Saturday, November 15, 2008

What will President Obama do?

While some of the men whom I respect--most notably Dennis Prager and Michael Medved--have stated that they are willing to give President-elect Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt and wish him well at the beginning of his administration, I confess to having profound and serious misgivings. In an effort to clarify my sense of foreboding, and for the sake of establishing a record for future reference, I've decided to list the policies I most fear that President Obama will establish during his administration. It's my sincere hope that none of these things will occur. But I followed this election very carefully, and based on Barack Obama's campaign speeches and information found on his web site, I fear that many, if not most, of the following will come to pass over the course of his presidency.

Domestic Policy
1) Reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine"
2) Legislate "Card Check" to end the secret ballot for union organization
3) Raise capital gains tax
4) Allow the Bush tax cuts to expire (all taxes go up plus a percentage of people, who under the Bush tax cuts were taken off the tax rolls will once again pay taxes)
5) Increase income tax rates for the top 5 to 20% of taxpayers
6) End all efforts to privatize even a portion of Social Security
7) Legislate government-run health insurance and health insurance laws that make the government health insurance a de facto single-payer system
8) Drastically cut the defense budget, especially our nuclear arsenal and our naval fleet, which tax revenues can then be diverted to fund the plethora of social entitlements on the Democrat agenda. (This would follow the model of all of the Western European democracies after the end of the Cold War.)
9) End all research and development of missile defense (so called "Star Wars" begun by President Reagan and continued by Bush II)
10) Sign FOCA (the Freedom Of Choice Act) that will overturn the Hyde Amendment and once again mandate federal funds for abortion and invalidate--by federal law--any state impediments to abortion on demand, and cut all federal funding to any programs that serve as an alternative to abortion
11) Replace 3 retiring Supreme Court Justices with radical leftist judges
12) Bail out the auto industry and put the American taxpayers on the hook for UAW pension liabilities
13) Legislate health insurance laws to prohibit the denial of coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (this would bankrupt private for-profit companies--since people would simply wait until they were sick before buying insurance--and leave government-controlled insurance as the only alternative
14) Start a government-funded Peace Corps-type, semi-mandatory alternative to military service
15) Raise the minimum wage to an arbitrarily decided "living wage" ($9.50 per hour according to his web site) instead of an entry level wage as it has historically been
16) Change bankruptcy law to "forgive" medical expense debt if the individual can prove that it is the cause of his bankruptcy
17) Legislate anti-profit laws against drug companies, further suppressing the creation of new drugs
18) Legislate severe handgun restrictions, conceal-carry law restrictions, and ban so called "assault weapons"
19) Federally fund preschools across the country
20) Mandate the US military to allow the service of openly gay in the US military
21) Block the building of any new nuclear power plants
22) Bankrupt the US coal industry
23) Block any new offshore drilling for oil
24) Drastically increase corn ethanol subsidies
25) Create a federal "Department of Peace"
26) Drastically increase the budget and power of the Department of Education
27) End "No Child Left Behind" and any student testing as a criteria or incentive for federal funds
28) Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act
29) Legislate to fund, from taxpayer dollars, 100% of community college tuition and 2/3rds of public college tuition.
30) Legislate equal pay for "comparable" work (in other words, arbitrarily equating, say, clerical work to pipe fitting and mandating equal pay for both)
31) Create a "Civilian National Security Force"

Foreign Policy
32) End the covert war on terror and reduce all such engagement to Clinton era law enforcement activity
33) Make the rest of the world "like" us (by making us weak and deferential to organizations such as the UN and the World Court)
34) Loosen immigration enforcement and legislate the issue of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants
35) Sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol & establish a massive cap & trade bureaucracy
36) Re-negotiate North American Free Trade Agreement causing retaliatory trade restrictions and tariffs by other countries.
37) Meet with terrorist state leaders without preconditions
38) Pull American troops from Iraq with no regard for conditions within the country--possibly leading to Iran having decisive influence in Shiite-majority Iraq, or a massive resurgence of terrorist/insurgent violence and the ultimate collapse of the fledgling democracy.
39) Change America's relationship with Israel and the Palestinians: more favorable to the Palestinians and less favorable to Israel
40) Double foreign aid
41) Negotiate an agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan and subsequently redeploy American troops out of Afghanistan.
42) Close Guantanamo and release perhaps hundreds of self-avowed jihadists committed to killing Americans

In writing this list, I've tried to either avoid explanatory comments and predictions of their consequences, or at least keep them to a minimum, but I welcome your comments and input. It's my intention to revisit this page often and comment and further elaborate, in future posts, as these policies are implemented. Suffice it to say now that I believe each and every one of these policies, if enacted, will have disastrous results for this country. I encourage everyone to pray, as well as actively work, for the prevention of any of these policies being legislated or enacted to law by judicial or presidential fiat.

God help us in the coming four years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Willful Blindness

In Andrew McCarthy's recent book, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, he comes to several conclusions that bear absolute relevance to the outcome of this election considering the diametrically opposite views of the two candidates in how they will approach the question of what is commonly called the "War on Terror." McCarthy's bonafides to draw these conclusions are solid: he served as top federal prosecutor in the government's case against Omar Abdel Rahman, otherwise known as the "Blind Shiekh," and his acolytes for their bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. The book, for the most part, is a recount of the investigation and trial.

But in the final chapter McCarthy outlines his conclusions about why the struggle of the United States against jihadists should not be addressed through the courts or the American justice system, but rather through our intelligence community and our military. Here's an excerpt:
The line drawn here is that it is preferable for the government to fail than for an innocent person to be wrongly convicted or otherwise deprived of his rights. Not so in the realm of national security. There, government confronts a host of sovereign states and sub-national entities (particularly international terrorist organizations) claiming the right to use force. The executive is not enforcing American law against a suspected criminal but exercising national defense powers to protect our country against external threats. ...The galvanizing concern in the national security realm is to defeat the enemy, and, as Bill Barr puts, "preserve the very foundation of all our civil liberties." The line drawn here is that government cannot be permitted to fail.

The folly of the criminal justice approach to terrorism is highlighted by McCarthy when he points out that in the eight years between the '93 bombing of the World Trade Center towers and their final destruction in 2001 there were less than ten major terrorism prosecutions, and these at a truly staggering cost that continues to this day since several of these cases, all these years later, are still in appellate or habeas-corpus litigation.

He also affirms that the legal approach actually increases the threat of terrorism because of the information that can (and has been) conveyed to foreign terrorist masters through the discovery process of a trial.

An additional detriment is that it corrodes our own system of justice. Since Islamic terrorist are not motivated in the same way as "criminals", and since the danger to the greater society is just as real as if the terrorist were being confronted in a military way:
the legally required showing of probable cause for a search warrant is apt to be loosely constructed when agents, prosecutors, and judges know denial of the warrant may mean a massive bombing plot is allowed to proceed. ...Civilian justice is a zero-sum arrangement. Principles and precedents we create in terrorism cases generally get applied across the board. Worse still, this state of affairs incongruously redounds to the benefit of the terrorist. Initially, this is because his central aim is to undermine our system, so in a very concrete way he succeeds whenever justice is diminished. Later, as government countermeasures come to appear more oppressive, it is because civil society comes increasingly to blame the government rather than the terrorists. In fact, the terrorists--the lightening rod for all of this--come perversely to be portrayed, and to some extent perceived, as symbols of embattled liberal principles, the very one it is their Utopian mission to eradicate. The ill-informed and sometimes malignant campaigns against the Patriot Act and the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program are examples of this phenomenon.

In sum, trials in the criminal justice system don't work for terrorism. They work for terrorists.