Monday, September 24, 2012

Suu Kyi Inspires at U of L

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke this morning at the McConnell Center at University of Louisville.It was one of the most inspiring and moving speeches I have ever seen.

Suu Kyi has worked for more than 20 years to bring democracy to Burma.  She was under house arrest for twenty years.  During that time, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has done all he could to pressure Myanmar -- the junta name for Burma -- to allow democracy and to release Suu Kyi.

Perhaps McConnell's most important contribution is that he would not let the world forget Suu Kyi -- no matter how many years she was imprisoned.

When it comes to democracy, Suu Kyi is like George Washington on steroids.  For so long, it was almost unimaginable that she would ever be released from captivity alive.  Now, she is an elected member of the Burmese Parliament and a Nobel Laureate. It may be overstating it to say that none of this would have been possible but for the help of McConnell, but not by much.  He was pivotal to bringing democracy to Burma.

Suu Kyi cautioned that democracy is fragile there.  They have no rule of law, no independent judiciary.  She voiced a hope for making Burma a safe haven to which Burmese refugees can return, if they so desire.

There were, in fact, many Burmese refugees in the audience at U of L.  Their love for their homeland and gratitude for Suu Kyi touched all of us who witnessed it.

What I learned from Suu Kyi is that courage and good will confer unparalleled dignity.  Suu Kyi said that the best thing about non-violence -- and not hating one's adversary -- is the amount of time and energy it frees up.  She said that she never hated the military that imprisoned her. The daughter of a great military commander, she hated many actions that the military took to suppress democracy, but she never hated her opponents.  Indeed, Suu Kyi made the remarkable statement that she does not know what it feels like to hate. And I believed her.

What an extraordinary woman.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney Was Right About the 47 Percent

Mitt Romney was caught on hidden camera speaking the truth:  it is a disgrace that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax. Indeed, in addition to not paying in, many of these people get grants and payments from the federal government.

That is why this election is so consequential:  we are close to the tipping point of this group who pays no federal income tax becoming a majority. When that happens, the party that advocates bigger and bigger government will always win. That's because those who do not pay any federal income tax have no incentive to resist the next big entitlement problem:  someone else will pay for it, not them.

Michele Bachmann made this point powerfully in the primary debates.  She said that all American citizens should pay something -- even if just a dollar a year -- so that they have some skin in the game.  Each citizen, no matter how poor, should pay a nominal part so that they fund, even to a tiny extent, things that we all need and benefit from:  federal highways, national defense, federal courts.

What Romney needs to clarify is that Republicans want to move the 47 percent into prosperity.  Let's help people who are not working get good jobs that allow them to pay federal income tax, and not in a nominal sense. Romney wants to do this by repealing Obamacare, simplifying the tax system, and setting tax rates that encourage entrepreneurs to take risks and develop new businesses.

If Romney made any mistake on the Secret Tape, it was conceding the 47 percent to the Democrats.  He needs to explain why his five point economic plan will help all Americans, including the 47 percent.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rand Paul Responds to Libya Killings

Sen. Rand Paul makes a good point in response to the Libya killings:  let's suspend foreign aid to Libya until they turn over the monsters who perpetrated this crime.

Here's Paul's statement:

“I am heartbroken and outraged by the murder of four U.S. citizens, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

“The perpetrators of this senseless attack must be brought to justice. I, therefore, demand that until the Libyan police hand over suspects to U.S officials, any U.S. foreign aid to the government of Libya be contingent on their full support in this matter.”

The whole incident is making the Obama presidency look like a sad re-tread from the Carter presidency.  He failed to keep U.S. citizens safe.  Obama's policies of appeasement and apologies has made the world less safe.  

Hillary Clinton was absolutely right about the 2:00 a.m. phone call.  He is not up to the job and needs to go,

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/11 Anniversary 2012

This is One World Trade Center which stands in the place of Six World Trade Center, one of the buildings destroyed on September 11, 2001. When it's completed at the end of next year, each of the 104 stories will mean much more than than the offices that occupy them; they will serve a reminder of that day eleven years ago that changed everything. It will represent the bravery of the men and women who risked their lives to save strengers from a building on the verge of collapse. But most importantly, it will show our strength as a nation, where we can rebuild from the most devastating act of terrorism in my lifetime, and perhaps in the entire history of the world. 

9/11 has left scars on our nation that will never be healed, but we as a nation can find hope in this skyscraper that will serve as a reminder to the greatest tragedy our nation has every seen. 

Never Forget

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DNC's Totalitarian Touch

The most clarifying moment at Thursday's convention did not occur in prime-time.  It wasn't the abortion-fest rant by Sandra Fluke. Or Elizabeth "Fauxahontas" Warren's tirade. Or even Bubba's 50 minute contribution to global warming.

It was the vote to reinsert God and Jerusalem back into the Democrats' platform.

It is hard to know which is worse, the form or the substance of the episode.

As to the form, it took three votes to declare the amendment to the platform passed. I say "declare the amendment passed" rather than "pass the amendment" because it is clear from the video that the amendment -- even on the third try -- never secured the two-thirds voice affirmation necessary to pass. Indeed, it did not even receive a majority vote, let alone two-thirds.

Nonetheless, the chair declared the amendment to be passed. By fiat. This wasn't democracy in any sense of the word. It was democracy in the style of a tyrant, worthy of Kim Jong Il or Joseph Stalin.

Then there is the matter of the substance. A majority of delegates at the Democratic National Convention oppose any reference to God in their platform, and similarly oppose the proposition that the capitol of Israel rightfully belongs in Jerusalem. It is worse than even a caricature of left-wing hostility to faith and Israel.

This is how out of touch with America's Judeo-Christian frame of reference the leaders of the Democratic Party have become.

I do not believe that most Democrats agree with dropping God and Jerusalem from the platform of their party.  To be sure, the delegates of either party will always be more ideological than the rank and file members. But this lurch left is nonetheless stunning.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Michelle Inadvertently Reveals Truth

Michelle Obama's speech last night confirmed what most of who have not been conned already knew:  that Barack Obama is completely, totally, absolutely, irretrievably out of touch with the American people.

Michelle, in telling a story that was meant to elicit respect and admiration, revealed what a clueless man her husband is.  She related that Barack spent many nights reading letters from people talking about their struggles and hardships.  Barack was said to have commented on how "unbelievable" many of these situations were.

Our President needs to read letters from us to understand our suffering?!?!?!?!  23-million people unemployed and he needs to read letters from us to figure out that a few of us might be struggling?!?!?!?  When you have no job, no money and no hope, it is unbelievable that you are suffering?

Barack Obama is one of the most arrogant, elitist, out of touch Presidents that our nation has ever had.  Obviously, the First Lady is his equal in this regard.