THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: A few issues back we cited
the always quotable Yogi Berra's "It's like deja vu all over again." Those
words come to mind again today. Recently we used the familiar Latin phrase,
"Quo Vadis?" -- "Whither goest thou?"or "Where are you going?" Today
we alter that Latin phrase slightly, and ask "Quis efficio iam?" -- "What to
do now?" Seldom --some people would say never -- has America, or even
the world, been faced with so many serious poblems, all at the same time.
So our commentary this week will focus on some of those problems which
we face here in America, and some which are occurring elsewhere in the
world, but which also have effects here as well. "Quis efficio iam?"
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BILL CLINTON'S "IT'S THE ECONOMY" ... THE SEEMINGLY
NO-WIN WAR IN AFGHANISTAN ... THE "UNREST" IN THE
MIDDLE EAST ... NATURAL DISASTERS AROUND THE
WORLD ... OUR NATION'S MORALS GONE AWRY ...
TRULY IT IS TIME ASK "QUIS EFFICIO IAM?"
This week our national debt hit the established legal ceiling: $14.3 trillion --
a figure none of us can understand. And now the political wrangling shifts
into high gear -- on one side is the Democrat propaganda that if the ceiling is
not raised again -- as has been done regularly for years -- the government
will virtually be brought to a stand-still . . . all entitlement programs will
cease . . . Medicare and Social Security will stop . . . government employees
and our military will be unpaid . . . and similar horror stories, essentially
untrue. The Republican propaganda is that the ceiling will not be raised until
the Obama administration makes some realistic cuts in spending. Sounds
good, but whether it can be accomplished is certainly open to question. The
McClatchy/Marist poll this week showed that 69% of Americans oppose
lifting the debt ceiling. But any way we look at the situation, one fact emerges:
our economy is in bad shape. And not just in the trillions of dollars of debt --
whatever that actually means. More realistically, for most Americans, it
means prices at the gas pumps that we can't afford . . . and that translates into
higher prices for our food and the necessities of life . . . and those increases
come face to face with national unemployment at 9% (or higher in some states),
with more people than ever on welfare and existing on their unemployment
insurance . . . with bankruptcies at an all time high . . . with more and more
homes being foreclosed on . . . and the ranks of homeless street people steadily
growing. In the face of these very obvious trends, the government does little
but threaten increased taxation. And this week's NBC poll showed national
approval of Mr. Obama's handling of the economy had dropped to its lowest
figure during his presidency: 37%.
It's truly deja vu to the Clinton era's slogan "It's the economy, stupid."
But 2012 is an election year, and we still have 538 days till Nov. 6, 2012, in
which to pray for God's wisdom in voting to restore our national government
to what it was always intended to be.
Internationally, we're not doing very well, either. As we prepare to leave
Iraq, we leave behind a nation supposed to be demonstrating democracy in
action, but really back in the same Muslim control which produced a Saddam
Hussein, and which has essentially destroyed the Christian church in that nation.
In Afghanistan, our other "officially recognized" war, we are watching the rise
in American military deaths, and the stubbornness of the Taliban, just waiting
for our announced soon departure from a war not won. In Pakistan the recent
invasion by our elite special operation forces to kill bin Laden has created a
loss of confidence in dealings between America and the Pakistanis.
In Libya the undeclared "war" with Qadhafi continues, with only token support
from the U.S. of the rebel patriots -- quite different from our encouragement of
those who protested the reign of Mubarak in Egypt, leading now to a potential
take-over of the country by the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile the killing
of civilians continues in Syria under the command of President Assad, whom
our government considers a "reformer," even as unmarked graves of murdered
opponents of his regime are being discovered daily. And as one country after
another experiences armed revolt, the great enemy of the West, Iran, stands
ready to support and undergird the ultimate Muslim domination of the area.
In this week's news about Iran, the Jerusalem Post cites a story in the German
daily, Die Welt, reporting that the Iranian government is building rocket launch
bases in Venezuela, meaning that in case of attacks on Iran, the Venezuelan
President, Hugo Chavez, would be able to launch rockets at Iran's enemies.
What we are coming to realize is that dealings on the international level are
well above the paygrade of a novice-in-training president.
In addition to whatever these, and other problem issues, mean, there is
the world-wide problem of natural disasters -- exemplified by the earthquakes
in several areas of the Earth -- most notably the earthquakes and the following
tsunami in Japan, affecting life in that island nation for years to come, and by
outreach through commerce, affecting the economy in many nations. And here
in America the present flooding in the heart of our nation is wreaking not only
immediate disasters of tremendous proportions, but foretelling future problems
of food supplies in the long term, as tens of thousands of acres of farm lands
may be non-arable for many years.
And those are but very brief thumb-nail sketches of a world in trouble.
And from a Christian viewpoint there is the loss of the quality of life that
our Founding Fathers referred to as "virtue," both personal and national.
Today we would refer to that quality of life as "moral values," and here we
find our nation's leadership positioning itself as supporting departure from
traditional Christian moral standards. And that should not have been a
surprise to any of us. On Oct. 30, 2008, just prior to the election which put
him in office, candidate Obam a said in a speech in Minnesota: "We are five
days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
And he has fulfilled that campaign promise by supporting the LGBT (Lesbian,
Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender) movement, and the abortionists. Such departure
from traditional American Christian moral values can only be described as a
But when Mr. Obama doesn't agree with Republican proposals, a few days
ago in his attack he reverse-focused his position, saying the Republican plan
"would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one weâ•˙ve
known throughout most of our history." A politician's views seem to be
different when seeking power than when actually in power.
But aside from such obvious falling away from the moral values of marriage
and family, and the Declaration of Independence's assertion that all men are
endowed with the right of life, there are the fundamental changes taking place
in many of our churches. Earlier this month the Presbyterian Church, USA,
announced it had joined the mainline denominational church movement of
Lutherans, Episcopalians and United Church of Christ members who have
eliminated official barriers to ordination of homosexuals. The four largest
denominations which allow homosexual clergy number less than 11 million
members, and continue to show membership losses each year. In the most
recent membership census reports, the UCC has a 2.83% loss; Presbyterian
USA a 2.61% loss; the American Episcopal church a 2.48% loss and the
Evangelical Lutheran church a 1.96% loss. By contrast, the four largest
denominations which do not allow homosexual clergy have a combined
membership of approximately 100 million members, and do not show such
severe membership losses. The Mormons had a 1.42% gain; the Roman
Catholics a .57% gain; the Southern Baptists a .42% loss and the United
Methodists a 1.01% loss.
The respected Atlanta mega-church pastor, Michael Youssef, made this
observation in his "Leading the Way" Internet Blog as he urged members
of those liberal churches to "vote with your feet and get out of these
churches as fast as you can...There can be no excuse. No, you cannot
stay and be a witness. No, you cannot stay and try to change things.
No, you cannot stay and hope that you will be a light. These
denominations have chosen darkness, and they need to experience
what true darkness is all about by not having any believers inside
And Mark Tooley, Pres. Institute on Religion and Democracy: "It's a sad
day for America. The mainline denominations date to America's earliest
days. They profoundly shaped our national ethos, mostly for the good.
Can Catholics and evangelicals fill the void? Hopefully so. But all of us
should mourn the decline of yet one more once-great church."
In last week's issue we promised to comment on email hoaxes, some
of those sensational articles supposedly revealing hitherto unknown facts
which are forwarded to us, and usually - almost always - with the instruction
to forward this material to all of our friends. The source of the information
disclosed therein is usually not named, etc. One oberver made this comment:
"Messages that contain 'Please forward this email to all your friends on
the internet' are almost without exception either scams, hoaxes, or total
nonsense (or some combination of the above)." Common sense should
prevail, but in an increasingly tense pre-election time period, and with most
of the articles being on political themes, our common sense too often gives
way to our partisan viewpoints. Unfortunately, many of these email messages
are sent to us by fellow-Conservatives, and are often on anti-Liberal themes.
Regardless of our personal viewpoints, it is never a good idea to forward them
without first verifying them -- in fact, it is usually a very bad idea. But it is easy
to check on the authenticity of the material being presented. There are several
sites available on the Internet to check on the material -- among them Snopes
Urban Legends; Truth or Fiction; David Emery's Urban Legends; Urban
Legends and Folklore, and others. You will do yourself -- and your friends --
a favor by taking time to verify the accuracy of the material before sending it to
others. One further step which you might take is to send the facts to the one
who sent it to you.
An interesting (and somewhat amusing) thought: Author James
Delingpole in his book, "365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy," suggests one
way: "Remark that it would be more than your life is worth to call
Muhammad a 'pedophile.' " And then he adds: "Explain that, of course,
you understand that in seventh century Arabia when the Prophet married
nine-year-old Aisha, child marriage was considered a entirely normal,
healthy thing; who are we to judge other cultures?"
And a few more examples of "What Others Are Saying'. . .
Jack Marshall (writing in Ethics Alarms): "The consequences of
absorbing misguided social norms can be devastating. If we allow
cultural values to be set by the loudest, the most zealous, the politically
expedient or the most easily offended, rather than by rational
evaluation, wisdom and objective analysis, we risk losing a lot more..."
Ann Coulter: "Obama is doing what's in his and his party's self-interest,
rather than concerning himself with the mass of American citizens. He is
using his executive authority to reward gays, illegal aliens, do-nothing
government employees, far-left union bosses, abortion industry
executives and global warming kooks."
Jeff Jacoby (Op-ed writer, Boston Globe): "If ever a government
deserved America's contempt and condemnation, the Syrian government
does. If ever a popular uprising deserved American encouragement, the
Syrian uprising does. Yet the Obama administration remains indecisive
and incoherent on the ferocious Assad crackdown in Syria."
Arizona Governor Ann Brewer: "I think he should get back to business
being president of the United States ... I don't think his comic attitude
and laughing at a serious issue is being very well received; certainly not
here in Arizona, I would imagine not across America. This is a serious
business. And for him to go to a pep rally [in El Paso] and make light of
the situation is unbelievable."
Kevin McCullough (writing in TownHall.com): "When a struggling
family is paying $5 a gallon for gasoline, and the President told people
this past week that America is providing more domestically drilled barrels
of oil a day 'than at any point in history,' but the truth is our production
is roughly half of what it was in 1970, they tend to be annoyed, not
And just a couple of "One Liners" . . .
Under the heading "Sluggish on Syria:
On the "Obama rating bounce" after killing bin Laden: "If you blinked, you
missed it." -- Conn Carroll in the Washington Examiner
And there are these random "Afterthoughts" . . .
This headline caught our attention over the weekend: "Oppressed Iran
Hosts International Peace Conference" -- and the story: Iran last weekend
hosted an international conference on combating terrorism and promoting
peace. At an event in Tehran to promote the â•˛International Conference on
Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace,â•ˇ the organizers released
195 caged pigeons. The birds, they said, were intended to be a symbolic
representation of the worldâ•˙s countries, â•˛except Israel.â•ˇ More than 1,000
â•˛scholars and thinkersâ•ˇ from 60 countries had been expected to attend the
conference, according to the Islamic World Peace Forum, which organized
the event. Reports following the conference indicate a few hunded attendees
was a more accurate figure. Kamal al-Halbawi, a senior member of Egypt's
Muslim Brotherhood, said in his speech: "The United States has never
earnestly worked for world peace, but, quite the contrary, it has always
made every effort to promote terrorism throughout the world." Brings
to mind the old saying about the blind leading the blind.
An overlooked statistic in the news this past week: Gasoline and food
prices boosted our national inflation rate to a 2 1/2 year high in April. Most
economists had expected the increase, which put the inflation reading to 3.2 -
the highest since October, 2008.
And another interesting statistic: It has been announced that Britain's
Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest reigning monarch in more than 1000
years of British history. And the longest reigning British monarch? Queen
Victoria. This says something for the superior endurance of women over men.
To Internet commentator Bill Federer we owe this quote from William
Seward, Secretary of State under President Lincoln: "I do not believe
human society...ever has attained, or ever can attain, a high state of
intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy
Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the
ever-growing influence of the Bible."
In our weekly quotes from our nation's Founding Fathers, there is
always some profound word of advice and counsel from the men who
created this nation -- words which are absolutely appropriate for politicians
and all Americans today:
On National morality: "The foundations of our national policy will be
laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the
preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes
which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect
of the world." -- George Washington, 1789
On personal honor: "Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give
the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And
never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances,
it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may
appear to you... From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be
assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of
life, and in the moment of death." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1785
(And to think that the modern Democrat party traces its history to Thomas
Jefferson, and even occasionally refers to its members as being "Jeffersonian
Democrats." There's an oxymoron if ever you heard one.)
And on government spending: "The same prudence which in private life
would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids
it in the dispensation of the public moneys." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1808