The “W” In Christmas

December 25, 2009

Someone recently forwarded this beautiful story, which is well worth sharing.

Christmas Love (The “W” in Christmas) by Candy Chand

Each December I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations: extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet I still found myself exhausted, unable to fully appreciate the precious family moments, and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s Winter Pageant. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production.

Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher who assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise. So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early and found a seat in the cafeteria. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment: songs about reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and good cheer. So when my son’s class rose to sing “Christmas Love” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, who were adorned in fuzzy mittens and red sweaters, with bright stocking caps on their heads. Those in the front row, center stage, held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing “C is for Christmas” a child would hold up the letter “C.” Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.”

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly we noticed her: a small, quiet girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down. She was unaware that reversed, her letter “M” appeared as a “W.”

The audience of first- through sixth-graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, and she stood tall, proudly holding her “W.” Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience, and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos there was a purpose for our festivities.

When the last letter was held high, the message read clear: “CHRISTWAS LOVE” (“CHRIST WAS LOVE”). And I believe He still is.

Amen.

A blessed and Joyous Christmas to all.


The Cloward-Piven Strategy

December 22, 2009

Have you ever heard of the Cloward-Piven strategy?

“The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis…. …the ‘Cloward-Piven Strategy’ seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”

The strategy is the brainchild of two radical Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who introduced the idea in a 1966 article titled A Strategy to End Poverty. Much like German blitzkrieg tactics that overran Eastern Europe and France at the beginning World War II, the Cloward-Piven strategy relied on shock, surprise and speed to provoke a crisis that would collapse the welfare system, thus depriving the poor of their only safety net. The rationale for inflicting calculated misery on les miserables pauvres was to foment rioting, violence and economic collapse, creating the classical Marxian pre-conditions for radical change.

Of course this terrible idea isn’t terribly new. The Cloward-Piven strategy is straight out of the Marxist-Leninist playbook for bringing about a communist dictatorship. Vladimir Lenin formulated the theory while in exile in Zurich and put it into practice in 1917, with deadly consequences — literally — for 100 million people. Cloward and Piven’s only innovation was applying Lenin’s blueprint to unique characteristics and weaknesses of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

I just finished reading a three-part series of articles on the Cloward-Piven strategy. These articles are must reading for anyone who wants to understand the method behind the Left’s seeming madness, and provide the ideological context for the radical changes Obama and his progressive allies in Congress have in store for America.

Part one: Manufactured Crisis

Excerpt:

Why does virtually every liberal scheme result in ever-increasing public spending while conditions seem to get continually worse? There are a number of reasons:

1. The programs usually create adverse incentives. This is especially true in so-called “anti-poverty” programs. The beneficiaries find government subsidies a replacement for, rather than a supplement to, gainful employment and eventually become incapable of supporting themselves. This in turn creates a dependent culture with its attendant toxic behaviors which demand still more government “remedies.”

2. The programs create their own industry, complete with scads of “think tanks” and “experts” who survive on government research grants. These are the aptly named “Beltway Bandits.”

3. They create their own bureaucracies, whose managers conspire with interested members of Congress to continually increase program funding, regardless of merit.

4. Members of Congress secure votes and campaign donations by extorting them from beneficiaries of such programs, either through veiled threats — “vote for me or those mean Republicans will wipe out your benefits” — or promises of still more bennies.

In short, all develop a vested interest in the program’s survival. But if the result is always more and more government, of government, by government, and for government, with no solution in sight, then why do liberals always see government as the solution rather than the problem?

Similarly, liberals use government to promote legislation that imposes mandates on the private sector to provide further benefits for selected groups. But the results are even more disastrous. For example, weighing the laws or stacking the courts to favor unions may provide short term security or higher pay for unionized labor, but has ultimately resulted in the collapse of entire domestic industries.

Another example is health care. The Dems are always trying to impose backdoor socialized medicine with incremental legislation. Why do you suppose American healthcare is in such crisis? Answer: the government has already become too deeply involved. For example, many hospitals are closing their doors because they are overwhelmed with the burden of caring for indigent patients, illegal immigrants and vagrants who must, by law, be admitted like everyone else, despite the fact that they cannot pay for services. Read about it here — Destroying Our Health Care. The net result is reduced availability of care for everyone, exactly the opposite of what liberals claim to want.

Part two: Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

Excerpt:

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare — about 8 million, at the time — probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.” Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level (emphasis added).”

Among other problems, implementing such utopian schemes inevitably inflict much suffering and hardship on the very victims the social engineers purport to want to help. Such avoiding tragedies are of no concern to Leftist revolutionaries, for whom the lives of the poor are as expendable as eggs used to make omeletes (for the “greater good” of course). But the immense human costs of radical Socialist experiments is immensely troubling to the bourgeoise majority (i.e., normal people). That is why such programs cannot pass without the full cooperation of a sympatico media.

Part three: Conspiracy of the Lemmings

Excerpt:

The Left’s strategies could not survive the light of day. Our mass media is mostly to blame for this. Radicals require a sympathetic media to deliver their message in an acceptable fashion and actively suppress inconvenient facts that reveal these organizations’ true character and agenda. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is perhaps the most poignant current example of this. Without mass media’s shamelessly biased support, he would still be community organizing, or perhaps in jail.

It is a tangled web of radical interconnections with the ultimate goal being an end to our Constitutional framework, the fall of our Republic and its replacement with a radical vision of socialist utopia — finally removing the last major roadblock to world socialism.

These radical individuals are highly motivated, in many cases intelligent and talented, and sometimes even driven by what they would describe as altruistic motives. Yet the impacts of socialist central planning are inarguably destructive.

Marx may have had some interesting insights on history, but despite his ponderous three volume Das Kapital he was no economist. Instead, Kapital provided the intellectual excuse for Marx’s anarchistic Communist Manifesto.

And the severe verdict of history on his perverted vision is without equal: over 100 million people murdered by their own governments in times of peace, more than all the wars of history combined. The rest face abject poverty, mass starvation, economic and environmental ruin, all overseen by smothering, indescribably brutal governments — a grey, barren existence for all but the apparatchiks.

So why are so many Westerners infatuated with this demented vision?

This demented vision is precisely what Obama, Pelosi, and the other Democrats have planned for the rest of us. The only silver lining in the upcoming dystopia is that the fools who voted in 2008 for empty slogans from an empty vessel will be the least prepared to endure the coming whirlwind. The last shall indeed be first.


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