Thursday, February 19, 2009

President Faust

Somewhere back in 2006, I became fascinated by Senator Barack Obama. While I am a firm Republican and Conservative, and a strong supporter of President Bush, I was impressed with the emergence of a Democratic party candidate who spoke about the need for rising above petty differences, and the opportunity for a national dialogue based on the needs of the country, rather than the self-serving business of politics as usual. If he meant what he said, and if this naïve-sounding young man could manage his work to match his claims, the promise of a new era in government seemed to be within grasp. I believe many millions of Americans believed in that promise, and trusted Senator Obama to be what he claimed to be.

Unfortunately, the many promises broken already by Obama make it increasingly obvious that Barack Obama had no intention of living up to the high ideals he used to get elected. Republicans discovered that ‘bipartisan’ meant having liberal pork orgies shoved down their throats, with a complicit media blaming as ‘obstructionist’ anyone conscientious enough to point out that the ‘stimulus’ bill was useless for its intended purposes and in its main effect as toxic as the mortgages which launched the recession. Democrats discovered that ‘closing Gitmo’ really meant sometime in the future, with rendition and relocation to similar camps very much in discussion. And apolitical people discovered lies in Obama’s promise to have all bills fully available to the public for five days of debate and discussion, and in his promise to respect all reasonable positions and opinions in policy matters. President Obama’s excuse for eviscerating his ideals immediately after taking office? “I won”, says Obama, demonstrating his clear alignment with Niccolo Macchiavelli … or perhaps more accurately Dr. Johann Faust.
For those unfamiliar with the legend, Dr. Faust sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a number of diabolical favors, including wealth and power. Considering his station and stature just ten years ago, a man might reasonably wonder how Barack Obama, for all his talents, managed to gain so much money and rise so fast on such feeble accomplishments as he has. More to the point, it seems that our modern Faust has it in mind to have someone else pay his debt, in this case the nation.

The text of this devil’s pact is here. The $790 billion bill includes (just for Title I of twenty-three separate titles in the Bill), $24 million for new buildings for the Dept. of Agriculture, $176 million for “agricultural research”, $50 million in “additional salaries” for Dept. of Agriculture employees, $145 million for “floodplain easements” (taking private land), an additional $145 million for the Agriculture Dept. general fund, $11.4 billion for “section 502” direct and unsubsidized guaranteed loans for homes (but only for the “rural housing insurance fund”), $200 million for administrative costs in applying the home loan money, $1.6 billion for the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, $2.5 billion to build broadband networks in rural areas, $100 million for the National School Lunch program, with another $400 million set aside for the Secretary of Education to use as he sees fit, another $150 million for the “Emergency Food Assistance” program for public schools, and $5 million for food assistance to Indian Reservations. That’s $16.895 billion dollars just for that first section, and not a penny of that creates even a single private-sector job, protects the public from loss of their investments or savings, or protects even a single house from foreclosure in any metropolitan area.

Title II hands out money to the Commerce and Justice departments, spending $13.02 billion, of which only one billion dollars is meant to be used to hire anyone – to be used to “hire and rehire” police officers to be used for special initiatives – governments are specifically prohibited from using this money for street patrol, routine criminal investigations, or any nominal law enforcement function. The rest is spent on administrative costs, government oversight, and new buildings or renovations.

Title III applies to the Department of Defense. $4.555 billion is allocated for research, operation and maintenance.

So, through just the first three titles $34.47 billion has been spent, and while some of the programs could be argued as important and necessary, not a penny of this money has been spent to address the three crises of mortgages in major population areas, solvency of the financial network, and unemployment in the private sector. Just as Doctor Faust wanted to do good things for his fellow man but failed because his fundamental assumptions were wrong, so too President Obama has chosen exactly the wrong tool, as he fails to understand that his position is by definition dishonest, since he uses a false claim to support massive spending that, less than a year ago, he himself understood could not be supported by the economy in place at this time. His demand for one-party dominance belies his promise to rise above partisan politics. His lies prove the character beneath his veneer. Like Faust, Obama cannot succeed in his dreams but continues to lie to himself that he can get out of his contract, that good intentions are sufficient excuse for whatever his sins.
But unlike Faust, Obama may be able to drag the country down with him when he goes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Would You?

A thought about food in times of tribulation:

In 1941 Poland, it was a capital crime to give food to a Jew.

In 1967 China, it was a capital crime to give food to a Christian.

In 1972 Siberia, it was a capital crime in a gulag for an inmate to give food to a political prisoner.

In 1994 Rwanda, people were killed for sheltering or feeding Tutsi tribe members.

Would you risk your life to feed an outcast?