GrassTopsUSA Exclusive CommentaryBy Don Feder 07-06-10
â€œKaddishâ€ (more properly, the â€œMournerâ€™s Kaddishâ€) is the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead, recited for a specified period after the death of a parent, child, spouse or sibling, as well as during the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur.
When my mother died in January, at age 97, I knew where to go to say Kaddish for her â€” to the synagogue where Iâ€™ve been praying (haphazardly) for over a decade.
But where do I go to say Kaddish for my country â€” the nation that nurtured me like a parent, the country that defines me as a person as much as my faith, the nation I love with a fierce protectiveness that only a patriot can understand?
Where do I go to say Kaddish for America? (â€œMay His great name be exalted and sanctified is Godâ€™s great name in the world which he has created according to his will! May He establish His kingdom and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be near, during your lifetime and during your days and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel, speedily and very soon! And say, Amenâ€¦.â€)
Where is it most fitting to fulfill this solemn duty?
Should I go to the grave of George Washington at Mt Vernon â€” Washington, the indispensable man of the Revolution, the colossus who guided our nation for two decades? Our first president cautioned: â€œGovernment is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.â€
Or should I go to the United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, where John Adams was laid to rest 50 years after signing the Declaration of Independence? Adams observed: â€œOur Constitution is designed only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.â€
What about Youngâ€™s Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay, New York, where the Colonel of the Rough Riders was interred? The apostle of â€œAmericanismâ€ (he may have even coined the term), Theodore Roosevelt exhorted us that in this country: â€œWe have room for but one flag, the American flagâ€¦. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English languageâ€¦ and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.â€ The last president who actually believed that left office on January 20, 1989.
Then again, perhaps I should say Kaddish, wrapped in my tallis, at the Lincoln Memorial, in front of that breathtaking 19-foot seated statue of the man who led America through its bloodiest war, and saved the Union â€” Lincoln who said that those â€œwho gave the last full measure of devotionâ€ at Gettysburg did so that â€œgovernment of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.â€
After 18 months of the ersatz messiah, the survival of republican government has never been more in doubt.
Now, itâ€™s America that lies bleeding and dying on a thousand battlefields. Perhaps thatâ€™s where I should go to say Kaddish for my country:
â€¢ Sonia Sotomayor on Crack Cocaine â€” I could have gone to the room where hearings were held on Elena Kaganâ€™s nomination to the United States Supreme Court. Kagan is Sonia Sotomayor on crack cocaine. As dean of Harvard Law School, she kicked military recruiters off campus but allowed the Saudis to recruit for a Sharia-compliance project. Sheâ€™s â€œnot sympatheticâ€ to Second Amendment rights but pledges undying fealty to abortion-on-demand. She longs for international law to supersede U.S. law. At Harvard, she made â€œInternational Comparative Lawâ€ a compulsory course, but U.S. Constitutional Law optional.
Kagan also instituted a â€œtransgender lawâ€ course, encouraged students to do volunteer work for radical homosexual groups, urged Harvard to make restrooms â€œaccessibleâ€ to students based on what they imagined their gender to be, and encouraged the school to pay for student sex-change operations.
During the hearings, in response to a question by Senator Tom Coburn, Kagan claimed she didnâ€™t know what natural rights, if any, were enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. (â€œLife, liberty and the pursuit of happinessâ€ is a difficult concept to grasp.) Unlike your run-of-the-mill judicial activist, Kagan isnâ€™t content to merely misinterpret the Constitution, but must distort the Declaration of Independence as well.
â€¢ Rev. Jeremiah Hate, Jr. â€” Perhaps I should have sat in on the seminar Obamaâ€™s pastor of 19 years taught at the University of Chicago this summer. â€œWhites and Jews are controlling the flow of worldwide information and oppressing blacks in Israel and America,â€ the man the president dedicated the â€œAudacity of Hopeâ€ to proclaimed.
Obama learned hate-whitey, anti-Western, black-liberationist dogma at the knee of the Rev. Jeremiah, whose venom saturates this administration. Recall an incident a year ago, when the president claimed Cambridge cops acted â€œstupidly,â€ when they arrested a black law professor who behaved suspiciously. At a San Francisco fundraiser in 2008, when the future president mocked Middle Americans as â€œbitterâ€ rednecks who â€œcling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who arenâ€™t like them,â€ you could hear echoes of Wright â€” â€œWe believe in white supremacy and black inferiority more than we believe in Godâ€ (â€œantipathy to people who arenâ€™t like themâ€?). By injecting race into every conversation (how many times has he now apologized for slavery?) Obama continues the fragmentation of society.
â€¢ Holy Struggle, POTUS! â€” Rashad Hussain, Obamaâ€™s Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, told an audience last week that the president is â€œAmericaâ€™s educator-in-chief on Islam.â€ Indoctrination is a form of education.
When not looking for â€œmoderate elementsâ€ in Hezbollah, Deputy National Security Advisor John O. Brennan says we may no longer describe the enemy with words like â€œjihadistâ€ or â€œIslamistâ€ because jihad is a â€œholy struggleâ€ for self-improvement â€” apparently, the Muslim equivalent of Tony Robbins, and has nothing whatsoever to do with suicide bombers. Following the Ft. Hood massacre, where 13 soldiers in his command were killed in cold blood, Army Chief of Staff General George Casey bleated that the real tragedy here would be â€œif our diversity becomes a casualty.â€ Killing men and women in uniform is no big deal. People losing faith in religion-of-peace twaddle, now thatâ€™s tragic.
Apparently, Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber, who pleaded guilty in a Manhattan courtroom last week, didnâ€™t get the memo. Shahzad said he considers himself a â€œMujahid, a Muslim soldier.â€ We canâ€™t even talk frankly about a worldwide movement committed to Americaâ€™s annihilation. Instead, we speak of â€œman-caused disastersâ€ (DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano) and describe terrorists as victims of â€œpolitical, economic and social forcesâ€ (Brennan, again). Are Obama and Company channeling Neville Chamberlain?
â€¢ Helping To Make America Safe for Illegal Aliens â€” A posting on the Labor Department website informs illegal immigrants: â€œYou work hard and have the right to be paid fairly. And it is a serious problem when workers in this country are not being paid every cent they earn. Remember, every worker has a right to be paid fairly, whether documented (legal) or not. So call us.â€ Weâ€™re enforcing the law for those who are here against the law. Irony, anyone?
In meetings with China in May, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner apologized to that nationâ€™s gulag regime for our own â€œhuman rights abuses.â€ Beijing executes political prisoners and sells their organs. Arizona tries to keep drug gangs from infiltrating its border with Mexico.
And eight Republican Senators recently wrote to Mexico's other president asking him to deny reports that if he canâ€™t get an amnesty through Congress this year, heâ€™ll short-circuit the constitutional process by having the Department of Homeland Security simply issue a blanket amnesty to 12 to 15 million illegals.
In an address last week, the president said our borders â€œare just too vastâ€ to properly police. (But we can secure the borders of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of miles from our shores.) Obama wants to do everything possible to increase the comfort level of illegals already here and to encourage more to come. For the president, illegal immigration is a two-fer. Besides minting millions of new Democrat-voters-for-life, by bringing in ill-educated, non-English speakers who resent their adopted country, he hastens the process of national disintegration.
â€¢ We Donâ€™t Need No Stinking First Amendment! â€” Last week, Obamaâ€™s Reichstag (the U.S. House of Representatives) passed the euphemistically titled DISCLOSE Act (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections). The measure is designed to gag conservative associations and corporations by creating restrictions so onerous that itâ€™s almost impossible to comply. Organizations doing issues advertising before an election would have to disclose the names of every donor who gave them more than $600. An organization would have to list its top five funders â€” in a 15-second radio spot!
The architects of this monstrosity know itâ€™s unconstitutional. (The Supreme Court struck down far less rabid restrictions on political speech in the Citizens United case.) But it doesnâ€™t matter. DISCLOSE was written to maintain the Democrats' hold on power through one election only. What the courts do with it after that is irrelevant. Itâ€™s a cynical manipulation of the system by a gang that thinks it can get away with anything.
â€¢ The Adventures of Barack, Queen of the Desert â€“ The Big Alinskyite in the White House boycotted National Day of Prayer. On Memorial Day, he was too busy to lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier â€” for the second year. But the president found time to host a gala dinner for Gay Pride Month (the first time sodomy has been celebrated in the White House, in this fashion) at which he pledged to repeal donâ€™t-ask-donâ€™t tell and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (thus opening the way for judicially mandated homosexual marriage nationally), as well as passing the alleged Employment Non-Discrimination Act, forcing family businesses to hire â€œwomenâ€ with five-oâ€™clock shadows.
On Fatherâ€™s Day, Obama used his PC pulpit to laud â€œtwo-fatherâ€ families (but, sadly, neglected â€œtrans-genderedâ€ dads). Along with abortion funding and a denial of our Judeo-Christian heritage, itâ€™s part of the presidentâ€™s plan to morally deconstruct America. For the left, banishing Biblical morality is even more important than abolishing the free market and shredding the Constitution.
â€¢ The Land of the Bankrupt And Home Of The Unemployed â€“ At the end of his first three years as president, Obama will have added $3.7 trillion to the National Debt, more than in all of the first 225 years of our national existence.
Under the course he's charted, federal spending will rise from 24.3% of Gross Domestic Product today to 35% by the year 2035. Our creditors â€” mostly Arabs and Asians â€” wonâ€™t finance our governmentâ€™s extravagance indefinitely. When we can no longer borrow enough to pay the interest, and the bills come due, it will precipitate a depression which will make 1929-1940 seem like a boom cycle.
And for all the hundreds of billions in stimulus spending, federal bailouts and corporate takeovers, the unemployment rate is still 9.5% â€” only marginally better than the high of 10.1% last fall. Vinegar Joe Biden says â€œthereâ€™s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession.â€ And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says extending unemployment benefits is the best job-creation program ever. Extending them to her and her colleagues certainly would be.
Still, Obama is a symptom, not the disease.
Itâ€™s true: Obama wants to destroy our semi-free market economy to make way for a socialist state. But the destruction of America has been a long time in the making.
Barack Obama did not make us dependent on government handouts. The current occupant of the White House wasnâ€™t the first to suggest that we should look to Washington to solve all of our problems, that government has an unlimited call on our income, that deficits donâ€™t matter (because we owe it to ourselves), that thereâ€™s no connection between America and the Ten Commandments, that the Constitution is whatever five old men and women say it is (however absurd), that it's wrong to try to force our morality on others (unless that morality is secular humanism), that foreign enemies are a product of our overactive imagination, that American power must be shackled by the international community and so on.
Obama is the omega â€” the death rattle at the end of a very long sickness. (Think of him as the tertiary stage of syphilis.) The disease can be traced from FDR to LBJ, Nixon and Ford to Carter, Clinton and two Bushes.
The coffin nails were there decades ago. Obama is pounding them into place, one by one.
We the people gripe about government â€” what itâ€™s doing to our economy, our families and our freedoms. Then we elect or reelect the same hypocrites, charlatans, con men and mystics, year after year.
Robert C. Byrd, who died on June 28, served in the Senate for 51 years â€” longer than anyone else in history.
Were West Virginia voters in a trance for the past half-century? Did they put their critical faculties in a blind trust as they robotically sent this New Deal Democrat (by way of the Ku Klux Klan) back to Washington decade after decade to continue bleeding taxpayers and building gargantuan government? Citizens Against Government Waste says Byrd was the first legislator to bring $1 billion in bacon back to his state and named him Porker of the Year in 2002.
As a citizen of the Bay State, Iâ€™m hardly in a position to disparage anyone. Massachusetts sent an alcoholic womanizer and silver-spoon socialist to D.C. for 48 years, until, like Byrd, he died in office last year. Iâ€™m only surprised they didnâ€™t reelect the corpse.
With honorable exceptions, Congressmen are Americaâ€™s undertakers. Presidents are the grave diggers.
America is a country thatâ€™s more than a country. Itâ€™s also an idea and a cause. When we forget that, we come close to losing her.
Can America still be saved? Are we too far down the road to serfdom to turn back?
I donâ€™t know, but I suspect God isnâ€™t through with America just yet. I canâ€™t believe that the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, Gettysburg and D-Day, our triumph over Nazism and Communism â€” as well as what we taught the world about representative government and economic freedom â€” will become dust between the pages of history.
Interestingly, the Mournerâ€™s Kaddish doesnâ€™t mention the deceased. In a time of grief, it asks us to transcend the tragedy in our own lives and focus instead on the glory of God, and trust in Him.
Here too, thereâ€™s a parallel. The last stanza of the Star-Spangled Banner (as much hymn as anthem) urges us to â€œPraise the Powâ€™r that hath made and preserved us as a nation!â€ and admonishes: â€œThen conquer we must when our cause it is just, And this be our motto â€” â€˜In God is our trust.â€™â€
With God, all things are possible. Perhaps, once again, we will be (in the words of Francis Scott Key) â€œthe heavâ€™n rescued land.â€
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.