Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

© David Burton 2010

President Carter in North Korea

     The August 27, 2010 issue of the Boston Herald had a number of articles that got me thinking. Here are a number of these thoughts, along with a few other musings.


     Radical Islam is at war with America and all ‘Infidels’, i.e., everyone who doesn’t submit to the Muslim radicals’ concept of Islam, and even to Muslims who do not adhere to the Radical’s own brand of Islamic fundamentalism. We Americans have been attacked by these radicals for well over 3 decades - reference my earlier articles (Ref. 1 & Ref. 2). As a result, there are some that fear the rise of Islamophobia (the fear and/or hatred of all members of the Islamic faith) in American society. The cancer of political correctness (PC) leads many to go to obscene lengths to avoid the slightest hint of bias against or discrimination toward any member of the Muslim faith. By their standards, one should never mention the fact that all perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks on America were Arabs and Muslims; one should never mention the fact that there are some passages in the Koran, the Holy Book of the Muslim faith, that call for war against and subjugation of non-Muslims, and one should call any negative action against a Muslin by anyone, sane or insane, as evidence of the all-pervasive atmosphere of Islamophobia in America.

     In the August 27, 2010 issue of the Boston Herald, we read that a drunken college student who “once volunteered with a group that promotes interfaith tolerance and has supported a proposal for a mosque near Ground Zero,” is accused of stabbing a New York cab driver because the cabbie is a Muslim. (Ref. 3)

     In the words of a Herald editorial, “to hear the chattering class and the city’s mayor – we’re all guilty of Islamophobia and bear collective guilt for this crime.” Because the actions of this one individual, who was “so drunk and irrational that he was brought to a hospital for psychological evaluation,” every resident of New York city and indeed all Americans are accused of “bigotry” by the city’s mayor and of “now fighting each other" by the state’s governor. (Ref. 4) Quite a stretch and a gigantic leap to equate the actions of one nut with the behavior of the rest of America. Rather than accusing all Americans of Islamophobia, I accuse a number of people, including politicians who should know better, with PC paranoia.

Islamophobia – The Flip Side

     The truth may hurt some, but the facts are that radical Islam has been at war with America, the West, and everyone else who doesn’t submit to their will. We have been attacked by Muslims and predominantly Arab Muslims and are fighting with them here and abroad. When it comes to defending ourselves against these vicious animals, I support profiling. Our PC crowd can scream all they want, but it was radical Islamic Arabs that attacked America on 9/11. The ‘shoe bomber’ and the ‘underwear bomber’ were supporters of radical Islam, one of them an Arab. When looking to detect terrorists before they can perpetrate their crimes of murder and destruction, I heartily endorse the concept of looking for the most likely perpetrators, i.e., start with supporters of radical Islam and radical Muslim Arabs. Leave American grandmothers and children alone. They are unlikely to bring a bomb on a commercial airliner. Let’s keep our eye on the prize and stop being blinded by liberals who continually scream about the violation of civil liberties. With regard to terrorism, we are not all equals. There are some who are much more likely to commit acts of terrorism and there are those who quite obviously are not terrorists. Let’s focus on the likely candidates. They are most likely followers of Islam.

     Today, we have the following news "Two men suspected of running a test for a terrorist attack with 'mock bombs' in their luggage were arrested by Dutch Police and charged with 'preparation of a terrorist attack.'" (Ref. 5) Their names? Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi and Hezem al Murisi. 'Nuff said!

The Dumbing Down of America

     In the name of political correctness, our liberal establishment has ordained that everyone should be equal. Take careful note of the wording – be equal – not treated as an equal and not given equal opportunity. In our schools, if Johnny can’t keep up scholastically with Jimmy, then we must get Jimmy to perform lower scholastically so Johnny won’t get an inferiority complex. God forbid that we should have an Einstein, a Babe Ruth or a Michael Jordan in our midst. If we can’t make everyone the best and the brightest, then we can take the best and the brightest and dumb them down to the lowest level of achievement. Then, and only then, will everyone be equal. Then and not until then will our liberal establishment be satisfied.

     Recently, Massachusetts education officials decided to discard its MCAS testing requirements and replace them with a new federal program called the Common Core State Standards. “In recent years, Massachusetts has ranked at the top or near the top compared to all other states when it comes to the education of {its} children.” A major factor in achieving these results was the MCAS. “The federal tests will be easier {than the MCAS and} accountability less rigorous.” But, in return for discarding the MCAS and replacing it with the federal plan, Massachusetts receives $250 million in federal money. “Money trumps standards when looking at a $250 million windfall.” So what if we here in Massachusetts have just agreed to lower our education standards? After all, $250 million is $250 million! Why couldn’t our esteemed politicians in Washington have worded the program so as to implement the Common Core State Standards or any state standards that are equal to or better than the Common Core State Standards? Ah, but that would have meant that some state standards might be higher than those of another state! – Heaven forbid! It would be politically incorrect to find that some or our citizens are more capable than others. So in keeping with the liberal mantra of ‘everyone should be equal’ and for $250 million in federal money, Massachusetts is allowing itself to be ‘dumbed down’. (Ref. 6)

Economics 101

     America’s federal debt is out of sight and growing. The federal government is expanding with new programs, e.g., ObamaCare, new regulations, e.g., on banks and financial institutions, and new public employee hires that are funded by federal stimulus money. Pay for federal employees, along with the cost of health-care and retirement benefits is increasing. Social Security and Medicare will run out of money without any changes in benefits or funding. We are spending money to ‘bail out’ banks, homeowners, possessors of credit cards, major American car manufacturers, and others. Where the money to pay for all of this is coming from is an unanswered question. The Obama administration has yet to address this issue. What will be the consequences of this unprecedented spending spree and the run-up of the national debt? The answer to this question may be found in the current financial crisis in Greece.

     “The Greek government, which ran deficits for decades to cover its bloated public payroll and finance its teetering social security system, ran out of money and no one wanted to lend it more.” To avoid a larger crisis, European countries are providing a $145 billion ‘salvation package’ “in return for Greece’s promise to reform its profligate ways.” To date, Greece has trimmed pensions and public sector wages, increased taxes and eliminated bonuses. It has also promised to slash “public sector jobs that most Greeks still consider a birthright.” Are all the liberal spendthrifts out there listening? “Greece is about to learn whether a modern state can withdraw entitlements that people have come to take for granted but which the government can no longer afford. For fiscal hawks, this is a harbinger of what could happen to the American economy when, say, the social security system finally goes bankrupt, or when the government no longer has enough money to fund Medicare.” [Emphasis mine] In Greece, “the working class has perks” that we Americans are only now clamoring for, i.e., “six weeks or more of {annual paid} vacation, and enough money to take them in the beach or mountains; long, fully paid maternity {like 3 years} and disability leaves; and free health care.” Doesn’t this sound like the Utopian promises of America’s liberal politicians and the demands of their supporters? In Greece “the nation simply shuts down in July and August” because of the liberal vacation benefits Greek workers have grown accustomed to.
     All of this socialistic largess comes at a high price “in terms of the crippling public debt that underwrites the bloat of government jobs.” The Greek economy inhibits creativity and innovation and there is a “static job market, anchored with red tape.”
          - - -
     "Most professions {in Greece} remain closed by arcane, medieval rules, and bureaucracy stifles virtually any innovation. (For instance there are only 35,000 truck drivers in a country of 10 million, and no new license have been issued since the 1980s.) Older Greeks still benefit from phantom bureaucracies, like the famous train workers union whose members are still paid to monitor {grade} crossings that were replaced decades ago with electronic{ally controlled} arms.”
     This paternalistic (and failed) Greek economic system might well be a model of the coming economic system in America if we continue down the path on which we now find ourselves. The moral here is: “Try to live beyond your means forever, and one day, it’ll catch up with you.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 7) The day of reckoning may arrive sooner than many of our liberals and closet socialists think.

My Brand of Conservatism

     Recently, former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, took Massachusetts Republican senator, Scott Brown, to task for not voting in lock step with Republican ultra-conservatives. Brown’s communications director rightly shot back that “Senator Brown’s votes are based on what’s in the best interest of Massachusetts.” (Ref. 8) Brown’s communications director also could have added that Senator Brown votes as his conscience dictates, and not as party hacks order. Now that’s my type of conservatism!

     As I wrote some time ago (Ref. 9), maybe it’s time to remind my fellow Republicans and conservatives just who some of their supporters and members are and what we are not.
     I am conservative, not necessarily a dyed-in-the-wool hard-line conservative. I don’t believe in taxing the productive to support the unproductive. I don’t believe in a nanny state where the government takes care of everyone instead of individuals being responsible for themselves. I don’t support the preservation of utopian civil liberties at the expense of allowing terrorists and criminals to escape and repeat their crimes and atrocities. I don’t believe in a tax-and-spend philosophy.
     I believe in the least government possible. I believe in minimizing taxes and that reduced income tax rates increase GDP growth, thereby generating the same or more revenue for the government from the smaller tax on the extra growth. I believe in a strong national defense. I believe we have been at war with radical Islam for decades and will be for many years to come. I believe a strong national defense is essential to defeating this threat and to defending against other new threats in the world. I believe in supporting the capitalistic free-market system and the companies and businesses that produce the goods, services, and jobs that have made America the success that it has been for over three centuries. I believe in taking a hard line against terrorists and criminals. I support the death penalty. I believe in giving those who serve and protect us all the tools they need to defeat the terrorists and criminals. I believe that that making law is the province of the legislature and that judges should not "legislate from the bench." I support the idea of individuals being economically responsible for their own actions, decisions and consequences. I support welfare reform, which limits eligibility for welfare and encourages welfare recipients to find jobs. I believe that economic prosperity and environmental protection must advance together, that environmental regulations should be based on science, and that the government’s major role should be to provide market-based incentives to develop the technologies to meet environmental standards. I support school choice, charter schools and education vouchers. I support organized prayer in public schools. I am in favor of liberalized legal immigration and against illegal immigration, but with compassion and intelligence. One size does not fit all.
     I am not a born again Christian Fundamentalist. In fact, I am not of the Christian faith. I support a woman’s right to abortion and I support the Roe vs. Wade decision of the Supreme Court. I am a “moderate conservative”. I lean to the right, but I am not a supporter of the extreme right wing. I do not march in lock step with hard line conservatives. I believe in defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, but not by means of a constitutional amendment. I also believe in civil unions and the guarantee of the same benefits to gay couples as to heterosexual couples. I believe in supporting embryonic stem cell research.

Kim Jong Il Says Jump and America Jumps

     “Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter flew out of North Korea on a private jet early today after securing a special pardon for a Boston man who had been jailed in the communist county since January.” (Ref. 10) To be accurate, Ex-President Jimmy Carter didn’t secure the release of the Boston man. The man’s release was arranged long in advance by the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Il. Jimmy Carter was simply the courier that the Communist dictator had decided would enhance his prestige and humble America. Kim Jong Il said Jump and America jumped. The North Korean ‘Supreme Leader’ even provided a diplomatic slap in the face to Carter by not meeting with him.

     Isn’t it time to stop this absurdity? As I understand it, this Boston man deliberately entered North Korea illegally. At best, he was naïve. More likely, he is also stupid. As far as I’m concerned, America should not have to pay for this or any other person’s stupid actions. If he indeed did purposely enter North Korea illegally, then he should have suffered the consequences of his actions. We could have left him in jail there. As an alternative, he should be billed for the cost of America’s getting him released. Jimmy Carter flew to North Korea and back on a private jet. How much did that cost the American taxpayer? Why does America have to be a patsy to the whims of a tinhorn dictator? If we wanted to get this man released bad enough then we should have told the ‘Supreme Leader’ to release him or to expect a cruise missile to visit his nuclear bomb making plant or some other location in North Korea.
     Paraphrasing from a Letter to the Editor in the August 27th Boston Herald “It seems there are errant do-gooder buffoons who find themselves … wandering into North Korea and being held hostage. In reality, they choose their fate. We then have the shameful spectacle of another ex-president of this democracy going there … to make obeisance to that vile regime for their release. Very well, but if they must come home, they should come home not as heroes but as pariahs.” (Ref. 11)

     Earlier, former President Bill Clinton had travelled to North Korea to facilitate the release of 2 American women who had reportedly accidently strayed into North Korea. In this case, the entry into North Korea was entirely accidental and not done intentionally. Obtaining their release in this case was appropriate, but, here again, sending a former president to satisfy the ego of the North Korean dictator is galling. Is American diplomacy so ineffectual that their release could not have been negotiated through diplomatic channel? Does America not have any other means of applying pressure to a country like North Korea in order to induce them to do what is right?

Let’s Tell the Enemy Our Game Plan

     In an effort to pander to his liberal left, President Barack Obama has “set what was widely construed to be a {July, 2011} deadline for the United States to begin withdrawing” from Afghanistan. This is a stupid mistake that allows “the Taliban to see a light at the end of the tunnel.” Even General David Petreus has “been edging away from that deadline,” and with very good reason. “As many suspected it would, {the deadline} gave Taliban leaders hope that if they can only hang on until next July, they will have won the war.” Marine Corps commandant General James Conway said the deadline was “probably giving our enemy sustenance” and “We’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘hey, you know we’ve only got to hold out for so long.’” Instead of focusing on placating his “war-weary base among liberal democrats”, President Obama should focus on winning the war in Afghanistan – no matter how long it takes. What has happened to “we will never forget”, “united we stand”, and “whatever it takes”? (Ref. 12)

     President Obama is wrong to announce any timetable for Afghanistan. "In this war, a timetable can only encourage the enemy to hang on until we depart." President Obama should clearly and forcefully state that we will leave Afghanistan when the enemy is defeated. "Unlike our enemies whose only focus is killing Americans, destroying our economy and imposing Sharia law, we battle political correctness and the false notion that we can make terrorists like us by being nice to them. In fact, the only thing terrorists understand is power. They must be crushed, not accommodated, and not with kindness."
        - - -
     "Democrats have a problem. Following 9/11 they supported the war, but when polls showed public approval declining, they criticized it in hopes of bringing down Bush's approval numbers. The party's liberal wing is increasingly against the war, but now that Obama has ordered more troops to Afghanistan than Bush, the president and his party effectively 'own' it. Which is too bad, because this is America's war to win or lose. Americans of all political stripes should hope and pray the president's strategy works, not for any political benefit he might derive, but for America's sake." (Ref. 13)



  1. When will America realize that we are at war?, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu, Article 10; Whatever_03, www.sonofeliyahu.com, 11 December 2005.
  2. Wake up America -- WE ARE AT WAR!!!, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu, Article 63; Islam_06, www.sonofeliyahu.com, 18 December 2009.
  3. Man charged in Muslim cabbie stab worked with tolerance group, Associated Press, Boston Herald, Page 2, 27 August 2010.
  4. Defining Islamophobia, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page 18, 27 August 2010.
  5. Pair charged in terror attack 'dry run' to Amsterdam, Herald Staff, Boston Herald, Page 2, 31 August 2010.
  6. It’s the Money, Stupid!, Editorial, The Valley Patriot, Page 2, August - 2010.
  7. Greekonomics, Thanassis Cambanis, Boston Sunday Globe, Pages C1-C2, 29 August 2010.
  8. This ain’t Alaska, Sarah!, Hilary Chabot and Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, Page 6, 27 August 2010.
  9. A Message to “my” Republican Party, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu, Article 30; Politics_04, www.sonofeliyahu.com, 22 February 2008.
  10. Ex-prez helps free hub man from North Korea, Associated Press, Boston Herald, Page 16, 27 August 2010.
  11. The Lost in North Korea, George McWhinnie, Boston Herald, Page 18, 27 August 2010.
  12. A deadline to ignore, Dale McFeatters, Boston Herald, Page 19, 27 August 2010.
  13. United let us stand - Afghan war isn't just Obama's. it's ours, Cal Thomas, Boston Herald, Page 17, 5 December 2009.

  31 August 2010 {Article 95; Whatever_20}    
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