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Welcome to America 2013

Every once in a while, I don’t focus on one particular topic. Sometimes, there are a number of things happening simultaneously that are worthy of commentary. I’ve drawn attention this week to the inaugural. On Tuesday, I provided my interpretation of what President Obama really said. Here’s a cartoonist’s stab at the same thing:

I believe he caught the essence of the address.

Then there was Hillary Clinton’s testimony—sort of—before a congressional committee the other day. She was supposed to be telling what she knew about the Benghazi fiasco. Liberal news outlets praised her defiant performance, yet the only thing they got right about it were the words “defiant” and “performance.” She said virtually nothing. While making it sound like she took responsibility, in fact she spent the entire time defending her failures and saying she was not to blame. There’s an end game here; she’s looking ahead:

If we still have a country in 2016, she wants to be poised to lead it. After eight years of Obama, that’s all we need. Her defiance also manifested itself in an outburst of feigned outrage when questioned about why the administration misled the people for a few weeks, claiming the incident was the result of an anti-Mohammed video:

In answer to her angry question, “What difference does it make?” I would suggest it makes a whole lot of difference. If the administration, with her at the top of the foreign policy apparatus, deliberately tried to deflect the public’s attention away from its obvious failure to protect our diplomats by blaming a filmmaker, that would be despicable to the utmost. Beyond trying to shift the blame, it also became an attack on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free political speech. That filmmaker is the only person associated with the Benghazi event who has suffered any consequences—a chilling precedent for anyone else who may critique Islam or the current administration’s policies.

Then there’s the ongoing issue of looming national bankruptcy, which has been studiously ignored by Obama and his acolytes. They continue to act as if it’s not a real disaster–in-waiting. The president’s only nod toward the problem is to—surprise—blame the Republicans:

And his “solution” is just as out of touch with reality:

Welcome to America 2013. When I say we need to pray for the future of our nation, I’m not simply mouthing a pious cliché. It’s a cry from the heart. Acknowledging our dependence on the grace of God and getting our priorities straightened out are our most pressing needs.

Will We Suffer from Collective Amnesia Next November?

The best chance President Obama has of being reelected is if the nation contracts a case of collective amnesia. We will have to forget, for instance, his attitude toward the plebeians who actually do the work in this country. Those are the people he famously touted as clinging to a few things out of insecurity:

We’ll also have to forget that he’s been on the job for quite some time now, and that there is a statute of limitations on blaming the previous administration:

And then there are the promises he made, and the policies he enacted to bring them to fruition. It’s going to take a world-class case of amnesia for those:

None of this is new to the man, though. He was practically raised on class warfare:

Yes, we’re going to have to forget a whole lot for him to stay in office four more years. I won’t put it past us, but I’m praying we will regain our senses in time.

Odds & Ends

How about a panoply of cartoonish insight on a variety of issues? Let’s start with that ever-present “movement” that’s occupying the airwaves. The nature of the movement is finally becoming obvious to almost everyone. Well, almost everyone:

Back in Congress, the so-called Super Committee is attempting to hammer out a deficit-reduction package. That should be easy. A small group certainly can accomplish more than the entire Congress, right? Right?

President Obama has been doing whatever he can via executive orders. Funny, I don’t remember reading anything about those in the Constitution. But he’s now going to reduce student loan paybacks by a whole $8 per month. And there will be forgiveness of those loans if they aren’t paid back in a certain number of years. Students should be elated, but don’t tell them the truth; it might damage their faith in the nanny-state:

Some people got very upset over a proposed $5 fee at the banks. Perhaps they should be upset over something more substantial:

How are you getting along with our new light bulbs? Are you like me, stocking up on the old ones? You might want to consider it.

And finally, there’s the ongoing illegal immigration quandary:

We can now add South Carolina to the list of states the Justice Department is suing for taking matters into their own hands. The past three years sure has brought change, hasn’t it?

Meanwhile, Overseas . . .

I haven’t said much about foreign affairs lately, so let’s catch up a bit. The really big news, of course, is the death of Qaddafi in Libya. Some are touting it as a major step forward for “democracy.” While I’m glad the delusional tyrant is gone, don’t count me among those who believe the future is rosy in that part of the world:

Change is not always synonymous with progress.

Speaking of change, that would be nice for Venezuela. Yet it appears Hugo Chavez is hanging on, to the detriment of the country he rules:

And then there’s Iraq. President Obama has declared our mission complete by the end of this year, and most troops will be removed. While I am always glad to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way, this is a bittersweet withdrawal:

I realize we can’t stay forever, and that Iraq must stand on its own, but will this now be a vacuum that Iran will fill? How can that be a better scenario? No easy answers in the Middle East, but it would be tragic if Iran now becomes the neighborhood bully. What’s Obama’s plan about that? Or is this primarily a campaign strategy? Forgive me if my cynicism is showing.

Revelation 21:1-7

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

“I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

The End Has Come

Pardon me for a small divergence from the usual today. You see, tomorrow evening marks the end of a mini-era: the final episode of Lost. Yes, I admit it, I am a confirmed “Lostie.”

Perhaps it has something to do with my undergraduate degree in radio, TV, and film production, but I truly enjoy and appreciate quality work in storytelling. For me, that’s what Lost has been.

While it is not explicitly a Biblically themed story, there has been quite a dialogue on the issues of faith and science, fate and free will, and purpose in life. Some of the characters have demonstrated that the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for another. Overall, it has been thought-provoking and the character aspect has remained strong over all six seasons.

I also don’t mind a little sci-fi along the way.

That is not someone you want to have in charge of your audit.

For those of you who couldn’t care less about the program, file this posting under “what was that all about?” For those who share my interest, I hope you come away from the final episode satisfied with how it ends.

Government Control of the Economy: A Primer

A primer is something that provides elementary lessons; it teaches the basics. There is a segment of the American public that needs a primer on what happens when the government tries its hand at directing the economy. Personally, I think the lessons are quite obvious, but ignorance is widespread.

The first lesson is that our political leaders [depending on who is in charge, of course] often believe that government spending is the key to prosperity. In fact, President Obama has stated this explicitly. Now if the concept of spending one’s way to prosperity seems a trifle contradictory to you—well, that means you have a grasp of how logic works. That’s not always the case with the government. It would be nice if Obama and his allies would at least admit they have a logic problem. Perhaps they some help in discovering this.

I guess some people never do learn to take personal responsibility for anything. That’s another one of those basics we need to learn, by the way.

Lesson #2 is that instead of learning from the mistakes of out-of-control spending, the government decides to solve the problem by allowing even more spending.

There, problem resolved.

A third lesson is that it doesn’t matter if a program goes bankrupt. The best thing to do is simply ignore reality. Life is less stressful that way.

Finally, government never gives up on its plans to take over more and more of the economy, no matter how awful the idea, how resistant the public is to it, or how dead it seems.

I hope this primer has been helpful. Feel free to spread the word.