Hillary Clinton in Hot Seat on commencement speech

Observer

On June 8, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to serve as the Class of 2017 commencement speaker at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, where she will also be awarded an honorary degree. The announcement has incited protests from several members of the Haitian community who plan to protest the speech and are pushing the college’s president, Rudy Crew, to rescind the invitation.

“Every time the Clintons get in a bind, they run to the black community to whitewash their tarnished image,” said Komokoda, the Haitian group protesting the speech, in a statement.

http://observer.com/2017/05/haitians-protest-hillary-clinton-commencement-speech-medgar-evers-college/

No, don’t rescind the invitation. Please, allow Hillary to be protested and shamed. (not that she has any) Pay them. She’s made enough money on it all, hold her accountable.

Maybe students will come equipped with some nice stiletto heels.

Exploiting people, particularly poor people, is the Clinton’s expertise. In office or out makes no difference. Perhaps she will get some long overdue ridicule? Furthermore, why should Obama be off the hook either?

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Green grass and high tides: commencement du jour

With all the yap on the airwaves about commencement addresses, I thought it was time to tackle one of these speechified manifestos myself. So bear with me.

Not that conservatives usually get to speak at such an event. You know the numbers. If so, maybe it should go something like this. First, context is important: remember that they don’t really care what you say, it’s their day. But you the speaker must slice through those biases, however you can, without tempering your message. Enough as been said already on lofty “finer points” of ed-U-K-shun, so stuff that in the sock drawer. It isn’t your mom and pop’s type education we’re talking about now. Onward.

Hit a couple high points, and hit a few low ones, then sum it up as the world is your oyster and make lemonade out of lemons. Well, scratch that outline and just go for it.

I’d like to talk to you on this special day, and thank you for inviting me. Though it wasn’t so much an invitation as a booking arrangement. I just happened to be the one available.

While the fleeting idea of grand accomplishment is still thick in the air, I would like to address that. But it requires a little history or background. I’m not going to explain details of events, if you don’t know what they are you can Google it as I talk. I didn’t get paid a professor’s salary to come here and I don’t have tenure. So….

You may have the feeling right now that you have achieved a certain level, or reached some nirvana status. Whether or not that is on your way to higher aspirations or it is the height of your achievement is all open for debate.

Knowledge is power, education is achievement, and all that stuff hangs like a cloud over campuses like this. Academic accomplishment is still something to be proud of. (enjoy it while you can)

However, what I hope to do is remind you of just a few events. Of course you don’t remember but have you heard of Enron? Look it up if not. They were not bottom feeders, pardon the pun. Those involved in the scandal were educated, smart, accomplished people. There was the savings and loan(S & L) scandal. Bankers, educated, and smart people.

How about Nixon’s administration? You know all those people in the Watergate scandal – you don’t have to know their names — who were indicted or part of it were educated, intelligent people, lawyers and advisers. You might remember some of the Clintons’ scandals. Right, they don’t use that word scandal anymore because it’s a pejorative. That aside, remember those incidents called right-wing conspiracies that were always hovering around the Clintons and the White House? Let’s call them controversies just to be kind. Whatever you heard, there were some smart people in them. You don’t have to know all the details — which would require a four year course — to know they had intelligent and educated people in their circle.

You probably know about some media personalities in mainstream media. They are educated people, too, with degrees and such. Not without flaw, error or controversy.

That collective sampling of history sort of tells us something, doesn’t it? They can all be educated, very intelligent people but they make mistakes too. Sure, they aren’t perfect and none of us are. The lesson of all those things is simple.

So if you thought education was a status of achievement that would prevent you from screwing up, you are mistaken. If you thought education was your exemption ticket from scandal or problems, you were wrong. If you thought your education would diminish the chances of screwing up or even failing, you would be wrong.

Actually, your chances of finding yourself in a bad situation may have gone up with that new degree. It certainly will not save you from trouble. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are not immune because of your education or intelligence.

Some very intelligent and educated people created some pretty huge problems. Their education did not save them from corruption or scandal, and probably wouldn’t save you. Many good, successful people were also intelligent and educated.

If you studied anything on ethics, you know there are choices you will be asked to make. Sometimes it might be either or; sometimes it might be picking both at the same time; you may be forced to choose. You might have to decide if you really want that abortion you were told was your “right”? You might have to decide if that building the crowd broke all the windows in should be looted? You might have to decide whether or not you will be a witness to that assault or robbery you just saw? You may have to decide on a given day if you are going to be a spectator or intervene on behalf of a victim in the making? You might have to decide if what your boss told you to do is ethical? You might decide if money or gifts are really bribes? Or not; but you will have to make some choices.

And you will have to decide if you are going to vote, then whom you vote for? No choice is still a choice. You will have to determine if those in power really do speak for you or they are taking people’s votes for granted. You may be called on, at some point, to make a decision between the profitable thing and the right thing to do? You may also have to decide when enough is really enough? I nor anyone else can tell you what choices to make.

We can tell you or encourage you to make the right one but the decision is yours. So when you make the right choice a bell doesn’t go off, or a buzzer doesn’t sound when you make the wrong one. Sometimes you may not even know if it was the right decision, only that you made one. Sometime you might not be aware you made a choice. Or sometime you may think you really have no choice.

No one can give you the answers; we can’t even tell you the questions. We can tell you to make the right decision. Then own that decision. Don’t blame someone else, or justify it by some excuse. Just admit it was yours to make and live with your decision. You made a choice when you came here. Now live with that choice.

Why such concern about feeling a nirvana or sense of immunity to problems? Unchecked it can lead one right into false confidence. That concern is validated for a reason.

You have probably been warned about greed or heard it blamed as an enemy of society and social justice. CS Lewis in The Great Sin describes the subject this way:

“What is it that makes a man with 10,000 pounds a year anxious to get 20,000 a year? It is not the greed for more pleasure. 10,000 pounds will give all the luxuries that any man can really enjoy. It is Pride – the wish to be richer than some other rich man, and (still more) the wish for power.

For, of course, power is what Pride really enjoys: there is nothing makes a man feel so superior to others as being able to move them about like toy soldiers. Pride is competitive by its very nature: that is why it goes on and on. If I am a proud man, then, as long as there is one man in the whole world more powerful, or richer, or cleverer than I, he is my rival and my enemy.”

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.”

RightRing | Bullright

Obama, the convenience of denial

On Wednesday, Obama travels to West Point to give his ballyhooed commencement — foreign policy address. That follows his Memorial eve visit to the troops in Afghanistan. Then he did place the wreath on Memorial Day at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

But he managed to completely ignore the traditional Armed Forces Day in speech and deed. He did, however, celebrate the international Anti-Homophobe Day. And so did the embassies. Are they starting a new tradition?

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the Department of Defense.

In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Mr. Truman stated:

“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense”.

Even the NY times said May 17, 1952: “This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces … to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”

Former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson

“The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms. Our Armed Forces in 1950– protecting the peace, building for security with freedom–are “Teamed for Defense …”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953

“Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man. For it is he–the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine– who has fought to preserve freedom. It is his valor that has given renewed hope to the free world that by working together in discipline and faith our ideals of freedom will always prevail.”

Once again, from a New York Times article May 17, 1952: “It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.

Was the NYT speaking to Obama?
Lastly, this special note:

On the first Armed Forces Day, Soviet media Pravda denounced Armed Forces Day, calling it the militarization of the United States. “The hysterical speeches of the warmongers again show the timeliness of the appeal of the Permanent Committee of Peace Partisans that atomic weapons be forbidden.”

Alas, Pravda need not worry in 2014, no “hysterical speeches” were given by the Commander Comrade-in-Chief. But it might have taken note of the unified commemoration awarded the LGBTQ agenda.

Obama should hang his head that he let the anti-Homophobe agenda upstage the honor of Armed Forces Day. No, he has the arrogant pride instead. And that message should carry loud and clear to West Point, and echo through Eisenhower Hall.

God Bless the troops. May we always honor and remember their ultimate sacrifices.
NBC West Point
He lectured to West Point about “upholding standards that reflect our values”. Really, like the LGBTQ values? He also spoke about the need to “protect sources and methods” — after outing the station chief in Afghanistan just days before. A shout for “transparency”.

Well, the script Obama is reading from is in big conflict with its voice, his. It’s about priorities. A mention of climate change. He called Boko Haram an “extremist group”.

“Leadership”, Mr Obama? Surely you jest. But his real policy is the Denial Doctrine.
Straw Man Alert at West Point

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RightRing | Bullright