Giving Up is Not An Option!

Honestly, it’s good to be missed.  I regret that I’ve been absent for a few weeks but I’ve once more climbed aboard the Liberty Express and I’m back in the saddle again, as they say.  (Metaphors are fun, aren’t they?)  So many friends and readers have inquired as to my whereabouts that I realized it’s time to return.  My absence has primarily been because of a recently-deceased home computer and the simple constraints placed upon me by a very busy work schedule.  So much has happened in the intervening weeks … and much more continues to evolve around us as we move closer and closer to the conventions of both major parties. 

In the meantime, the “Occupation Movement” is gaining new steam as warmer weather returns to the lovely parks where its members congregate.  Well, at least they were lovely before the occupiers returned.  It will only get worse.  I honestly fear what we may see this summer as the Obama regime and its supporters get nervous about the November presidential election.  According to the New York Post, an occupier in New York’s Zucchotti Park sent out a tweet last night that read as follows:  “We won’t make a difference if we don’t kill a cop or 2.”  This same person, whose Twitter handle is “@Smackema1,” later reportedly complained because his tweet was taken out of context.  Hmm.  I’m not sure that any context is going to make his threat more acceptable.  Let’s hope not.  Let’s pray not.

Before addressing developments in the GOP presidential race, let me admit that I was wrong about something.  Rick Santorum has much more staying power than I previously believed.  It seems to be a two-man race now between Romney and Santorum.  Many Republicans believe this will result in a brokered GOP convention, but that possibility doesn’t excite me much.  I suspect it could earn Santorum a place in the VP slot (though that’s not a given), but a brokered convention won’t change my belief that Romney is the man who will get the nomination (and I long ago predicted Santorum as a possible running mate).

I must admit that I’ve grown in my fondness for Santorum, though I didn’t vote for him in the Mississippi primary last week.  My fondness increased this morning when I heard that he admitted his support for Puerto Rican statehood but only if that commonwealth made English its official language.  The Chicago Tribune proclaimed this to be a “gaffe,” but it was undoubtedly a serious comment by the presidential contender.  I agree with him on this issue.  Not only is there nothing xenophobic or racist about a nation adopting an official language, it’s actually a very good idea.  A common language is a powerful tool for national unity and for public safety.  Mitt Romney used the comment to pounce upon Santorum, but as the Huffington Post pointed out, back in 2008 Romney supported the idea of English as our official national language.  Is this a Romney flip-flop, or is he becoming an expert at saying whatever will get him elected?  If it’s the latter, then he has an excellent example in Barack Obama.

Before I am bashed for my appreciation of a national language, let me also say that I’m in favor of every American learning a second language.  I was a twelve-year student of the public-school system of Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  The administrators and school board demonstrated how enlightened they were at that time by requiring two years of foreign language even in elementary school.  I had two years of Spanish then, and another two years in high school.  I lived in Italy for three years in the 1980’s and studied Italian at the time.  I studied Greek and Latin in seminary.  I’m not afraid of foreign languages or people from other countries.  I simply believe that Italians have the right to require that their citizens know Italian, the Spaniards can require their citizens to know Spanish, the Turks can require Turkish, and the USA can–and should–require English.  It’s not a question of hating others but of loving one’s own country and culture.

In other news, it seems that the Supreme Court today heard arguments on the question of whether or not social security benefits must be paid to children conceived AFTER a parent dies.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It seems that Robert and Karen Capato of Florida had arranged for Robert’s sperm to be collected at a reproductive center.  Sadly, he died of cancer before that sperm was used to inseminate his wife. 

After his demise Karen chose to be inseminated and she gave birth to twins.  She also applied for social security benefits as normally provided to surviving children.  The problem is that there were no surviving children when Robert left this world.  Their conception took place afterward and the legal wrangling has taken the case to the highest court in the land.  Many in the press are misrepresenting this, of course.  If you do an internet search you’ll find it wrongly headlined in some sources that the court is debating about benefits to babies conceived artificially–as if the manner of conception is the problem.  Other sources headline it so that the problem appears to be their birth after a parent’s death.  The question at hand is neither.  The question concerns benefits to children conceived 18 months after the death of one of the parents.

I don’t want to sound heartless, dear readers, but is there no end to the entitlement mentality?  Far too often it seems that such decisions are made less by way of intelligent reasoning and more by way of emotional tug.  We feel for this lady and her children.  It’s a sad story.  We wish it had a better ending.  We want to do something.  So too many of us insist that it belongs to government to make it better.  Karen Capato surely felt the emotional ties to her deceased husband that caused her to want to have his children.  I get that and I understand it entirely, but her choice has turned a widow into a widow with two orphans.  Given the particular circumstances, I question whether that choice now requires government intervention in order to support those children.  Social Security won’t be able to afford such kindnesses for much longer–at least not if the red ink continues to flow as it does now.

To all of my dear readers I say, as the famous comedian Red Skelton always ended his shows, “Good night and God bless.”  Stay in touch.  Share this blog with your liberty-loving friends.  A great nation is a terrible thing to waste, so giving up is not an option.

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A Question for Speaker John Boehner: Is Pizza More Important Than the Truth?

In a stunning reversal, and only hours after he argued that Republicans would not give in, Speaker John Boehner caved on the issue of the payroll tax-cut extension.  As if he were a newcomer with no political savvy at all, Boehner allowed himself to be cut up, diced, and served on the pizza of President Barack Obama.  Boehner had the truth on his side, but he fell for the whining theatrics of those who lined up with Obama to beg the Republicans for a continuation of the extension.

Obama and the Democrats painted the debate as if it were Republicans who wanted to deny the continuance of the payroll tax cut.  It was a masterful, but deceitful political ploy.  On December 20th, you see, the House of Representatives had already passed a year-long continuance of the deal.  For his own political gain Obama misrepresented the GOP … and once again, demonstrating a lack of political courage, the Republican leadership allowed it to happen with barely a fight.

Using average Americans as political pawns, Obama took his misrepresentation to the television airways yesterday.  The tax-cut extension had to be passed for two months, he insisted, so that Joseph in New Jersey could have pizza night with his daughters.  It was necessary so that Richard from Rhode Island continue to heat his home in the winter and to allow Pete in Wisconsin to visit his elderly father.  All of this was a stake, it seemed, because the evil Republicans in the House of Representatives were holding up the bill preferred by Obama.

To his credit, Boehner started to grow some gonads, but he could not or would not sustain the political will to challenge Obama’s mischaracterization.

I recognize that the press was supportive of the Obama falsehood.  I also recognize that it’s an uphill battle for Speaker Boehner.  But let’s grow some political gonads and devise a counter strategy.  The truth is always worth the fight.

In the end, this is one more example of something I’ve mentioned in an earlier post.  Far too often the debate in Washington is framed by liberal Democrats from the start.  Far too many times Republicans find themselves on the defensive, trying to catch up from behind.  It’s a tactic that Obama uses with great skill.  Like the Peanuts character Lucy, he is forever pulling the football from underneath the GOP.  It seems they fall for it just about every time.

The dirty little secret is that this tax-cut extension means that less money is going into Social Security.  It’s one more way that the Social Security timebomb is being ignored.  The can is continually kicked down the road, as they say. 

Relax, Joseph in New Jersey.  Pizza nights with your teens are safe for a couple of months.   Whether they’ll be able to afford pizza in their old age is another question altogether.