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“How You Like Me Now?”

I confess, I was having a hard time getting too worked up over the leaked DOJ White Paper describing the legality of the Administration policy for assassinating American citizens abroad who are supposedly actively working against our interests. But then I was asked by a serious person I take seriously to write about it “from a lawyer’s perspective”.

So I read it, and I find myself in what seems to me to be an odd place with regard to it: opposing another lawyer who I respect a lot…Mark Levin. Earlier this week, I was listening to Mr. Levin when I was driving home from work, and he was talking about how he thinks that the media that is actually talking about it (as the usual suspects have been expectedly silent on the matter) is wrong, and that as a Constitutional scholar, he has no problem with it. As I listened with a measure of surprise to him talking about it, I wondered what it was that was in the white paper that left him so unconcerned about it (because I hadn’t yet read it). My takeaway was that the conservative media’s opinion on it tries to take war off the battlefield and put it in the courtroom, which is what we expect the left to do, with the abortive attempt to give Kalid Sheik Mohammed a civilian trial, and to have civilian proceedings for GITMO detainees as well, and because these al-Qa’ida leaders, US Citizens or not, are trying to kill us.

I remain unconvinced, largely because in this case, Mr. Levin is wrong. (And with this statement, my chance to ever have him sign my copies of Men In Black, and Liberty and Tyranny go straight down the toilet.) And someone needs to say so, even if he is unlikely to take notice, or care.

Why is the estimable Mr. Levin wrong?  I’m glad you asked.

First, the KSM trial, and a lot of GITMO detainees are NOT citizens.  I know it has been Demcong policy for decades to devalue the worth of citizenship, spearheaded by their constant attempts to give away many of the benefits to those who have not earned it, or made any attempt to lawfully attain it, and bolstered by their constant cultural attempts to balkanize us with “identity politics” and the inevitable hyphens that accompany it, and their moral relativism, which stubbornly maintains that there is nothing exceptional about being American, and there is nothing that makes our culture better than anyone else’s, despite the sometimes frantic attempts people from other nations will make to come here, and live and breathe FREE.  But if the essence of American conservatism is an appreciation of the freedoms we have guaranteed to us, then it also means that citizenship means something. 

This isn’t a new idea, and it isn’t even a uniquely American idea.  In the Bible, the Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen.  His ministry was offensive to Rome, and in some cases, breached the Pax Romana…an offense worthy of death for those who weren’t citizens.  But in Paul’s case, it meant that he had rights that not every person who lived in the Roman Empire had.  Among those were the right of a citizen to not be summarily executed on the authority of a government functionary.  And today, nations recognize that citizenship affords rights and privileges, and these are not casually given away to those who do not have that status.  Heck, even Mexico treats its citizens much differently than non-citizens.  Don’t believe me?  Try to sneak into their country along their southern border.  Accepting the idea that any citizen can be targeted for assassination on the say so of the President, or “an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government”, even within the framework of the test set forth in the White Paper is unacceptable because it further cheapens the concept of citizenship.

Mr. Levin is also wrong with his argument that to oppose the practice and adhere to the idea of due process is trying to drag war into the courtroom the same way that leftists would like.  Resistance to an assassination protocol for American citizens is distinguishable from an abortive and ill-conceived attempt to try KSM in Manhattan if for no other reason than KSM is NOT an American citizen, and as such does not have the same due process rights as a citizen.  While there are instances where a representative of the government may end up killing a citizen without due process, those situations are NOT necessarily ones where death of that citizen is the reason why that action is taken.  Suicide by cop doesn’t happen because the cop has marked the citizen for death.  It happens because that citizen (or not, in some cases)  does something to deliberately put someone else in danger, and the police have to act in order to protect the public, or themselves.  A U.S. citizen who is on a battlefield shooting at our forces could likewise expect that they are going to be killed, but again, the difference is that there was not a mission planned and dedicated to the sole purpose of ending that citizen’s life.

The White Paper itself sets forth the following test for determining if it’s ok for our federal government to snuff a U.S. citizen in a foreign country:

“In the view of these interests and practical considerations, the United States would be able to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen, who is located outside the United States and is an operational leader continually planning attacks against U.S. persons and interests, in at least the following circumstances:

(1) where an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States;

(2) where a capture operation would be infeasible—and where those conducting the operation continue to monitor whether a capture operation becomes feasible; and

(3) where such an operation would be conducted with applicable law of war principles.”

Of course, this standard raises all manner of questions that should be asked.  “Who is “an informed, high-level official”?  A Cabinet Officer?  A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?  A czar?  The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service?  The Senate Majority Leader?  The standard as it is set forth in the White Paper is incredibly nebulous.  The Imminent Threat standard as set forth in the White Paper raises questions as well.  On page 7, the White Paper makes clear that this requirement “does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”  While this was followed by a somewhat unconvincing argument that such a burden would reduce American defensive options, the explanation really goes off the rails at the end.

(what constitutes an imminent threat “will develop to meet new circumstances and new threats….It must be right that states are able to act in self-defense in circumstances where there is evidence of further imminent attacks by terrorist groups, even if there is no specific evidence of where such an attack will take place or of the precise nature of the attack.).”

Got that?  We use the word “imminent” without defining it, claim self-defense without having to prove what we’re defending against, because we think that people who don’t like us are going to do something bad, somewhere, at some time.  Sure.  That’s certainly enough to allow government to deprive a citizen of their right without due process.

The next question is “Who is it who is monitoring who decides if capture is feasible?”  This is a fair question, if only because this administration has proven to not necessarily be inclined to give much credence to the military’s recommendation on various operation that it has been tasked to accomplish.  I’m not sure that there is much incentive for the “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” to consider an option that isn’t as easy as using a Predator drone and smoking the citizen.

Finally, if this is “to be conducted with applicable law of war principles”, aren’t we back to bringing the war into the courtroom, just as Mr. Levin wants to avoid?  Hasn’t one of the main arguments against the war in Afghanistan been the rules of engagement that have hampered and even endangered our soldiers?

The White Paper also goes to great lengths to point out that the policy applies to “senior operational leaders of al-Qa’ida or an associated force”.  Who decides who is a senior operational leader?  Who decides what is an associated force?  And why is this process not subject to some kind of oversight?

While the White Paper lays out a legal foundation establishing the legality of this practice sufficient enough to give cover to a Wise Latina Woman or Laney Kagan, I cannot support it, not only for the reasons stated above, but also for the reasons not stated by Mr. Levin, or the authors of the White Paper.

I discussed this for a while with a friend who believes that this policy is just fine, because guys like Al-Zwahiri have “committed treason” against this country, and acted in a fashion that is inconsistent with citizenship by plotting to kill Americans.  My problem with this is that Treason is actually the only crime set forth in the Constitution, and the standard of proof is specifically set forth in the Constitution, in Article 3, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

While treason is punishable by death, unless you are killed in the act of committing it, the state may only impose this penalty if you are convicted of it.   While this standard was drafted before the due process requirements of the 5th and 14th Amendments, it comports with them.  And, unless you are a naturalized citizen, a conviction for treason will NOT result in the loss of your citizenship, as only naturalized citizens may be involuntarily stripped of their citizenship.  The only way for a natural-born citizen to lose their citizenship is by renunciation according to 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5).

Finally, my last objection is my lack of trust in government.  Government has proven to us time and again that there is no power that it won’t abuse at some point.  And we currently have an executive branch that doesn’t respect the Constitution as it is, whether it is determining for itself whether or not Congress is in recess for the purpose of making appointments, or by brazenly declaring that the President decides who is “entitled” to Second Amendment rights.  I would have trouble trusting a different administration with such a nebulous authority to abrogate basic Constitutional rights, let alone one that believes that the President can determine who is entitled to exercise Constitutional rights.  Citizenship means more than that, or we have allowed them to render it worth little or nothing at all.

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“If we are to open employment opportunities in this country for members of all races and creeds, then the Federal Government must set an example…I am not going to promise a cabinet post or any other post to any race or ethnic group.  That is racism in reverse at its worst.  So I do not promise to consider race or religion in my appointments if successful.  I promise only that I will not consider them.” — John F. Kennedy, speech October 17, 1960.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never be a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve certainly experienced racism, but it has not made a great impact on me.  I have always thought, as I got older and older, I was more in charge of who I was.  What someone thought about me or said about me made less of an impression on me at very vulnerable times.” — Robert Guillame

“When I was a kid, we said that we were precluded from going to certain neighborhoods because of the color of our skin…Now the neighborhoods are the neighborhoods of ideas,  you’re not supposed to be there because…of the color of your skin.”– Justice Clarence Thomas

“The really important victory of the civil rights movement was that it made racism unpopular, whereas a generation ago at the turn of the last century, you had to embrace racism to get elected to anything.”–Carol Mosley Braun

Take a few minutes to watch this video.  Take note of the fact that there are black faces and white faces in that crowd.

Those people were there to overcome racism, and see that citizens were not denied their place at the table in society based on the color of their skin.  This is different from being entitled to positions and places because of the color of their skin. 

Unfortunately, this distinction has become muddled.  The right and proper retirement of the notion of “separate but equal” meant that the color of skin was no longer a legitimate basis for the denial the right to participate in society.  Not in education.  Not in accommodation.  Not in opportunities for employment or housing.  Sadly, this concept had to be given life by the force that government would bring to bear in some parts of the country.  Before long, it was not about being able to attend the closest school, as it was in Brown I, but it became about the need to segregate, regardless of proximity.  Before long, we graduated to acceptance of the notion that a certain number of places in graduate level education had to be set aside for people of color, in order to remediate the past unavailability of these positions because of that skin color, and regardless of the fact that it was apparently necessary for only that skin color [The footnotes on the racial makeup of that year’s class accepted to the medical school, Bakke v. University of California] when other minorities were apparently able to achieve admittance without set asides, or the lower standards that characterized them.  We received, and still carry the continuation of Affirmative Action in employment, especially government employment, long after the color line had been erased from existence.  Racial quotas in education have given way to a softer, but still distinct system in “a compelling interest in diversity”, which provides justification in admissions policies that consider race based on an unquantifiable “critical mass” calculation that provides no clear guidance, but enshrines entitlement to admissions into a new status quo, which undermines the notion of merit and the pursuit of excellence based on achievement, and all of society now suffers for it.

It isn’t enough for some that our institutions have surrendered to the concept that race has to be a factor; that betrayal of the vision set forth by the two big martyrs of my parents’ generation would be enough to stain us all with a new stain of racism.  Now we have the more subtle, and insulting belief that these entitlements are necessary because of a presumption that members of that race could not achieve without the entitlement, so benevolently granted and ferociously and jealously guarded by members of a certain political persuasion, who remain steadfastly unwilling to even consider winding down the policy of entitlement, and letting these citizens stand or fall of their own accord.  These villans, who have managed to convince their subjects that their ills are the result of those who would push government back, and allow them to define for themselves what success means to them, practice a far crueller racism than any Klan member or white supremacist ever did.  At least with the Klan and the white supremacist, their racism was upfront, and didn’t extract anything but fear from its victims.  With the liberal, the racism is a kinder, gentler bigotry.  It says “Yes, you have been held back.  But you can enjoy freedom, with my help, and all I ask is that you trust me, elect me, empower me, and I, with the force of government, will make sure you get your fair share.”  And those who think of themselves as victims today did so, and still happily do so.

I’m not saying that real, unreasoning hatred based on race no longer exists.  To do so would be no less foolish than the millions of people seduced by the idea of a society where everything is free.  But such a belief is no longer a fixture of American society.  That died with my generation.  That died when children grew up watching Captain Kirk kissing Lieutenant Uhura in reruns on Saturday afternoons.  Yet today, 40 years after that moment was committed to film, those who have found power in asserting victimhood on behalf of others would have you believe now more than ever that any person who happened to believe the words of those two famous martyrs hides a hooded white robe, rope, a cross, and gasoline in a closet, and is bristling for the chance to bust them out and go crazy with them, simply because they disagree.  Simply because they were foolish enough to believe that character and ability should define achievement, and because they dare to question when government does not deliver excellence, and instead delivers a “social justice” agenda that would infantilize not just the victims, but all of us.

Who will tell my children and my grandchildren that their right to make mistakes, that their right to happen on the next big thing when pursuing their own dreams as set forth by two visionaries who inspired two generations because of the purity of their vision, and of the innate rightness of how it would at last fulfill the promise that gave birth to the freest nation the world has ever countenanced were betrayed by those same people?  Who will explain to them that overcoming hatred would succumb to the ease of accepting, and then demanding what others in society have to earn?  Who will explain to them that overcoming the resistance to granting citizens the same right to make their own destinies as all other citizens succumbed to the cynicism of carving out and dispensing entitlements, all the while making sure that the premise that government intervention was necessary was always front and center in their discussions with the recipients, and was enforced by the savaging of any member of that group who achieved great things for themselves without subjecting themselves to the largesse of their betters, or selling the belief that such largesse was necessary.

The result is that the dream of being judged on the content of character is dead.

It was killed by venality.  It was killed by cynicism.   It was killed by the ease of acceptance.  If there is a silver lining, it is that the constant priming of the racial pump has saturated the culture with a constant focus on race, and the consciousness of the fact that it is new bigots, with the soft tyranny of their lowered expectations who are dividing society, both with their expectation of race-based entitlement, and their constant chorus of “Racism!” whenever they are met with honest questions by the same people they vilify.  The question is are the right people taking note of this new racism, and the insulting premises that it rests on?  Some days I’m not so sure, as demonstrated a short time ago by my fellow-blogger, and I would like to think, friend, Rutherford Lawson, in one of his remarks at his own blog:

Let’s start on the NAACP as an anachronism. Frankly, I’d be happier with a non-race affiliated human rights group intervening in cases of injustice and prejudice. I think the NAACP is past its prime … hell it calls its own people an outdated and almost offensive label (“colored”).

There was a time when blacks got the brunt of the abuse in this country and merited an organization devoted to their defense (or “advancement”). Now I think we need to focus on the advancement of all minorities and under-represented people. As I said on my radio show yesterday, dirt poor whites in West Virginia are just as deserving of advocacy as ghetto blacks. To say any differently is to actually insult the black community that they are somehow the most wretched of all minorities.

Needless to say, my co-host Sandi did not agree.

For those who are unaware, Rutherford is black. (He is also liberal, which is one of the reasons he and I do not see eye-to-eye on many things.  However, he has his moments of remarkable clarity, which is why I haven’t given up on him. :-))  His co-host [for his blog radio show] is a lily-white liberal.  I don’t think they could have made my point better had they tried.  [And in the interests of disclosure, I did try to ask Rutherford for his thoughts on this…twice, to no avail.]

If the trend that has occurred continues, succumbing will lead to surrender.  Surrender to entitlement.  Surrender to double standards.  Surrender to any notion of taking hold of the American Dream.  Surrender to an inevitable balkanization.  Surrender to the idea of a government that will decide for everyone what freedom means, and what liberties we each will have, and to what degree.  Surrender to settling rather than living.  Surrender to a collective indentured servitude rather than a life limited only by your own individual ambitions.  In that way lies madness…and ruin…and power and wealth for those who would exploit it.  That is the real teachable moment of this week…when you allow yourself to be manipulated for someone else’s gain, those people can define what you are not paying attention to.

Think about it.

Is that enough conversation for you, Eric, or do you want to impugn my character a bit more?

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One of the things I have truly enjoyed in starting a dialogue with Rutherford is the opportunity to engage a few leftists who actually make a real attempt to justify their beliefs, and are capable of talking without simply tossing a bomb and leaving. One of these people is the Rutherford regular, Hippieprof.

A few days ago, the Hippieprof tossed out the idea that FOX is an “unbalanced” news source because he has never seen a positive news story on Obama’s successes on it. I suggested that perhaps that would be because there was no success to report. Which then tumbled to his postulation that conservatives never see any of his successes as successes because we only watch FOX and FOX only says that he is a dismal failure. (Yeah, I know that means that he always seems to miss where Juan Williams, Bob Beckel, and other left-leaning spin doctors try to educate the various viewers about all the things the Democrats do right, I was trying to roll with it…), and I asked him what these successes were.

Life was intervening at various points, and the only answer he had time to provide was the appointment of Justice Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. I asked him why he thought this was so, and pointed him to my post “Unfit and Injudicious”. Instead of telling me why this was a success, he simply informed me that my demonstration of her repeated instances of injudicious conduct was simply an opinion, which could be wrong because other “experts” had come to a different conclusion. I suppose that because some “experts” believe that drug use is a victimless crime, those who conclude differently by measuring the cost to society and damage to non-using family members also have an opinion that could be wrong, because of the “experts” who never actually answer those issues.

This morning, he finally gave a more detailed response to my query about Obama’s successes, and rather than trying to my response into another blogger’s comment section, it seemed appropriate to offer a post here rebutting my learned friend’s opinions.

BiW….

On to Obama’s successes (including a list of what I see to be his failures at the end). I suspect you will not agree with any of the successes I list. You are entitled to your opinion, as I am entitled to mine. There is no objective standard on most of these – and we have no historical perspective.

I take issue with the false premise that you begin with, that being that there can be no objective measure of success. Success, like every other word has a definition, and to define something is to clearly declare its meaning. To say that a word that has a clear meaning, several of them, in fact, is somehow incapable of being objectively measured is sophistry, plain and simple. But before I begin my rebuttal in earnest, I will set forth the definition of “success”, so that we can be clear about our expectations.

From the Websters Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language:

Success: 1. The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors;
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like;
3. a successful performance or achievement;
4. a person or a thing that is successful.

Note also that we are merely 13 months into his term – so much of this remains a work in progress.

Wow. I cannot tell you how disappointing this particular walk-back of expectation is after all the “The First 100 Days” hype we were treated to every single one of those first 100 days by MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, etc…

Here goes:

1) Obama has symbolically broken the racial glass ceiling. He has empowered a huge segment of our society – a group who in fact felt that the American dream did not apply to them. He has given a sense of hope to the disenfranchised. Go ahead and scoff at this – but believe me, it is real and it is important. This is one reason I am so resentful of those who seek to take Obama down for mere political gain. You may have already seen my blog post on the topic: http://hippieprofessor.com/2010/02/10/ahhh-sarah-about-that-hopey-changey-thing/

Really?  I thought that Billy Jeff was the nation’s very first African-American President? 

He has not empowered anyone, and any sense of hope that he might have offered was the cruelest kind of illusion.

There has been no explosion of minority entrepreneurial activity.  The black single mom living in the ghetto with her three kids relying on welfare under Bush is still living in the same place and still relying on welfare for a living under Obama.  If there is a difference, it is that more Americans, ones who don’t want to be dependent upon government now find themselves in reduced circumstances and relying on unemployment extensions to keep paying some of their bills.  There is no growth in opportunity to take control of one’s own destiny and cast of the shackles of government dependency.  Indeed, the cornerstone of his plan to fundamentally change our country has been to offer even more dependency in the offensive usurpation of power that is the health care take over plan.

What hope has he offered?  Now that we have a black President, is it a hope that blacks will finally “come into their own” and take a larger leadership role in government because of his being elected President?  I think that is very insulting to every “person of color” who worked their way into positions of power on their own accord and by measurable, concrete achievement.   However, after decades of being called Uncle Toms and worse by a self-appointed African-American leadership for not staying on the modern-day plantation and accepting the prevailing political philosophy, people like Justice Thomas, Dr. Rice, or Thomas Sowell either have the good grace to let such assertions go unchallenged, or are too busy actually doing what they do with skill and intellect to bother speaking against this mirage.  Certainly such a belief continues to mistake equality of opportunity with equality of ability.

Or perhaps you were speaking of the Hope his candidacy offered to white liberals who don’t just hold close to a race guilt that they do not deserve, but actually cling to it as an article of faith?  Certainly these people were instrumental in this historic candidacy, and such irrationalism would be necessary to elect a person so undeserving of the position. 

I can see the color coming to your cheeks, and the OUTRAGE!111!! building behind your eyes.  Take a breath and ask yourself this question:  “Would I have cast my vote for a white man with the same or similar record?”  Obama is a supposedly brilliant man, yet we don’t know what his grades were at Occidental College or at Harvard.  We know his opponent’s class rank.  We know what kind of grades his predecessor got, and Al Gore’s grades for that matter. 

What did he do for a living beforehand?  He was a ‘community organizer’ and sometimes law lecturer.  But what does that mean?  He certainly wasn’t going to tell us that it means coaching organizations on new and better ways to work against the government, or lecturing to students about what a deeply flawed instrument the Constitution is because it provided no means to accomplish the aims of social justice a/k/a wealth redistribution.

Where did he distinguish himself in politics?  What ideas or issues were so important to him that he put something…anything on the line in defense of them?  He gave a nice speech at the Democratic Convention years prior, and voted ‘present’ in the Senate most of the time.  Before that, when in the Illinois State Senate, he found it important to stand against palliative comfort care for children with the temerity to survive their mother’s attempts to murder them.   I can’t think of very many serious candidates in years before with similarly sparse resume’s who rated real consideration for the office.  It certainly didn’t measure up to his opponent’s curriculum vitae, which reflected achievement, accomplishment, and sacrifice, not just for select subgroups of the country, but for us all, despite the fact I have disagreements with the various issues he has chosen to make a stand on, such as campaign finance, and illegal immigration.

You, and so many like you expose an unhealthy fascination with race, when you show that you are willing to elect a person carrying a paper-thin resume, and vague promises of hope and change because you find the historic achievement to be so necessary that you cannot wait for someone with both the correct racial pedigree and a demonstrated ability and character for the job (and speaking against even comfort care for the most innocent and defenseless among us is NOT the kind of character required for the leader of the free world).  And it so blinds you legitimate criticisms that you are willing to dismiss real and logical disagreements as criticism for “mere political gain”, which you deem as offensive, and I suspect, inherently unacceptable.  I don’t know what country you grew up in, but I would call your attention to the first real Presidential campaign between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and the years intervening, when there was a vile vitriol between the two camps that was all about “political gain”, and it consisted not just of different political philosophies, but slanderous filth of the most unimaginable kind.  The Chicago Messiah™ has so far had it much easier than his immediate two predecessors, both in scrutiny from the press, and criticism by political opponents and interest groups, and neither of their critics were continually savaged with the politically correct attempt to shut them up with the hysterical cries of “Racism!11!!!”, which has become the textbook response by people who have no desire to honestly address criticism.

2) He has stabilized the economy at a time when we might well have made a tailspin into a second great depression. You will scoff. Seriously – can you honestly claim that the economy would be in better shape right now without the stimulus? Had GM and Chrysler and AIG failed we would have seen a massive cascade of business failures and unemployment would be far far far higher than it is now. I have said it a billion times – in economics we don’t get a control group. Wish we did – because I know I would be right.

I don’t recall him “saving the economy”.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that it was his predecessor who peddled the intellectually bankrupt concept of “breaking the rules of the free market system in order to save it.”  Yes, your messiah was involved, but he only came to the TARP table reluctantly…after basically saying “If you need me, call me.”  That was hardly the act of someone who was interested in the job, or the effect of the economy on the American people.

As for the spendulous, while it has benefitted a lot of people in government jobs (i.e. people who don’t produce anything that contributes to economic growth), I can say that we would be better.  When there was 6.4 Billion Dollars spent in Congressional Districts that don’t exist (there’s a story for an uncritical Fourth Estate to pursue…unless it would be raaaacist to do so.), unemployment that went well above what we were promised that it would, and lots of signs touting invisible projects funded by the bill, and an enormous bill that necessarily has to fall on to the backs of my children, no, I can’t say that we are better off.  In fact, for me to do so would be a silly as touting a belief in the ridiculous and unprovable metric of “Millions of jobs saved or created”.

3) BTW – saving GM and Chrysler – at least for now – was a big thing. I suspect you will claim it was illegal and unconstitutional. I tend to think it wasn’t – but as you have pointed out I don’t have a law degree. Now we will actually see the Chevy Volt – and with Toyota in disarray the US may even to be able to catch up in the race for green technology. Yeah – I know – not important to you.

Hmmm.  I guess I’ll start with a simple question:  Do you believe in private property?  If your answer to that question is “yes”, then I’d like to know what that concept means to you. If private property means that something is truly the property of them what owns it and pays the bills due on it, then it is not a legitimate or legal act for government to step in, take it over, screw over preferred creditors…private parties who took a risk in granting these companies additional capital in exchange for collateral so that they knew exactly what they were risking in making the loans…in favor of unsecured creditors who played a large part in making the entities fail economically.  Put another way, government had neither the right or authority to take over the corporations, ignore established bankruptcy laws, strong-arm collaterized creditors, and then essentially give the corporations to the very parties that contributed to their downfall (i.e. the UAW) with their inflexible approach and sense of entitlement to a much higher standard of living than virtually every other class of manufacturing worker currently employed in this country. 

I care about this more than you can imagine.  I grew up in the Flint suburbs, in a family that has always driven Chryslers, and when I reached adulthood, I tended to favor GM.  These workers were the parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents of my friends.  They were my neighbors.  We drove American through the 70’s and 80’s, when driving American wasn’t cool.  I have a Chevy and a Chrysler in my driveway right now.  I was looking forward to the hope of picking up a used Dodge Challenger in a few years, just because the idea of owning such a sleek Gaia-raping, deep-throated street predator filled me with such awe and wonder that it almost made me giggle with delight.  That isn’t going to happen now, and if I am going to stick by my committment to drive American, I have to look at Ford when the time comes to replace my beloved Impala, simply because I have no intention to reward the bad behavior of any of the parties involved…managment, union, or government.

However, a more important consideration is this:  GM is now basically a union-government joint venture.  During and after the restructuring, they received even more of our money to stay afloat.  No steps have been taken to control legacy costs, or even to address incredibly generous union contracts, and as long as Uncle Sugar (really you and me) keep writing the checks, the unions have no incentive to make their end of the business more competitive.  They will continue to spend our money for as long as they possibly can.

As for AIG and the rest, it was patently wrong for the government, which already played a role in the economy as regulator, to step in and become a participant.  Business succeeds in generating wealth not just for its owners, but for the national economy at large because it has a better idea, or can be more cost efficient than its competitors.  Competitors that can’t or won’t control their costs, and/or put out inferior products should fail because of competitors that accomplish this better.  Ford did this better than GM or Chrysler, and as a result, had every right to expect to be rewarded for doing so with the greater market share that comes when a competitor fails.  And while it has continued to do much better since turning down the sugar that Uncle peddled, it now is in competition with the same entity that regulates the market, and its practices and processes. 

The government, which already had enormous regulatory power over financial markets, and had instituted policies such as the Community Reinvestment Act, which required banks and other regulated lenders to make bad business decisions in the form of risky loans, decided to that it was appropriate to step in and pick winners and losers when the decade of looting, overseen by prominent (and well-paid) Democrats such as Jaime Gorelick and Franklin Raines, could no longer be concealed and the time came to pay the bill.  We paid gobs and buckets of money to cover bad loans that we never should have made in the first place through the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the home finance world, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and then we decided that firms that took part in this ongoing fraud such as Bear Sterns were not worthy of saving, but Goldman Sachs (Turbo Tax Timmy’s old gang)  and AIG HAD to be saved at any cost…which means at any cost to the taxpayer.  Interference with private property rights, circumventing the law, competing in the same markets it also regulates, and spending piles and piles of other people’s money on these dubious investments is not something that should be celebrated.  It should be severely sanctioned with convictions, jail time, restitution, and if all else fails, tar and feathers.

4) He has articulated a moderate vision of health care reform. Despite dishonest conservative commentary(fueled by a desperate insurance industry) It is far from a progressive position – a progressive position would entail single payer or at least a very robust public option. An honest politician on the right would find a lot to like in the bills now on the table – yet they seek to to score political points instead – and they disgust me. See my section on failures below for commentary on Obama’s failure to get this done.

It isn’t up to the government to provide health care for people, and that includes Medicaid and Medicare.  I would make an exception for the care that the VA renders because I believe that injuries suffered by those willing to give their lives to preserve our way of life should be repaid in such a fashion, and because the injuries were suffered in the service of the Republic, we assumed that duty. 

Medicaid and Medicare prove that government cannot efficiently manage such a process.  The billions of dollars in waste and fraud and decades worth of IOUs for tax receipts looted for other entitlement spending are ample testimony to that.  There are other considerations also, first and foremost being that such an undertaking is not Constitutional.  I know from our previous exchanges on this subject that you want to believe otherwise, and will seize upon any argument you feel supports your decision (the welfare clause, the fact that Medicare has never been declared Unconstitutional, etc, etc, etc.) but the fact remains that there simply is no Constitutional authority making it the government’s right and duty to see to it that we have to provide any health insurance for everyone, and the idea that government can impose financial penalties and prison time for my failure to purchase a plan it approves of is antithetical to every principle this nation was founded on.  If health care becomes the purview of the government, then what health care I can receive by necessity also becomes the purview of the government.  Just as the power to tax a thing is the power to destroy a thing, the power to control health care is the power to deny health care.  The power to deny health care is the power to kill.  I shouldn’t have to point to the proof available to all who look, such as the NHS in Britain denying breast cancer drugs that work to breast cancer patients because they cost too much, or the old Soviet trick of declaring political opponents and critics to be “mentally ill” and institutionalizing them in wretched facilities with the expectation that they die there, isolated and silenced.  “That’s extreme!!!111!!!”  you say.  “Perhaps,” I say, “but at the same time, I’m not inclined to leave my physical well-being in the hands of people so unprincipled that they continue to subvert and ignore the inviolate law of the land, and act in contravention to the will of the recognized source of our unalienable rights.” 

But my insurance company can deny me a drug or a treatment now, you say.  You are correct, but my decision to buy health insurance is just that: my decision.  If my employer provides it to me, then it is something my employer chose to provide to me.  Nothing is stopping me from shopping for and purchasing my own policy right now.  If we get Obamacare sans the “public option”[for now…Bwarney Fwanks was absolutely correct that it is the next inevitable step], I don’t get to chose not to have a plan…a choice made by many young people because they are young and in good health.  I don’t get the plan of my choosing.  I get to choose from the plans that government will approve.  This is a wonderful opportunity for graft and kickbacks, and will still lead to the death of private insurance because a publically funded alternative has NO INCENTIVE to operate like a business.  If the money runs out, they simply charge the taxpayer more, and the private companies have to compete with an entity that has its hand in our collective pocket every time they spend too much.  If I didn’t understand the underlying belief held dear by most liberals that people should be relieved of the burden of making their own choices and the consequences of the choices that they do make, though the power of the government, that they, as the ones who know what’s best for us, always plan to control, I would say that it is an unusual position for someone who believes in freedom of choice, as long as it includes the right of a mother to murder their offspring.

5) He is taking strides to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” – he should have done it earlier, and it will take too long in the end – but it is the right thing to do.

Why is it the right thing to do?  I have yet to hear a logical explanation why we as a nation have a vested interest in upholding and supporting the notion of gay rights.  Indeed, most of the arguments that I do hear could just as easily be employed my NAMBLA members or people who like having sex with farm animals.  Come to me with scientific proof of an immutable condition, or admit that if we accept the current reasoning, there is a great deal of behavior, including behavior that liberals find offensive, that we will have to legitimize for the exact same reasons later.

6) He has, as promised, given a tax cut to the vast majority of working Americans. That they apparently don’t realize this is testimony to the power of the conservative press. You can be damned sure that had McCain lowered middle-class taxes to a similar degree FOX would be shouting it from the mountaintops.

Allowing the Bush tax cuts to sunset raised taxes for everyone.  Manipulating the withholding tables to give an average of $13 of the normal American’s pay back to him in his weekly paycheck, while making no change in the actual tax rates that dictate the amount of taxes that they will pay for the year is not a real tax cut.  Of course, most Americans won’t really pick up on this until next year, and the continued lack of any movement by members of both parties will create a situation were more and more middle class Americans will be hammered by the AMT, but that won’t be honestly reported if the Chicago Messiah™ gets to continue lowering the definition of who is actually “rich” in America.  By then, his strategy of fomenting class envy and generally pushing the various doctrines that comprise The Politics of Lowered Expectations™ will really be taking hold, as the entitlement class grows more restless in its greed, and the paying class grows weary of the increasing levels of confiscation of its life energy imposed on it from a ballooning government.  On the Mark Twain scale, your statement isn’t just a lie, its a damn lie.

7) He acted boldly and decisively with the Somali pirate situation. Before you scoff, just think what you would be saying had that rescue attempt failed. Why – you would be saying the same things you say about Carter’s failure to rescue the Iran hostages (though of course that was a much bigger undertaking).

I’m scoffing because his action was neither “bold” or “decisive”.  The Maersk Alabama was hijacked on April 8, 2009.  The crew themselves took the ship back later that day.  The US dispatched response arrived the following day, but the captain of the Alabama was not freed until the 12th…after Obama sent FBI negotiators to talk to the pirates, and dithered for days about letting the Navy do its job and dispatch the pirates with extreme prejudice.  I realize that in academia, bold and decisive action is rapidly criticizing a decision made by a conservative politician or denouncing a state government for reducing the number of taxpayer dollars that a legislature will be sending to institutions of higher indoctrination within their borders in that budget year, but in this case bold and decisive action would have been immediately unleashing the SEALs to kill the pirates and rescue the captain if possible, and then to bomb the pirates’ land based support into rubble, and capturing and hanging any pirates who subsequently attempted to hijack commercial shipping in the area.
 

He has made an unprecedented outreach to the Islamic world. No doubt you will think this was a mistake – a sign of weakness perhaps. You fail to realize how badly our image has fallen in the rest of the world after Bush. Something needs to be done about that – this is a start.

I know.  Actually acting after stacks of resolutions against Iraq piled up for violating the otherwise ineffective directives of the “international authorities” and many of our allies profited on the side from the Oil-for-Food program while helping a ruthless dictator to rearm and continue to attack people that “international authorities” continually told him to keep away from was pretty reprehensible.  After all, it is bad form to shed light on and shut off your allies’ graft personal enrichment programs that are in direct contravention of their public statements made in front of cameras and reporters.  Its kind of like waiting to tell your wife that you’re sterile until after she announces that she’s pregnant.

I do support his current program of reaching out to jihadis with Predator drones and missile strikes, as well as sharing real time intelligence with governments that actually make an effort to root out such vipers in their midst, as is currently occurring in some middle east nations like Yemen.  Unlike you, I have no illusion that this will somehow translate in to lots of fluffy bunny and skittle crapping unicorn sessions with the various members of the Islamic world, but also unlike you, I have no reason to see the approbation and approval of people who have demonstrated a willingness time and time again to kill anyone who doesn’t think like they do, which means most of the western world.

9) He made a good choice for his first Supreme Court appointment. I stand by that. I knew what “wise Latina” meant the moment I heard the phrase – and I am saddened that she had to backtrack on that and pretend it meant something other than it did. Yes – we all know what you think here.

Yes, but I still don’t know why you think it was a good choice.  I suspect, based on our exchanges, but I do not know.  You simply keep saying that it was a good choice, and frankly, that reads much like some of her more notorious decisions.

[I have omitted the rest of his comment because he started on his list of Obama failures, and while I don’t agree with much of his underlying rationale, I also didn’t see cause for disappointment in these “failures”.]

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I have to confess, I didn’t bother watching Professor Knownothing’s SOTU speech tonight.  I had two good reasons for not doing so.  The first is avoiding his speeches prevents me from boosting my blood pressure to levels it shouldn’t be at, and the second was that I was at church, learning how to be a better judgmental Christianist who actually believes in an absolute truth other than the only remaining post-modern absolute truth that there is no absolute truth.   Because of the first, I long ago started reading the transcripts instead, although I did watch the clip where the famed “Constitutional Scholar” and noted imbecile had the audacity to sass his intellectual betters on the Court and propose that Congress pass a law reaffirming a principle that the Court just struck down as unconstitutional, presumably so the Court can…strike it down again?  This demonstration of no due respect to the concept of separation of powers reveals yet again a very, very Lilliputian intellect continually trying to clothe itself in the rainment of greatness, only to fail miserably and parade around displaying a naked pettiness and arrogance than ill-becomes any President, including the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Yes, I read the whole thing, and I highlighted the few portions that I felt deserved special rebuttal because I know the speaker knew better when the teleprompter made him utter them.  If you’re a masochist, or you just relish lies, insincerity, and complete and utter tripe wrapped up in one complete package, you can read the whole thing here.

To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.

Never mind the fact that members of my administration forced some of those banks to take the money, against their better judgement, and nevermind the fact that almost all have paid these loans back, with interest.  They remain a sector of the economy that is working, and if we can’t keep them chained down with our “charity”, then we will penalize them for their independence.

As we stabilized the financial system, we also took steps to get our economy growing again, save as many jobs as possible and help Americans who had become unemployed.

And those people in the 99th congressional district of North Dakota, and the other 439 non-existent congressional districts that shared in 6.5 Billion of your tax dollars are very, very grateful indeed for your generous largesse, as are the companies that got the signs advertising all those “shovel-ready” projects made possible by your children’s willingness to become indebted to help save or create all these jobs.  As soon as I can introduce the legislation into Congress, we’ll take all these impertinent tea-baggers into custody and give them shovels to use as they work on those projects.

Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.

That’s right.  We made a minor adjustment to payroll withholding so that you could have enough extra in your weekly check to fill the tanks of your Geo Metros, and then allowed the Bush tax cuts to sunset, so that you’ll still have to pay it all back at the end of the year.  Whatta burner on you suckers who let us have your money interest-free so you could take a vacation or buy a big screen tv with your “refund”, huh?  Don’t make any plans for Aruba this year, peasant.

Because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed — 200,000 work in construction and clean energy, 300,000 are teachers and other education workers, tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers and first responders. And we are on track to add another one-and-a-half-million jobs to this total by the end of the year.

Nevermind the fact that private sector jobs, the ones that actually produce the wealth to pay the taxes, are on the decline, which ultimately means less tax revenue to use to pay the higher than private sector salaries for these government jobs.  You will live to serve your betters in government, and when it becomes apparent that this approach is not sustainable, I will have found a new and better way to blame Bush for this fine mess I keep dragging us deeper into.

Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers.

But I’m not interested in those, because like all elitists who have never worked in the private sector, I am fully possessed by the false belief that small businesses can thrive under a regime of regulation that interferes with the owners’ and entrepreurs’ instincts and judgment, and taxes designed to take the incentive out the risk-taking that drives the growth of small business to begin with.  Geniuses like myself understand that using other people’s property and labor to fund the needs of social justice aren’t just the right of government.  It is government’s duty.  Pay no attention to that silly Constitution.  I’ve told you before that it is a fundamentally flawed document.

We should start where most new jobs do — in small businesses, companies that begin when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream or a worker decides it’s time she became her own boss.

Yes, because when we lack that courage ourselves, and have no real comprehension how they really could help the recovery, not by oppressive taxes and regulations, but by actually creating jobs, it is always best to be the perfect parasite; never really killing the host, only taking it to the threshold of death.  But hey, if you actually beat the odds and become successful, then you should be required to pay exorbitant taxes.  Do you think redistributing all this nation’s wealth is easy?   Government will have to hire hundreds of thousands of people to give your money to others, minus the usual handling costs.

Through sheer grit and determination, these companies have weathered the recession and are ready to grow.

Actually, I know that it is despite my naive and dangerous fiscal policy, and all the uncertainty that it brings, that some companies have managed to hang on.  Make no mistake, we will be doing everything we can to make them as dependent on us as the rest of the population, or we will drive the out of business.

One place to start is serious financial reform. Look, I am not interested in punishing banks, I’m interested in protecting our economy.

Oh no.  I am much more interested in controlling them.    But for those that continue to fail to see it our way, yeah, we will lean on them, demonize them, and not stop until protestors are on the lawns of the executives of those uncooperative banks, and they have to come to us for protection.

Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.

…unless they are unions, which do their damnedest to prevent our nations corporations from being competitive with the rest of the world, and have elevated scorched earth from a last-ditch effort of desperate powers to a predictable and repeated tactic directly contributing to the downfall of companies that are “too big to fail”, making it necessary for us to steal from your children, and your children’s children, to prop these companies back up so we can give the to the very same powerful interests, the unions, in derrogation of legitimate creditors and bondholders, the ones who formerly took that risk because they foolishly believed that the law was inviolate and protected their interests and investments…right up to the moment we told them to capitulate, or else…

 They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.

Because, while I’m rumored to be a Constitutional scholar, I already told you that I believe that the document is fundamentally flawed, and the idea that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not constitutional is one of those many flaws.  Let me be clear.  Over two hundred years of jurisprudence is wrong.  We are not a nation of laws, we are a nation of men, ruled by men, and more specifically, me.  And I say that my friends in the unions do not like having competition in the area of political speech by the owners of corporations, so I will personally see to it that any bill Congress sees fit to pass that reaffirms the principle overturned by the Court last week will be upheld, even if I have start appointing more Justices to the Court to do it.  I have a whole bunch of eminently qualified people in my administration to nominate.  Sterling intellects like Harold Koh, and John Holdren, who will help ensure the advancement of whatever progressive principles that we cannot achieve in Congress, thanks to those spineless members who have fallen prey to the false belief that they are actually accountable to the voters, rather than charged with doing what we tell them is best for the citizens.

Crossposted at The Hostages

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He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

Once again, we’re at that time of year when everyone examines the year that was with their clever lists, and wry observations.  being neither clever or wry, I’ll simply point out where we weren’t a year ago, before the Dawn of the Age of the HopeyChangeyness (now with Skittles-crapping unicorns.)

A year ago, the government wasn’t the owner of two previously privately held auto companies, the largest insurer in the nation, or a large mortgage bank.

A year ago, our President wasn’t buddy-buddy with Chavez or Castro.

A year ago, we didn’t have a tax-cheat as Treasury Secretary.

A year ago, we didn’t have an Executive Order authorizing the immigration and placement of thousands of Palestinians in the U.S.

A year ago, U.S. taxpayers weren’t funding and facilitating abortions in other countries.

A year ago, five percent fewer federal employees made over $100,000.00 a year.  It must be nice to get a raise in the worst recession in my memory…especially when you already have the job security of a federal employee.

A year ago, we had a President who wasn’t on record as thinking that the Constitution is “fundamentally flawed”.

A year ago, we had a President who did not bow deeply to the Saudi King and the Japanese Emperor.

A year ago, we had a President who did not avoid the Senate’s advise and consent role by appointing czars in places where they had never been before.

A year ago, we had a President who did not go out of his way to insult average Americans by casting aspersions on their values and the values of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

A year ago, we did not have a Supreme Court Justice who completely and utterly disqualified themselves before appointment with repeated statements calling their integrity and impartiality into question.

A year ago, we did not have government officials threatening private investors who were trying to protect their legal rights in bankruptcy.

A year ago, we did not have a presidentially appointed self-admitted Communist in government.

A year ago, a government official would not have dreamt of quoting Mao in public as a favorite philosopher.

A year ago, our elected representatives would not have dared to ask constituents for ID before answering their questions, or used union goons and police to silence and remove constituents from public meetings.

A year ago, the conventional wisdom would have laughed at the notion that we need hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending that stimulates nothing in order to turn the rising tide of unemployment.

A year ago, the government did not deign to set compensation levels for employees of privately held companies.

A year ago, the idea of government health care for all was the punchline of a Hillary Clinton joke.

A year ago, we didn’t have a President who has informed a whole sector of the energy industry that he wants to put them out of business.

A year ago, the EPA was not threatening to regulate carbon dioxide emissions if Congress doesn’t.

A year ago, INTERPOL could not operate on American soil without regard to the American Constitution and American due process.

A year ago, we didn’t have an attorney general who believed it was appropriate or necessary to try foreign terrorists in Article III courts.

A year ago, we had a President and administration that recognized that we were already in a war on terrorism, because the terrorists had already declared war on us.

A year ago, a statement to the nation about a terrorist act committed against Americans by the President was a duty, and not an annoyance.

A year ago, carbon dioxide was good because it helps plants grow, and not a pollutant requiring taxes by Congress that will be paid by energy consumers.

A year ago, in was understood that the government cannot force me to buy a government-approved health care plan with the threat of exorbitant fines and/or jail time.

A year ago, it wasn’t the priority of one political party to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to a group of community activists that have engaged in voter fraud and other criminal enterprises…time and again.

A year ago, the government didn’t fire watchdogs who caught influential friends of the government with their sticky fingers in the government till.

A year ago, we had a President and Leader of the Free World who didn’t sit on his hands and “bear witness” to the brutal repression and murder of people resisting a totalitarian regime that is determined to destabilize the region it is in.

A year ago, we had a President who did not support a leader attempting a coup by vilifying the people who lawfully prevented it.

A year ago, we did not face a government that grows fat and belligerent on our tax dollar, while constantly threatening to take more of our money and freedom from us.

A year ago, we didn’t have a President that accused our soldiers of perpetrating war crimes for political gain, or declared police guilty of acting stupidly while admitting in the same breath that he didn’t have all the facts.

A year ago, dissent was the highest form of patriotism; now it’s racist!

Crossposted at The Hostages.

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Even for Teh Won’s administration, this week took a step up in surrealism that I find difficult to properly grasp.

The Most Ethical Congress EVAR! led by the world’s leading poster child for prevention of serial botox overdosing saw fit to pass its version of hate crimes legislation, which deliberately covers the pink swastika brigades.  It will be a signficant leap forward in their continuing assault on Christianity, and their resistance to the judgment against their lifestyle that in necessarily dictates.  This will, of course, lead to a consitutional showdown between an established freedom of religion vs. a newly created right to be whatever you want, completely free of the restraints of objective reason and logic that marked other Supreme Court ‘Right to Marry’ cases.  It might be interesting, if it weren’t for the fact that there are already too many sitting Justices on the Court who are not only willing, but seem to think it is their duty to look beyond the Constitution to not only interpret the law, but to make it up out of whole cloth. Now, I simply look at another case where there are at least four people who refuse to confine themselves to their actual duties, and as a result, we are always one vote away from EPIC FAIL! in important rulings such as the one this law will bring about if it passes both houses and goes to the desk of the Great Prevaricator for signature.

Meanwhile, Health Insurance Takeover Reform still continues to take shape, with many Democrats now speaking openly about actually owning the crap sandwich on their own, without ‘bipartisan support’, and actually providing a public option, which as any fool who has paid any attention to the goings on at all knows was the goal all along; bring socialist healthcare to the masses and watch the twin totems of Liberty and Freedom start to wither and sag under the crushing weight of a prohibitively expensive mediocrity, calculated to keep the peasants quarrelling among themselves for increasingly scarce resources rather than keeping their newly empowered ‘ruling class’ accountable.  And nary a serious query from any conservative member of Congress about the Constitutionality of this grandiose vision.

Another quarter heard from brought us John Boener claiming that the Dems had made significant amendments for portions of bills already voted on.  If true, it is a completely unacceptable state of affairs, at least for a people who wish to remain free.  Yet the silence from the old media, the former guardians of the republic, is so loud that it threatens to break all the windows.

And then, Friday morning, when I was already running late, I got in the car and heard Glenn Beck and Co. goofing on one skit after another, awarding him prize after prize.  Then he cut to Captain Awesome (thank you for that one, Rosetta the Daddy) giving a speech about his surprise at winning the Nobel Peace Prize.  I thought it was a brilliant edit job….until I changed the station at the commercial and learned that it was true:  The Naked Emperor had actually won the Nobel Peace Prize…11 days into his Presidency.

In this world, where people actively are choosing evil over good, feelings over logic, and double-standards over reason, too many see nothing wrong with this state of affairs.  They shrug their shoulders as if to say “So what?  Everything is great!”  My boss came in Friday morning, and said a woman came into the doctor’s office that morning, bubbling with excitement about this latest development.  She was practically beside herself at the thought that a man of no accomplishment won the prize, and no question could draw an explanation out of her.

And now this morning, I read that some of my fellow Hostages, Detainees, and Captives are being dropped as friends, or are dropping friends on Facebook because they have retained their faculties and refuse to worship at the altar of Barry the Blessed™.  I don’t like where this is starting to go, but the apparent inevitability of it is truly frightening.  With knowledge comes sorrow.  I’m starting to wish I could drink the Kool-Aid.  It would be much more fun to join the herd and believe that this was in everyone’s future:

Cupcake Wheels

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“Beware the wrath of a patient adversary.” – John C. Calhoun

Originally, my next post was going to be about the real racists in this country crying “Racism!” when they aren’t allowed to act like jackasses unchallenged, or when the one with power are challenged for advocating silliness.  However, I think that has been pretty well addressed at this point.  You either get it, know what is going on, and are repulsed by it, or you get it, know what is going on, and are willing to engage in it or make excuses for it anyway.   Keep advocating complete immersion in the Age of Unreason, brought to us by The Politics of Lowered Expectations™, like a sand castle on the ocean shore, you will be washed away.

And now, the government wants Americans to inform on other Americans for the “crime” of daring to question the lies they keep telling the American people?

Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to “uncover” the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.

…Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

Excuse me?  EXCUSE ME???

Of course, this is only part of the emergence of this trend toward tyranny, enforced by intimidation.

From The Politico, Democratic Strategist and Attorney Lanny Davis weighs in with his careful, considered opinion:

Let’s have the media name names, publish photographs, and do interviews of those responsible for approving, even organizing these techniues. And let’s find an investigative journalist – are there many left – to prove these so-called grassroots shouters are, or are not, being paid.

An ATTORNEY is suggesting that the media name the names and publish photographs of CITIZENS who dare to express their discontent with their elected representatives who have manifested their willingness to enslave this generation and the next, and the one after that to pay for enormous wealth-redistribution programs that will permanently cripple the economy and destroy the American spirit and the American Exceptionalism that have made us a model for the world.  An ATTORNEY thinks that CITIZENS seeking redress of grievances with their representatives should be intimidated and investigated by a media that has perfected the art of the smear, destroying careers and lives without regard for truth.  That demonstrates an inexcusable contempt for the American citizen and the First Amendment.  I think he needs a refresher course on the Constitution, and he should be treated with as much or more contempt than he has shown us.

If you are going to abridge our rights, and encourage Americans to report on other Americans, then you should be prepared for the effects of the lawless society you create.

UPDATE:

Could it be that little Lanny’s perception is colored by by his past experience?  Irony.  Its what’s for dinner.

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