EACH NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION
else can have more,' Barack Obama's focus has been on
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
A. J. DiCintio (in New Media Journal): "The great majority of the
public increasingly understands that the survival of the America
bequeathed to us by the Founders depends upon draining the fetid
swamp that encompasses the White House, Congress, the courts,
and the bureaucracy, and replacing it with a new, fruitful landscape
of, for, and by the people."
Cal Thomas (in Conservative Outpost): "Preserving the Bush-era
tax rates, extending unemployment insurance for another year and
reducing the payroll tax for 2011 under the White House's "grand
bargain" doesn't get to the heart of the country's main financial
And just one worrisome "One Liner" to share with you:
From who else, but Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, in
an interview with Diane Sawyer on Dec. 14: "We're working 24/7, 364
days a year, to keep the American people safe." Here's the reason for
our concern: Is the person in charge of our homeland security so dumb
that she doesn't know there are 365 days in a year? -- or -- Is there one
day on which our security forces are not at work, and if so, suppose
WikiLeaks disclosed that date to our Islamic terrorist enemies?
And now here are a few random "Afterthoughts" . . .
In case this slipped by your noticing . . . some new records were set
in polling results reported this past week: (1) President Obama's
performance approval rating reached a new low of 40% . . . and (2)
a Gallup poll reported the public's approval of Congress as 13% --
the lowest such rating ever reported for any Congress in U.S. history.
We are aware of this, but it is a sobering thought on Christmas day.
Last week, the opening sentence in a news story in the New York Times
recounted the prevailing situation in which Christians in Iraq are finding
themselves: "A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to Northern Iraq
and abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and a growing
fear that the country's security forces are unable or, more ominously,
unwilling to protect them." Commenting on this story, Chuck Colson
wrote this week: "There, in one paragraph, the Times sums up the
grim situation facing Christians in Baghdad and throughout Iraq.
They are subject to a campaign of violence -- not some indiscriminate
acts by a few Islamist radicals. They are being harassed and killed
right under the very noses of the Iraqi security forces and the
government, and it is not clear that the government wants to stop it."
Speaking to the plight of Christians in Iraq, and beyond, Pope Benedict
XVI called Christians, "the religious group which suffers most from
persecution on account of their faith." In a letter announcing World
Peace Day, Jan. 1, he commented specifically on the "reprehensible
attack" on a Baghdad church in October where 58 worshippers were
killed and spoke also of the lack of religious tolerance in Africa and
Asia. The Pontiff appealed to authorities throughout the world to "act
promptly to end every injustice against Christians." Our prayers at
this Advent season must include our fellow believers around the world.
Comparisons with some other American presidents are revealing.
Last week Mr. Obama visited a school in Arlington, VA, and read to 2nd
graders from his book, "Of thee I sing," citing great black achievers, and
from Clement Moore's "Twas the night before Christmas." In explaining
to the children what Christmas means, he said, "One of the things about
Christmas, obviously, is getting presents, having stockings full,
spending time with your family and eating good stuff. But part of the
Christmas spirit is also making sure that we're kind to each other and
we're thinking about people who are not as lucky as we are... I want
you all to remember that the spirit of Christmas is making sure that,
not just that you're getting something from somebody but that you're
also giving back to some other people."
No mention of the real meaning of Christmas . . . no mention of the song
of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. By contrast, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, said of Christmas in 1942: "I say that loving our neighbor
as we love ourselves is not enough - that we as a Nation and as
individuals will please God best by showing regard for the laws of
God." And in 1945, Harry S. Truman said, "Let us not forget that the
coming of the Savior brought a time of long peace to the Roman World
... From the manger of Bethlehem came a new appeal to the minds and
hearts of men: 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one
another.'â•ˇ In 1983 Ronald Reagan said: "Sometimes, in the hustle and
bustle of holiday preparations we forget the true meaning of Christmas
...the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ..." In 1999 Bill Clinton
said, "Saint Matthew's Gospel tells us that, on the first Christmas 2000
years ago, a bright star shone vividly in the eastern sky, heralding the
birth of Jesus and the beginning of His hallowed mission as teacher,
healer, servant, and savior..." And in 2003, George W. Bush said,
"Throughout the Christmas season our thoughts turn to a star in the
east, seen 20 centuries ago, and to a light that can guide us still..."
Through the years, our presidents did not fail to speak of the real meaning
establishing, but also of the men who might one day govern that nation.
"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man
that was not at the same time truly virtuous."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1728
"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
-- James Madison, 1787
"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A
feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a
government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in
practice, a bad government."
-- Alexander Hamilton, 1788
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