Trying to understand the mess

Daniel Greenfield tries to explain Why Obama Ignored Iraq. Maybe an “It’s the ideology, stupid” as a campaign slogan might summarize things. Maybe his ideas will help those who are having difficulties understanding the many scandals and puzzling political behaviors facing the public today.

“The anti-war activist as pacifist is largely a myth. There are a few anti-war activists who oppose all wars, but mostly they just oppose America. Obama, who got his foot up the political ladder by flirting with the anti-war movement, falls into that category. Obama isn’t opposed to wars. He’s opposed to America.”

“Obama thinks of the ideological issue first. Then he packages it as a national interest for popular consumption.”

“Obama and his staffers see America as just another transnational institution that they happen to be running, not all that different than a corporation, non-profit or UN body. They don’t see it as a country, but a series of policymaking offices that reach across the country and the world.”

“Obama doesn’t just oppose America. He disregards it as an outmoded institution.”

“To a transnational mindset, institutions exist to promote issues. America is only of value to the extent that it can promote the left’s agenda. To the extent that it doesn’t, America is dead weight.”

“Ideologues are not big on independent thinking. When everything is politicized, they lose the ability to see the things that can’t be neatly assigned to one side or another.”

Many ideas to consider. They may help provide a better understanding of why things are as they are and what to do about it.

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Sometimes growing up wealthy influences your mind

The amazing influence of community wealth:

“having never experienced mass starvation as Indian policy makers have, American policy makers are rushing to negotiate with the same food terrorists who banned DDT in 1972, the only effective means of controlling mosquitoes that spread malaria, a regulatory coup that resulted in more deaths than both world wars.”

It is an opinion about Why India Is Right On Organics: Anti-GMO Activists Are Pro-Death Activists.

“get ready to negotiate with people who claim GMO farmers poison our children and the environment, and who believe there are too many people on the planet, without any evidence for either claim. Some say it’s a green religion. But it’s far worse. It’s an unprecedented form of anti-human anarchy, the very worst of what Jacobins, Bolsheviks, Nazis, and Maoists ever imagined.

“Every other anarchistic revolution was always restrained by physical limits. Whether it was how people could be beheaded in France, shot to death in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, gassed in concentration camps, starved to death, forced into slave labor or have their heads smashed in with rifle butts in communist Cambodia, every other revolutionary-horror inflicted by man upon his fellow man had hard, physical limits.

“But what we face now is a genocidal horror-show that only nuclear holocaust comes close to approximating”

Not having had to face the misery up front and personal is a gift. It tends to shove implications of one’s ideologies off to irrelevance and to foster an approach where ideology trumps reality.  — nice of you can afford it but many can not.

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Something has changed. Government as a cancer?

Dr. Hanson calls it the Federal Octopus.

“Government always grows, sometimes even more rapidly under Republican than under Democratic presidents. But under President Obama we are seeing something a little different — the creation of a partisan, semi-autonomous government that seems to exist for the benefit of its employees and the larger ideological agenda of the present administration.

“we are witnessing a new federal government that is a sort of rogue organism that exists for its own enhancement and is willing to do anything necessary to help those who help it.

This is not America. It is like most failed states abroad, which also are not America.”

Perhaps what is most frightening is the collusion of one party in the legislature whose members stand as a solid block opposed to any investigation or inquiry into even the most blatant criminality. It is mindful of the tale of the frog and the scorpion. Denial doesn’t change nature (or reality).

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Hiding reality under a pile of words: ideology, faux philosophy, and crackpots

Modern physics, the ideas inherent in quantum mechanics and fundamental particles, bothers some folks. Sometimes so much they attempt to create an alternate reality. That gets Luboš Motl going. He describes how Philosophy became a euphemism for crackpot physics. What he describes is a phenomena seen in many issues where ideology trumps reality such as in economics, climate, or medicine.

“philosophy has turned into a social movement where one can hide if his ideas have been falsified – killed by a procedure that is the most important building block of the scientific method. Because philosophy as an institution is a hideaway for people who are wrong, it is a factor that isn’t just neutral. Instead, it reduces the efficiency of the scientific method.”

“The point is that the partial evidence and even the rock-solid evidence just doesn’t have the ultimate power to decide and beat other arguments. The ultimate power comes from people who describe themselves as the philosophers. To a large extent, they treat themselves as infallible and their authority as permanent. This intrinsic dependence on the highly imperfect humans – humans that are not subject to any mechanism that would guarantee that they improve themselves or converge closer to the truth – is the real #1 reason why science works and philosophy doesn’t.”

“The principle is about the priority of tools and it’s the calculations that are treated as more powerful in physics than verbal arguments. It is an extremely important principle necessary for physics to work. “

The idea that mathematical calculation is a priority – often asserted in physics as “shut up and calculate” – is also true elsewhere. A standard dictum in management, for instance, is that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. The issues surrounding the measurement of temperature are a major problem in climate change. It is when you define the measures, how they are obtained, and the ‘analysis’ or calculations based on those measures to reach your conclusion that you actually have something for productive discussion or debate.

“This ability of the humans to unify all of their knowledge in this crisp way is stunningly inspiring. People like Carroll who are “sad” if they see concise foundations of physics that leave no room for babbling just hate science – and they don’t belong to science. Philosophers may prefer a world where the foundations of physics require 500 pages of rhetorical babbling. But our world isn’t like that. The “verbal”, conceptual foundations may be summarized in one sentence or two and all the other “details” are a matter of calculations. This conciseness of the foundations is pretty and people who actually like theoretical physics have been attracted by this conciseness (and the expectation that they would unify the foundations even more than that – make them even more concise) – exactly the aspect that repels physics-haters like Carroll.

An ordinary layman could be simply said to be deluded, intellectually insufficient to grasp the true foundations of modern physics. However, people like Carroll are pompous fools, aggressive self-confident idiots who try to paint their intellectual defects in rosy colors and decorations such as the word “philosophy”. They won’t hesitate to claim – and look into people’s eyes while doing so – that their misunderstandings of modern physics makes them intellectually superior while those who dare to understand the basics of modern physics are intellectually impoverished.

The correct term for these people is “arrogant cranks” and the more other philosophers fail to protect their trademark “philosophy” against parasites like Carroll, the more accurately the words “philosophy” and “crackpottery” will be turning into synonyma.”

This brings to mind the recent Congressional hearing about IRS malfeasance. The commissioner also provided this rather arrogant superiority in proclaiming his ignorance of statute and dependence upon what he claimed was “common sense.” It seems that if you can’t calculate, then hubris and a lot of uncommon words make for a good blanket over what is piling up under the carpet.

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Hockey sticks in economics as well as climate: matters of faith rather than science

It is yet another tome with the aura of science and logic and deep water that can’t suffer any significant examination. Jonah Goldberg takes a look at Mr. Piketty’s Big Book of Marxiness to raise a few questions to examine.

“The radical philosopher Georges Sorel (1847–1922) recognized that Marx’s Das Kapital was next to useless as a work of scientific analysis. That’s why he preferred to look at it as an “apocalyptic text… as a product of the spirit, as an image created for the purpose of molding consciousness.” And for generations of revolutionaries, intellectuals, artists, and activists, it served that purpose well. Marxism lent to its acolytes a certainty they could call “scientific”—an indispensable label amidst a scientific revolution—but, as Sorel understood, that was a kind of psychological marketing, a Platonic “vital lie” or what Sorel called a useful “myth.” Indeed, Lenin’s most significant contribution to Marxism lay in using Sorel’s concept of the myth to galvanize a successful revolutionary political movement.

“Marx tapped into the language and concepts of Darwinian evolution and the Industrial Revolution to give his idea of dialectical materialism a plausibility it didn’t deserve. Similarly, Croly drew from the turn-of-the-century vogue for (heavily German-influenced) social science and the cult of the expert (in Croly’s day “social engineer” wasn’t a pejorative term, but an exciting career). In much the same way, Piketty’s argument taps into the current cultural and intellectual fad for “big data.” The idea that all the answers to all our problems can be solved with enough data is deeply seductive and wildly popular among journalists and intellectuals. (Just consider the popularity of the Freakonomics franchise or the cult-like popularity of the self-taught statistician Nate Silver.) Indeed, Piketty himself insists that what sets his work apart from that of Marx, Ricardo, Keynes, and others is that he has the data to settle questions previous generations of economists could only guess at. Data is the Way and the Light to the eternal verities long entombed in cant ideology and darkness. (This reminds me of the philosopher Eric Voegelin’s quip that, under Marxism, “Christ the Redeemer is replaced by the steam engine as the promise of the realm to come.”)”

Like the global temperature hockey stick predictions, Piketty’s economic doomsaying is also the outcome of statistical manipulation and tortured definitions. Perhaps if he substituted political power for capital he might have something?

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Gotta’ be equal no matter nature or anything else

On the ‘war on boys’ front, it is the 42nd anniversary of a famous piece of federal legislation. Christina Hoff Sommers describes Title lX: How a Good Law Went Terribly Wrong

“But the Women’s Sports Foundation disagrees. Girls are every bit as interested in sports as boys. According to its Title IX Myths and Facts, “Given equal athletic opportunities, women will rush to fill them; the remaining discrepancies in sports participation rates are the result of continuing discrimination in access to those opportunities.” And many well-meaning judges and government officials have agreed with them.

“But there’s overwhelming evidence that women, taken as a group, are less interested than men in competitive sports. In 2012, a group of psychologists analyzed men’s and women’s propensities by looking at how many of them pursue team sports in their leisure time. Intramural sports are recreational games that college students can play just for the love of the sport. The researchers found that only 26% of intramural participants are women. They also studied recreational activity in 41 public parks in four different states. Lots of women were exercising, but only 10% of those playing competitive team sports were women. A 2013 ESPN report on youth sports found that 34% of girls in grades 3-12 say sports is a big part of who they are; for boys the figure is 61%.”

“Title-niners treat women’s underrepresentation in sports as an injustice that must be aggressively targeted. But areas where men fall behind raise little concern.”

Gotta’ be equal no matter what it takes … not only equal opportunity but also equal outcome. Nature doesn’t seem to agree so it must be bent to fit no matter the cost.

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Subscribing to the meme on Iraq and WMD

Alicia Colon calls it the Right wing dementia on Iraq in full swing.

“What is unusual is that this revision of history is being committed by conservatives who should know better. Recent commentary by Glenn Beck, George Will and Charles Krauthammer indicate that they have significant memory lapses about why we went to war in Iraq. They now suggest that it was a wrong decision whereas my complaint is that we took too long to invade and oust Saddam Hussein.”

“I would differ from these assessments because I remember all too well what happened on September 11, 2001 and the days following. “

WMD? She covers that one, too. The old adage is that if you tell a lie often enough, it will become truth and lies about Iraq certainly seem to be a case supporting this idea.

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PCUSA, still Christian?

The church left me. It has re-defined concepts as basic as marriage and otherwise seems to have lost its Bible. Herschel Smith describes another exaple: The PCUSA On Guns.

“they leave men and women undefended because of their turn to politics to address the theological problems of mankind. We’ve discussed God’s views of the requirement to defend your loved ones. The simplest case for killing those who would bring harm to your family lies in the decalogue.”

“The PCUSA is directing its people to run their lives contrary to God’s law, while trying to implement warmed over, washed up hippie ideology as a solution to what ails mankind. Thus goes perishing denominations.”

The Church, it seems, is rotting from within.

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Prosecutors and other government agents building confidence in the system?

“We are not safe. We are not happy. The only question now is: How long are we going to take it?”

What will finally be the last straw? FrankMiele asks.

“There is a name for what the government did to the Washington Redskins last week. It is called extortion.”

Johnathan Turley describes how The patent office goes out of bounds in Redskins trademark case.

“The problem is that the Redskins case is just the latest example of a federal agency going beyond its brief to inappropriately insert itself in social or political debates.

Few people would have expected the future of the Redskins to be determined by an obscure panel in a relatively small government agency. Yet the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board showed little restraint in launching itself into this heated argument — issuing an opinion that supports calls for change from powerful politicians, including President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The board had at its disposal a ridiculously ambiguous standard that allows the denial of a trademark if it “may disparage” a “substantial composite” of a group at the time the trademark is registered.”

“As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example.”

“There is an obvious problem when the sanctioning of free exercise of religion or speech becomes a matter of discretionary agency action.”

Then there are matters of prosecutorial indiscretion and the political propaganda campaign. David Harsanyi takes up the latest outrage on this front as Hillary vs. Walker: Due Process Only Applies If You’re A Liberal” – “Child rapists deserve due process. Conservatives governors, not so much.” Hillary defended a rapist early in her career by sliming the victim. Walker was the subject of secret ‘investigations’ that both state and federal courts threw out as unsubstantiated. Hillary gets defended and excused. Walker gets excoriated by innuendo.

And then there’s the IRS commissioner with a smirk and no apologies about destruction of evidence despite the laws for records retention.

worried, yet?

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Power or wealth: Corruption and ideology: The sad state of the Doj

There’s a book out. Feulner describes it as detailing The disastrous tenure of ‘Obama’s Enforcer’ – Holder’s stint as attorney general has been driven by politics and incompetence.

“To some observers, the idea of a truly ethical Justice Department is something of a pipe dream. As far as they’re concerned, the attorney general is nominated by a president who’s either Democrat or Republican, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he conducts business is a partisan manner.

“Such a cynical view, though, is unfounded. Many fine attorneys general have served ethically defensible terms under both Republicans and Democrats. The tenures of Edwin Meese under Ronald Reagan and Griffin Bell under Jimmy Carter, for example, prove that the Justice Department can be run in an entirely independent, professional way.

“Mr. Holder’s term as attorney general represents the other end of the spectrum: driven by politics, tainted by scandal and mired in corruption. The need for an attorney general that will, in fact, uphold the Constitution in a fair, impartial and ethical fashion has never been greater.”

But there’s another story this morning, too. It seems that the Pope thinks that anyone who has a lot of money is unethical so maybe corruption in government and politics wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for rich people. or something. Perhaps this sort of a priori assumption – perhaps based on greed and envy itself –  illustrates the confusion that allows the behavior that is described in the book Feulner describes.

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Reality has legs and will stand on its own. Fantasy requires help. Why so much effort to keep fantasy from falling?

Why?

“If movie liberals defend the accused out of the goodness of their hearts, real ones defend the accused to embarrass the system and shame America. In her memoir, The Never-Ending Wrong, Pulitzer Prize winning author Katherine Ann Porter tells how she first came to understand this. The occasion was the impending 1927 execution of Italian anarchists and convicted murderers, Sacco and Vanzetti.As the final hours ticked down, Porter stood vigil with others artists and writers in Boston.

“Ever the innocent liberal, Porter approached her group leader, a “fanatical little woman” and a dogmatic Communist, and expressed her hope that Sacco and Vanzetti could still be saved. The response of this female comrade is noteworthy largely for its candor: “Saved?” she snarled. “Who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?”

“With the Italians dead, their innocence and the xenophobic injustice of the American legal system could be preserved in amber, and God help the man or woman who challenged this narrative.”

Jack Cashill takes a look at Why O.J.’s Saga Lives and Trayvon’s Died and notes that reality plays a part. The question is “why” – why do people distort reality in cases like these? Why the fixation on a false fantasy about “the xenophobic injustice of the American legal system” that drives one to ‘Dan Rather’ the facts?

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War on energy; symbols and acceptable collateral damage

First up is DRIESSEN: What’s really behind anti-Keystone fanaticism? who describes how “The pipeline is the symbol of Big Green opposition to modern living standards”

“The Keystone and other anti-fossil-fuel campaigns are backed up by other wealthy liberal foundations that collectively have more than $100 billion in assets.”

“This is a force to be reckoned with — a force that vigorously supports what the Competitive Enterprise Institute calculates has now reached $1.9 trillion in regulatory compliance costs on United States businesses and families. That’s one-eighth of the entire U.S. economy.

It’s no wonder employment and economic growth rates are so miserably low.
Opposition to Keystone epitomizes how callous, arrogant, hypocritical and destructive Big Green has become. Legislators and regulators need to start recognizing the rights and needs of poor, working-class and minority families.”

Then the story about Fallout from fracking bans: Family farms, elderly devastated in Mountain West.

“Overlooked in Colorado’s fierce political battle over the booming practice of hydraulic fracturing are the state’s 600,000 mineral owners, many of whom depend on the royalties from oil and gas leases for their livelihoods. Those owners are growing increasingly alarmed as anti-fracking groups demand moratoriums or outright bans on oil and gas production in jurisdictions across the state.”

Voters in four Colorado cities along the Front Range — Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins and Lafayette — approved anti-fracking measures last year. Local and national environmental groups hope to parlay those victories into a statewide win in November.
Mineral owners such as the Koenekes have remained on the sidelines, but that is about to change. Neil Ray, past president of NARO-Rockies, said owners are considering a lawsuit aimed at recovering their losses in cities that ban fracking.
The damages from such a lawsuit could be astronomical. Mr. Ray pointed to an engineering report that places the value of a 640-acre section of eastern Boulder County at $64 million for a mineral owner who is paid 20 percent on the lease over the lifetime of the production.”

“Of course, most voters who cast ballots against fracking aren’t considering the prospect of enormous compensation awards, nor the harm to mineral owners, said Michelle Smith, NARO-Rockies president.”

““Lafayette has an outright ban, so [the widow] is denied that income,” said Ms. Smith. “You can’t put the rights of some of the citizens above the rights of some of the others. And that’s exactly what’s happening.”

Consequences and implications are often overlooked, especially in propaganda campaigns where sound bytes and symbols are more likely to stick in the mind. The fanatical ideologues have the funding to put their utopia front and center. It is up to the voter to detect the lack of intellectual integrity and consider the consequences and implications because they will not be denied and the price will be paid if they are set aside.

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Club Gitmo: Propaganda and delusion realized

Bruce Thorton takes on the Progressive Gitmo Myth. The Bergdahl case has brought the issue of shutting down the prison back to the fore. That, in turn, is a reminder of just how the Left politicized the war on terrorism and that, as usual, gets into the myths of the Left and its delusions about war and about the United States.

“For Obama’s liberal base, Gitmo has been part of a larger narrative of American tyranny, particularly George Bush’s alleged lawlessness in waging an “illegal” and “unnecessary” war in Iraq. … Democrats began endorsing the far-left “Bush lied” analysis of the war that John Edwards, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton had voted for based on the same intelligence that led to the Bush administration’s decision. With the anti-war movement providing the visuals for television news, the left’s distorted history of Vietnam was resurrected to provide the template for the war in Iraq, particularly the charge that the Bush administration had lied … Soon the whole litany of American militarist evils was applied to Iraq and the war against terrorists and their enablers. Torture, illegal detention, and abuse of prisoners were staples of that catalogue, and for leftists Gitmo fit the bill.”

“Yet despite these facts, the myth has arisen that the existence of Gitmo, as the Wall Street Journal summarized liberal thinking, “symbolizes prisoner abuse, serving as a propaganda tool for extremists and complicating counterterrorism efforts with allies.” The incoherence of this argument points to the larger problems of American foreign policy in dealing with jihadism.

First, our tendency to take seriously the malignant propaganda of our enemies bespeaks our civilizational failure of nerve. Since there has not been any “prisoner abuse” at Gitmo, why should we legitimize blatant lies the purpose of which is to erode our morale and serve the interests of disaffected Westerners?”

The question boils down to asking just how many (more) will die as a result of these delusions? Those kinds of stakes are why denial and delusion are so heightened.

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Trying to find a rational understanding of irrationality

Energy, climate, medicine, and even such things as liberty and the military create political brouhahas that can be difficult to understand. An example is a look at the question Why Is Clean, Cheap, Conventional Energy a Hard Sell? (Part 1) by Wayne Lusvardi and Charles Warren on June 5, 2014.

“The result of opposing conventional energy is therefore a win-win-win for socialism. For techno-socialists, there is the mythic grandeur of holding out for the impossible dream of energy utopia. For eco-socialists, there is the mythic holiness of lowering living standards and going back to an ascetic, simple lifestyle in a bucolic green landscape guided by a conservation ethic. And for crony capitalists, it just so happens, a first step in the right direction (in either the techno- or eco- direction, they will assure you) is the use of highly subsidized “renewables” that foist higher electricity prices on everyone else.

Given the inherent mythological handicap of market electricity in offering an appealing vision, despite its undeniable contributions to human welfare, what can those in the conventional energy industry do? Part 2 of this series will discuss what can be done to overcome the powerful mythic pull of postmodern, central planning in the electricity industry and in society.”

On one side is the paradigm of dealing with reality and actually serving the needs of individuals with what can be done. On the other is a vision and an ideal about what should be. One is in the present, the other in a future fantasy. If you have your feet on the ground, it can be difficult to communicate with someone who has his head in the cloud.

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Constitutional tension

Robert N. Tracci provides today’s lesson in Consitutional tension with a current example of its abuse: Sacrificing the Constitution for the Democratic Party.

“Legislative leaders have never been so eager to strip themselves of powers the Constitution entrusts to them. Never before have they so openly colluded with the executive to do.

“Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution vests Congress with “all legislative powers.” Congress can arrogate executive power no more than the president can assume lawmaking functions. Of no less importance, Congress can validly relinquish legislative power to the executive no more than the president can properly cede executive authority to Congress. Messrs. Reid, Durbin and Schumer’s extralegal effort to endorse the executive exercise of legislative power does not confer legitimacy upon potential presidential action. Rather it compounds the constitutional injury such action would inflict while diminishing the institutional standing and credibility of the Senate itself.

“Constitutional vandalism of this kind must be repudiated.”

Countries do not become tyrannies because of just one. It takes collusion and cooperation.

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The hardened heart

It seems that so much of what should be a reasoned debate is useless. Facts do not matter and denial behavior including projection, logical fallacies and the rest become predominant. Herschel Smith provides an analysis of a letter: Dear Christians With Guns.

“But since you don’t believe in God, you have no means to effect anything.  God doesn’t hear you, and Mr. Scott doesn’t control anything.  It wouldn’t matter.  You wouldn’t change God’s law with your prayers anyway, you would only be asking God to change your own heart.  It seems to me that you don’t want your views to be changed, so your heart is hardened.  You’re at a dead end, Anastasia.

As for me, you cannot possibly do anything to my views of the Bible and guns. I see things through the eyes of the holy Scriptures. I’ve pointed out that God’s law requires me to be able to defend the children and helpless. “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.” I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.”

There is a reality and there is a fantasy. All too often, it seems, the fantasy is too real for too many,

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Pope Francis: just a man of the time?

Front Page Magazine has two columns on the Pope and his expression of the PC attitudes towards the people of Jesus’ ancestors. Caroline Glick describes Pope Francis’ Unfriendly Visit to Israel and Robert Spencer notes the problems with Pope Francis: Mahmoud Abbas is a “Man of Peace”. Both are mindful of the Biblical advice about false prophets. The Pope isn’t supposed to be politically correct in the manner that Jesus and his disciples made their own path.

A friendly visit?

“The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.”

and a man of peace?

“In allowing himself to become an instrument of Palestinian jihad propaganda, and spreading that propaganda himself, the Pope has done a grave disservice to free people and aided and abetted the genocidal jihad against Israel. The damage resulting from his trip is impossible to calculate at this point, but it could be immense. Pope Francis’s jaunt in the “State of Palestine,” was a tremendous show of support for the jihad against Israel, and a dark day for the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church, and free people everywhere.”

Add this to the understanding of the human side of economics and one has to wonder. The Pope is supposed to be a bit better in touch with the real world God created rather than the one human’s imagine.

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Myth mongering: trying to deny the reality

The ‘Nixon got the IRS to go after political enemies’ has been popular lately what with the current IRS scandal. The ‘useless Bush wars’ is another one that denies the authorization to use military force. Now we have the outing of CIA agents as a stimulus to push another denial rationalization. William A. Jacobson describes how the WaPo perpetuates myth that Bush Admin Iraq War supporters “outed” Valerie Plame.

“A reader called to my attention this sentence in a Washington Post report about the Obama administration outing the identity of the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan …”

“Scooter Libby was convicted for lying to prosecutors and obstruction of justice in the Special Prosecutor’s investigation, under a contorted theory that nonetheless prevailed with a jury. He was sentenced to jail, but the sentence was commuted by George W. Bush.

“Libby, a close confidant of Dick Cheney, however, was not the leaker.

“The leaker was an Iraq War critic in the State Department, Richard Armitage. Christopher Hitchens reported at the time”

They’ve got a twofer going on this one. Not only a ‘both sides do it’ excuse for the current example but also a blame shift away from the culpability of friends in the previous example.

Then there’s the whole issue of screaming about useless investigations compared to what happened to Libby, but that’s another story.

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Judicial oligarchy?

Individuals who set themselves above the electorate and tell the common voter he’s nuts?

“Lawlessness breeds more lawlessness, and a feckless response to bullying invites more of the same. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down much of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, federal judges have overturned marriage laws in 13 straight cases. Unlike millions of voters, they apparently think natural marriage is unworthy of legal protection.

“How did we come to a place where judges think that marriage certificates don’t need a bride and groom, and that it’s racist to ask someone to prove who they say they are before they cast a ballot?”

KNIGHT: Hubris in high places” describes what he sees as an ominous trend.

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Incrementalism when all else fails

The banners of “equality” and “fairness” are quite attractive. What is under the banners, though, can be quite ugly. But who looks under the covers? TELFORD: A stubborn devotion to Internet regulation describes one case.

“The “Open Internet Order,” an FCC order adopted in December 2010, intended to place strict federal regulations on ISPs, forcing them to treat all data equally. Veiled under the pretense of “fairness,” these net neutrality regulations could have prevent ISPs from providing efficient Internet service to consumers, as all data are not created equal, and different types of Web content (simple text and live streaming video, for example) require varying degrees of service. Under this order, ISPs would not have been allowed to differentiate between simple and complex data, prioritize high-demand content such as Netflix or take other steps to compete, innovate and attempt to make Internet service better for their customers.

“Fortunately for everyone who uses the Internet — from developers all the way down to casual Web browsers — a federal court struck down the order earlier this year, determining the FCC lacked legal authority to impose such a regulation. Rather than accept defeat, the administration moved on to Plan C, pushing the politically unpopular policy through yet again, this time softened to allow traffic to be differentiated, but only if bureaucrats at the FCC consider it “commercially reasonable” on a case-by-case basis. This version of net neutrality has Google, Facebook and other White House-friendly tech giants in an uproar.”

Persistence is an admirable trait but when that persistence is after controlling someone else, it becomes something else.

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