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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

7/06/2008

Questions for Obama

George Will.jpg

Below is a list of questions, formulated by George Will in his recent Newsweek essay, Questions for Obama, that the media should be asking the democrat nominee for president. Yet of course they aren’t … and won’t.

(Thanks to ‘Barry Up the Road’, a neighbor, fellow patriot, and occasional poster here, for the steer to this excellent compilation.)
  • Senator, concerning the criteria by which you will nominate judges, you said: "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old." Such sensitivities might serve an admirable legislator, but what have they to do with judging? Should a judge side with whichever party in a controversy stirs his or her empathy? Is such personalization of the judicial function inimical to the rule of law?
  • Voting against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, you said: Deciding "truly difficult cases" should involve "one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy." Is that not essentially how Chief Justice Roger Taney decided the Dred Scott case? Should other factors—say, the language of the constitutional or statutory provision at issue—matter?
  • You say, "The insurance companies, the drug companies, they're not going to give up their profits easily when it comes to health care." Why should they? Who will profit from making those industries unprofitable? When pharmaceutical companies have given up their profits, who will fund pharmaceutical innovations, without which there will be much preventable suffering and death? What other industries should "give up their profits"?
  • ExxonMobil's 2007 profit of $40.6 billion annoys you. Do you know that its profit, relative to its revenue, was smaller than Microsoft's and many other corporations'? And that reducing ExxonMobil's profits will injure people who participate in mu-tual funds, index funds and pension funds that own 52 percent of the company?
  • You say John McCain is content to "watch [Americans'] home prices decline." So, government should prop up housing prices generally? How? Why? Were prices ideal before the bubble popped? How does a senator know ideal prices? Have you explained to young couples straining to buy their first house that declining prices are a misfortune?
  • Telling young people "don't go into corporate America," your wife, Michelle, urged them to become social workers or others in "the helping industry," not "the moneymaking industry." Given that the moneymakers pay for 100 percent of American jobs, in both public and private sectors, is it not helpful?
  • Michelle, who was born in 1964, says that most Americans' lives have "gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl." Since 1960, real per capita income has increased 143 percent, life expectancy has increased by seven years, infant mortality has declined 74 percent, deaths from heart disease have been halved, childhood leukemia has stopped being a death sentence, depression has become a treatable disease, air and water pollution have been drastically reduced, the number of women earning a bachelor's degree has more than doubled, the rate of homeownership has increased 10.2 percent, the size of the average American home has doubled, the percentage of homes with air conditioning has risen from 12 to 77, the portion of Americans who own shares of stock has quintupled … Has your wife perhaps missed some pertinent developments in this country that she calls "just downright mean"?
  • You favor raising the capital gains tax rate to "20 percent or 25 percent." You say this will not "distort" economic decision making. Your tax returns on your 2007 income of $4.2 million show that you and Michelle own few stocks. Are you sure you understand how investors make decisions?
  • During the ABC debate, you acknowledged that when the capital gains rate was dropped first to 20 percent, then to 15 percent, government revenues from the tax increased and they declined in the 1980s when it was increased to 28 percent. Nevertheless, you said you would consider raising the rate "for purposes of fairness." How does decreasing the government's financial resources and punishing investors promote fairness? Are you aware that 20 percent of taxpayers reporting capital gains in 2006 had incomes of less than $50,000?
  • This November, electorates in four states will vote on essentially this language: "The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting." Three states—California, Washington and Michigan—have enacted such language. You made a radio ad opposing the Michigan initiative. Why? Are those states' voters racists?
  • You denounce President Bush for arrogance toward other nations. Yet you vow to use a metaphorical "hammer" to force revisions of trade agreements unless certain weaker nations adjust their labor, environmental and other domestic policies to suit you. Can you define cognitive dissonance?
  • You want "to reduce money in politics." In February and March you raised $95 million. See prior question.
Questions for Obama

11 comments:

Proudpodunknative said...

I agree with George Will about 85% of the time, and this column definitely falls into that category. These are all questions that need to be asked and answered, but never will be.

arlene albrecht said...

Spot on, Mr. Will! Brilliant questions that'll never be answered (and that most people who plan to vote for Obama are too uninformed to even consider).

daveburkett said...

Nice find, Barry.

If the "fairness" comments don't solidify his standing as an ardent socialist and enemy of capitalism, I don't know what does. The arrogance and condescension of Obama and his wife is sickening.

Anonymous said...

Constitutional scholar that he is, I'm sure Barack could answer these questions to Will's satisfaction. < /sarc >

3timesalady said...

....which explains why George Will never obtained a whole lot of power at ABC's "Sunday Morning." He's just their one token conservative.

john galt said...

Even if the media don't ask him these questions, McCain could do so in any debate. But don't count on that either. The kid gloves he'll be wearing would prevent such "unseemly" atttacks. He wouldn't want people to see him as racist.

LouBarakos said...

George is too much of a thinking man to reach the average American voter. There's entirely too much "thinking" going on in this column. All they want is "change" (and boy are they gonna get it). The founders won't recognize America once Obama is through with her.

danthemangottschall said...

Nice work, George! You'd be a better Republican nominee than the one we have.

KOS boy said...

Obama: 9/11 Was 'A Failure of Empathy'
Little Green Footballs ^ | 7/14/2008 | Charles Johnson

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/30635_Obama-_9-11_Was_A_Failure_of_Empathy

Eight days after the atrocities of September 11, 2001, Barack Obama wrote a piece for the Hyde Park Herald—and blamed the attacks on “a failure of empathy.”

"Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must reexamine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks. And we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction."

"We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."

"We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores."

___________________________________

Obama’s comments display an appalling disconnect from reality.

Osama bin Laden came from one of the richest families in the world. None of the 9/11 attackers were poor;
if anything, they could be considered “middle class.” ring leader Mohammed Atta was educated as an architect in the West.

Almost everything Obama wrote in this article was proven wrong.
And he gave absolutely no consideration at all to the ideology of radical Islam, which is much more to blame than any imaginary “poverty” or “lack of empathy.”

And now he’s within reach of the presidency.

Barry up the road said...

Joanie,

Thanks for the kind words. I am honored to be considered a patriot by you. I wish I had your stamina.

This election cycle is becoming more and more scary and now we are going to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And how will we do that? Why, we'll just print more money backed by nothing and watch the dollar continue to fall in value while paying more and more for oil. It makes my head hurt.

And here is a term to infuriate you....."Walking around money". I just want to scream every time I hear a politician say it, and we have been conditioned to think it is perfectly acceptable.

God help us because we sure don't seem to be able to help ourselves.

I heard or read within the last couple of weeks that a revolution begins in the hearts and minds of people lonnng before the first shot is fired. I believe the revolution has begun and it is just a matter of time until the shooting starts.

cw-patriot said...

Well said, Barry.

Regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, here's a video of Jim Rogers' take on the disaster (Rogers has a few bizarre ideas, but in general he's been right on the money with most of his predictions about the economy and investment advice):

An Unmitigated Disaster:

http://www.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.htm?N=av&T=Rogers%20Calls%20Fannie%2C%20Freddie%20Rescue%20Plan%20a%20%60Disaster'&clipSRC=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vIQvD7yNni2I.asf