Looking past the riot and noticing the participants

Russ Vaughn has been watching the protests and riots in Ferguson and noticed something. Obese and ‘oppressed’in Ferguson???

Sufficient nutrition is the cornerstone of freedom; nothing comes before that human right because if you can’t eat, you have no reason to be concerned about the follow-on freedoms of speech, free expression, assembly and so forth. If you’re starving, no other concern of human existence matters.

But when you, as a political movement, put your marchers on the road of protest and with an unusual number of them wobbling and jiggling their expanded waistlines, bosoms and buttocks as they pass the media cameras, you must accept the reality that a large number of your fellow citizens viewing those video accounts are going to naturally respond with a sense of disbelief that we, as a nation, are depriving them of basic nourishment, which then leads all of us to question all the other liberal tropes fed to them by America’s media.

Only in America.

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Yep, it is another Marton, complete with the fabricated angels

The violence in Ferguson didn’t begin when a police officer shot Michael Brown. It began when a 300 lb thug robbed the Ferguson Market and abused a clerk. The release of the video showing the obese criminal assaulting the clerk led to a terrified statement from the store manager that he had not called the police and had nothing to do with the release of the video.

“They kill us if they think we are responsible,” he said.

But that’s not all the story. Hands Up, Don’t Loot also gets into the issue of the militarization of the police visible in the response to riots using a new urban myth as an excuse for the summer games.

All systems and people are flawed, but our law enforcement and military are reactive. When we don’t talk about what they are reacting to, then there is nothing meaningful to say.

We have SWAT teams because of race riots and urban guerrilla warfare. Without Watts, the Black Panthers and the SLA, the police militarization would probably never have existed.

The militarization of the police was a response to left-wing violence and terror.

and, no, both sides are not the same. “The root cause isn’t poverty. It’s not racism. It’s the left.

The myth building is detailed in another comment about how the Ferguson Lie Comes undone

This is a long list of things that were supposed to be true one day but were false the next. But by far, the biggest and the fattest lie to come out of Ferguson is the idea repeated from every news channel that somehow black people are victims of relentless violence at the hands of white people.

And that explains everything.

That is a Big, Fat falsehood.

and the ‘victim’ hagiography also has its problems. Michael Brown: A Criminal and a Thug explains.

As the media-sanctioned rioting, bloodshed and looting continue in Ferguson, Missouri, evidence is emerging that police shooting victim Michael Brown wasn’t the upstanding citizen that many on the Left have claimed him to be.

Through it all, the Left is out in force in Ferguson, trying to make a bad situation worse.

Evidence is now available that shows that Brown tried to wrest a gun away from a policeman and that he was ordered to freeze before he charged Darren Wilson and was shot.

Before the shooting incident last weekend, Brown used violence and the threat of more violence to steal.

the more we learn about the nature of the crime and of Brown’s character, the clearer it is to see who should really be on trial: The likes of Al Sharpton and the race-hate industry, whose lies are fueling a vicious war against civil society in Ferguson.

And they’ll keep digging until they find evidence that vindicates the mob and the left-wing media and the community organizers from Chicago who have descended on Ferguson in order to make an example of the innocent people who live there.

They’ve got a cause. It may be poorly based because it is based on a lie but that only means they have to lie harder and work the propaganda more, that’s all.

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Why can’t we all just get along?

Intolerance on the leftThe marketplace of ideas can’t function without civility

It’s not a job that starts with the other guy. It starts with each one of us. The marketplace of ideas can’t flourish without respect and civility. That means more than just talking. It means listening.

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Save the birds?

Going down in flames in the war on fossil fuelsStubborn support for solar power steams the bird lovers.

Bird lovers are trying desperately to halt the expansion of the facility, but aren’t likely to succeed because California and federal officials seem to think that if we lose a few hundred thousand or even millions of birds a year, it will be worth it to cripple the fossil-fuel industry. Besides, say the alternative-energy aficionados, the operators of the facilities are killing far fewer birds every year than house cats.

The government knows what to do about that even if, unlike our wind and sun farmers, they don’t have much of an appetite for eagles or raptors. Since house cats don’t produce much in the way of alternative energy, the government is spending millions to neuter them and thus reduce their number, if not their appetites.

What a country.

What a country, indeed.

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Rights at the whim of the authorities

Massachusetts is working on legislation that allows police chiefs the power over citizen’s second amendment rights;. It’s all in the name of safety, of course. “We seek not to be the safest state in the nation, but strive to make our communities the safest in the world,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

A key factor here is that the evidence clearly contradicts DeLeo’s assertion but that has never bothered those who want to control rights to self defense. The desire to control others’ live runs deep and that means efforts are in denial of reality, persistent, and often pernicious.

Note that the effort is to let government authority, the police chiefs, exercize control rather than private citizens. This distrust of individuals and faith in the government is endemic in the philosophy that drives these sorts of efforts. In light of current scandals, one really has to wonder why.

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Understanding the U.S. Senate

It may have started with Amendment XVII when Senators became directly elected. That was a marker for the start of a slide from the Senate’s representation of a State to its being a more direct representation of the people directly. It is a slide towards populism. It all sounds good. The current Senate is taking the idea to heart. See Orrin G. Hatch: Destroying the Senate — and our liberties. “Procedural changes impede the chamber’s traditional deliberative function”

“The Senate was designed to play a particular role in a carefully designed system of government that is based on two related ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence: First, government exists to secure the unalienable rights of individuals; and second, government must be limited or it will, in fact, destroy these individual rights. Those limits include dividing power between the federal and state governments, separating federal power into three branches, and splitting the legislative branch into two very different houses.

“The Constitution lets the House and Senate set their own rules, and throughout the nation’s history these forms have developed consistent with each body’s function. The House’s function is action, and its form has been majority rule. The Senate’s function is deliberation and its form has given all senators, even those in the minority, a significant role.

“Throughout its history, all senators have had two essential opportunities to participate: the right to offer amendments to legislation and the right to unlimited debate. The current Senate majority has attacked both of these rights relentlessly.”

The war on what the country was is not only being engaged in the executive. It is not only a contemporary phenomena. It is one thing to try for something better but the persistent efforts to demolish what works to replace it with what has a serious record of failure, with pipe-dreams and ideological fixations, is not one for peace and prosperity.

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No, they are not all the same

Paul Mirengoff notes how Democrats tilt towards Hamas and blame Republicans for their position.

“What explains the fact that Democrats now see Israel as no better than Hamas in a war precipitated by Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel and its refusal to accept a cease fire.

“Pro-Israel liberals have come up with an odd but not unexpected excuse: it’s the Republicans’ fault.

This, as Mandel notes, was the thesis of the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg back in 2012. He argued that by criticizing President Obama for his policy towards Israel, Republicans make “supporting Israel distasteful to many Democrats.” Worse, they cause Democrats to “lump supporters of Israel in the same category they reserve for climate-change-denying anti-choice Obamacare haters.”

“As question-begging arguments go, this one belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

“The obvious answer is that ideology drives contemporary Democrats to view Israel far less favorably than Republicans view Israel. The political fallout — criticism by Republicans of Obama’s Israel policy and the identification of the Israel-U.S. alliance with the GOP rather with both parties — is a symptom of the difference in the way the two parties view Israel, not its cause.

What accounts for the underlying ideological difference between the two parties when it comes to Israel? The answer, I think, is this: Israel is a U.S. ally with strong Western values and a willingness to use military force when necessary to protect itself.”

“Many Democrats are uncomfortable with one or more of these attributes. Their ambivalence towards the U.S. and its values causes them view a hardcore U.S. ally skeptically (or worse). “

Then you can take a look at the recently uncovered Lerner Email messages or the partisan vote regarding any attempt to reign in executive expressions of power …

there is a difference, a wide gap, between political parties in the U.S. despite what some may claim. 

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Whither the Pope? – creating a new Jesus Christ for modern sensibilities

“Ours is “an economy of exclusion and inequality,” Pope Francis insisted. Our system of “inequality” both results from and encourages “laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless.” Thus, “masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

“Worse, the Pope informs us, our “capitalist” system with its “inequality” violates the divine injunction against “killing,” for “such an economy kills” (emphasis added).”

“First, as already noted, it is simply dishonest: there is no basis, Biblical or otherwise, for equating an obligation to care for the poor with an obligation to endorse political policies ostensibly aimed at reducing “inequalities” in income and wealth. Decent minded people of all faiths and no faith have long recognized the need to care for those in poverty, and Christians specifically have always been acutely aware of this as a moral imperative.

“But it hasn’t been until the emergence of large, centralized governments, immensely affluent, industrialized societies, and the dominance of secular, egalitarian ideologies—i.e. phenomena that don’t appear until relatively late in Christian history—that anyone, much less any Christian cleric, has thought to identify compassion for the poor with the amelioration of “inequalities.””

“Second, even the tireless emphasis that pastors place upon Jesus’ relationship with “the poor” is less than fully honest, for it is grounded in a selective reading of the New Testament.”

“Third, this exclusive stress on Jesus’ fondness for “the poor,” whether by accident or design, conveys the impression that He was exclusively fond of “the poor,” a respecter of persons by virtue of their socio-economic condition—exactly what the Bible insists God is not.

Jesus, Today’s Church, and ‘Inequality’ by Jack Kerwick.

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Blame the victim – academics and intellectual dishonesty

“This is not a scientific report at all, but a politicized, subjective screed designed to demonize Israel and assign total blame for a very complex political and military conflict that is well beyond the expertise of these particular individuals. That it was written by intellectuals in the West in the thralls of Palestinianism is not surprising or particularly unusual, especially in the wake of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge to protect its citizens from being murdered. What is troubling, however, is that a formerly-reputable journal such as Lancet is now being exploited as vehicle for flabby research and specious science in the pursuit of political ends.

“This is not the first time that Lancet has strayed in this pseudo-academic manner. The entire so-called “occupation” has also become a target for scientists who attempt to link the general oppression by Israel with a host of pathologies in Palestinian society.”

“When brutal military assaults and Israel’s use of weaponry cannot be blamed for causing health damage to non-Jews, Israel-haters are quick to condemn the general oppression of Zionist occupation and brutality as detriments to Arab health and happiness.”

“Other scholarly publications have been intellectually hijacked with spurious studies that have a fundamental bias to them that discredits the validity of any research.”

Academic Lies and Distortions in the Cognitive War Against Israel by Richard L. Cravatts.

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Mess it up, hyperventilate on the result, then go for the kill: leftist political strategy

“The problem with the death penalty in America is that liberals have taken a system that worked, broke it and then claimed the system is so broken it must be abolished. This is sort of like Barack Obama’s approach to immigration.” -PHILLIPS: The myth of botched executions

First you go after any method except one (lethal injection) then you go after the materials (the drugs) needed to implement that one. Then you hyperventilate on the result to try to impugn the whole idea on everything except its merits or any semblance of honest debate.

“The real outrage with executions is not that a convicted murderer like Joseph Wood may have suffered some discomfort. According to the State of Arizona he was sedated the whole time so he would not have felt anything.

The real outrage is that it takes 23 years for a sentence to be executed.”

23 years of litigation all on the taxpayer dime not to mention the costs of imprisonment.

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Corruption funded government

RAHN: Government corruption on the rampage

“The Obama administration is arguably the most corrupt administration in U.S. history. Corruption destroys civil society and economic growth by undermining the rule of law and protection of private property.”

“The Justice Department is involved in a $100 billion shakedown racket against the big banks. The banks are heavily regulated and can easily be destroyed by government officials.”

“The Constitution is quite specific in that revenue measures are to begin in the House of Representatives and go through a congressional appropriation process. Yet the Justice Department and others have been able to greatly expand their budgets outside the legislative process by obtaining financial “settlements” from the private sector, through threats, intimidation and asset forfeiture. Bank settlements with the Justice Department now total something near $100 billion. This is corruption on a massive scale. Again, banks have little alternative but to settle with the Justice Department in order to stay in business. John Allison, president of the Cato Institute and former CEO of the 10th-largest bank holding company in the United States, BB&T, has noted that many laws contradict each other, such as the Patriot Act and many of the financial-privacy laws and rules, thus making it impossible for a bank to be in compliance with both. Then the Justice Department comes in and says if you pay us X billion dollars, we will not prosecute you.”

Banks, of course, are big, profit making, corporations and that, by modern ideological popular standards, makes them intrinsically evil. That means that many think the sort of thin Rahn notes is entirely a good thing. 

worried yet?

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Moral and tactical insanity – its us providing the motivation

Krauthammer thinks it is Rare moment in international politics where “international politics present[s] a moment of such moral clarity.”

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

“To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.”

The fact that such clarity does not seem to matter to so many also shows in the recent shootdown on a Malaysian jetliner as well. It also is evident in domestic political scandals and such expressions as AG Holder’s “racist” rationale.  

Then there is that cheating study in Germany that seemed to indicate that those who lived longest under the Soviet socialist regime were more likely to be a bit dishonest in their play. 

How to right an insanity can be especially difficult when the very concept is denied.

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Quack detector lesson

Harriet Hall describes a method for Evaluating Treatment Claims: A Primer that is easily adapted to detecting quackery in other fields.

“The e-mail suggested I write an article providing guidelines for consumers to help them evaluate the validity of treatment claims for themselves. On SBM we are constantly stressing the need to apply critical thinking to what you read, and the many pitfalls to be avoided. I’ll try to synthesize some of the principles into a handy list of questions.”

“If you are a desperate patient, it’s only natural to grasp at any straw of hope; but when the evidence is insufficient, the reasonable approach is to withhold judgment and wait for better evidence. You might think, “If it works, I don’t want to wait” but history teaches us that the great majority of these things don’t pan out. It might not do any harm, but then again it might; there might be adverse effects that haven’t been identified yet, it might raise false hopes only to dash them, and if nothing else it might waste time and money or interfere with getting more appropriate care. When you take an inadequately tested medicine, you are essentially offering yourself as a guinea pig in a haphazard uncontrolled experiment that doesn’t even keep records. Of course, that’s your privilege; but I hope you would do it with your eyes open, with a realistic understanding of the state of the evidence.”

It is basic education: critical thinking and sound reasoning with an appropriate skepticism and allowance for precision and accuracy. The fact that using evidence and logic with a reasonable degree of intellectual integrity is so often missing as to need websites with articles like this is troubling. “It might not do any harm, but then again it might;” – think about the recent reports that the U.S. has spent $165B on global warming in recent years and think about the potential for harm in its misuse and misdirection.

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Wailing for more – taxes for infrastructure

The complaint seems to always be the same ol’ supply side — need more to fix it. Education, health, roads, whatever. Mead takes on How the Highway Fund Impasse Illuminates Important Truths About American Life.

“When you look past the political tooth-gnashing and think about it for a second, this is really good news—the kind that Malthusian greens keep trying to ignore. The U.S. highway trust is running out of money because Americans are using much less gas even as our economy grows. Vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, and the patterns of economic development are changing in ways that make energy use less intensive. As a result, gas and diesel taxes aren’t generating revenue growth in the highway fund. This is of course bad news for the highway fund, but we really should be celebrating a big national win here overall.”

“When dealing with the consequences of this happy shift, media coverage looks short-sightedly only on the revenue side. Gas tax receipts aren’t rising fast enough! But the other side of the equation also needs serious examination: What’s going on with the cost of infrastructure?”

The difficulty in the article is that they cite government controls as part of the problem and then beseech intellectuals and philanthropists to solve it. The obvious solution of reducing the government and giving the market a chance seems to be out of sight. That is its own problem as the market has a proven track record of success while that of intellectuals and philanthropists is nowhere near as rosy.

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Political will ignores the last straw

Why is impeachment off the table?

“Democrats, forced to defend Obama’s numerous impeachable offenses, would be placed in the uncomfortable position of defending their own actions (or inaction) and their party’s policies and methods – which would, by extension, also be on trial. (ObamaCare is a perfect example on all counts.)

“And while the Democrat-media complex insists that the GOP shouldn’t want impeachment – in reality, neither should the complex, since the process would call attention to its own integrity and validity. Obama is the “media’s president.” They created him, protected him – and they own him. As the song goes, “it’s too late to turn back now.”

“Until conservatives can successfully convince the people that the office of the presidency is more special than the person who occupies it, and that our constitution is more important than party politics – every single American, not just Republicans in the upcoming elections, will lose. And what is lost, should Obama continue on this destructive path of fundamental transformation, may never be regained.”

Cindy Simpson takes on Impeachment: The Red Line and the Last Straw. The point is that as long as people accept assertions like the AG’s latest race-baiting and excuse and overlook criminal behavior, remedies such as impeachment are not likely to go anywhere. One only has to look at the partisan divide in Congressional oversight committees where Democrats present a solid block even going so far as to sympathize with witnesses and proclaim sorrow that they have had to be dragged through such a process to see how the political will is not there.

The political will goes back to the electorate and as long as the voters do not hold their representatives accountable to standards of integrity and validity, accountability in office will remain off the table. As long as the electorate gives credence to the excuses, the blaming, and the bald assertions that fly in the face of reality, accountability in office will remain off the table and talk of impeachment will be ridiculed and scoffed as it is now.

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Net neutrality – encroaching government control with no rationale, again

‘Net neutrality’ is another of those nice sounding phrases Tim Wu came up with. Like many of the ‘equality’ phrases such as marriage or income equality, it seems obviously some good and wonderful. Propaganda often does have a nice ring to it as long as one doesn’t look under the, often very thin, surface. Robert M. McDowell takes a look under the surface of net neutrality and explains: This is why the government should never control the internet.

“Net neutrality rules have been sold for a decade as a way to keep the Internet “open and free” by keeping Internet service providers (ISPs), such as phone and cable companies, from blocking or degrading Web sites. Its advocates have argued that ISPs have an economic incentive to act anti-competitively toward consumers and competitors. In a common hypothetical they cite, ISPs would slow — or buffer — traffic for Netflix unless it unfairly pays for more access points, or “off ramps,” and better quality of service.

“In truth, however, market failures like these have never happened, and nothing is broken that needs fixing. If consumers were being harmed by ISPs, ample antitrust, competition and consumer protection laws already exist to fix the problem. And major broadband providers have pledged, in their terms of service, to keep the Net open and freedom-enhancing. Why? Because it is good business to do so.”

In other words, the effort is another of the leftist anti-business efforts based on the idea that the government can do it better than the collective. Collective is another term often used as a paean for socialist ideas but in this case it refers to the individuals in the market whose decisions must be served in a capitalist economic environment. It is the antithesis of the centralized control by un-elected elitest bureaucrats.

“In refreshingly honest congressional testimony, Wu has crystalized the net neutrality movement’s goal: “FCC oversight of the Internet.” His simple statement acts as a dog whistle to regulators, telling them to sweep everything about the Internet under the government-controlled net neutrality umbrella— technical operations, business decisions, content and speech. State manipulation of the Net would shape “not merely economic policy, not merely competition policy, but also media policy, social policy” and “oversight of the political process,” according to Wu’s testimony. Current regulations simply do not “capture” the Net the way more government powers would through powerful new rules, he argued.”

This effort shows two phenomena that are usually visible in emotionally driven appeals for a ‘government fix. One is the fact that the fears used as a rational have never happened. The other is persistence.

“During my seven years as a FCC commissioner, I lived through several iterations of the net neutrality debate. Its proponents have broadened the term’s definition each time to serve their own growing purposes, both here and abroad.”

The need is not there but the persistence to force a government solution anyway certainly is. 

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EPA attach your wages?

scary. BRUCE: Feds plot to steal your paycheck. “The EPA takes its cue from rogue president on wage-garnishment scheme.”

Government bureaucrats gone rogue?

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Business friendly? Not Nevada

There are a lot of ways to inhibit commerce. Nevada provides an example. It starts with the ideology that a business is simply a cash cow, a target for getting money for the government. Local business owners share their stories, debunk notion that Nevada is a ‘business-friendly state’. “Excessive licensing, local regulations delay new businesses from opening, prevent established businesses from growing” by Kyle Gillis.

“Arshakuni’s experience with local licensing requirements is not uncommon. As detailed in “The Path to Sustainable Prosperity” a report released recently by the Nevada Policy Research Institute, the free-market think tank that publishes Nevada Journal, the state’s local licenses and regulations are so onerous that the idea of the Silver State as “business-friendly” no longer holds true.”

There is an exemption for minors doing incidental lawn mowing or babysitting but otherwise you’d better get city, county, and state business licenses as well as register with the state sales tax office and make sure all requirements are up to date and proper. Even then you’ll need to annually certify your income,even if it is below minimums, and pay annual fees.

Tax it and you get less of it. In this case that means that those products and services you need become harder to find and more expensive. The people of Nevada haven’t connected the idea that business is a target for government income with the realty of higher prices for goods and services that results from the ever increasing load that burdens business.

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Case example: damage by those who proclaim they are trying to save the world

On the U.S. is only evil and invading your privacy for no reason rant, Paul Mirengoff notes a Wapo item by Bart Gellman that confirms the value of NSA intercepts.

“Bart Gellman and his colleagues at the Washington Post’s shadow NSA have produced another breathless article purporting to show the threat to civil liberties posed by the NSA’s interception of private internet communications. Ultimately, though, the article succeeds only in confirming the value of the NSA’s practice in combating the threat to our safety posed by terrorists”

“what harm arises from the NSA obtaining communications from non-targets that is serious enough to cause a rational government to consider curtailing the program?

A pattern of misuse of the information obtained to the detriment of individuals not involved in terrorism might well suffice. But Gellman is unable to point to any such pattern; indeed, he fails to identify a single instance of such abuse.”

“The NSA’s intercept program is enabling us to capture deadly terrorists, learn of secret nuclear weapons projects and aggressive computer hackers, and discover the double-dealing of purported allies. It should not be shut down. Instead, Bart Gellman should shut down his shadow spying program, which produces no such benefits.”

The outrage over privacy is misplaced. It is an outrage about what someone knows or suspects and not what they do. The government does need to cull through reams of useless personal information if it is to find information about criminal or terrorist activity. What it does with that information is another story. In criminal courts, information obtained without a warrant or other proper procedure is not considered valid. When it comes to international affairs such as the terrorism encountered recently, espionage rules apply. 

But the outrage over privacy does serve a purpose. One has only to note that it is selective in its targets to determine what that purpose might be.

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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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