Tag Archives: liberals

Hate is Hate… No Matter Who is Hating and Who is Being Hated

San Diego — In the last post I mentioned how Limbaugh had stupidly given the Obama people the red herring they needed to turn the discussion away from a question of governmental authority over private matters to the entirely bogus issue of health care and the completely fabricated idea of a war on women and women’s health.  Not that real and pressing issues of women’s health are bogus; to the contrary they are real and need to be front and center in our discussions.

But in this case, it is the insertion or spin of a very different issue trying to turn the discussion away from the real problem (whether or not government has the authority to tell ANYONE much less religious institutions that they must buy or contribute to purchasing things or services which they deem morally reprehensible) into one of women’s health that is bogus.  And only a day or two after what should have been the quickly forgotten event of a young woman being brought in front of congress to argue that we, the people, should contribute to paying for her (or anyone else’s) promiscuity, thanks to a talk show host’s thoughtless diatribe, the issue has, sure enough, taken on a new and completely spurious face.

Oh come on, this is not the same thing or the same issue as when a doctor prescribes medicine for a true medical condition that just happens to also be used as a contraception.  Title X, a currently existing law, mandates that such medications for such medical conditions be provided by insurance.  And even if it did not, those medications are available at virtually ANY Planned Parenthood for about $10 per month’s prescription.  So it cannot be argued honestly that women are currently in such a state that they cannot either get insurance coverage for medicines needed for medical issues or that even to facilitate sex the medicine cannot be obtained readily and inexpensively.

So why the flap?  Because Obama desperately needs it.  His economic record is pathetic and his ability to lie about it is becoming more and more obvious.  In the face of CBO numbers just released, he went public with a retelling of those numbers that bore no relationship to the government’s own figures.  His disciples, of course, listen only to him and probably never even hear the other side so he gets away with it and keeps his fawning followers.  But for the rest of us, he needs issues that resonate with the normal folks and this new take, a perspective of women’s health, is about as perfect as one can get.

But surely, you might say if you are one that actually reads and hears all sides, no one could be falling for this?  And surely in the day and age of extraordinarily foul mouthed so-called humorists, spewing scatological and gynological “jokes” using the ugliest and most hurtful of terms on a daily basis, some of whom purposefully direct such insults at women simply because they disagree with their political philosophies, no one would really get upset over a slur as innocuous as to call someone a “slut,” you might say.  And to call them a prostitute?  Good grief, it is legal in some places, common in all others, the name of the game in congress where selling virtue for profit is a near mandate, and a name so meaningless it is sometimes even applied to artists who have the nerve to want to sell their work by others who seem unable to sell theirs.  It is a word that has long ago lost its sting.


Unless one of those demon conservatives does it to a liberal.  You will note that ALL of the so-called humorists calling politically active women demeaning, denigrating names are liberals aiming at conservatives.  And they suffer not a peep of blowback for it.  But when a conservative, lowering himself to the same stupid level that liberals adopt as their signature stance, does the same thing… wow…Armageddon has just been unleashed.

Don’t think so?  Let me copy you in on a conversation (so-called) on Facebook.  Now I have a truly love-hate relationship with Facebook.  It is sometimes an easy way to keep up on what some of my real friends are doing.  But it is also the host to some of the most infantile, inane, self-indulgent material in the universe.  And now that we are in the silly season of a presidential election and I am “friended” mostly by people inhabiting academia, the avoidance of reflective thinking is readily on display.  Here indeed are the people Arthur C. Clarke described in Academia as individuals, “…whose education has surpassed their intellects.”

They are sometimes monumentally narrow minded and unreceptive to any thoughts not bearing the liberal-progressive stamp of approval.  Immediately they picked up on the drum beat against Limbaugh in post after post after post all using the same rhetoric having obviously had their thoughts formed for them by the same sources.

I had planned on doing what I have always done: shake my head at the display of well honed, perhaps nearly perfected blindness to any ideas except those pre-approved by the party inquisitors, but the rampant hypocrisy was simply more than I could quietly bear.

So here is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.  It started as usual, with one of them “sharing” some ugly screed that was supposed to indicate wit and insight via the shorthand of denigrating and demeaning epithets.  And then the ‘shared’ post was joined in with comments from the poster and friends…

JTThis buffoon [talking about Limbaugh – dk] just doesn’t know when or how to keep his mouth shut and stop the string of non-stop profoundly offensive utterances even in a supposed apology. I cannot believe to find out who used to advertise (AOL, Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom…) on his network show.

Regardless of pulling their ads, these panderers to his poison should be boycotted for supporting him in the first place.

Now here is an early hint to the author’s perspective.  The views expressed that ran counter to the poster’s own views were ‘profoundly offensive’ and consisted of ‘poison’ and any business who believed in allowing speech of the other side to exist (as opposed to “free speech which means speech from the liberal side), should be boycotted.

TS — I think this guy needs to engage his brain and its filter before he opens his mouth…

JT — What brain?…i think the years of prescription drug abuse have numbed whatever decency he may have ever had, if any.

Of course had this been Alan Colmes or Al Franken or Jon Stewart or some other liberal talk show host, those years of pain medication for a back problem would have been wonderful, shown the need for socialized medicine so that they would not have had to resort to extra legal means of obtaining them, and in any case, freeing them from the pain would have probably been seen as sharpening their wit.  So it is amazing to note the apparently liberal medical opinion that pain medication effects conservatives differently and negatively. Don’t think so?  Go back and read about JFK or even FDR and the wonders of medication that helped control their pain.

But then it got even more off the rails.

JP — I can’t believe that Americans have let him come this far! Any of the candidates…I really wanna move to a more progressive country somewhere in Europe. It’s ridiculous how rights such as marriage, birth control, even breast feeding in public are questioned.

It was at this point that after following this thread and several others parroting the same talking points with various degrees of coherency, I simply had heard enough and decided to jump in.  I was curious as to how sincere their apparent indignation over a general use of such hateful language really was and the easy way to test that was to see if that indignation was widely applied or only selectively.

David KingYou know I agree with you on this JT, what he said was uncalled for, inappropriate and intolerable. But when Bill Maher called one conservative woman a c**t and another a t**t, [words studies have shown virtually every woman finds deeply offensive – DK] or when Ed Schultze called several of them sluts, I don’t recall hearing a peep of indignation about it.  When Olberman goes off his meds and calls conservative women a slut or, my favorite, a “mashed up bag of meat with lipstick” that is apparently just dandy. How come?

 Or is it that it is quite OK to slander women with whom you disagree but inexcusable to hear a slander toward one with whom you do agree? I just want to get this straight so I’ll know how to react and how to interpret reactions in the future…

Am I to understand that according to liberal ethics, women can be separated and categorized as to who can be disparaged in the foulest of language and who cannot based primarily on their political orientation?

This elicited an almost immediate response from another reader…

JG — Sarah Palin is a dumb twat. Maher hit that one on the head.

 Yes, I know, that instantly made my case for me but I could not resist commenting even though now it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

David KingThank you JG; in the classiest of language and the most erudite, deeply analytical, and profoundly insightful exhibition of intellectual engagement, you just answered my question… along with a few unasked ones. It brings to mind an old cliche about mutually accusatory communications between pots and kettles. You have admirable demonstrated that they are both right. Thanks again!

I confess I thought the irony expressed would jolt him into realizing how he had sounded.  But I was wrong — and pointedly so — as shown by his response.

JG — Glad I could answer all your questions by merely stating the obvious.

Now here was someone coming into a battle of wits completely unarmed and shielded only by the cleverness existing only in their own mind. Napolean said that when an opposing general seemed bent on their own destruction the thing to do was get out of their way.   But for some of the other readers who might have missed the real point I decided perhaps if I restated it that would help.  After all, who, with half a brain and a shred of ethics, is really going to support the type of discourse I was attacking?  Maybe if I helped them by giving a clearer, stronger example of what I believed was the “high road” they would see it and try to get on it before they all looked somewhat less than erudite.  So I tried again.

David KingIn my opinion, a world in which pretending to demonstrate wit or insight by using foul, personal, ugly invective, much less using hurtful, demeaning, denigrating words to describe anyone based on philosophical disagreement, but especially women, is “obvious,” is a sleaze ridden world of galactic level hypocrisy and not in a position to cast stones at anyone for pretty much anything.

It was stupid and unacceptable when Limbaugh did it, but it is no less so when some opponent of his does it.  If that is the disgusting level of civil discourse appropriate on one side of the debate then I am only too happy to be on the other side.   And I will happily excoriate them as well if they lower themselves to the level of the crass side as Limbaugh moronically did here. That is language and a level of intelligence best reserved for Maher’s side where they can do it with impunity apparently because insufficient ethics can be found in the whole collective to call such behavior into account. And, I admit, you are correct… that does seem to be obvious.

It turns out however that I was overestimating the audience…  And at the same time I was underestimating their devotion to ignoring the bigger issue and high centering on their own side.

JT — Whoa….Flame Wars…back to potty mouth Rush…did you actually listen to his entire rant…he thinks she needs so much sex for her birth control pills she should post videos of her sex acts on YouTube in return for Obama Care contraception!

Do any conservatives actually aligns themselves with this sort of crazy talk…it’s sad that political discourse has degraded into a “Lucha Libre” style of performance ideology porn.

Clearly I was not getting through.  So, now a touch frustrated, once again I restated…

David KingWithout resorting to sophomoric, immature, illiterate monosyllabic “potty mouth” rhetoric to match his, I think I’ve been pretty clear that I think what Limbaugh said was inexcusable, stupid, and open for condemnation.  I have no interest in defending or trying to excuse that sort of discourse from him.  What appears to be different about my position is that I do not believe it excusable when ANYone does it; and yet it appears that some believe it is OK when those on their side do it but not OK when those on the side opposing them do it.  I think that is hypocrisy gone to seed; I don’t think it is OK when ANYONE does it.

I also think Limbaugh was stupid to do it because he should have realized what a gift it was to the other side to allow them, based on his lapse of brain activity, to move the discussion off of the limits of governmental power and into the arena of women’s health care and if he had half of the intellect he claims for himself he would not have provided that barn-door-sized opening for them to toss out such a monumental red herring and take the discussion far away from any real issues that might be at play.

 So I think he was stupid on so many different levels it is mind boggling. But neither his stupidity nor his crass insensitivity excuse equally, perhaps even more egregious behavior coming from the other side. Two wrongs never equal a right. At least not to me, not ever.

 Perhaps that is OK for you but I think this discussion is important because it goes to the very core of who we, the people who will be deciding the outcome of the election, are. It reveals clearly, “obviously” to use James’s term, what the values and what the degree of analysis and insight is going into decisions by those on the various sides and I think that is worth letting this social community see for themselves.

 By now this thread is so far down the page of posts it takes longer to scroll down to find it than it does to read or respond and it appears settled that the individuals who follow that particular set of “friends” are sufficiently indoctrinated in their views they can admit of no other.   Not a single person had a positive thing to say on the side of seeking greater civility in this debate.  No one was bothered that the social community, in that case, Facebook, could see by their responses where they stood and so they are apparently OK with it. I am truly saddened by that.

Then it occurred to me (some trains run late…) Does this not seem like a replay of the exchange of the past few posts? This can accomplish nothing and go nowhere productive.  So my remaining question is simple:  JT asked if any conservative allied themselves with such language as spoken by Limbaugh re the female law student.  The unfortunate and ugly truth is that I’m sure there are some that do.  But I’m not one of them and have said so both here and elsewhere about as clearly as I know how.  And I believe I am representative of the majority of people whose political, ethical, and moral views are in the same ball park as mine.

But how about the reverse, do liberals, or to be more specific, do you, if you are liberal, ally yourself with the use of such language and think it is OK when aimed at women so long as they are on the other side of the political fence from you?

And if so, please tell me how is it exactly that this elevates the level of political debate and delves into the complex issues facing our country and our world to better prepare us to make reasonable and rational decisions for ourselves as to what directions we ought to be taking?  How does hiding behind labels of any kind, much less this kind, help us to understand the world around us?  Or is that not the objective in the first place and it is rather to simply get you to see the opposition not for what they really believe but simply as the demonizedm, dehumanized enemy to be defeated at all costs?  And even then, given the nature of the political arena at the federal level, what does being a slut or any of those other ugly female degrading terms have to do with their positions and likely votes?  Where is the tie in between label and reality?

When I checked again this morning for any replies, I was hoping that I might have stirred up someone somewhere who realized that ugliness and hate speech should not be OK for either side.  Someone holding true to their liberal philosophies but disclaiming any connection with this type of speech whether uttered by the other side or their side.  But there were none so I assume the exchange is over. A non-answer is itself an answer.  That conclusion so saddened me by what it revealed that I ended my interaction with that Facebook post with this last additional comment.  And with it I will end this blog post as well.

David King — A day has gone by without comment.   Hmmmm.  I confess I thought at least one person, perhaps a woman, might have joined in and said something even to the effect of, “David, I disagree completely with your apparent political view but have to agree that using words like that to demean, belittle, dehumanize and denigrate women are not acceptable, no matter who is doing it.”  But since such a post was never made I have to assume that my initial assertion is correct. 

Blind partisanship is so thoroughly ingrained here that evil is defined as “them” and therefore demonized they are fair game for any form of invective, and since “good” is defined as “us” any such invective hurled our way is, by definition, some form of poison and a sacriledge to our political faith.  But it is precisely that blind “us vs them” attitude that allows for the bigotry you rightly oppose on other issues, it facilitates and perpetuates hate and hate, unfortunately, has no compass; it spews forth in all directions because its real source is internal. 

Many of you know that first hand, many have felt the sting of hatred aimed at you based not on who you are or what kind of person you are but on some single, totally irrelevant characteristic.  It hurts doesn’t it.  It is infuriating and unfair. There is no excuse for it being applied to you and you know it. 

But by the same token there is no excuse for you to apply it, even by implication, to someone else simply because they may have a different view for how the country needs to be headed.  You know that one can like or dislike some single thing a person does without that effecting your overall appraisal of them; any parent knows this effect as does any lover. 

Even intelligent people sometimes do stupid things.  That is the unfortunate byproduct of being human.  But you should be rearing up and shouting out that while it is fair to call one out for stupid things whether friend or foe, it is fair and reasonable to engage in passionate but civil debate over important topics, there is no legitimate reason to let that devolve into hatred based on some single characteristic or belief. 

That no one has written that here, indeed that one of the comments even repeated one of the more hateful labels one can make to a women, is not a sign of simple insensitivity, it is not cute, it is not clever, it is not funny… it is a sign of hatred.  For letting it go unchallenged, some of you, at least those claiming to have a brain and some shred of ethical sensitivities, ought to be ashamed of yourselves. 

I now have the answers I sought so will plague you no more and you can go back to your world of hate-filled invective and I now know how to interpret it and react to it.

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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Straw Men, Red Herrings, and Big Lies

San Diego — Several times I’ve used those terms in posts and finally someone emailed me and asked what I meant by them in a political sense.   In normal use, a straw man is an effigy designed to stand in for some other person or to mislead viewers into believing they are someone else.  The term is also used for a fake item planted to make people think it is real or something else.   A Red Herring is a rotting fish designed to be a distraction so it will draw attention away from some behavior or activity that is would be better if it were not noticed.  Both are tools of misdirection and used just as a stage magician uses the process, to get you to not notice how the trick is done or what is really happening.

Think Wizard of Oz here; the smoke and mirrors hiding the man behind the curtain.  And think Goebbels’s concept of the “big lie,” which is a lie so preposterous that the listener would not think you would ever try to fool them with that line so it must be true.

I believe the political elites in this country have turned the use of straw men, red herrings, and big lies, i.e. all tools of misdirection, into a fine art that is performed and executed so well that no one seems to be noticing. The more the big lie, straw man, or red herring has some personal meaning to the audience, the more likely it is to succeed in its mission and so they have presented theirs with deep personal and emotional connections.  Below are a few of the areas in which I think those terms can be applied.

Leadership.  Some argue Obama has shown no leadership over the areas of real importance to the country.  I would argue the opposite.   Instead, he has shown brilliant guidance in the causes of debauching the currency and creating debt crises as well calculated tactics to implement his strategic goal of transforming the country to become closer to the ideals of his Marxist father (which he wrote about in detail), his radical socialist friends like William Ayers, and the liberation theology of Jeremiah Wright, his Pastor of 20 years.

He has carefully placed unelected government officials like Tim Geithner, Valery Jarrett, Van Jones, etc. in powerfil positions where they can advance those agendas even when it requires an apparent loss of reason such as when Valerie recently said more unemployed people using unemployment insurance was good for the country and its economy.

That statement is only unreasonable if you want to try to protect the government laid out in our Constitution.  But it is quite reasonable if the goal is to tear down the existing model and replace it with a very different kind.  Why are we not willing to accept the obvious when his communication Director, Anita Dunne, said Mao, the butcher of 20 million innocent Chinese was a model political philosopher to her.

I think, in fact, that presenting to his opposition the appearance of failure of leadership is a straw man when in fact his leadership in advancing the cause he believes in has been masterfully executed.  My only problem is I think it is a cause that is disastrous for the country or at least the country I would like us to be.

Apologizing for America.   This is not about apologizing or trying to make amends for past infractions real or imagined, it is about seeing America as something flawed and needing to be changed.  But though the President has expressed several times his sympathy for that negative view of our country is that who and what we really are?

We have been the repeated rescuers of huge portions of the world from tyranny and oppression and have asked, in return, only for enough ground to bury our dead.  We have, in the past century, left a host of cemeteries of dead Americans who fell trying to free other countries all over the map.  But I ask you, in that same period, how many foreign cemeteries do we have here to honor the dead of foreign countries who fell in our defense?  We need apologize to no one.

We provide more money to such marginalized peoples as the Palestinians than anyone except the Saudis, our money feeds poor all over the planet limited only by the amount their own despots skim off the top.  We keep goverenments from Pakistan to Egypt to Saudi Arabia in business with our dollars so they can use their own dollars for personal stuff.  American organizations gather and spend billions and billions of dollars saving children and forests and water all over the planet.  We need apologize to no one.

On the other hand there exists in the world a force that believes it is mandated by its prophet to convert or kill all those who think differently and that if you convert from their beliefs to something else you are also subject to being executed.  Now we hear that a pastor who was NEVER muslim but whose parents were muslim is sentenced to be hanged for apostasy.  What great people and what a great culture they have…

These people will allow young girls to be burned alive in a fire because their face coverings were burned up and they would otherwise have to appear in public showing… their faces.

These people capture Americans and torture them, saw their heads off, burn them alive, hang their bodies from bridges or drag them through the streets.

These people will call for murdering people for cartoons they deem irreverent or whose writings call their actions into question.

These people create hypocritical governments where strict theological laws constrain the public but dictators and self-declared royalty live in corruption that would even offend a union leader and in debauchery that would make a Hollywood actor blush.  And I am supposed to be tolerant of that or understanding?  Not in this lifetime!

Perhaps their prohibition on eating pork is because they recognize it as cannibalistic.  And apologizing to these intellectual, spiritual, emotional savages is like apologizing to pigs.  To them it is simply a sign of weakness to be noted and exploited.

We do not EVER need to bow to them, or to apologize for accidentally burning a holy book — especially one that contains the instructions to kill us because we do not believe as they do.  If we sometimes step over our own lines, sometimes take actions that violate our own principles, all of which we have undeniably done, then we may well need to apologize to our own people for getting off track.  But we need never apologize to such savage slobs who want nothing more than for all of us to be dead and off the planet.

But that too, whether you think we owe others apologies or not, is all a red herring.

The reality behind bowing and apologizing is to promote a new view of the transforming America as no longer exceptional in any way, but just another of the mediocre collections of people around the globe.  It is the product of a world view so different from the historical and even normal current American view that there is little point of common reference.  And that worldview is indeed the real issue at stake.

But what is also at issue is the result of that world looking back and seeing us as weak.  Because they want to kill us and there is no “fall-back” position, the only thing holding them in check is our perceived strength.  That is the only thing they understand and respect.  When it is gone or diminished their willingness to engage in conflict increases.  And with that comes another strain on our attention and more importantly another drain on our economy, the primary tool of transformation.  And that, I believe, is no accident or simple mistake of a buffoon trying to play in the grown up’s world as it has been characterized.  I believe it too is another tactic perfectly serving the strategic goals of the anointed one.

Where Obama was born is irrelevant.  Obama and his disciples and heralds in the media have played this out brilliantly.  By first refusing to provide a birth certificate and then providing one so obviously and amateurishly flawed we have several ploys at play.  The first is a great execution of a big lie.  Think about it; how does one not tend to accept that surely the President of the United States would not proffer such weak and questionable evidence if it were not in fact true and accurate?

But actually it is simply a wonderful red herring.  Let’s accept for a moment, for the sake of argument, that the document presented as a “birth certificate”, even if fake itself actually tells the truth and Obama was in fact born in Hawaii and therefore a citizen anchor baby.  So what?  It is not the issue.  The issue is the constitution’s definitions of citizens in which it recognizes three levels, and the relevant rules governing elected officials.

“Naturalized” citizens are individuals who were citizens of a foreign state but who have gone through the naturalization process and become citizens of this country.

“Normal” or “Native” citizens are simply anyone who has been born here.  That was an important distinction when the constitution was written since the country was so young.

But there is another category; the “natural born” citizen.  And that distinction is indicated in the disparate requirements for holding federal office.  Senators and representatives could be normal citizens or even naturalized citizens, but the president must be a natural born citizen.  OK, but what does this mean and how do we know this is what is meant by the framers?  Two reasons.

The first is that the framers were openly consulting the 1797 book by philosopher of law Emmerich de Vattel entitled “The Law of Nations.” We know that because they said so in several letters and essays.  In that book he defines “Natural Born Citizens” as “…those born in the country of parents who are citizens.”  The second way we know is that the Supreme Court has ruled in at least four instances — in 1814, (where the Vattel book is cited in the decision), 1830, 1875, and in 1898 where Natural Born Citizens were distinguished from “Native Citizens” who were individuals who were born in the US but of any parents.

The supreme court has specifically ruled several times that a natural born citizen is an individual who is born to parents, BOTH OF WHOM are citizens at the time of the birth.  The PLACE of birth is irrelevant and this category covers individuals who are born to U.S. citizens while traveling in another country.

But by getting us to focus on whether or not Obama himself was born in this country we totally avoid any scrutiny over whether or not his father, a Kenyan, was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.  Because if he was not, where Obama himself was born doesn’t matter, he could have been born on the capital steps but he would still not be a “Natural Born Citizen” as required.   And the problem there is that his father’s status is much easier to determine… unless we are distracted from looking.

The mainstream media pretends that normal native citizens, as defined above, are also natural born citizens but the supreme court has expressly ruled otherwise and the President Chester Arthur was so sure it was the correct interpretation that he lied about and destroyed records that would show he was a citizen but not a natural born citizen and should not have been eligible to be President.

What do I care?  I don’t on a personal level; I think a person should be qualified if the people as a whole decide that is who they want as leader.  But I also think that any leader who pretends to be the overseer of the country, the executive officer to decide what becomes national law, must first and foremost be required to OBEY the prime law of the land, the meta-law of our nation, the constitution.  Because if they can ignore that as they wish then all bets are off.

(And by the way, lest you think this is a partisan shot by me, it is clear that Republican potential Marco Rubio is in exactly the same boat and should not be eligible to be president.)

In the end even the answer to this if true is irrelevant because the odds of the media or the congress acting on it are essentially zero.  So why are so many people exercised over it?  Simple: to get their minds off of real issues where there might actually BE some impact.

Fairness.  When Obama pushes for taxes that every historical example has demonstrated will result in less income for the US Treasury people scratch their heads and ask why he seems incapable of “getting it?”

But I think he DOES “get it.”  One of the initial heads of his economic team, an economist from Berkley, even wrote a widely accepted paper demonstrating how over the years there is a 3:1 inverse relationship between taxes and revenue, i.e. every dollar taxes are increased results in 3 fewer dollars of revenue and vice versa.  Obama himself even told us in an interview where that very issue was raised that he understands the negative revenue consequences but he is about “fairness.”   But when you see this country as flawed at its core and needing to be transformed into your own Marxist inspired version of “fairness” (or as Marx put it, “…from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”) and know from your college mentors following Cloward and Plivens and Keynes that the way to bring down a country is economically via class warfare, then it all makes perfect sense and is brilliantly executing a well planned strategy.

This is not about fairness, it is about tearing down one model of government and replacing it with one you prefer.  “Fairness” is the positive buzz word that you can count on the disciples will latch on to and to misdirect attention but it is not really the issue because it is, at its core, undefinable.  But under the guise of “fairness” what we really get is something else, and that is…

Creating Dependencies.  Obama and his liberal/progressive philosophies are steeped in the strategic admonitions of Machiavelli and know what it takes to gain and maintain power.

“Thus a wise prince will think of ways to keep his citizens of every sort and under every circumstance dependent on the state and on him; and then they will always be trustworthy.” -Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469 – 1527

 This creation of dependencies is, in my opinion, pure political evil made all the more evil because it is done by fostering the idea that we can forget those God-given unalienable rights mentioned in the founding documents.  Those have the nasty requirements of using them to become self sufficient and self motivated and actually work to earn what one derives from the exercise of those freedoms.  Liberal philosophy, by contrast, teaches that we ought to understand that we somehow have an absolute RIGHT to whatever it is we desire.  When we don’t get it we are victims and only the state can step in and put down those bad guys who actually earn the stuff but want to keep it, and steal the fruits of their labor to give to those other folks who have a right to it notwithstanding that they did nothing to earn it.

“Catholics Want Contraception” and other health care issues.  Of course there are Catholics who use and want birth control.  Of course women’s health is important.  Of course there was unfairness (there is that convenient buzz word again) over pre-existing health conditions (I’ve run into it myself in the past).  Of course there are social benefits to having more people on health insurance.  So who would not want to see a good solution to those situations?

But none of those are the real issues.  The real issues are wrapped up in a single question: who has the authority to mandate those actions?  The federal constitution is clear on the subject: at the moment that authority does not come from either the legislative or executive branches of the federal government, but there is nothing to prohibit state governments from addressing it if their own state constitutions do not prohibit it.  Massachusetts had a perfect right to institute mandatory health insurance but the Federal government does not.  Let me repeat, the issue is not whether a law is a good idea or not, the issue is do those specifically involved lawmakers have the authority, under their own charters, to impose it?

In this case I believe the federal constitution does not allow it.  But Obama does not care about the constitution; in fact he has on a number of occasions referred to it as flawed along with the country and culture flowing from it.  These issues are at their heart, a means of changing the source of authority and power in the country from the legislative branch and the constitution to the Executive branch and his own ideals as espoused by sources other than those whose writings led to the constitution of the United States.

And if, in fact, the president can tell and enforce how Catholics interpret their sacred texts and practice their religion even if that is different than the Catholic Hierarchy teaches, who is next whose practices run afoul of official state policies?  So much for another clause in the Constitution.  One more nail in the coffin of a government of, by, and for the people and one more step toward a people that are of, by, and for the government.

Going Green.  Who could possibly not be for developing alternative and less polluting sources of energy?  No one.  Forget for a moment any issues about global warming, even if that is entirely a money generating hoax, the fact remains that we should be stewards of our one earth and using renewable energy sources would be good for us and good for the planet.  So who could possibly oppose that?  And that is why it is such a wonderful Straw Man tactic of misdirection.

The reality is that workable technology for all alternative energy except nuclear, vis-à-vis making it reasonably affordable, is years off.  At its cheapest it is 3 to 10 times more expensive per unit of energy than energy derived from fossil fuels.  And when people are in deep trouble economically that is a major problem.

The problem is compounded by the understanding that this country has HUGE reserves of energy resources that are estimated to match or exceed those of the Saudis.  And we have an energy rich neighbor to the north anxious to sell to us but needing to sell to SOMEONE even if that sale is not in our best interests.

Obama claims that oil production is up and it is his doing but leaves out that it is only up on private wells and is virtually shut down on federal wells over which he has control.  He said in a speech in Florida he has no idea what to do about the fact that we are producing enough oil here but prices are still rising.

Nonsense.  If that is true he is incompetent to be President.  But he does know what to do; it is just that his ideology prevents him from doing it.  The price of oil effects everything: not just gas at the pump but anything that relies on transportation (food, goods of all kinds) and anything made from oil by-products such as anything made from plastics.  No other single commodity has such a huge impact on our overall economy than oil: we are an oil-based society and in that we are the same as most of the rest of the world.  And until technology (which I think should be encouraged and supported) solves the disparity in costs, which it will some day, then as a country we need to get a grip on our own oil and oil costs.  That is within the prevue of the federal government.  So why not do it?

Because to NOT do it, to divert our attention onto that “green” ideal, we further weaken the economy and make it more vulnerable to the transformation that will come from the crisis that ensues when the economy fails.  And if we can lose a few Billion dollars down the drain of failed and failing companies while we are at it to speed up the gutting of the economy, so much the better because we can say, “We tried.”  Right.

Cuts in Spending.  Let’s handle this one quickly.  We all know that spending has to be cut.  But what has to be cut is the baseline.  Reducing the amount of additional spending desired is not a budget cut.  It is a straw man misdirection.


So then if these issues and others are not really relevant issues as they are presented by the media and the questioners at the debates, what IS or should be relevant?  In my opinion, to get this country back on track we need to accomplish several things in the next 7-10 years and in a particular priority.

FIRST PRIORITY.  The absolute first priority is to cement once and for all what are the powers of the federal government allowable under the constitution as it is now written so we never allow politicians of any stripe to bring us to this point again.   The proper behavior of a citizen is first to obey the laws as existing but work to change them if there is a real problem.   So if there is some national interest in amending some of the powers and rights set forth in that document, then lets start the amendment process and get it done.  In 1865 the amendment ending slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime was proposed and passed by the nation in a year.  In 1865!

Perhaps indeed our world has so evolved that it forces upon us as a nation-state a revisiting of some of our paradigms about how the world operates and how we can best work within that new, or newly perceived reality.  But that does not mean that our vision for our country has changed; it does not mean that our values as a society have changed; it does not mean that we can simply float willy nilly on a nebulous charter that is so flexible that it, de facto, has no meaning or directions for us at all.

It means, at most, that it is time for another Constitutional Convention to revisit the issues and see what changes, if any, would be potentially appropriate for us as we wade off into our future in this new world.  When the nation as a whole thinks it is time for a change it can accomplish it in reasonable time frames.  But the proper approach is not to usurp the document that set in motion what became, when we actually followed it, the greatest nation on earth and certainly not to give the executive officer of the country monarchical or dictatorial power or to allow unelected appointees and their fiefdoms to promulgate laws and regulations having serious impacts on the country usurping the jobs and responsibilities of the representatives we elect to do just that.

I would propose Constitutional amendments to the effect that cabinet positions be defined and limited.  That no law can be passed that does not apply equally to the lawmakers.  And that no rider can be attached to any bill that does not specifically speak to the main topic or subject of that bill so things can not be sneaked through riding on the backs of other important issues and requiring that each issue be addressed on its own merits.

This action has top priority because without it anything else done, no matter how much it is needed, will simply be a stop gap to buy time until the tide turns again and we return to this same path we are on now.

SECOND PRIORITY is the national debt crisis and overall economic condition.  Nothing else will so impact the “general welfare” noted in the Constitution’s preamble as our economic security and stability.  Who of us that has EVER tried to handle a personal or business budget truly believes you can solve a debt crisis by taking on more debt?  Crises of debt always, on any level, require incredibly painful and sometimes ugly efforts to bring expenditures and revenues into synch.

Obama has already admitted his tax policies will likely result in lowered revenue (as it has in other places they were tried such as Maryland and California) but that his dedication to “fairness” overrides that.  Meaning his ideology overrides helping to solve our biggest problem meaning this problem is actually working FOR him in some way.  If the so-called 1% paid 100 percent of their personal incomes as taxes it would not put much of a dent in the debt.  So let’s get real here.  The problem is mostly one of spending money we are not offsetting with revenue.  And we have gotten so far out of whack we now are faced with ugly, painful, hurtful choices but if we fail to take them then we are on the way to becoming Greece with riots in the streets.

We can no longer treat anything as sacred except the survival and stability of the country as a whole and we all must sacrifice.  But those sacrifices need to be defined and they all need to have built in, irrevocable sunset clauses so that when the country is again stable they revert to proper levels.  And laws need to be passed to prohibit the government from ever again allowing things to get so out of control.

But none of our normal “fixes” that were dictated during a world of sovereign, independent, self-sufficient nation states, will work in this now global economy.  We can argue whether we should have allowed it or bought into it but that discussion is pointless… we are in it up to our ears.  And it is our role in this global market that will determine our future success or failure as a country.

THIRD PRIORITY is the national defense and international policy.  And here again I’m not sure that many of the paradigms of the past from a day of sovereign self sufficiency and easy isolationist days that guide either party are still workable.  On some fronts I would love to return to those isolationist days of “live and let live” but it is simply not possible in a day and age of inter-continental ballistic missles and nuclear weapons and global markets.  We are part of this world whether we want to be or not. We are no longer self sufficient not the least of which is because the policies of the party in the White House has made it so.  And the ancillary problem is that in addition to now needing foreign goods,  there are other parts of the world that wish us harm.

Based on our OWN core values, we should define friend and non-friend; support the friends and leave non-friends to their own devices until they threaten global stability by threatening us or a friendly state.  And our military might and geopolitical will needs to be such that no one, no country who wants to survive into the future will ever risk a fight with us.

AND THEN… Overlapping and having an impact on both the 2nd and 3rd priorities above is the ongoing issue of energy.  Acquiring it presents national defense issues and paying for it presents economic issues.  We need to convene a convention of energy-related scientists of all types and energy consumers of all types with a basic charge and timeline; a 20 year plan as important as the goal of Kennedy’s of reaching the moon.

The objectives are first to make us completely energy self sufficient in 10 years at which point we need not buy a drop of oil from any foreign state.  If we used all of the reserves we own as a country that would give us an estimated 50-100 years based on our maximum consumption.  So objective two is that within 20 years we will have developed the technology to start replacing fossil fuels with other renewable sources leaving the remaining reserves of oil for those few areas where there may not be a replacement such as in manufacturing.

But that begs a more current question in which straw men and red herrings are also in play.  We get most of the oil we import from Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela.  Only about 10% comes from the middle east.  Nevertheless, we now have enough excess supply, government restraints notwithstanding, that we export oil.  A recent interview with an oil exec claimed the reason gas was so expensive was the world price of oil.  Now I see two glaring issues buried in that.

First, if we are exporting oil, why are we buying a quart of it from Hugo Chavez, the favorite dictator of Sean Penn, if we actually make enough and are exporting it?  The only possible answer is to prop up his regime, which in turn props up Cuba, both of which are closer ideologically to our leadership’s political roots than to the roots of the country as a whole.

And the second question is what does what we charge others have to do with what we charge ourselves?  The only answer is that it props up oil company profits which are already through the roof.  And that is unlikely to change since the right wants to prop them up and the left wants us to run gas so high consumers will switch to alternatives.  Is that arbitrary abuse of federal power, in either direction, OK with you?  It is not with me.  We are blaming OPEC when we ought to be looking closer to home and starting in Washington and then Wall Street.

If we could have a successful “Manhattan” project and then a successful space project, we certainly have the brain power and infra-structure to do this if we had a true leader with a vision for it.  And rather than spending huge sums of money to prop up dictators that hate us or to allow non-productive people to live off of productive ones, this would be money that would truly help the country.

Now in my opinion, THOSE are some issues to focus on.  But I don’t see anyone out there doing it.


Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Happy Birthday America

San Diego – On this day in 1776, some very brave individuals dipped their quill pens in an inkwell and signed their names to a document that was to alter the course of history not just for this country but for the world.  The values embodied in that writing were, for over 100 years, the values that motivated this nation and illuminated its character until it truly became the place symbolized by the lady with the torch in New York Harbor.

Those men had backbones of steel and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish the land of the free and home of the brave.  Their words were immortal even if their bodies were not; and for that they should be grateful.  Because if they were still alive to see what we have done with their trust, a trust for which many of them actually gave their lives and fortunes, I think they would be appalled and profoundly saddened to see their political progeny with backbones of cornmeal mush.  John Adams wrote:

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” 

If there is kindness in Heaven then Adams will not be allowed to look down.  As a nation we no longer truly understand the word ‘honor’, much less ‘sacred honor’.  I fear that in another 230-odd years into the future, if in fact we have that amount of time left, future historians will see this country as little more than a footnote in history as is Rome or Babylon to us.  Unless, that is, we quickly get our heads back on straight and our country back on course and away from the ruinous path we are now on.

Most of the celebrants today are simply out for a day off work and the chance to see some good fireworks displays where they are still allowed.  A recent survey showed that only about a 3rd of the people knew what year the Declaration of Independence was written, fewer still could name any of the signers,  a statistically insignificant number could recite any of the reasons for it, and an astonishingly low number, less than a quarter of them, knew from whom we were declaring independence.  And it gets worse,

We have so degenerated into partisan bickering that a recent Harvard study concluded that 4th of July events tended to benefit Republicans and gave no benefit to Democrats.  What???  We have a major party fielding candidates to lead the country who derive no benefit from remembrances of the date on which, for the first time, we defined this country as one which was, as noted in some of my previous posts, obsessed with freedom?  What does that say about them if it is true?  And if it is true why would anyone have any truck with them at all?

Well the reason seems to be that Marx was right after all:  people will get soft after awhile and forget the fire that was in the bellies of their elders and ancestors and come to a point where all they want from a government is to be taken care of.  And they will give up the freedoms for which those signers risked everything, so that the fruits of the labors of others will be used to carry them.

Don’t think so?  Another poll taken just a few months ago showed that for the first time ever, over half of the citizens wanted the government to partake in wealth redistribution and have the people willing to work provide the goodies for those who are not.  As a nation and culture, this country cannot survive that attitude which is anathema to everything — EVERYTHING — those signers believed in.

Rather than accept the founders’ own words about what they believed and tried to accomplish, our universities are filled with liberal professors who have reinvented them in the images of their own beliefs and ignored all of the carefully written documents and letters to the contrary.  Those teachers are, to use Lenin’s appraisal, “useful idiots.”  And students, who know only what they are taught and no longer seem willing to take the time or expend the effort to go researching and analyzing evidence on their own, swallow that poison in big single gulps.  Who needs a Jim Jones when we have a cadre of professors pouring the cultural Kool-Aid for them?

I have written before and offered quotes to show that the social and political philosophies of the founders following Locke and Burke and elegantly phrased by Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other are not what is too often taught in our schools and certainly not in mine.  I have pointed to their own writing to demonstrate what they REALLY intended with the Bill of Rights and how it was NOT even remotely close to what we modernly have come to assert.

Though I have not previously written about one of those revisionist topics, a news article today encourages me to do so.  It is now popular to try to contend that the founders were not religious people and certainly not Christian. Even our president, King Barrack, said we are not a Christian nation.  We have usurped the founding fathers’ awareness of religious abuses and consequent fear of a State Religion to declare they were not, themselves, religious and spiritual people.  But as explained by Benjamin Rush, one of the founders and our first Secretary of Education,

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments…. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.”

Much is made modernly of Jefferson’s religious thinking and many claims are even made that he was most likely an closet atheist.  It is true he held organized religions, especially those with a priestly caste that interfered in governments, in the lowest esteem.  But that is a different matter and in a letter to John Adams, discussing Calvin, with whom he disagreed, Jefferson wrote:

 “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.”

Undaunted, much is also made of the alleged fact that even George Washington said that the U.S. was in no way founded on Christianity (though actually that is a quote from Adams) and also on the unfortunate fact that some quotes to the contrary by him have been shown to be, themselves, utter fabrications.  Indeed he may be one of the most often misquoted people outside of Yogi Berra and Abe Lincoln.

But there are plenty of Washington’s real letters and recorded speeches to draw from and we need to put those real lines in context as Madison admonished when he wrote that such reinventions of what people believed came from separating their words from the environments in which they lived.  In presenting one of the most critically important issues in trying to interpret the words of those no longer around to clarify things for us, Madison prophetically warned us,

“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” 

The founders were fearful of a state religion and noted frequently the history of Henry VIII who made himself head of the Church of England.  But to separate church and state politically is a very different thing entirely from separating a culture’s reliance on foundational religious principles and values.  And we therefore need to accept that Washington also wrote:

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” and further “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Or let’s listen to John Adams…

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

I think we are now seeing the truth of that statement come true as we increasingly lose our moral compass as we throw away our religious values.  It is true that Adams railed against the abuses of religion throughout history and so fought long and hard to make sure the new country he was helping to found did not incorporate the co-founding of a State Religion.  But for himself and his own beliefs, he also wrote:

“But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears, to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the Faith may be, I firmly believe.” 

Alas, modern revisions and attempts to reinvent the founders’ beliefs and intentions didn’t start with the religious issue and has hardly stopped there.  The new interpretations, as i’ve pointed out now and then, extend to other matters as well. James Madison, who wrote in defense of the 2nd Amendment (and contrary to a retired City College professor who asserted to me that the 2nd Amendment was written to avoid the draft— which NO ONE back then was talking about since after the war they virtually disbanded the army entirely)…

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Our professors and liberal leaders have clearly done what Madison advised against above and have taken words apart from their historical context as they tried to reinterpret and reconnect the founders’ words with the professors’ own desires.  And as a result we are, in my opinion, getting the very government he feared would intrinsically follow: “…a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”

Perhaps in part that is because we did not heed Madison’s other prescient warnings, such as…

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

And elsewhere he noted.

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. … It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad. … It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

Madison also had something to say to those who believe it is the role of government to provide a common trough from which all might feed.

“The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.” 

So what is the point of all of this recitation?  Why have I here and in other posts tried to show what the founding fathers and the intellectual mentors they admired wrote and meant as contrasted with modern, and mostly liberal, attempts to claim otherwise?  The reason is simple and straightforward.

I believe the country those great mean defined and founded was the best thing that ever happened to the history of man’s attempts to form “…a more perfect union.”  Yes it has flaws but our Constitution also provides the means to correct them.  But, to the point, we cannot accurately asses their words and deeds without accurately understanding their true intentions and foundational beliefs.  If we try to make course corrections without that understanding we are almost guaranteed to make mistakes and in this world those could be culturally and nationally deadly.

Many of the same issues facing them are facing us.  The world has grown and evolved but in some fundamental ways not changed all that much.  And human nature, sadly, has not appeared to have changed at all.  Our modern world may provide additional solutions to those problems facing us, but if we cannot accurately understand what the real problems they were addressing with their solutions and simply try to attack the bottom line, our chances of lasting success are virtually nil as are the chances of not doing some damage to the good parts as well.

My fear therefore stems from the fact that I believe that as we as a nation, following mostly liberal thinking, have drawn further and further away from the principles laid down by the founders starting with that document signed on the first 4th of July,  Our nation has gone, as a result, from growth to decline.

I believe that if the liberal socialist ideals embraced by much of Europe, and profoundly held by our current president, continue to expand and control, then we are doomed.  Like every other time in human history socialist economics has been applied and failed, it will fail with us too. There have been no exceptions to that litany of failure and we will not be the first.

In fact the country and especially this state (California) are poster children for the proposition that Socialist/Keynesian economics will bring any followers to ruin.  I fear, along with John Adams, that,

“… a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  And…

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” 

I also believe that when we find ourselves adrift in terms of core values just as we are adrift economically; when we reach, as we seem to have started doing, the point where we refuse to discriminate between right and wrong and insist morality is an old and obsolete concept, then our national soul is a rotten as our national purse and we, of right, are laying the seeds of our own destruction. Again, in the words of John Adams,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” 

I sadly am increasingly of the belief that King Barrack knows his Adams well.   He is not very good with the sword, as we are seeing, but he is beyond excellent with debt.

So on this Fourth of July in 2011 I will be celebrating the birthday of what was, at one time, the greatest country on earth.  For those who feel that this celebration has no benefit to them then I would say you need to re-assess your thinking or seriously consider emigration to a country more in line with your beliefs.

You cannot have it both ways.  If you belong to the “blame America first” thinkers, and if, eventually, you get your way and we turn into another socialist country of the current European model, then we will simply have their problems (think Greece as the exemplar of that ideal) you will lose the good things you wanted to keep.

If, on the other hand, you help those like me turn the country back to what it was you may lose your place at the government trough because I would personally throw the trough away.  But with that comes a place of true freedom, a place where, for those willing to work for it, the pursuit of happiness can result in success to a level unachievable in those other places from which our immigrants have come.

And if you are an immigrant, legal or otherwise, please think about this: you came here to escape a place where you were treated poorly or had no hope of rising past the level you were in.  Why would you then want to turn us back into the place you came from?

So instead of turning your environment into little enclaves of “the old country,” do what our earlier immigrants did: buy into the hope and possibilities of this great land, buy into the words and meanings and values of the Declaration of Independence celebrated on this day, buy into the freedoms memorialized in our unique Constitution, and do all you can do to let us and help us grow and all you can do to keep us from slipping into the same approaches and attitudes and allegiances and corruptions that defined and described the places from which you came.

If we will only open our eyes and see it, there are benefits to us all from celebrating the birthday of the signing of our Declaration of Independence.


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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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