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2008 Presidential Race, Barack Obama

>Actually…Yes, We Can!

>”We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”

Barack Obama, confused about American sovereignty in a speech in Oregon on Saturday. And when he says “we,” he means you and I. Obama will continue to eat and travel and enjoy his AC as he wishes.

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Discussion

23 thoughts on “>Actually…Yes, We Can!

  1. >I think it would be great if electing a President would solve our national problems, even our political problems. But it won’t, and it can’t. From where I sit it looks like we have a choice of more of the same, in either red or blue. How quickly do we want to plunge into Hell? Don’t get me wrong, there are “good, rational” arguments for both answers: “quickly” or “slowly.”Obama is running on a platform of “Change We Can Believe In.” The problem is that with Ted Kennedy’s ringing endorsement that Obama is ready to be President on “day one” means that Obama is in Kennedy’s hip pocket, so to speak. And Kennedy is not for change at all. He’s for the liberal status quo. So, Kennedy’s endorsement means that Obama’s platform is ingenuous. It’s not about change or new politics, it’s about good old liberal politics. Kennedy isn’t interested in change, he’s interested in the liberal agenda. And to continue in that direction is not change, unless you think that change means acceleration.More… http://www.paross.com/wp/?p=30

    Posted by phil | June 14, 2008, 6:25 pm
  2. >No argument from me there. I’d like to see us reach out and help pull other countries up to where we are to everyone’s mutual benefitI would, too. I am just not sure that this is possible.

    Posted by Matt | May 20, 2008, 3:07 am
  3. >This, however, is not what Obama is talking about. He is not making personal choices and then persuading others to voluntarily follow his lead. No, he wants to use the power of the government to force the citizenry and our businesses to do what he does not just like Al Gore. This is about the hard left bringing America to heel.There are two issues here. First–the question as to whether or not the government has the right to interfere in the private sector to enforce justice. I believe that it does. The same God that said “Thall shalt not murder” also said “The worker deserves his wages.” Why would the government have the right to enforce one just law and not the other?The second question is the practical one of whether this is the wisest course of action. I don’t necessarily think it is, which is why I am a Republican. I think that generally the government messes up more than it fixes. However, I am for responsible capitalism. Capitalism, while generating wealth overall, also widens the gap between the rich and the poor. I think the rich have an ethical obligation to give back. If they fail to do so, I have no problem with Uncle Sam twisting their arm and making them.

    Posted by Matt | May 20, 2008, 3:06 am
  4. >”‘The world cannot sustain the American lifestyle.’Sure it can. Why can’t it? And we’re not even tapping our own resources here in the US.”That’s possible. Technological advances increase the amount of returns we get harvesting natural resources. However, for a country that’s “not even tapping our own resources here in the US,” we seem to be importing a lot of foreign oil.”the plunder of the poor is in our house”How so?In the sense that we profit from slave/cheap overseas labor. Also in the sense that other countries harvest natural resources and we profit from our technological advances (i.e. my coffee example above). Also in the sense that until the last century, much of South America, Africa, and Asia were colonies of the west.

    Posted by Matt | May 20, 2008, 3:01 am
  5. >Friends, I am not as fired up about this as I am coming across and I am not trying to give knee-jerk defenses of the entire American lifestyle as it might seem (I’m just getting warmed up for my upcoming diatribe against An Evangelical Manifesto. 😉 ).I know that our country falls far short when we sit down and examine how we as a nation are doing in light of Scripture. I think you guys have some good points but I would find it hard to believe that Obama is envisioning anything close to what you guys are talking about. Materialism, consumerism, environmentalism, conservation…these are incredibly vast and complicated subjects and I do not mean to give them short shrift. They are well worth our attention. I just need to discuss them apart from any mention of charlatans like Obama!

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 1:06 am
  6. >”We produce more than the rest of the world, not because we are harder workers, but because we are technologically superior. We are in the Bronze Age, and Africa is in the Stone Age. They CANNOT compete with us.”No argument from me there. I’d like to see us reach out and help pull other countries up to where we are to everyone’s mutual benefit. People like Obama want to eqaulization to come in the form of breaking us down and making us go backwards.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 12:55 am
  7. >”The only reason we have Democrats is because the church has dropped the ball when it comes to social issues. I say we pick it back up!”Hear, hear! For me, this is WORLDS apart from government mandates.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 12:50 am
  8. >”I have decided to make small personal changes–to consume less and to give more. I don’t think we’re going to right the ship overnight, but we can do what we can and challenge the culture to do the same.”I fully support you and others who are doing things like this. I hope you are able to persuade others to voluntarily do the same. That’s the right way to go about it. This, however, is not what Obama is talking about. He is not making personal choices and then persuading others to voluntarily follow his lead. No, he wants to use the power of the government to force the citizenry and our businesses to do what he does not just like Al Gore. This is about the hard left bringing America to heel.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 12:47 am
  9. >”the plunder of the poor is in our house”How so?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 12:43 am
  10. >”The world cannot sustain the American lifestyle.”Sure it can. Why can’t it? And we’re not even tapping our own resources here in the US.”Further, we can’t point the finger at everyone else to change if we are not willing to change ourselves.”I don’t think we’re doing very much finger pointing, are we? Its other countries that are trying to hamstring us with phony proposals like Kyoto.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 12:42 am
  11. >”But don’t we as Americans think it’s okay to live that way, if you’re able, as we are?”Yes, we do. Does anyone here live in a hut made of dung? Walk everywhere? Make their own clothes? Gather milk from their own cow? No. Because we are able to live otherwise, as Gunny points out. “He would have loved me in the dorm at A&M,”He sure would have because he lives the same way. Any idea how many SUVs his entourage drove away in after he gave this speech?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 20, 2008, 12:41 am
  12. >Mark,That is called colonization.

    Posted by Matt | May 19, 2008, 11:52 pm
  13. >Jeff,I don’t know if American production gets us “off the hook” because American production is qualitatively different and superior than the production of the developing world. Labor hours in different industries produce wealth at different rates. So, the person working 40 hours developing software in Silicon Valley will generate more wealth than someone picking coffee beans for 40 hours. As Erik Reinert says in his book, How Rich Countries got Rich . . .and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor, the world’s worst software engineer makes more money than the world’s best goat herder. (This is one of the reasons why communism failed. It assumed that every industry produced wealth at the same rate.)We produce more than the rest of the world, not because we are harder workers, but because we are technologically superior. We are in the Bronze Age, and Africa is in the Stone Age. They CANNOT compete with us. Further, when a nation industrializes, the benefits of industrialization spills over to other sectors in the region. It’s called synergism. Reinert did a study of Bus Drivers–comparing bus drivers in an African nation (can’t remember which) to those in the Netherlands. The bus drivers in the Netherlands made 16 times more for doing the same job, just because there is more wealth in the Netherlands. (Think of the American Gold Rush. It wasn’t the miners that made the money, but the merchants who sold stuff to these prospectors who all of a sudden had cash to spend.)Now, consider the modern coffee industry. How many labor hours do the bean pickers put into the industry versus the American company that roasts the beans, brews the coffee, and sells the product in retail? I don’t know the numbers, but I am willing to bet that a lot of the work is in the picking. However, the Americans benefit exponentially more because our part of the chain is based on technology and not on manual labor. Obviously, Americans did a lot of shrewd things to get where we are. Unfortunately, some of these shrewd things came at the expense of nations that are now hopelessly poor. Further, we encourage them to compete in the areas in which they have comparative advantage, which usually means they continue to look to agriculture instead of technology. By doing so, we are encouraging them “to specialize in being poor” as Reinert says. I am not anti-American. I love our country. But I think we need to be aware of why we can live the way we live.

    Posted by Matt | May 19, 2008, 11:51 pm
  14. >”they never seem to want to talk about American production. “I agree our consumption is high, but our production is nothing to brag about. It is nothing compared to what it once was. That said, I think the whole consumption argument is bogus in the sense that Obama and others proclaim. Our consumption level is the reason why other countries have a reason to make goods and ship them here. Otherwise they would make and wear their own goods because they certainly have no Free-Enterprise market in which to peddle their goods apart from the U.S.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | May 19, 2008, 11:38 pm
  15. >”In a sense, by eating as much as we do and driving as much as we do and using us much of the world’s resources as we do, we are saying that it is okay to live that way. If we want to be a global leader, we have to lead by example, not just words.”Everyone wants to point to American consumption. We only make up x% of the world’s population but we consume y% of the resources! Alright. Now lets talk about American production. I wonder why that gets left out of the discussion. This statement by Obama is what is called the left’s “global test.” Its been used time and again by communists, socialists, and the American left to argue that the problem with the world is America but they never seem to want to talk about American production. Why is that?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | May 19, 2008, 11:25 pm
  16. >Mark and Jeff,I agree with you.While I am on the same page as the Democrats in a lot of their cares, I don’t trust them because they (like the Republicans) are politicians at heart. They peddle a false message hope to the poor and the bourgeoisie who want to “solve” poverty without actually having to talk to poor people.The only reason we have Democrats is because the church has dropped the ball when it comes to social issues. I say we pick it back up!An angry Democrat once said to me, “Matt, you are naive if you think the Republicans give a crap about God.” I said, “You are just as naive if you think the Democrats give a crap about the poor.”Politicians are politicians are politicians. But, hey, this reminds me of something that Dietrich Bonhoeffer said about the American church. He said that his biggest problem with the American church was that they emasculated themselves with “separation of church and state.” Because we wield no real political power, we are helpless to make change. What do you think about that? Sure, separation of church and state protects us from the state, but are we de-clawed because of it?

    Posted by Matt | May 19, 2008, 10:44 pm
  17. >Maybe I’m just cynical but when politicians start lecturing you that you need to change your lifestyle you better hold on to your wallet. This is usually code for new tax increases in one form or another coming down the pike.

    Posted by Jeff Bailey | May 19, 2008, 9:59 pm
  18. >”When I read these passages, I ask myself, “With whom do I most closely identify?” It’s not the oppressed–it’s the oppressor.”Matt,You certainly have a point here. We are a country that is incredibly wealthy while many others go without food and the basic necessities of life. Moreover, in the political arena, when Christian conservatives begin to tout the “right” of America to do whatever it wants to do because it thrives on Capitalism, we become guilty of holding too tightly to American ideas than biblical ones. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 8:17-18a:Be careful not to say, “My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth.” You must remember the Lord your God, for he is the one who gives the ability to get wealth.We are not only the wealthiest country in the world, but we are the most responsible, that is, responsible to care for others. And I must say I think the U.S. does a good job of trying to come to the aid of others (however selectively it happens).That said, I think Obama is demonstrating the same hypocrisy that other politicians do. They chant the mantra that people want to hear about being environmentally friendly while they drive their big cars, cool their homes at 72 degrees, and take countless flights across the country campaigning. I would love to see the carbon footprint he has left across this country during the campaign!I do agree something has to change, but it should start with those who shout the loudest.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | May 19, 2008, 9:31 pm
  19. >WARNING: Conviction coming …”When I read these passages, I ask myself, ‘With whom do I most closely identify?’ It’s not the oppressed–it’s the oppressor.”

    Posted by GUNNY | May 19, 2008, 8:58 pm
  20. >Well Obama is just flat wrong….in a strictly capitalistic sense, we can continue to live that way as long as we’re willing to pay for it. Unless (in a socialist sense…. which is probably his viewpoint) the government limits our freedom to do so. Whether we should on a biblical basis is another arguement.

    Posted by Jeff Bailey | May 19, 2008, 8:53 pm
  21. >Nice Jersey, Gunny. Go Stars! Gotta stay alive in game 6. I have been wrestling with this ever since I studied Isaiah with Dr. Chisholm at DTS. In the first five chapters of Isaiah, the prophet explains to Israel why the Assyrians were allowed to do so much damage. A lot of Isaiah’s accusations were related to economic activity. His message was, “If you don’t clean up your act, an even worse army is coming for you.” Sadly, they didn’t listen and, sure enough, a worse army came and deported them to Babylon. Some verses from the first 5 chapters of Isaiah:Isa 1:14–17 NAS:”I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.”Isa 1:23 NAS:”Your rulers are rebels, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe, And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.”Isa 3:14–15:”The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people, ‘It is you who have devoured the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people, And grinding the face of the poor?’ Declares the Lord God of hosts.”When I read these passages, I ask myself, “With whom do I most closely identify?” It’s not the oppressed–it’s the oppressor.Something is wrong in a system where a country with 5% of the world’s population consumes over 30% of the world’s resources. the plunder of the poor is in our house, and I think the Gospel calls us to be agents of change.At the same time, we can’t help living in America, where there are certain realities. For instance, I live 20 miles from where I work. I have to drive a car 40 miles every day. I suppose I could take the bus (if it goes that way) or live closer to where I work, but, regardless, I can only reduce my resource consumption by so much because of the world in which I live.I have decided to make small personal changes–to consume less and to give more. I don’t think we’re going to right the ship overnight, but we can do what we can and challenge the culture to do the same.

    Posted by Matt | May 19, 2008, 4:50 pm
  22. >He would have loved me in the dorm at A&M, where we paid the same rate regardless of our utilities usage.I kept the AC on full blast when it was hot out. If it got too cool in the room, I’d crack the window.When politicians start driving ’72 Datsuns without air conditioning, sending their kids to public schools in the hood, and living among the common men & women they claim to be, then I’ll start to take their empty rhetoric more seriously.I think Matt’s right that we’re saying it’s okay to live that way. But don’t we as Americans think it’s okay to live that way, if you’re able, as we are?

    Posted by GUNNY | May 19, 2008, 7:31 am
  23. >Hmmm. Don’t you think he has a point though? I am hardly a Obama supporter, but I think he is on to something here.The world cannot sustain the American lifestyle. Something has to change. Further, we can’t point the finger at everyone else to change if we are not willing to change ourselves. In a sense, by eating as much as we do and driving as much as we do and using us much of the world’s resources as we do, we are saying that it is okay to live that way. If we want to be a global leader, we have to lead by example, not just words.

    Posted by Matt | May 19, 2008, 5:01 am

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