Paul Ryan’s foreign policy views and “American Exceptionalism”

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Official portrait of Congressman .

Official portrait of Congressman . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you who think Paul Ryan is a one issue candidate, this foreign policy speech he gave in June of last year should put that to rest. Reading the whole speech will give you a sense of his world view and possible approach to the world’s problems. 

Excerpt: Our fiscal crisis is above all a spending crisis that is being driven by the growth of our major entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In 1970, these programs consumed about 20 percent of the budget. Today that number has grown to over 40 percent.

Over the same period, defense spending has shrunk as a share of the federal budget from about 39 percent to just under 16 percent – even as we conduct an ambitious global war on terrorism. The fact is, defense consumes a smaller share of the national economy today than it did throughout the Cold War.

If we continue on our current path, the rapid rise of health care costs will crowd out all areas of the budget, including defense. 

This course is simply unsustainable. If we continue down our current path, then a debt-fueled economic crisis is not a probability. It is a mathematical certainty.

Some hear these facts and conclude that the sun is setting on America… that our problems are bigger than we are… that our competitors will soon outrun us… and that the choice we face is over how, not whether, to manage our nation’s decline. 

It’s inevitable, they seem to say, so let’s just get on with it. I’m reminded of that Woody Allen line: “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

Look – our fiscal problems are real, and the need to address them is urgent. But I’m here to tell you that decline is not a certainty for America. Rather, as Charles Krauthammer put it, “decline is a choice.”

It is hard to overstate the importance of this choice. In The Weary Titan, Aaron Friedberg − one of the founders of the Hamilton Society − has shown us what happened when Britain made the wrong choice at the turn of the 20th century.

At that time, Britain’s governing class took the view that it would be better to cede leadership of the Western world to the United States. Unfortunately, the United States was not yet ready to assume the burden of leadership. The result was 40 years of Great Power rivalry and two World Wars.

The stakes are even higher today. Unlike Britain, which handed leadership to a power that shared its fundamental values, today’s most dynamic and growing powers do not embrace the basic principles that should be at the core of the international system.

A world without U.S. leadership will be a more chaotic place, a place where we have less influence, and a place where our citizens face more dangers and fewer opportunities. Take a moment and imagine a world led by China or by Russia. 

Choosing decline would have consequences that I doubt many Americans would be comfortable with.  

So we must lead. And a central element of maintaining American leadership is the promotion of our moral principles – consistently and energetically – without being unrealistic about what is possible for us to achieve.

 

Read full Paul Ryan speech here.

VIRGINIA CHURCH SERVICE – STIMULUS SERMON

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Image of Pharaoh for stubs

Image of Pharaoh for stubs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my Facebook friends posted this today.

I would love to give the Pastor of this predominantly black church in Virginia three cheers. This guy is obviously a leader. Perhaps we should each decide who our real leader is… It is amazing to see that very little has changed in 4,000 years.

Good morning, brothers and sisters; it’s always a delight to see the pews crowded on Sunday morning, and so eager to get into God’s Word. Turn with me in your Bibles, if you will, to the 47th chapter of Genesis. We’ll begin our reading at verse 13, and go through verse 27.

Brother Ray, would you stand and read that great passage for us? … (reading) …. Thank you for that fine reading, Brother Ray. So we see that economic hard times fell upon Egypt , and the people turned to the government of Pharaoh to deal with this for them. And Pharaoh nationalized the grain harvest, and placed the grain in great storehouses that he had built. So the people brought their money to Pharaoh, like a great tax increase, and gave it all to him willingly in return for grain. And this went on until their money ran out, and they were hungry again.

So when they went to Pharaoh after that, they brought their livestock – their cattle, their horses, their sheep, and their donkey – to barter for grain, and verse 17 says that only took them through the end of that year. But the famine wasn’t over, was it? So the next year, the people came before Pharaoh and admitted they had nothing left, except their land and their own lives. “There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh.” So they surrendered their homes, their land, and their real estate to Pharaoh’s government, and then sold themselves into slavery to him, in return for grain.

What can we learn from this, brothers and sisters?

That turning to the government instead of to God to be our provider in hard times only leads to slavery? Yes… That the only reason government wants to be our provider is to also become our master?

Yes. But look how that passage ends, brothers and sisters! Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt , in the land of Goshen . And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” God provided for His people, just as He always has! They didn’t end up giving all their possessions to government, no, it says they gained possessions! But I also tell you a great truth today, and an ominous one.

We see the same thing happening today – the government today wants to “share the wealth” once again, to take it from us and redistribute it back to us. It wants to take control of healthcare, just as it has taken control of education, and ration it back to us, and when government rations it, then government decides who gets it, and how much, and what kind. And if we go along with it, and do it willingly, then we will wind up no differently than the people of Egypt did four thousand years ago – as slaves to the government, and as slaves to our leaders.

What Mr. Obama’s government is doing now is no different from what Pharaoh’s government did then, and it will end the same. And a lot of people like to call Mr. Obama a “Messiah,” don’t they? Is he a Messiah? A savior? Didn’t the Egyptians say, after Pharaoh made them his slaves, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh”? Well, I tell you this – I know the Messiah; the Messiah is a friend of mine; and Mr. OBAMA IS NO MESSIAH! No, brothers and sisters, if Mr. Obama is a character from the Bible, then he is Pharaoh. Bow with me in prayer, if you will..

Lord, You alone are worthy to be served, and we rely on You, and You alone. We confess that the government is not our deliverer, and never rightly will be. We read in the eighth chapter of 1 Samuel, when Samuel warned the people of what a ruler would do, where it says “And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day…”

And Lord, we acknowledge that day has come. We cry out to you because of the ruler that we have chosen for ourselves as a nation. Lord, we pray for this nation. We pray for revival, and we pray for deliverance from those who would be our masters. Give us hearts to seek You and hands to serve You, and protect Your people from the atrocities of Pharaoh’s government. In God We Trust…
You may consider sharing this with others. If you don’t agree … just delete. Have a nice day…

Pelosi’s Daughter Enrages Left with Welfare Video

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Nancy must be very proud of her daughter and maybe furious at the same time. Alexandra has come onto the national stage at a very young age, but, obviously, not in the way Nancy wanted.

Excerpt: Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, who courted conservative controversy with a video short showing the sometimes racist views of toothless Mississippi rednecks, has enraged liberals with a second video: New York welfare recipients.

But Alexandra Pelosi admits it wasn’t easy getting the video on television. “All the people I work with at HBO, all the people I grew up with, said, ‘You can’t put that on TV.’

“Somehow [I was] allowed to do it to the toothless rednecks, but when it was our neighbors, it was wait a second, they got defensive,” she told Bill Maher on his HBO show, “Real Time.”

The people Pelosi interviewed at a welfare office on New York City’s 14th Street, admit they don’t want a job, and support President Barack Obama “because he gives me stuff,” and “because he’s black.”

Pelosi said the film showed the entitlement culture is causing problems for the party her mother leads in the House. “We have to address the fact that this is why Democrats are losing ground. And this is a problem in America. The entitlement culture has gotten so big that we are losing our own people,” she said.

Read full Newsmax post here.

‘Broken window’ theory co-author, James Q. Wilson dies at 80

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Makes me wonder how many communities are going to be destroyed by the foreclosures brought about by the Democrats’ sub-prime mortgage debacle.

Also this is just another reason why the lawlessness of the Occupy Wall Street crowd cannot be tolerated and must be cleaned up.

Excerpt: Wilson famously co-authored the “Broken Windows” article in the Atlantic Monthly in 1982, which suggested that in communities, disorder is often followed by crime. In an interview last year with The Wall Street Journal, Wilson explained that “public order is a fragile thing, and if you don’t fix the first broken window, soon all the windows will be broken.”

The “broken windows” theory was debated in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2000 book “The Tipping Point,” and in Stephen J. Dubner’s and Steven D. Levitt’s 2005 book “Freakonomics.”

The Broken Window Brigade, a citizen initiative in Chattanooga, Tenn., explains the broken window theory in the video below:

Read full Washington Post article here.

Entitlements – Makers vs. the Takers

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Obama and the Democrats are against reforming the entitlement programs for two reasons. One, the more people dependent on the government, the more votes for the Democrats. Two, if the Republicans would, by any chance, decide to act in the best interests of the nation, and bring a halt to the increase in entitlement spending, then the backlash would also favor the Democrats. It is a win-win situation for the Democrats, and a lose-lose situation, both for the Republicans and the nation.

Excerpt: You’ve played by the rules. Worked hard to put yourself through school. You’ve gotten a decent job and you pay your taxes. You’re faithfully paying down your mortgage and saving money in a 401(k) – all to secure your finances and your future. But now there are a lot more “takers” than “makers” in this country – and the impact is systemic and long-lasting.

The Fiscal Times (TFT): With so many people out of work and so many suffering – through no fault of their own – how do you draw the line between real need and a so-called “culture of mooching”?
Charles Sykes (CS): That’s obviously the most difficult part, the gray area in the middle. There’s a distinction between needing temporary aid versus using a vast network of dependency as a way of life. Unemployment compensation, for example, is necessary for an amount of time. But when you start getting into 90-plus weeks of unemployment, hasn’t a temporary stopgap now become an excuse for people to avoid taking jobs? A number of economic studies have shown that the longer these benefits are extended, the higher the unemployment rate is. People make a rational calculation that it’s easier to stay on the couch than to get a job that maybe isn’t as great as what they had before.

TFT: Isn’t it a big leap to go from someone on unemployment to a wholesale expansion of dependency?
CS: If we have hungry children, of course we as a compassionate society have an obligation to take care of them. But I think we’re going through a massive concerted effort to expand the number of people who are dependent, who are looking to the government to buy them free breakfast, lunch and dinner, far beyond any reasonable definition of genuine need.

TFT: Is this new learned helplessness, as you describe it, a replacement for the employed-for-life, taken-care-of-for-life notion that many in earlier generations have known?
CS: Maybe. But ultimately the use of other people’s money and the vast expansion of benefits won’t substitute for what used to be provided for by the private sector. You can certainly understand the attraction of the bailouts, the freebies, the handouts, the dependency – for people who are nervous about the economy. But some politicians play upon this anxiety by promising things that are ultimately unaffordable and unsustainable. This endless promise that there’s always enough money in someone else’s pocket won’t work. It’s very seductive in some ways, but it’s not a solution to our economic problems, and it’s changing the culture and character of our society. It’s not the self-reliance and sense of independence and industry that our nation was founded on.

TFT: Who among the current presidential candidates would accomplish that, in your view?
CS: Unfortunately the person I’m politically closest to is not running. That’s Paul Ryan. He’s just about he only political figure who has tried to grapple with this and say, How would we slow this entitlement world – slow the growth of spending? And if it proves to be the third rail of politics in this election season, then I think we will have squandered one of the best opportunities we’ve had in a generation.

Read the full Fiscal Times interview here.