Feb 24, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill Part III: Culture Divide

Bill Clinton’s third biggest concern for the world is “culture divide” – or what I prefer to address more directly as cultural conflict. I’ve discussed the absurdity of Bill’s number one concern – “climate change” and the moral vanity of his second concern – “inequality”. Now, “culture divide” is something I can take seriously.

You may expect me to start into a comparison of Western and Muslim culture, but first I have to address the “culture war” right here at home, initiated by liberals like Bill. Liberals very cleverly and with accurate calculation took control of some of the most powerful institutions in Western society in the last several decades, including the academy, the judiciary and the media. These institutions are now controlled by people who do not believe in American exceptionalism. To the contrary, they believe that America is racist, sexist, homophobic and imperialist. They claim to be describing you and me, folks.

Take racism, for example. Conservatives have been trying to credit liberals with success in eliminating institutional racism for years now. Conservatives were slow to take up the civil rights cause (although congressional conservatives voted in higher percentages for the civil rights legislation of the 60s than liberals). This country achieved in relatively short order, although not without pain, the important change of making racism socially unacceptable. Job well-done, liberals!

But, doggone it; liberals simply will not be convinced of their success! Why just look at the “color of the faces of Katrina” (Jimmy Carter at Coretta Scott King’s funeral). As if the tragedy of a hurricane has anything to do with racism! Do you think the faces of Katrina would have been whiter if the storm had struck during the Carter or Clinton administrations? I find it gravely insulting to those Southern white boys seen lowering themselves from helicopters into the cesspool of N.O. after Katrina to literally wrap themselves around desperate black people to suggest racism was a factor. The coast guard was there the first day rescuing people; otherwise Ray Nagin’s prediction of 10,000 dead might have become accurate! The fact that the cameras weren’t there to catch the initial rescues does not diminish the heroism of these men. Don’t you dare call America racist!

And then we hear that the federal response was so slow and the feds knew – they knew for years in advance – that those levees wouldn’t withstand a hurricane of magnitude 3 or above! I don’t buy it – the slow response bit. We all felt desperate watching the residents of N.O. stuck in the heat and humidity on those bridges and rooftops, sometimes for days. But, we also know that the media invented stories of murder and mayhem and now pat themselves on the back for their excellent coverage of the story. C’mon folks! The response wasn’t perfect, but this disaster was bigger than anything America had experienced before. It was a lesson.

How about those levees? Talk about slow response! Bill Clinton had eight years to do something about them and did nothing! And George Bush had a few other important things on his plate after 9/11. I realize the buck stops with the president, but he is neither the mayor of N.O. nor the governor of Louisiana. At what point do the locals bear responsibility for local issues and when do we federalize them?

If blacks suffer poverty disproportionately in America, it is no longer because of racism. Sadly, it is because many have bought into the liberal idea that the government can and should fix their problems. I have become cynical about the Democrats position on race and poverty. Surely the “smartest couple in the world”, Bill and Hillary, know that people’s best hope for overcoming poverty are traditional values that sound like a conservative manifesto: get married before having babies; worship God regularly; get the best possible education you can; work hard. If so, why do the Democrats keep playing the race card and blaming Republicans when blacks suffer? I believe they are intentionally holding blacks down with disinformation, the victim mentality and fake government solutions to try to hold onto power. If blacks help themselves by embracing traditional American values, they’ll see the Democrats as the false friends they are. Black loyalty to Democrats is a way for poor black people to keep rich white people in office – nothing more.

What is the liberal agenda in this cultural conflict? It is virtually the opposite of the values that made America great:

Traditional American values:
  1. All men are created equal. (In the sense of equal rights)
  2. Among these God given rights are the right to life,
  3. liberty,
  4. and the pursuit of happiness.
  5. In God we trust.
  6. E Pluribus Unum. (Out of Many, One)

Liberal American values:
  1. Everyone should be equal (socialism).
  2. Everyone has the right to a comfortable life with health insurance.
  3. You’re free to do anything offensive to the Right, but nothing offensive to the Left; political correctness and campus speech codes.
  4. The government owes you happiness.
  5. Only fools believe in God; we are a secular state protected by the separation wall.
  6. Out of One, Many; multiculturalism and moral relativism.

This nonsense is being legislated from the bench, touted in the media and taught in the schools – K through 12 and beyond. It is a miracle that at least half of Americans still have some perspective on what is fundamentally good and right about America… this nation founded on an idea, not geography or ethnicity. This land of the free and home of the brave is worth fighting for… it is God’s gift to humanity. So, keep praying and vote for conservative Republicans! Because, this culture war is going to have to be won at home before it can be won in the wider world.

(Also see part 1 and part 2)

Feb 10, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill Part II: Inequality

Bill Clinton's second big concern for the world is "inequality". This is such an interesting and revealing worry for the Left. I remember being drawn toward liberalism for the passion it held for "equal rights". And I know many well-intentioned liberals who, still, in their 40s and 50s, rationalize their liberalism based on the Left's attention to "inequality". So, it seems worth some examination of Bill's use of the term "inequality".

First it is instructive to consider the terms Bill didn't use. He didn't say "equal rights". And, despite all liberal characterizations to the contrary, I think us conservatives would put "equal rights" in our top five concerns for the world - at least as part of our overall concern for freedom and human dignity.

Isn't it interesting that he didn't say "injustice"? Injustice is such a good term because it covers so many other concerns. Denying someone his or her "equal rights" is an injustice. Stealing and murder (defined as the intentional killing of an innocent) are injustices. Bearing false witness, or in other words, lying about someone's character, actions or intentions is an injustice. The Democrats might also call this "exploiting Republican vulnerabilities". But, no, Bill didn't say "injustice" so we must assume that is not what he meant.

What did he mean by inequality? Did he mean, say, that Americans just have way too much materially and should equal things out with the rest of the world? For example, the Bolivians are muddling through with high rates of poverty and subsistence living. Should American workers hand over more of their wages to the Bolivians to equal things out? We all know that the world is way too big and too many people are living in poverty for the first world to be able to support the third world. And while Bill may characterize himself as an idealist, he is not stupid. So, no, I don't believe this is what he meant.

Did he mean that it is unfair that Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have so much and therefore, should pay higher taxes so that poor Americans become "more equal" through the government dole? This might be closer to his intended meaning. It is my understanding of Marxists that they believe government should provide for the material well-being of its citizens. This idea is essentially communist/ socialist and is antithetical to what conservatives believe about government. The fact that communism has proven to be evil (more people slaughtered under communist regimes during “peacetime” than in any war, including WWII) and socialism is dying a slow death in Europe does not sway Bill’s outrage at the unfairness of inequality.

Conservatives believe that the unfairness of life (inequality) is rightly addressed through the expression of Judeo-Christian values, not the tax code. We believe the government is too powerful and too corruptible when it becomes vested in the material well-being of its citizens (see Tocqueville’s highly accurate predictions). We believe government is most effective and efficient at defending the nation and delivering the mail (Thomas Jefferson). We believe, like the founding fathers, that our nation’s vitality and continued success is dependent on a virtuous citizenry and a constitutionally limited government. We believe that, while our nation’s values and morals are expressed in the statutes, societal virtue cannot be legislated. People can only be credited with virtue when they are free to choose sin (think Afghanistan under the Taliban as the negative example).

So, what does Bill mean when he talks about “inequality”? He may mean to promote Marxism, but I think he and other liberals haven't fully formed their thoughts on "inequality". He is simply engaged in an act of moral preening. And unfortunately, liberals are slavering over the show.

Part III will address Bill’s concern with “culture divide”. We may have some agreement here, but I’ll use the politically incorrect term “cultural conflict”. Stay tuned.

(Also see part 1 and part 3)

Feb 4, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill

It is probably going to appear that I'm obsessed with Bill Clinton, but I'm really using him as an illustrative example of liberal thinking. And he's such a good example because he's a "moderate" and his ideas are constantly promoted by the press as the accumulated wisdom of an ex-president. I also use him because George Bush keeps referring to him as such a good friend of the family (ugh!). OK - I'm obsessed.

Well - did you catch Bill's comments from Davos, where he is king? He was asked for his top three concerns for the world. Are you ready? Make your guesses now before you read on. C'mon, it'll be fun.

1) Islamic fascism/terrorism
2) nuclear proliferation
3) promoting freedom/representative government

Oops - sorry - that's my list. Here's Bill's:

1) climate change
2) inequality
3) cultural divide

About climate change, Bill says essentially that human progress as we have known it will stop as a result of global warming. That's a downer, isn't it? Now, one must always keep in mind the audience whenever Bill is talking - and this one was in Davos, Switzerland with all the world's big name elite leftists in attendance - so his climate concern is very reflective of European leftist sensibilities. But, American leftists are really European leftist wannabes and Bill is showing them the way.

Here's the procedure:
1) start with an issue about which you know very little and pretend you know a lot, even though the evidence is sketchy;
2) develop terms and phrases that describe the worst possible outcome and use them constantly to scare the hell out of everybody who knows as little (or even less) as you do;
3) use that fear to promote your political agenda and propel yourself to power with it.

On "climate change" ("change" is scary, but, guess what? climate change is nothing new), let's stipulate that the earth is getting warmer(about one degree in the last century at the surface, on average). Then, let's admit that perhaps human activities causing the emission of greenhouse gasses (like CO2 and methane) contribute to the increased warming. Unfortunately, these emissions have a habit of hanging around and, so, the "damage" that has been done has been accumulating for decades and what we're emitting today will be around for many decades to come. What to do? What to do?

If you are a True Believer, you should really become one of the Noble Savages you admire so much. Really - riding a bicycle isn't sufficient because bicycle manufacturing, and for that matter, anything manufactured, causes tons of emissions. Maybe this is what Bill is advocating when he says human progress as we have known it will cease!

I think it would be better if we all took a deep breath (did you know air quality has been improving for years now?) and thought about some things first. Like, one piece of evidence we have that is pretty compelling is that solar activity coincides nicely with global surface temperature fluctuations. We've got data on this folks. And we've experienced an increase in solar activity in the last decade or so that might have something to do with climate changes seen recently.

And, let's go nuclear. This is a very European thing to do after all (France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear power). No CO2 emissions. But, what about the spent nuclear fuel, you ask? I know it is dangerous, but we have this place called Yucca Mountain out where nobody cares to live with air bases nearby to protect it. We've developed technology to keep it safely contained for a thousand years (I'm not sure of the exact number - but, a long time). I know environmentalists want it to be a million years, but they're letting their European leftist thinking get in the way. See, if it is safe for a thousand years, then we have that long to improve the technology - unless you believe, like Bill, that human progress will cease because of a degree or two up-tick in surface temperature over a hundred years.

What about alternative fuels? With the Middle East wackos soon to extort outrageous prices for oil, I'd say the market incentive for developing alternative fuels is just around the corner. Bear in mind though, that in the real world of energy production, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Industry and manufacturing have to happen and will entail capital and environmental expenses.

So, what would Bill do about climate change? I don't believe he would shut down the global economy based on the current data - after all, even he wouldn't sign Kyoto. See, the problem with liberals is, they're constantly making up crises for which they offer no real solution. But, their awareness of the crisis is supposed to convince us that they're the leaders we need. And then they accuse conservatives of fear mongering on issues such as national security. So, what are you going to get worked up over? A one degree increase in a century or 9/11? Increased solar activity or a nuclear Iran? Which problem seems more immediate to you - CO2 emissions or fatwas promising to avenge the caricatured Mohammed with blood in the streets of Europe? I know what I think - but I'm no ex-president!

I've gone long on climate, so I'll address Bill's other concerns later. Please visit again.

(Also see part 2 and part 3)