Today is Sunday, a day of reconciliation. Christians believe that to be given the keys to the Kingdom that we must first reconcile, or become one, with God. People of the Catholic faith are very familiar with this term; it is a holy sacrament of the Church.
The dictionary definition of reconciliation is this:
- an act of reconciling or the state of being reconciled.
- the process of making consistent or compatible.
Reconciliation – both in religion and in logic – means coming to terms with the truth.
One of the most difficult aspects of our current political landscape in general, and of the Obama administration in specific, is the difficulty that many people have in reconciling the words of this administration with its actions.
There have been a few recent situations that are truly confounding.
The first is related to transparency in government – your government being open to scrutiny by the people, the regular citizens, to whom they are responsible to and, at least theoretically, work for.
Candidate Obama promised his army of sycophantic zombies (and the rest of us) that his administration would be the most transparent in history. In his remarks welcoming senior staff and cabinet secretaries on January 21st, 2009 he said:
I will also hold myself as President to a new standard of openness. Going forward, anytime the American people want to know something that I or a former President wants to withhold, we will have to consult with the Attorney General and the White House Counsel, whose business it is to ensure compliance with the rule of law. Information will not be withheld just because I say so. It will be withheld because a separate authority believes my request is well grounded in the Constitution.
Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.
In the same statement, he went further in praise of the power of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):
The directives I am giving my administration today on how to interpret the Freedom of Information Act will do just that. For a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city. The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but those who seek to make it known.
To be sure, issues like personal privacy and national security must be treated with the care they demand. But the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. The Freedom of Information Act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent, and of holding it accountable. And I expect members of my administration not simply to live up to the letter but also the spirit of this law.
Yet his administration recently attempted to set up a process, by which the government can lie about items legally requested via the Freedom of Information Act. Wired chronicles it here:
The proposal would have granted the government a new option to state that documents relevant to a FOIA request did not exist. According to the Justice Department’s proposal, if the government believes records should be withheld, the government agency to which the request was made “will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”
Still, the government has embraced lying even without FOIA being altered. And judges aren’t very tough on the government when it does lie in FOIA cases.
Last month, for example, a federal judge decided not to hold the CIA in contempt for destroying videotapes of detainee interrogations that included the use of a torture technique known as waterboarding, ruling instead that the spy agency merely committed “transgressions” for its failure to abide by his court order to produce them in a FOIA case brought by the ACLU.
This “interpretation” was dropped under pressure – but you can bet that there will be vestiges of the original proposal put into practice. Fans of Obama will argue that since his minions weren’t successful in implementing the ability to legally lie, that this one doesn’t count – it is a mulligan; however, in point of fact, this government has no problem going extra-Constitutional when it doesn’t get what it wants via legal means.
With respect to the “Stimulus that wasn’t” Act, Nancy Pelosi said this:
In our recovery package we put new standards of accountability and transparency, which we hope will now apply.
And yet we now have a scandal that the Democrats hope will just go away since the mainstream refuses to take more than a passing interest in, the $500 billion Solyndra boondoggle. The Administration is ignoring a congressional subpoena to provide information, claiming that they have already complied – but in true Nixonian fashion, they have supplied Representative Fred Upton’s committee with 85,000 pages of documents that contain none of the information that was requested. The Washington Times reports:
President Obama’s latest failed stimulus story has expanded significantly, as White House documents are now being subpoenaed by Congress over the $535 million taxpayer-funded loan given to now-bankrupt and FBI-raided Solyndra.
The Solyndra loan was a disgusting and unethical smokescreen designed to propagandize the American public into thinking Obama was serious about job creation. The degree of crony capitalism behind the loan has not been sufficiently explored by the mainstream media.
The cronyism started in the months prior to the approval of the Solyndra loan by the Department of Energy in March of 2009, when billionaire and Obama bundler, George Kaiser, held numerous meetings with the White House about the pending loan.
George Kaiser holds the biggest stake in the now defunct Solyndra.
Upton responded to the Administration’s refusal to cooperate:
“We have been reasonable every step of the way in this investigation, and it is a shame that the Obama Administration and House Democrats continue to put up partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers. Solyndra was a jobs program gone bad, and we must learn the lessons of Solyndra as we work to turn our economy around and put folks back to work. Our judicious and methodical work over the last eight months has garnered tens of thousands of pages of documents from DOE and OMB that have proven we are on the right track. Now, we need to know the White House’s role in the Solyndra debacle in order to learn the full truth about why taxpayers now find themselves a half billion dollars in the hole. The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate. That would have been the route we preferred, and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out. Our request for documents is reasonable – we are not demanding the President’s blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out.”
The last item is one that will likely draw the accusation that conservatives (and I) believe that Obama is a Muslim. Actually, I believe that he may be something quite different, something far removed from religion – it can be argued that he is an atheist.
The theme of this column is reconciliation as it applies to facts and the truth. As far as the President’s religiosity, I am at a loss to reconcile Obama’s words and deeds with any known religion other than that of a cult of government. He becomes conveniently religious when it is politically beneficial. For example, he attended a black nationalist/revolutionary church for 20 years – the primary message of which was far more Marxist than Godlike, and yet he distanced himself from 20 years of this theology when it became a political liability.
The media ignored that association in support of candidate Obama but how can 20 years of membership be reconciled with the fact that he threw his beliefs away so quickly? It can only be one of two things – he either saw the light or he never believed the theology in the first place and was just there to “fit in” the community he sought support from. The former requires us to believe that Obama just found out about the positions of Jemimah Wright in 2009, after sitting in his church for 1,040 sermons (20 years of Sundays). That would require him to be something less than the most intelligent president ever – as we are constantly told he is – or that he falls into the latter characterization, a cold and calculating political opportunist using religion as s political tool. Based on his actions, the latter is far more plausible.
Obama seems to ascribe to the view of Marx that religion is the “opium of the people”. Religion has the same expendable quality as many of his support groups, he has a practice of allying himself with whatever group or “movement” that can advance him or his political agenda and discards them like a dirty tissue when they are no longer helpful. He hypovehiculates them – throws them under the bus as it were.
That is the only way that I can reconcile this: Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial:
Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are expressing outrage after the Obama administration announced its objection to adding President Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The objection was noted during a congressional hearing on Rep. Bill Johnson’s, R-Ohio, bill — the “World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2011.”
“It is unconscionable that the Obama administration would stand in the way of honoring our nation’s distinguished World War II veterans,” Johnson said. “President Roosevelt’s prayer gave solace, comfort and strength to our nation and our brave warriors as we fought against tyranny and oppression.”
Roosevelt asked the nation to join him in prayer as U.S. and allied troops launched the invasion that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. He asked God to give the allied troops courage and faith, saying, “With thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council said it’s not all that surprising.
“This is further evidence that the administration has created an environment that is hostile towards American history — but in particular towards Christianity,” Perkins told Fox News. “I hope America wakes up and realizes what this administration is doing to this country and how they want to radically and fundamentally change America.”
“They want to erase every aspect of America’s heritage,” Perkins said of Obama’s administration. “Any president, any official in history that has embraced Christianity, is no longer welcome in this administration. That’s the environment they are creating.”
With this: President Obama marks the Hajj and Eid al-Adha:
Michelle and I extend our greetings for a happy Eid al-Adha to Muslims worldwide and congratulate those performing Hajj.
Thousands of Muslim Americans are among those who have joined one of the world’s largest and most diverse gatherings in making the pilgrimage to Mecca and nearby sites.
As Muslims celebrate this Eid, they will also commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son by distributing food to those less fortunate around the world. They join the United States and the international community in relief efforts to assist those struggling to survive in the Horn of Africa and those recovering from the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
The Eid and Hajj rituals are a reminder of the shared roots of the world’s Abrahamic faiths and the powerful role that faith plays in motivating communities to serve and stand with those in need. On behalf of the American people, we extend our best wishes during this Hajj season.
Eid Mubarak and Hajj Mabrour.
In logic, a commonly employed reconciliation tool is the Hegelian dialectic. This is usually presented in a threefold manner, comprising three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. For example:
- Thesis: the fur of the cat is completely black.
- Antithesis: the fur of the cat is not completely black.
The synthesis of these two assertions is that the cat’s fur is either all black or it is not. One is true, the other is false. As with the example of Schrödinger’s Cat, all we have to do to find out is to simply examine the cat.
Obama asks us to simply believe that the cat is black based on his words and not his actions. He doesn’t want us to look.
I can’t reconcile it.
Cross-posted at Polipundit…