Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Punish Your Enemies

Now that Barrack Obama has returned from his victory lap which happened to take him around the world, where he has a considerably higher approval rating than 51%, one thing is certain to last past this campaign is the bitter discord sown by such an abjectly negative campaign. The domestic distrust and loathing of Obama is quite the reverse in the wider world. After all, why wouldn't some nascent despot like Morsi of Egypt enjoy Obama when it leads to a check and more power? Barack Obama may have soundly alienated almost half the country, but division is seen as a good thing by this president and these Democrats. A riven America is seen by the left as easier to distract and control. So control is key, but it can only be done through the Liberal Media Complex, now that the campaign ads have vanished.

I must dine on some crow here. I felt Romney would win and the Liberal Media Complex would be sundered. No such luck. The LMC is now preening like peacock. In their minds, they feel they are responsible for getting Obama across the finish line. In truth, I think they're right. Albert Kesselring, Erwin Rommel's commander in North Africa used think that the Desert Fox's myth, legend, propaganda etc . . . was worth at least two good panzer divisions. There weren't too many other reasons propaganda minister Goebbels lent him a cameraman as a permanent member of his staff during his time in the Afrika Korps. Using this admittedly rough calculation, if the LMC added at least two to three percent to Obama's vote total, then subtracting that would just put Romney ahead of Obama in total votes. If you pull that 1-2 million votes from Obama's total in close states like Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire etc . . . then Romney wins.

I don't want to go down the trail of what ifs' because I think for America, now, there are much bigger issues in the domain of political discourse. The LMC has tremendous power and they used it to secure the outcome they wanted. As an added benefit of fighting the battle against the right, they have a whole set of propaganda weapons for the next four years.

In a radio interview, long before the 2012 campaign, Barack Obama said the goal is to "reward our friends" and "punish our enemies." Because of Solyndra and other boondoggles, we know how the Obama folks are rewarding and will be rewarding their friends. One can almost here the cry, "Government cash for all my friends!" However, more pertinent now is the other side of the coin. Punishing one's enemies reached a crescendo during the recent campaign and looks to continue for the rest of Barack Obama's term as president. The evil rich who won't pay their "fair" share (though Democrats seem always to have shifting definition of fair) has been around for some time.

It first started with Occupy Wall Street. Cleverly started a year before the actual campaign, it was the media created antidote to the Tea Party. The arrests, the Marxism, drugs, vandalism, Anarchism and the smell were all neatly repackaged by the LMC as a viable, reasonable, critique of America that had merit. Also it attacked the underlying premise of capitalism, that some earn more than others. When some asserted the right to make more than others, they were attacked as elitist, arrogant and greedy. The cry of fairness was howled, but specifics were scarce. How dare those people earn more than other members of the community? Where's a community organizer when you need one? As it happened, the President was more than happy to say he "sympathized" with the astro turf rabble. This Marxist backdrop paid dividends during the campaign as Romney was constantly hammered as an elitist, arrogant, greedy member of Bain Captial, which was portrayed in ads as a financial descendant of the SS, laying waste to whole towns and killing people by annihilating local companies.

Today and for the rest of Barrack Obama's term, we will have the war on capitalism. Right now there's a debate about raising taxes on the wealthy. But who's rich? Derek Jeter pulling in $25 million a year. That's wealthy. Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle buying a Hawaiian island. That's wealthy. But that's only an extremely small portion of America, so the definition must be broadened to folks, who don't have private jets or second homes etc. . . Still,  punishing anyone with a relative modest amount money helps move the ball toward the Marxist goal. As the father of the Tea Party, Rick Santelli remarked "Everything is political now." Wealth, capital, money whatever you call it has been politicized in an extremely damaging fashion. There is no telling where this will stop, nor how far it will go. Anyway, the LMC has a story of those evil rich people and that is all that matters. The goodness of sharing/Marxism is touted to lead to societal nirvana. That is, at least, until the government needs more money to keep the absurd welfare state afloat, which will be probably in February or March when the debt ceiling is pierced.

Second stop on this tour of the Democrat media arsenal has to be the "war on women." It's opening salvo was delivered by Clinton flack George Staphanoupolous against Mitt Romney during a Republican debate in New Hampshire. The topic was banning contraception and that puzzled Romney, who couldn't fathom the reason for the question. He and America would soon find out.  Weeks later, on the scene  arrived the flagrantly fabricated Sandra Fluke. The Georgetown law student claimed her sex life would leave her destitute without government funded contraception. A faux congressional hearing, a comforting call from the president, and, of course, huffy-puffy indignant Democrats completed a media tableau that had televised hairdos wringing their hands at the plight of this poor every woman. So a crusade was launched. Suitable male targets were identified. After all, a "war" has to have an enemy. As inevitable Hollywood lovelies showed up, the issue of contraception was dwarfed by the "control of our bodies" theme. Hot bodies can get steamed when some evil right winger wants seize control of their bodies. What escaped these vapid vamps was that Obamacare was and is the biggest grab for "control of our bodies" ever; not some guy on the radio making sex jokes or some fumbling old pol in a debate. Obamacare rips decisions of care away from doctors and patients, shreds the freedom of religion and staggers the balance sheet of a nation teetering on the brink of insolvency. However, to the LMC, the cartoon villains have been found and they are Men! Any criticism of any female in public life now brings the LMC back to the "war on women." See Paula Broadwell or even Susan Rice on this recently. Expect this attack to be around forever or, at least, until another slick Democrat President gets caught with a panting intern in the White House again and the LMC can't hide the fact that the Democrats have their fair share of misogynists.

The third ginned up lambaste would be white racism. I doubt I have to explain this one further. Obama gives his cue usually a marginally subtle quip with "people like me." Then the slobbering zombies of MSNBC commence babbling about codes, dog whistles, Area 51 etc . . . All assertions put forth are usually unprovable, but we should just trust them anyway. This offensive helped Obama throughout his first term for attack and distraction. In the recent campaign, it yielded fresh dividends as the scope of white racism was expanded to include Hispanics by plugging in the immigration issue. Only the government can force whites to stop discriminating was a line that was just below arguments for equal pay, health care and education. This back to the sixties theme was rehashed over and over, though most of the racial ills of the sixties are gone.

When the Democrats spoke of Republicans turning back the clock to the 1950's, it wasn't about Ozzie and Harriet suburban nostalgia. The 1950's is now seen as evil in all senses because it was seen as the last decade of the white slave state. Nobody can or should defend slavery or defacto slavery, but it's curious to see Obama take such a high and mighty stand on such an issue and go to Saudi Arabia and grovel before princes who enslave half their population. I guess it all depends if the issue benefits you politically. According to that slobbering sage of MSNBC Chris Mathews even something completely horrific like Hurricane Sandy can be "good." Over a hundred people can die, lives and businesses ruined, billions of dollars lost and this is "good" because this helped Obama get reelected. So slavery can be bad for us, but good for them. Then we simply go along with Saudi slavery  because it's "good" for us.  Obama and the left think they can use the LMC to cover up any glaring inconsistency anyway. I don't it's good in the short term or the long term. A moral compass that is never fixed can offer no guidance as it swings wildly from one position to its' polar opposite. This is why the Obama foreign policy seems so slapdash, but it goes deeper.

When you see people as objects to be coddled or squashed on your own whims, this smacks of sadism since friends and enemies are completely interchangeable. Alternately, the friends are whipped and enemies coddled. So the obliteration of the Jersey Shore is celebrated as "good" and the Saudi female en slavers are lauded. Vladimir Putin is schmoozed and Aun Sung Su Ky flipped off. If it's just about the exercise of power over someone, then it matters little who is being crushed good or bad.

There is a soullessness about Barack Obama. Sometimes, he seems like a sadistic little boy squeezing the paw of a kitten named America until it yells. You can't tell me someone who sows such bitter division really cares for this country. After all, what is the grand goal of Obama in a second term. There is none. What were all these vicious attacks for? Everybody I know, Democrat and Republican are heartily sick of the negative attacks. I can't see them being that effective going forward, but if Obama and his allies are political sadists, how could they change? Of course, Obama and the Liberal Media Complex are supremely confident they can use these sadistic tools and come away unscathed. I'm not so sure. Can a man swim in a sea of sadism and step out of it good?

On a larger scale, if all you want to do is "punish your enemies" on a national level, what does that produce in the nation as a whole? Stripping away the soul of a country and inserting a sadistic core can only lead to disaster. Remember that De Sade was a product of the French Revolution, which led to a national bloodbath and then to Napoleon who set the the entire continent on fire for the next two decades. A soulless nation can collapse on itself, consume itself or it can fling itself like a plague on the rest of the world or it could do both like France. Time will tell which way this nation goes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A debt paid

As the year wound down with the recent fracas over the payroll tax extension, America saw the sloppy back and forth of what passes for political dialogue these days. At the end of the dust up, Obama preened though his demand to tax those evil millionaires and billionaires to pay for his tax cut vanished. His pals in the press declared him the "winner" and off he jetted to Hawaii.

In the course of this mud-slinging, there was one interesting point when Obama called on the Congress to pass his tax plan to, in effect, live up to the standard set by veterans returning from the Iraq War. While this might seem an uncomfortable reversal of the maxim that domestic politics stops at the waters edge, remember this is a president that wages wars according to his domestic reelection schedule. Using live troops as a political cudgel to smack Republicans in the middle of some relatively minor tax spat, is simply business as usual. However, something seemed more askew in this reference. Barack Obama loves to soak up the adulation of the crowds and then use them, but what of those who can't be in the crowds? What of those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan? What does their loss mean? What did they die for? With U.S. headed for the exits in both wars, don't we owe the dead at least that much?

With Iraq blanketed by bombings mere days after Obama met with Prime minister Maliki, the war that ended seemingly goes on. With Maliki issuing an arrest warrant for a governing coalition partner, a Sunni Vice President, the newly hailed stable democratic government appears unstable and rather undemocratic. In Afghanistan, due to a friendly fire incident, (or maybe not so friendly) Pakistan refuses to let shipments of fuel and supplies through to the United States and it's allies in Afghanistan. Though the U.S. has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2002, in fact the United States overthrew them, we now hear from Vice President Joe Biden that the Taliban is not our "enemy per se." Rather than try to figure out what Biden means, (which may well be impossible) I'll let that statement stand. Asked to describe the future of Afghanistan recently, a Marine general replied "I don't know." Who can blame that response, since Obama has insisted on his own political strategy independent of the soldiers and their military strategy. What was the point of a surge in Afghanistan anyway if the end game was to simply declare victory and get out? This starts to have that old Vietnam flavor which is where the phrase "Declare victory and get out" came from originally. We all know how that war ended. We can go on about the ramifications of this current chaotic war effort like bases lost, geopolitical threats and countries falling like dominoes and perhaps this applies to Iraq and Afghanistan as well, but who pays the cost of all this? Who pays the debt? In this case, it's Steven Gutowski.

I never knew Steven Gutowski. I don't know his family. Nor would I ever write about his loss in a public forum except for one fact: he wanted you to know about his death. If he died his instructions were "Talk to the media, bury him in Bourne and throw the biggest party Plymouth has ever seen."

On September 29th, Gutowski was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The bomb exploded under a truck Gutowski was in with two other soldiers, who were also killed. His job in this war was one even those far from the fighting have heard of. He was "tasked with finding improvised explosive devices [and] had already survived two explosions." His was the deadliest job. "He grew up very quickly." his mother said. He also recovered "the bodies of 30 Navy SEALs killed in an August 6th helicopter crash in Afghanistan." This was taken from a piece in the Boston Herald by Natalie Sherman.

Gutowski didn't like his job. "I hate it." he wrote, but he kept doing it. Call that strength. Call it courage. Call it simply devotion. To have the fierce devotion to do this extremely hazardous job and not quit; this is a strength far greater than any physical kind. On a larger scale, his strength gave the United States a chance to stop the Taliban from harboring Al Quaeda. His strength gave the United States a chance to help Afghans establish a government free from the brutal elements that enslave, beat and maim half their population. His strength stopped Al Quaeda from using Afghanistan as a base to strike at places like New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. His strength meant that no more children were ever going to ask why their mother or father had gone to work on a fine September morning and were slaughtered. And his strength gave the United States a base to strike and kill Osama Bin Laden, so that there will never be another 9-11 from that foul source.

However true all this may be, the final and more succinct words of his strength belong to someone much closer to Steven Gutowski: his mother. She said "My son wanted to make sure the country and the state of Massachusetts and this town realizes that they just lost a proud soldier and a hero who was over there fighting for them, for their freedom." In Greek myths, fallen heroes are placed in the night sky as constellations to commemorate their deeds. Steven Gutowski saw that same night sky in Afghanistan. "1 cool thing about this place, on a clear night in some places u can see the arm of the Milky Way." He and the more than 4,400 men and women who died belong in that night sky. Also, the troops, live or dead, deserve a president who will not use them as a dodge, a hustle or a prop to smack rival politicians.

By the way, all the sentiments expressed here about the moronic politicians running these wars are entirely my own. The debt paid by Steven Gutowski and those who fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan is entirely their own. To them, under the free night sky, I say, thank you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A rather simple choice

I must admit I find this sturm and drang of this political season endlessly fascinating. In spite of this, there is a feeling that this was all really foretold. By this I mean that when Obama promised change, I believe a large chunk of people didn't really believe he could do it. The words about "spreading the wealth," remaking our economy" and "reaching out to our enemies"
were deemed momentary political posturing. However, with a Democrat Congress, Obama pushed ahead with his neo-Marxist agenda. Some voted for a guy who spouted the touchy feely talk of the left, but felt he would likely govern from the center, like Bill Clinton. Oh, how wrong they were.

You see to tack to the center, one has to believe that the system of parties, law and government in this country is essentially good. You simply move the furniture around in the house of government, not blast out walls to change things. Barack Obama was and is not that kind of man. His point of reference never was the government or laws and not really even the Democrat party. It is only himself. In his eyes, the American system has only worked once; when he was elected president.

I'll spare you the litany of sins America has committed over the years, though it is interesting that all of any degree get elevated to practically genocide level, as if no group in world history except America had ever wronged another. Still, it is amazing to me that a man purporting to be a constitutional law teacher has forgotten the most important and obvious lesson of America. John Adams put it in a way that has rarely been surpassed describing America as a "government of laws, not of men." The democratic system, not the people who run it, is the good in American government.

It's funny that ancient Rome used to have a slave whisper in the ear of a conquering general "you are only mortal." This poke at pride had a practical purpose. The republic and later the empire didn't want those powerful servants looking to themselves as the power of Rome. Of course, we know now that was the chief fault of Rome: generals who, though their armies did become the power/law of Rome. Obama seems headed in the same direction. He seeks to make all power personal.

Let's start with the Justice Department. The New Black Panther Party sends hoods to intimidate voters on his behalf on election day 2008. When Obama assumes power, the case is dismissed. The Gulf oil spill seems to highlight the confused uncoordinated response of the White House to a crisis. The solution: Eric Holder threatens criminal charges against BP. Any episode that casts a bad light on this administration whether accidental or not is deemed a personal attack on the power of Obama, demanding a counter-attack.

With Obamacare, the Health Insurance companies quite predictably raised rates after being forced to take people with chronic diseases, dependents until their 26 etc . . . This rather predictable display of the market undercut the fuzzy hope and change feeling promised with health care reform. More people covered means higher rates. Duh! So what happens when Team Obama sees their power undercut? Kathleen Sebelius threatens insurance companies for doing what any fool could see was going to happen. On a personal note, my premium went up 32%. Like a bed pan, that's change I'd like to relieve in.

Shall we move onto foreign policy? Israel is one country that doesn't seem to enjoy depending on The One. After the Jerusalem housing dust up, when VP Gaffe Master arrived in the Middle East, the White House sought to punish Israel through a variety of snubs, none too effective. It seems there is a resentment and fear in this White House that Israel will actually stand up to Iran militarily. Obama detests the fact that Israel seems to have realized from day one of his administration that they were on their own. Scolding by Obama had no effect on the Jewish state. Now Obama is attempting to restart talks with Iran in a desperate attempt to have some negotiations going on in the hopes that Israel won't attack Iran while yapping persists. This could be Obama's vanity playing him for a fool. Israel won't be held hostage to some public relations dodge.

Israel knows it's finished once Iran gets a bomb. With Obama stuffed shirt Richard Holbrooke, sucking up to Iranians at this very moment and ally Hamid Karzai admitting he's on Tehran's payroll, it's easy to see why the Mullahs, flush with these wins, decide to take a shot at Israel. What's hard to see is any benefit to being pals with this administration, especially when you're facing genocide. In sum, it's better to oppose America than be friends. Israel will go this route soon. After the election, it could be bombs away over Iran. Obama will be ticked, but after the drubbing he takes on November 2nd, Israel will ignore a weakened President more concerned with his own reelection.

Last has to be my cynical favorite: the failed $800 billion stimulus. It saved or created 3 million jobs according to the Democrat talking points. Too bad five out six of those jobs were government jobs. Scant help for the private sector accompanied this obscene money toss. What's more interesting now is that one in seven American workers who works for a paycheck is a state or local government worker. If we update Calvin Coolidge's phrase "The business of America is business," obviously the word government must be inserted into that phrase. As long as Ben Bernake keeps those printing presses humming, we can just "spend our way out of recession" can't we? Try that with your credit card bill. Obama still insists the stimulus was a success, but what Democrat is running election ads touting the stimulus? Answer: zero, but for Obama to admit failure saps his power or perceived power.

This is what the Tea Party is rebelling against: an Obama directed assault on this market economy for the enhancement of his personal power. Long after the 2012 election, we'll be left with the repercussions of his power grab in Marxist garb. At stake, isn't a government takeover of the economy, it's the government becoming the entire economy. As the dollar skids, this is a direct reflection of the fact that the economy is not companies like Walmart or Apple, but instead is the U.S. federal, state and local government. You don't have to buy an I-phone, but you must pay your taxes, which will increase next year. Walmart can undercut the competition, but the government can directly regulate them out of existence, like the student loan business.

For these reasons and more, this election is a rather simple choice. Republicans, certainly, are no prize bull here. However, as someone said to me "This is really a choice between Socialists(Republicans) and Marxists (Democrats)" It is a rotten choice, but to stop the Marxist agenda is a start. Come November 2nd, the choice will be made.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just look in the mirror

Ernest Hemingway said once that to live and thrive in the world, one needs a "finely honed crap detector." When this was said years ago, if may have seemed overly blunt, but certainly on target. Today this device is an absolute necessity, especially when listening to Barrack H. Obama. His recent attack speech on Wall Street may have been useful in a short term political sense, but it further illustrates why this president has a large and growing credibility gap.

By implying all Wall Street until now has been "bilking" America is a lie to say the least. Obviously, people lose money in markets. Obviously, people lie and commit fraud in this and other markets. When the SEC isn't ogling porn, they catch them and send them to jail. If Obama doesn't like the fact we have fraud in some markets, perhaps we should just abolish markets and have [drum roll please] communism. Perhaps I should take this back since he's already to taken this suggestion far too seriously.

Obviously, a man like Obama with such a limited understanding of capital markets really only embraces Will Rogers investing: "Only buy stocks that go up." To ideologue Obama, losing money is fraud, somebody betting against you dishonest, and people making more money you is not "fair." Funny, didn't JFK, the last decent Democratic president have something to say on this point? His quote was: "life is not fair." People lie and commit fraud all the time with little or no consequence. Ball players like Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Miguel Tejada etc. . . lied and committed fraud and never went to jail or forfeited one dime. And they continue to ply their trade. (though with Ortiz , who knows how much longer.) Back to politics, Barrack Obama said he wouldn't take private money for his campaign, but then he did. And lo and behold, the fraud was elected president. Barrack Obama raised cigarette taxes which raised taxes on those making less than $150,000 a year. Yes, politicians break promises all the time, but Obama has lied about breaking this promise ever since. One standard seems to apply to Democrats and another to everyone else.

Take this financial reform for instance. It doesn't even mention Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which provided most of the sub-prime loans that those "evil" Wall Street firms then repackaged, sold or shorted. In other words, the gasoline that caused our financial house to burn down is still lying around waiting to catch fire again. And this is touted as "real reform?" As we'll see later Obama and the Democrats have good reason for exempting Fannie and Freddie. But now, what about the banks themselves?

Are these banks still too big to fail? According to the bill, the government will simply step in and bail them out again. Doesn't this sound reminiscent of the mess we just got out of? The obvious threat of large institutions flopping and the taxpayer picking up the tab is still very much alive. This bill doesn't address that point at all. In fact, by creating a $50 billion dollar bailout fund, some might be further encouraged to make risky investments and again have the government clean up the mess. Also, chew on this: the first bailout of AIG was over $80 billion. That was just the initial bailout. So this bailout fund will be like fighting a house fire with a garden hose -next to useless. Right now, the government is already on the hook for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to the tune of over $400 Billion. Sad to say, but in bailout terms $50 billion is chump change.

Speaking of Freddie and Fannie, it is interesting that Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff was on the board of Freddie Mac. Should he give back his his $320,000 in salary and his $100,000 from sale of stock for helping run Freddie into the ground? Of course not! That would identify him as one of those dreaded Wall Street fat cats that the President is always decrying. No one wants Rahm to get in any trouble. After all, he wants to be the mayor of Chicago and we all know how spotless the reputation of that office is. Rahm also snatched $51,000 from Fannie and Freddie serving in Congress, after his stint with Freddie. My favorite taker of the cash from Fannie and Freddie has to be Democratic representative Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania. Kanjorski, a regular on CNBC, is chairman of the subcommittee overseeing Fannie and Freddie. He grabbed $65,000 in campaign cash from Fannie and Freddie. That sure is some oversight! Please ignore that politician with "his pants down and money sticking in his hole" as Lou Reed used to sing. Sure Obama could get off his lazy duff, walk down the hall at the White House and collar his very own fat cat, but he really doesn't have to go even that far. Who was the third largest collector of campaign cash from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all time? That's right: Barrack H. Obama.

Let's dig on this more. The other campaign cash hogs were Chris Dodd and John Kerry. Dodd was elected to the Senate in 1980. Kerry was elected in 1984. Both of these tainted money boys have been in Washington for 28 and 24 years respectively. So they had been on the Fannie and Freddie money train for awhile. Dodd collects $133,900 and Kerry grabs $111,000. Dodd, by the way, is the principal author of this financial "reform" bill. Certainly, no reason for him to leave Fannie and Freddie unmentioned.

So here comes Barrack Obama elected in 2004. He serves less than 4 years and heists $105,000! He certainly bilked Freddie and Fannie fast. Forget returning the Goldman campaign contributions for Goldman is still solvent. Will Obama give back the campaign cash from Freddie and Fannie? That money could go right back into the U.S. Treasury now that Fannie and Freddie are broke, Call it sharing the wealth, paying back the tax payer dime or just doing the right thing. If Obama really wants find one of the fat cats responsible for this financial mess, all he has to do is look in the mirror.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Afghanistan Lost

Do I sound like Harry Reid? The Nevada Senator referred to the Iraq war as lost during the debate on President Bush's surge in Iraq. Unlike Harry Reid and his exercise in wishful thinking, I have no desire to see the U.S. fail in Afghanistan. I believe failure there would mean someday we would have to return and pacify that country all over again. Also, unlike Harry Reid I do not wish the Obama Administration take the wrong course in this war. I have made my thoughts plain as to what I felt was the right way: an increased force size backed by a larger U.S. Army with no timetable so our enemies could not plan around our thrust. Also, unlike Harry Reid, I believe we have chosen to lose this war, not been defeated on the battlefield.

It's been a little over two weeks since current President Obama visited Afghanistan in drive-thru fashion. Following, the usual Obama lecture and a few pictures, he was gone. Sadly the few photos and the brief discussion of this vital issue quickly disappeared in the next issue du jour and then the next.. First, came a phony off shore drilling proposal, followed by an appeasement arms control deal with Russia and finally, a Potemkin village dressed up as nuclear security summit. These were calculated gimmicks all. Transitory fluff aimed at obscuring a train wreck in progress.

Bill Clinton and Dick Morris pioneered the issue of the day mode of operation back in the nineties. The big difference is that the Clinton issues were minor and at worst, guilty of the usual left wing condescension and time wasting. School uniforms springs to mind. With Obama, the ante has been upped. Minor distractions no longer suffice. If the issues that distract America from a war she will lose, be large and complex, then so much the better. It does not matter in Obama's mind that America has stripped itself of missile defense or that foreign energy dependence is disguised or that banter about Chile replaces confronting Iran. All that matters is that a war that will be lost in two years time is given a quick push to the side. Then we're off to the next propaganda item.

Make no mistake this war is not being lost by the troops. Even now, U.S. troops and allies have made large strides in controlling former hot spots, but this is for naught. President Obama has declared that the United States will give up, turn tail and run and leave our Afghan allies twisting in the wind in two years. It's no wonder that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is talking about joining the Taliban. In two years, Kabul will be back under Taliban control. Obama will try to time the withdrawal near the 2012 election. This may work politically, but after the election, Mullah Omar and his pal Usama Bin Laden will be back in their old haunts. This will obviously be a large complex problem for Obama's second term (provided he lies well enough to get one) but he won't really care. He'll never face the voters again.

Am I too cynical?(perish the thought!) Take the example of sainted FDR and the Invasion of North Africa in 1942 during World War II. Lagging in the polls, FDR urged the generals to invade before the November Congressional elections. The generals informed the Democratic president that they weren't ready to invade. Lacking a positive event to spin, FDR and the Democrats watched as the Republicans made hefty gains in the Congressional elections. Trading lives for spin isn't new, but usually those who do have done so tend to have been Nazis or Communists, i.e. the political extremists.

Nowadays, Obama is often called a Communist/Marxist for his economic policies. By touting "social justice" and telling people what's "fair" he seeks to level society swiping from one class and giving to another, creating a group dependent on his stolen handouts. This fairly straightforward communist money grab has been widely commented on. Obama has reacted like a brazen hussy caught in a cat house by in effect saying "Who me a commie?" I'll let others fry the chief executives fish regarding the "share the wealth" con. My concern here is for the men and women who fight a war in Afghanistan that Obama has already thrown in the towel. Coincidentally or not, here too Obama is following a communist game plan. Remember who the last invader of Afghanistan was?

In his book, The Great Gamble, Gregory Feifer details the savage, insipid attempt by the communist Soviet Union to subdue Afghanistan. At first, there wasn't much resistance when the Soviets first invaded in 1979, but soon there was a fierce guerrilla war raging in the hills and mountains of Afghanistan. Gradually, the Soviets began to make headway. By the mid eighties, the Soviet trained Afghan Army was actually effective when used in tandem with Soviet forces. Fighting had become even more intense, yet the Soviets were "gaining the upper hand in the war." Then Soviet leader Gorbachev ordered the military to wrap up the war in one to two years. In December 1986, Gorbachev met with Najibullah, the Afghan communist leader to tell him that the Soviets would completely withdraw in two years time. In February 1989, a little more than two years later, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan. The mujahedin quickly began to fight amongst themselves which led to almost complete anarchy. Out of this chaos, rose the Taliban, who subsequently rolled out the welcome mat for Bin Laden. For the record, in 1996, Najibullah was caught by the Taliban in Kabul castrated then beheaded.

It has been said history repeats itself, just not in the same way. In this instance, it seems once the U.S. and other coalition forces pullout, history will take the same path. For now, we are in the pullout stage. Obama may try to stiffen the spine of Hamid Karzai with talk, but Karzai better have his plane tickets for Geneva ready. It's beyond sad the sacrifice that U.S. servicemen and women have made and are being asked to make for a war already categorized as lost. As horrible as the waste our troops and treasure, it's even worse for the Afghans. They get played with this hoax of hope and soon the night of the Taliban will return. Hell is returning to Afghanistan. What is right next door to this future hell hole? That's right, tottering unstable nuclear armed Pakistan. The sheer stupidity, senseless waste and nauseous political grandstanding by the Obama Administration boggles the mind.

Afghanistan never was and probably never will be an easy place to fight a war, but sometimes preventing things like another 9/11 are not easy. Sometimes, it requires decades of time, thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Some people don't want hard answers, but the answers life gives are in accord only to themselves.

Can Karzai survive on his own? Let's let Najibullah answer that one. Perhaps the dead can provide a view that will be illuminating. After a departing Russian Communist general gave him a pep talk, the Afghan Communist had a curt response. "There used to be 100,000 Soviet troops here," Najibullah replied defiantly. "And together with our army they couldn't neutralize the enemy. Now your forces have gone. What can we hope for?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Those who still wait

As the Obama health care takeover grinds to a conclusion, (or not) there has been much focus on expanding health care as if it were a right denied. In truth, your health is your own. This bill seeks to take this away. Dictating behavior, fining, taxing all seem like very much akin to a police state mode-if not Mussolini then perhaps Franco. Maybe, I'm too naive to be scared or perhaps since I've lived (very shortly- thank goodness) in a police state, I know where this is headed. Still, this talk of rights strikes a chord

Are there rights being denied today? Are constitutional rights granted to all American citizens being abridged? Strangely enough steps away from where the anointed one lays his head there are Americans who had no voice in the recent vote in the House of Representatives. If you live in the District of Columbia, you have nothing but a non-voting delegate to represent you. To translate that in airy Obamaspeak, the voice of these people was not heard. Some might think this a paltry issue. If, over half a million Americans with no democratic participation in the debate about the travesty of Obamacare is paltry then America is truly off course. Seems that democratic representation is the sole reason this country exists. If that is violated or ignored, this country is betraying the main reason why it was set up in the first place.

Now, in own wonderful technologically advanced society, the Internet has give us many opportunities to express opinion. However, as the old saw goes, everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. Well, why don't we do something about it. Instead of Obamacare creating complicated, budget-busting, new "rights" to say nothing of the threats of prosecutions if you don't abide by your new "rights, why don't we work on the rights created by Washington, Adams, Hamilton and Jefferson. Let's put out a plan to help bring those into the tent set up by Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and Adams. They've been waiting over 200 years. So, let's hit the practical then the political.

Certainly, D.C. is small relative to other states. So you could attach it to other states like Maryland or Virginia to provide representation. Actually, the southern part of the District was taken back by Virginia in 1847, so Maryland could take northern portion that exists today. However, since the Constitution mandates a Federal seat of government, regardless of what you do you'll need to carve out an area (probably around the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court) that is run by the federal government itself, perhaps by the Dept. of the Interior.

A more daring idea would be to create a new state. The federal area in the center of D.C. would be retained, but the rest of the district plus perhaps the original portion (now Virginia) would constitute a new state. While small its' population would be about the same size as Rhode Island. Statehood would allow the residents full representation in the House as well as much more importantly two senators. Now let's head over to the political.

Even a water walker like Obama, would have trouble doing this one. To create a new state might be too much, but perhaps a swap might be easier. Republicans would fight against a new state that was perceived as likely left leaning. The solution: swap Rhode Island for the new state. (let's call it Columbia) This allows many things, like the number of seats in Congress to remain the same. Presumably, Republicans wouldn't care about switching one set of Democrats for another. And would anybody miss Rhode Island as a state?

Face it Rhode Island's state government is a cesspool of corruption and has been for years. Even bubble-gum-for-brains Patrick Kennedy is quitting representing the state. Word has it that perennial name coaster, dolt Lincoln Chaffee is running again for statewide office. Didn't that guy give himself a lobotomy at some point? Economically, Rhode Island is dog food as well. The unemployment rate was 12.9% in January, third highest in the nation. Those folks really do need some change. Why not slap little rhodey onto Massachusetts and give those who are unrepresented in D.C. the Rhode Island seats in Congress? Obviously, you've got to amend the Constitution. That's tough, but it's been done before. What is so wrong about enfranchising half a million Americans?

This is about a simple choice. Do we fix the concrete problems of America or do we try to use Marxist tactics to live in some Rube Goldberg dystopia? Is the American way about asset theft, thousands more IRS agents, government health files on everybody and a bankrupt budget? Or is the American way giving democratic song to those Americans who hear the music everyday, but cannot sing?

Monday, February 15, 2010

If it's not working, keep talking

The Tiger Woods recent televised confessional contained a revelation for me. There was nothing intriguing about the props, aside from the fact that his wife wasn't there. The content wasn't especially novel. The way of delivery wasn't anything new either. Mere days later, President Obama used the same method in his weekly internet address to flog his increasingly stale health care revamp. Now Obama didn't have an audience of potted plants like Woods, but perhaps he could have used Michelle to give him a big smoochie teary kiss, like Woods got from Mom. One might think, gosh, somebody loves this guy, so his health care plan can't be so bad. That, at least, would have spiced up yet another plodding dull Marxist/Leninist Health Care 101 lecture.

The thing that struck me is how the set piece speech is now almost worthless as communication device on great issues. The heavy scripting has so reduced the information value, that it's no wonder most Americans have little interest or time to waste on these artifacts of the past. In a world on twitter, we only want the most important fact and it must be conveyed in the shortest possible form. Lies, dodges and evasions seem ever more blatant. Even a day later Obama could put no price tag on his increasingly costly boondoggle. A trillion? two trillion? The CBO cannot even venture a guess at the final cost of Obamacare.

So with these speeches, airy generalities and verbose phrases begin to seem not dull, but offensive, as if someone is committing a crime. Interruption becomes a necessity. Joe Wilson may be pioneer in this sense. Some would say this exposes an obvious loss in civility and this probably is true, but should one willing be silent for such drivel? I guess the tactful path would be not even to bother showing up. If someone is going to, at best use you as a prop or at worst lie with your seeming approval, then absence is probably warranted.

The Republicans now face such a choice with the Obama Tax Increase Commission and the Health care negotiations. If they want join Obama in land of vague babble and lies, they can and may gain something from it, though what I cannot fathom. Whatever they decide, the obvious manipulated nature of these things means like the set piece speech, the script has already been written. A beginning, middle and end has been drafted and the Republicans simply have to show up. Does anyone think the Republicans get the role of the good guys in this production?

The opposition party has a duty only to oppose, nothing more. Plans are laid out, so that America has an idea of an alternative path, but the job of passing the agenda lies in the majority. The fetish of bipartisanship as a goal in itself embraces only imbecility. If one side simply caves to the other, that's not America. That's Hitlers' Germany, Chavezs' Venezuela or Castros' Cuba. As Lloyd Cutler used to say " America was founded by dissidents and smugglers" Why should we lose our independence and our probing minds for something of undefined effect and with untold cost?

At the bottom line, America has thrived on substance. Yes, we've had lots of pretty words along the way, but all words that meant something had a direct substantive effect. In other words, they were almost mathematical in their precision and scope. The Gettyburg Address, FDRs' Pearl Harbor speech, JFKs' go to the Moon speech and Reagans' Tear down this Wall speech. All described the state of affairs, a plain goal and a way to reach it. The goals may have been extremely hard to reach, but the stakes were acknowledged and the speeches lent solemnity to decisions that almost all felt must be made. The humanity of these individuals shines through those speeches because the purpose rang true. How was this so? Those were all set piece speeches and yet any one of them has the sense, the feel of an intimate almost extemporaneous conversation. Tiger Woods and President Obama give speeches drenched in artifice, pretense and simulation. The speeches of Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan and FDR had no need or time for pretense. The enormous issues of their day were duly understood and confronted with speeches that were not only well made, but direly needed.

Perhaps I mourn for the loss of such speeches. Almost three decades ago Walter Ong noted the rise of secondary orality, speech based only on written words. Long before "talking points" became household words, Ong noted this shift and something else. There was still a desire or perhaps need for primary orality or speech alone with no props or printed words or reminders. Obama himself decries talking points in speeches and yet that negative attitude about the medium is now a talking point. This is why the speeches of our ancestors have vanished. We have speeches exclusively about speeches. This serves only as cover or concealment for an agenda most people don't want.

When we see reversion to the primary oral form, the truth can be revealed quickly in resonant fashion. Think of two examples from the 2008 campaign. Obama's "share the wealth" comment revealed a decided Marxist/Leninist bent, now proudly displayed. The possessors (i.e whoever is the target that day) should tithe, donate, invest, etc . . . to the disposed. The dictatorship of the Politically Correct decide how resources of the society are to be allotted, not the individual or the merits of ability. Yes, Comrade, central control is best for all.

While John McCain had many more revealing unscripted moments, his snap decision to suspend his campaign revealed his primary orality actually seemed to dictate his decisions. The stream of conscious oral formulation gave McCain an appeal, but showed a mind heavily influenced by intuition. In the chaotic environment of the fall of 2008, this characteristic reflected poorly on him and he subsequently began a drop in the polls from which he never recovered.

For Obama, talk is the goal in itself, until someone else caves or something else happens. This almost mimics a pick up artist at party. He works the room until a willing accomplice is found or prospects dry up and he goes to another party. Above all for Obama, if it's not working, keep talking. The Narrative (I predict this word will eventually be as loathsome as "mission statement") must be continually pushed to dominate the national discourse and to stiffen the spine of an increasingly wobbly Democratic Party, that perhaps is not sold on the idea of Obama running for re-election in 2012. Unfortunately, dullness has set in. President Obama has become one long boring ineffectual scold. In the age of Twitter, this President is digging his own political grave, unless Republicans decide to help dig him out. They would be better served to let him keep talking.