Conservative political and social commentary

Contact us: dstol@prodigy.net
Links
Search

First they came for the communists, but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.

You are welcome to post or publish these articles, in whole or in part, provided that you cite the author and website.



There are 819 News Items in 819 pages and you are on page number 291

 

Page:  << Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169  170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183  184  185  186  187  188  189  190  191  192  193  194  195  196  197  198  199  200  201  202  203  204  205  206  207  208  209  210  211  212  213  214  215  216  217  218  219  220  221  222  223  224  225  226  227  228  229  230  231  232  233  234  235  236  237  238  239  240  241  242  243  244  245  246  247  248  249  250  251  252  253  254  255  256  257  258  259  260  261  262  263  264  265  266  267  268  269  270  271  272  273  274  275  276  277  278  279  280  281  282  283  284  285  286  287  288  289  290  291 292  293  294  295  296  297  298  299  300  301  302  303  304  305  306  307  308  309  310  311  312  313  314  315  316  317  318  319  320  321  322  323  324  325  326  327  328  329  330  331  332  333  334  335  336  337  338  339  340  341  342  343  344  345  346  347  348  349  350  351  352  353  354  355  356  357  358  359  360  361  362  363  364  365  366  367  368  369  370  371  372  373  374  375  376  377  378  379  380  381  382  383  384  385  386  387  388  389  390  391  392  393  394  395  396  397  398  399  400  401  402  403  404  405  406  407  408  409  410  411  412  413  414  415  416  417  418  419  420  421  422  423  424  425  426  427  428  429  430  431  432  433  434  435  436  437  438  439  440  441  442  443  444  445  446  447  448  449  450  451  452  453  454  455  456  457  458  459  460  461  462  463  464  465  466  467  468  469  470  471  472  473  474  475  476  477  478  479  480  481  482  483  484  485  486  487  488  489  490  491  492  493  494  495  496  497  498  499  500  501  502  503  504  505  506  507  508  509  510  511  512  513  514  515  516  517  518  519  520  521  522  523  524  525  526  527  528  529  530  531  532  533  534  535  536  537  538  539  540  541  542  543  544  545  546  547  548  549  550  551  552  553  554  555  556  557  558  559  560  561  562  563  564  565  566  567  568  569  570  571  572  573  574  575  576  577  578  579  580  581  582  583  584  585  586  587  588  589  590  591  592  593  594  595  596  597  598  599  600  601  602  603  604  605  606  607  608  609  610  611  612  613  614  615  616  617  618  619  620  621  622  623  624  625  626  627  628  629  630  631  632  633  634  635  636  637  638  639  640  641  642  643  644  645  646  647  648  649  650  651  652  653  654  655  656  657  658  659  660  661  662  663  664  665  666  667  668  669  670  671  672  673  674  675  676  677  678  679  680  681  682  683  684  685  686  687  688  689  690  691  692  693  694  695  696  697  698  699  700  701  702  703  704  705  706  707  708  709  710  711  712  713  714  715  716  717  718  719  720  721  722  723  724  725  726  727  728  729  730  731  732  733  734  735  736  737  738  739  740  741  742  743  744  745  746  747  748  749  750  751  752  753  754  755  756  757  758  759  760  761  762  763  764  765  766  767  768  769  770  771  772  773  774  775  776  777  778  779  780  781  782  783  784  785  786  787  788  789  790  791  792  793  794  795  796  797  798  799  800  801  802  803  804  805  806  807  808  809  810  811  812  813  814  815  816  817  818  819  Next >>

Obama's First Week - Thursday, January 29, 2009

 

Obama’s First Week

Grossly, It Doesn’t Look Promising

David C. Stolinsky, MD
Jan. 29, 2009

When I was a medical student years ago, we had a class in preparing microscope slides. We had to slice the specimen very thinly, then put it on a slide and stain it. Our professor had a dry sense of humor. One day he stopped and picked up a slide I had prepared.

He held it up to the light, squinted and said, “Grossly, it doesn’t look promising.” He hadn’t yet put it under the microscope. But his experience told him that I had washed out most of the stain, and the whole thing was too weak and wishy-washy to be of much use. He was right. As a result, I learned to make the stain stronger, and eventually I got an “A” in the course.

President Obama has been in office only a week. Surely this is too short a time to make any definitive judgments. We haven’t had time to put his actions under the microscope. But like my old professor, our experience allows us to hold his first week up to the light and make a preliminary assessment.

Grossly, it doesn’t look promising.

Honoring heroes?

Every year since 1953 when it was founded, every President has attended The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball on inauguration night. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, G. H. W. Bush, Clinton and G. W. Bush all attended. Regardless of how many other inaugural celebrations were scheduled, every President elected since 1953 attended this ball − until now.

President Obama was too busy at the other affairs to come himself, so he sent Vice President Biden, who was warmly received. The President didn’t feel it important to attend − even briefly − an event honoring recipients of our nation’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor.

This year, 44 of the 99 living recipients of the Medal attended. Regrettably, none of the five recent recipients was there. They, like so many others, were awarded the Medal posthumously. Did you see their photos and stories in the papers? Did you see them on TV news? No? Then at least let me tell you their names: Ross McGinnis, Paul Smith, Jason Dunham, Michael Murphy and Michael Monsoor.

The ball is sponsored by the American Legion, as well as other veterans’ groups including the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart − which represents all those wounded or killed in action.

The President did find time to attend 10 other balls, many of which included show business and music personalities. President Obama, like his predecessors, felt he should thank those who helped him be elected. He felt they included those who had donated unprecedented sums of money, as well as show-business personalities who had praised him unreservedly.

But unlike his predecessors, the President did not feel it necessary to thank those who made it possible for him to live in freedom, or to live at all. The Medal of Honor was instituted during the Civil War, in which at least 618,000 died, and as a result the Union was preserved and the slaves freed. And what of World War II? If 405,399 Americans hadn’t died, and Hitler had won, what would have happened? Obama’s father would never have been allowed to come to America. But if he had, Obama’s mother would have been sent to a concentration camp as a “race traitor” for marrying a black man, and Obama himself would never have been born − or been promptly murdered.

But the President felt no obligation to those who fought and died to assure that homicidal fanatics didn’t control the world. Does he feel the same way about those who are fighting and dying for the same reason today?

Keeping dangerous terrorists at Gitmo?

President Obama lost no time in signing an executive order to close the detention center at Guantanamo within a year. He offered no plan to deal with the terrorists and suspected terrorists held there, but instead left this vital question open.

In addition, the President banned all interrogation methods not sanctioned for prisoners of war. Waterboarding, used in training our own troops to resist interrogation, is out. The “good cop, bad cop” technique used in every police station is out. So are sleep deprivation and emotional pressure. Suspected terrorists must be treated better than our own troops in training, and better than I was treated during internship and residency.

These actions demonstrate a typical feature of liberalism − comparing something not to actual alternatives, but to a theoretical ideal. Liberals condemned President Bush for keeping dangerous enemy combatants in Guantanamo. But what should we do with dangerous fanatics who would like nothing better than another chance to murder as many Americans as possible?

These impractical idealists are morally responsible for the attacks that will occur because they prevented us from obtaining information from detainees − information that might have allowed us to block those attacks. These people are, in the words of Medal of Honor recipient Jack Jacobs, “…intellectually constipated by large, indigestible hunks of dogma.”

These people never listened to Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson:

The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.

Jackson knew what he was talking about. He had been a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, where the chief Nazis were tried for horrible war crimes. He saw first-hand what happens when democracies stand by idly, observing legal technicalities, and allow bloodthirsty fanatics to roam free.

During World War II, not the roughly 245 detainees now held in Guantanamo, but over 425,000 German and Italian prisoners of war were held in camps in America. Of these, 1013 died in captivity, most of natural causes, a few executed for crimes. They were in the custody of the Army, under authority of President Roosevelt. They were held until the war ended. No court interfered with the President’s right – and duty – to conduct the war as commander-in-chief. These prisoners were captured in uniform, so − unlike those at Guantanamo − they were covered by the Geneva Conventions.

But something else happened during World War II. In 1942 German submarines surfaced off Long Island and Florida, and eight saboteurs were put ashore. They were captured and tried in a secret military tribunal. One was sentenced to life imprisonment, one to 30 years, and six were sentenced to death. Two of these men were naturalized American citizens, one of whom was executed.

President Roosevelt made it clear that he would order the executions no matter how the Supreme Court ruled: “I won't give them up…I won't hand them over to any United States marshal armed with a writ of habeas corpus. Understand?” Back then, we knew that a war must be fought on a battlefield, not litigated in a courtroom.

Even under President Bush, at least 29 detainees were released who promptly rejoined the terrorists. What would you bet that none of the current detainees will do the same if they are released? Would you bet your life? You may have to.

This was Week One:

·         Neglecting to honor heroes who risked everything to protect us from homicidal fanatics.

·         Closing Gitmo, a safe place to keep homicidal fanatics.

·         Apologizing for our anti-terror policies on Al Arabiya TV.

·         Telling people not to listen to Rush Limbaugh.

The President boldly attacked a talk-show host, but went hat-in-hand attempting to appease our deadly enemies. This he calls “tough diplomacy.” One hesitates to imagine what timid diplomacy would look like.

A week is far too short a time to judge his methods, but we can make a preliminary estimate. Like the first slide I prepared in class, the whole thing looks too weak and wishy-washy to be of much use.

We can hope that this criticism will help the President to understand the dangers we face. We can hope that he will come to realize that he is no longer in law school, where success is measured by the cleverness of his arguments, but in the real world, where success is measured by actually keeping us safe from those who want to destroy our civilization. We can hope that this assessment will help the President to do better, and eventually to get an “A” in the course.

But grossly, it doesn’t look promising.

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. He can be contacted at dstol@prodigy.net.

www.stolinsky.com


Page:  << Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169  170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183  184  185  186  187  188  189  190  191  192  193  194  195  196  197  198  199  200  201  202  203  204  205  206  207  208  209  210  211  212  213  214  215  216  217  218  219  220  221  222  223  224  225  226  227  228  229  230  231  232  233  234  235  236  237  238  239  240  241  242  243  244  245  246  247  248  249  250  251  252  253  254  255  256  257  258  259  260  261  262  263  264  265  266  267  268  269  270  271  272  273  274  275  276  277  278  279  280  281  282  283  284  285  286  287  288  289  290  291 292  293  294  295  296  297  298  299  300  301  302  303  304  305  306  307  308  309  310  311  312  313  314  315  316  317  318  319  320  321  322  323  324  325  326  327  328  329  330  331  332  333  334  335  336  337  338  339  340  341  342  343  344  345  346  347  348  349  350  351  352  353  354  355  356  357  358  359  360  361  362  363  364  365  366  367  368  369  370  371  372  373  374  375  376  377  378  379  380  381  382  383  384  385  386  387  388  389  390  391  392  393  394  395  396  397  398  399  400  401  402  403  404  405  406  407  408  409  410  411  412  413  414  415  416  417  418  419  420  421  422  423  424  425  426  427  428  429  430  431  432  433  434  435  436  437  438  439  440  441  442  443  444  445  446  447  448  449  450  451  452  453  454  455  456  457  458  459  460  461  462  463  464  465  466  467  468  469  470  471  472  473  474  475  476  477  478  479  480  481  482  483  484  485  486  487  488  489  490  491  492  493  494  495  496  497  498  499  500  501  502  503  504  505  506  507  508  509  510  511  512  513  514  515  516  517  518  519  520  521  522  523  524  525  526  527  528  529  530  531  532  533  534  535  536  537  538  539  540  541  542  543  544  545  546  547  548  549  550  551  552  553  554  555  556  557  558  559  560  561  562  563  564  565  566  567  568  569  570  571  572  573  574  575  576  577  578  579  580  581  582  583  584  585  586  587  588  589  590  591  592  593  594  595  596  597  598  599  600  601  602  603  604  605  606  607  608  609  610  611  612  613  614  615  616  617  618  619  620  621  622  623  624  625  626  627  628  629  630  631  632  633  634  635  636  637  638  639  640  641  642  643  644  645  646  647  648  649  650  651  652  653  654  655  656  657  658  659  660  661  662  663  664  665  666  667  668  669  670  671  672  673  674  675  676  677  678  679  680  681  682  683  684  685  686  687  688  689  690  691  692  693  694  695  696  697  698  699  700  701  702  703  704  705  706  707  708  709  710  711  712  713  714  715  716  717  718  719  720  721  722  723  724  725  726  727  728  729  730  731  732  733  734  735  736  737  738  739  740  741  742  743  744  745  746  747  748  749  750  751  752  753  754  755  756  757  758  759  760  761  762  763  764  765  766  767  768  769  770  771  772  773  774  775  776  777  778  779  780  781  782  783  784  785  786  787  788  789  790  791  792  793  794  795  796  797  798  799  800  801  802  803  804  805  806  807  808  809  810  811  812  813  814  815  816  817  818  819  Next >>