Rep. Paul Ryan, a rising star in the GOP, has recently come under fire from some pro-life groups and conservative bloggers for recent comments he made that gave some people the impression that he was in agreement with other prominent Republican politicians like Gov. Haley Barbour (MS) and Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN) on calling for a short-term “truce” with social conservatives over social issues like abortion.
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack debunks the claim that Ryan is willing to put abortion on the back burner in favor of focusing solely on fiscal and economic issues here (via). The link includes a statement from Ryan, issued today to WS:
“Healthy debate should take place within the Republican Party on specific policies, but it is a false choice to ask which natural right we should discard: ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ is not a menu of options. All planks – economic liberty and limited government; keeping our nation secure; championing America’s founding truths and the dignity of every human person – are rooted in same timeless principles, enshrined in our Founding and the cause of our exceptionalism. American families are under assault from many quarters, with mounting economic hardships and a crushing burden of government debt foremost on the minds of many. The American family must remain at the core of our free society, and I will remain ever-vigilant in its defense.”
Indeed – and he has been. Ryan wrote a passionate opinion piece back in February on the sanctity of life, which was re-posted on his website today. Here’s an excerpt:
Now, after America has won the last century’s hard-fought struggles against unequal human rights in the forms of totalitarianism abroad and segregation at home, I cannot believe any official or citizen can still defend the notion that an unborn human being has no rights that an older person is bound to respect. I do know that we cannot go on forever feigning agnosticism about who is human. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” The freedom to choose is pointless for someone who does not have the freedom to live. So the right of “choice” of one human being cannot trump the right to “life” of another. How long can we sustain our commitment to freedom if we continue to deny the very foundation of freedom—life—for the most vulnerable human beings?
At the core, today’s “pro-choice” liberals are deeply pessimistic. They denigrate life and offer fear of the present and the future—fear of too many choices and too many children. Rather than seeing children and human beings as a benefit, the “pro-choice” position implies that they are a burden. Despite the “pro-choice” label, liberals’ stance on this subject actually diminishes choices, lowers goals, and leads us to live with less. That includes reducing the number of human beings who can make choices.
In contrast, pro-life conservatives are natural optimists. On balance, we see human beings as assets, not liabilities. All conservatives should find it easy to agree that government must uphold every person’s right to make choices regarding their lives and that every person’s right to live must be secured before he or she can exercise that right of choice. In the state of nature—the “law of the jungle”—the determination of who “qualifies” as a human being is left to private individuals or chosen groups. In a justly organized community, however, government exists to secure the right to life and the other human rights that follow from that primary right.
Conservatives can bridge the gap on issues of life and choice by building on the solid rock of natural rights, which belong, not just to some, but to all human beings.
I’m not worried about where his priorities are, and I hope other social conservatives who are wondering will stop worrying. While some people consider themselves more fiscally conservative than socially conservative – or vice versa, Ryan is, like myself and many others: equal parts social AND fiscal conservative, and he realizes that both sets of issues are closely related to each other.
That said, I’d like to commend Ryan for speaking so passionately on right to life issues. Radical liberal feminist women can’t stand it when conservative men weigh in on the issue of abortion because “they can’t have babies and don’t understand.” Of course these rad leftists don’t consider the fact that even though, yes, the man can’t have a baby, he’s either helped created one (or more), he’s been an uncle, a brother, a cousin of a little baby or has friends who have children. Men have just as much a right to weigh in on this debate as women do, because the issue of protecting the lives of the innocent impacts us all. Back at the NRA Convention in May, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) spoke emotionally about the issue, with tears in his eyes. After he finished that segment of his speech, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the Time Warner Cable arena whose eyes also misted up a bit.
As I wrote back in January on the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:
It saddens me to know that men like [Rep.] Fortenberry [R-NE] are viewed as “controlling and dominating” and that because he’s a man with a contrarian view, that voices like his are shouted down by radical feminists who suggest that because he’s a man and therefore cannot get pregnant that he shouldn’t have a voice in the debate. This is a tactic that is highly ironic, considering the fact that traditional feminists back in the 1700s and 1800s fought against the belief that a woman should only speak when she agreed with him and otherwise should keep her opinions to herself. This is modern day in-reverse version of that, perpetuated by liberal feminists is, frankly, an unAmerican attitude, and I applaud Fortenberry – and other males like him – for standing up in the face of the prevailing view that pro-life men should have no say so in the debate over the life of the unborn.
Hillary Clinton’s remarks were so typical in nature I nearly yawned when I heard them. In typical moral relativist fashion, she morally equates a woman (Margaret Sanger) whose body and soul was devoted to ridding society of “undesireables” – especially black babies – via abortion to a man (Thomas Jefferson) who, even though he owned slaves and believed black people to be inferior to whites, pushed to have them emancipated and whose views on the issue clearly evolved for the better over the years at a time when it was almost treasonous to advocate for freedom of any kind for black people. Sadly, to the Hillary Clintons of this country, everything is “relative” and no moral judgments are allowed unless they are moral judgments against traditional American values which are “old-fashioned” and “outdated” and in some ways “misogynistic” to radical feminists.
You can watch the video of the exchange between Fortenberry and Clinton here:
“Feminists” also try to use similar arguments on women like me who don’t have children. Obviously, militant pro-choicers routinely try to narrow the scope of who is “allowed” to speak on “women’s rights” (aka abortion) because they know that the less people speaking out against it means there’s less of a likelihood of minds being changed on the issue. Thankfully, there are a lot of conseravative men out there who are unafraid to speak out in spite of the attempts by uber-left wing women to silence them via playing the “woman card.” It is my hope that even more will become more vocal in their opposition to abortion and that in the process, more minds will be changed. The tide is already turning, and I know I’m not the only conservative woman willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with conservative men in an effort to continue to make a positive, meaningful impact on this vital issue.
The security situation in northern Mexico continues to worsen as an attempted kidnapping sparks a warning for Americans living in Monterrey and an order from the State Department: Get your children out.
Affluent Americans living in Monterrey became extremely worried in late August that they were in danger after a gun battle erupted in front of the American School Foundation, which many children of American as well as Mexican business executives attend. The firefight took place between bodyguards working for the Mexican beverage company Femsa SAB de CV and cartel attackers, who were apparently attempting to kidnap young relatives of a high-level company employee. In the course of the ensuing battle, two bodyguards were killed and two others captured. Flying bullets caused students in the school to scramble for shelter in the school cafeteria.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Charles Pascual then cautioned employees of the Monterrey consulate to keep their children home, “while we assess the risks and what measures can be taken to reduce it (sic.)” Pascual gave that recommendation even though there was no hard evidence that the children of consular personnel had been targeted.Following the incident, the U.S. consulate in Monterrey also posted an advisory on its website, directed to Americans living in the area. “The sharp increase in kidnapping incidents in the Monterrey area, and this event in particular, present a very high risk to the families of U.S. citizens,” the message read.
Three days later, the State Department escalated its warnings and issued a stunning edict. “U.S. government personnel from the consulate general are not permitted to keep their minor dependents in Monterrey,” a U.S. Embassy spokesman stated. “As of September 10, no minor dependents, no children of U.S. government employees will be permitted in Monterrey.” That was the kind of restriction, designating the Monterrey consulate a “partially unaccompanied post” for U.S. diplomats, is normally imposed only in war zones and other extremely high-risk areas. It underscored just how seriously the State Department took the surge in fighting and the extent of the kidnapping danger.
While the State Department travel warning couches it in much softer language, the message is clear: the cartel wars have made previously safe Monterrey too risky.
And it’s not just the children of diplomats: Caterpillar has told its executives to move their families out of the city, and well-off Mexicans are doing the same. The lack of security was accentuated by the discovery of a mass grave containing the bodies of what are assumed to be cartel victims, and the kidnapping and murder of the mayor of a neighboring town.
Mexico’s third-largest city and an economic powerhouse, the descent of Monterrey into “cartel chaos” would be devastating to Mexico. With the growing inability of local authorities to provide security in such an important city, the reflex reaction would be to “send in the Army.” But that hasn’t worked out so well in other Mexican border cities. In fact, in many cases, the Mexican Army is part of the problem.
Take a look at this map:
(Google map link)
Monterrey is dead center. To the west is Torreón, while to the east is Reynosa, both of which I’ve written about before. North lies Nuevo Laredo, where things have become so rough that they spurred crazy rumors about ranch takeovers in Texas. And we’ve all heard about the problems in places farther west, such as Juarez and Tijuana.
It’s plain that Mexico has more than just an organized crime problem in its northern territories: there is a growing challenge to the government’s authority there. While I don’t believe there’s any realistic danger of a state failure in Mexico City, it is not inconceivable that Mexican state and federal authorities might find it easier to throw up their hands and surrender de facto control of the area to the cartels, much as Colombia did with the FARC in the 1990s. The risk of that and the potential threats it would hold for our border regions makes Mexico’s internal security a vital interest for our national security.
More than just increasing border security itself (and worthwhile as that is), the Obama administration* needs to intensify cooperation with Mexico to bolster its capacity and resolve to restore its crumbling writ in its northern states. Perhaps some variant of the highly successful Plan Colombia would work. Just as important, the Mexican government** has to be brutally honest with itself and its people about the problems they face; no more trying to distract attention by lecturing us over a minor state immigration law. Their current efforts are a failure; no progress has been made. It’s time for both countries to admit there’s a serious problem and deal with it before it goes critical.
*More like “the next administration.
**Call me a cynic, but I have doubts Calderon has it in him to do this.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
A friend posted a link about this on Twitter the other day, asking if this was Sarah Palin’s first ad of the 2012 campaign:
In all honesty, I’d call it her second. Regardless of the official count, I take this as a big, flashing neon sign that she is going to run for President in 2012. You don’t make videos like this while intending to support Romney or Huckabee. This is yet another slick, well-produced video that keeps the candidate front and center, but makes the viewer the subject. (Unlike, say, the campaign videos of certain Lightworkers we can think of.) SarahPac is getting very, very good at this.
All I can say is, if Sarah Palin is the nominee in 2012, stock up on pizza and popcorn (and moose chili). The battle is going to be epic.
They aren’t the only ones. Via MSN’s Money page:
Is fear of President Barack Obama one reason we’re stuck with sluggish economic growth?
That’s the message the CEOs of several major companies are sending out.
In unusually vitriolic attacks on a sitting president, including references to communist Russia and Adolf Hitler, CEOs have complained they can’t predict what Obama will do next — and how his new regulations and taxes might hit their companies.
The result is a bunker mentality that has CEOs holding back — and the economy growing more slowly as a result.
“We don’t know what the latest great idea from Obama will be. Therefore, we are hunkering down,” Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers told me last week, echoing public comments over summer from CEOs at companies such as Intel and Verizon.
He said that because of Obama, CEOs are focusing on their core businesses and hiring less, to control costs and risks. “CEOs are uncertain, so they don’t want to have the liability of adding a lot of employees,” Rodgers said.
There’s certainly a lot of uncertainty out there as we approach November’s midterm elections. Next year’s tax rules are in limbo. The effects of health care and financial reform have yet to be seen. And then there’s what many perceive as an anti-CEO message in Obama’s rhetoric — aimed mostly at chiefs of big banks and health insurers but also at hunkered-down execs in general.
Consider the following attacks on Obama and the Democrats in recent months:
- Intel CEO Paul Otellini, referring to Obama and the Democrats, said in an August speech to the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum, “I think this group does not understand what it takes to create jobs.”
- Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, in a June speech at the Economic Club of Washington, accused Obama of creating an “increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation.”
- Cypress Semiconductor’s Rodgers told me last week that he had “started out happy with Obama because we had broken through the white male barrier” and made “a step forward for equality.” But Rodgers added: “I have become deeply disappointed with him. It is amateur hour in Washington. The guy hasn’t got a clue about the economy, how jobs are created, how wealth is created. It reminds me of the Jimmy Carter years, only worse.”
- Blackstone Group CEO Steven Schwarzman seemed to compare the Obama administration to Hitler by saying in a recent private meeting that Washington’s push to increase taxes on private-equity firms is war, “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939,” according to Newsweek.
Observers say such overt attacks are rare. “I don’t remember corporate leaders speaking out this vehemently in the past, said Gary Shilling of A. Gary Shilling & Co., which offers investment advice. “People in these positions don’t get there unless they know how to keep their mouths shut when they need to.”
Make sure to read the whole thing as it’s a fairly balanced piece on the issue of the economic policies of this administration and the reaction to them by America’s business movers and shakers.
Some people would read what the CEOs are saying and think the same thing President Obama has said out loud the last few years: These “fat cats” are just bitter that they can’t invest like crazy, hoard all their profits, and “stiff the little guy.” There may be a few like that, but I don’t buy the liberal Democrat mentality that a majority of businesses small and large are out to “stiff the little guy.” The goal of ANYONE who goes into business is to make money – the more the better, and most businesses know that in order to be successful & profitable (not to mention respected in the business community), you’ve got to keep your employees happy, too – and that includes offering a fair wage for services rendered and a nice benefit package which includes paid time off, health, dental, and life insurance coverage, and 401K options. Any company that doesn’t offer at least some of that will find it difficult to be competitive when it comes to recruiting valuable employees to their workforce.
But what this administration has done has made many employers of companies of all sizes wary of doing any kind of major investing because, as the article notes, business owners aren’t too keen on what they’ve seen from this administration so far when it comes to “putting people back to work” and “stimulating the economy.” Higher taxation, stifling over-regulation, government takeovers, and mandates on health care coverage all contribute to the current hostile business environment, and I can’t say that I blame them. If I were a business owner I, too, would be nervous about investing in this anti-business climate. This isn’t to say that there should be no government involvement/oversight in business, but when government becomes the de facto CEO of the business community then, well, Houston, we have a serious problem. Let’s also not forget that government – more to the point, decades of liberal Democrat meddling and ignorance helped enable the financial meltdown that started in 2007.
Business owners/CEOs pay attention to what Presidents and their economic cabinets say – and more importantly, what they do, and the message is clear here: President Obama, if you want to create jobs, please get the heck off our backs.