Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More Nonsense From Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan, the tabloid “journalist” who briefly was on CNN before we ran him out of America, is once again ranting about gun control in the US.  His tabloid experience allowed him to come up with a sufficiently lurid title: A Math Question For The US Media: What’s Going to Kill More American Kids This Year? Ebola or Guns?

Answering that directly, there’s no way to tell.  It’s only October 28th and President Obama’s stunning lack of leadership and incredibly bad choices may yet result in an “Ebola Apocalypse Christmas” here in the US.

But Piers doesn't really care about that, this is just another case of his impassioned fury that in America people are allowed to own guns.  And, like all anti-gun liberals, his favorite argument is “guns are killing children.”  Really?  Let me present some facts supporting my assertion that you don’t actually give a crap about “the children.”  According to the CDC, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.  Drilling down further, for children 1 – 4 accidental drowning is the leading cause of death.  So, where are the calls to outlaw private pool ownership?  Nonexistent, despite the fact that nobody “needs” to own a pool.  Where are the calls for mandatory 24-7 lifeguards, paid for by the pool’s owner?  Or even just mandatory fencing? Nary a mention.

For kids 5 – 24 automobile accidents are the leading cause of death.  So, why are people allowed to own (or drive) their own car?  Alternatives do exist- everyone could take the bus, train, bicycle, or just walk.  Think of all the children we could save by outlawing pools and cars!

Of course, I’m certainly not the first to point all this out.  It’s a frequent talking-point among those who support the basic human right to self-defense.  And, of course, it’s a point that anti-gunners like Piers Morgan blithely ignore.

Morgan trots out another assertion:  That following the Dunblane Massacre in 1996, the UK almost completely outlawed guns.  And following this wise, sensible action, they all lived happily ever.  Of course, it’s just not true.  Perhaps he should actually read the very publication that now employs him.  They report that England has seen an unbelievable 89% increase in gun violence since outlawing guns.  Which really shouldn't surprise anyone- now the only people with guns are the criminals.  But, in typical liberal fashion, he tries to spin his away around that unpleasant reality by grandly proclaiming “we haven’t had a single school shooting since guns were outlawed!”  What he fails to mention is that they hadn't had a single school shooting before the Dunblane Massacre, either.  But they did have the Cumbria Shootings just four years ago with 14 shot dead.  Wow, that gun control is sooo effective!

Finally, Piers treats us to the liberal’s standard smug moral superiority line of “permitting gun ownership is so uncivilized.”  Really?  OK, Piers, let me show you what “uncivilized” really looks like:



That’s some innocent person being forced to strip by a criminal at the height of the London Riots.  Would you like another?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Bad Choice After Another

So, the truth is finally starting to come out about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.  But before we talk about that, let's take a trip down memory lane to see how this story has been presented all along. I think the LA Times summed it up best on August 12th.



Yet again, the protesters took to the sidewalks and streets, facing a row of police guarding the St. Louis County prosecutor's office. "Hands up!" they chanted, their arms aloft. "Don't shoot."
"This is how the boy died!" Kendrick Strong, 42, hollered at police officers Tuesday morning. "This is how the boy died! With his hands up in the air!"

Later in that same article they summed up the narrative: "Brown was shot and killed by an officer Saturday while...running away with his hands up."  It's Trayvon Martin all over again- an unarmed black teen senselessly killed by an evil, racist, white man.  In both cases we've had the liberal media relentlessly hammering their "message" of racial injustice into our skulls.


Yeah, but the facts came out with Trayvon, too.  Most of them in the "alternative" (conservative) media, but I recently read an article by Massad Ayoob that introduced me to things I had never previously heard.  I strongly encourage you to read the article yourself.  The main take-away is that Trayvon was portrayed as an innocent young boy out purchasing skittles and tea who was senselessly gunned down for no reason.  He was in fact a man-sized criminal who both did and dealt drugs, had a history of violence, and who brutally assaulted (and nearly killed) a man without provocation.  A man who successfully defended himself.

What a strange coincidence.  It appears that's EXACTLY what happened in Ferguson.  Turns out the physical evidence corroborates virtually all of Officer Darren Wilson's testimony:  Michael Brown did not have his hands up.  He was not surrendering, he was charging.  He had already violently assaulted Officer Wilson without provocation, and had tried to grab his gun.  He had just robbed a convenience store, a crime that (despite media reports) Officer Wilson was aware of.  So yet again, we have a violent criminal thug, high on drugs, who brutally assaulted a man who then successfully defended himself.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Not Theatre

Minutes after emitting some non-committal bureaucrat BS in response to the beheading of American James Foley US President Barack Obama hit the golf course (again).  Someone took this photo:


Finally, three weeks after this atrocity, Obama went on NBC (his biggest cheerleaders) and had this to say:

"Part of this job is also the theater of it. I should have anticipated the optics of playing golf."

The optics?  No, you inhuman monster, it's not theatrics when people are outraged or saddened by someone's untimely death.  James Foley's friends and parents weren't happily laughing after he was killed. And it's not because they appreciated "the theatrics" of the moment, it's because they were feeling honest grief.

Continuing to speak about "theatrics" Obama said: "Well, it's not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters. And I'm mindful of that."

This just shows how completely disconnected from the human race our President really is.  He just doesn't get that other people aren't acting sad about things like this.  He can't imagine that they genuinely are feeling that emotion.

It's so ironic that the liberals, the people who so prize feeling over thinking, would gift us with this man who is apparently incapable not only of feeling these emotions, but also incapable of believing that anyone else feels them.

The photo above tells us what he really felt about the brutal execution of an American: It was hilarious.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seeing Socialism From Space


China to the left, Japan to the right, and S. Korea below, make N. Korea look very dark indeed.
From space North Korea is an environmentalist's dream.  There is nothing to halt energy consumption like totalitarian repression and anticapitalist poverty.  (And nothing thumbs one's nose at filthy capitalism like keeping one's people dirt poor and miserable.)  With that level of energy production there is sure to either be starvation, or a smaller population due to past starvation. 

Fascist China, having roughly survived the Mao personality cult,  is doing better than North Korea which is a personality cult.  North Korea does have nuclear capability so even if the energy production per capita is nil.  You'd think that the only industry in North Korea is nuclear weaponry.  

Here is what one thoughtful person wrote about the idea that the picture above says something about "socialism":
North Korea is not a socialist state. It is a dictatorship pretending to be communist. There is nothing remotely related to socialism in such a state and no economic philosophy at play in such a state. Anyone making such a suggestion that it is truly an uneducated moron. England is a socialist state. Most of out [sic] democratic allies are as well. The US is socialist in many areas. We don't use the term, but the economic basis for things like Medicare is socialism. And it was socialism at play when George W. Bush briefly took over much of our banking and auto industry. So learn what the word means and what it doesn't. The lack of electricity and the starvation in North Korea has nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with a crazy dictatorial family in power.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Imperialism in Jerusalem

The City of Jerusalem.
Around 1967 something happened that changed the way the enlightened felt about Israel.  Several Arab nations decided it was time to get rid of them pesky Jews. While the first bully was still cocking his fist, Israel punched first, proceeded to beat 3 bullies at once, and then took their lunch money for good measure.  Israeli Jews were no longer victims to be pitied.

The anti-imperialist/multiculturalist set was all prepared to mourn the destruction of the Jews and send out the 1967 equivalent of hashtags.  Their demise would have meant as little to Europe as the demise of Christians and Kurds does now in the present day Arab nations.  But suddenly Israelis represented strength instead of victimhood, they represented self-determination rather than a pawn for the UN to posture over, they represented a militarily defensible democracy rather than another pitiable medieval theocracy.

Suddenly Europe wasn't so embarrassed about the Holocaust.  No longer content to wait in shtetls for the next progrom, Israelis not only demonstrated that an enterprising people could create wealth in an impoverished land but could defend it.

One of many things that amaze me about the anti-imperialist/multi-culturalist movement in Europe and North America is how sensitive they are to some tokens of conquest and not to others.  If Mount Rushmore had been the most sacred site to the Sioux nation, fundamental to their religious system for centuries, it would be difficult to feel as positive about its nationalism.  Wouldn't there be other places to make it after all?  Surely it would even be more embarrassing to have carved a Pilgrim holding a Bible.  Or if American Christians had carved a cathedral into the mountain?

Yet no one speaks about the message of religious imperialism that the Dome of the Rock communicates.  Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran.  It is central in the Jewish scriptures (what Christians call "the Old Testament").  Muslim imperialism built this mosque on the site of the Jerusalem Temple for two reasons: to demonstrate that the Muslims have a greater claim on Father Abraham (and the sites associated with him) than do the Jews, and because claiming the most holy Jewish site was a way of marking the territory of the former Israelite kingdom for political Islam.  As beautiful as the Dome is aesthetically, it is and always will be a deliberate symbol of conquest.  If there was an ancient cathedral built there, I think most Christians would feel (and should feel) a sense of embarrassment about it. (Not out of knee-jerk political correctness, but out of the fact that a 'building' is not the Lord's Church.)  Most evangelicals and fundamentalists in America would want such an edifice torn down.

The most visible landmark in all Jerusalem is a landmark of religious and political imperialism.  Jewish Israelis are much more tolerant of the existence of the Dome on their Temple Mount than most Palestinian Arabs and Muslims are tolerant of the existence of Israel in any part of Palestine.  If Jerusalem were unequivocally Israeli soil, the Dome would remain standing.  If it were entirely Palestinian, synagogues and temples would burn as Muslim crowds cheered and Americans tweeted their hashtags.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Contrasting The Democrat Narrative With Reality

SpaceX, the private rocket company founded by Democrat Billionaire Elon Musk got hit by a pair of class-action lawsuits yesterday.  One suit is over the fact that he fired 400 workers last year in clear violation of labor law.  California's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act unequivocally states that any company with over 400 employees must provide 60-day notice when laying off fifty or more employees.

The other suit alleges that SpaceX failed to provide employees, even those with safety-critical jobs, with state mandated lunch and rest breaks.  Even worse, SpaceX is accused of forcing workers to work off the clock and even falsify timekeeping records.  That last bit is a huge violation of federal law, and managers and executives in aerospace have been marched off in handcuffs for that exact violation. I work in that industry myself, and I can tell you that timekeeping is the one thing taken as seriously (or sometimes more so) than worker safety.

So where's the California Labor Board investigation of SpaceX? There isn't one.  Where's NASA's investigation of the company's timekeeping practices? Also completely absent.  Elon Musk is a major Democrat donor, and California is run by Democrats.  So is NASA in the form of Barack Obama who directed them to end manned American spaceflight and focus on Muslim outreach.

Meanwhile, here's the (incredibly ironic) narrative put forth by the Democrats:


Elon Musk's SpaceX is a prime example of something else the Democrats blame on Republicans:  Receiving unfair tax breaks.  In April of this year, the California Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB777 which specifically exempts SpaceX from the same property taxes that every other business in the state has to pay.

Hilariously, Musk promptly burned California and moved his operations to Texas.

Meanwhile, here's what Democrats claim to be reality:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Obama's Threat to Israel

An interview in which Obama defender Jeffrey Goldberg described a "veiled threat" from Obama, the President
But in today’s world, where power is much more diffuse, where the threats that any state or peoples face can come from non-state actors and asymmetrical threats, and where international cooperation is needed in order to deal with those threats, the absence of international goodwill makes you less safe. The condemnation of the international community can translate into a lack of cooperation when it comes to key security interests.  
In that case, maybe the good ol' U.S. can plead Israel's case instead of having John Kerry join that condemnation?  An honest answer to the question "Has Obama contributed to this 'diffuse-power' state of the world?" is that he has contributed a lot to it through his support of the Muslim Brotherhood, jihadists, al-Qaeda sympathizers, and political Islam in general; and his weak and ineffectual response to Iran's nuclear program.  But even more importantly, that "absence of international goodwill' has been there since 1967 if not earlier, and international goodwill did not protect Israel in 1967 anyway.  The only thing that will leave Israel less protected is the loss of America's goodwill, and John Kerry's recent undermining of the peace process is not a good sign.

It is good to remember the outrage over Romney's comments over Palestine, as though it were unconscionable for Romney to do anything other than to interfere in Israeli politics get the Palestinians the two-state solution that they consistently refuse. (All of Romney's reasons seemed very cogent.)  In the Goldberg interview, Obama seems to be all in favor of kicking the can down the road, only unlike Romney he is typically nebulous about everything except his critical attitude toward Israel.

Only now Obama is showing his disapproval to Israel by routing routine military supplies to Israel through the White House itself, as though it is somehow helpful for Barack to sign off on this and that in case we accidentally give Israel too much support.

Regardless of Obama's personal prejudices, Israel hasn't lost the goodwill of the American people in general, particularly of the evangelicals and conservatives.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Obama the Pro-NSA "Moderate" Uber-Progressive


Now that Obama is getting ridiculously low numbers in public opinion, it's time to revisit the disenchantment of 2012.
. . . unless national security is pretty much your sole obsession, I really have a hard time understanding progressives who are disappointed in him. Obama has gotten more done for the progressive cause than Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, JFK, or Harry Truman—and, on balance, nearly as much as LBJ . . .
Kevin Drum basically argues in that election year piece ('A Pretty Damn Good Presidency') that Obama was really an uber-progressive even though Obama and his associates made it "pretty clear" that they despise the progressive base.  This piece, of course, was an effort to rally the disenchanted progressive base months before most of the media blitz that consisted of vilifying Romney, politically spinning Hurricane Sandy, and de-spinning jobs and the Benghazi debacle.  Obama had somehow managed to communicate to progressives that he despised them in spite of doing more for them than a host of liberal icons.  Drum didn't explain what this "seems to despise" consists of (it is a vague nod to the vague alienation his readers apparently felt), but contented himself with reminding his liberal audience that it is obviously just an act.  (Or alternatively, arguing that Obama believes in progressivism in spite of despising everyone.)

This is an interesting comment compared to the following from RationalWiki's hit piece on Dennis Prager   (note that 'RationalWiki' is using "rational" as a synonym for "progressive"), given the staunch depiction of Obama as a centrist:  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Free Gaza From Whom Exactly?


Over the past few weeks he received tens of emails from Gaza City acquaintances, even from Sajiyah, begging, literally begging, not to halt the operation prematurely – to please free them from the horror of living under Hamas.  They are begging for us to finish the job because Hamas is too horrible to countenance.  He showed me a video, smuggled out of Gaza, of Hamas police beating people to prevent them from leaving the area after an Israeli warning – I saw a pregnant woman beaten to death.  - Mordechai ben-Menachem
If you are on the political Left in America, it is almost certain that you will not believe such a thing happens since that makes it difficult to keep focusing on the civilian casualties; or you will have to believe it does not matter.  Just like it doesn't matter what happens to Palestinian Arabs in Middle Eastern nations other than Israel, or what happens to Christians in those nations for that matter.  Like Russell Brand, you can live in denial, because the media outlets you depend on aren't interested in such accounts either.  Like Nancy Pelosi, you might think that Hamas is a humanitarian organization who vow to keep killing Jews until all of the former British Mandate of Palestine is under Islamic theocracy, simply because the Qataris and Turks say so.  

Hamas’ state sponsors are Qatar and Turkey.  Qatar is the bankroll.  Turkey is the Hamas NATO representative; think about that!  Turkey has also been a major supporter of ISIS and al Nusra. (ibid.)
What Iraqis do to Kurds, what Iranians do to gays, what sharia Muslim extremists do to Christians and their own women, what the Chinese do to the various peoples of various religions under their iron rule (e.g. Tibet) - none of it is nearly so interesting as to what Israelis lengths Israelis will go to protect their citizenry from deadly attacks.  Comparatively, all other global suffering is a yawnfest.  An Islamic group has to kidnap and rape a whole school full of children just to be tweetworthy by our Executive Branch and the factions they represent.  Even what Hamas do to the already troubled Palestinian people is not very interesting.  

Most Palestinians (presumably those who haven't been forced yet to act as human shields) may not realize how Hamas is destroying them.  And even if they do realize now, it's possible that they deserve this misery, having asked for it by knowingly electing Hamas with its openly genocidal purpose.  Either way, both Israelis and Palestine need to be free of the cancer that is Hamas.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Passive Anti-Semitism

The Mighty Kerry at the bat...
“Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength, but out of weakness.”
Remember when Obama said to Romney about Russia:  "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back."  Maybe it’s time to call the 1980s to ask for our old foreign policy back.  The one we have now is truly awful.  It's Obysmal in fact. What does Obama have to say about Russia now?  This flexing of power against their neighbors is, in his opinion, a sign of their diminishing power, a sign of weakness. Wow. When this guy shovels it, he uses both hands.

Now, Russia and Iran have a new competitor for total foreign policy poochscr&w:  Just how catastrophic can progressive foreign policy get in the Middle East?  Well, Clinton bailed before she could find out the answer to that question, so enter 'Boston Strangler' Kerry.  Kerry and the President have said that Israel should be doing more to prevent Palestinian casualties, but haven't done us the service of saying what that is or why they think this.

Meanwhile various commentators are saying that fairness dictates comparing Palestinian deaths to Israeli deaths, not comparing attempts to kill and hostile aggressions.  Apparently one is supposed to not remove the threat unless the terrorist attack succeeds, (just like one is only supposed to defend oneself if actually hit by a bullet). Sheik 'Yer Mami has a cogent answer to this biased assertion.   

As almost the whole Arab world is shrinking back from the stink of Hamas, Nancy Pelosi seems willing to take the Qataris' word that Hamas is a humanitarian organization (maybe the Qataris are getting rich off of the deals that procure expensive weaponry for Hamas? Poor Nancy), while Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is calling out Hamas for its tactics that are responsible for the high civilian casualties.   
In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites. [emphasis mine]

Why Do They Hate the Jews?

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http://www.jewishjournal.com/dennis_prager/article/why_do_people_hate_israel


[Going back] to 2003, we find that another American president, named George W. Bush, directly addressed [the resurgence of anti-Semitism] in a speech at London’s Whitehall Palace on November 19 of that year.  He not only warned of the return of anti-Semitism; he scolded European leaders for averting their eyes from it. “Leaders in Europe should withdraw all favor and support from any Palestinian ruler who fails his people and betrays their cause. And Europe's leaders -- and all leaders -- should strongly oppose anti-Semitism, which poisons public debates over the future of the Middle East.” (When I had the opportunity, at a White House reception, to thank Mr. Bush in person for these remarks, he replied that “it’s much worse there than you can imagine.”)  [link]

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http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/american-presidents-and-european-anti-semitism_802961.html

People have become inured to the quiet bigotry that Jews face, probably because they are pale skinned and often DON’T LOOK ANY DIFFERENT than most of us,” Bellerose wrote. “We have stopped taking it seriously when a Jew says, ‘What you just said makes me uncomfortable.’ Because they look just like us, it’s hard to understand that they could be targets, BECAUSE TO WESTERN PEOPLE IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO BE PREJUDICED AGAINST SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LIKE YOU.  [link





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Kristallnacht Reenacted in France on Small Scale

French lay siege to shul while Jews
wait for police intervention.
Yep, French people who are likely Arab and Muslim have rallied in Paris to demonstrate for peace.  They have apparently learned how to do this in Palestine since they think this involves wrecking Jewish-owned shops, laying siege to a synagogue, and shouting "Death to Jews."

While this pogrom was awful and scary, it simply reveal the anti-Semitism that France, and Europe, has been condoning there all along by implicitly agreeing with Palestinians about Israel and not being vocal against Hamas.

They are in fact so used to tiptoeing around  Hamas, that they may say little about the shooting of Palestinian dissenters by Hamas.  Stick to criticizing Israel and the U.S.  It's safer.

Yes, this is bad.  But the timing is really good if it can successfully draw attention to the situation that even people in the U.S. have been trying so hard to ignore.

What is keeping this situation going?  The unqualified, uncritical support for the Palestinian cause by Westerners in Europe and the U.S.  This Palestinian goal of the destruction of Israel is simply unacceptable and it simply should not be accepted.  If the Palestinians can't keep their people from attacking Israel, they should be occupied or sent to Syria.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

'Crap Prophet', Andres Serrano Does Islam


It has been my theory that who the Left demonizes has a lot to do with who they fear and don't fear.  The network allows South Park to depict Jesus as weak and foolish, but does not allow them to depict Mohammed visually at all.  Obama speaks against those who "blaspheme the Prophet" but doesn't condemn anyone that treats Jesus sacrilegiously.  Leftist Europe "courageously" condemns Israel and says nothing about the human rights violations of the Palestinians, nor says anything in any way to upset Muslim Arabs (now about 1/6th of France's population).

If the mass mutilation of unborn infants results in a religious American going nuts, it demonstrates (to the Left) the backwardness of Christianity.  No number of lunatics killing non-Muslims in the name of Islam because they make a sacrilegious cartoon or refuse to convert to Islam ever seems to reflect negatively on Islam or any Arab country's culture.  20% of Muslims in Europe may support violent jihad, but it doesn't matter as it is the proverbial elephant in the room.

If a Christian would've gone on a rampage over the government-sponsored "art" exhibit that included Serrano's "Piss Christ" (literally a crucifix immersed in urine), that would've reflected poorly on Christianity.  (Actually any "white" person would do, the media would just assume he was Christian.)  If a Muslim would've gone on a rampage over a pastor burning the Koran, that also would've reflected poorly on Christianity somehow, since whenever a Muslim goes crazy, he was obviously driven to it by some Westerner's actions and is not really responsible for his own actions.

What I suggest is this: Earmark the tax money from Muslim Americans to finance a special religious tolerance art exhibit which will include an image of the Prophet fashioned from excrement called "Crap Prophet" which will be as good and mind-expanding for the Muslim community as "Piss Christ" was good for the Christian community.  (Maybe a few items from Mapplethorpe as well: perhaps some LGBT interpretations of Mohammed.)  It will be the perfect opportunity for Muslims 'round the world to demonstrate peace and tolerance for freedom of expression.

Insult Islam?  Absolutely not.  I'm talking about exposing their religion to the lofty heights of art.  I'm talking about art, people.  Art.  
Note: It is possible that by exercising my 1st Amendment rights in this way I will be the cause of some protest that spontaneously turns into a major 'act of terror' and the President will have to get Eric Holder on the line and tell him to find some law that I've broken (which shouldn't be difficult) in order to "bring the guilty parties to justice."  Until then, keep chanting that Islam is a religion of peace.

Terrorism and the Southern Poverty Law Center


It is problematic on the face of it to try to make Timothy McVeigh the face of heartland Christianity.

Digging deeper, I'm skeptical that McVeigh was not set up to take the fall for a staged terrorism event to make America think that it's biggest threats were not overseas.  The Waco incident in which the government incinerated women and children in order to confiscate guns caused an upsurge of militia movements in the heartland and general skepticism in the public mind that the administration knew what it was doing.

There are indications that McVeigh believed himself to be, up to the time of the Oklahoma City bombing, in the employ of the U.S. government to infiltrate militia groups.  A week or two after the incident that huge manhunt for McVeigh's witnessed accomplices abruptly ended and was instantly forgotten by the press.  The following year, first responder policeman Terrance Yeakey claimed to be harrassed over his investigation into things that didn't fit with his memory of events the day of the bombing and "committed suicide" in a very curious manner.

On a similar note, McVeigh told Kenneth Trentadue's brother the real reason he "hanged himself" in his jail cell (presumably after torturing and unmercifully beating himself).  Trentadue's unexpected phone call from McVeigh was just one piece of many independent pieces leading him back to the FBI, the ATF, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Upon being leaked a redacted copy of the Freeh teletype, Trentadue filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the full document and any other information held by the Oklahoma City FBI field office pertaining to the SPLC, specifically, “all documents about any connection between the Southern Poverty Law Center and eight named individuals from the OKBOMB and BOMBROB investigations or a white supremacist compound in Elohim City, Okla.” (3) 
When the FBI declared no such Freeh teletype existed, Trentadue produce his copy and an enraged US district court Judge Dale Kimball ordered the FBI to produce all responsive documentation. Though the FBI later admitted in response to Kimball’s order that some 340 documents had been discovered, the Bureau has been fighting the judge’s ruling they be turned over ever since the 2005 filing. [here]
In the documentary film A Noble Lie, Trentadue emphasizes that his trail kept pulling him back to the SPLC, which trail seems to keep popping up, even linking to the CIA.  What's especially curious about this is that the SPLC was in the middle of a much more recent case of domestic terrorism: their "hate map" showing progressive activists where to find people upon which unleash their hate instigated the attack by Floyd Corkins, who planned to humiliate, torment, and murder the workers at Family Research Council in an attempt to terrorize for his political views on same-sex marriage.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Robert Downey Jr. Selflessly Offers Other People's Money


Robert Downey Jr has "heroically" campaigned against the meager 6-figure payments that his fellow movie stars received for Avengers compared to his 8-figure deal.

Why does this strike me as ridiculous?  Because there is a simpler, more honest way that Downey can make for equality.  He can simply divide up whatever ridiculous amount the studio pays him for Avengers 2 and share it with his worthy colleagues.

In fact, he can split the $50 million that he was already paid for the first Avengers among his co-stars who were paid a paltry $200,000 to run around in costumes and be the toast of the town. (I'm tellin' you, the Man has really got them down.)  Which co-stars are worth including in this charity pool, Downey can decide for himself, of course.

Why was Downey paid so much more?  Because with him the studio execs feel strangely generous, or because replacing him (who has practically built the Iron Man franchise and therefore the Avengers franchise) is costlier to the money-making potential of the film than replacing anyone else?  How much costlier?  Look at the payment to find out.  The studio has a budget for production that competes with a budget for paying actors, both of which compete with the expected intake of money.  In terms of a limited budget, the more they pay Downey for his continued participation in the franchise, the less they have in their budget to entice the future participation of the other actors.  It is "zero sum," and instead of volunteering his own ludicrous share,  Downey opted to pressure the studios into taking on more risk.

Sure it's his fortune to gamble.  But don't you just feel sorry for those actors struggling by on six figures?  Why, that wouldn't even begin to pay for one of poor Hillary's many homes.

But Downey was worried about fairness.

When I read things like Downey's generosity with other people's money instead of his own, especially with these ridiculous overpaid actors speaking against those who get rich off of corporations and capitalism, I think that these people should put their money where their mouth is:
The Frivolous Pay Law:  For anyone in the movies, in music recording, in the arts, in sports, or in politics making over $300,000 (that is, mainly people who don't have to deal so directly with the consequences of of the economically illiterate policies they advocate) in a single year (this is 20% greater than the $250,000 mark our President favors), everything over that $300,000 goes to the IRS.  
Because at some point you've made enough money, as someone once said.  Because you didn't earn that, as someone once said.  You got there through luck and through money illicitly gained from the rest of us through manipulative corporate advertising.  Your movie crews travel on vehicles and roads the rest of us built.  Because you've got to eat your peas.  Because we got all this here debt to pay.  Uh-huh.  Lead the way, ye selfless beings. Show us how it's done.  Physician, heal thyself. You first.

Is there really such a shortage of good actors that we have to recycle the same actors over and over to make them into their own brand names?  Are they really so special and indispensable that they have to make more on one movie than most of us will see in several decades?  If anyone is overpaid ...

Just have that law in place for eight years (as long as the rest of us have had to deal with some notable politicians these people financed for us), and see what good it does.  See if these luminaries of egalitarian righteousness can stand only making a measly $300,000 like the rest of us yokels.  Just for eight short years to help make up for several years of trillion-dollar deficits.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Liberal Fascism


It's instructive what happens when someone starts to connect the dots and question the narrative, in this case the "Fascism is on the Right" narrative. I had heard this one so much I thought maybe there was some truth to it.  I had never heard, in college or anywhere else, anything as nuanced and complicated as historian Robert Paxton decides to elucidate here in his review of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism:
Goldberg likes to put things into rigid boxes: right and left, conservative and liberal, fascist and non-fascist. He doesn’t leave room for such complexities as convergences, middle grounds, or evolution over time. . . . The very mention of a “Third Way” puts one instantly into the fascist box. [Is "reaching across the aisle" a third way, or are there only two ways?] . . . Fascism – a political latecomer that adapted anti-socialism to a mass electorate, using means that often owed nothing to conservatism – drew on both right and left, and tried to transcend that bitter division in a purified, invigorated, expansionist national community. A sensitive analysis of what fascism drew from all quarters of the political spectrum would be a valuable project.
Paxton mourns the loss of an opportunity for Goldberg to complicate this subject.  Well, there have been ample opportunities for liberals in the political discourse to describe national socialism and fascism as things that don't fit on either the right or left.  Suddenly, it's Goldberg's responsibility to create a third box.
For example, “Liberals . . . claim” that free-market economics is fascist (p. 22). Could we please have a few examples of “liberals” who say this?
Ummmm.  Did the last ten years not just happen?  Somehow Paxton thinks that liberal pundits and bloggers are typically as erudite as he is.  Here is what I've gleaned from the leftosphere over the last ten years, very similar though intensified from the ten years before that:
Hitler was on the Right.  Hitler loved corporations.  Fascism is corporation friendly. Capitalism equals cronyism.  These freedoms that allow corporations to use invested money to hire people to make products -- it's not about economic liberty.  Anything that supports the right for individuals to wield their economic liberty corporately is really just a smokescreen for those who want to distribute the wealth from poor people to rich people.  We can't make the marketplace fair without giving government carte blanche control over corporations.  Free-market capitalism is radical conservatism.  Fascism is radical conservatism.  Connect the dots.
As more and more Gen Xers found themselves "informed" by Michael Moore, they echoed notions like these.  But it isn't limited to the young soundbitten Obama-ites.  These notions are reflected in the responses to the Citizens United case, and reflected by Ginsberg in her objections to the Hobby Lobby ruling, and in think pieces and NY Times op eds based on the non sequitur slogan "corporations aren't people."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who's the Fascist?

It's time to recycle those anti-Bush cartoons to address that lithium drip that comes through the synoptic media: CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, etc.:



Friday, June 27, 2014

Comparing Bergdahl and Tahmooressi

The true test of our patriotism is whether we will serve our returning heroes as well as they've served us.
    ~ Barack Obama

Robin Abcarian is a seemingly partisan writer for the L.A. Times who is disturbed by the inevitable comparisons between Sgt. Tahmooressi and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  She writes:
The situation of Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, who has been jailed in Mexico since March 31 after being busted on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border with three firearms in his car, is not remotely comparable to the situation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held for five years by the Taliban.
You mean, apples and oranges?  The evidence points to Bergdahl being a deserter who likely sought out the Taliban thinking that they were just poor misunderstood freedomfighters who needed hugs.  If the intelligence engine in the Mideast weren’t hamstrung, we might have extracted Bergdahl with a team instead of using him for more appeasement politics (I'll give you two knights and rook and a bishop for that pawn).  Tahmooressi is a veteran who was trying to adjust to civilian life.  He was actually trying to not enter the country and they wouldn’t let him not enter.  When a country gives you no choice but to violate their laws it’s time to drop the narrative about the sacredness of a nation's laws.  Given Abcarian’s obvious political bent, I wonder if he would acknowledge that intruders from the other side of the border are not here by accident, and have voluntarily broken our laws. The main difference there is that Tahmooressi tried to preemptively deport himself so that he wouldn’t violate their laws, and the intruders from the other side avoid deportation.
“You don't insult an ally, especially  when you are asking it for a favor.”
You mean like not talking about ‘whose butt to kick’ when you are talking about an ally’s role in taking care of an oil spill?  (Abcarian is taking offense at the language in one letter to the White House condemning the actions of Mexico.)  In the early Obama Doctrine, no nation was more an ally than any other, certainly not Britain and definitely not Israel.  Alliance is a two-way street.  As far as I know, Mexico is not our ally but a corrupt and irresponsible leech.  Mexican politicians create a disastrous economy, blame us for not taking in all the people damaged by their incompetence, and all that Obama can offer in return is more appeasement by agreeing with them.  Tahmooressi’s treatment is an insult to the U. S. of A., and we should cut the money we send to Mexico until we get him back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2012 Debates: Obama Sounded Desperate Over Pensions!


"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."
In the 2nd Presidential Debate of 2012, the thing that stood out almost as dramatically as the theatrical "act of terror" doublespeak event was what happened a little over an hour into the debate.  It is significant because Obama sounds like he suddenly loses all that composure that is most evident when he's expecting Crowley to back him up (which happens only a little later in the debate) and becomes desperate for the topic to change.

Romney had briefly started to return to a topic that he hadn't quite finished remarking on (it seemed he had been told repeatedly that they would have plenty of time to address each topic), which was the topic of fiscal relations between America and China.  Obama had continued in the vein that had characterized his campaign in painting Romney as the evil "corporationy" corporate guy who rides around on his yacht and invests in China.

Romney starts to point out that pensions and 401Ks depend on the sort of portfolios that diversify in order to be low risk and not a gamble. Don't you want your pension plan to pay out   Instead of answering Romney's question, Obama not only denies he knows much about his pension (yet another thing he pleads the 5th on), but he tries to deflect the attention of the audience by saying, "Hey Romney's rich unlike me."  If Obama's pension plan is simpler than Romney's, why doesn't he understand it?  Is it because he's expecting to get more for honorariums and memoirs and interviews like Dead Broke Hillary did when she left office?  If Obama isn't well-to-do, why doesn't he care to know what's in his pension plan?

He knew enough to be afraid of where Romney was going with it, and the last thing this Progressive wanted on national tv was an economic lesson from someone who knows economics.  Worse, he didn't want anyone to realize that their pensions come from the same wealth-creating mechanism that liberals hate: investment, corporations, capitalism.  (Three dirty words in the liberal dictionary.)  When you tax corporations you deincentivize the investment and risktaking that results in dividends and job growth.  Without those things, your pension (and your social security) are guaranteed by a Ponzi scheme instead of by invested capital.

The "Rich Romney" bogeyman was the red herring that Obama kept pointing to whenever he didn't want to have a "teachable moment."  Why did so much of American buy that act?  Why have they preferred a rich guy that knows very little economics and shows little respect for the Constitution to a rich guy that knows a lot about economics?



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hollywood Fears Drones, Loves the Drone King [movie reviews]

This article discusses the plots of numerous sci-fi movies and contains spoilers for:  Total Recall, Elysium, Revenge of the Sith, The Lego Movie, Robocop, Captain America Winter Soldier, X-Men Days of Future Past.

You might think that Hollywood would be afraid of a ruler who is building an army of automated machines and an automated system for detecting threats to the regime.  It is amazing the number of movies that depict fear of the drone/droid, the soldier that is programmed simply to follow orders and has no qualms about war crimes and no Oathkeeper sentiments about the Constitution.

Revenge of the Sith
The recent trend could be said to be heralded by the Star Wars prequilogy, where the bad guys start out with access to a robot army, and eventually replace it with an army of clones (essentially a clone becomes a sort of human automaton for the purposes of the plot) called .  Given his political leanings, Lucas may have had the university shootings of the Nixon era in mind when he conceived of the clone origins of Stormtroopers.  Also back then, he didn't have CGI, so Stormtroopers are much more nimble than any robot seen in the first Star Wars.

Total Recall
More recently we have the Total Recall remake. The remake tightens the colonialism angle and changes the setting to be completely on Earth.  Instead of the Martian colony vs. Earth, it's the Australian colony vs. Britain in a post-apocalyptic time--basic Two Worlds theme. The British dictator amasses an enormous army of robot soldiers which the Australian people will be powerless to stop.  The Australian people appear to be unarmed and can only run in terror as doomsday approaches.  It doesn't matter if the British people aren't keen on genocide; the autonomous battle droids will destroy on command.  NO human army necessary.

Elysium
The Supersoldier Era
Similar problems in Elysium.  Director Blomkamp makes a very similar movie to his previous District 9: a reluctant hero with a severe medical condition trying to get to a magic healing machine in the sky.  The adaptation of this plot to a Two Worlds story makes for a more gritty realization of the movie Upside Down (another Two Worlds sci-fi fantasy).  No extraterrestials in Elysium, however, quasi-governmental corporations are still responsible for slums, but in Elysium the protagonist is another factory worker who helps build battle droids (as in Total Recall) who will later show expertise in disabling them.  Elysium shows the totalitarian oppression accomplished through these droids and drones.  Only police/soldiers and criminals are armed, so the 2nd Amendment has been successfully dismantled in the future.  Blomkamp expands the apartheid theme of District 9 into a fanciful treatment (and moral framing) of America's immigration problem.  In the end, the Constitution of the future is not just a living document but living code.  Rewriting the code can instantly confer a right to free healthcare (not to mention the right to not be arrested) on whole populations.  (If only we didn't have this whole plague of representational government standing in the way of amnesty!)

Robocop
Which brings us to the Robocop reboot.  Where in the original Robocop movie corporations seem to be stepping in for a missing government, the reboot has been reworked into a morality tale that blames the corporations for bad government policy.  The movie frames its politics by showing a robot army used by America to occupy a Middle Eastern country.  It is extremely successful in reducing American casualties.  Suicide bombers are shown discussing how they don't want to kill anyone, just want to die on national tv (which is astoundingly different from suicide bombing in the 21st century), recasting terrorism as martyrdom.

A piece of legislation called the "Dreyfus Act" keeps the American government from using the military droids/drones to police its citizens.  So, as in Elysium, evil "corporationy" corporations are at work to overturn the Dreyfus Act (by funding a tv program for propaganda purposes) so they can sell even more droids.  Unlike the original, Robocop is simply a way to market robot police: by making a man into a robot soldier.  No politicians are shown to be villainous, just the cold-hearted corporate bozos.  The lead villain is named "Sellars" just to drive home that it's the bourgeois merchant class you are to fear.  If the government turns its robot military on its own citizens, it's the fault of corporate lobbying, so let's not ask why the government wants robot soldiers policing its own people, like an enemy occupation.

Robocop Alex Murphy is incredibly successful at solving and eliminating crime with his datamining, auto-profiling, and invincibility.  He should change his name to Homeland Security.  Is the point of Robocop that liberty is too essential to risk it even if that means are streets are not as crime-free?  Where are the pro-gun liberals?  They should take this message to heart.  Or is the message that a robot army is only bad if a corporation builds it?  Shouldn't we be afraid of a government empowered to squash any civilian uprising?  Even President Lincoln acknowledged that a people have a natural right to overthrow their government (whether he actuallly believed that is another matter).  Certainly all the authors of the Constitution, the Declaration, the Federalist papers and the Anti-Federalist papers agreed with that as the most fundamental right (because without that right, what happens when the government stops respecting your rights).

Winter Soldier
Captain America: The Winter Soldier seems to be afraid for another reason.  The robot army in this movie is a bunch of aerial warships that combine the Obama-era data-mining powers of the NSA with the ability to target from the air anyone deemed likely to pose a threat to a totalitarian government.  The idea behind this movie is that once a benevolent government acquires the power to oppress its citizens, it is in immediate danger of a coup from people with the will to oppress the citizens.  Shades of this appear in The Avengers when the supersoldiers question whether a government more highly armed than its people can be trusted to always have their best interests at heart.

Days of Future Past
And now we have X-Men: Days of Future Past, which features a future where mutants are hunted by super-drones/droids, and not just them but anybody that carries the potential in their DNA for these paranormal mutants. Kind of like the Patriot Act under both Bush and Obama has been used to for purposes other than anticipating terrorist acts.  Kind of like a "legal regime" for indefinite suspension of citizen rights (Rachel Maddow).  Yep, the government gets so afraid of mutant terrorism (and they have good reason to be afraid) in the 1970s (alternate timeline) that they start work on droids that can detect a mutant and destroy him.  Eventually, these drones acquire powers that (out)match that of the mutants and the people of the world are oppressed by them in a indefinitely long contingency dictatorship.  By creating machines that even mutants couldn't fight, they ended up with a government that the people couldn't fight.

Lego Movie
The Lego Movie was a breath of fresh air, a fundamentally Libertarian movie that got past the Hollywood censors by naming their villain "Lord Business."  Lord Business is not just the President but the major stockholder in a wealthy conglomerate that controls most of the media, makes all the automated voting machines, and runs all the surveillance systems in the country.  He also has a robot army consisting of battle drones, worker drones, and "micro-managers."  The people are lulled into being micro-managed by the tentacles of Lord Business's empire until it reaches its logical conclusion of total control.  The political solution ends up with the people arming themselves with ideas and the weapons those ideas bring about.  Nice! This movie doesn't have so much the nebulous notion that corporations are inherently evil, although it obviously denounces cronyism and crony-corporatism, and makes a plug for the little business owner and his ideas.

Is it ironic that the movie that seems the most friendly to robot armies is a movie starring Matt Damon, one of the few Hollywood liberals that question why Obama is eroding our rights when he promised to bring back the Bill of Rights.  (In his words, the President "broke up with" him.)  In Elysium, the oppressive robot army turns good.  At the movie's end, instead of being horrible they all of a sudden act with great compassion and care.  It is good to have a robot army because a benevolent dictator (as Sean Penn conceived of Hugo Chavez and Castro) can use them to bring "liberty and justice for all."  This is almost a 180 from Winter Soldier, except that Elysium takes great care to show at the beginning how dangerous this technology is when used indiscriminately on a largely unarmed populace.

The ending of Elysium evoked this techno-socialist fantasy by Richard Brautigan:
I like to think
it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.
Brautigan dreamed of a time when we will all be Eloi.  He wasn't concerned about the Morlocks.

You would think by now that people would have realized that whatever power grabs you tolerate in the President you trust, you leave open to the next President, whom you probably will not trust.  While Hollywood might appear to share our fear of drones and homeland security, they are still busy buying $40,000 plates for the man that has done more to increase their scope and use of homeland security and drones against the American citizen--except for Matt Damon, remarkably, who actually has noticed that Obama is everything they supposedly hated about Bush.  Most of them aren't concerned because as long as it's Obama eroding the Bill of Rights we're just being watched over by machines of loving grace.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Benghazi Act of Terror: Singularity, Gullibility and Complicity in the Debates

A brief summary of the evolution of the Benghazi narrative from the White House in the first few weeks:
It was senseless violence caused by a reprehensible video.  We endured the attack 11 years ago, and no acts of terror will shake our resolve. We have no reason to think that this was a preplanned attack.  There was a demonstration over a video.  It's too early to tell if some al Qaeda groups might have been walking back from a party with their rocket launchers and decided to join in.  Let me be clear: there is no reason at this point to think terrorists were involved, and no acts of terror will shake our resolve, whether or not terrorists are involved. As far as anyone knows this was a case of unpremeditated terror by people who were offended by a video ... and who happened to have grenade launchers.   
The actual phrase in the transcript is "no acts of terror."  Of course, only a "wingnut" would notice.  
Is it only the "low information voter" who has so little critical thinking to confuse general "acts of terror" with "this was an act of terror," or did the book-of-the-month club liberal also fall for the Candy Crowley stunt?  The picture above doesn't lend much hope.  The Obama devotees strangely missed where Candy Crowley appeared on The View the day following the debate saying that she had only conceded a minor point about terminology, complaining that no one remembered that she was actually saying that Romney was right about Obama's evasion about terrorism.  (No one could remember because no one was even paying attention after the well-timed applause.)

Weeks after the Rose Garden speech where the "no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve" line is supposed to have unequivocably identified the Benghazi event as a terrorist attack, ABC reported:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed today that the president believes the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a “terrorist attack,” a term Obama has not yet used in his characterization of the violence.
WHAT!  Didn't ABC hear the Rose Garden speech?!!  Why don't they realize that Obama called it a terrorist attack from day 1.  Maybe ABC had paid attention to the interview with 60 minutes right after the Rose Garden speech:
KROFT: “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Libya attack.”
OBAMA: “Right.”
KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?”
OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

If 'Maleficent' Is About Rape, What Does It Mean?

This article contains major *spoilers* for the movie Maleficent!

How on earth was I going to justify that this woman would curse a baby?
  ~ Screenwriter Linda Woolverton in Huffington Post
The recent Disney movie Maleficent tries to provide a backstory to explain the eponymous villain's mean streak.  In the original movie Sleeping Beauty, the villain shows up at the christening of King Stephan's daughter because she feels sleighted for having not been invited (and she wasn't invited because, well, she's so villainous).

The movie centers around a past relationship between Maleficent and King Stephan.  And the foul deed that starts the cycle of revenge is that Stephan cuts off Maleficent's fairy wings (in case you wondered why Maleficent didn't have wings like the three good fairies).

Stephan is only able to do this because Maleficent trusts him implicitly for friendship's sake, and Stephan, for the sake of his courtly ambition, drugs her and then, with too much compunction to kill, decides to take her wings as trophies of the pretended kill.  People have since wondered of this violation of trust is a metaphor for rape, and Angelina Jolie has reportedly confirmed that this was an intentional metaphor.  As is commonly reported, rape is very often committed by someone the victim knows, and rape also often occurs with the help of a drugged beverage.

What might presume that Stephan's ambition is a metaphor for men not feeling manly without some conquests under their belt in this post-sexual revolution, enlightened age, in fact feeling like undesirable nobodies.  Stephan's conquest makes him a somebody, and in the place of the woman who loved him he instead chooses a trophy wife.  

But here's where it really gets interesting.  Because of this violation, instead of getting back at Stephan, Maleficent goes after the child made possible by the violation.

And as you've had ample warning about spoilers, Maleficent stops seeing her rapist in the child, and instead sees a soul much like herself; she emotionally adopts the child, becomes her guardian, and repents of her murderous rage.  In the end, she risks her life to save the child's.

In the last two years, there have been stories brought up about women who have killed their babies on sight immediately after birth because of their hate for the rapist, and how traumatic this is for the mothers (strangely without considering how awful this might be for the children killed), as though this sheds some special light on abortion as a medical and social (and spiritual!) remedy.  And in this same time period Disney has given us an intentional metaphor for rape that unintentionally argues that the child should not suffer for the sins of the rapist.  Maleficent even experiences something like abortion regret partway through the film.

Which reminds me of this much ignored half of a much reviled comment:
"I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Revisiting Honesty Over Acts of Terror

In the 2nd Presidential Debate of 2012, Candy Crowley after wrongly reinforcing Obama's misleading phrase where he vaguely spoke of unspecified "acts of terror" as the White House misinformed the public for weeks about a demonstration over a video, tried to appear even-handed by,  but Democrats were still whopping it up over Crowley's wrong statement that he called it an "act of terror."  If he had really called it an act of terror, then the White House could not have been coy with the press and evaded calling it a terrorist attack for weeks.  But who could see the inconsistency as Democrats were loudly high-fiving over another successful publicity stunt?

Too bad we didn't have access to this information in October about what General Petraeus had foudn fishy about the edited CIA talking points:
The original CIA talking points had been blunt: The assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda.
These were strong claims. The CIA usually qualifies its assessments, providing policymakers a sense of whether the conclusions of its analysis are offered with “high confidence,” “moderate confidence,” or “low confidence.” That first draft signaled confidence, even certainty: “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.”
Al Qaeda just happened by with rockets and assault weapons on September 11th when they noticed people demonstrating over a video and decided to join in?  Hmmm... No, we better just not ever mention al Qaeda at all. Blame it on a video, Susan Rice.  And after we tell America, we'll find the person responsible, we'll jail the guy who made the video.

Jill Kelley became an advocate for internet privacy after the private information from her personal email were leaked once the FBI had searched them.  Why did the FBI leak the information, unless Eric Holder wanted to create a different sort of scandal for the people to associate with Petraeus?  How many months before the Benghazi incident was the Petraeus affair being investigated?

Also in the 2nd Debate, Obama tells us that as he's watching the terrorists go after the two surviving men in the embassy, he'll avenge them (or at least find the perpetrators).  He's watching all this happen live and he admits to already having written them off and doesn't explain why.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Prisoner's Dilemma


Today I was thinking that there is something like The Prisoners' Dilemma at work with the divide between "the rich" and "the poor."  The Reagan years demonstrated (to conservatives, anyway) that supply-side economics go a long way toward reducing the divide.   The rich got richer and the poor got richer too.  The gap between African American incomes and average American income got smaller.  The rich got richer as they invested in jobs (and paid people to work) and everybody's jobs and retirement plans reaped the benefits.

So why do those much richer than middle class and much poorer than middle class tend to vote for things like "the gesture of taxing the rich" and increased deficit spending if it is worse for everybody?  As in the Prisoners' Dilemma, each person settles for a bird in the hand than many birds in the bush.  The less evenly the wealth is distributed, the more each person protects what they have.  The more the economy tanks, the more the "little guy" is going to vote for whomever provides the most immediate relief, regardless of the consequences for the nation.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ben Shapiro on Losing the Debate


We all remember Ben Shapiro as the man that exposed the true nature of Piers Morgan's tactics on national tv.  Many of us might also remember him as the man who, wearing his Harvard baseball cap, interviewed many of the Tinseltown elite on how their political values have influenced the movies and television.

When he says something about winning the debate, I have to admit I'm interested.  He's released a book to Kindle called How To Debate Leftists and Destroy Them.  To let us know what he means by "destroy," he's allowed Amazon to display the following excerpt on how the masters of propaganda destroyed Romney, in terms of what the impressions of the average joe who distills his political knowledge from sound bites:

 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

T-Shirt Biz Speaks Truth to Power

Is there a sudden market for conservative t-shirts?  Apparently Bad Idea T-Shirts has upset liberals for responding to the market and trading their anti-conservative and anti-Obama t-shirts.
We're equal opportunity offenders. We've got what you need to reflect your political persuasion no matter what it is. We don't pick sides..our customers do and they love our anti obama shirts. Don't email us telling us that you hate us b/c we don't sell anti republican shirts...and that you were about to buy 6 or 9 but you won't now.....we have sold PRO OBAMA and anti republican designs in the past but they don't sell anymore so we removed them from the site. If you make you choice on politics on who you buy from, I am sure there are 1 or 2 stores out there that would love your money. We can't control you...we can only give you great deals! [excerpted from here; emphasis mine]
Don't brag too loudly about this.  Progressives will try to legislate that t-shirt companies have to sell equal amounts of conservative and liberal T-shirts, like they tried to do when conservative radio was more successful than liberal radio. (They still have NPR, so they can't say their point of view isn't subsidized at all.)



Funny post-script from the political page:

We have shirts like “Back to back World War champs” and “Made in the U.S.A.” that let the world know you’re proud to be American regardless of where you stand on Obama or the debt ceiling. Policy: It’s hard to get rid of an elected official you’re not happy with. But if for some reason you’re not pleased with your order, no problem, just let us know and we’ll set things right. Imagine how fabulous things would be if Washington had a return and exchange policy! [emphasis mine]




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Justin Rosario Pits Sex Ed Against Misogyny

When I was growing up, there seemed to be a general attitude about paternity that in retrospect seems to have transcended the usual ideological boundaries.  It seemed to appeal to liberal feminists and social conservatives alike. The way I usually heard it expressed:  "If a man didn't want to take care of a baby, he should've kept it in his pants."  Last year I came across a little skirmish in the culture war, in which a vitriolic blogger named Justin Rosario distinguishes between pro-lifers who differ with him on two counts and those who differ on one.  The former are, in his opinion, vile misogynists, as you will be able to read in the back-and-forth comments in that post.  
Click picture to enlarge.

The exchange in question apparently got I find this meme a little ironic in this context, because progressives want to force the average working parents and the average middle class parents to send their kids to public school.  If this has any negative effects on the unwed birth rate, then more sex education, more Planned Parenthood graft-driven progressive teaching on sexuality, more government intervention into the shaping of our kids.  The progressives and their ineptocrats help create the problem, take away the options for fixing the problem, and then say, "Ah this proves you need even more of our help!"

Which is similar to what the meme is saying about conservatives.  (It conflates pro-lifers with social conservatives with fiscal conservatives, but hey.)  Based on the meme, one would think that Pro-Choice logic would be consistent with allowing parents to kill children who were less than 1 year old (or whatever age the government's wisdom happened to dictate).  It would certainly mean more food and services for the rest of us.  A lot of problems getting solved. (In fact, that has been the "fourth-trimester abortion" idea that was gaining momentum before the Gosnell horrors.)  In fact we could even give a tax break to those who liquidate their "genetic assets."  Then the government would have that much more to spend on the children that people actually want.

While it's a larger topic requiring a lot more time and energy, suffice it to say that progressives/liberals either do not think that sexual mores among youth changed much between the 50s and 60s, or they think that the changes are due to something other the moral chaos of modern liberalism (i.e. progressive libertinism), or they consider it an inscrutable matter for the sociologists to theorize about. The only answer to this at any rate, in the liberal mind it seems, is increased state involvement in sex education, with the government talking over the sex education because the two-working-parent progressive economy (which would send a tingle up Marx' leg, and Hitler's too) is failing to control unwed births.

Rosario supposedly has a little respect for those silly pro-lifers who, misguided as they are about when life begins, agree to the government takeover of shaping the sexuality of our youth.  (Though I'm sure he can find any number other reasons to hate them if they are socially or fiscally conservative in any way--which is what his site is devoted to.)  Parents, you had your chance!  So even parents who are actually would otherwise do a good job of it, have their roles essentially taken over.  (As Ed Asner would say, "It's the only waaaaaay!")

In Rosario's mind, the pro-lifer either accepts progressive sexual education as legitimate "abortion prevention" or he/she is a misogynist who is out to punish women mercilessly for their sins.  I'm not making this up.  It is interesting because Rosario is trying to expose something he perceives to be in the conservative mind, but what he is really showing is a tactic that has become a habit of thought: the tactic is forcing people to choose between accepting progressive education and being labeled mysogynistic; the cognitive habit is reducing a sense of personal responsibility to a sort of punitive Puritanism.

People like demonizer-at-large Rosario think it's inhumane to "punish" a woman with nine months of pregnancy for a little mistake, but that it's okay to punish a man with many years of servitude/debt for a mistake--if the woman decides on her own to keep the child (in essence creating a de facto "marriage" in which the man has responsibilities but the wife as all the monetary benefits).  This arrangement is just fine in the progressive mind, one supposes, because a man can be held accountable for his actions when he should've "kept it in his pants", whereas a woman can only be a helpless victim of her mistakes.  One wonders whether Rosario would be as offended by the phrase "kept it in his pants" as he would be offended by the phrase "she should've kept her legs together."

Try not to take it too seriously though.  Rosario's bile is the just new elevated tone in Washington.  He probably really believes in his cause so much that he can't believe that one can honestly not want babies to be killed willy-nilly and yet disagree with liberal social policies of state-commandeered morality, to also want a sense of personal accountability.  TO these people, we're all just mean-spirited woman-punishers leading the charge in the War on Women™ (brought to you by CNN).  Rosario's style sort of reminds me of those who want to argue with you about your religion, but not to persuade you, only to feel so good about how right they are... except with a lot more venom:
 Rosario's logo
I find Rosario's logo ironic, since this is exactly the basis on which President Obama was peddled to America the second time around. Boil away all the rhetoric and this is the attitude of the Left: oppose us and that means you are selfish.  Yet they did little but appeal to people's selfishness in 2012.  This idea in this logo is a marketing tool turned way of thinking.  I also find it disingenuous in a deeper sense.  All this consolidation of power at higher levels for "the greater good" is supposedly by the will and consent of the people.  And yet, if that were true, there are enough liberals of every income bracket to make their own charities for healthcare, education, what have you. Participation could be voluntary.  The enormous funds that fed Obama's second campaign are enough to show that.
Statism: Ideas so good they must be mandatory.