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Networks Ignore Push for Repeal of DOMA October 7, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Democrats, family, gay politics, marriage, media bias, Nancy Pelosi, news, politics.
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Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York introduced a new threat to traditional marriage on September 15 – a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

News of Nadler’s plan to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act broke late last week, but ABC, CBS and NBC all failed to report this latest push for forced acceptance of same-sex marriage. Although the health care reform debate has gobbled up media attention for weeks, the networks’ silence on the fundamental issue of how the federal government defines marriage is odd.

Nadler’s bill would overturn the 1996 law signed by President Bill Clinton that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

A September 15 press release issued by Nadler’s office claimed the bill has 91 original co-sponsors. Nadler stated in the release, “With a President who is committed to repealing DOMA and a broad, diverse coalition of Americans on our side, we now have a real opportunity to remove from the books this obnoxious and ugly law.”

Not all Democrats agreed with Nadler. The Washington Blade reported on September 11 that Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat from Massachusetts is not supporting Nadler’s effort to overturn DOMA. “It’s not anything that’s achievable in the near term,” Frank said. The New York Times reported September 15 that Speaker Nancy Pelosi “also indicated this year that repealing the law would not be a top priority.”

ABC, CBS and NBC failed to take interest in the story, even with the added twist of intra-party (and even intra-administration) division over the bill. None of the networks have discussed this issue since President Obama’s inauguration, despite his repeated calls during the 2008 campaign to repeal DOMA and despite a 54-page brief filed in support of DOMA by his Justice Department in June.

The brief, filed in the California case Smelt v. United States that challenged DOMA, outraged gay rights activists because, as reported by the Washington Post, it “appeared to equate same-sex marriage with incest and pedophilia” and the lawyers referred to marriage between a man and a woman as “the traditional and universally recognized form.”

Importance of DOMA

DOMA did not simply define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It banned the federal recognition of same-sex marriages. It also protects states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages that took place in other states.

“DOMA is the only federal law that protects marriage as the union of husband and wife, and guarantees voters in Georgia or Wisconsin that a handful of judges in Massachusetts will not be able to impose gay marriage on their state,” noted Maggie Gallagher, president and founder of the National Organization for Marriage.

Bryan Fischer, director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, focused his criticism of Nadler’s efforts on the issue of states’ rights.

“People in state after state have made it clear that they do not want either Congress or activist judges tampering with the time-honored institution of marriage,” he stated in a September 15 press release. “People who care about the institution of marriage and care about their own state’s Tenth Amendment right to decide this issue for themselves should be outraged at this frontal assault on the cornerstone of American society and on the democratic process itself.”

Not Ignored in Print

While the networks have ignored DOMA, the editorial boards of The Washington Post and The New York Times urged the administration to overturn the law as soon as possible.

The Justice Department brief filed in June that supported DOMA inspired the Times’ Frank Rich to write on June 28, “Obama’s inaction on gay civil rights is striking. So is his utterly uncharacteristic inarticulateness. The Justice Department brief defending DOMA has spoken louder for this president than any of his own words on the subject.”

James Kirchick, assistant editor of the New Republic and a contributing writer to the Advocate, questioned Obama’s commitment to same-sex marriage. “When it comes to same-sex marriage, the movement can’t count on support from the current president,” Kirchick wrote. “Obama’s stance on gay marriage is virtually indistinguishable from that of John McCain,” he later charged.

The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart gave Obama more cover in his June 21 editorial. “The first substantive comment on gay and lesbian equality since he took office was the Justice Department’s noxious brief in Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer v United States of America, and it fueled suspicion that the president was backpedaling on his promises.” Capehart later urged gays and lesbians to look to Congress to achieve their “big victories, such as the repeal of DOMA and the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy.”

On August 18, the Post reported that “the Obama administration distanced itself” from the Justice Department’s June brief regarding DOMA.

A follow-up brief filed August 17 in the Smelt v. United States case did not contain the language that had inflamed gay rights activists. But as reported by the Post, “Senior trial counsel W. Scott Simpson embraced findings by researchers and prominent medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association, in saying ‘that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.”

DOMA, the administration’s defense of it and the subsequent backing away from the defense, were not discussed on ABC, CBS, or NBC..

The networks habitually refused to cover DOMA-related news, as indicated by this year’s lack of coverage and also their refusal to report Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s firm 2008 statement of support for the repeal of DOMA.

This of course, is not to say that the networks refuse to cover news related to gay rights. Networks promoted same-sex marriage through the constant airing of Prop 8 protest footage in the days following the 2008 election.

Networks’ Disservice

ABC, CBS and NBC committed a grave disservice to the American public by refusing to cover the issue of DOMA. The repeal of such a law has serious implications for society and culture.

Networks repeatedly proved their liberal bias. But at least in that, viewers knew something occurred and had the opportunity to seek out supplemental information. In the case of DOMA, viewers most likely haven’t realized the very definition of traditional marriage is at stake.

By Colleen Raezler, Culture & Media Institute

Source: Culture Links e-Newsletter, September 15, 2009

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Paying for Health Care Reform September 10, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, capitalism, Democrats, economy, health care, Income, Medicare/Medicaid, news, politics, taxes, welfare.
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During one Town Hall meetings, President Obama said people like himself could pay for health care reform. That is, high-income taxpayers can afford high tax rates to help fund universal health care.

Thomas Jefferson held a similar view. He was critical of industrious citizens getting rich while others citizens were going without. He believed the wealthy should assist the less fortunate to achieve a livable income.

The difference between the views of Obama and Jefferson is not apparent. Nevertheless, there is a significant difference in their views. Obama adheres to a form of contemporary liberalism that has embraced the values of humanism, egalitarianism, and welfare socialism. Although Jefferson was more liberal than many of his day, he was nevertheless a rock solid natural law proponent. His values were characterized by traditional moral values, entrepreneurial capitalism, and natural rights equality. Stated more simply, Obama tends towards being a big government socialist while Jefferson was oriented toward being a limited government capitalist.

To Jefferson, the term capitalist meant entrepreneurs of small businesses including farms, repair shops, small manufacturers or craftsmen, merchants, and the like. Today, the term capitalism certainly includes owners of small businesses, but, in practice, most modern politicians favor a big business view. Internationalists, like Obama and most federal politicians, give their allegiance to supporting national, international, and especially Wall Street business. However, Jefferson, as did Adam Smith, opposed big business as a threat to independent “capitalists”. One reason was that they regarded big business as quasi-governmental entities, and so do many financial experts today.

The point is this: Obama, as representative of the Democratic Party, wants the more wealthy to pay for their welfare based benefits program for middle and lower income citizens. The obvious problem is high income citizens live off the productivity of lower income employees, taxpayers, and consumers. This is what early Americans like Thomas Jefferson were critical of. Why? As expressed by John Locke, property and productivity belonged to the property owner and worker. In other words, the means of production belonged to all Americans equal to their need and capacity.

Taxing for the limited functions of government was and is the necessary cost to security property and life as well as to maintain the freedom to pursue as much happiness as possible. Taxing for redistribution from the haves to the have-nots was regarded as robbery just as the low wage living was regarded as slavery.

One could argue that most businesses already pay their employees health care. They also pay into Medicare as well as into group health care. Employees pay a small portion of the health insurance costs. Why pay them higher wages?

The only reason to pay employees higher wages would be for them to pay 100 percent of the cost. This is true of all other government-initiated social safety net programs including social security, welfare, and ESEA (now called No Child Left Behind), and S-CHIP. Without poor wage earners, all of those programs would not be needed and would be more difficult to justify.

Those social safety net programs were all good ideas, but all became means to enlarging federal powers over American lives. Except for Social Security, most of those programs never produced the results that were sold to American citizens. Corporations whose revenues are in the multi-millions and billions often get welfare subsidies. Are not the bank and manufacturer bailouts a form of welfare? After billions of taxpayer funding, the ESEA program still has not closed the educational gap between children of poor families and others; it still has resolved the huge school drop out problem; add it still has not made American children’s globally competitive in math and science. One would think that over 40 years or 3 generations Americans would have achieved this goal. Then there is S-CHIP (State Children Health Insurance Program) that never has been used strictly to help the children of poor families. Why? Because the agenda of liberal bureaucrats always has been to complete the goal of making the middle class welfare dependents or good socialists.

Democrats justify their health care reform based on the millions of Americans without adequate health care. The majority of the uninsured are the working poor. Why are the working poor without health coverage? They are without health coverage for one of four reasons: (1) Their employers cannot afford to pay for heath care. (2) They cannot afford to pay their portion of their employers’ group plan. (3) Their spouse has sufficient family coverage. (4) They simply do not want to give any more money to insurance companies. Yet, every working American does pay into Medicare/Medicaid.

After paying for retirement age health care, the state often takes all of the possessions of those who paid into Medicare for years just for cashing in on the supposed safety net. That seems more like a big brother scam and not a safety net.

Maybe, Bernie Madoff’s real crime was learning and practicing the art of his liberal big brother.

The answer to the health care problem is not the enlargement of government or government run health care. It is reforming the political economy. If as President Obama, Jim Wallis, and others claim, the rich can afford to pay more taxes for health care reform, they could afford to pay better wage rates so that all American could purchase health care they and their families want. The cure for making health care affordable (reducing costs and increasing earned income) would solve many other societal problems tied to America’s political economy.

They Really Do Believe We Are Idiots August 14, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in children, culture war, Democrats, economy, health care, Left, life, media, Medicare/Medicaid, news, politics, religion, right to life, senior citizens, welfare.
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Liberal religious groups announced on Monday they are teaming up with President Barack Obama in a national campaign to counter the surprisingly vehement conservative opposition to his plan for overhaul of the U.S. healthcare industry this year. Organized by liberal-leaning evangelicals, some mainline Protestant clergy, and some Catholic groups, it will include Obama participating in a call-in program with religious leaders streamed on the Internet on August 19, prayer meetings and nationwide television ads.”

From “U.S. religious left wades into healthcare fight,” which appeared yesterday in Reuters.

When a reporter and/or media outlet is behind you, your vocal support for something or another is “passionate,” “caring,” even “prophetic.” When they don’t, that same intensity is “vehement,” “fueled by anger,” even (to quote Democratic congressional leaders) “unAmerican.”
Some of the same religious leadership that helped Obama navigate the political shoals last year are putting the band back together again, this time in an attempt to blunt massive grassroots resistance to health care “reform.” Let me talk about a few of the particulars.

If you believe a lot of the “mainstream” press, resistance is either synthetic, bought and paid for by those “opposed to health care reform,” ill-informed, and/or stoked in part (as Reuters put it yesterday) by “Christian and conservative radio,” and/or leaders of the “religious right.”

As you undoubtedly know from watching television or reading accounts, President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress are fighting back.

The two-fold strategy appears to be (yet AGAIN) to marginalized anyone who wants an explanation of how they are going to square various circles, and to (yet AGAIN) stop talking about specifics (which always gets them into loads of trouble) and return to the kind of sparkling generalities that Obama specializes in.

That’s where the Religious Left comes in the form of something called “People of Faith for Health Reform and its “40 Days for Health Reform.” One of the usual suspects is Jim Wallis, who told Reuters that “his group’s mission is to keep universal health-care coverage alive as a ‘moral issue.'”

According to NPR, the division of labor goes like this. The Obama Administration has rolled out a website to contest “wild rumors” about its health care initiative and to “call out misinformation.” (Gulp!) So what is the role of this “coalition of progressive religious leaders”?
“Argue morality,” or, according to Liz Halloran, “more specifically, what members characterize as the moral and religious imperative of providing ‘inclusive, accessible’ health care coverage and the need for a civil discourse about the issue, says Jim Wallis of the progressive Christian group Sojourners, one of the coalition sponsors.” (Keep that “civil discourse” comment in mind.)

So, let’s look at the ad. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaBq0QeM3-8) True, there is one statement that is unobjectionable. A pastor looks in the camera and says, “God’s given us a spirit not of fear but of love and action.” But the rest of the ad is the usual us v. the “special interests” drivel that is the hallmark of those who insist you either accept the thrust of the Democrats health care “reform” sight unseen, or you want nothing.

The first statement in the 30-second ad tells you all you need to know: “Special interests in Washington are spending millions to block health insurance reform,” followed by “Killing reform will boost their profits.” In case anyone misses the point a moment later a woman opines, “The special interests are strong.”

However, thanks to NPR, there can be little doubt of the campaign’s real motivation. “According to Gordon Whitman of the PICO National Network, a faith-based community organizing group that is also one of the coalition’s sponsors, the group’s effort will focus on moderate, swing districts where ‘religion is significant to public life.'”

They really do believe we are idiots, don’t they?

Switching gears but to a related subject, there’s been an enormous amount written about “Section 1233 of the health-care bill drafted in the Democratic-led House, which would pay doctors to give Medicare patients end-of-life counseling every five years,” as the Washington Post described it. How much should we be worrying about this?

Let me offer the concluding paragraphs of “Facing the Challenge of Health Care Rationing,” a page one story in the July/August issue of NRL News, written by NRLC’s Burke Balch, JD. Mr. Balch, director of NRLC’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics wrote the following.

The House legislation, as reported from the Energy and Commerce Committee, contains provisions to promote advance directives like “living wills,” including:

1) Medicare reimbursement for consultations about “advance care planning” between health care providers and their patients when they enter Medicare, every five years thereafter, and if they become seriously ill;

2) requiring private and public health care plans to give potential enrollees the option to establish advance directives; and

3) a public education campaign, toll-free telephone hotline, and clearinghouse to promote advance directives and other advance care planning.

Advocates of such measures frequently cite the cost savings if, as they expect, this promotion results in more directives rejecting lifesaving treatment. “We refer to the end-of-life discussion as the multimillion-dollar conversation because it is associated with shifting costs away from expensive … care like being on a ventilator in an ICU, to less costly comfort care …,” said Holly Prigerson of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. National Right to Life strongly encourages the execution of a pro-life advance directive, the Will to Live (see http://www.nrlc.org/MedEthics/WilltoLiveProject.html). However, the pro-life fear is that efforts to push patients and prospective patients to prepare advance directives may in practice become a means of persuading or pressuring them to agree to less treatment as a means of saving money. Moreover, governmental promotion of advance care planning must not include the “option” of assisted suicide. Especially in the Senate, NRLC is working to address these concerns through negotiations and, if necessary, by preparing amendments to be offered in the Senate Finance Committee and on the Senate floor.

It is critically important that pro-life citizens make their voices heard while senators and representatives are at home during August, and after they return to Washington in September. The contemplated restructuring of America’s health care system will affect the life–and death–of every American.

So here’s the scoop: The above critique of the Democrats’ health care agenda is that they want to save us all a lot of money by reducing our health care coverage, eliminating as many worthless people on Medicaid so that they can reduce the amount of money made by private health care insurers to increase the pay of cooperating physicians in their scheme.

I almost forgot an implied one: they will kill two or more birds with one stone–they will save us all money by making us wait for health care by putting us on long waiting lists to reduce our health care. The add bonus is costs will be further reduced because while some of us while waiting for health care will die. And, the double bonus will be that those of us who don’t die will develop the moral virtues of patience and endurance or long suffering.

By accomplishing all of that, they will be able to further justify giving themselves more raises in the future and maybe even helping pay for the billions in give-a-way money for keeping poorly managed financial companies and auto companies as well as foreign investors making more profits at all of our expense.

Yes, the logic of the Left is if you abort all of the worthless babies, worthless welfare poor, and worthless elderly folk–of course, according to their own preplanned consent–everyone can have a better, more profitable, and a good secular life. In the process, they may be able to save some of their prized socialist programs like social security and medicaid from going bankrupt.

What a wonderful utopia we will all live in now that the Left rules our world. We are commanded to now go and spend to support the cause for tomorrow we will surely die; they are planning on it. Oh, what joy it is to live in a planned society.

Source: National Right to Life, August 11, 2009 except for the scoopish commentary.

FishyGate: White House recruits informants against health care bill opponents August 10, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, civil rights, Constitution, Democrats, disnformation, economy, freedom, health care, repression.
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In a move reminiscent of the repressive policies imposed behind the Iron Curtain, Macon Phillips, the White House Director of New Media issued a call for people to report anyone that is distributing “disinformation” about health insurance reform.

On Wednesday, August 5th, Phillips posted a blog urging his readers to inform the White House about opponents of the health care reform plan. Phillips wrote: “There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

As public opposition to a government takeover of our health care system continues to mount, the Democrats and the Obama White House are changing tactics and apparently they are going to play hard ball against people who are opposed. If the latest polls are any indication, their target list will be a solid majority of Americas whose right to speak out is protected by the Constitution, at least on paper anyway.

This is tantamount to a White House domestic intelligence gathering operation on private citizens. The administration is using private citizens as operatives to turn in friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone else that opposes government health care. It seems evident that the objective of the White House’s effort is to intimidate opponents into silence and deny people their civil liberties.

What will they do next? Call people in for questioning? Will they have a group of health care expert analysts reviewing every reported “fishy” statement to determine if it contained “disinformation” to decide who to gets a visit from a government official?

The Obama Administration and the Democrats claim that part of the disinformation campaign is to scare the elderly by misrepresenting the end-of-life counseling provisions in the bill. But opponents of the bill didn’t put those provisions in the bill, the Democrats did. And as liberal columnist Mickey Kaus has pointed out, if Obama and the Democrats did not want “…people to think that the subsidized, voluntary end-of-life counseling sessions are… an attempt to cut costs by limiting end of life care” they should not have put them in the bill with the stated purpose of cutting the cost of health care.

Maybe Kaus should check to see if his name is on the “fishy” list.

The White House is sending a clear message: “be careful what you say or write, you don’t know who might be listening or reading your emails and report you.” Given the liberal opposition to domestic surveillance of suspected terrorists, the hypocrisy is stunning. It will be interesting to see if the ACLU or any other liberal civil liberties groups file a lawsuit demanding the operation be terminated immediately.

In addition to the White House’s domestic surveillance operation, liberal Democrats have also launched a smear campaign against people that have been protesting at town hall meetings of Democrat members of Congress. The Democratic National Committee has launched an ad entitled “Enough of the Mob” calling opponents of their plan for government-run health care “extremists” and “an angry mob.”

Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and political commentator pointed out the irony of the Obama Administration denouncing ordinary Americans rallying together to protest a government program they oppose. The president himself began his political career as a “community organizer” to help people speak out against government policies they opposed. Yet when ordinary Americans organize themselves against what they view is a socialist agenda that threatens their freedom, their livelihoods and their property, the White House and Democrat Party call them “an angry mob” and set up a domestic snitch operation to compile an enemies list.

People should rightly be concerned and they should continue to ask questions and voice their opinions. In addition to the questions they have about the scope of the health care bill, they might want to ask… if the health care bill passes, will there be a list of people opposed to the government takeover of health care that will be put at the back of the line when rationing starts?

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has asked the White House to cease this effort immediately and asked the Obama Administration to inform Congress what it is doing to ensure that no names or information about the people voicing opposition will be collected. As of this writing, the White House has not responded.

By Gary Palmer

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

Senior Citizens Left Off Government’s Swine-Flu Vaccination Priority List August 6, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Democrats, economy, ethics, euthanasia, health care, legislation, medicine, news, politics, senior citizens, socialism, taxes.
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Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to minimize suffering and death from influenza, the Health and Human Services Department says on its Web site.

But some senior citizens complain they’ve been left off the list of people who will be first in line to get the swine flu vaccination, when it is ready. One CNSNews.com reader suggested the omission is in line with the Obama’s administration’s plan to “minimize” health care for the elderly, as the reader put it.

On its Flu.gov Web page, HHS says the government is working to produce enough vaccine for the entire population, but there will be shortages when a vaccine first becomes available – probably in mid-October.

That means the “limited supply” will have to be “prioritized for distribution and administration.”

On July 29, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – a group that advises the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — recommended that novel H1N1 flu vaccine be made available first to the following five groups:

— Pregnant women
— Health care workers and emergency medical responders
— People caring for infants under 6 months of age
— Children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years
— People aged 25 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)

Nothing is said about people over the age of 64, with or without underlying medical conditions.

HHS admits that its vaccination plans have changed as swine flu has spread:

“Now that an actual flu pandemic has arrived, we must be flexible and adjust our response based on the nature of the actual virus that has emerged, is circulating and causing disease around the world,” Flu.gov says.

“Based on what we know now about the novel H1N1 virus and the most vulnerable groups that are being affected most by this virus and those most likely to encounter it —younger people, pregnant women, healthcare personnel, and people who have underlying health conditions—it is necessary to revise and refine our vaccine prioritization guidance based on real world events.”

HHS says it already has invested more than $1 billion to produce a bulk supply of vaccine and to prepare pilot lots of potential vaccine for use in clinical studies.

In addition Congress passed and President Obama recently signed a supplemental appropriation for $7.5 billion to cover the costs of preparing for H1N1, including a vaccination campaign.

Commentary: In addition to the absence of any consideration for the very large and vulnerable senior population, the paternal health care of the federal bureaucrats costs taxpayers another $7.5 billion.

My question then is why do we need the bureaucrats in Washington funding our health care? Are not the big drug companies and their university labs not capable of funding their own profit-making drugs?

Maybe it is merely how health care works in a socialists system. We pay government, insurance companies, co-pays to doctors and drug companies, and then more through inflation to all of them. When the socialist bureaucrats Americans keep electing to rip them off of their income get their health care reform, Americans will spend even more of the money on health care and more time in line waiting to get health care. If you happen to be elderly, you might as well lessen the financial burden of all others by dying.

That appears to be the Democrats formula for compassionate euthanasia. Such has been the life long goal of Senator Sir Edward Kennedy.

News Source: CNSNews.com, July 31, 2009

FBI’s corruption case snitch politically connected by money August 4, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in campaign finance, crime, Democrats, FBI, news, politics.
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Before he helped the government snare dozens of New Jersey public officials by offering bribes, the FBI’s informant in a corruption case was a prolific on-the-books campaign donor, giving roughly $190,000 to high-level candidates over an eight-year span.

None of the 30 or so politicians who received legal campaign donations from Solomon Dwek have been implicated in the scandal. Forty-four people, mostly Democrats, were arrested last week, including three mayors, two state assemblymen, five rabbis and many other public officials.

But many recipients are rushing to give the money to charity as they look to distance themselves from Dwek and the state’s culture of corruption.

“When you’ve taken money from somebody in involved in a scandal, you give it back as fast as you can,” said Peter Woolley, a political science professor and pollster at Fairleigh Dickinson-Public Mind. “In the public’s mind, giving money and influencing politicians is one in the same thing.”

Dwek and his wife, Pearl, donated to candidates at all levels of government — a sign of just how politically connected the former real estate developer was.

Dwek’s legal donations began in 1998, according to state and federal campaign finance records, and stopped just weeks before his April 2006 arrest for federal bank fraud. That crime put him under the FBI’s thumb and led to his undercover work offering money to dozens of public officials and politicians in exchange for their influence.

According to campaign finance records, recipients of his legitimate donations include a county officials, state assemblymen and senators, congressmen and two former gubernatorial candidates, and even a U.S. president. They do not include current Gov. Jon Corzine, however.

Among the biggest beneficiaries was Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, who received $10,900 from Dwek and his wife, Pearl, from 1999 to 2005. The couple gave Pallone’s political action committee an additional $5,000 in 2005.

Other Democratic recipients include U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Congressmen Rush Holt, former New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli, and former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

Republicans recipients were state Sens. Tom Kean, Jr. and Joseph Kyrillos, 2005 GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, former Congressmen Bob Franks and Dick Zimmer, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter — who became a Democrat earlier this year — and even President George W. Bush.

The Dweks’ donations favored Republicans at the state level and Democrats at the federal level.

Excerpts from AP Report published by Transparency International, Jully 31, 2009.

Roosevelt on Freedom: From Filipinos in 1904 to Muslims Today May 6, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Central America, Democrats, foreign policy, freedom, Muslims, politics, Republicans, secularism.
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n what follows, I am going to cite and paraphrase at length from a letter written on April 4, 1904 by President Theodore Roosevelt, a man of extraordinary erudition, wisdom, and courage. Roosevelt wrote more than 100,000 letters and 40 books, but his letter of April 4, 1904 is especially relevant to Israel [and to Moshe Ya’alon’s interview in The Jerusalem Post of May 1, 2009]. The letter concerns the question of Philippine independence and may well be applied to the question of Palestinian statehood [endorsed by Ya’alon]. Of course, I mean no disparagement of Filipinos.

Before continuing, it should be noted that in 1898 the United States acquired the Philippines and Cuba as a result of the Spanish-American War,

Roosevelt’s April letter refers to a petition signed by a number of what he calls “very high-minded citizens” whose intention was to present the petition to the Republican and Democratic conventions in June. The petition urges the United States to “pledge itself to give political independence to the Philippines sometime in the future.”

Roosevelt regarded the petition not only as futile but as “purely “mischievous.” The Republican convention, he says, will not consider it because the Republican administration—meaning his administration—is endeavoring to better conditions in the Philippines and has met with great success in its efforts. Hence “it cannot afford to set back this particular work by doing something which would be worse than foolish.”

“The Democrats,” he continued, “may possibly adopt the program, for they may think they will get some votes by it; and they will be wholly indifferent to the damage done either to the Philippines or the United States, provided that damage does not unfavorably affect their chance in the [forthcoming November] election.” [Is something like this happening among Democrats today?]

Roosevelt questions the double-standards of southern Democrats who support the petition. These Democrats would apply the “consent of the governed” doctrine of the Declaration of Independence “to brown men in the Philippines” when these Democrats owe their presence in Congress solely to the fact that they have nullified the voting rights of the black man at home in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

Roosevelt then questions the seemingly lofty motives of northern Democrats who support the petition. He does so in terms that may be applied, respectively, to many left-wing Israeli and American democrats vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the Iraqis.

It seems, he says, “that very many men who sincerely feel that they are conscientious have in this matter of the Philippines … became absorbed in the essentially … selfish task of sacrificing [their] duty to others to the business of trying to save their own souls. The easy thing, the cheap thing, to do is sign a petition or make a speech in favor of abandoning a difficult and doubtful task, washing our hands of all responsibility of the matter, leaving the Filipinos to the impossible task of working out their own salvation.”

“The hard thing, the wise and brave thing, is to keep on … working for the actual betterment, moral, industrial, social, and political of the Filipinos; the task of laying the foundation of growth which we believe will in the end fit them for independence.”

Roosevelt went on to say that the Filipinos “will not be fit for independence in the next half dozen years or dozen years, probably not in the next score or two score of years. Further than this we cannot say.”

Even though he personally believed the Filipinos would ultimately get their independence, to say this is to express “the belief of what will happen in a future too remote to entitle it to any weight among those working to solve the problems of the actual present …” Any such expression which the petition calls for would be misleading. “A promise of independence to the Filipinos means to them a promise of independence in a reasonably near future, or else [it] would be a promise to do them the utmost damage we can do—for this is precisely and exactly what granting them independence in the near future would mean. We are far more necessary to the Filipinos than the Filipinos are to us.”

“Freedom,” says Roosevelt, “does not mean absence of all restraint. It means the substitution of self-restraint from external restraint, and therefore can be used only by people capable of self-restraint … It is not a matter of reading Rousseau in the closet, but by studying the needs in each particular case.”

Unaffected by the cultural relativism that modulates radical democrats today, Roosevelt boldly asserts that “There are nationalities and tribes wholly unfit for self-government; there are others singularly fitted for it; there are many between the two extremes. Cuba we believed to be fit for it, provided we threw certain safeguards around her, and gave her a short preliminary training…. At the time many unwise people wished to turn Cuba adrift at once, to her own irreparable damage. This we declined to do. We kept her for four years and then gave her independence under certain qualifications. She is now more prosperous than any other Spanish-American republic of approximately the same size.” Of course, Batista and Castro had yet to appear when Roosevelt penned these words,

But consider what he said of Santo Domingo. “In Santo Domingo a hundred years of freedom, so far from teaching the Santo Domingoans how to enjoy freedom and turn it to good account, has resulted so badly that society is on the point of dissolution …”

Returning to the Philippines, Roosevelt points out that “the questions we have to decide are not in the least theoretical. They are entirely practical, and can only be decided if there is knowledge of the facts. The Filipinos are not fit to govern themselves. They are better off in every way now than they were before. They are given a larger measure of self-government than they ever had before, or than any other Asiatic people except Japan now enjoys.”

Roosevelt’s statement applies to the Palestinian Arabs, who prospered and enjoyed more individual freedom under Israeli rule than under the despotic rule of the Palestinian Authority.

Although the Philippines achieved independence on July 4, 1946, political instability and violence still punctuate life in that country. This would not surprise Roosevelt, who was a close student of world history, anthropology, and human nature.

We have no such statesmen like that in the United States, and certainly not in Israel whose political elites—to put it mildly—are backward compared to Theodore Roosevelt. So the leaders of the two countries continue to pursue the mindless and deadly charade of a Palestinian state. They seem to have learned nothing from history—something despised by Shimon Peres.

But are they really ignorant of the fact that a vast majority of the Palestinians are committed to Israel’s annihilation? Are they really ignorant of the fact that these Arabs have taught their children to emulate suicide bombers, and have even used them as bombs to kill Jews? Are they so blind or brainless as not to see that it would take one or two generations to overcome this barbarism, this genocidal hatred?

Or are they simply too timid to face the terrible truth that devastating violence may be required to sear from Muslim consciousness the ethos of jihad, the love of war, that has animated Arab-Islamic culture since Muhammad? Was not such devastation necessary to make warlike Germany and Japan peace-loving?

This is the ugly truth about Islam, so obvious in the Hitlerian statements of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and manifested in the Arab’s deliberate bombing of school children in Israel.

To negotiate with Muslims is worse than futile: it arms them and disarms us. When Teddy Roosevelt said, “talk softly and carry a big stick,” he was not referring to barbarians.

One last word. The devil has many disguises. He likes to appear as good, compassionate, peace-loving, even as a servant of God. He has disciples even among secularists in democracies. They will be found across the political spectrum—today concentrated among the cultural left. There is a mystery here—the “mystery of iniquity.” Does anyone believe that Israel’s ruling elites—so easy to accuse of folly and cowardice—have succumbed to the devil? Can the devil be defined as absolute egoism parading as altruism?

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Source: Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, September 10, 2007. Presented as a preface to his May 4 commentary on Moshe Ya’alon’s Interview in The Jerusalem Post of May 1, 2009.