Mosque Matters

Did you hear that the Associated Press has made a point of not referring to the proposed mosque near the WTC site as the “Ground Zero Mosque”? Rather, it is simply to be called the New York City Mosque. Kind of takes the bite out of it, doesn’t it? I think that’s the goal. By disconnecting it from the act of war that occurred on 9/11, the intent may be to make it a rather innocuous building. It is anything but innocuous.

President Obama of course supports the building of the mosque. It would be nice, though, if he were more consistent with that policy:

He says they have the right to build anywhere they wish since America is a land of religious liberty. Well, I agree with the last part of that statement, but the first part can be questioned. What will it take to make the president question it?

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is up in arms against those who oppose the mosque. She has even called for an investigation into the funding of the opposition. In her view, there must be something pernicious afoot—a conspiracy perhaps.

Well, if it is a conspiracy, her compatriot Harry Reid is in on it. He also has come out in opposition to its being built. I wonder when she’s going to start her investigation of the Senate Majority Leader. That would be fascinating to follow. Don’t expect it anytime soon.

The key proponent for this mosque is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. His organization has not said where the funding will come from but hasn’t ruled out accepting financial support from such liberty-loving moderates as the Iranian government. He pushes this project as an avenue of healing. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be bringing much healing at all. Could anything have been better orchestrated to cause a societal upheaval? What attitude could be behind this?

The Ground Zero Mosque is an in-your-face symbol of radical Islam’s “victory” on 9/11. It is an edifice devoted to triumphalism. Although only symbolic, symbols have significance. This symbol must not be erected.

Drawing Racial Lines

I’ve noticed there are some things that are very hard for people to do. For instance, once some individuals get into power, particularly political power, it’s fascinating how nothing they ever do wrong is their fault. They can always find someone else to blame. Charlie Rangel seems to be pretty good at this, as is Maxine Waters.

Listen to either of them speak about the ethics charges against them and you will come away believing they are victims of a massive conspiracy. In both cases, though, the evidence seems pretty clear—they are guilty of using their offices for personal financial benefit. If only they would simply admit it, but pride and arrogance forbid it.

Rangel and Waters are indicative of a whole species of political animals who can’t seem to see beyond a predetermined personal prejudice:

I’ve mentioned in previous posts the decision of the Justice Department not to prosecute the New Black Panthers who intimidated people at the polls and the atmosphere in the department that refuses to focus on any discrimination cases brought against blacks. All this does is undermine the rule of law.

Every person—black, white, and all the beiges in between—are accountable to the same law [I’ve always liked the title of one of Thomas Sowell’s books, Pink and Brown People—it’s more accurate].

Yet we continue to draw racial lines, as Harry Reid did recently:

Well, Harry, let me explain it for you: the Republican party [or at least a lot of people in that party] believes in helping individuals get off the government plantation, offering them security in their personal property, providing the liberty to achieve one’s dreams in life without undue governmental interference, and respecting the life of all unborn Hispanics. Many of those Hispanics are from Cuba, and they know how bad a socialist system can be. They appreciate American liberties.

Hope that helps, Harry.

Culture of Corruption Continues Unabated

I remember how Democrats used the corruption issue against Republicans in 2006, when they took back the Congress. There certainly was some corruption evident: Duke Cunningham of California is now in prison over financial irregularities; there were at least three sexual scandals as well. I oppose corruption no matter which party it hits.

At the same time, though, there was Democrat William Jefferson of Louisiana, who had $90,000 of FBI money in his office. He is also now in jail. I certainly don’t remember his case getting as much media coverage as the others.

One other difference: every time a Republican was caught in something, the party did not stand behind that person; that’s not always the case with Democrats.

Case in point: Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, who has now been accused of thirteen violations by the House Ethics Committee, which is composed of equal numbers from both parties. Rangel was chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax laws. All of his violations center around tax fraud. Will he be expelled from the Congress or merely slapped on the wrist? After all, we must recall the promise that Nancy Pelosi made when she became Speaker:

Is Rangel the exception or the rule?

In the past year and a half, we have seen the congressional leadership under Pelosi and Reid try a number of end runs around the rules as they shoved legislation down Americans’ throats. Is that ethical?

There was a certain political cartoon that came out prior to the 2008 elections that I think explains the situation better than most. I’ve used it a couple of times in these posts, but I think it’s time to resurrect it again:

This cartoon doesn’t exonerate Republicans who fail to hold to their standards, but it clearly shows what I believe to be the reality: the bar is much higher for Republicans than Democrats, thereby making it easier to see Republican failures. After all, it is the Republicans who claim to be standing for family values, etc. If they violate their public stance, the hypocrisy is stark.

Not so much for the party that promotes acceptance of abortion and same-sex marriage, and that accuses evangelical Christians of trying to force morality on the nation. For Democrats, the bar is pretty low to begin with–it’s not difficult to achieve the moral standards they set for themselves.

Charlie Rangel is the exception in the sense that he took his corruption farther than most, but the culture of corruption is alive and well among the entire leadership.

More Financial Chicanery

The Dodd-Frank Bill, which supposedly will bring significant financial reform to banks and Wall Street, has passed Congress and is on its way to the White House for Obama’s signature. Wait a minute, what was the name of that bill again? Dodd? Frank? Sound familiar?

Sen. Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank were the architects of the government mismanagement of the economy that led to the current recession. They were the ones who opened the floodgates for Fannie and Freddie to make all those bad loans. Interestingly, neither Fannie nor Freddie are mentioned in this massive bill [similar in size to the healthcare bill]. None of the new regulations apply to them. The bill also encourages loans to minorities and the poor. This is change we can believe in?

What does the bill accomplish?

Republicans believe it will lead to a massive emigration of financial-sector jobs overseas, which will only worsen the economy. In that sense, and in its avoidance of dealing with Fannie and Freddie, it does simply reinforce the status quo. 

Yet it has activist features. One senator calls it a “legislative monster.” It creates a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which sounds good, but is just another huge bureaucracy destined to micromanage the financial industry. The president of the American Bankers’ Association analyzed it in this way:

The result will be over 5,000 pages of new regulations on traditional banks and years of uncertainty as to what the massive new rules will mean.

Yeh, that sounds like reform alright.

Democrats know they face a tidal wave of potentially lethal proportions in the November elections. Speaking of “massive,” it’s possible that a massive number of Democrats in the Congress will be going home for good. Already, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are planning to push through other sweeping measures right after the election while they still have their majorities. In other words, they are going to use the lame-duck status of this Congress, before the newly elected representatives take their seats, to blitz through other controversial legislation while they can. They will have nothing to lose politically, in their calculation.

One of their prime targets is the Bush tax cuts, which will expire at the end of the year. They plan to let them expire, thus raising tax rates on every income bracket, along with estate taxes and other economy-killing measures.

This year can’t end soon enough.

No End in Sight

The Tea Party I attended on Thursday was not disrupted by anyone. It was a concern, though; apparently, all the publicity surrounding the possibility deterred those who might have desired to cause trouble. Of course, there’s always one segment of society that will remain a problem.

I mentioned in my last post that I don’t believe the Tea Party movement is going to die out. One major reason for that is the Democratic leaders from Obama on down are not moderating their positions or their goals. News today is that Harry Reid is already planning to go around Senate rules—as he did for the healthcare bill—to force through massive cap-and-trade legislation. Passage of a bill such as that will be almost as devastating as the healthcare program.

On top of all that, we are now awaiting Obama’s next pick for the Supreme Court. Everyone on the “short list” that is circulating is a radical when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. Not one person on that list has any desire to contain the authority of the federal government even though the Constitution dictates a limited role for the government. The appointment of radical judges was one of the direst warnings conservatives offered during the presidential election campaign.

The only trace of good news here is that Obama will be merely replacing one radical with another—the makeup of the Court will not be altered . . . for now.

Vigilance must continue. Now is not the time to relax. We must keep educating American citizens. Perseverance is the key.