CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

Newsmakers

ARCHIVE - OCTOBER 2015

Issues, News & Views

Who will be the
2016 candidates
for President of
the United States?


Republicans


DONALD TRUMP??

Donald Trump has come out
of nowhere and stolen the
show. He seems to have
captured the zeitgeist, the
spirit of the times. Can it last?



Who, from among this
strong, diverse field , will
emerge victorious to return
the GOP to the White
House?

COMPETITORS
With the inept Obama
Administration in its final
days, one would have
expected that experienced
governors with a record
of accomplishment would
dominate the Race 2 Replace
but outsiders and novices
Trump, Carson and Fiorina
are in the hunt! Seasoned
executives for sure, but
not the ones the beltway
had in mind!


Democrats


BERNIE SANDERS??

The creaky, rusty Clinton
machine grinds slowly
onward, wayward, relying
solely on muscle memory
for movement. Will
Democrats suddenly rise
from their slumber to the
realization she cannot win a
General Election?



Is Hillary a foregone
conclusion, or will
someone else swoop in and
steal the show?


COMPETITORS
Folks on the right can barely
contain their joy at the
prospect of a Clinton
candidacy. Shouldn't that
give pause to the Democrats?
Biden and Warren are both
better candidates and better
Democrats than Clinton, but
aren't even in the race. And
then there are O'Malley and
Sanders, again, both better
Democrats and better
candidates. Yet the Dems
seem intent on following
Clinton in a lemming-like
charge over the cliff.

SOME POPES ARE LESS BETTER THAN OTHERS

2015/10/07 - All organizations require leadership, and over time the leadership changes – sometimes for the better, and sometimes not so much. Sometimes it’s because the predecessor was so good as in the case of Apple; at other times because the current leader is so bad as in the case of the United States government; or sometimes both: in any event, we might not always be satisfied with an organization’s current leadership. The Catholic Church might fall into that third category.

Let’s just start by saying Chalprem is not a religious organization, and we are not Pope bashers or Pope lovers. For the most part we don’t care either way regarding the many pronouncements a Pope might make on matters pertaining to his religion. But Popes frequently go big, pontificating (as Popes do) on issues much broader, issues pertaining to humanity generally. That’s okay, that’s their right, the same right we at Chalprem enjoy and exercise.

Since this isn’t a religion website, normally we wouldn’t consider it our business to have much to say one way or another about the Pope, but he has come here and made it his business to tell us what he thinks of our business, so the aftermath of the Pope Francis US visit provides an opportunity to make our first assessments of this Pope, now in office for about two and half years.

The problem with the current Pope is that he gets it wrong on the big issues almost every time. This Pope unfortunately seems to be a prophet of a far left agenda, wandering far from matters of faith, and stumbling into erroneous public policy.

We can only look back fondly to the eighties when Pope John Paul II got it right most of the time. He marshalled his forces and joined with other leaders to oppose, confront, conflict and eventually conquer the oppressions of the Soviet Union. He worked with secular world leaders like US President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He worked with people like Lech Walesa, leaders of the nascent uprisings within those oppressed societies. In so doing he helped bring freedom and prosperity to those with the courage to seize the opportunity.

Not this Pope – this one gets caught on the wrong side of all the issues. Consider the environment. We agree with the Pope that we are stewards of God's creation, and we should enjoy its fruits responsibly. But then he becomes ensnared in the insidious cult of man-made global warming, the false religion that teaches that climate goes only one way. Climate change - both warming AND cooling - has been around since the world began, so why should we be surprised that the climate is changing even today? In "recent" times we've had the Medieval Warm Period (peaking c. 1200 AD), followed by the Little Ice Age (troughing c. 1700 AD), and thankfully it's been warming again since. Climate change has been with us since forever, it is real and unstoppable. Adaptive strategies make sense; resistive strategies do not. If the Pope wants us to feel guilty, it should be for our sins, not for turning on the AC.

The Pope put precious little effort into advancing the church’s right-to-life agenda. In one of his rare mentions of abortion, he linked it with capital punishment. Chalprem agrees with the Catholic church and supports a right-to-life philosophy – we believe abortions should be exceedingly rare, and so should executions. But to address these issues only briefly, and philosophically at that, was a shocking moral failure. The unborn are innocent, while those on death row are there specifically because they have committed heinous crimes – where is the moral equivalence? Executions number a few dozen per year, while abortions number over a million – again we ask, where is the moral equivalence? Moral failure is how we would describe this Pope’s handling of the issue.

We were also displeased with how little the Pope had to say about gay marriage. Are gays worse sinners than straights? No, of course not - unless we repent we shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:5). That should have been the message - that we are all sinners, and we all need to get right with God - but instead this Pope presenting an opposing message, one of conciliation with sin. That gay is good, regardless of all biblical teaching to the contrary. Later it came out that the Pope had a meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue gay-marriage licenses, but then, most disappointingly, the Vatican distanced itself, saying that the Pope had effectively been punked and the meeting would never have happened if arrangements had followed formal channels.

This Pope talks a lot about the necessity to reduce the extent and degree of poverty. That’s nice, we agree wholeheartedly. And, time and again we see that capitalism – economic and political freedom – is the most effective mechanism to spread the most wealth to the most people. On the other hand, with socialism everyone is poorer. The poor become poorer, and the rich become much poorer. This Pope’s obsession with the wealth of others is hardly Christian. Is his desire to spite the rich, irrespective of the harm done to one’s own self, not borne out of envy and jealousy, in spite of the biblical injunction to “be content with such things as you have” (Hebrew 13:5)?

This Popes criticisms of free enterprise come from a Marxist perspective, a failed philosophy still bitterly clung to by modern progressives, liberals and the Democratic Party. In spite of all evidence to the contrary these self-proclaimed intellectuals contend that economics is effectively a zero-sum game, and that one person’s wealth is the direct cause of the next person’s poverty. Capitalism, on the other hand shows repeatedly that one person’s wealth creates opportunity and wealth for others. The cause and nature of economic prosperity seems to hover at a level beyond the grasp of this Pope Francis.

It should come as no surprise that a Christian leader would find contradiction when trying to reconcile personal freedom with personal responsibility and apply it to a secular society. “Rights” come from “Responsibility”. Responsibility always comes first, it is the cause of rights. When the people behave irresponsibly, when their society descends into a world of “bread and circus”, the community goes into a downward spiral. “Freedom” is simple to define, and who doesn’t want to be free? But who defines “Responsibility”, and how? For the Christian the bible provides guidance, but what about those who reject biblical teaching, what can be their guide? Could not this Pope provide any guidance to bridge the gap? Or should our moral decay continue, and accelerate? Or is just blaming the rich his canned solution to every problem?

Unfortunately this Pope seems to get it wrong most of the time, too willing to pander to the moral weakness of Western Civilization, and misguidedly critical of its economic strengths that so many out of poverty.

This supposedly “progressive” Pope is taking both the Christian faith and secular economic prosperity backward, a regression back to darker days before John Paul II. The un-JP2. A socialist Pope, perhaps even a Soviet Pope, many might say. A Pope uniting a world order dominated by soviet Vladimir Putin’s and socialist Barrack Obama’s wrong-track republics.




Analysis


October 28, 2015 - The winner of tonight’s debate was the Republican Party; and the loser was the Democrat-controlled mass media.

The anti-Republican media bias was laid bare by the snarky demeanor and inane questions that oozed like puss from the moderators. It will be a reference point for years to come.

Among the candidates, Marco Rubio was the biggest winner with epic take-downs of Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and The Media.

Ted Cruz got a boost for investing his salvo in taking down the CNBC panel (pun intended) – he challenged the premise of the ridiculous “explain the meaning of life in 30 seconds” question he was served, rather than trying to do the impossible.

Chris Christie also did well by challenging the premise – spiking Carlos Quintanilla for asking a question about fantasy football.

The biggest loser was Jeb Bush – not only did Rubio swat him, but he also made to look foolish for playing with that fantasy football question that was subsequently crushed by Christie.

Carly Fiorina could have used a big night, but she didn’t get it. Carson and Trump did as well as they needed to.

Republican candidates seem to be finally getting the message, that they need to challenge the premise – that the media stacks the deck against them, and that their best option is to push back, rather than go with it and seemingly validate the baseless attacks they face.




October 05, 2015 - The Clinton / Obama Doctrine (COD) for foreign policy continues its losing streak.

As Obama continues to withdraw from the Middle East and abandon our friends, the void in being filled by worse and worse players, including Daesh (ISIS), Russia and Iran.

So now we have Russian jet fighters ruling the Syrian skies taking out our friends and foes alike - on the border of Turkey, a NATO member. The wolves are truly at the door.

Unfortunately Obama, locked inside his naive Chicago south side community organizer mindset (Putin good, Republicans evil), and has not the vaguest understanding of the global geopolitical forces that are constantly at work.

Ably facilitated in his folly by Hillary Clinton, it is easy to project this rolling disaster forward under a Clinton White House. How's that reset button working?


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