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Someone Thinks Pretty Highly of Himself

Posted by V the K at 10:29 am - April 16, 2014.
Filed under: Liberals

Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of Munchkinland New York City, doesn’t have to use fossil fuels to heat his massive estate; his ego is plenty sufficient.

Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

I am reminded of a quote from C.S. Lewis.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

But then, what did he know? He was a Christianist.

Paul Ryan Was Right

Paul Ryan recently made the mistake of speaking truth to power and was subsequently forced to grovel and apologize to power because power played the race card.

Ryan, in a conversation with Bill Bennett, linked the problem of welfare dependency to the “tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”

This simple and obvious truth made all of the usual racist dogs (i.e. the Congressional Black Caucus whose members are largely elected from inner cities blighted by generations of welfare dependency) claimed they heard dog whistles.

This technique of squealing “racism” whenever legitimate criticism is made of Democrat welfare policies has been highly effective at shutting down debate, but it does nothing to change the reality of trans-generational welfare dependency.

Consider this case from the even more welfare-blighted UK, where a man hasn’t worked in over twenty years, has fathered somewhere between 18-27 illegitimate children by multiple mothers, his children and grandchildren are also on welfare and living with him, and the local welfare office is trying to figure out how to get him a larger house to accommodate them all.

None of the children who are of working age have jobs and Mr Rolfe says he relies instead on state handouts like housing benefit and child tax credit to get by.

‘Getting a larger house would mean the world to us. It would mean we could get some peace  and space.’He said: ‘I hate to see the children have no space, no privacy. They have nowhere to do their homework so they are doing badly at school.’

Incredibly, Mr Rolfe successfully complained to the Local Government Ombudsman that the property, which he moved into in September 2011, was too small.

In the past, this man would have been called a bum, and no self-respecting woman would have given him the time of day. But thanks to progressive welfare programs, not only is his irresponsibility and promsicuity subsidized by taxes confiscated from those who made better choices; but he has also fathered and grandfathered two generations of children devoid of any work ethic, raised to think collecting welfare is normal.

If the state continues to subsidize bad decisions and punish good decisions, it should come as no surprise that people will make more bad decisions and fewer good decsions. This is truth; Or, as the progressive left calls it, ‘racism.’ Paul Ryan owed an apology to no one for saying it. And the fact that he backed down demonstrates how impossible it has become to turn the ship of state away from the unsustainable and disastrous course it is on.

The Perspective Gap and Fox News

My long absence from GayPatriot, has been brought on by a few factors, chief among them that I’ve been taking some classes in the evenings and haven’t had much time for blogging, and what little time I have had to spare has been consumed by more going on socially than in the recent past.  But beyond that, there has been my general sense of what I wrote about in this post, and called either Obamalaise or Obamanomie, that feeling of depression and listlessness that comes when I consider the sad state of a country that elected Obama not once, but twice and seems more interested in bread and circuses than in seeking actual, workable solutions to the difficult problems that face our country.

Naturally the online leftist rag Salon can’t understand why anyone would feel upset or bothered by the direction of the country in the era of the glorious Obama, and so one of its contributors, Edwin Lyngar, has written a laughable piece about “elderly white rage” which places the blame on that favorite bogeyman of the contemporary left, Fox News.   I learned of the article when various liberals and leftists I know–including one I’ve taken to calling a MINO (a moderate in name only)–linked to it on social media.  I just glanced past it until one of them approvingly quoted one of the more ridiculous passages from the article.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I am not elderly, nor am I viewer of Fox News.   I mostly avoid the whole TV news genre, preferring to get my information from other sources.  The full title of the article reads: “I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria.”  The author, who describes himself as “overeducated in the humanities” with both an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University (not exactly a bastion of conservative thinkers) and an MA in Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno unwittingly demonstrates the way shallow generalizations count as somehow being deep thought by those who advocate a politically correct perspective.

As I don’t care to be guilty of the same intellectual offense, I’d like to highlight and  unpack a few of the article’s more ridiculous claims and observations.  Let’s start with the opening paragraph:

Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation.  They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

Of course GayPatriot readers can see what he’s doing there, but just for the sake of argument, let’s illustrate that he opens by offering a caricature and a generalization about elderly Fox News viewers, conflates Fox News viewers with the Tea Party, accuses them of being filled with “rage,” and then ends by trying to ridicule them as being “terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.”  Say what?  That last clause is contains so many misrepresentations and non-sequiturs that it is really rather stunning.  Barack Obama is only a moderate Democrat if you are so far to the left already that you can’t see how far his administration has shifted the political status quo towards statist goals.  And just because Obamacare was given the Orwellian title “the Affordable Care Act,” doesn’t mean it has anything to do with making healthcare more affordable.  Far from it, just ask the many people dropped from insurance who find that their health insurance costs have gone up and their deductibles are now much higher than they were previously.  Even those who haven’t had to change insurance are getting less for more costs.

The article continues with an anecdote about the author’s father and an exchange where the writer tells him he shouldn’t watch Fox News:

enjoyed Fox News for many years, as a libertarian and frequent Republican voter. I used to share many, though not all, of my father’s values, but something happened over the past few years. As I drifted left, the white, Republican right veered into incalculable levels of conservative rage, arriving at their inevitable destination with the creation of the Tea Party movement.

When I finally pulled the handle for Obama in 2012, my father could not believe how far I’d fallen. I have avoided talking politics with him as much as possible ever since. Last week, I invited him to my house for dinner with the express purpose of talking about po

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Alec Baldwin Flounces

Posted by V the K at 11:24 am - February 24, 2014.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Liberals

index

Alec Baldwin, interviewed in a long piece for an obscure website, announces his departure from public life. He is moving to LA, like all other people who loathe publicity and want to live in privacy.

He is angry at the “Gay Department of Justice” for treating him the same way they would a Republican who used ghey slurs instead of giving him the pass he is entitled to as a left-wing progressive. So, like a comment troll who’s been challenged to provide links to Sarah Palin saying she could see Russia from her house, or where in the United States Constitution are listed the budget priorities Congress must fund… , he has flounced off and swore that he won’t be back because his critics are just too mean.

Also, Re: Mr. Piers Morgan, good riddance to bad rubbish. Ponder the irony of a Brit trying to take a former colony’s guns.

BTW: Have you heard about the racist hatemonger who referred to African-Americans as “mongrel people?”

Lefties: No moral self-confidence – and fearfully proud of it

I had a lunch discussion recently with two former co-workers. Both of these men are engineers in their 30s who are fairly hard-working, competent and successful, pulling six-figure salaries. In the free and dynamic America of yore, these men would be proud of where their choices in life had taken them. But this is 2014, they are white, and they are MSDNC-watching left-liberals in a “Blue” area.

“Mark” started saying how lucky he feels to be an engineer because the work is physically so much easier and safer than being a field worker or factory hand, and pays more. I agreed, while reminding Mark that the work is mentally exhausting, something much-demanded by society (the market), and something most people wouldn’t even attempt. In other words, reminding Mark that he deserves his salary.

As if to answer me, “Ross” instantly went into a description of himself as “born into privilege”, saying how he had never really chosen anything in his life, but his course has always been determined by the social forces pushing him along and granting him privilege. This was strange, because I know for a fact that Ross works hard, which is a choice right there. So I reminded him of the constant stream of choices that he faces – be it as simple as “go back to work after this lunch, or not?” – and how those choices affect his results, like having a salary or not.

I won’t bore you with too many details. The conversation continued as a debate of Free Will implying self-responsibility and pro-liberty politics, vs. Social Determinism implying “you didn’t build that” and re-distributive, left-wing politics. We didn’t get into politics much; it lurked in the background.

But I want to tell you about the discussion’s ending. Here’s the short version: I was nice enough, yet Ross and Mark were red-faced with anger and embarrassment – because they didn’t “win”. I punctured their bubble.

At first, Ross could not process my point that all people have choices, by which they determine their own success. Asking near-childlike questions, he had me explain the concept over and over. “What if a person is born in poverty?” I’d explain how poverty is indeed a circumstance shaping the person’s life; but they still choose their *response* to it. Poverty may limit a person’s range of choices, but even poor people still face a stream of choices, that only ends when a person dies.

If a poor person joins a gang or develops a drug habit – and sticks with it, in adult life – that’s a series of choices they made. Likewise if, for better success, they work hard to get a G.E.D. and become a shift manager at the local McDonald’s, it is a series of choices they made. Likewise, my life-long self-education has been a choice. Thus I explained.

As Ross caught on, he correctly saw the implication that the McDonald’s shift manager would *deserve* her success being greater than the gang member’s or drug addict’s – just as he, Mark and I each deserve our success. And Ross didn’t like that idea. Smiling his best “Jane, you ignorant slut” type of patronizing smile, he suggested that I was out to rationalize backward, unjust notions.

With a smile right back, I pointed out that nobody was rationalizing anything; my success having come from my hard work and personal choices was not a rationalization, but a fact; and a fact that his determinist philosophy badly needed to deal with. That was the exact moment when Ross turned beet-red.

His words turned sarcastic (suggesting anger), while his voice turned quavery (suggesting anxiety). I could see that Mark, now silent, was also getting red – with a deer-in-the-headlights look of uncertainty around his eyes.

Mind you, nobody raised voices in this discussion; nobody called names or made the least of personal attacks. All I did was display my moral confidence, my certain knowledge that I had earned my success – and imply that Mark and Ross should also be morally self-confident, as they had earned theirs.

My doing that alone, nothing more, made these two men visibly feel both uncertain and violated. The interaction ended there, as we’d run out of time. I think it says a lot about left-liberals.

Lefties live in a world where lack of moral self-confidence is a required personality trait. Humility is not required; leftists usually proclaim their beliefs with arrogant certainty. But among those beliefs is a dogma to the effect that no one, including the leftie, *deserves* to have any confidence or any certainty, since no one is ever better than the worst “poor” criminal out there. Any educated, enlightened person must genuflect and display his official, dogmatic lack of confidence that he could ever be right about anything. THEN he can go on to make arrogant proclamations (provided they are left-wing).

If someone shows a different way of being – if someone thinks differently from the leftie, and has moral confidence in doing so – showing, for example, confidence that her success is deserved – many a leftie will find that person threatening. Tactic A is to smile and patronize the person as benighted; perhaps tactic B would be ridicule. If neither works – if the tables are turned, if the left-liberal’s worldview is punctured or exposed as the hollow thing it is – then the average leftie will go into fear and anger.

Sad!

So let me get this right:

The administration—whose latest foray into unobstructed, unlegislated, we’ve-got-this, go-it-aloneism was the fabulously ‘effed up roll-out of HealthCare.gov—is going to make 2014 the year of the Executive Branch takes on the world without the messiness of involving the People’s Branch of the federal government?

This’ll be something to see…

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)

Keith Olbermann Doesn’t Object to Being Called a Genius

Posted by V the K at 8:55 pm - January 19, 2014.
Filed under: Liberals,Post 9-11 America

Out-of-work former MSDNC personality and cow college alumnus Keith Olbermann wants you to know, he’s a genius.

On the cover of the latest Esquire magazine is this quote from ESPN host Keith Olbermann: “I’ve never fought the word genius when people have said that about me.” In a “What I’ve Learned interview, Olbermann added, “But what it is is instinct and a set of skills that are working so fast you don’t know they’re working.”

Keith also declared “I have a leafy brain, according to the theory of the leafy brain. I associate things that many people never put together.” This sounds like someone’s brain on leaves…and a lighter.

This Glenn Beck riff on Olberdouche is a classic.

Speaking of MSDNC geniuses, let’s check-in with tampon-earrings aficionado, Melissa Harris-Perry.

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Honor Among DIABLOs*

Posted by V the K at 7:45 pm - January 9, 2014.
Filed under: 2014 Elections,Liberals

When Governor Creosote… I mean, Governor Christie was re-elected last year, he promised to go down South and help his fellow fan of Big Government, Cronyism, and Illegal Immigration … Lindsey Graham… with his re-election.

And this is how Miss Lindsey Graham pays him back.

“It seems to me that this whole bridge thing reinforces a narrative that’s troublesome about the guy: he’s kind of a bully,” Graham said.

I love blue-on-blue betrayal.

*Democrats in All But Label Only

Ah, Progressivism

Posted by V the K at 5:52 pm - January 8, 2014.
Filed under: Liberals

In ultra-liberal San Francisco, it’s illegal to store your own stuff in your own garage.

According to Chapter 6 of the San Francisco Housing Code, “Private and public storage garages in apartment houses and hotels shall be used only for storage of automobiles.” Failing to comply with the law can lead to fines of up to $500.

A San Francisco Commissarr Supervisor is proposing to change the law, but the city’s punitive taxation and rent controls, and world-leading population of aggressive urine-marinated vagrants, will remain in place.

Meanwhile to the south, a new economic assessment shows that “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula” is a city in decline.

Los Angeles is a city in decline, strangled by traffic, weighed down by poverty and suffering from “a crisis of leadership and direction,” according to a report released Wednesday by a 13-member citizen panel.

The Los Angeles 2020 Commission, convened by City Council President Herb Wesson to examine the city’s economic woes, offered a harsh assessment of civic decision-making, warning that Los Angeles is heading to a future where local government can no longer afford to provide public services.

The panel, chaired by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor, said Los Angeles lacks a coherent approach to economic development and trails other major cities in job growth. City government spending is growing faster than revenue and the pension benefits of city employees are at risk, said the report, titled “A Time For Truth.”

Hmmm. Declining economy? Increasing poverty? Economic development hamstrung by bureaucracy? Infrastructure development robbed to pay off city pensions? Gee, that sounds familiar.

Lefty Art “Scholar” – “Norman Rockwell Was, Like, Totally Homo.”

Hat Tip: AoS HQ

Proving the value of a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia, New York Times art critic Deborah “Debs” Solomon has published a book of some sort on the art and life of Norman Rockwell, and has determined that his art was far gheyer than Robert “Bullwhip in the Anus”  Mapplethorpe.

For example, of Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech,” Solomon writes: “The man standing is ‘unattached and sexually available. Unbuttoned and unzipped.’”

norman-rockwell-freedom-of-speech-picture

I guess a lefty can see an intense, homo-erotic subtext in a Hershey bar wrapper.

 The thing, I guess, is that the social left’s efforts to “legitimize” homosexuality require them to find it everywhere, and in everything. But sensible people recognize silliness when they see it.

 

Nailed It

Posted by V the K at 6:07 am - December 31, 2013.
Filed under: Liberals,Post 9-11 America

Sultan Knish explains the hubris of modern liberalism.

Progressives manufacture the consensus of their own intelligence and insist that it proves them right.

Imagine a million people walking in a circle and shouting, “WE’RE SMART AND WE’RE RIGHT. WE’RE RIGHT BECAUSE WE’RE SMART. WE’RE SMART BECAUSE WE’RE RIGHT.” Now imagine that these marching morons dominate academia, the government bureaucracy and the entertainment industry allowing them to spend billions yelling their idiot message until it outshouts everyone else while ignoring the disasters in their wake because they are too smart to fail.

That is liberalism.

And if you aren’t walking in the circle, chanting the chant… then you must be a racist, ignorant, Bible-thumping, redneck, extremist, anti-woman, hick.

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Fictional Anthropomorphic Locomotive Accused of Crimes Against Feminism

 A dingbat British Labour MP named Mary Creagh has identified the latest War Criminal in the ongoing War on Women: Thomas the Tank Engine.

Thomas the Tank Engine has been blamed for a lack of women train drivers by the shadow transport secretary.

Mary Creagh said it was a ‘national scandal’ that there were so few women drivers on the railways, but was ridiculed for saying that the popular children’s story was partly to blame.

She said all the main characters in the original books – published in the 1940s – are male, and the only female characters are an ‘annoyance, a nuisance and in some cases a danger’ to the railway.

According to her Wikipedia page, Mary Creagh is a typical leftist whackjob whose previous achievements include campaigns against carbonated beverages and hot water, and who has been described as “lacking in balanced judgment.”

Needless to say, she will never have to worry about being added to GLAAD’s blacklist.

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We Weren’t Kidding About That Cult of Obama Thing

Baba Wawa admits to Piers Morgan how the Mainstream Media feels about Obama.

BARBARA WALTERS: We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime — but the next messiah.

How is that workin’ out for ya, Babs?

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Leftie psychology update

Enough lefties understand that President Obama is drowning in scandals of his own creation that comedy shows can begin to talk about it:

But other lefties remain mired in denial:

Oprah…[said] “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”

Oprah ignores the fact that Americans elected Obama twice; the fact that everybody on the Left has been ‘saying it’ for years; and the fact that Democrats, to this day, show the greatest of disrespect to President Bush. Never mind the question of whether Obama has been dragging down the office with his unpresidential behavior.

Via HotAir.

Krugtron the Laughable

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:12 am - October 23, 2013.
Filed under: Academia,Debt Crisis,Economy,Liberals,Unhinged Liberals

In the last two weeks, Huffington Post (to its credit) has published a 3-part takedown of the noxious New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, by the fetching economic historian, Niall Ferguson:

It’s long, but I found it a pleasure on several levels. Ferguson is a civil human being (see the video at the bottom of part I) and always an engaging and thoughtful writer. And Krugman merits the takedown, as a writer who habitually over-states his own rightness and denies his past mistakes (such as his 2002 call in favor of having a housing bubble). Krugman recently called himself “Krugtron the Invincible”, which Ferguson adopted as the title for his series.

Via Cyniconomics. Victory dance (and summary) from Ralph Benko at Forbes.

For fun, here’s Dilbert from June 3:

Dilbert cartoon about Paul Krugman

The Dawn Davenport Presidency

By way of Michelle Malkin’s excellent website Twitchy, I’ve learned of two great hashtag nicknames for Obama and his administration in the past few days: #PresidentStompyFoot and #SpiteHouse.  As appropriate and amusing as those are, in thinking about his behavior, I’ve come up with another one lately which I like to imagine is just as good: President Cha-Cha Heels.

The reference, for those who don’t recognize it, is to Dawn Davenport, the spoiled teenager in John Waters’ 1974 film Female Trouble.  Although the film is one of Waters’ earlier efforts and is therefore full of the sort of rude, crude, and just plain gross humor and incidents which assured it an NC-17 rating, in some respects it is a useful parable about the evils of modern liberalism.

Here’s a brief synopsis: Dawn Davenport wants nothing more than a pair of “cha-cha heels” for Christmas, but when her parents refuse to get her any on the grounds that “nice girls don’t wear cha-cha heels,” she throws her mother into the Christmas tree, runs away from home, gets pregnant, and eventually becomes a criminal before being discovered by Donald and Donna Dasher, a couple who loves to photograph women committing crimes.  They make her famous, and she becomes even more notorious as a result.  The Dashers are the sort of liberals who embrace transgression as art and dysfunction as beauty, until Dawn goes berserk and then they try to pretend that they had nothing to do with it.

So what does this have to do with Obama?  Well, our petulant President seems rather like Dawn Davenport throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get any cha-cha heels to wear with his Mom jeans.

As Thomas Sowell wrote in an excellent article that appeared last Friday: “You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.”

In any case, Obama doesn’t care.  He didn’t get his cha-cha heels, and so he’s determined to “walk all over you,” in the words of this catchy tune inspired by the story of Dawn Davenport and performed by Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat:

YouTube Preview Image

Unfortunately, like the Dashers, his enablers in the press and the liberals who voted for him are rallying around him as though there’s nothing offensive, disturbing, or troubling about his dishonest and spiteful behavior.

 

Blue-on-blue conflict, courtesy of Obamacare

From Breitbart, the Longshoremen quit the AFL-CIO:

In an August 29 letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, ILWU President Robert McEllrath cited quite a list of grievances as reasons for the dissolution of their affiliation, but prominent among them was the AFL-CIO’s support of Obamare.

“We feel the Federation has done a great disservice to the labor movement and all working people by going along to get along,” McEllrath wrote in the letter to Trumka.

But don’t get your hopes up, because the ILWU follows NO consistent principle here:

The ILWU President made it clear they are for a single-payer, nationalized healthcare policy and are upset with the AFL-CIO for going along with Obama on the confiscatory tax on their “Cadillac” healthcare plan.

Liberal Logic on Display: Two Prime Examples

I’ve seen two examples this week of jaw-droppingly appalling liberal logic which, I figure, just have to be shared in the same way that unusual specimens belong in a museum.

The first one appeared in Salon on Tuesday, and it purports to be a treatise on the necessity of “positive” rights.  It says that the original Bill of Rights doesn’t go very far, and conservatives are foolish and “short-sighted” to insist that those rights are essential and shouldn’t be tampered with.  According to the author of the piece, Michael Lind, what we really need is to endorse FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights”–which includes things like the right to a job, to a good home, and to medical care and good health.  Lind writes: “FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, and similar proposals, are not intended to replace the original bill of rights, but only to supplement it. Progressives believe that we should have both the right to free speech and the right to minimal healthcare at public expense.”

Lind’s article uses both appeals to authority (FDR and Cass Sunstein) and some sleight of hand to avoid tackling the very real contention that we can’t demand “positive rights” at other’s expense without in some sense enslaving those who are tasked with providing or paying for those “rights.”

In a brief rebuttal at PJ Media, Stephen Kruiser cites his own, contrary authority:

The negative/positive rights debate is brilliantly explored by Richard A. Epstein in his book Mortal Peril. He begins with a general discussion but his focus is on American health care. He points out that the positive rights frenzy contains “certain remnants of a discredited socialism” and that “…the protection of these newly minted positive rights invests government at all levels with vast powers to tax, to regulate, and to hire and fire the very individuals whose rights it is duty-bound to protect.”

The story, of course, is one we’ve seen over and over. The government continues to bloat itself as the social welfare state grows and in the process more rights are trampled upon than created.

The title of Epstein’s treatise can apply just as easily to the second, even more stunning example of liberal logic, which I saw linked by several folks on Facebook today.  It’s an article in Slate entitled “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person: A Manifesto.”  The idea behind the article by Allison Benedikt is that public schools are ruined because students whose parents care enough about educational quality to devote their own resources to education aren’t forced to remain in the public school system.

Nowhere does it occur to this genius that perhaps the real problems with the public schools have to do with the teachers’ unions or with the educational bureaucracy which has arisen at public expense.  No, according to this author, the solution to all the problems with the public school system is that if everyone has to go, they will get better because parents will demand it, even if some large number of kids who would or could have had better options has to be sacrificed for the sake of liberal mediocrity.  (You really do need to read the article to believe it is not some sort of ridiculous hoax.  Even the usually liberal crowd of commenters at Slate are put off by the article.)

A much saner, contrary view appeared several days ago (before the absurd Slate article was published) at the Sippican Cottage blog (hat tip Transterrestrial Musings).  The whole piece is worth reading, but this excerpt nicely encapsulates the tone of the piece:

You see, there are no public schools in America that I know of. They’re reeducation camps for people that weren’t educated in the first place, maybe, or little prisons, or pleasure domes for creepy teachers, or places where tubby women work out their neuroses about eating on helpless children at lunchtime — but there’s not much schooling going on in school. A public school is a really expensive, but shabby and ineffectual, private school that collects their tuition with the threat of eviction from your house.

To liberal “thinkers” like Allison Benedikt and Michael Lind, unfortunately, that sort of a situation apparently sounds like a “great society.”

What ARE the aims of Obama’s foreign policy?

Victor Davis Hanson published a memorable piece in the National Review last week entitled “America as Pill Bug.”  The pill bug or the roly-poly bug is one that turns itself into a ball when it feels threatened.  Hanson writes:

That roly-poly bug can serve as a fair symbol of present-day U.S. foreign policy, especially in our understandable weariness over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the scandals that are overwhelming the Obama administration.

On August 4, U.S. embassies across the Middle East simply closed on the basis of intelligence reports of planned al-Qaeda violence. The shutdown of 21 diplomatic facilities was the most extensive in recent American history.

Yet we still have over a month to go before the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, an iconic date for radical Islamists.

Such preemptive measures are no doubt sober and judicious. Yet if we shut down our entire public profile in the Middle East on the threat of terrorism, what will we do when more anti-American violence arises? Should we close more embassies for more days, or return home altogether?

Hanson makes an excellent point about the way the Obama administration’s closure of embassies is likely to be viewed in the Arab world and around the globe.  Although, as Jeff pointed out in a post last week, the administration may have ulterior motives–by trying to create a distraction–by closing the embassies in this manner, the reality is that the interpretation of the administration’s actions by our international foes is likely to proceed in a manner similar to that Hanson envisions in his article.

Hanson looks at the example of Libya and Syria to illustrate that the administration’s “lead from behind” strategy is not working, and that it appears to be counterproductive:

Instead, the terrorists are getting their second wind, as they interpret our loud magnanimity as weakness — or, more likely, simple confusion. They increasingly do not seem to fear U.S. retaliation for any planned assaults. Instead, al-Qaeda franchises expect Americans to adopt their new pill-bug mode of curling up until danger passes.

Our enemies have grounds for such cockiness. President Obama promised swift punishment for those who attacked U.S. installations in Benghazi and killed four Americans. So far the killers roam free. Rumors abound that they have been seen publicly in Libya.

Instead of blaming radical Islamist killers for that attack, the Obama reelection campaign team fobbed the assault off as the reaction to a supposedly right-wing, Islamophobic videomaker. That yarn was untrue and was greeted as politically correct appeasement in the Middle East.

All these Libyan developments took place against a backdrop of “lead from behind.” Was it wise for American officials to brag that the world’s largest military had taken a subordinate role in removing Moammar Qaddafi — in a military operation contingent on approval from the United Nations and the Arab League but not the U.S. Congress?

No one knows what to do about the mess in Syria. But when you do not know what to do, it is imprudent to periodically lay down “red lines.” Yet the administration has done just that to the Bashar al-Assad regime over the last two years.

Hanson sees the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a disastrous replay of the Carter doctrine, once again illustrating Glenn Reynolds’ frequent observation that a replay of Jimmy Carter is simply the “best-case scenario” for Obama.

While I believe Hanson is right in his characterization of the big picture and the likely consequences of Obama foreign policy, I’d differ from him in seeing Obama as being as feckless and weak as Carter.  I’d maintain that Carter’s foreign policy was guided by a number of naive precepts about the nature of the world.  At least during the years of his presidency, I’d contend that Carter “meant well” in the way the phrase is commonly used to describe a hopelessly incompetent bumbler who seems incapable of recognizing his own shortcomings.  Likewise, early in the Obama administration, Tammy Bruce started referring to Obama as Urkel, the nerdy, awkward, inept kid from the TV show “Family Matters” who had an uncanny ability to mess up almost everything he touched.  That certainly is one narrative for what Obama is doing in the world of foreign policy, but I’m not sure it is the right one.

As I contemplate Obama foreign policy, though, particularly in the Middle East, I find myself thinking more and more that although incompetence might be the simplest explanation, it might not be the best or the right one.  I see no good intentions in the administration’s domestic policy, so why should its foreign policy be exempt from charges that it is motivated more by malevolence to the United States and its role in history than by a supposed set of “liberal” ideals?

This is an administration that seems bent on alienating all of our historical allies as quickly as possible, while taking it easy on our geopolitical foes.  Obama seems to want our allies to view us as unreliable and untrustworthy while making sure our enemies view us as weak, indecisive, and either unable or unwilling to use force to protect our interests or to enforce our stated policy goals.  If there is a better explanation of the administration’s ultimate foreign policy goals, I’d sure like to know what it might be.

 

The Zimmerman Verdict and Obama

Over at PJMedia, Roger L. Simon has a piece with the catchy title “Obama Big Loser in Zimmerman Trial.”  Simon writes:

By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.

 It is also the work of a narcissist who thinks of himself first, of his image, not of black, white or any other kind of people. It’s no accident that race relations in our country have gone backwards during his stewardship.

It’s a clever premise, and in ideal world, it should be true, but in the world we live in, the one where Obama got re-elected, I suspect it doesn’t hurt Obama one bit.

These are just a few quick thoughts on my part, so they won’t be fully fleshed-out, but as I see it, Obama got most of what he wanted from the Zimmerman trial.   Zimmerman wasn’t convicted, but as far as Obama and Holder are concerned, that only would have been the icing on their toxic cake.

As suggested in this great article by Karen McQuillan at American Thinker, Obama and Holder are masters at using race and division to advance their agenda.  And when this incident occurred, Obama was showing some softening of support among black voters who were not faring well in the Obama economy.  McQuillan writes:

Once the president of the United States weighed in, Zimmerman had a target on his back.  An ounce of election advantage to our privileged, Ivy League president versus the ruination of a Hispanic man’s life — it was an easy choice for Obama.  Obama’s great appeal to voters in 2008 was his self-presentation as a black man without animus or grievance, eager to move the country beyond divisions of all sorts — black and white, red and blue.  In reality, Obama is obsessed with divisions — race, class, gender — and is expert at fueling war between us, to his political advantage.

Obama has used accusations of racism before, to rally his troops and attack his political opponents.  Opposition to ObamaCare?  Racist.  Opposition to big government?  Racist.  His core liberal supporters like this stuff, and the other voters give him a pass on this, as on everything.  The election analysts were predicting that even black turnout could dip in 2012.  Obama moved from racial slurs on opposition groups to attacking a particular individual citizen.  Zimmerman was sacrificed.

In other words, by weighing in on the Zimmerman case, Obama shored up support among his base and among the black activist class, and thereby helped pave the way to his re-election by those groups.  Not only did he help win support among those voting blocs, he further poisoned the well for race relations in this country, and he added still more fuel to the fire behind his anti-gun agenda.
Now you may think I’m being too clever by half by imputing those kinds of motives to Obama and Holder, but simply look at his statement about the verdict:
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.
Now while on the surface it looks like he is calling for “calm,” and for respect for the rule of law, he’s doing so in the context of his (and Holder’s) earlier statements about race and “gun violence,” effectively giving one message to his supporters and sympathizers, and another message to everyone else.  It is classic leftist misdirection.
At the link above, there’s also a statement from Holder’s Justice Department saying that the FBI and federal prosecutors are weighing options for federal charges against Zimmerman.  Translation: this isn’t over, as long as Obama and Holder believe they can continue to profit from racial demagoguery.
In one of the comments on my last post, our regular commenter Heliotrope provided a skillful analysis of Al Sharpton’s statement about the verdict, relating it back to Alinsky’s rules.  Heliotrope observes:
Libtards lust for power in order to control the sheeple according to their current, faddish view of “correctness.” They are prideful and lash out with the politics of personal destruction against those who stand in their way. Their wrath is both verbalized and implanted by way of insidious actions meant to undermine their opposition. They have lying tongues. They scheme and devise wicked plots. They sow discord. They plant festering mischief. They twist the context to fit their version of the truth and justify their lies. They refuse to practice circumspection and correct their errors in any sense of obedience to promoting a better solution.
I’ve seen a lot of those behaviors in the reactions to the verdict I’ve been reading by various Obama supporters today.  There are lots of calls, a la Obama, for “calm reflection,” but, in the minds of the Obama supporters weighing in on this case, none of those reflections are to start from the premise that Angela Corey and the prosecutors in Florida had a weak case to begin with–and that they lost because they failed miserably in presenting the case in a way that made any of the charges stick.  None of those reflections are to start from the premise that perhaps Zimmerman had a right to have a weapon with him and to use it to fight back when he was knocked down and attacked.