Archive for politics

The protest business

There can be some debate about whether peaceful and lawful protest is a good way to garner public support for a cause. The case gets weaker when the protest leaves the ‘peaceful and lawful’ arena. It gets weaker still when it’s composed of rent-a-mob characters and when the cause seems to be a bit dishonest. Jazz Shaw notes some of these problems in speculating about The next Michael Brown.

“Colin Flaherty has a column at American Thinker this week which should provide some important insight for those watching the unraveling of the relationship between America’s first responders and residents of high crime rate communities. In it, he discusses the disturbing trend of activist organizations and seemingly prefabricated crowds of protesters showing up within hours any time there is a police shooting these days. And to be clear, this includes incidents where there is no conceivable basis for questioning the shooting, such as when one cop already has three bullets in him.”

“Some of these protests turn violent, though not all. But the common thread in all these situations is that a protest most certainly does take place. It happens quickly and there is a generally a representative from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network – or some similar organization – on hand before you could possibly imagine they could have gotten there.”

The instigation for the ‘race riots’ is fabricated. The targets seem to be more towards economic systems and authorities rather than racism or brutality. Formation is too convenient and those who service the riots are getting to where they recognize participants. It looks as if there is a protest business that is well organized, well funded, and on careful watch for when to slide in a few players to get things going. What isn’t so clear is just what they are protesting.

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Hate

Consider Stowe Boyd:

“What the Scandinavians know: high taxes and generous social benefits do not lead to higher unemployment. On the contrary. But try to tell that to wackazoid conservatives who simply won’t look at the data.”

Then the implications from An Academic’s Shocking View: “I Hate Republicans” which concerns Professor Susan J. Douglas’ expressed hatred of Republicans.

“It’s possible to confront a “single-minded, uncomplicated, good-vs.-evil worldview” and respond with something besides hate. That, in fact, is what I am doing in this very post — and it’s something Republicans (and Democrats less hateful than Ms. Douglas) do all the time in this country.”

“I have not read the “studies” Douglas cites, but it’s clear that the qualities she describes are derisive terms for a world view that Thomas Sowell describes as “constrained.” “Dogmatism, rigidity and intolerance
 of ambiguity” as well as “a need to avoid uncertainty” represent a philosophy that recognizes the importance of incentives, and favors order even if it potentially raises the chances of individual instances of injustice. “Resistance to change” represents a support for traditions that reflect common wisdom over ages. “Support for inequality” is a nasty and unfair slur against a philosophy that prizes equality of opportunity over equality of result — and recognizes that efforts to equalize results often result in government creating power imbalances among groups, and in unintended consequences that decrease the quality of life for everyone, including the least fortunate.

In short, Ms. Douglas, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. While I don’t hate you, and I try not to hate even your ugly thoughts — because hate is a negative emotion that corrodes the soul — I certainly reject your hatred. I feel sorry for those who have to deal with someone so hateful. I feel sorry for your students, for your colleagues, for your neighbors, and everyone else who crosses your path and feels the sting of your nasty worldview.

And ultimately, I feel sorry for you — because you’re clearly proud of your hatred, which means you are unlikely to change. Which means you’re trapped — you have trapped yourself, that is — in a situation I don’t envy: a life driven by negative emotions and ugliness.”

Hate distorts. It leads people to defensiveness and that to a lack of intellectual integrity that can be seen in logical fallacies such as Boyd’s conclusion.

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A matter of intent or intent matters

Bruce Thornton thinks it is Sloppy Thinking About ‘Torture’ and explains why. Intentions matter. So does the actual law. Feelings can get in the way but due care needs to be taken so that they don’t mislead.

“Contrary to Noonan and McCain, and despite the dishonest rhetoric from our resentful allies, rivals, and enemies, the Senate report does not diminish America as a “force for good in the world,” a beacon of freedom, tolerance, and opportunity. That is why the U.S. is the emigrant’s favorite destination, why the U.S. is the go-to power for those countries in need when stricken by natural disasters or violent aggressors, and why the basic attitude of most of the world’s peoples is “Yankee go home, and take me with you.” The United States is in fact the “city on the hill,” the only world power in history that has used its power more for good than for ill. To think that reports of interrogation techniques used to save lives challenge the reality of American exceptionalism bespeaks a lack of confidence and faith not in our perfection, but in the fundamental goodness of America and its aims despite our occasional imperfections.”

What is not put on table in regards to intent is the intent behind the Senate report release. Those who put out the report are not very clear in regards to their motives and that tends to feed suspiciond. Arguing with ‘feel good’ rather than reason and fact don’t help much, either.

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Another ‘big lie” – bank bailout

It’s Hinderaker on the occupiers and their complaints about Wall Street and the bailout of big banks:

“For years, my friends in the banking industry told me that the federal government was forcing them to make bad loans. Mortgages were not the only such bad loans, but while they were the largest, they were also the least problematic from the banks’ standpoint, since the taxpayers, through Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, stood ready to buy them and assume the risk. The financial collapse of 2008 and the recession that followed were caused primarily by liberal policies enforced by the federal government that went back to the Carter administration.”

“”In what sense were banks “bailed out”? They weren’t “given” anything. Large banks were forced to take liquidity loans by the lender of last resort to prevent a bank run while the equity holders got mercilessly hammered in the market. Most “bankers” had huge amounts of their bonuses and net worth in options or in equity in the bank, respectively, which also became nearly worthless. Hundreds of thousands of “bankers” lost their jobs and will never work in finance again, most likely. This is a “bailout”?””

“”The bank liquidity programs were nothing like the bailout of GM or Chrysler, which were actually given money directly and indirectly, through special tax legislation creating a loophole worth about $45 billion in foregone taxes, most of which will never be recovered. And it was done in an irregular.””

“Of course, if the Democrats want to base their 2016 campaign on anti-bank populism, they will have to deal with the fact that the financial industry contributed more money to Barack Obama’s campaigns than any industry has contributed to any candidate in the nation’s history. Why might that be? The Democratic Party is, and has been for a long time, the party of Wall Street. The congruence between the Obama administration’s policies and Goldman Sachs’s interests is almost perfect.”

It’s where the money is and that means it is a rich target for political hacks who haven’t considered the morality of their ideology. The lack of intellectual integrity is a necessity in order to maintain the pretense, to believe the lie. That never turns out well.

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The Curse of Cassandra

Ken Allard says its Giving our enemies aid and comfort … but. of course, they don’t think so.

“By their deplorable conduct, the Senate Democrats not only aided our enemies but also undermined a tradition of bipartisan trust that has been the bedrock of intelligence oversight for more than a generation. Our recent elections have only begun the longer and more difficult process of putting things right.”

One only has to consider the recent rhetoric from countries such as ISIS, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea to see who is gaining aid and comfort from the Democrat’s war on Bush and the CIA. It does worry some. It should probably worry many others.

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tortured politics

Persistence has its value but it really needs a bit of intellectual integrity to avoid damaging results. The Democrats are still trying to recover from their turn-around in 2003 in regards to the war on terror. The latest is a partisan political (the Senate is in a lame duck session of a Democratic Party majority) effort to excuse the mess. Jed Babbin, a former deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration, describes some of the problems in Feinstein’s tortured report — “It’s a political condemnation of CIA that thwarts interrogation of terrorists.”

“The “torture” report released Tuesday by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is the latest attempt to prove that the George W. Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on a small number of terrorist prisoners amounted to torture and that the CIA lied to congress about them. It is a political condemnation of CIA conduct meant to erect another barrier to effective interrogation of terrorists, and it is wrong in its statement of the law.”

One of the issues is the attempt to redefine torture. A U.N. convention in 1994 prohibited it but was so vague that statute was needed to define it. The interpretation of that statute is what the left is trying to distort. On the right, the conclusion is that the techniques we use in training military personnel that do not produce lasting mental or physical harm. Another issue is the idea that the enhanced interrogation techniques did not produce useful intelligence. That is disputed by those who used information gained to stop attacks are even to find OBL.

The war on the NSA, the CIA, and other components of the U.S. spy community by the Left is damaging both in terms of ability to protect and in terms of international relationships with long term allies. 

Then there’s the current riot season. This also appears to be an attempt by leftist organizers to leverage current events with false propaganda in order to develop anti-capitalism protests and foment social unrest. 

The assault is in full force on several fronts. 

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What a drag

What separated the United States from a Peru or Nigeria or Mexico or Laos or Russia was the sanctity of the law, or the idea that from the highest elected officials to the least influential citizen, all were obligated to follow, according to their stations, the law. Under Obama, that sacred idea has been eroded. We live in a world of illegal immigration and amnesties, Ferguson mythologies, and alphabet government scandals, presided over by a president who not only does not tell the truth, but also seems to be saying to the public, “I say whatever I want, so get over it.”

when the law is a drag by Victor Davis Hanson.

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There are real heroes

Carl Rowan goes on a rant about the real heroes of Furguson. The inconvenient heroism of Witness No. 10“Eric Holder could learn respect for the law from a Brown shooting bystander”.

“Then we learned that some true heroes had chosen to rise up and tell the truth (supported by the forensics) about the shooting. Several community members, apparently all black, stepped forward to state clearly that Brown had charged at the policeman. He had not tried to surrender as some witnesses had falsely said. These people, such as Witness No. 10, chose to tell the truth about what they saw when doing so made them subject to social scorn and physical danger. They are true American patriots who will never get so much as a nod of appreciation from Mr. Holder or the useful idiots, black and white, who can’t accept the truth and who applaud while race hustlers like Al Sharpton compare Brown to slain civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.”

There’s more: “facts caught up with the craven politicians who were trading on rumor and demagoguery” … “When a city is set on fire by looting criminals, I expect to see a furious attorney general declare that the full weight of the federal government will be brought to bear on the rioters” … “They have tried on the cloak of victimhood and found it to be very comfortable” …

obviously not happy. good rant. worth reading carefully.

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The Big Ugly

Some call it the Big Ugly:

“Multiple far-left groups are using Ferguson as a pretext to rehearse widespread civil disobedience when the Welfare State taps the brakes.”

It’s a yearning for a vision of the old days and the Vietnam war “don’t draft me” violent riots confused with civil rights protests.

“leftist, community organizing groups — meaning those that openly define their guiding ideology with socialist/communist language (quoting Marx & Lenin, while avoiding any mention of Stalin) — have been using Ferguson to stretch their muscles, largely unused after the 2008 election of an ally in the White House. For them, the Ferguson protests have little to do with Michael Brown’s death, and more to do with anti-capitalist rants, punctuated by chants against police brutality against young, innocent, black men.

Their stage setting is Brown’s death — the play is about anti-capitalism.”

Lee Cary says Leftist organizers are using Ferguson to rehearse the Big Ugly and puts the welfare state as the prime motivation. That fits into the general rule of thumb to trace the money. In this case, it’s the issue of how to get someone else’s money.

“The means of inspiring leftist street zeal are justified by the end.

Lies have long been a tool used by the tyrants of fascists, socialist, and communist ideologies.

In contrast, capitalism — an economic system in great distress in America — is inescapably tied to Arithmetic.

Real math doesn’t lie. It requires unbiased calculation. Far-left community organizers don’t traffic in unbiased calculation.”

“The key leaders are savvy enough to understand that funding for the American Welfare State is living on borrowed time — or, more literally, on borrowed money. Borrowing from other nations, and from our own nation’s future, reflects the long-running prostitution of John Maynard Keynes’ notion of deficit spending as a means to stimulate a slack economy.

Deficit spending is a federal addiction.”

Ferguson shows just how deep it goes as well. Carol Brown describes an illustration in the reaction to Rich Lowery on Meet the Press as A few seconds of truth on Ferguson and progressives go nuts!.

“If you look at the most credible evidence [of Michael Brown's death at the hands of a Ferguson, Mo., police officer], the lessons are really basic,” Lowry said during an appearance on Meet the Press. “Don’t rob a convenience store. Don’t fight with a policeman when he stops you and try to take his gun. And when he yells at you to stop, just stop.”

Before Lowry got to the end of his statement, everyone on the panel started making faces, interrupting, waving their arms around, and nearly jumping out of their chairs.

It was just that hard for them to hear the truth.

You know, early on in my journey from left to write I often read comments on blogs that would say: “liberalism is a mental disease.” And I didn’t quite get. But now I do. I know no other way to explain the sheer inanity that is the left in action.”

The there’s the politicization of football. Evan McMurry reports that the St. Louis Police Demand Rams Punish Players for ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Pose.

““The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory,” the association wrote Monday.

“I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights,” said SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda.* “Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.””

Some are actually taking note of the nonsense and speaking out against dishonesty and destructive behavior. Those are first steps in pushing back against the ‘Big Ugly’.

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IRS as a political tool – it’s a slow drip

The various scandals about misuse of the IRS by the administration have not yet died. Congress may not have been able to pry loose IRS records and correspondence but private lawsuits are showing fruit as a result of court orders. John Hinderaker has a good summary about how the IRS scandal rears its head.

What does this tell us? 1) Based on Mr. Goolsbee’s comments several years ago, there is every reason to believe that Barack Obama’s White House has illegally received confidential taxpayer information from the IRS. 2) Confronted by a lawsuit, the Obama administration, instead of responding forthrightly, has danced around the issue for years and erected every possible procedural barrier. 3) When finally brought to heel by a court, the administration asks for a ridiculously long period of time to produce a tiny number of documents on its own investigation of criminal behavior by the IRS and the White House.”

“This particular story is farce, not tragedy. It will wend its absurd way through the court system for years to come, probably arriving at no conclusion until the scofflaw Obama administration is safely out of office. In the meantime, federal criminal laws governing the privacy of IRS data, like the criminal laws generally, are a source of hilarity among Democrats. Democrat cronies sip Scotch and light cigars–I hope not with $100 bills–laughing at the rest of us who work to pay the taxes that support them in the luxury to which they have happily become accustomed. I have always thought that the term “ruling class” was ridiculous as applied to the United States, but the Obama administration is causing me to re-think that view.

How many members of the Nixon administration ultimately went to jail? I think no more than five or ten. The Obama administration has violated criminal statutes with an abandon that Nixon and his minions never dreamed of. An accounting remains; I think there are a considerable number of Obama minions and cronies who should be behind bars.”

The real question is about why the administration has been able to get away with it – at least so far. That question is also gaining some attention as well.

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Lies of the WoT

Stephen Hayes introduces a statement as An Interrogator Breaks His Silence

“What follows is the document written by Jason Beale — a pseudonym for a longtime U.S. military and intelligence interrogator with extensive knowledge of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA on some high-value detainees. Those techniques are scrutinized a forthcoming report prepared by the Democratic staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Beale would not confirm to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that he worked in that program, but others with knowledge of the program and its personnel tell TWS that he served as a senior interrogator beginning in 2004.

Beale tells TWS that his document was reviewed, redacted, and cleared by a U.S. government agency. A CIA spokesman would not confirm that the CIA was the agency in question. Beale says he made minor edits for grammar and flow after the document was cleared.”

The interrogation of captured terrorists is one of those issues that was used in the political war starting about 2005 when a newspaper revealed a secret program. At that time, the left was going to any extreme to backtrack on its support for its earlier endorsement of the War on Terror. Beale describes the assault on reason and integrity in the area of intelligence gathering.

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Stonewalled

A book review by Ken Allard, a retired Army colonel, military analyst, and author on national-security issues is for the ‘not wooried, yet’ crowd. For him, it was deja vu all over again. The book is Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington (Amazon affiliate link) by Sharyl Attkisson.

“Full disclosure first: I was one of those military analysts regularly seen on network television until a 2008 New York Times expose accused us of succumbing to improper influences by the Rumsfeld Pentagon. Because congressional Democrats howled for our heads, it took three years, four federal investigations and more than $2 million in tax dollars before The Times report was discredited and we were exonerated.

“Ironically, we were accused of precisely the same pattern of government-media corruption at the heart of Sharyl Attkisson’s new blockbuster,”

“Mrs. Attkisson’s phones and computers began acting strangely. As she prepared to confront Ambassador Thomas Pickering about his Benghazi report, “Suddenly the data in my computer file begins wiping at hyperspeed before my very eyes. Deleted line by line a split second: it’s gone, gone, gone.” While they might have been remaking the movie “Enemy of the State,” an exhaustive forensics analysis of Mrs. Attkisson’s iMac found evidence of classified documents planted deep in her hard drive; systematic intrusions allowing remote control of her personal files; most damning of all, “a backdoor link to an ISP address for a government computer.” It was slam-dunk confirmation of a deliberately planned government penetration, all predictably denied by Eric Holder Jr.’s Justice Department.”

“The differences between my 2008 experience and what Sharyl Attkisson reveals in this marvelous book: Intelligence has become more intrusive, the media more ideological and the government incomparably more powerful — and all seem determined to squelch either people or issues that get in their way. Just ask Dinesh D’Souza.”

Something’s not right here. Is anybody listening?

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Elucidating the differences

A top ten list going around (see Hayward at Powerline). “I vote Democrat because …

Number 10.  I love the fact that I can now marry 
whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my German Shepherd.

Number 9. I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon at 15% isn’t.

Number 8. I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

Number 7. Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

Number 6. I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that gets police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.

Number 5. I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.

Number 4. I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away Social Security from those who paid into it.

Number 3. I believe that businesses should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrat Party sees fit.

Number 2. I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

And, the Number 1 reason … I think it’s better to pay $billions$ for oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, or fish here in America. We don’t care about the beetles, gophers, or fish in those other countries.

a concise contrast and comparison between the ideological views at issue in U.S. politics?

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Observing political zoology

“1) If you’ve ever known anyone with a serious addiction, the easiest thing for friends and family to do is pretend it’s not a big deal. Who wants to have a confrontation? Far easier to let things slide and have a good time. “Let’s have a nice Thanksgiving without any arguments, OK?”

“The tea party is like the cousin who’s been through AA and refuses to pretend anymore. As a result, he spoils everyone’s good time. For the enablers, and others in denial, he’s the guy ruining everything, not the drunk.”

John Hawkins lists The 20 Best Quotes From Jonah Goldberg.

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Some are worried – may have reason to be

A make it up world?

“Progressives thought that because traditional protocols, language and standards were usually created by stuffy old establishment types, the rules no longer necessarily should apply. Instead, particular narratives and euphemisms that promoted perceived social justice became truthful. Bothersome facts were discarded.

“So far, political mythmaking has become confined to popular culture and politics, and has not affected the ironclad facts and non-negotiable rules of jetliner maintenance, heart surgery or nuclear plant operation. Yet the Ebola scare has taught us that even the erroneous news releases and fluid policies of the Centers for Disease Control can be as likely based on politics as hard science.

“If that is a vision of more relativist things to come, then we are doomed.”

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He seems worried. Should you be as well?

Then there’s Christopher Harper who says Hard numbers can’t alter media narrative on vote fraud. An assertion that there isn’t any voter fraud is one that the Left uses to oppose such anti-fraud measures as Voter ID. Who’s right?

“A significant study detailing an incredible amount of voter fraud in the past two national elections was released recently, but few news organizations gave the results any notice.

“The study found that noncitizens registered to vote in U.S. elections and have cast ballots, largely supporting Democratic candidates.”

Sometimes the ‘make it up world’ becomes an effort to create a fantasy by trying to manipulate reality. Perhaps there is cause for worry.

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Government sponsored religion – by lawful coercion?

Robert P. George: Gay Marriage and Religious Freedom Cannot Coexist:

“Same-sex marriage proponents “uncritically, then, not knowing what they’re rejecting, not knowing what the alternative is, conceive marriage precisely as sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership, laying aside, ignoring altogether, its defining social purpose, imagining somehow, I suppose, that the law has some interest in people’s romantic relationships just as such.”

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. He delivered the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s 2014 Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2014.

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DWEM vs Modern academia

John L. Hancock says it’s The Left and the Distortion of History. The example is one of a statue of King Alfred.

“At the heart of the controversy was the newly-installed statue of King Alfred, the medieval English monarch after whom the town and school was named. Ten years prior, when the monument was commissioned, no one could foresee the controversy it would eventually cause. Yet, its placement offended the sensibilities of the university’s history professors.

By the strong and negative reaction one would think that Alfred must have been a tyrant, an oppressor of his people, a man deserving of the title Alfred the Terrible. Surprisingly, it is the opposite that that is true.”

“Linda Mitchell, who specializes in Medieval history, was one of the protesting professors. As she explained in a New York Times interview, Alfred “is not a good logo to promote a modern university because virtually any historical figure who had any social or political influence is undoubtedly going to be a D.W.E.M. — dead white European male,” she said, “it would be foolish to choose a symbol so exclusive and effective in emphasizing the straight white male power structure of history.”

For Alfred, being a DWEM (Dead White European Male) means that his great achievements are to be ignored because they do not fit into the ideologically-driven, anti-Western civilization, revisionist history that is currently being taught in schools.”

Then there’s the anthropologist who tried to figure out why his field and history seemed at odds. It seems something happened in the 1950 to 1970 period where history departments in academia changed their values and chose only one particular DWEM to honor, Karl Marx. That has grown to be a source of conflict in the Common Core debate and a concern in other areas as well.

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The puzzle: how can it be?

Burt Prelutsky says that RINOs are not the Enemy and then gets into the rather puzzling beliefs that seem so common.

“In spite of the fact that states that allow their citizens to carry concealed weapons, liberals are convinced that the Second Amendment should be made null and void. In spite of falling temperatures, they believe that Al Gore’s warnings about global warming are as close to gospel as they care to get. In spite of his lies about ObamaCare, Benghazi, the IRS and Ebola, they are convinced that Obama is an honest man.

“Furthermore, they believe that the Republican House is filled with obstructionists who stay awake nights trying to figure out ways to thwart the people’s’ will in spite of the fact that Harry Reid stops every House bill in its tracks, refusing to even allow the other 99 members the opportunity to do what they’re paid to do; namely, vote.”

“Again, I understand that some people hate to confront reality and prefer to say that both parties are the same, and if there isn’t a Ted Cruz or a Mike Lee on the ballot, they prefer to stay home on Election Day, indulging in the luxury of feeling themselves superior. Which would be bad enough, but they then spend the next two, four, six or eight years, whining about how the liberals are ruining the country.”

“It seems that Mayor Parker is unaware of the fact that sexuality, for better or worse, has been a legitimate concern of religion at least since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s only been in recent years that liberals have managed to turn these matters into political fodder as they’ve gone trolling for votes and financial support in some very peculiar places.

“Yet at the same time that Christian pastors are being hassled, Muslim ministers go their merry way, indoctrinating our prison population, long an ideal recruiting ground, particularly among black inmates, for Islamic terrorists.

“In the meantime, our State Department, which often seems to get its marching orders from our sworn enemies in the Middle East, endorsed a Muslim handbook that promotes Sharia law and refers to jihad as a noble pursuit.”

It doesn’t make sense. It is a puzzle. But then, that’s assuming that people actually think and hold intellectual integrity as a positive value.

Worried, yet?

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What can be done?

Scott Johnson says it’s The Gathering Storm, Part CLVI.

“Watching the Obama administration sell us out to Iran, as in the interim agreement entered into late last year, I feel despondent and hopeless. It’s the way I felt when the Democrats cut off American support of the South Vietnamese government and assured its fall to the Communists rolling into Saigon, or, more recently, when Obama withdrew all our forces from Iraq. What is to be done? I have no idea.

“John Kerry provides an element of continuity in Democratic politics going back to the fall of Saigon. He rose to prominence as a player in the Democratic production leading to our abandonment of South Vietnam. Kerry’s contribution was the dissemination of a demoralizing set of lies asserting the routine commission of war crimes by American forces. I bought his act at the time, but I was a sophomoric student who didn’t know any better. What is our excuse now?”

This is the lead to worries about capitulating to Iran’s nuclear intents. Such worries are also visible on a leftist blog Vox in its Threats to Americans, ranked (by actual threat instead of media hype) where WW III is number 5 and ISIS number 7. How can you tell it’s a leftist blog? Guns (#3) and climate change (#4) are in the list as well as all that stuff you own as a result of capitalism (Your own furniture, #8).

In Nevada, the ballot initiative for a margins tax illustrates the problem as well. It is another push by the teacher’s union for more money for education. It is promoted on the idea that big corporations should pay their fair share to help educate the children. What is frightening is what it says of the teachers’ abilities to think critically and learn from history and measure. The never ending campaign for more money for education over the last fifty years or so has yet to show positive results despite massive infusions of money. The thresholds to define those evil, greedy big businesses is low enough to catch many small businesses. The tax is on the margin and not the net so it may well end up creating a loss in some businesses (restaurants, for example). History also has a clear record that higher taxes tend to diminish and inhibit economic activity or drive it underground.  

The common thread: thinking driven by fantasy and not by reality. The results have often been tragic. Why do it over and over and over? Isn’t one definition of insanity when one keeps doing the same thing over and over and hoping that, this one more time will yield different results? As Scott says: “What is our excuse now?”

worried yet?

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The search for equality: will they ever learn?

At the end of the 18th century, there were two great Western revolutions — the American and the French. Americans opted for the freedom of the individual, and divinely endowed absolute rights and values.

“A quite different French version sought equality of result. French firebrands saw laws less as absolute, but instead as useful to the degree that they contributed to supposed social justice and coerced redistribution. They ended up not with a Bill of Rights and separation of powers, but instead with mass executions and Napoleonic tyranny.

“Unfortunately, the Obama administration is following more the French model than the American.”

Professor Hanson describes Obama’s Ideal Revolution and the inevitable outcome.

“Official stories change to fit larger agendas.” … “We are back to the daily revisionism” … “Once-nonpartisan federal agencies are now in service to the goal of changing America from cherishing an equality of opportunity to championing an equality of enforced result.

“Our revolutionary inspirations are now Georges Danton, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien de Robespierre, not the Founding Founders.”

Think about it. Take a look at the actual history of nations and the health and welfare of their peoples. Why do so many ignore the misery to delve into fantasies again and again? Why do they expect different results this time?

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