The Anti-War President’s New Iraq War

The beheading of James Foley seemed to be a game changer as far as Presidential resolve in the war on terror.  You can read his remarks here, but I recommend that you watch the video to get the full flavor of the President’s apparently real anger at ISIS.

Just to highlight some of his remarks…

 Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.

They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just god would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.

This isn’t typical Obama-speak.  This sounds closer to vintage George W. Bush.  The President’s reaction seems different to the beheading than previously, when he’s been forced, for the sake of protocol, to condemn some terrorist action that he really wasn’t worked up about. I think for the first time, Obama and his administration are actually appalled by an example of Islamic terrorism.  Maybe because it’s a journalist; someone “like them” instead of a soldier, contractor, or missionary.  Those are people generally incomprehensible to this administration’s biases.

And that’s probably why the press coverage is so different this time.  The media has trotted expert after expert on TV telling how this is the greatest threat EVER and there seems to be no push back from the usual foreign policy leftists.

Tellingly, there also  hasn’t been any push back from either the President’s allies or opponents in the Congress.  Republicans are not exactly bragging to the high heavens about it, but they seem to be supporting the President.  Meanwhile the administration is releasing security bulletins that indicate Chicago is a new terrorist target and the President is considering widening his air war against ISIS into Syria.

I think we might be on hand to witness one of the greatest ironies of modern times; an administration that came to power on an anti Iraq war platform now preparing us to go to war in Iraq.

 

Ferguson’s Affirmative Action Solution

Part of the fallout of the Trayvon Martin shooting was a change at the top for Sanford PD.  Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee first stepped down from his position, and then later, after offering to resign, was fired.  Lee was replaced by Cecil E. Smith as the new Sanford Police chief. In Ferguson, MO, Police Chief Thomas Jackson had his entire police department shunted to the sidelines as the Governor put the State Police, lead by Captain Ron Johnson, in charge.  The common thread of course is that in both racially charged cases, a white person was replaced by a black person.

Of course, in the never ending war on noticing, we…aren’t supposed to notice that.  It’s just a guy bungling the situation replaced by someone who is hopefully more competent.  But in both cases with black victims and an activated civil rights establishment on the march; literally on the march, it makes perfect sense that the head of the law enforcement agency in question be headed by someone who’s black.

And as a PR move, it’s worked great.

The media is full of respectful and flattering stories of Captain Ronald Johnson and it’s not just media hype, he’s achieved real results in bringing a boiling situation to a simmer and getting control of the looting after the Ferguson Police Department’s heavy handed military occupation-like attempt to gain control through superior firepower.  And although Johnson does deserve all due credit for that, the fact is that he would not have been able to do that if he were white.

In the post civil rights era, the realization of this started back in the infamous Rodney King beating and has continued up through the age of a Black President, from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown.  Black people do not trust white cops.  They never have, and are unlikely to start in any of our lifetimes.  We can gnash our teeth of this, and try even more community outreach programs that will fail like all the ones before, but in a town like Ferguson, MO, with a black population of 67%, the police department is 94% white.

The consequences of this are that the black population feels like they are under occupation, and as demonstrated by the Ferguson PD overkill to the looting, they clearly think they are occupying hostile territory. Black President or no, this is an extremely racially divided country, and not because of this or that racial crisis that the media loves to gin up, but because that is our default position.  Sad to say, but the racial divide is normal.  It’s not just a media creation (although they do love to exploit it).  White people like to pretend that after the civil rights era it’s all taken care of, and will point to our Black President as proof, “See there?  Black guy; mission accomplished.”

Mission not accomplished and it may never be accomplished.  We can of course, go on and pretend that this isn’t a divided country, or we can stare down reality and admit that we have problems that another commission, or inner city funding, is not going to solve.

Civil society and all of the threads that make a society work depend on social trust.  That is increasingly in short supply in our society, but it is clearly missing in the relationship between Blacks and police, otherwise we wouldn’t have ‘The Talk.’  But, if we’re willing to accept these painful truths maybe we can do something to mitigate the damage these incidents play on our national psyche.  We need to recognize that Black people really want to be policed by Black cops.

I’m no fan of the concept of Affirmative Action.  I think it’s a legal and constitutional stain on the country, but you know, we have a lot of stains.  Maybe we ought to recognize that for black people, they need the trust in law enforcement that black law enforcement can provide and that white law enforcement, no matter how well meaning, will never be able to.  So what am I suggesting?  I think we need black cops to police black areas.  This would require a massive hiring of new black police officers to police these areas, so this isn’t something that would happen overnight.  It would take years to implement.  But I think the benefits make it worth pursuing, and we certainly haven’t come up with anything else that’s made much of a difference.

But a major nationwide recruiting effort with the subsequent publicity might make a lot of black youth consider a career in law enforcement that they wouldn’t otherwise have even considered.  And not for nothing, but these are considered “good jobs.” People in high crime areas might consider calling the cops more, and actually talking to them, instead of avoiding “snitching.”  If they can start trusting their local cop on the beat, maybe they can start trusting law enforcement at large.  Certainly if a black cop shoots a black suspect, it’s not going raise the ire of the civil rights establishment.  Eventually, when those incidents happen, maybe black people will have the same reaction to those shootings that white people have when a white or black cop shoots a white suspect; ignore it.  Generally we default assume the guy had it coming, not that the cop set out to specifically murder someone.

It’s a low bar of achievement I realize, but we have to accept that for our racially divided society, we can’t even reach that low bar.  We need to try something, even if means recognizing painful truths.

 

 

 

No Moderates in Palestine

I don’t think I’ve written specifically on the Israeli-Palestinian permanent crisis before; mostly because I just don’t have the background on the various agreements, history, and grievances that make this continuing conflict such a stain on the planet.  But as the latest Gaza War winds down, I’ve learned a few lessons that make it a lot easier to know which side to be on.

I’ve been on a web forum for politics for several years now that has an international flavor; there are posters from all over the world who show up to lodge their opinions.  So the Gaza conflict naturally brought out people from all over the world to post their opinions, which, it’s no surprise, were almost uniformly anti-Israeli.  Actually, I’m being kind by referring to the comments as “anti-Israel.”  The real basis of it is good old fashioned anti Semitism.

That’s one of the sad things I’ve learned about the world.  When I first started posting on this particular political forum, I was shocked by the amount of casual anti Semitism that was on display.  That was something that was rarely seen on American political web boards.  Or at least not that I’ve seen. But it really brought into focus one of those issues that confound students of history; namely, how could a civilized nation like Germany fall to such depths that it operated extermination camps for the purpose of mass murder of the Jews?  After a few months on that board, the real question is why aren’t those camps up and running now, considering the depth of hatred that currently exist all over the world for Jews?  It seems that outside of the United States (and I recognize that a slice of internet commentary isn’t the “real world”) that despite the various ranges of language, culture, class, ethnicity, and politics, the world is united in it’s antipathy for the Jews.

So during the Gaza conflict, I was enjoying a discussion thread with a Jordanian who, based on previous postings, was not in any sense, a fanatic. So I thought it would be enjoyable and enlightening to discuss the pros and cons.  I admitted that I didn’t know every in and out of the conflict, but of the two combatants, one was clearly representing civilization, and one was representing barbarity, so in a world of limited information, I’m on the side of civilization.

It was enlightening anyway.

One of the problems in discussing this issue is that the pro-Palestinian side is never honest about their endgame.  I’ve heard from foreign policy experts, diplomats, and pundits that everyone knows what peace will look like:  A two state solution.  The problem is that only one side really believes in a two state solution.  That was the case for this Jordanian, who after saying he supported a two state solution, ended up opposing the best two state solution, the original UN Partition Plan for Palestine, and the second best one, which was the Camp David Summit that took place in 2000 under Bill Clinton where he got Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to hammer out an agreement that Arafat ultimately rejected.

My Jordanian friend explained that the Camp David agreement would only provide 92% of the West Bank, therefore was unacceptable.  I thought 92% was pretty good terms for the losing side.  And that’s what the Palestinians and their apologists don’t seem to get.  They not only lost the war at the partition and the declaration of Israel’s independence, they’ve lost every single war since then.  Of course, if they had won even one, Israel would no longer exist and it’s likely they’re would be a scarcity of Jews in the area.  For Israel, every war is an existential one.

But losing sides don’t dictate terms, they accept them.  Every other side that has been on the losing end of a war they started and lost territory; at least understands why they lost the territory.  Does Germany get to claim the Sudetenland or Danzig (now Polish Gdansk) back from the war they started and lost?  Nope.  Nor would the world tolerate ethnic Germans living in UN financed refugee camps in 2014 for a war they lost in 1945, whining to get those territories back. Germany makes a good example for another reason:  The Arabs sided with the Nazi’s during World War II.  There are no spoils of war for the losers.

The Palestinians have lost their war and don’t know it. Every other people who get defeated in war and lose territory…don’t get it back. The Mexicans are not getting the Southwest back. Nor were the Mexicans living on the US side of the border put in refugee camps for decades. They either became Americans or left for Mexico. Look how many times the borders of Europe have been changed due to war just in the past century. The losers don’t get do overs. Is the Ukraine getting The Crimea back? Nope. If the entire world was as crazy as the Palestinians, sitting in their refugee camps decade after decade, human life would be extinct. We would have nuked each other over and over until there wasn’t a human left. They should either accept the borders they have and declare themselves an independent state, or pack up and try to find a country to accept them. I don’t understand the entire world having to revolve around the genocidal ambitions of the Palestinians. There doesn’t seem a logical reason for it, unless  virulent anti-Semitism counts as a reason.

If Israel isn’t legitimate than none of the Arab states are since they were all drawn up the same way, on the drawing board of Europe.  And my Jordanian debater?  He eventually admitted that the real occupied territories are the ones Israel took with them on independence.  In other words, the entire state of Israel is an occupation.  So you can see, there is no room ever for compromise in the Arab mind.  The hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in refugee camps are not refugees from the West Bank, they are “refugees” from Israel, and their intention is to return home when there is no longer an Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scored a good talking point in Western media when he said, “We are using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”  That’s the civilized side and that’s the side I’m on.

Why Elites Love Low Skilled Immigration

Let me offer a hat tip to the Lion of the Blogosphere for alerting me to a year and a half old column written by the New York Time’s house conservative, David BrooksCalling Brooks a conservative is a bit of a stretch.  As a Columnist for the New York Times and regular contributor to PBS’s News Hour, referring to Brooks as a conservative is akin to describing the Commander in Chief Barrack Obama as a soldier.  It’s probably more apt to describe his politics as me-too Republicanism.  That basically describes the Republican Party from the FDR era up until the age of Reagan.  They were for whatever the Democrats were for, only not as much.  Democrats would propose a program, the Republicans would say, “OK, but that program is too big. We need to trim it down.”  The Democrats would say OK and they would work out a number, not as big as first proposed, but still big, and there you go, bipartisan compromise.

English: David Brooks

English: David Brooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Me-too Republicanism.

As a commentator, Brooks seems to bring nothing to the table.  I’ve watched him many times over the years expound on the conventional wisdom of the day on The News Hour.  His opinions were banal and shared by everyone in his class.  He could have written the ‘Conventional Wisdom Watch’ column for Newsweek.  And of course, he was in love with Obama, famously deciding that Obama would make a great President after staring (too long I think) at the crease in Obama’s pants.

So it’s no surprise that Brooks is a supporter of amnesty and open borders immigration.  After all, everyone in his class is.  That’s the dominate view of the cocktail party set.  Brook’s column is loaded with a pablum of open borders clichés, and inaccuracies that have been debunked multiple times, but what got my attention was this comment:

 

“Thanks to the labor of low-skill immigrants, the cost of food, homes and child care comes down, living standards rise and more women can afford to work outside the home.”

 

That remark leapt out at me, so revealing as it was of the class that Brooks is a part of; wealthy, urban, liberal, and totally disconnected and unattached to the rest of the country.  Yes, food is cheaper.  But it’s cheaper because we are allowing growers to ignore actual agricultural visas and employ illegals far cheaper than they would have to pay foreign, but legal workers.  Child care, however, isn’t cheaper.  For the struggling middle class shopping for day care is as expensive as it’s ever been.  But Brooks doesn’t mean day care, he means nannies.  For that class, that’s what child care means.

Brooks is justifying a permanent underclass to keep him and his buddies in the cocktail party circuit awash in cheap nannies and arugula.  His cheap food and labor argument could have been used, and probably was used, by some southern senator in the 1850’s justifying slavery.  “Ahh say suh…(yes I’m imagining him as Foghorn Leghorn) the institution of slavery is needed to provide cheap and plentiful food and clothing for all, as well as mammies to raise ouah babies so we can pursue self actualizing careers…”  OK that last bit is more Brooks than Foghorn Leghorn, but you get the idea,

Putting it another way, Brooks could be saying, “Thanks to the labor of our slaves, the cost of food, homes and child care comes down…”Slaves, serfs, proles, no matter what you call them, a life dependent on keeping a permanent underclass so that you can live your dreams because you are crushing theirs is fundamentally un-American.  And unstable. The elites want a life of plentiful servants, just like they see on Downton Abbey, and to do that they are willing to crush wage rates among the native poor, working class, and middle class.

You can’t be an Eloi without the Morlocks, but eventually the Molocks will turn on you.

 

 

Wet Foot/Dry Foot Democrats

The ongoing and apparently not-close-to-ending border crisis allows once again the public discussion of immigration, illegals, amnesty… in other words a bunch of issues that the country is in near permanent deadlock about.  Although some of my friends on the right think  this border rush of streams of children and mothers from Central America is all part of some clever Obama scheme, it seems to me to be the dumbest clever scheme ever. If Obama’s intention was to use this crisis to pass “comprehensive immigration reform;” a code word for amnesty, he’s just screwed the pooch.

Gallup shows that the support for immigration in general has tanked since the beginning of the border crisis.

And Rasmussen shows that “59% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the primary focus of any new immigration legislation passed by Congress should be to send the young illegal immigrants back home as quickly as possible.  Just 27% say it should focus instead on making it easier for these illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.”

That makes me think there is a big gulf between what the American people think about immigration and what its elected officials think.  The problem is, it’s sometimes hard to tell what our political leaders think.  Pelosi’s comments when she visited the border patrol facility in Brownsville, Texas sounded incoherent.

“I wish I could take all those children home with me…” 

“We’re all Americans in this hemisphere, North and South America.”

Eh, what does that mean in terms of policy?  Does she support letting all of the children stay, regardless of the circumstances?  Is she planning to adopt them all?  Or does she mean everyone in the Western Hemisphere should be allowed to enter the United States? It sounds like a jumble of nonsense but the rest of the Democratic leadership is just as bad. Breitbart collected a list of the ramblings.  See if you can pick out a policy here:

“House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) claimed America already has “extensive border security” while Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the well-being of the illegal immigrant children “must be our first priority.”

Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) “Yes, we need to match needs of our economy and our country’s values to our visa system.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said taxpayers should pay for more lawyers for illegal immigrant children, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) went further, saying “every” illegal immigrant child should get legal representation.

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) insisted that amnesty legislation would “raise wages” even though the Congressional Budget Office determined that the influx of more foreign workers would lower the wages of American workers.

If our political leaders are this stupid, one can only imagine how stupid the internet is on this issue.  I decided to collect the biggest reasons given for amnesty by left leaning folks on one of my political forums:

  • Americans are basically illegal aliens too and since we have no right to be here, we’ve no right to keep anyone else out.
  • Immigration laws are basically unenforceable so don’t even bother.
  • Border Control is too expensive. (I was shocked!  It was the first time I’ve heard anyone on the left concerned with how to pay for something.)
  • Opposition to illegal immigration is based on racism.
  • And related, to reduce the percentage of Whites in the United States.
  • The US has destroyed almost every country so people have no choice but to come here.

Compare the positions of these Yo Yos with our actual elected leaders.  There isn’t that big a difference, although the internet nuts are more direct, but it does give you, if you sift long enough, an actual position for Democrats on immigration.

Democrats seem to have an unspoken support for a form of Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy.  That policy, which we apply to Cuba under the Cuban Adjustment Act, allows Cubans who arrive in the United States to stay and apply for permanent residence.  However it doesn’t apply if Cubans are intercepted at sea.  So if a Cuban can get to the US, it’s like touching safe in a game of freeze tag.  They made it.  Democrats in policy and action sound like they want to apply that policy to every country in the world, not just Cuba.  They have not said it, yet, but it’s the most logical conclusion to their mish mash of statements.

 

My Post Vacation Links

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I just drove back from vacation and boy are my…wheels tired.  OK admittedly that’s not exactly a keeper, but hey, I’ve been on vacation. But even on vacation, the learning never stops, so I’ve come across a few articles that I thought were insightful enough to pass on.

First up: ‘Revisiting Snowden’s Hong Kong Getaway’ in the Wall Street Journal.  Yeah I know it’s behind a pay wall but just Google the article title.  Sshh!  Don’t tell The Wall Street Journal this is their secret back door!

Although I try to keep up with the Snowden story, this had some tidbits I wasn’t aware of, such as Snowden vanishing from the time he arrived in Hong Kong on May 20th to the 31st of May.  Where was he?  There are no records of hotel or credit charges during those dates.  Mysterious…

 

English: American author and columnist Jonah G...

English: American author and columnist Jonah Goldberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jonah Goldberg has a G File that is a testament to how good a writer he is when he can plug something worthwhile into an article that’s meant to be a throw away email newsletter. In, ‘The Importance of the Family,’ Goldberg argues that the family is the State’s biggest competitor and on the political level, Democratic political success is dependent on a disintegrating family unit.

 

 

English: Mark Steyn speaks at CPAC 2008 as Pam...

English: Mark Steyn speaks at CPAC 2008 as Pamela Gellar of Atlas Shrugs looks on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No links post could be complete without something from Mark Steyn.  In ‘Letting the IRS Get Away with it,’ Steyn points out one of the more troubling aspects of the IRS scandal; the release of donor lists of 501(c)3 organizations in order for leftwing activist groups to go after the donors personally.  It’s a chilling free speech issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English: Bob Newhart in Norfolk, Virginia. Doi...

English: Bob Newhart in Norfolk, Virginia. Doing a personal appearance at a K-Mart store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

And just for fun, a blog recently posted an old Bob Newhart classic bit, ‘The Driving Instructor.’  Comedy is one of those things that its practitioners can grow out of, either because they’ve worn out their shtick, they’re no longer creative enough to produce new material, or they just get too old period.  In the case of Bob Newhart, based on his recent appearances on ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ he is just as good now as he was over 50 years ago.  In Newhart’s case, his shtick is his delivery.  No other comedian has mastered the art of deadpan delivery as Newhart has.

 

 

It really is about Free Stuff

The Cochran Mississippi Republican primary victory is a week old and almost everything that could be written about has been written.  It was eye opening in several ways.  I have to say as a tactic, going after Democratic Black voters to vote in the Republican primary, was a brilliant one. It’s probably one of the most original campaign tactics I’ve heard of in years.

But that shows the depths of the hatred that the Establishment Republicans have for the Tea Party. This seat wasn’t in danger of going Democrat if McDaniel won, but the establishment so didn’t want another Tea Party candidate in office that they would rather smear their own base as racist and take a chance that the seat would flip to Democrats after these sorts of tactics. Think about that. The national party would rather a safe senate seat go to the other party than to the Tea Party!

Republicans are not usually this dirty towards Democrats.  Can you imagine Republicans sending out defamatory fliers like this out on a Democratic candidate?

 

 

Considering the dirty pool involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if a fair amount of Tea Party votes stayed home in November, putting the seat at risk.  But that was a risk the establishment was more than willing to take.

But the race was revealing in another way that I have not seen remarked on much since last week.  I often debate and view political debates online and a consistent charge from the right is that the Democrats win by promising “free stuff.”  This is of course highly insulting to Democrats since they think voters are attracted to the great ideas of the Democrats, not mere voter bribery, but in this case for the runoff, Cochran ran as the guy who could bring home the bacon and McDaniel would cut spending (insert shocked moan of the crowd here), yes cut it!  Promising to cut spending is usually one of those things that goes over well in a Republican primary or runoff, but in this case Cochran bet correctly that the new voters he was bringing in wouldn’t find that an attractive policy.  So in the war between “free stuff” and fiscal discipline, free stuff won hands down.

Normally I would at least enjoy the comfort at having been proven correct on many Democratic voters’ intentions, but it’s a rather sad commentary that voter bribery can still sway enough votes to swing an election.  And it’s dangerous for the future of the country. This runoff was a pretty good test case that free stuff is sweet candy and fiscal discipline is castor oil.  But if I had my way, I would rather take the castor oil now than the chemotherapy later.