Ferguson: The Work Of Agitators And Manipulators


As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I became more than familiar with situations where parents experience the premature loss of a child. There are few things that can compare to the emotional devastation that accompanies such an event. This makes the varied emotional responses of Michael Brown’s family more understandable as the tragic events unfolded in Ferguson, Mo.

What is difficult to understand, though, is the benefit that the Ferguson community derives from burning and looting business establishments in their own neighborhoods, especially when unemployment is already a problem. In the meantime, the outside agitators in many cases are sitting in their hotel rooms sipping wine and watching the carnage on television.

Hopefully, people in communities such as Ferguson, like people all over America, are beginning to awaken and realize that they should be more than pawns in the hands of manipulators who, in reality, could not care less about them.

If the outside agitators and manipulators truly cared about Brown and his family, they would have initiated manifestations of concern long before the political spotlight brought attention and prestige to their cause. They would be outraged about the dozens of young men like Brown who die violent non-police-related deaths in cities throughout America every day. They would be emphasizing education, which is the great divide between the haves and the have-nots in America. A well-educated individual in America today can usually write their own ticket, regardless of ethnicity or financial status at birth.

Perhaps it would be useful to highlight the fact that the average American lives to be about 80 years of age. The first 20 to 25 years are spent either preparing oneself through education or not preparing. If you prepare appropriately, you have 55 to 60 years to reap the benefits. If you fail to prepare, you have 55 to 60 years to suffer the consequences.

This is not to say that every component of our society should not be involved in trying to produce good outcomes for all of our young people. But we need to emphasize that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you. We must resist the victim mentality that is peddled by so many agitators and manipulators. If you believe you are a victim, you are, and you begin to act like a victim. This renders you an easy target for manipulation — even the kind that produces completely irrational and self-injurious behavior.

Is there racism and unfairness in our society? Of course there is, and it will persist as long as there are people with small, selfish minds. I believe it would be wise to encourage our people to focus on the numerous opportunities available to them rather than on the bigotry that exists. As a youngster, I grew up with a mother who said, “If you walk into an auditorium full of racist, bigoted people, you don’t have a problem; they have a problem. Because they will all cringe and wonder if you’re going to sit next to them; whereas you can sit anywhere you want.” In other words, don’t let your life be ruined by being sucked into the pathological state of someone else.

We have too many important problems to solve in America today to allow ourselves to be consumed by actual or perceived injustices perpetrated by others. We can solve many of those problems by keeping an open mind and considering things from the viewpoints of others. This can lead to constructive conversations about ways to heal the many rifts in our society.

One would have to be blind not to be able to see that we have become more divided on issues of race, gender, age, economic status, and religion. What happened in Ferguson is a manifestation of that division. It is not a declaration of what our society has become or a harbinger of our future.



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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama’s Illegal Executive Orders Reward Illegal Immigration


Like millions of other Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.

It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships, and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you.” There are many around us already in need of help.

According to President Obama, only those five million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Once illegals have legal status, it will be difficult to deny them any of the multitudinous entitlements that are freely distributed throughout our society. Also, we must remember that illegals who have been here for less than five years only have to claim that they have been here longer than that in order to collect goodies. In effect, instead of helping five million people, we probably will be aiding at least twice that many.

Even this would not be a problem if we had plenty of money. The sad fact is our national debt is approaching $18 trillion. If you paid that back at a rate of $1 billion per day, it would take nearly 50 years. Many powerful nations before us have met their fate through fiscal irresponsibility. What makes our leaders think we are immune from the destructive forces of a shaky financial foundation?

The founders of our nation feared that the time would arise when an individual or group of individuals in our government would become intoxicated with their power and attempt to impose their will upon the entire society through dictatorial decrees rather than through the legal process established by our Constitution. For this reason, they established three separate but equal branches of government, dividing the powers. This ingenious method of power division worked beautifully until recently, but hopefully, we are about to experience a demonstration of how the separation of powers preserves the integrity of our system. It will require that the legislative and judicial branches of government manifest the necessary courage to stand up for the people they represent.

The American people should not be manipulated into believing that they are heartless simply because they want to preserve the rule of law in our nation and look after their own before they take in others. We also have to consider the millions of people who have immigrated here legally, as well as those who are in the queue. It is incredibly unfair to them to grant amnesty to those who have jumped ahead of them in line illegally. I hope all of our government officials will recall the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, with particular emphasis on the part that says: “with liberty and justice for all.”



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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

A Few Words On Resisting The Islamic State’s Demand For Submission


The Islamic State and the other advocates of Shariah law are growing rapidly, along with their zeal to eradicate or convert all “infidels.” For those who are asleep at the wheel, in the opinion of these fanatics, most of Western civilization — including America — fits into the infidel category.

I normally encourage conversation and compromise where possible, but how does one negotiate or compromise with someone who desires your elimination? Maybe if you meet some of their demands, they will only dismember you or kill you more slowly.

Obviously, the expansion of groups like the Islamic State represents an existential threat to our own nation and our way of life. If ever there was a time to work together for self-preservation, it is now. There really is no time to squabble about who was right and who was wrong regarding our activities in the Middle East. Our enemies will use every opportunity to divide us and distract us, which will make their job of destroying us much easier.

In order to prevail in the war on terror, we must have an overall strategy, the goal of which is annihilation of the terrorists, as opposed to simply winning battles with them here and there. This means paying much more attention to military preparedness, both offensive and defensive. That means significantly increasing our covert operations, without blabbing to the world about what we will or will not do. It means cultivating strong and trusting relationships with our allies and never leaving them to worry about abandonment for political reasons. It means helping other countries in the region to realize that they, too, will soon be targets of the Islamic State, which will radically alter their comfortable lives.

When it comes to the elimination of those trying to destroy us, we have to be smart enough to realize that we must have airtight borders to prevent easy access for terrorists. Some say this is too difficult. I guarantee that it is easier than trying to rebuild a nation that has been destroyed because we thought logical defense was too hard. There is no question that unpleasantries brought about by our own forces will be necessary to accomplish our goals and defeat terrorism, but you cannot win a politically correct war.

Our enemies’ desire to establish a caliphate is no joke. Their convert-or-die doctrine parallels some of the social philosophies enforced by the political-correctness police in this country. Either you accept their interpretation of what is moral and correct, or the name calling starts; and they attempt to destroy your business or reputation.

We despise the Islamic State, but do not see the same ugliness in our own tactics. The truth hurts, and it is much easier to ignore it or try to demonize its bearer. Unless integrity, courage, and common sense result in the ability to honestly examine our own hypocrisy, we will lose the war of ideas and identity; and the land of the free will become a distant memory.

I’ve been privileged to get to know some incredibly smart and talented military leaders, as well as covert operators and innovative engineers. I am confident that with our talent and faith, not only can we win this war, but we can show the world a better way.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Is Obama’s Foreign Policy The Most Rudderless In History?

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The Obama administration’s recent failures in the foreign-policy arena have only highlighted how far American leadership has fallen in this new century. From the Middle East to Eurasia, it often seems that President Obama is reacting to events instead of trying to shape them. Americans have begun to see his collective failures as an indictment on his presidency, and they long for clarity and purpose from their president.

The clear foreign policy that is grounded in American ideas of promoting liberty abroad and preserving our security at home is what is needed now. That is how we became a superpower. Reversing these ideas allows our adversaries to become stronger and impairs our ability to respond to present-day threats.

While Obama’s foreign-policy adventures have waxed and waned in the eyes of the American public, his indecisiveness in places such as Iraq and Syria has presented an image of weakness on the global stage.

We have failed to adequately deal with Russian aggression in Georgia and Ukraine. Recognizing that the United States would soon be changing administrations, Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. As a nation, we stood by and watched during that transition as parts of Georgia fell under Russian rule. Vladimir Putin sensed our weakness and saw opportunity. Six years later, he annexed Crimea; and now, pro-Russian forces are trying to take over more land in Ukraine.

What has the Obama administration done in response to this aggression by Russia? Not really much, other than impose toothless sanctions on Russian businessmen close to Putin (but not the Russian president himself), which have done little to make Russia change course. Is this what Ronald Reagan would have done? Or would he have helped pro-democracy Ukrainians and pressed Europe to look for alternatives to Russian natural gas to preclude being held hostage by Russian energy? Additionally, we need to reinforce our commitments to NATO and get the former components of the Soviet Union involved. Otherwise, Putin will do this again. We need to embolden Europe to confront him.

Russia is not the only country that has taken advantage of our preoccupation with the Middle East. Recently, China has been expanding its maritime boundary in the South China Sea. It also seeks to test our resolve to long-held security commitments we have with our partners in Asia. We must do more to let our Asian allies know that we will stand with them and confront China’s territorial ambitions. China continues to threaten our country with cyber-attacks and is a repressive global power. We need to do more to support those people in China who long for democratic reform.

If we had supported the masses who were trying to overthrow the tyrannical government in Iran in 2009, I suspect we would be looking at a very different situation in the Middle East today. The United States should always stand on the side of freedom-loving people. What has the Obama administration done to support those who long for liberty and freedom in Iran? More needs to be done.

Our foreign policy is rudderless. We are a ship lost at sea. We need a foreign policy that is proactive in safeguarding our interests and not reactive to events unfolding around the globe that affect our security. Our friends and allies need to know that we can be counted on when they are in jeopardy or when their security is threatened. We must have a foreign policy that is rooted in those ideas that have made us the envy of all freedom-loving people around the globe.



Photo credit: Christy Mannering (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The Wisdom Of Divided Government

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House Speaker John Boehner recently shocked many of us when he announced that he is planning a lawsuit against the president for abuse of power. Many Americans feel that a harmonious working relationship between the branches of government has been seriously compromised in recent years. But when Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in 1831 to perform an in-depth analysis of the American phenomenon, he was impressed with our well-structured divided government and its separation of powers.

The writings of the founders of this nation certainly referenced the Bible frequently, but they also paid homage to the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, who wrote prolifically about political theories. One of his most well-known works is “The Spirit of the Laws.” In this book, he eloquently argues for the concept of separation of powers.

That argument seems to emanate from the Bible’s book of Isaiah, 33:22, which states, “The Lord is our judge (judicial branch), the Lord is our lawgiver (legislative branch), the Lord is our King (executive branch).” Certainly this system of government has worked well for us in the past, helping to establish the United States of America as the most powerful nation the world has ever known within a relatively short period of time.

In order for a divided government to work, each branch must respect the other two branches. There always have been and always will be squabbles between the branches; but the big problem now is that the executive branch has decided to ignore anyone with whom it disagrees, including Congress.

Nowhere was this blatant disregard of Congress more clearly manifested than in President Obama’s inappropriate “recess” appointments of three people to the National Labor Relations Board. He redefined the word “recess” in order to appoint individuals who might have a difficult time obtaining congressional approval.

This administration seems to have a penchant for redefining words to make them conform to its ideology. Obviously, if an individual can redefine anything anytime he wants to, he can manipulate virtually any situation into a favorable position for himself. If he is clever and no one notices, he can fundamentally change the foundational fabric of a society.

Passing a law in the usual legitimate fashion and then unilaterally changing that law is another thing this administration seems to cherish. Obamacare is a prime example of this tactic. For example, it would be like a ruler and his council passing a law against the growing of Brussels sprouts, much to the pleasure of his constituents. He then discovers that his favorite brother, who lives in Province A, is the largest farmer of Brussels sprouts in the region and is also his biggest financial supporter. He then unilaterally amends the law to exclude Province A, much to the displeasure of the populace, about whom he cares nothing. The point is that it is inconsistent with fairness to establish rules and then change them in the middle of the game without the consent of the other participants.

This article and many others could be spent detailing all of the instances that support the argument for executive branch overreach, but the truly important thing is to begin asking ourselves how we can reestablish a truly cooperative and harmonious balance of power aimed not at the enhancement of one political party or the other, but rather at providing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the people. This is clearly what the people want, as indicated by their voting to put a liberal president in the White House and a conservative majority in the House of Representatives. The people of this country are not comfortable with runaway government in either direction.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom