
Wars have been started over less.
In my home state of Nevada, at least for now, the law sorta recognizes a parent’s right to educate their own children at home. However, the state still requires home-school parents to “register” with the government, ostensibly for “truancy” purposes. But this raises the same legitimate argument raised against gun registration: If the government knows who all the home-school parents are, and if three nitwit judges suddenly determine they’re all criminals, the government will know exactly who to round up.
Which is why I have pointedly elected NOT to fill out the “required” paperwork “registering” my children as being home-schooled. While many home-schoolers maintain that simple “registration” is not an onerous condition, I strenuously object to being required to notify the government of what I consider to be an inalienable right to teach my own kids - with or without a “teaching” degree.
And if the local school district wants to do something about it, bring it on. They know where I live. If not, just call Child Protective Services. They have the address. We’re the same folks who let our kids play out front without shoes on.
All kidding aside, let me put this in even more stark terms.
Suppose a woman decides she wants to terminate her pregnancy. Is she required to “register” with the government in order to notify the authorities of this decision? No.
So then, why should a mother who chooses to bear the child instead not have the right to educate that child without “registering” with the government, hmmm? Why does a woman have the right to make a life-and-death decision, literally, without providing official government notification, but not the freedom to decide how to educate her child? Whose child is it anyway?
Granted, there is a community interest in having an educated populace. But that means education should be available and encouraged, not mandatory. In a free nation, people should retain the right to be stupid - a right exercised with reckless abandon by three judges in California last month.
If you outlaw home-schooling, only outlaws will be home-schoolers. Just call me Josie Wales.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Is Obama Ready For America?
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Some pundits ask whether America is ready for Obama. The much more important question is whether Obama is ready for America and even more important is whether black people can afford Obama. Let's look at it in the context of a historical tidbit.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson, signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke the color barrier in major league baseball. He encountered open racist taunts and slurs from fans, opposing team players and even some players on his own team. Despite that, his first year batting average was .297. He led the National League in stolen bases and won the first-ever Rookie of the Year Award. Without question, Jackie Robinson was an exceptional player. There's no sense of justice that should require that a player be as good as Jackie Robinson in order to be a rookie in the major leagues but the hard fact of the matter, as a first black player, he had to be.
In 1947, black people could not afford a stubble bum baseball player. By contrast, today black people can afford stubble bum black baseball players. The simple reason is that as a result of the excellence of Jackie Robinson, as well those who immediately followed him such as Satchel Paige, Don Newcombe, Larry Doby and Roy Campanella, there's no one in his right mind, who might watch the incompetence of a particular black player, who can say, "Those blacks can't play baseball." Whether we like it or not, whether for good reason or bad reason, people make stereotypes and stereotypes can have effects.
For the nation and for black people, the first black president should be the caliber of a Jackie Robinson and Barack Obama is not. Barack Obama has charisma and charm but in terms of character, values and understanding, he is no Jackie Robinson. By now, many Americans have heard the racist and anti-American tirades of Obama's minister and spiritual counselor. There's no way that Obama could have been a 20-year member of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church and not been aware of his statements.
Wright's racist and anti-American ideas are by no means unique. They are the ideas of many leftist professors and taught to our young people. The basic difference between Sen. Obama, Wright and leftist professors is simply a matter of style and language. His Philadelphia speech demonstrated his clever style where he merely changed the subject. The controversy was not about race. It was about his longtime association with such a hatemonger and whether he shared the Reverend's vision.
Obama's success is truly a remarkable commentary on the goodness of Americans and how far we've come in resolving matters of race. I'm 72 years old. For almost all of my life, a black having a real chance at becoming the president of the United States was at best a pipe dream. Obama has convincingly won primaries in states with insignificant black populations. As such, it further confirms what I've often said: The civil rights struggle in America is over and it's won. At one time black Americans did not have the constitutional guarantees enjoyed by white Americans; now we do. The fact that the civil rights struggle is over and won does not mean that there are not major problems confronting many members of the black community but they are not civil rights problems and have little or nothing to do with racial discrimination.
While not every single vestige of racial discrimination has disappeared, Obama and the Rev. Wright are absolutely wrong in suggesting that racial discrimination is anywhere near the major problem confronting a large segment of the black community. The major problems are: family breakdown, illegitimacy, fraudulent education and a high rate of criminality. To confront these problems, that are not the fault of the larger society, requires political courage and that's an attribute that Obama and most other politicians lack.
Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.
By Cal Thomas
I am a typical white person, as Barack Obama might say, and did say, about his white grandmother. Like Rev. Jesse Jackson, I, too, have crossed the street to avoid a group of young black men who have a certain thug-in-the-hood look about them. Am I a racist? Only if Jesse Jackson is a racist. In fact, we are prudent.
On his old CNN TV show, Rev. Jackson and I once debated affirmative action. He favored it. I opposed it. I asked him, "Do you think you have this show because you are good or because you are black?" Jackson was speechless (a rarity) and he went to a commercial to keep from answering.
As I watch the exciting NCAA Basketball Tournament, I notice that most of the players are black. On some teams, all the players are black. Should an affirmative action program create slots so more whites, Hispanic and Asians can play, or should the best players be on these teams, without regard to race? The question should answer itself.
In his speech last week on race, Sen. Obama said blacks and whites have legitimate grievances and that whites who never owned a slave, or supported the slave trade, or knowingly discriminated against any African American have a right to be angry when affirmative action favors someone of a different race for a job for which they feel they are qualified.
The grievances of African Americans are starker. Their ancestors were kidnapped and brought to a country that was foreign to them and enslaved by mostly (but not exclusively) white people. Although the actions of a 19th-century Republican president freed them, 20th-century Democratic politicians discriminated against them, defiantly standing in schoolhouse doors, blocking their way to a better future.
This accusatory back and forth between races will continue beyond the current election unless all of us stop replaying past grievances. One can criticize some of what Obama said (and I have), but his appeal to lay the past to rest and move on to a better future is compelling and worth discussing.
One of the best tools I have seen that could help bridge the racial divide is a PBS documentary series called "African American Lives." Its creator and host is Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. The program is a rarity in television. It informs without bias.
This four-part series features Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Quincy Jones, Mae Jemison, Dr. Ben Carson, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot and Chris Tucker. Using DNA, the program traces their ancestry. Some have firm roots in African tribes, but others are surprising. For instance, Gates, who is African American, found that much of his DNA could be traced back to Ireland.
"African American Lives 2," the sequel to the original program, traced the lineage of comedian Chris Rock, singer Tina Turner, Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman Jr., and magazine publisher Linda Johnson Rice, among others. Using courthouse documents, plantation ledgers and slave ship records, the subjects learn surprising things about their forebears. One of Rock's ancestors was a South Carolina state senator. One of Turner's ancestors founded the school she attended as a child, though she didn't know about the genealogical link until the program revealed it in a touching moment.
I defy anyone but the most ardent racist to watch this series and not be transformed by what it reveals. I have spoken and exchanged e-mail with Dr. Gates and he says the main message in these programs is that slavery was more about economics than race.
More than slavery and discrimination, the loss of faith and family can be seen as the root of many of the problems in the black community. Even during the worst of times, black families held themselves together by holding onto G-d. Today, some have lost that faith and chaos threatens, chaos that Barack Obama — or anyone else — cannot repair.
The New York Times Magazine once did a cover story on prosperous black families in Prince Georges County, Md. What these families had in common, other than race, was that all were intact.
Unfortunately, those families are not typical. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004, just 31.9 percent of black households had both spouses present, compared to 56.1 percent for white households. Hopefully, when intact black families become typical, many of the self-inflicted maladies in the black community will finally become atypical.
What is the FairTax plan?
The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 1025) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.
The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.
* Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
* Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
* Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
* Allows American products to compete fairly
* Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
* Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
* Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
* Abolishes the IRS
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
January 11,1911 - March 20, 2008
I'm posting this in memory of one of the most amazing woman I've ever had the privilege to know. At the age of 97, this woman selflessly raised six children and never knew anything but raising children and keeping house. She loved her family and was dedicated to them to the end. I'll never understand how she must have felt to have never driven a car, but she managed to survive, nonetheless. Her mind was as sharp as a tack and she was concerned to the very end with the state of our nation. Mrs. Townsend went home today to the healing arms of the creator of the universe. I'll never forget her!
THEN Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the
king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that
it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
By DANIEL HENNINGER
David Mamet's Revision
March 20, 2008; Page A18
The American playwright David Mamet wrote a piece for the Village Voice last week titled, "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal.'1" Mr. Mamet, whose characters famously use the f-word as a rhythmic device (I think of it now as the "Mamet-word"), didn't himself mince words on his transition. He was riding with his wife one day, listening to National Public Radio: "I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: 'Shut the [Mamet-word] up.'" Been known to happen.
Toward the end of the essay, he names names: "I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism."
This of course is an outrage against polite American wisdom. Isn't Paul Krugman supposed to be our greatest living philosopher? One would have thought that David Mamet saying bye-bye to liberalism would have launched sputterings everywhere. But not a word.
As I think Groucho Marx once said, either no one reads the Village Voice anymore or my watch has stopped.
That one of the language's greatest living playwrights would say this in our hyperventilated political times was news worth noting in most of the English-speaking world. Commentaries appeared the past week in England, Canada and Australia. But there's been nary a peep about Mr. Mamet going over the wall in what some call the Mainstream Media.
Matt Drudge put news of the Mamet essay at the top of his Web site the day it appeared, so it was hard not to notice. Yesterday the Los Angeles Times printed an op-ed piece on it by the crime novelist Andrew Klavan, welcoming Mr. Mamet. For the most part, though, this is being treated in liberal drawing rooms like a favorite uncle gone suddenly dotty. A reporter for the Times of London put the apostasy to actor Kevin Spacey, now appearing there in Mr. Mamet's "Speed the Plough." "I didn't pay it much attention," said Mr. Spacey.
Which raises the question: If a liberal falls in the liberal forest and no one says they heard it, can you say it didn't happen? Mr. Mamet must feel like the guy in a mob movie who knows the hit is coming but has to sweat through to the bullet.
There is a more benign explanation for the silence of American punditry's liberal lambs. They have their hands full with Barack and Hillary. No playwright since blood-soaked Greece would have tried to script the furies let loose by the struggle between these two senators.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose mad lines no one would think to write -- "God damn America!" -- has returned to haunt the holy candidacy of Barack Obama. In turn, Sen. Obama has been forced to give a speech reanimating racial ghosts back to the nation's founding -- a Constitution "stained by this nation's original sin of slavery." This is primal stuff. Meanwhile the Democratic elders, in their role as Super Delegates, must wrestle with knowing that this foul poison was set by factions loyal to Hillary Clinton, whose own personal loyalties are . . . well, you don't need me to get into all that.
With blood on the party's temple floor, who has time to give a flying [Mamet-word] about what this guy thinks? (Also, his essay appeared the day after the Spitzer melodrama began its short, but unforgettable, New York run.)
Still a thought: If David Mamet says he can't take it anymore, can others be far behind? Were I a Democratic Party strategist, out on the frontier of voter sentiment, my thought would be: This is not good for Democrats. David Mamet's mind is a tuning fork of regular-guy sentiment. He's the one who wrote "Glengarry Glen Ross." He says he's been a reliable liberal all his life. All of a sudden, the party sounds off-key. What if other guys are starting to think this? What if, after Barack's charisma gets stripped away, all you're left with is "universal health care" and Hillary's blind ambition? Come November, you could be [Mamet-worded].
Hollywood does a good job of policing the public political activities and statements of its workforce. Step out of its left line, the man comes and take you away. It helps the policers that Hollywood's writers have little script autonomy. They do as told and get used to it. Playwrights, by contrast, have total control over what their scripts say. This, one suspects, affects the two trades' habits of thinking.
In a remarkable coincidence with the Mamet essay, the playwright Tom Stoppard just published a piece in the Sunday Times of London2 ripping the 1968 student demonstrations there, in Paris, and elsewhere. Admitting he was thought by the left even then to be "politically dubious," Mr. Stoppard says he "was embarrassed by the slogans and postures of rebellion in a society which, in London as in Paris . . . seemed to me to be the least worst system into which one might have been born -- the open liberal democracy whose very essence was the toleration of dissent."
Mr. Mamet in his (often hilarious) goodbye-to-liberalism essay credits the famed American newspaper editor William Allen White with the idea that government should basically stay out of the way of people trying to work out ways to get along and get ahead. Tom Stoppard ends with the same, central point: "The idea of the autonomy of the individual is echoed, I realize, all over the place in my writing."
Many Democrats know that individual autonomy is the moving spirit of our times. The Web is its relentless, daily metaphor. This notion is embedded in the thought of the writers David Mamet has been reading of late. Left-liberalism breeds many autonomous spirits -- but only in their private lives. The party's ethos is as it was in 1930 -- dark forces arrayed to thwart the delivery of benevolence to fragile masses. For the latest standard version, see the end of Mr. Obama's Tuesday speech on "the real culprits of the middle-class squeeze."
Unless the Democrats figure out a way to back down big brother, the years ahead likely will bring more Mamet drop-outs. Belief in autonomy may even reach Hollywood.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
You have to read it to believe it!
Another "red flag" pointing toward Obama's radical views?
Pastor Jeremiah Wright
Malik Shabbaaz - New Black Panther
Google these people, they are linked to Barack Obama. Makes you wonder what kind of change he has in store for America!
Bill O'Reilly calls Bill Moyers a charlatan. For you folks out there in the nether lands (a constitutional monarchy in western Europe on the North Sea; half the country lies below sea level ), that means:
"A person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud."
Don't report me to CountryComesToTownBlog! He's a great guy, but shhh, don't tell anybody, he's a moderate, centrist democrat.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Police: Cobb County Wrong-Way Driver Fleeing Fender-Bender
POSTED: 6:57 am EDT March 18, 2008
MARIETTA, Ga. -- Marietta police say the wrong-way driver in a crash that killed him and two members of a Braselton family was trying to escape a fender-bender minutes before the fatal crash.
Police said yesterday that 29-year-old Nicasio Rodrigo Vicente-Hernandez was trying to get away from a minor traffic accident about 9 p.m. Sunday.
Police learned about the earlier wreck while they were investigating the fatal crash.
Marietta police spokesman Detective Jake King says Vicente-Hernandez got onto the Canton Road Connector going the wrong way and crashed his 1999 Mercury Villager van head-on into a 1995 Ford Taurus. The driver, 47-year-old Rodney James Godfrey of Braselton was killed, along with 17-year-old Eric Godfrey.
Fifty-one-year-old Mary Clare Godfrey and the couple's 12-year-old son were hospitalized.
Need more information, please visit:
Monday, March 17, 2008
This photo was captured by Shane Durrance on March 14, 2008. This is the only photo that has surfaced so far. The significant cloud that you see in the middle of the photo is not the tornado. At first glance that is what you think. If you look to the far left of the photo, there's a building that is illuminated on top with bright white lights, slightly to the right of that building is the actual tornado. This is absolutely amazing!
Two Different Versions! Two Different Morals!
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.
The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building
his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and
demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed
while others are cold and starving.
CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering
grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a
table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is
allowed to suffer so ?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries
when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'
Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the
news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Jesse then
has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.
Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the
ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call
for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of the summer.
The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs
and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the government.
Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation
suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges
that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.
The ant loses the case.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the
ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the
ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.
The ant has disappeared in the snow.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now
abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Address on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater
Rendezvous with Destiny
October 27, 1964
This speech is a verbatim transcript of "The Speech" given as a portion of a pre-recorded, nationwide televised program sponsored by Goldwater-Miller on behalf of Barry Goldwater, Republican candidate for the presidency whom Ronald Reagan actively supported. 4,626 words
Thank you very much. Thank you and good evening. The sponsor has been identified, but unlike most television programs, the performer hasn't been provided with a script. As a matter of fact, I have been permitted to choose my own ideas regarding the choice that we face in the next few weeks.
I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines. Now, one side in this campaign has been telling us that the issues of this election are the maintenance of peace and prosperity. The line has been used "We've never had it so good."
But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend $17 million a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We have raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations in the world. We have $15 billion in gold in our treasury--we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are $27.3 billion, and we have just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.
As for the peace that we would preserve, I wonder who among us would like to approach the wife or mother whose husband or son has died in South Vietnam and ask them if they think this is a peace that should be maintained indefinitely. Do they mean peace, or do they mean we just want to be left in peace? There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in doing so lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well, I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.
Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to." In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down--up to a man's age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order--or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the "Great Society," or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a "greater government activity in the affairs of the people." But they have been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves--and all of the things that I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say "the cold war will end through acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism." Another voice says that the profit motive has become outmoded, it must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state; or our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century. Senator Fullbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the president as our moral teacher and our leader, and he said he is hobbled in his task by the restrictions in power imposed on him by this antiquated document. He must be freed so that he can do for us what he knows is best. And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government." Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me--the free man and woman of this country--as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"--this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.
Now, we have no better example of this than the government's involvement in the farm economy over the last 30 years. Since 1955, the cost of this program has nearly doubled. One-fourth of farming in America is responsible for 85% of the farm surplus. Three-fourths of farming is out on the free market and has known a 21% increase in the per capita consumption of all its produce. You see, that one-fourth of farming is regulated and controlled by the federal government. In the last three years we have spent $43 in feed grain program for every bushel of corn we don't grow.
Senator Humphrey last week charged that Barry Goldwater as President would seek to eliminate farmers. He should do his homework a little better, because he will find out that we have had a decline of 5 million in the farm population under these government programs. He will also find that the Democratic administration has sought to get from Congress an extension of the farm program to include that three-fourths that is now free. He will find that they have also asked for the right to imprison farmers who wouldn't keep books as prescribed by the federal government. The Secretary of Agriculture asked for the right to seize farms through condemnation and resell them to other individuals. And contained in that same program was a provision that would have allowed the federal government to remove 2 million farmers from the soil.
At the same time, there has been an increase in the Department of Agriculture employees. There is now one for every 30 farms in the United States, and still they can't tell us how 66 shiploads of grain headed for Austria disappeared without a trace and Billie Sol Estes never left shore.
Every responsible farmer and farm organization has repeatedly asked the government to free the farm economy, but who are farmers to know what is best for them? The wheat farmers voted against a wheat program. The government passed it anyway. Now the price of bread goes up; the price of wheat to the farmer goes down.
Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights are so diluted that public interest is almost anything that a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes for the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a "more compatible use of the land." The President tells us he is now going to start building public housing units in the thousands where heretofore we have only built them in the hundreds. But FHA and the Veterans Administration tell us that they have 120,000 housing units they've taken back through mortgage foreclosures. For three decades, we have sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. The latest is the Area Redevelopment Agency. They have just declared Rice County, Kansas, a depressed area. Rice County, Kansas, has two hundred oil wells, and the 14,000 people there have over $30 million on deposit in personal savings in their banks. When the government tells you you're depressed, lie down and be depressed.
We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they are going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer and they've had almost 30 years of it, shouldn't we expect government to almost read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn't they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?
But the reverse is true. Each year the need grows greater, the program grows greater. We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet. But now we are told that 9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than $3,000 a year. Welfare spending is 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We are spending $45 billion on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you will find that if we divided the $45 billion up equally among those 9 million poor families, we would be able to give each family $4,600 a year, and this added to their present income should eliminate poverty! Direct aid to the poor, however, is running only about $600 per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.
So now we declare "war on poverty," or "you, too, can be a Bobby Baker!" Now, do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add $1 billion to the $45 million we are spending...one more program to the 30-odd we have--and remember, this new program doesn't replace any, it just duplicates existing programs--do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain that there is one part of the new program that isn't duplicated. This is the youth feature. We are now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps, and we are going to put our young people in camps, but again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we are going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person that we help $4,700 a year! We can send them to Harvard for $2,700! Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.
But seriously, what are we doing to those we seek to help? Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who had come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning $250 a month. She wanted a divorce so that she could get an $80 raise. She is eligible for $330 a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who had already done that very thing.
Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we are denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we are always "against" things, never "for" anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so. We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.
But we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those who depend on them for livelihood. They have called it insurance to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified that it was a welfare program. They only use the term "insurance" to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is $298 billion in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble! And they are doing just that.
A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary...his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee $220 a month at age 65. The government promises $127. He could live it up until he is 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now, are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis so that people who do require those payments will find that they can get them when they are due...that the cupboard isn't bare? Barry Goldwater thinks we can.
At the same time, can't we introduce voluntary features that would permit a citizen who can do better on his own to be excused upon presentation of evidence that he had made provisions for the non-earning years? Should we allow a widow with children to work, and not lose the benefits supposedly paid for by her deceased husband? Shouldn't you and I be allowed to declare who our beneficiaries will be under these programs, which we cannot do? I think we are for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples, as announced last week, when France admitted that their Medicare program was now bankrupt. They've come to the end of the road.
In addition, was Barry Goldwater so irresponsible when he suggested that our government give up its program of deliberate planned inflation so that when you do get your Social Security pension, a dollar will buy a dollar's worth, and not 45 cents' worth?
I think we are for an international organization, where the nations of the world can seek peace. But I think we are against subordinating American interests to an organization that has become so structurally unsound that today you can muster a two-thirds vote on the floor of the General Assembly among the nations that represent less than 10 percent of the world's population. I think we are against the hypocrisy of assailing our allies because here and there they cling to a colony, while we engage in a conspiracy of silence and never open our mouths about the millions of people enslaved in Soviet colonies in the satellite nation.
I think we are for aiding our allies by sharing of our material blessings with those nations which share in our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world. We set out to help 19 countries. We are helping 107. We spent $146 billion. With that money, we bought a $2 million yacht for Haile Selassie. We bought dress suits for Greek undertakers, extra wives for Kenyan government officials. We bought a thousand TV sets for a place where they have no electricity. In the last six years, 52 nations have bought $7 billion worth of our gold, and all 52 are receiving foreign aid from this country.
No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this Earth. Federal employees number 2.5 million, and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation's work force is employed by the government. These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury, and they can seize and sell his property in auction to enforce the payment of that fine. In Chico County, Arkansas, James Wier overplanted his rice allotment. The government obtained a $17,000 judgment, and a U.S. marshal sold his 950-acre farm at auction. The government said it was necessary as a warning to others to make the system work. Last February 19 at the University of Minnesota, Norman Thomas, six-time candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said, "If Barry Goldwater became President, he would stop the advance of socialism in the United States." I think that's exactly what he will do.
As a former Democrat, I can tell you Norman Thomas isn't the only man who has drawn this parallel to socialism with the present administration. Back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his party was taking the part of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his party, and he never returned to the day he died, because to this day, the leadership of that party has been taking that party, that honorable party, down the road in the image of the labor socialist party of England. Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? Such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment. Our Democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men...that we are to choose just between two personalities.
Well, what of this man that they would destroy? And in destroying, they would destroy that which he represents, the ideas that you and I hold dear. Is he the brash and shallow and trigger-happy man they say he is? Well, I have been privileged to know him "when." I knew him long before he ever dreamed of trying for high office, and I can tell you personally I have never known a man in my life I believe so incapable of doing a dishonest or dishonorable thing.
This is a man who in his own business, before he entered politics, instituted a profit-sharing plan, before unions had ever thought of it. He put in health and medical insurance for all his employees. He took 50 percent of the profits before taxes and set up a retirement program, a pension plan for all his employees. He sent checks for life to an employee who was ill and couldn't work. He provided nursing care for the children of mothers who work in the stores. When Mexico was ravaged by floods from the Rio Grande, he climbed in his airplane and flew medicine and supplies down there.
An ex-GI told me how he met him. It was the week before Christmas during the Korean War, and he was at the Los Angeles airport trying to get a ride home to Arizona for Christmas, and he said that there were a lot of servicemen there and no seats available on the planes. Then a voice came over the loudspeaker and said, "Any men in uniform wanting a ride to Arizona, go to runway such-and-such," and they went down there, and there was this fellow named Barry Goldwater sitting in his plane. Every day in the weeks before Christmas, all day long, he would load up the plane, fly to Arizona, fly them to their homes, then fly back over to get another load.
During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer. His campaign managers were understandably impatient, but he said, "There aren't many left who care what happens to her. I'd like her to know I care." This is a man who said to his 19-year-old son, "There is no foundation like the rock of honesty and fairness, and when you begin to build your life upon that rock, with the cement of the faith in God that you have, then you have a real start." This is not a man who could carelessly send other people's sons to war. And that is the issue of this campaign that makes all of the other problems I have discussed academic, unless we realize that we are in a war that must be won.
Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer--not an easy answer--but simple.
If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second--surrender.
Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face--that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand--the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.
Thank you very much.
We rarely get a chance to see another country's editorial about the USA.
Read this excerpt from a Romanian Newspaper.
The article was written by Mr. Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title 'C'ntarea Americii, meaning ('Ode To America ') in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentulzilei
'The Daily Event' or 'News of the Day'
~An Ode to America ~
Why are Americans so united?
They would not resemble one another
even if you painted them all one color!
They speak all the languages of the world
and form an astonishing mixture
of civilizations and religious beliefs.
Still, the American tragedy
turned three hundred million people
into a hand put on the heart.
Nobody rushed to accuse the White House,
the Army, or the Secret Service
that they are only a bunch of losers.
Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts.
Nobody rushed out onto the streets nearby to gape about.
Instead the Americans volunteered to donate blood
and to give a helping hand.
After the first moments of panic,
they raised their flag over the smoking ruins,
putting on T-shirts, caps and ties
in the colors of the national flag.
They placed flags on buildings and cars
as if in every place and on every car
a government official
or the president was passing.
On every occasion, they started singing:
'God Bless America!'
I watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours
listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors
with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was,
or of the Californian hockey player, who gave his life
fighting with the terrorists and prevented the plane
from hitting a target that could have killed
other hundreds or thousands of people.
How on earth were they able
to respond united as one human being?
with every word and musical note,
the memory of some
turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes.
And with every phone call,
millions and millions of dollars
were put into a collection aimed at rewarding
not a man or a family, but a spirit,
which no money can buy.
What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way?
Their economic Power?
I tried for hours to find an answer,
humming songs and murmuring phrases
with the risk of sounding commonplace,
I thought things over,
I reached but only one conclusion...
Only freedom can work such miracles.