The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘the Bible’

COMING TO CHIMERICA

If you remember your Greek mythology, the Chimera was a fire-belching beast assembled from three animals. a lion, a goat and a snake.  I don’t believe that, like the Phoenix, the Chimera re-incarnated itself.  But somehow the ancient gods must have transported it to America for surely it lives among us today.

The modern American Chimera like its ancient ancestor has been forged out of three parts.  In our case the lion is cowardly but unlike its predecessor doesn’t spew fire but ephemeral soap bubbles of praise – that is our Mostly Silent Media.  The goat – well, that’s the American public who have bought into a plethora of pleasing promises as they are herded to the killing shed.  And the snake, that’s the Prevaricator in Chief, Barack Obama.

How did the most successful experiment in free enterprise and personal achievement succumb to a philosophy of gimmee?  Perhaps the explanation is simply that we have been the beneficiaries of too much of a good thing – and rather than express our gratitude for our blessings we believed that we had a right to all that we had received and a right to expect even more.

In such a climate it is not surprising that the serpent, a beguiling creature, was able to convince us that he had the better way for us to go, if only we ate of the apple that he offered.  And we ate – but unlike the Biblical Eve, our eyes were not opened – but rather we consumed the poison that the apple contained and it was addictive – and we wanted even more.  The serpent had identified and played to our weaknesses – idleness and greed.

Unlike the serpent in Genesis, God has not punished our modern serpent – at least not yet.  But that day may be coming.  Even the most beguiling and successful snake oil salesman eventually gets to a point where those to whom he sold the magic elixir realize they have bought  a product without value – or even worse, a product that is toxic.  Obamacare is exactly such a product – as even the Mostly Silent Media are beginning to realize and, finally, report.

My dog Gracie is a gentle one hundred pound giant with the personality of an angel.  In her seven years I have heard her growl only twice – and in both cases it’s because another dog got so rowdy with her that she let them know that their behavior was not acceptable.  And the ferocity of the growl startled both the offender and me.  She meant it.  And the dog involved backed off in both cases.  Dogs are, perhaps, more civilized than people.

The Obama administration has been embroiled in so many controversies that it is impossible for any person with even a modicum of morality to question if this is not the most corrupt  government in American history.  The only alternative, which is no better, is that it is merely inept.

The President should have run for office, not as a Democrat but as a member of the Know Nothing Party.  He knew nothing about Benghazi, the IRS withholding exemptions from Tea Party organizations, the NSA spying on Americans, our snooping on our allies, the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website and now, the fact that as early as three and one half years ago the IRS, HHS and the Department of Labor admitted that as many as two-thirds of people who purchase their health insurance on an individual basis would be facing cancellations and would not, as he promised ceaselessly, “Be able to keep their insurance if they liked it.”

As we know, the President is a lawyer.  He taught law as a professor.  He should, one would hope, be familiar with the law.  And if he is, he should be aware that ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it.  The President’s job is to be aware of important matters that affect the country and its people and ignorance is not an excuse but, rather, an indictment of failed leadership.

There is one aspect of the Obamacare website failure that has been grossly under-reported.  That is that the contract which resulted in this debacle was awarded on a no-bid basis.  There is no successful business which would undertake a major venture on that basis – at least not if it wanted to stay in business.

What is troubling, among other things, is that the primary contract went to a Canadian company, CGI Federal, at a time when the United States is sustaining an unacceptably high rate of unemployment.  And what is more disturbing is that one of Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmates, Toni Townes-Whitley is a senior executive with that company.  Is this blatant cronyism?  You be the judge.  Think Solyndra – another failed venture headed up by chums of the President.

The question of whether the goats in America continue on a path that continues them down the path to Chimerica or whether they smell the blood of their fellows and rebel against their mandated fate is up to them.  At the moment, it is unclear which path we will follow.  But perhaps the reality of what Obamacare is really all about will finally  provide them the impetus to wake up and take action.

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AMERICA THE BABEL(ING)

Genesis 11:1-9 describes the familiar story of the Tower of Babel:

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel – because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

It has often been said that what differentiates people from other animals is our ability to communicate through speech.  Of course, it is not important that we can make speech but that that speech has meaning to our fellow human beings.  A Finn only fluent in Finnish can not communicate any more effectively with a Bantu who speaks only Bantu than an elephant can communicate with a wombat.

The new secular humanism that we find throughout American society today, in its efforts to establish itself as the new state religion, recognizes the importance that language plays in their efforts to divide and conquer.  It is my belief, for that reason, that in their role as pseudo-lord, they are making every effort to confuse Americans by attempting to make this nation into a polyglot country.

If we have any question that a common language serves to unify a people, we have to look no further than the example which China has set.  One of the key programs which the government of China imposed was that it recognized Mandarin as the official language of the country (guo yu).  While people could continue to speak the over one thousand different dialects that existed, they were forced to learn the official language.

In fact, the government went about the work of simplifying the characters in which Chinese had universally been written (although the spoken word was quite different from province to province) in order that more people would be able to learn to read it.

The United States has moved in exactly the opposite direction.  While we have no officially “ordained” language established by the Constitution, for over two hundred years, English was the “de facto” official language.  Immigrants who came to the country realized that they (or at least their children) had to learn it in order to have a chance of success in their new homeland.

In part, that was because signs, legal documents, election ballots, bank statements and virtually everything else that was of legal or financial importance were written in English and only in English.  There was no government pronouncement on English as our “official language”.  But neither was there any intervention on government’s part to alter the customs of the country which were well established.

That, of course, has changed dramatically.  The “progressive” agenda of the government has begun to play a serious role in how we Americans communicate with one another – or fail to do so.  The Justice Department believes that it has the right to dictate to local election districts in what language(s) they must print election materials including ballots to accommodate minority populations for whom English is not their primary language.

And businesses have, as a matter of self-interest rather than merely through government pressure (although there has been much of that as well), adopted that same technique.  We have all experienced calling a bank or utility and been told by the robotic menu to press “1” for English or “2” for Spanish.  This morning, my ATM offered me those two choices in which to continue my transaction.  (Why not Swahili)?

The man who invented Esperanto in the late 19th century, Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof realized that a common language was essential to establishing a common understanding between people who were diverse:

“The place where I was born and spent my childhood gave direction to all my future struggles. In Bialystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct elements: Russians, Poles, Germans and Jews; each of these spoke their own language and looked on all the others as enemies. In such a town a sensitive nature feels more acutely than elsewhere the misery caused by language division and sees at every step that the diversity of languages is the first, or at least the most influential, basis for the separation of the human family into groups of enemies. I was brought up as an idealist; I was taught that all people were brothers, while outside in the street at every step I felt that there were no people, only Russians, Poles, Germans, Jews and so on. This was always a great torment to my infant mind.  Although many people may smile at such an ‘anguish for the world’ in a child, at that time I thought that ‘grown-ups’ were omnipotent.  So I often said to myself that when I grew up I would certainly destroy this evil.”

We really have to do little but sit down with a few days’ worth of news stories to understand the vision that Dr. Zamenhof had, even as a child.  The Zimmerman verdict is an obvious example.  Although in this case, those who are outraged at the outcome and those who support it mostly speak a version of English – but they are two separate and completely different languages.

Were I to sit down with those who are the most vocal and try to engage in a meaningful conversation, I know that I would have to select my words carefully.  That is not for fear of offense but in order to communicate with them.  I would have to try not to employ words that I learned past my grammar school education.

I suspect that if I had written and printed up this post in time for last week’s rallies and distributed it to those marching for “justice,” only a very small percentage would have been able to comprehend much of the vocabulary and an even smaller percentage would have understood the thrust of it.

That paragraph was not written with the intent to demean those who have been under-served by our “educational” system.  It was written to point out a harsh reality that unfortunately exists.  We have managed to “educate” several generations of an underclass that can only communicate with one another; that no intelligent business owner would hire; and that is lost in the mire of limited and garbled verbiage, unable to express their frustration other than through bursts of outrage.

“With all thy getting, get understanding.”  – Proverbs 4:7

There will never be understanding between people if we cannot comprehend what each of us is saying.  And our present policies, unfortunately, are designed to insure that we communicate by using sticks and stones rather than through a dispassionate conversation and a warm handshake.

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