Bob Beckel’s Take on Barack Obama’s Silence Regarding Iran

Sometimes I almost feel sorry for Bob Beckel … almost. I do admire his courage for being the lone liberal on Hannity’s “Great American Panel” on Fox News.

Tonight, he’s in the position of defending Obama’s silence regarding the popular uprising in Iran  related to that country’s recent election. Beckel stated that he felt Obama was advised to remain quiet to prevent the current regime from having an excuse to crack down harder on the protesters. He stated that he felt Obama making a statement in favor of the protesters would give the regime an excuse to blame the current uprisings on the United States and it would, as a consequence, deal more harshly with the protesters.

Who else thinks that the current paranoid government of Iran actually needs an excuse to blame the current uprising on the United States or any other western power? It has never appeared to me that the current despotic government of Iran has needed any excuse to blame the United States for any and everything that they couldn’t deal with intelligently.

According to a recent report, as many as 28 million people in Iran may have voted against Ahmadenejad as opposed to the less than 7 million who were reported to have voted for him. Those are fairly impressive numbers … more than 4 to 1 against the current Iranian leader. It’s highly unlikely that 28 million Iranians have all of a sudden become pro American. After more than 30 years of oppression by their despotic government, it’s much more likely that the 28 million are simply voting against their current rulers and simply prefer anything or anyone rather than who’s in power now.

So, the question really is, “Is President Obama protecting the protesters from greater oppression and harm; or, is he simply dropping the ball by not providing them with moral support and encouragement that they may desperately need?” What’s wrong with the leader of America simply stating that America favors free and open elections where evey qualified person’s vote counts … in any country? Has he forgotten that this very premise is the reason the United States of America was founded, the reason for the American Revolution, the desire for the American colonists to have representation and not feel disenfranchised by their government? Apparently, voicing the founding principle of this country sticks in President Obama’s craw. Fear of the reaction of a two bit dictator in Iran quells him into silence.

Apparently, hundreds of Iranians may have already lost their lives in the ongoing protests with thousands more injured and jailed. Does the Iranian government really need an excuse to crack down further on the protesters? Those Iranian protesters have infinitely more courage than our president.

The deafening silence of the current administration does send a message … both to Americans and Iranians. If the election in Iran was so corrupt that millions of Iranians feel the election was stolen from them, the United States government led by the Obama administration will do nothing, not even by simply providing a verbal message of support for free and honest elections in that country.

So, Bob Beckel finds himself in the position of somehow having to defend the Obama administration for remaining silent to “protect” the protesters.

Where would we be today if Ronald Reagan had not said, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall.”? Would the Berliners have had the courage to eventually confront their communist oppressors and bring the end to the division of Germany and the eventual destruction of the “Iron Curtain” that imprisoned Eastern Europe for most of my lifetime? It’s entirely possible that they and other eastern Europeans might have reached the same point today without the encouragement of President Reagan. But, it’s also a definite fact that every action that President Reagan took was aimed at that goal … to assist the Eastern Europeans in obtaining their freedom … and his speeches and actions didn’t hinder the process.

Well, as far as foreign policy and diplomacy are concerned, Barack Obama isn’t even in the same ballpark with Ronald Reagan. He doesn’t even hold a candle to the bungling JFK. At least Kennedy had the courage of his convictions even if he bungled repeatedly due to his naivety.

The current situation in Iran and the lack of response from Obama brings into question exactly what Barack Obama’s convictions are; or, if he, in fact, has any.This man makes the timid Jimmy Carter look like Atilla the Hunand that’s pretty amazing.

Religion: Old-time “Mixed Marriages” in the South … at least Where I Grew Up

By  “ancient” and “archaic” standards, I am the product of a “mixed marriage”. Does that mean I’m half black and half white?

No … NOT HARDLY!!.

Du-uhhh!!! (pronounced with two syllables with a slight upper inflection on the latter)

It means my father was a Methodist and my mother was a Baptist. And, the dilemma should have been, “Where do we go to church on Sunday?”, but it wasn’t. We attended the Methodist Church, of course.

In the South,especially the rural South, there is a church hierarchy: … everything else, … the Baptists and … the Methodists … but you have to be raised a Methodist out in the “boonies” to appreciate this. Otherwise, you either don’t get it … or viciously disagree.

Baptists accept everyone … just about … even Jimmy Carter.  But, Methodists … well, you have to consider yourself slightly up a notch … and then you’re a Methodist. If you look closely, you’ll notice most of the farmers are Baptists … unless they’re really, really big farmers (or those who think they’re really, really big farmers). And … a lot of the store owners … are Baptists. But …, where do you find the bankers, lawyers, doctors …and insurance agents …? At the Methodist Church, of course, … along with the children and descendants of bankers, lawyers and doctors … and insurance agents … and … really, really big farmers.

It’s really sort of interesting if you think about it … and study it.

Methodists are really Episcopalians sort of lost in the wilderness … and used to call themselves the Methodist Episcopal Church (ergo, the AME or African Methodist Episcopal Church) … or … they called themselves Anglicans … in colonial times, you know, before the “big split”. But now, they’re simply “Methodists” … or “United Methodists”. That’s what they changed their name to when the national organization stole all of the church property from the individual congregations … or so my father said. He always emphatically stated he wasn’t a “united” anything … but a plain ole’ Methodist … period. So there.

“Methodism” is really fairly interesting and basically simple. It was a devised “method” of practicing the Anglican form of the Protestant faith. During the early days of John Wesley, the Anglican Church, or Church of England, required all of it’s congregations to be attended by ordained ministers or priests at formal churches which were few and far between in England. At least, that was the excuse for poor attendance.

John Wesley, as a young Anglican minister, promoted the idea of lay ministers to attend lay congregations in the smaller communities that found it difficult or impossible to travel to the specified churches.(In other words, they just didn’t want to go.) He also set up a “method” or way for them the be organized and conduct their business … thus …”Methodism”. John Wesley was “the Missionary” of the Anglican Church. He went and sought out all of the recalcitrants and gave them no excuse for not attending church.

The colony of Georgia had a particular history with John Wesley. During it’s early days, Wesley actually traveled from England to Georgia during the governorship of James Oglethorpe and preached to congregations there … such as the one at Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island. A small Methodist church still exists on the site near the fort where Wesley preached to Frederica’s congregation under the Spanish moss draped oaks. So, don’t tell anyone but … Methodists “KNOW” their denomination “IS” the real “secret” official religion of the state of Georgia … and everyone else are really heretics.

But the Baptists … ahhhh … the “fire and brimstone” Baptists. Now, there’s a history worth telling. Steeped in the traditions of John Calvin, John Knox and other fervent protestants like the Pilgrims, or Congregationalists, that thought the Church of England or Anglicans were still too “papist”, they are descended from the true firebrands of Protestantism. In fact, the first Baptist congregation in America actually migrated from Maine where it originally settled to Charleston, SC. … where it has continued to flourish in the congregation of the First Baptist Church of that city.

This congregation in this church is where the “War Between the States” notion of “brother against brother, cousin against cousin” actually came into being … if you didn’t know it … at least more or less. These people in Charleston came from New England. They had family … cousins up there. Look it up … the same names. These were the original slave owners and abolitionists that were related to each other … and hated each other. The Civil War wasn’t about slavery. It was a damned family feud … between  two related bipolar groups of religeous fanatics!!

What Baptist in the South isn’t familiar with the name Furman, whether it be the university in Greenville, SC or its namesake, Richard Furman, the first and long time minister of First Baptist Church in Charleston. All Baptists who are familiar with their history know that Furman developed the organization of the Baptist Church as it exists in this country today, plus or minus its northern and southern juxtapositions.

Furman devised the plan to organize missionaries to go out among the pioneers and settlers of the South to introduce them to the Baptist faith … and convert them. That active pursuit of conversions and soul saving is the reason that the Baptist faith is so prominent in the South today.

The Baptist mission has been so successful and insidious in that South that, for all intents and purposes, a Methodist is really more of a “high” Baptist than a “low” Episcopalian  … although in some places, especially in some congregations around Charleston, you would think the Methodists are trying to compete with the Episcopalians  … or even Catholics … with kneeling and all.

In studying the genealogy of my paternal ancestors in the South, I know that they were originally Anglican in 17th century Virginia in old Lynhaven Parish on the coast and probably still so in 18th century coastal North Carolina. But, when they moved to Georgia in the immediate post Revolutionary War days, they were swept up in the fervor of the missionaries from Charleston working the frequently desolate and dangerous frontier regions of that newborn state … and became members of the Baptist communities there … whether in Jefferson County near the old capital city of Louisville … or old expansive Dooly County in the former Indian lands of the southwestern part of the state in what later became Baker then Dougherty counties, in the earliest congregations of  old Palmyra Baptist Church with the Mercers (as in Mercer University). Then, somehow, my great-grandfather getting a medical degree converted his branch of the family to Methodism … at least for the most part … along with subsequent Methodist ministers, more physicians … and lawyers … and probably insurance agents … and all, including politicians … and married to the sister of one really, really, really  … really big farmer.

Well, what about the Lutherans, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and everyone else.

And the Mennonites …

Okay.

Well, there were … and are … Primitive Baptists. Won’t go there.

Catholics … rare out in the country … if you don’t count “Gone With the Wind”. My college roommate for three years was Catholic and eventually convinced my Baptist mother that they really didn’t have two heads and a tail. They’ve been my second family ever since “then” … (“then” being college …  not my mother’s epiphany).

Seventh Day Adventists … nice people … came from Oklahoma …women don’t wear make-up and they all work hard raising chickens and growing corn.

Mormons … you know, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Well … ask a Baptist minister. He’ll give you the ‘lowdown’ on them.

Lutherans? Sure … protestants … Martin Luther, good guy … right? They’re okay people. Work hard … most of the time. Think they’re Methodists with a red door. Right across the street from the Methodist church. See? Says, Lutheran right on the sign. Sure. One of “us”. A good chunk of my classmates growing up were … Lutherans, all decended from the crowd that originally settled in Newberry, SC.

Mennonites. Whoah!!!

They have a big sign (even if you don’t see it) that says, “Don’t mess with us!” (Imagine the Terminator, aka Arnold, saying that.) “Don’t mess with us!!

… no frills, no buttons, no make-up, black cars, no government “hand outs”, their own schools, big families, lots of kids and work … work … work.

Like I said … the sign, “Don’t mess with us”. (Arnold’s Terminator voice again)

Nice people …really … and great cooks.

Just … don’t mess with ’em.

Okay. This has been my primer on Southern religion where I grew up and what a “mixed marriage” used to mean … and probably more than you wanted to know (or I should have said). And Bill Maher thinks he knows everything about religion? Humph!! Bozo (Maher) …

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Post discourse dialogue:

YOU:

“HEY!!!

Wait a MINUTE!!!!

This is all SOCIAL!!!

This doesn’t have anything to do about religion … or GOD!!!”

ME:

“So …?

Actually, you’re battting .500!

… everything about religion … nothing about GOD.

Exactly.

We all believe in the same GOD … more or less. That’s not the point.”

Jimmy Carter Accuses John McCain of “Milking POW Experience”

Think of Jimmy Carter … accusing John McCain of “milking” anything, much less his time as a prisoner of war.

Jimmy, look at your record as president … unemployment over 10% … interest rates over 20%  … total economic chaos!

Sure, you’ve received a Nobel Peace Prize … but so has that noted terrorist … Yasser Arafat.

By the way, Jimmy, my fellow Georgian … speaking of milking … how many teats does a peanut have?

Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech in Denver

Barack Obama has finished his speech and all of the Democrats at Mile High Stadium are now celebrating and an emotional and inspiring arrrangement of music is playing in the background like a score accentuating the climax of a major Hollywood blockbuster.

I’m sure for many, it was a very inspirational speech … full of a lot of ambitious plans and lofty ideals. Personally, I admire ambitious plans and lofty ideals.

Anyone who has followed political campaigns for a few cycles, let alone half a decade, have heard it all before.

Change. Change. Change.

I’ve been listening to that mantra for the past 50 years beginning with the JFK that Obama alluded to. Sometimes it’s worked and sometimes it hasn’t as far as winning a political election.

Barack Obama is simply one more JFK, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He’s also another George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore or John Kerry.

Win or loose, they all have the same message … change, change change. And what do we get? More of the same, same same.

All a person simply needs to do is look at who is in Congress … Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy … the very same people who, after promising the most unified and cooperative Congress in the history of the United States, wound up giving us one of the most divisive, vindictive and unpopular Congresses in the history of the United States … one which Barack Obama was part of … consistently towing the Democratic Party line … more consistently than any other Democrat currently in Congress.

I suppose what struck me the most about Obama’s speech, other than it’s typically inspiring rhetoric, was it’s consistent and absolute hypocrisy.

Accuse McCain of doing nothing about renewable energy for his 30 years in Congress? What about Biden’s 35 years of doing nothing … as well as Ted Kennedy’s, Harry Reid’s, Dick Durbin’s … all of these senior senators that are going to kick him around like a beach ball just as John Kennedy was by the senior Democratic senators did during Kennedy’s administration. And Barack Obama is more “junior” than Kennedy was.

Education, energy, defense,reducing bureacracy, natural disasters, and on and on … ad infinitum. It’s a great shoppng list. Too bad it’s an old one that been presented time and time again by men more capable than Barack Obama.

Obama attacks lobbyists … but simply look a the who’s who list of Democratic rats that cautiously waited to see who was ahead or who it looked like was going to win before jumping on his band wagon … or look at the even more dispicable list of political cronies who either bailed on or betrayed Hillary and Bill Clinton to grab a brass ring on the winning ticket. Those are the real lobbyists who have their own strings of “registered” lobbyists who will perpetuate the system in Washington.

Barack Obama isn’t going to change that. If any of these people actually thought he would, Obama would be a distant memory known as another failed “also ran”.

While Howard Wolfson is now talking about the “meat and potatoes” in Obama’s speech, I’m sitting here wondering … “What meat and potatoes???”

I have sat here and intently listened to a generic, generalization of a laundry list which is, at least, nearly as old as I am.

What’s new????

Where is the change????

“Barack, if you want change, then ask all of those Democratic voters you have gathered there in Denver to vote out all of those old democratic cronies that have been clinging to your coat tails for what seems like eternity. Shake them off and make a real change.

“And get rid of that David Axelrod. It’s hard for people to take your cry of, “Foul.” seriously when the hypocrisy of your doing the same thing … and frequently first … is dirtying the water. That boat just doesn’t float with anyone who has half a brain.”

If you’re under 10 years old, then this is a new and inspiring speech. If you’re older than 10, then you just haven’t been paying attention for the past however many years.

Even the venue is reminescent of events that took place around 70 years ago. And that’s a little creepy.

Harry Reid and Snake Oil

After listening to the re-run on C-Span of Senator Harry Reid’s speech at the Democratic National Convention presented on Wednesday evening, I was glad that I missed the original presentation since I was preparing and eating my supper. There’s something about Harry Reid that seems to always slightly nauseate me and seeing his speech before supper would have spoiled my appetite.

Listening to Harry Reid mention snake oil convinced me that he was certainly an expert on the subject.

While he was describing the traits of a presidential administration, I could have sworn he was referring to Lyndon Johnson instead of George Bush. His description of the administration was certainly more characteristic of and consistent with Johnson’s.

When Reid chided the Republicans for ridiculing Jimmy Carter alternative energy initiatives, I couldn’t fail to wonder why, if the ideas were considered so great at the time, that a Democratic president couldn’t get a Democratically controlled Congress to go along with his ideas. There must have been more of a problem than the Republicans.

Harry Reid apparently considers oil some sort of demon. He’s quick to point out that any current oil drilling will take 10 years to be productive, a point, by the way which isn’t exactly correct when people who are familiar with oil drilling are asked about the prospects. The fact that he and Boone Pickens keep pointing to regarding the United States having only 3% of the world’s known oil reserves are based on relatively old data, may not take into account discovery of large deposits of oil in deeper parts of the Gulf of Mexico late last summer and completely disregard the fact that Congress has prohibited exploration to seek out new oil deposits in many parts of the Gulf and in nearly all of the areas of the eastern and western continental shelves. In other words, while numerous new deposits of oil have been discovered in many parts of the world in the past 10 years, oil companies have been prohibited from doing the same exploration and development in American controlled waters. New oil deposits have been discovered in Indonesia and Brazil in the past 10 years helping those countries to become energy independent and to develop their economies while the United States has been limited to importing increasing amounts of oil.

While France has been safely using nuclear energy for the past 50 plus years, a Democratically controlled congress has prohibited the United States from building new nuclear reactors for nearly 30 years.

Harry Reid ridicules the prospect of producing more oil because he says it will take 10 years. How long will it take to develop and implement an alternative energy source consisting of wind and solar power? He fails to mention that those prospects are 12 to 22 years in the future. In a recent presentation before a Congressional committee an expert on offshore wind development stated it would take 5 to 7 years for the technology to be perfected. And that estimate didn’t include the time it would take to implement the technology once it had been developed. It’s understandable that the Democratic leadership might be unaware of these facts since no Democrats even attended the hearing.

Pickens Plan Presentation Before Senate Committee

Harry Reid’s speech amounted to a lot of hot air and political posturing based of questionably lofty ideals with no substance. He ridicules any attempt to try to achieve any form of energy independence through developing any oil resources we may have by discounting it stating that any increase in domestic oil supplies would take 10 years. Yet he doesn’t explain what the American people are supposed to do in the intervening 12 to 22 years while solar and wind power are being developed.

Harry Reid talks of energy conservation. Where are the examples from the Democratic leadership … or do they believe in leading by example? And where is the explanation of what the American people are supposed to do while waiting to be delivered from Harry’s Demon? Where are all of those electric cars and the cars that get 40 miles per gallon that the Democrats keep alluding to? Are they going to spontaneously appear once Obama becomes president?

Harry Reid’s simple-minded tunnel vision would be a riotous joke if his unadulterated hypocricy weren’t nauseatingly revolting.

One thing became obvious after listening to Harry Reid. It really doesn’t matter whether Nancy Pelosi has given an indication that offshore drilling might be a possibility … because Harry Reid hasn’t. Pelosi can play all of the politics she wants by letting it leak that she has given permission for Democratic Congressmen up for re-election to tell their constituents that they’re in favor of offshore drilling. Pelosi says, “Tell your constituents anything it takes to get re-elected.”

Because, if Pelosi doesn’t continue to block any bills regarding offshore oil exploration and drilling, Harry Reid will.

Frankly, they don’t care what 70% of the American public wants. After all, they’re Democrats and they know better than the American public what’s good for America.

Terry McAuliffe: Bill Clinton First Two Term President Since FDR

At first I thought, “Wait a minute. We’ve had a number of two term presidents since FDR.”

But on second thought, all of the elected two term presidents except for Clinton were Republicans. Right.

Let’s look at them:

Truman (Democrat) filled the unexpired term of Roosevelt and was re-elected once.

Next, Eisenhower (Republican) was elected to two terms.

Kennedy (Democrat) served almost three years of his first term.

Johnson (Democrat) finished Kennedy’s term and was elected for a full term once. He then announced he wouldn’t run for re-election.

Nixon (Republican) served his first term and was re-elected, then Watergate.

Ford (Republican) finished Nixon’s second term and was defeated in his run for re-election.

Jimmy Carter (Democrat) served one term and was defeated in his attempt to serve a second term.

Ronald Reagan (Republican) served two terms.

Bush, Sr. (Republican) served one term then was defeated in his attempt for a second term

Clinton (Democrat) served two terms.

Bush, Jr. (Republican) has served two terms.

Mr. McAuliffe was obviously referring to Democrats only.

Susan Rice Accuses McCain of Worsening Georgian Situation

Fox News reported this morning that Susan Rice, a senior foreign policy advisor for the Obama campaign, on MSNBC last night accused Senator John McCain of aggravating the Russian invasion of the country of Georgia, stating that he shot from the hip.

susan rice « FOX Embeds « FOXNews.com

Senator McCain, unlike Senator Obama, has been a long time friend of the president of Georgia,

Mikheil Saakashvili, and has stated in recent interviews that he has been in daily contact with the president of that country. Senator McCain has also stated that he has been a ardent supporter of the emerging democracies which have been created from the former client states of the USSR.

Georgia (country) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

While Senator Obama has been on vacation in Hawaii and President Bush has been at the Beijing Olympics games, Senator McCain has been actively campaigning as well as staying on top of the situation as it developed in Georgia.

While Ms. Rice has impressive credentials,

Susan E. Rice – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

, they don’t necessarily guarantee either an accurate or realistic assessment of world situations.

Historical perspective has repeatedly shown that weak responses to Soviet goals and aggression have been met with more overt aggression. There is no reason to believe that the current regime, led by former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, would react any differently.

From Truman’s Berlin Airlift in response to Stalin’s ground blockade of that city to Kennedy’s Cuban blockade in response to Kruschev’s placement of strategic nuclear missiles in Cuba, positions of strength have been the only position that Soviet or Russian leaders have respected.

Positions perceived as weakness such as Kennedy’s meeting with Kruschev in Vienna or Jimmy Carter’s unilateral disarmament policies have only been met with more aggressive actions on the part of the Soviet or Russian leadership.

John Kennedy was naive in his initial dealings with the Soviet leadership which led to the construction of the Berlin Wall and the USSR’s decision to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. Jimmy Carter was equally naive by reducing America’s naval surface fleet by nearly two thirds.

Quite frankly, the entire process of downsizing the US military as a “peace dividend” which began after the end of the first Iraq War under the first President Bush and vigoriously continued under the Clinton administration and Bush II’s administration has appeared to be a serious error since the beginning of the current Iraqi War.

Russia’s rapid deployment of large numbers of troops into Georgia as well as it’s blockade of the Georgian coast within 24 hours of the onset of hostilities with surface ships based in the Ukraine on the other side of the Black Sea as well as the cyber attacks on Georgian government websites which began weeks before the Russian invasion of that country readily show that the Russian strategy was well thought out and planned long before Georgia’s attempt to regain control of South Ossetia, part of its sovereign territory, which lies in the heart of the country. The Russian tactic of issuing passports to citizens of a foreign country to use “protection of Russian citizens” is a poorly veiled excuse for it’s aggressive invasion of a sovereign nation.

Coordinated Russia vs Georgia cyber attack in progress

It has become very evident that the Russian leadership has ambitions of restoring its control over the sovereign nations of eastern Europe even though the old Soviet government is gone.

The United States and the other countries of NATO need to decide if they are going to determine the future of Europe or allow Russia to reassert it dominence in eastern Europe, in essence reestablishing the previous Soviet or Russian empire.

Much has been said about excluding Russia from the G8 as a response to their actions. Further action needs to be taken. NATO and the EU need to put all of the countries in eastern Europe on a fast track to membership which will draw a line in the sand at the very borders of Russia. Otherwise, the Russians will take the liberty to draw their own line in the sand at a position of their choosing, a process they’ve already begun.

In addition the United States needs to begin the painful process of rebuilding its military to a capability that will deter aggression by foreign governments or any other entity. Ronald Reagan knew and proved that peace can only be achieved from a position of strength.

Susan Rice has impressive credentials. So does Barack Obama, So did Jimmy Carter and John Kennedy. Their impressive credentials and intellect didn’t keep aggressive leaders like Nikita Kruschev or Leonid Brezhnev from chewing them up and spitting them out … figuratively speaking. It won’t keep people like Vladimir Putin from doing the same to Ms. Rice and Senator Obama.

I’ve known a number of very intelligent people during my lifetime who didn’t have the sense to get in out of a shower of rain or a thunderstorm. I’m really wondering about Ms. Rice. It could be that the person who inadvertently shot from the hip was Susan Rice and not John McCain. Maybe she needs to think a little bit more before she speaks.

Ms. Rice’s comment that John McCain has aggravated the situation in Georgia sounds overtly political as well as simplistic and naive.