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I have to admit that it does annoy me when people pluck quotations or ideas out of the air, from a speech, the Constitution, the Bible, etc. to support their thinking, ignoring the context and, usually, dismissing other ideas in the same speech or document they disagree with.

New generations usually fail to see through failed logic because they respond from a purely emotional and self-interested state and, frankly, lack the ability to think critically. I'm willing to bet most people don't even understand what critical thinking really is anyway, and the institutions of education, government, and media certainly don't want to encourage it.

Barack Obama may actually know better, but he continually shows his apparent naiveté in insisting he will speak to dictators unconditionally, often citing a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1961, “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

He often reminds me of "talking-point" liberals who argue the "unconstitutionality" of some act or proposal they disagree with (spying on terrorists for example) but later dismiss "the Constitution" as an outdated document written by a bunch of rich old white slave-owning men.

They want it both ways, like people who quote the Bible when it suits them, although I often have the feeling they've never read either document. I wonder if Barack read that entire speech?

Kennedy was speaking of a specific adversary - what was then the Soviet Union. He was speaking then of the nuclear arms race, and preceded the statement above with, “So let us begin anew--remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.”

You see, to people like Obama and many of his followers, history is always seen through rose-colored glasses, and explained in a way that conforms to their world-view. In this case, the tired-old “we can sweet talk our enemies” into being good and eventually allowing their tormented subjects to wash in the wellsprings of liberty and prosperity because … "well, can’t we all just get along?"

The masses who don’t know history, and seem to be oblivious to their own human behavior, eat up that tripe with a spoon. It sounds so … progressive.

Allow me to list some other quotes from that famous Kennedy speech:


And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe --- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

Divided, there is little we can do--for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom --- and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required --- not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right.

Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

We dare not tempt them (our adversaries) with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

Now the trumpet summons us again--not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are --- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" --- a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you --- ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.


Quite different from the current "Things are so bad all over, but I WILL take care of you if you just put ME in office" crowd. Do you think Kennedy would be considered a
liberal/progressive today? I wonder what he would think of his party?

I suppose Kennedy was my last favorite Democratic President. He had many flaws and was hugely unpopular among many before his death, but he had a vision that was centered in reality, and nurtured with conviction and principle, not one that pandered to the selfishness in all of us, nor rode on the back of a nanny state tiger that would threaten to devour us.

I hope you enjoy these words. I have a feeling some of them might be “borrowed” again, so when you hear them, remember the source. It helps to know your history, and critical thinking takes more than repeating talking points.


And that's my home where dreams are born,
And time is never planned.
Just think of lovely things.
And your heart will fly on wings,
Forever in Never Never Land.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
In lieu of sending a real email
I'm curious if you prefer one presidential candidate over another. You don't have to say who the person is, I'm just curious if anyone has won your favor, yet.

Also, this link went around at work, and I thought you might be interested in it, or contributing to it, even: http://hurricanearchive.org/

Hope you're having a good day thus far....

Feb. 23rd, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: In lieu of sending a real email
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

I voted for Obama in the primary here, but only because I'd take a bullet to the head before voting for the Clintons. I could never support him in the general election, however, because I am opposed to almost everything he stands for and wants to do to this country. That said, I think he has enough intelligence to see the error of his ways. I'm not so sure about Michelle, and that, I think, may be his big stumbling block.

I would probably have voted for a Fred Thompson or even Mitt Romney had they become the Republican nominee, but I will hold my nose and vote for John McCain despite disagreeing with him vehemently over Illegal Immigration "Reform", man-made global warming (both of which could cost us trillions of dollars and allow more government control and intrusion into our lives), and political free speech issues.

If you've read any of my stuff on these issues (I don't expect many people to) you know I'm very concerned about media manipulation and the consequences of uninformed/misinformed opinion. I have never expected people to be interested in issues like these to the extent I am and always assure them, when THEY bring up a topic, that I'm only telling them how and why I feel a certain way and I encourage them to dig for themselves. I do fear for future generations when I see the socialism/fascism lite that is being foisted upon this country - although my leftist friend tniassaint thinks I exaggerate. *lol*

Thanks for asking though. I know it's not always easy to discuss things like this "in public". You might want to ask you dad his opinion too, if you haven't already. I'm sure he won't disown you if you have different viewpoints.

I'm okay but my mom's back in the hospital again (her 13th day today) and am heading there. Of course you are certainly welcome to send me a real email should you ever wish to do so.

Feb. 23rd, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: In lieu of sending a real email
I skim your political entries, mostly because I don't have a lot of tolerance for reading about politics in general. I vote, and try to make somewhat informed decisions, but I don't read a whole lot about it. And the stuff that gets forced to my attention (this McCain relationship thing, for example) usually isn't important to me, and doesn't change what I might think about a particular candidate.

My family doesn't discuss politics very often. My mom will ask who my brother and I are voting for, she'll say who she's voting for (if she knows), but it generally doesn't lead to a big discussion. My parents aren't staunch Republicans or Democrats, they seem to vote based on the person, regardless of party. I voted for Obama too, because I can't bring myself to vote Republican, and I don't want another Clinton in the White House. So, it's more that I voted against Hillary, rather than for Barack, and that made me a little sad. I almost went for Kucinich or someone else, just for the hell of it.

Sorry to hear about your mom--hope she feels better soon.
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: In lieu of sending a real email
Thanks for your comments.

I suppose I've never been overly enamored with politics myself actually, although my BA is in PoliSci. I have always liked observing and knowing things though, and expressing my thoughts about what I see. I tend to be objective, pragmatic, and somewhat analytical when it comes to politics (It is a necessary evil) but more passionate when it comes to the human condition, what people do to themselves and each other. History is the best instructor in that regard, I think.

Nothing gets under my skin more, though, than misinformation, intentional or otherwise. I try to peel away the skin around the issues and events I see or hear about, usually before I am influenced by someone else's spin, hopefully adding a tiny bit of perspective to whomever else happens to be interested or in earshot. Ideas are powerful things, especially when put into motion. People seem to have lost sight of the fact that hope, possibility, and change reside in themselves, not any one person, and that there are still ideals worth fighting for.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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