Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Want to Live in a Free America, Not an America Where Everything is Free

“Democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence” as people grow more “accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others.”
             – Polybius, Greek historian

Today our world experienced another cataclysmic event – an earthquake of an 8.8 magnitude struck in Chile, prompting evacuations in nations with coasts on the Pacific Ocean.  Thankfully, the casualties in Chile are no where near what we saw in Haiti, though it is certain that countless numbers were negatively impacted by this quake.

It is right and good that people come to the aid of those who were injured, left homeless, and suffering loss – something that most of us, no matter our political persuasion, can agree on!

Back in the homeland, a consensus on all policies and plans are not so easy to come by as Democrats and Republicans are fighting tooth and nail over how to reform America’s healthcare system. 

How can we in America allow people to suffer with sickness and not help?  How can we let an old, toothless woman in Buffalo, New York be compelled to wear the dentures of her dead sister?  In America??  While the people of France and Canada, Japan and Sweden take care of their people, how can any compassionate American citizen be against the healthcare reforms proposed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress?

Compelling indeed are the many arguments for government to take over the healthcare industry in America

But I am amazed at not how many people oppose the takeover, but how many people support it!

“By supporting an endless number of ‘good’ causes, free society gradually becomes collectivist and tyrannical.” (1)

Yesterday I was engaged in a study that would behoove all of us as American citizens to participate in – I was reading the Constitution

This is the document upon which our entire nation was built.  Though our society is not without its inequities and our history not without some serious bumps in the road, we can credit the U.S. Constitution with giving us 200+ years of freedom and prosperity of unparalleled scope. 

How did it do this?  It was designed that way!  The U.S. Constitution was designed to protect the most basic freedoms of the people, to empower them in the pursuit of life and liberty, and to keep them far from tyranny’s grasp.

Freedom of speech, of press, of religion, of assembly, the right to petition the Government for redress of grievances, the right to a speedy, public trial by jury if accused of a crime, the right to bear arms, the right to one’s own property, the right of protection from unwarranted search and seizure, the right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, the right to vote regardless of gender or race.  These are the rights granted by our Constitution.  If you don’t believe me, please read it for yourself!

Ironically, we hear politicians and citizens crying out to meet the peoples’ rights to all kinds of things not outlined in the Constitution. 

“Today, politicians promise the right to high quality education, the right to free or affordable health care and housing, and many more so-called rights.  These are not genuine rights.  They are benefits at the expense of others.”  (2)

At the very same time, many of these same politicians and citizens trample on some of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution!!  What is going on here? 

When a newly-elected president is sworn in, he is required by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution to swear to defend the Constitution. 

I don’t have the time or space to research and list every infraction against the Constitution by every past and present American President.  But besides the atrocious proposed Federal government takeover of healthcare, which would go against Amendment 10 of the Constitution (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”), a few notable Constitutional violations come to mind --

How about a whole slew of measures passed by President George W. Bush in the Patriot Act?  No trial and potentially indefinite detention for those accused of terrorism.  Really??  Are we going to follow in the Soviet Union’s footsteps and imprison all "enemies of the state"? 

Did you know that search and seizure of Americans and businesses of America is becoming more common?  And spying on the medical records, financial records, web-surfing habits, library records, and blogs and Facebook status updates of ordinary American citizens is now commonplace? 

If you believe you have nothing to hide because you aren’t doing anything wrong and you trust your government won’t abuse these powers, I invite you to take a look at history to see that there is a long and prestigious track record of governments abusing the powers granted them.

How about all the measures proposed over the years for monitoring and curtailing the citizens’ rights to firearms?  This is blatantly un-Constitutional. 

And our tax regulations make it a habit to seize an increasingly sizeable chunk of American citizens’ hard-earned money and redistribute it to the poor through programs. 

Yes, all of these measures can be made to sound like good ideas, but the truth is that each of them is chipping away at the very foundation America was built on and making us more vulnerable to tyranny.

The more the people depend on their government to provide for them, the more vulnerable they are to tyranny.  And as the saying goes, when the people fear the government, tyranny reigns.  When the government fears the people, there is liberty!

I want to live in a free America.  I understand that there are risks and responsibilities associated with freedom, but I embrace these hazards because I believe that freedom is worth it! 

I like the Constitution, and I like that it set up a system that made tyranny difficult or next-to-impossible. 

Please read the Constitution and vote out all politicians whose actions prove they don’t uphold this document.  Only vote for those with a track record of adherence to this history-making document that makes a society of liberty and true power to the people most likely to persist.  Make those in power fear their accountability to the people!

And for goodness' sake, please use your brain when reading or watching the news!  But that is a topic for a whole other day . . . 

(1) The Path to Tyranny:  A History of Free Society’s Descent Into Tyranny, Michael Newton, p. 6
(2) The Path to Tyranny:  A History of Free Society’s Descent Into Tyranny, Michael Newton, p. 8

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Anatomy of a Victim

After my last blog post in which I made a call to action for Christians to step up and do more to care for their fellow man, and laid out my views concerning the incompatibility of Christianity and Socialism, I have done a lot of thinking.

I was not at all surprised that quite a few people didn’t agree with what I had to say.  I was, however, a bit taken aback at the few who felt the need to not only disagree, but attack and insult me. 

So I mulled some things over – would there be a way for me to express my views in a way that wouldn’t rub some people the wrong way?  How could I reach out to all readers, how could I ensure that everyone who reads my blog would walk away happy?   Should I be more politically correct – is that the answer for me? 

I pondered how I might write this next post so that nobody could possibly take offense.  But I have come to the conclusion that broaching the subject matter at hand in a politically correct way would so whittle away at the heart of my message that there would essentially be nothing of value left for me to say.

So if you are easily offended and have a tendency to lash out at people you disagree with, I would ask that you either read no further, or keep your vitriolic comments to yourself.  Perhaps you might start your own blog where you can express your opinions, as I do here on mine.

Comments from thoughtful, well-intentioned individuals, whether in agreement with me or not, are completely welcome.


With that out of the way, I wanted to discuss another relatively touchy matter – one that might tick some people off, but one that must be addressed within the topic of Socialism and government assistance to the poor and disadvantaged.

If you happen to be an enthusiastic backer of government assistance, please don’t jump to conclusions about me and where I am coming from.  Yesterday I saw a video clip on an online newspaper showing a Conservative, anti-government healthcare rally.  I saw a man with a picket sign who was screaming – “No free healthcare.  Get a job!”  I was disheartened at what appeared to be disdain for the unemployed.

I don’t disdain the poor and needy.  Neither do I feel the need to brag about myself and my own charitable endeavors.  My viewpoints on helping the poor should be clear enough from my last post – we the people have a responsibility to care for those less fortunate than ourselves!  I practice what I preach.  I believe that a lot of people doing something can really make a difference.

Someone made the comment on my last post that my arguments “demonstrate[] the odd and unquestioning adherence . . . to the American myth that assumes the poor exist because of poor choices, and the rich because of wise choices (when in fact, it's usually the other way around . . .)”.

Yes, as a matter of fact, many of my arguments against Socialism do rest on the principle that there is something that poor people are doing that is causing them to be poor, and there is something that the rich understand that is causing them to be rich.

People who are happy are doing something that is causing them to be happy.  People who aren’t happy are doing something that is making them unhappy.  Sometimes crappy things happen.  But don’t we see examples of people who find a way to be happy in spite of horrific circumstances?  These are the people who inspire authors, filmmakers, and everyday people like most of us! 

To me, it’s just about as preposterous to believe that people who are poor got there because of wise choices and rich people became rich through poor choices (as my commenter argued), and that the poor people deserve the wealth of the rich, as it would be to assume that chronically unhappy and crotchety people are really the ones who deserve to be happy in life – let’s steal the happiness from the happy and give it to those who are miserable!

I certainly don’t believe that blaming depressed, economically-disadvantaged people for their circumstances is the answer either.  This life can be challenging, to say the least!  A whole lot of people have been through a whole lot of hell!

On December 31, 2005 I stayed up late with some friends to see in the New Year.  This New Year’s had a special significance for me – I had no sadness or nostalgia in watching 2005 slip away in the night.  2005 was my year of personal hell, and watching it die to make way for 2006 gave me pure delight!

Though others have certainly been through worse, 2005 was the culmination of a string of several really bad years for me.  It was the pinnacle of suckiness to which my life reached; it was a year that tried me like no other. 

I was an overachiever, and in 1999 I suddenly found myself laid up with a mystery illness that claimed my enthusiasm, my energy, my personality – my ability to function effectively as a contributing member of society.  By 2004, it had seemed my life had taken a turn for the better with a few positive developments including marriage, which I had long awaited (I was 29). 

But in 2005 it all came crashing down.  The wretchedness of that year was profound to me.  Ongoing physical disability, the pain and humiliation of separation and divorce, losing my health insurance, debt, underemployment, having no real address for almost the entire year, and more . . .  In short, 2005 sucked in a broad, all-encompassing, multi-faceted kind of way.  I even had two freak car accidents in which my car was hit and banged up by other people under somewhat bizarre circumstances!  I was just waiting for the next bad thing to happen . . .

At age 30, I was forced to rely on the mercy of my parents and friends.  Age 30!  I had not envisioned spending the better part of my 20’s as a financial and emotional leach, and could never have guessed that by age 30 and with my two Master’s degrees, I would be so reliant on the help of others and only able to make $600-$800 per month cleaning a wealthy lady’s house and care-giving for a 90-year-old (this job was great – I got paid to take naps when she did!). 

Though my life never sunk to levels faced by Auschwitz detainees or child prostitutes (thank the heavens!!!), I would never wish my 2005 on my worst enemy.

But 2005 was also a blessed year.  It was the year I learned something that has changed the course of my life forever, and led to many of the good things I now enjoy in my life!  Without this realization, I am quite certain I would still be sick and completely broke, and I am beyond sure that I would still be deeply unhappy.

I was reading a book that a friend gave to me, and I read this quote –

“If you want to know what your deeper beliefs are, look at your life and it will tell you.  Life is a mirror reflecting back at us what we believe about ourselves.” (Remembering Wholeness, p. 24) 


But what a blessed awakening!

I can’t adequately describe how empowering it was for me to realize that I was not a victim of my ex-husband’s choices, chronic fatigue syndrome, or anything or anyone else!  I was not a victim!

I chose out of victimhood.  I forgave those who had hurt me (I believe this is the KEY to moving from victimhood to empowerment).  It was a miracle!  And it was the beginning of a total revolution in my life!  I was able to start taking responsibility for the things that were showing up in my life, and then things started showing up that I really wanted.

In September of 2005, I got about 95% of my health back in one week after 6 years of having the stamina of a sick 80-year-old.  I got a full-time job a few months later.  I bought a house.  I started a business, and eventually another two. 

I have had my ups and downs since 2005, and do to this day because I am a human being living on planet earth.  I still have rough days like anyone else -- and still have junk in my trunk. 

I don’t feel sorry for people any more.  But I do feel empathy.  My old tendencies of wanting to rescue people (as well as wanting to be rescued myself) are dying.  Good riddance!

I don't see the poor as victims, but as people who need to be taught principles that govern wealth and given the opportunity to operate in these principles.  Sick people aren't victims either -- they stand in need of learning the principles that govern health, and then need to put them to use.

Though someone standing on a ledge of a 20-story building needs someone right then to talk them out of jumping, someone starving to death needs food immediately, and a person in cardiac arrest needs CPR and medical attention now more than anything else, most of us on any given day are in no danger of dying if we’re not rescued from our problems.  In fact, in some cases the rescuing can do more damage than not!

People with a track record of failed relationships don’t need the perfect person to come along and rescue them from their sad and lonely state as much as they need to learn the principles that govern happy relationships and practice those principles right where they’re at!

People up to their ears in debt don’t need a bailout from their debt as much as they need to learn the principles that govern sound finances, and put them into practice now.

People with health problems don’t need free health care with prescription drug benefits as much as they need to honestly assess what they can do to change so that they can heal, and then take action! 

People living in squalor, poverty, and illiteracy don’t need someone to hand them the keys to a brand new house with a well-stocked refrigerator as much as they need someone to teach them how to read, how to work, and how to manage their life, and then to be given the chance to rise up. 

Tragedy seems to beget tragedy.  I have personally experienced to a certain extent the downward spiral that can take place when one tragedy or difficulty leads to another, which leads to another.  People need help to get out of the hole.

And I was helped tremendously by family and friends -- I owe them my eternal gratitude!  But if I hadn’t taken it upon myself to learn principles of healing, of forgiving, of debt-reduction, of success in business then I could very well still be in the hole I was in 5 years ago.  No government program could have taught these things to me.  When I, the student, was ready and humbled to the dirt, then the teachers appeared.  .

Getting out of a hole appears to come as a result of some combination of personal desire, resolve, and action, the assistance of others, and Divine Grace.  Any assistance that negates the personal responsibility of the individual to do his/her part, or the role of Divine Grace in lifting people up out of a pit is not only inadequate, but totally misleading as well.

Some people reading this may not be in to this whole “Divine Grace” thing.  If that is you, then you probably have your reasons for feeling that way and you are more than welcome to disagree with me.  But I doubt there are many people who would argue that personal responsibility to move past dysfunction and tragedy isn’t absolutely essential in rising out of an ash heap no matter who is willing to assist, and how much!

From my perspective, in societies where Socialism is practiced, there is an underlying assumption that people are victims and must be rescued.  The masses must be cared for and nurtured through government programs in order to achieve happiness and security in life.  

Instead of making people into victims as we attempt to provide help, let’s give immediate help to those in immediate danger, and take action to teach everyone else the principles that will help them rise up themselves.

To be continued . . .

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Why I Believe Christianity & Socialism are Wholly Incompatible

Today there are an estimated 6.8 billion people inhabiting this world -- a world with the technology to go to the moon and back, a world where individuals on completely different continents routinely communicate with one another via phone and internet, and a world with some serious issues yet to be solved.

Of the 6.8 billion people walking this planet, a little over 1 billion of them don't have enough to eat.

With all of the conveniences and marvels of our modern world, large-scale preventable human misery still has not gone the way of the dinosaur.

Who is to blame?  What is to be done??

Of those who care to seriously address this issue, why is it that not everyone can agree on the solution?  Should people be left to their own devices and let "survival of the fittest" determine who wins and loses in this life?  Should governments step in and come to the rescue of those in need?  What role can or should you and I play in meeting the needs of the poor and afflicted?

In this article I will share my personal convictions regarding the care of the poor and needy.  I will draw upon my own experience with being partially-disabled for 6 years in my young adulthood, and being one who would qualify as poor and needy.  I will also draw upon my experiences living in Russia in the late 90's and my extensive graduate-level research on the Soviet Union, as well as my understanding of the Bible and Christian philosophy.

Whether or not you agree with the arguments I lay out here, I hope that you will at the very least take them as coming from one who knows what it is to rely on someone else for my daily bread, and who has studied and seen some of the dangers inherent in philosophies popular in our world over the past century plus, including the prominent philosophy of Socialism.


In this article, I will specifically address my comments to people of the Christian faith living the United States of America who applaud our nation's incremental Socialist agenda, who seek to enliven and expand government programs to care for the poor and needy.

I first must commend you for your active desire to see the downtrodden cared for.  You show more dedication to the poor than many in your faith, "laissez faire" Christians who bemoan government involvement with welfare programs but who themselves do little to alleviate the suffering of anyone.  These Christians are waiting to make it big before giving to the poor.  They are waiting to have all their needs met before looking around them to perceive the pressing needs of others in their vicinity.

Next, I must tell you why I believe Socialism and Christianity to be two incompatible philosophies.

Many well-meaning Christians look upon a Socialist government and get warm fuzzies in their stomach thinking of all the people that are cared for.

But Socialism is wholly incompatible with the Christian principles of free will and personal responsibility to care for the widow, the orphan, the sick, and the poor.

What reward is there in heaven for the Christian who merely pays their taxes in a welfare state, but does nothing of their own initiative to succor the needy?

“We shall prove to them that they are nothing but weak, pathetic children, but that a child’s happiness is the sweetest of all.  They will grow timid and cling to us in fear, like chicks to a hen.”

Christian philosophy asserts that, though fallen, man was created in the image of God and any man or woman is capable of inheriting salvation and all their fondest hopes and dreams from God through the mediation of the Savior, and through making the personal choice to submit to the conditions required for these blessings.

Socialist philosophy assumes that the masses as dumb as children, and they don’t need a god to reach their fondest dreams, but a government to hand out the goodies.

In Christian philosophy, individuals are responsible to care for the needs of the poor, the sick, the widow, and the orphan, but not compelled.  Those who rise to the challenge will find themselves on the right hand of God because of their CHOICES, and those who don’t will not receive the blessings reserved for those who do.

In Socialist philosophy, all are compelled to care for the needy whether they want to or not (through taxation), and this care comes through the administration of a notoriously inefficient bureaucracy.

Christian philosophy causes men and women to rise up, work for their sustenance depending oftentimes on faith that help will come if and when it is needed.  It is hard, it is risky, but the rewards of making the proper use of God-given free will are great.  The consequences of poor choices can be brutal.

Socialist philosophy seeks to soften the blows of consequences to natural laws, both positive consequences – financial abundance for the thrifty, wise, hard-worker -- and negative consequences – poverty to those who break the natural laws that govern abundance.

A life of high stakes -- which this life is whether we want it to be or not -- engenders faith in God for those with a desire to prevail.  It is the very difficulties of existence in this realm that allow men and women to develop the faith in God necessary for them to walk back into his presence.

Socialism falsely informs men and women there is another way to reach their ultimate dreams besides faith in any god.

"And men rejoice at being led like cattle again, with the terrible gift of freedom that brought them so much suffering removed from them.”

Christianity allows men and women the opportunity to make great sacrifices for those in need and reap the blessings as a results, or not makes those sacrifices and miss out on certain blessings.

Socialism steals the show and takes the credit for the care of the poor and needy, ironically leaving fewer people with the means to do great good in this world, as well as with less incentive.

Christianity says there is freedom in trusting in God.

Socialism says there is freedom in trusting in the government.

Christian philosophy depicts a utopian society, a millennium of peace after the Second Coming of Jesus, in which the meek will inherit the earth and the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of God, in which kings and queens (the wealthy) will willingly carry the downtrodden on their shoulders and lift them higher than themselves.

Socialist philosophy depicts a utopian society which is a worker’s paradise, a dream for the common man which comes as a result of loyalty to the state and the kings and queens being forced to cough up their wealth to subsidize the poor.

“So, in the end, they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us: ‘Enslave us, but feed us!’  And they will finally understand that freedom and the assurance of daily bread for everyone are two incompatible notions that could never coexist!” 

Instead of food stamps and welfare checks given year after year to the same individuals, I would like to see the poor and needy taught to find a need in society they can fill in order to put food on their own tables.

Those who refuse to work should not eat the bread and wear the clothes of the laborer.  Those who cannot work due to disability should preferably be cared for by family and friends.

Instead of people clamoring for “universal health care”, I would like to see more doctors, nurses, and healers of all persuasions donate their skills in the care of the sick who can’t afford care.

What about people who fall in between the cracks?  Don’t we need a government program in place to take care of all of them??  What about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security – don’t we need these and other programs? 

I honestly don’t know about that.  All I do know is that continuing our march deeper into the heart of Socialism will only lead to a weaker populace – weaker because of a dependence on government.  Weaker because the most productive elements of society lose their incentive and their ability for productivity.  Weaker because faith in God becomes less important as faith in a system of government, an entity that completely lacks the power to bring salvation and our fondest dreams, begins to take precedence.

Faith in any system other than the system of God is sure to ultimately bring disappointment to those who possess it.  Freedom and personal accountability for how we use our freedom is risky, but there truly is no other way to salvation other than their proper use.


I believe Socialism to be the great counterfeit for God's higher law of choosing to consecrate our means and possessions to the poor.

Socialism diminishes the incentive for excellence, is enabling to those it purports to serve, and causes people to trust in government more than they trust in God.

Look at Europe -- faith in God that was such a part of European society in past times has been replaced with widespread secularism!   The great cultures of Europe are dying out due to negative population growth.  Some have postulated that there is a connection between Socialism and Europe's low birth rate.  I don't know about that.  But I do know that in the past as well as today, Socialism has led to Communism (indeed, Karl Marx himself saw Socialism as merely a transitional philosophy that naturally would lead to Communism).  If you aren't aware of the atrocities that Communist governments have enacted upon their own people, read here.

But some of you may be thinking -- we gave the Christians their chance to feed the hungry.  They had a couple thousand years to do away with hunger, and they didn't do it!

You are completely correct.  As a whole (with some notable exceptions, however), we have not done our job sufficiently!  While there are some who admirably devote a great deal of effort and financial means to care for the poor, there are many more of us who sit back, pay our taxes, pay some tithing and offerings here and there, but are so wrapped up in our own lives that we do little to heed Jesus Christ's admonition to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick.

Fellow Christians and all other good people of the earth, let's take action TODAY.  Let's take action now to help someone in need, even if we ourselves are struggling to make ends meet.  Let's do so much good that those who promote government programs to care for the poor will be shocked and inspired!

 What can you do now?  I urge you to sit down and prayerfully consider where you can give of your time and means to bless those in need.

If you can't come up with anything that feels significant, check out this wonderful video made by some friends of mine who are mobilizing a lot of people to each do a little bit!

The degree to which taking care of the poor and the needy is instituted and administered by government is the degree to which freedom is abdicated.

When individuals, families, and privately-run organizations take it upon themselves to care for the poor, and when this care is given in the name of Jesus Christ, it leads both the giver and receiver back to heaven!

If you are Christian and have read this article, you have been called to action.  Choose now to answer the call!

Quotes in italics are taken from the monumental novel The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Is President Obama Socialist, and Is That a Bad Thing?

Yesterday I was faced with a choice -- to sleep in and enjoy another hour or two of blissful slumber, cozying up in my flannel sheets and favorite down pillow, or to get up early and clean my apartment in preparation for a busy day.

One choice would give me instant gratification -- more sleep, even as the rest of the world is busy driving to work, grabbing a cup of coffee anywhere possible so as to shake off their fatigue and participate in the daily grind.

The other choice would give me the satisfaction that I had conquered the flesh, if only for a morning, and I would have a sparkling clean apartment to show for it!

We live in a world where each of us is constantly making similar choices -- choices between what we want now and what we ultimately want, between the pain of regret or the pain of discipline.

Should I go for a run today, or stay in and watch T.V.?  Shall I have a shake with that burger and fries, or would I be better off going home and making an organic smoothie?

Day to day, moment to moment, the truth is -- we cannot have it all!   If I have a low metabolism, I can't consistently choose that chocolate shake and expect to enjoy my optimal weight.  I can't both sleep in and have the clean apartment on any given morning, unless I find another solution such as cleaning my apartment the night before! 

Similarly, governments and societies grapple with the fundamental battle of freedom vs. rights.  Just as it is impossible for any individual to enjoy boundless success in any area of their life while concurrently practicing a limitless lack of restraint and discipline, the more that a government emphasizes rights for its populace, the more the peoples' freedom is curtailed. 

In other words, there is a limit to the rights that can be guaranteed to individuals if they wish to enjoy wide-ranging freedom.

On the other hand, it may be wise to limit some freedoms in the name of guaranteed rights in order for any given society to be successful.  For instance, I may decide that I want to exercise my freedom of choice to murder someone.

Thankfully, the Founding Fathers of the United States crafted a document -- the Constitution -- that limits certain freedoms to allow a set of rights to American citizens.  The accused murderer, though provided with the right to an attorney and a trial by jury, will suffer for his crime if found guilty.  He does not have the right to infringe on the life of another and get off scott-free.

American society was built on the ideals of providing all citizens with protection of a few, but precious inaliable rights and at the same time, providing an environment of freedom in which individuals could choose for themselves how to live their lives. Some would likely choose to make great sacrifices to be successful in business.  Others might choose to push their physical limits to become an elite athlete.  Some may choose to live a life of abject laziness, financial irresponsibility, or moral debauchery.  And as statistics go, the majority would likely fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

But whatever an individual's successes or failures, in such a society as our nation was intended to be, more so than in any other type of societal framework that I am aware of, individuals are held accountable for the choices they make by the types of results they get in return.  The natural law of "you reap what you sow" reigns superior.

I have recently come across a number of articles discussing President Obama -- is he a Socialist?  Is he a Communist?  And does it even matter??


There is no one definition for Socialism, but it is safe to say that Socialism favors rights more than Libertarianism, Conservatism, and even Liberalism does.  Socialism leans toward the guarantee of rights such as the following -- the right to have food to eat, the right to having a job, the right to affordable health care, the right to being provided for when you are retired, the right to have a roof over your head . . .

In the pursuit of providing rights to the people in its care, however, Socialism by its very nature must rob freedom.  Socialism says -- "I will guarantee you many or most of the things you need to live your life and be happy."  Understandably, this sounds like a great idea to many!  But what Socialism fails to be clear about is the downside -- "I have to create laws, regulations, and taxes that will limit your freedom in some ways in order to deliver what is promised."

Whether you like the idea of the government caring and providing for the people, or are disgusted by its implications, there is no getting around the fact that President Obama is clearly one of the most Socialist-leaning presidents this nation has ever seen.  

Those who favor the government caring for the masses should view President Obama being labeled a Socialist as a compliment! 

I should also mention that Obama would find good company in the presence of FDR, JFK, and virtually every modern U.S. President.  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, welfare, food stamps, and countless other government programs are clearly more of a Socialist persuasion (even such things as public education and our modern tax system are Socialist-leaning).

Whether you like the idea of every man, woman, and child guaranteed all things for a reasonably comfortable existence, or you prefer that natural law determine who has the comforts of life; whether you are the type to get up early to clean your house or you are happier slurping on your chocolate shake, just remember that everything has a cost.

What does that have to do with my previous post about Vanity Fair's incessant publishing of pictures featuring skinny chics?  The implication that Vanity Fair should be compelled to publish photos that don't cater to its demographic just to make other people feel good about themselves, makes me raise my eyebrows about as much as guaranteeing every human being a right to an MRI.

Stay tuned for my next article -- Why I Believe Socialism and Christianity Are Wholly Incompatible . . .

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Prologue: Is President Obama Socialist, and Is That a Bad Thing?

Yesterday evening I was browsing the news on my Yahoo home page when I came across an article condemning Vanity Fair magazine for their too-frequent featuring of young, skinny white chicks on their cover.

The article suggested that in the name of fairness, Vanity Fair might instead choose to feature more diverse individuals – those of different races, body types, and ages.

Don’t get me wrong – I am all for diversity! Living in Utah, which seems to me sometimes to be overrun by skinny blondes, I miss being around my brothers and sisters of soul. Particularly at events where dancing is involved. No – what I just implicated was not politically correct, but it’s true – trust me!! Last Halloween I was at a large, awkward function involving about 500 white singles in their 30’s and 40’s, with about 2 black people in attendance. When Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was played, it was not pretty!

But should one person’s (or group’s) desire to see something portrayed a certain way impact the marketing strategy of a business entity? What if Vanity Fair’s constituency is young, skinny white chicks and people who like them, as I suspect it is? Don’t they have the right to market their magazine to that group unimpeded?

What if the trashy magazines were required to feature models from the Dove “Beauty Campaign” on their cover just so most of us regular-looking women didn’t feel left out?

I hate porn magazines almost with a passion, and I hate how modern media has contributed to the poor self-esteem of millions of girls and women the world over through the constant parading of air-brushed and digitally-tweaked images of impossibly beautiful females.

But in spite of the damage perpetrated by Playboy, Seventeen Magazine, or even Vanity Fair, I will support their right to portray whatever they want.

Yesterday, I came across another article on my Yahoo home page that addressed the question of whether or not President Obama is Socialist, and whether or not that was a good thing.

What does the stink about Vanity Fair have to do with Obama and Socialism? Stay tuned until my next post . . .