Sunday, May 30, 2010

America Speaking Out: An Early Review

Around a week ago the GOP unveiled America Speaking Out, a website based around the idea of allowing Republicans to speak directly to the party by typing up ideas and voting on which ideas they like or don't like.  Of course there's a good chance this was nothing more than something to appease grassoorts, but disingenuous or not the website was interesting in that it presents us the opportunity to see a conservative community come together.

First impressions are good.  The website design and layout is simple, but in a good way.  Everything is laid out before you and looks attractive enough.  It's even already allows you to connect your Facebook profile to the site, which streamlines the registering process just slightly and makes signing in a one button affair later on.  Once you've signed up you can view, vote on, or create ideas by clicking on any of the five groups at the bottom of the page, American Prosperity, Fiscal Accountability, American Values, National Security, and Open Mic.  Each group, with the exception of open mic, has sub-groups allowing you to refine your viewing or idea submitting to whatever catches your fancy.

This is where America Speaking Out collapses.  It doesn't take long before you realize that the entire website is overrun with trolls and...well libertarians.  The former get too many votes, and the latter are represented in too great a number, all of which ruins the initial intent of the site.

It's possibly I'm just disconnected, and the Republican base is in fact now libertarian.  That would also mean that the people I interact with on a daily basis are out of the loop as well, but there is some slim possibility the party is transforming, and God help us all if this is our future.

The first place I clicked when I visited the site was American Values, and the very first thing that you notice is the sheer amount of anti-religious, anti-social conservative sentiment, which is odd given that it', American Values on a supposedly Republican site.  Take this idea that got 1,240 votes, the vast majority of which were positive:

Government funds should not go towards religious organizations. I don't want big government getting involved in my religion, and I don't want money being wasted on something I don't believe in. End the "christian nation" bull, taxpayer money shouldn't be wasted on religion (it falls into the category of "wasteful government spending"). So repeal the law about faith based initiatives.

The idea starts out as something I'm not particularly friendly toward, but about halfway through I immediately become hostile toward it.  For me it crosses that line when you notice just how hostile the writer is to religion (Christianity) in general.  I can't quite figure out if this a troll or a genuine libertarian sentiment, but I'm leaning hard toward the latter. 

Continuing on offers much of the same note:

The United States is not a christian nation and never has been. The idea that it is should be eradicated and we should continue to re-enforce the separation of church and state
Decriminalize/legalize marijuana and tax it like alcohol and cigarettes. We waste way too much law enforcement resources in arresting and prosecuting individuals for simple possession. Taxing legal marijuana sales could add millions of dollars in revenue.

Remove religious entities from tax-exempt status. The churches are using their amassed wealth to influence voters and campaign politically which is unacceptable for a tax exempt church to do. A great example of this is just how involved Utah's mormon churches were in California's Prop 8 vote. If they want to use the money they get for charity instead of taxes, it should go to charity -- not politics.

the sanctity of life should support whatever of woman wishes to do with her body. Without this right freedom is meaningless

All of these are among the top vote receivers, and all have vastly positive scores.  They all sound like they should be straight from the mouth of either a Libertarian (notice the big L) or a Ron Paul follower as well.

My initial reaction after seeing posts like these was too support the handful of social conservatives I saw on this site.  I figured that a minority of people actually post ideas, and most just read or vote, so I though I'd contribute toward making the conversation actually conservative:

Once we've dismantled the socialist agenda and can return to social issues, the Republican party should continue to take a strong stance on abortion. Much like the Latin American nations did we should declare rights for the unborn, and among those include the right to life. Gallup polling is showing that Pro-Lifers currently have the majority and momentum, so if you can make a strong argument we can win this debate.

It's not particularly well put together or interesting in conservative circles.  I was curious to see how libertarians would react to me trying to tap into the "rights of the Unborn" argument, or to see if libertarians would even recognize that argument.  They didn't, and most of the majority of the votes on it were negative.

Elsewhere we find the story is much of the same.  American Prosperity:

Reduce the size of our military spending drastically. It's currently over 50% of our national budget and doesn't need to be so gargantuan. Our carrier fleet alone is several times larger than the entire world's fleets put together. If you cut that by itself you'd save the American taxpayer quite a bit of money and even have some left over for infrastructure improvements, better schools and social programs that will make this nation stronger over all. 
Tax Churches. Most are just a money making scheme for those in control of them. Use said money to decrease the weight of taxes on average every day Americans. Also prevent institutions from mixing god with education if they do it on the public dole.

Its time for Republicans to stop being so obstinate and help America spearhead the global Green revolution.

Fiscal Accountability is filled with lefty trolls:

Make G. W. Bush payback the $ 1.2 trillion dollars wasted on the war and viola, no deficit. Or we could just consider continuing to blame that on Obama. 
Raise taxes. That way, we get to keep the social programs we love, but also pay off the debt. Put a freeze on tax cuts unless a new tax is added to replace the lost revenue.

Pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan- nothing could be more wasteful than spending trillions of dollars and thousands of servicemen's lives on lost causes.

Quit wasting time voting no on every bill submitted. You are getting paid to do a job and voting no is hardly working.  

National Security mixes what we've seen above with some trolling:

Help secure our Boarder by ending Marijuana Prohibition. Cartels make 60% of there profit from Pot and are the single biggest threat to our Boarder. The only thing the Prohibition of Marijuana has done is made our enemies stronger from the BILLIONS in Pot profit that they use to fund even more harmful activities and crimes. Government has NO RIGHT to tell someone what they can and cant put into there bodies as long as it does not harm anyone else. Anyone with common sense knows Pot fits right into that category. 
Build a wall along our borders. Not a wimpy fence. China did it and the toursim dollars the wall brings in will more than pay for the cost. I'm thinking a 1000 feet high and a 100 feet or more thick. A man made mountain range. That'll keep people out! P.S. Canadians are a bigger threat to our security than we realize. Did you realize the late Peter Jennings' Canadian, yet hosted an American news program? They can blend in unnoticed into our society and our border with them is totally demilitarized!!! They can just sneak across and pretend to be Americans, with their stinkin' European-wannabe socialism. P.P.S. Maybe anchor some mines along our coastal waterways so no one sneaks in on boats.

Annex Canada and Mexico. Building wall across Guatemala will be easier and melting ice cap means Russians will have harder time with invasion. 

And finally we get to the highest voted idea on Open Mic, an idea which accurately portrays most of the posts on here:

What happened to my Republican Party, the one I remember from my youth? Fiscal discipline, wariness about foreign entanglements and taxes but a sober commitment to the public good. I just don't see it in today's Republican Party with its courting of gun owners, anti-environmentalism, and the religious right. Forget the social issues, forget the divisiveness, put some intellectual heft behind the party in place of Beck, Palin, and Limbaugh. What you are gaining in frenzy you are losing in wisdom and leadership.

The website fails because it fails to capture actual Republicans.  Instead the site was probably linked on libertarian and liberal blogs, and the result was a whole lot of people posting ideas that either mocked conservatives and the right, or tried to seriously promote ideas which have no business being associated with conservatives.  When you have a website like this you expect this sort of behavior to a certain degree, but the amount of positives votes these ideas get tells you just how overrun this place is.

As much as I want to love the idea of this site, I can't ignore what a huge failure it is at the moment.  Even without the huge numbers of libertarians and trolls the website is lacking in some areas.  There is no way to know when people have commented on things you've already commented on, the badge system is underdeveloped, and there needs to be more community options.  For some reason I don't think the GOP was ever going to develop this site to the extent that it deserved.  Even so, it could of been something interesting just in the short term.

It's worth noting that in a few weeks the website could be entirely different.  Eventually trolls get bored and leave, and perhaps one day a group of conservatives could find the site and change everything.  I'll be watching it every now and then for awhile, but for now this site is a huge disappointment. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A reminder on Christian intolerance

One of the things I've noticed about far-leftists in general is their hatred of Christianity.  The hatred goes beyond just disagreeing with the religion or its effect on our culture and values.  George Orwell has a quote which sums it up pretty well:

"He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him."

The hatred is very personal.  I had one friend who, when pushed, admitted that she hated Palin because of her ties to the Christian right, and as she ranted I couldn't help but notice the sheer amount of venom.

Hatred like that can't be beaten with logic, at least not in a short amount of time, and not with most people.  Once someone has those views they have to abandon them on their own, and there's no guarantee that will ever happen.  However such people do influence those around them, people who don't hold such strong beliefs, into believing that Christianity is an intolerant religion and that the Christian right are nothing but fundamentalists, eager to drag us back to the 14th century.

With that in mind it's good to remember stories like this:

On Tuesday’s Lopez Tonight on TBS, magicians Penn and Teller appeared as guests, and, while discussing their controversial program on Showtime, and the show’s history of criticizing religion, Penn Jillette conceded a compliment to American Christians that they are "the most tolerant people worldwide." He also admitted that it was a "shock" to discover the relative tolerance of American Christians after the airing of the show from last August attacking the Catholic Church, as he compared reaction from Christians to that from other groups the show has attacked, such as 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Jillette:

Well, you know, we've done heavy stuff. I mean, we've done the Vatican. We've done Mother Teresa. We've done the Dalai Lama. We've done really, really heavy subjects. And I've got to say it was actually a shock doing the show, the religious communities in the United States of America are the most tolerant people worldwide. I mean, we did really aggressive stuff we believe strongly, and mostly got letters from Christians and Catholics saying we really like how passionately and clearly you put out your ideas. Very few nut cases.

This shouldn't be particularly surprising to anyone who's free from the bias and hatred that the public school system lays the foundation for, and the media expands upon.  Christianity is constantly attacked, demeaned, and insulted, and yet for the most part Christian's do not respond harshly.  Truly awful incidents may spark outrage, but this outrage is virtually never violent, and before too long Christian's move on.

All of this is another lesson in liberal hypocrisy.  Take the liberal silence over sexism in Islam, and their recent reaction to the Sex and the City 2 movie, and compare that to the liberal equation of Christian's being sexist for being against abortion.  Or the silence of the ACLU in a student being suspended over wearing rosary beads to school, and compare that to the ACLU's reaction to the high school that canceled their prom over the lesbian teen (Not even necessarily a religious argument, but you can bet that the left won't see it that way). Perhaps the best example and warning is the increase in persecution of Christians in the highly secularized Great Britain, something they regularly accuse Christians of doing to Pagans, Muslims, and really anyone different.

The bottom line is that Christianity isn't an oppressor, and is a victim of the same old attacks that liberals have used for decades now.  Conservative atheists tend to make a very strong case for Christianity, and tend to be a great example of Christian tolerance.  Though they deny the existence of God, they recognize that Christianity plays a very powerful, very positive role within our culture.  Like it or not our government and culture is based in the concepts of freedom that Biblical Christianity introduced.  Sure there are going to be people who hate in the name of religion, but you can find them anywhere, and they are certainly not found in greater numbers among Christians.

One last snippet from the article to think about as you go:

But it could also be argued that Jillette’s account makes American Christians sound almost too accepting of the show’s criticism of Christianity and downplays the fact that there was legitimate criticism of the show leveled from high-profile Catholics such as Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maybe Obama should lecture Mexico

Less than a week ago President Calderon went before Congress and lectured us all on the evil's of the new Arizona law:

Calderon, the first foreign national leader to address Congress this year, said he strongly disagrees with the Arizona law that requires police to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.

"It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree but also introduces a terrible idea using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement," he said to cheers, mainly from the Democratic side of the chamber.

Speaking in English, he warned of the risk when "core values we all care about are breached."

Calderon makes a pretty speech, standing up as a heroic figure for his people and warning the mighty American oppressors about the dangers of racism, and telling us we should change our ways.  His speech, however, is nothing more than pretty words.  Democrats choose to pick ideology over their fellow Americans, although we've seen that before, and to add insult to injury they ignore the obvious:  That Mexico has effectively exported 10% of its population into America as a means to sustain their economy and avoid social unrest over their corrupt, broken government.

If Calderon gets to come over here and lecture us about the horrors of racism, perhaps Obama should do the same.  Obama is the first black President, and as such you would think he would take some interest in addressing racism against blacks whenever possible.  By that I mean legitimate concerns, not the political demagoguery they use against the Tea Party.  Calderon's lecture presents the perfect opportunity for Obama to travel to Mexico and address an issue not really touched upon by the American media:  Mexican racism.

It's difficult to know where to start exactly, but President Calderon's predecessor, President Fox, wouldn't be a bad place.  In 2005 when the illegal immigration debate was raging President Fox had this add to the debate:

"There is no doubt that Mexican men and women, full of dignity, determination and a capacity to work, are doing the jobs in the United States that not even black people want to do there."

When President Fox said this there was a widespread outrage among both the American and Mexico press, even though his words aren't particularly outrageous by Mexican standards.  However that says more about Mexico than anything else, and doesn't excuse the racist language used.  Back when this was said Jesse Jackson issued a meek statement on the whole affair:

[Fox] opened a door for us to talk about the system of denial… In late years, we have been locked out of conversations [negotiations with the President Fox and the US on issues of immigration, trade, education and health care]," said Mr. Jackson. "It's been only President Bush and President Fox."

Compare this to his response to the Arizona law:

Jesse Jackon appeared on MSNBC today and told Contessa Brewer that the new law, allowing police to require proof of citizenship from anyone they “suspect” of being an illegal immigrant, is the equivalent of ‘terrorism for the innocent…you look suspicious because you are Mexican.” Jackson also seemed to suggest that even Gov. Bill Richardson was at risk of being pulled over under this law because of his appearance. And further pointed out that it’s not the illegal immigrants who are to blame for our economy it’s Wall Street

Again ideology (amnesty for illegal immigrants and all that it brings) trumps principles (standing against racism, and standing up for blacks).  Is there a single leader of the black, liberal community who actually cares about blacks?

Obama, Jesse Jackson, and others are ignoring more than just the principle of defending blacks from racism in other countries, they're failing to protect blacks in their own.  In perhaps one of the most shocking examples of racism we find Mexican gangs participating in ethnic cleansing campaigns in our own country:

Anthony Prudhomme was slain by members of the Avenues, a Latino street gang. But he was not a rival gang member, or a police informant, or a drug dealer. The Avenues did not target him for the content of his character, or even the contents of his apartment.

They targeted him for the color of his skin.

Prudhomme was murdered because he identified himself as black (he was in fact mixed-race) in a neighborhood occupied by one of the many Latino street gangs in Los Angeles County. Incredibly, even though these gangs are fundamentally criminal enterprises interested mainly in money, gang experts inside and outside the government say that they are now engaged in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" -- racial terror that is directed solely at African Americans.

The leaders of the black community most certainly have a responsibility to protect the interests of blacks living within America, even when that clashes with their own far-left ideology.  If this had been a white gang there would've been an uproar.  Jesse Jackson would of gone there personally to comfort the families, blacks would of demanded the white gang members been handled harshly, and the entire nation would watch the gang killings happening in LA very closely for years to come.  But because it clashes with the liberal argument that illegal immigrants do not increase crime, it cannot be mentioned.  Perhaps liberals consider the blacks who are slaughtered by these gangs to be silent martyrs, dying for the greater good of mankind.  I somehow think their motivations are a little more selfish than that.

There is more, less extreme evidence as well.

Take this incredibly racist show that was broadcast on the Spanish Language channel.  I got about five minutes in before I shook my head and walked away, and those who know me know that I'm fairly strict about what I consider racism.  It seems that every slur and stereotype they can think of is not just used, but repeated over and over again.

If that show didn't do it for you than maybe you'd enjoy the stamps Mexico made to commemorate one of their favorite comic characters, Memin Pinguin:

Without any context the images themselves are pretty offensive.  When I look at these pictures I see a shocking resemblance to Curious George, which may just be me, but it doesn't change the point that this character looks more like a monkey than than a human being.  A BlackNews article gives you a bit more insight into the character:

Then there's Pinguin. An entire generation of Mexican school children (and many adults) has grown up delighting in the zany frolics of the popular comic hero. Pinguin has grossly distorted monkey like features, a baldhead and big ears. His mother is a grotesquely fat, bandanna-wearing mammy. The black mammy domestic was the stock racist image of black women in countless 1930s and 1940s American movies. But Pinguin's mother isn't a domestic. She routinely wears her bandanna around their house, and it's a ramshackle house in a poor barrio.

The Pinguin series ran in Mexican newspapers and magazines during the 1960s and 1970s. It was created by Sixto Valencia Burgos, one of Mexico's top creative artists. In 1998, Burgos became president of the Mexican National Association of Comic Artists. The Pinguin series is so popular that decades after Burgos discontinued the series, fan clubs still sprout up on both sides of the border. The comic books are still wildly popular collector's items in Mexico, and other parts of Latin America, and continue to be much discussed and much read.

I recommend reading the entire article, and I would like to point out that this character seems to be the perfect visualization for their "term of endearment" for blacks, which is negritos, and means "little black people."

Perhaps the most damning counter-argument to Calderon's lecture is their own policies toward blacks in regards to illegal immigration.  From wikipedia:

Because their existence is not widely known throughout Mexico and the rest of the world, they are often assumed to be illegal immigrants from Belize or elsewhere in Latin America (Sailer, 2002). There have been many accounts of Afro-Mexicans being pulled over by the police and being forced to sing the Mexican national anthem to prove they are Mexican (Graves, 2004). This discrimination causes many Afro-Mexicans, if they are able, to conceal their African lineage.

The source is in all spanish, so if anyone can read it and dispute this piece, I'll remove it.  I know Wikipedia isn't the most trustworthy, but it's not particularly bad either.  If the source is true, and it's not hard to believe that it is, then this is the most damning thing that could possibly be brought up against Mexico.

The simple fact of the matter is that Mexico, and indeed most of Latin America has the remnants of the old Spanish racial caste system still in place.  Whites are at the top of that caste system, and blacks at the bottom.  For Mexico to lecture us on illegal immigration is ridiculous, but for them to lecture us on racism is an insult.  And for Obama, the "pinnacle of black trimumph", so simply take it is unforgivable.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Credit where credit is due

President Obama deserves a bit of praise for his latest message to North Korea.  Rather than using his typically weak diplomacy of backing down and abandoning our allies he stepped up and backed South Korea in the recent escalation of tensions:

The U.S. and South Korea are planning two major military exercises off the Korean Peninsula in a display of force intended to deter North Korean acts like the March torpedo attack on a South Korean warship.

President Barack Obama ordered his military commanders to coordinate closely with their South Korea counterparts "to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression" by North Korea, the White House said.

The attack against the ROKS Cheonan occurred in South Korean waters, claimed 46 lives, and sunk the corvette.  In the typical narcissistic fashion Kim Jong-il has risked a war he cannot win and humanitarian aid he can't afford to lose for the sake of establishing his son's position as heir apparent.  Sanity has never really been his strong suit, but I suppose its brilliant in it's own insane way.

Both South Korea and America have responded well:

“If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are militarily violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense,” Lee said in an address to the nation, televised live Monday morning.

“From this moment, no North Korean ship will be allowed to make passage through any of the shipping lanes in the waters under our control, which has been allowed by the Inter-Korean Agreement on Maritime Transportation,” Lee said. “The sea routes meant for inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation must never again be used for armed provocations.”

“In close consultations with the nations concerned, the government will refer this matter to the UN Security Council, so that the international community can join us in holding the North accountable,” Lee said. “Many countries around the world have expressed their full support for our position.”

“Trade and exchanges between the Republic of Korea and North Korea will also be suspended,” Lee said.

“However, we will continue to provide assistance for infants and children,” he said. “Matters pertaining to the Kaesong Industrial Complex will be duly considered, taking its unique characteristics into consideration.”

America followed South Korea's lead by rattling the saber a bit and ordering our troops to prepare in case things go bad.  I'm not quite sure if Obama would actually carry through in a war with North Korea, but the point is that Obama actually used a diplomatic strategy that makes sense.  North Korea has never shown a willingness to listen to reason if there's not a gun pointed at them, and that seems to be the way all regimes like North Korea operate.  They're not particularly interested in compromise or being anything short of murderously insane, and from their standpoint that makes sense.  Their goals directly conflict with ours, so compromise would gain them nothing they want.

His actions also send a promising message to all of our allies and enemies.  Though more work will be required to undo the extensive damage he's wrought by abandoning our Eastern European allies, taking a soft stance on Iran, and treating Great Britain poorly; it's a good start.  Allies who believe you're reliable are much more likely to cooperate and back you, and enemies who think you'll strike them are much less likely to cause problems.

Obama needs to remember all of this and carry on this momentum in the diplomatic actions to come.  When we push for UN sanctions we need to make a big deal of it and force China into thinking it has to back us.  We're still the world's most powerful nation, and we still have enough influence to get the rest of the world to punish some backwards, belligerent, communist dictatorship.  We really can't afford not to.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alfonzo Rachel

I want to share with you someone that I found during the 2008 election, someone I found particularly refreshing.  It's not just his conservative, Christian message that I enjoy so much, but his reasonable and yet solidly conservative views.  He is neither an unhinged fanatic nor an unprincipled conservative ready to appease liberals for the sake of political success.  The fact that he's also black and a great example of a black conservative is just a bonus.  His bio from his site:

Macho Sauce Productions was founded by AlfonZo Rachel. Rachel, born on Grissom AFB Indiana, has been in SoCal since diaperhood. Another kid whose mother raised him alone, lived in hard spots such as Delman Heights in San Bernardino, Rachel’s mom wanted to get him out of the hood, and the hood out of him. So, they moved into a low income housing area just outside of Palm Springs.

Rachel also has three older sisters who during those times more often stayed with other family members. The move was a culture shock for Rachel, as he was now going to school surrounded by privileged rich white kids. Rachel kept a chip on his shoulder, and didn’t try to fit in. Instead, he immersed himself in music, and psychotropic drugs. This formula cost Rachel his graduation. It was a sobering failure, and Rachel stopped using drugs. Rachel’s pursuit of music led him to Venice Beach. There he wandered through Ghost town trying to keep the music together, and floated through Hollywood, still falling short of his musical aspirations.

Rachel came back to the Palm Springs area to continue his martial arts training and education. He made a new flame out of an old one, married her, and opened his own martial arts school. The school left them broke after two years and he closed it down. Realizing that he used his gifts for his own satisfaction, Rachel now uses his talents to satisfy the Giver.He takes this as the wisest decision he's ever made.

Rachel is presently with PAJAMAS MEDIA / PJTV, where he does rapid fire right wing rants in a show called ZoNation.

 You can find his PJTV work here.

Here are just some his videos that I've enjoyed:

Before I found Alfonzo I had stated my belief that conservatism needed to steal a page out of the liberal playbook and spread their message through humor and pop culture (without cheapening or compromising it).   Alfonzo not only pulls this off, but he does it in a way that is genuine and not forced or artificial.  The jokes mix with his common sense conservatism well, and help emphasize his message while at the same time making it more enjoyable.  Of course he's not alone in this respect, Steven Crowder is another person who fits into this category so look him up too if you're interested.

Alfonzo was one of the reasons I made this site.  Not long before its creation I watched one of his videos in which he went over the hate mail he had received from liberals.  The mail, as one could expect, was filled with racist and hateful suggestions, all of which emphasized the point that liberal whites have a habit of looking at blacks only as equals if they fall in line.  The video has since been removed, but it was an excellent example of the left's vitriol toward free thinking blacks.

If you enjoyed Alfonzo's videos I suggest looking him up on youtube.  He's done quite a bit of work and it's all enjoyable.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Oil Spill: Another reason to ignore the media

When Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast in 2005 it left 1,836 people dead and did 81.2 billion dollars in damage.  We saw the images of a flooded New Orleans with people stranded on roofs, read the stories about the chaos of evacuation, and were told horror story after horror story.  And then we were given one message from the media:  It's all Bush's fault.  There were no shortage of reasons why either.  Some were just angry at the lack of response, and others attributed it to race or the lack of conservative support for global warming.

The left, in typical leftist fashion, decided to politicize something that had no business being politicized to begin with, and then proceeded to scream about it to anyone who would listen.  It was a dishonest, manipulative, and remarkably successful strategy that Democrats used throughout the Bush administration.  Continually raving like a lunatic may not work in the short term, but if enough people do it long enough eventually a negative atmosphere spreads until you begin to associate someone with negative things.  In Bush's case this was failure, incompetence, stupidity, and a lack of compassion.

Once you recognize that it's easy to understand the media's portrayal of Obama during the oil spill.  In an article titled "A month after oil spill began, Obama begins taking charge" we're shown an Obama that is at worst trying and, at best a hero trying to fix the problem and punish those responsible:

Facing a growing furor over the monthlong Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the White House Friday named two environmentalists to lead a presidential commission investigating the disaster.

The appointments of former Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and William K. Reilly , who led the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush , came as the Obama administration tried to defend its handling of the spill against critics who charge that the oil giant BP has been dragging its feet in measuring how much oil the company's ruptured well is spewing.

A month after the spill began, the Obama administration also appeared to be distancing itself from BP, forming a task force this week to measure the spilled crude that includes an engineering professor who's told Congress that he thinks the spill is far larger than originally thought, but not a representative from BP

The article focuses heavily on what Obama is doing, while at the same time placing blame squarely on the shoulders of BP.  To be fair that's exactly where the blame needs to go.  BP messed up, and their response to the disaster has been poor to say the least, but there are legitimate points to criticize Obama on.  We can't forget that this spill happened in the federal jurisdiction, and Obama's behavior has been similar to that for which Bush was criticized for, such as not spending enough time in the areas affected.  Don't expect the AP, CNN, or MSNBC to talk about that anytime soon though.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The best political ad you've seen thus far

I wish he was in Missouri so I could vote for him.  Enjoy:

Monday, May 17, 2010


Obama has a history of having an incredibly backwards foreign policy.  From insulting allies, appeasing enemies, and apologizing to just about everyone seems to be how he wants to get things done.  But this?  Enraging.

Posner said in addition to talks on freedom of religion and expression, labor rights and rule of law, officials also discussed Chinese complaints about problems with U.S. human rights, which have included crime, poverty, homelessness and racial discrimination.

He said U.S. officials did not whitewash the American record and in fact raised on its own a new immigration law in Arizona that requires police to ask about a person's immigration status if there is suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

Since when do we treat the Chinese as equals in matters of human rights?  If we talk about human rights its a lecture, not a dialogue, and perhaps that's that's arrogant but there is no valid comparison in human rights between our nations.  The Chinese want to talk about crime, poverty, homelessness, and racial discrimination?  Sure we can talk about that.

Let's talk about how China executes people for committing the unforgivable crimes of counterfeiting or financial fraud.  How you have crimes punishable by death that no other country in the world has.  Or lets talk about how your one child policy is manufacturing a crisis that will leave tens of millions of men without wives and is expected to drastically increase crime.

Let's talk about how China struggles with poverty because of it's backwards, Communist policies that have killed tens of millions in the past.  I don't quite understand how a developing nation - who's own policies are the reason for its people's suffering - is going to complain about the richest-nation-in-the-world's policies.  Ours brought us wealth, yours brought you famine. 

Or maybe you'd prefer to talk about your own homelessness, a problem you want to ignore in your own country, but prefer to point out in other countries apparently.

Perhaps you'd prefer if we touch on your history, and continued use of ethnic discrimination.  Or hey let's talk about how you treated the Mexicans during the swine flu outbreak.

I especially like the part where the Obama administration tries to throw Arizona under the bus for a law his justice department hasn't even read yet.  Maybe I'm wrong here, but doesn't it seem unpatriotic to put ideology ahead of your nation in diplomatic proceedings?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hey lets not bailout Europe

If you had 7 billion dollars and your nation was currently at an all time high deficit, what would you do with the money?  If your answer was to bailout a nation over 5,000 miles away, than you'll be pretty pleased with the IMF's decision to bailout Greece:

The International Monetary Fund has put up nearly $40 billion to help bail out Greece and appease investors' fears of a spreading European debt crisis.

The IMF's executive board met in Washington Sunday to approve a three-year, euro30 billion loan for the debt-plagued nation, part of a $140 billion package (euro110 billion) negotiated with other eurozone countries.

The US is currently the top contributor by far at 17%, where the nearest second nation (Japan) comes in at a mere 6%.  This means that not only do we have to pay for Greece's mistakes, but we have to pay more than anyone else in this IMF bailout.  And not only are we paying more than anyone else, but we're paying with money we don't have to a nation that got itself into this mess because it was in too much debt.

How does this make any sense at all?

To make it all worse there is the distinct possibility that we may have to bailout other European nations, nations which will require much more money such as Italy, Spain, and Portugal.  All of this is particularly puzzling since I've been had it hammered into my head repeatedly that Europe is superior in every way, but especially in economic matters.  I suppose such superiority must, at times, be supported with bailouts, but in keeping with the masquerade we can it tribute or say we "owe" them.

Of course none of this was necessary.  Senator Jim DeMint tried to avoid this very thing last year by adding an amendment that would of prevented the IMF from using US money to bailout other nations.  Obviously the amendment was defeated and now we're stuck fixing a mess that we may very well find ourselves in years down the road. 

But even without the amendment we could of made a bit of noise and made it apparent we were being dragged into this.  We could of made it clear that we would work harder to prevent any of our money from going to irresponsible nations in the future.  But we didn't, and so now if the rest of the Mediterranean needs a bailout, I'm sure they'll get it, because that's how this works, one bailout begets another.  Make sure to keep Europe on your radar for a bit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great Men of America: William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison was born in 1805, in Newburyport, Massachusetts to Canadian immigrants. By the age of three his father, a merchant sailor, abandoned him and the family.  Although the religious community helped support the family, William did what he could as a child by selling homemade lemonade, candy, and delivering firewood.  By age fourteen William had become an apprentice with the local Newburyport Herald and soon began writing under the pseudonym Aristides, an Athenian statesman and general known as "the Just", a fitting start to what would become his lifelong career.

Even though he was faced with a childhood that gives many an excuse to not even try today William didn't let that hold him back and should be familiar to a black community that struggles with children being abandoned by their fathers.  Earlier, when I wrote about Booker T. Washington, I stated that one of my goals was to display that "Many figures in "white history" have ties to abolition or civil rights movements and drawing a connection between the two would help counter the view that all whites in American history are evil racists."  William Lloyd Garrison is one of the best examples of this due to his uncompromising nature and refusal to yield in his fight for the emancipation of the black man.

Garrison first joined the abolition movement in 1829 at the age of 25 when he joined the American Colonization Society, an organization which promoted sending freed blacks to territory in Africa.  Although some members supported the idea that blacks should be liberated, the majority of members within this organization had no interest in freeing slaves, and saw this as a way of protecting the institution of slavery.  Upon making this discovery "Garrison rejected colonization, publicly apologized for his error, and then, as was typical of him, he censured all who were committed to it."

Shortly after, Garrison joined with Benjamin Lundy to become co-editor of Genius of Universal Emancipation, a newspaper from Baltimore, Maryland.  It was here Garrison became increasingly radical.  Previously he had been, like most abolitionists of the time, a gradualist - someone who advocates emancipation through a slow, gradual process.  While he worked here, however, he adopted the stance of the immediatist, or someone who believes that emancipation is necessary immediately and completely.  In addition to his new ideology he increased the severity of his writings by publishing the "Black List" which directly targeted both individuals and the institution of slavery by reporting "the barbarities of slavery — kidnappings, whippings, murders."

Eventually the Black List got him in trouble, and the pro-slavery courts of Maryland were more than happy to find him guilty of libel.  He served seven weeks in jail before his fine was paid by another abolitionist, and once free he left Maryland and returned to New England.

Upon return to New England Garrison started The Liberator, the most radical abolition newspaper of its time.  In his first issue he addressed those who were critical of his severe language and radical message:

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

His newspaper and influence grew slowly with just 400 subscriptions in the second year, but Garrison carried on his crusade with zeal.  He created the New England Anti-Slavery Society not long after he started The Liberator, and the American Anti-Slavery Society a year after that.  He traveled to the United Kingdom and spent time helping the anti-slavery efforts there, and in 1840 he formed a third organization called Friends of Universal Reform.  Even after internal dissent fractured the American Anti-Slavery Society, Garrison persevered and rebuilt the organization.

Despite a constant barrage of death threats, a bounty of $5000 dollars for his arrest in Georgia, and one case where a lynch mob chased him through the streets of Boston, Garrison continued to publish The Liberator and fight for abolition until his dream came true.  On December 29th, 1865, Garrison published his 1,820th and final issue of The Liberator, summing up his long path as an abolitionist:

Commencing my editorial career when only twenty years of age, I have followed it continuously till I have attained my sixtieth year—first, in connection with The Free Press, in Newburyport, in the spring of 1826; next, with The National Philanthropist, in Boston, in 1827; next, with The Journal of the Times, in Bennington, Vt., in 1828–9; next, with The Genius of Universal Emancipation, in Baltimore, in 1829–30; and, finally, with the Liberator, in Boston, from the 1st of January, 1831, to the 1st of January, 1866;—at the start, probably the youngest member of the editorial fraternity in the land, now, perhaps, the oldest, not in years, but in continuous service,—unless Mr. Bryant, of the New York Evening Post, be an exception. ... The object for which the Liberator was commenced—the extermination of chattel slavery—having been gloriously consummated, it seems to me specially appropriate to let its existence cover the historic period of the great struggle; leaving what remains to be done to complete the work of emancipation to other instrumentalities, (of which I hope to avail myself,) under new auspices, with more abundant means, and with millions instead of hundreds for allies.

For forty years William Lloyd Garrison had fought tooth and nail for the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of black slaves.  I cannot imagine the joy and relief he felt when, finally, the noble goal he had worked so hard for finally came to pass.

Garrison spent the remaining years of his life fighting on behalf of other causes he believed in, such as temperance, women's suffrage, and civil rights for blacks, however he largely believed he had fought the fight, and the war was mostly over for him.  He died May 24th, 1879 at the age of 74.  His pallbearers were his old abolition friends, both black and white, and Frederick Douglass spoke at his memorial service, saying "It was the glory of this man that he could stand alone with the truth, and calmly await the result"

Revisionist history today paints a nasty picture of America in the past.  Too often whites are presented as racists which created a racist nation and government that harms the minorities of America to this day.  But throughout our history are many whites who fought hard and risked their careers, families, and lives for the sake of racial equality.  To look back at American history and say "This is white history" and "This is black history" is to disgrace the many men and women who were a part of that fight, and serves no purpose other than to carry on racism.

"If those who deserve the lash feel it and wince at it I shall be assured that I am striking the right persons in the right place.” - William Lloyd Garrison explaining his refusal to moderate his words

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hysteria spreads from San Fransisco to LA

I'm sure the people of Arizona are devastated over this bankrupt city not conducting business with them:

Los Angeles on Wednesday became the largest city yet to boycott Arizona over its tough new law targeting illegal immigration in a move that likely will affect some $8 million in contracts with the state. 
The City Council voted 13-1 to bar Los Angeles from conducting business with Arizona unless the law is repealed. The vote followed an emotional council discussion during which many members noted that their ancestors were U.S. immigrants.

Presumably immigrants that came to America lawfully, and had the intention of assimilating rather than assimilating the area into their culture.

Meanwhile in the rest of America:

By all means support for this law should be well above 60%, but the disinformation that has been spread about the law has given both the left and the ignorant a knee jerk reaction when the words "Arizona" and "law" are combined.

If you ever needed proof that Progressives don't play within the realm of mainstream American politics, here it is.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nanny Progressive example of the day

Remember my post about the regulation of salt?  At one point I said:

Now I'm not asking for people to get outraged and stay outraged over salt, but I want people to recognize the fence for a fence and not just some new addition to the landscape that means nothing.  Too many people will say "Well salt is bad for you anyways, so what's the big deal?" and simply let it slide.  But once you use that logic you'll be forced to use it again and again until you find yourself domesticated and in a pin.  Maybe tomorrow it's a push to ban trans-fats or make feeding your children certain foods child abuse.

I made a point to emphasize how gradual these things are.  Rather than just forcing regulations on us, they adapt us to it slowly.  Warning us of the dangers, starting task forces, and eventually deciding that drastic measures are necessary.

I specifically mentioned children and food as one possible area of future regulation.  Guess what story got released today?

A White House report warns "The childhood obesity epidemic in America is a national health crisis."

The review by the Task Force on Childhood Obesity says one out of every three children is overweight or obese. The task force is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to solve the problem of obesity within a generation.

Innocent enough, even with my warnings.  Really nothing to get too upset about until you read further down:

The task force wants junk food makers and marketers to go on what amounts to an advertising diet. It says media characters that are often popular with kids should only be used to promote healthy products. If voluntary efforts fail to limit marketing of less healthy products to young viewers, the task force suggests the FCC should consider new rules on commercials in children's programming. It also challenges food retailers to stop using in-store displays to sell unhealthy food items to children.

But Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said, "A regulatory approach is certainly not where we want to start." He told a briefing, "You start by pushing self-regulation, by pushing your bully pulpit; sometimes shaming companies that don't do enough."

Exactly the point I was making.  This also follows on the heels of a Californian town banning toys in happy meals for fear that it promotes child obesity.

If going through a long process to regulate one particular industry seems rather absurd to you, that's because it should.  Regulating salt, for example, merely sets a precedent to regulate something else a little later.  And it also preforms the role of getting the people used to the idea of things being regulated.  The same tactic used, just on a larger scale then before.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why I support the Live Oak High 5

In case you haven't heard:

On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.

Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal's office.

"They said we could wear it on any other day," Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."

It seems like a rather simple issue to me.  As far as the article goes, the students weren't causing any problems or trying to provoke anyone.  No fights broke out, and the article doesn't mention anything about anyone challenging them or exchanging words with them.  Still the teachers and principal decided to punish five students because there was the possibility there could be violence.  Not even because the threat of violence primarily stemmed from the five students in patriotic clothing, but just the threat of violence in general, which seems a whole lot like punishing someone for the potential actions of another.

Simple right?  The teachers are wrong, they should apologize, and everyone should move on with their lives.

Yet there is an opposite side to this.  People argue that the students were looking to start trouble simply by choosing to wear the clothes that day.  Of course there is some truth to that since the odds of them accidentally wearing those shirts on Cinco de Mayo are slim, but it doesn't really matter.  That entire point is irrelevant.

It doesn't matter why they choose to wear the shirts.  The students were fully within their rights to wear the clothing to begin with, and didn't break any rules while attending school.  Had the students acted in some manner which alarmed the staff then perhaps there would of been validation to threaten suspension or send them home.  Even if the students had been attacked you could of asked them to take off the shirts, but certainly not forced them to.  But nothing happened.

I would contrast that with this story:

Yesterday, a listener’s son was offended that his school, Klein Collins High School, displayed the Mexican flag prominently.  His mother called to complain, and the school wouldn’t return her call.  The student took the sign down.

The school pitched a fit, reviewed the surveillance tapes, found the student, and suspended him for 3 days.  AND he has to pay for the flag.  In light of the SF story of students sent home for wearing the AMERICAN flag because it offended the Hispanic students, I thought you’d like to know about a story closer to home.

In this case the student didn't have any right to act the way he did.  The school didn't do anything wrong by hanging that flag there, and so were completely within their right to put it up. Just because the student doesn't like it and finds it offensive doesn't mean he has the right to take it down.  Likewise just because some students or teachers find some clothing offensive doesn't mean they have the right to coerce the students if they haven't done anything wrong.  It's a very simple, very logical thing however it didn't stop hispanic students at Life Oak high from protesting and demanding "respect".

Respect?  Where is the respect in getting offended over people expressing patriotism over the nation they live in?  And just where is the respect in imposing your political correctness on others?

Nevermind, I forgot about the double standard.

Final thought:  Where's the ACLU's statement?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Liberal outrage

While searching for an article on terrorists yesterday I came across this old article about the FBI adding an American to the Most Wanted Terrorist list:

A fugitive animal rights activist believed to be hiding outside the United States has become the first domestic terror suspect named to the FBI's list of "Most Wanted" terrorists.

Daniel Andreas San Diego, a 31-year-old computer specialist from Berkeley, Calif., is wanted for the 2003 bombings of two corporate offices in California.

The article itself isn't anything special, but I scrolled down to see what the lefties reactions would be to an eco-terrorist being thrown on the list.

This was the first comment I saw:

i agree with so many others here (and i am surprised!) that i hope such a suspect continues to evade authorities however he might.
similarly i reject the term "terror" or even "violence" in reference to the destruction of objects..(as it has been noted, these groups make extraordinary effort not to harm ANY living thing.)

So using violence and destruction to get someone to stop doing something you don't want them to do is ok so long as you don't hurt anyone?  That doesn't sound right.  Let's go to the dictionary to see how they define terrorism:

  1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
  2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 
  3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

The word the above poster was looking for is murderer.  Terrorism is a separate thing which can include murder, but one can use violence to coerce for political purposes without being a murderer.

This post wasn't an isolated thing either.  Similar posts lacking any sense or reason can be found throughout the comment section:

When I saw the headline I felt sure he was a bankster and we were on our way to rounding them all up. What a let down.

Time for Mr. Obama to call off the hounds on this we even know what corporate buildings this guy "allegedly" bombed? Just the word "corporate" would indicate a high probability that the attack was justified... Corporate America is bringing this world to its knees...

I wish San Diego and his fellow "animal rights and environmental extremists" luck in evading arrest. So long as they take care to avoid killing or seriously injuring anyone, I am sympathetic. 

After the "War on Terror", maybe it would be appropriate to start the "War of Terror" against those Americans timothy mcveigh look alike and other well founded militias, super armed to the teeth, and stuffed, intellectually, with infinite hate for the federal government, the blacks, Jews, homosexual, liberals, Hollywood, the rest of the Universe, including the underverse.

I always wandered...Why our response to 911, against the terrorist + those who were with or against us, wasn't equal to the blown federal building, by the internal terrorist Mcveigh and his look alike.
Was it the number of death differences?

One conservative did lay down a very reasonable argument including numbers:

Other than McVeigh how many right wing terrorists can you name? How many right wing terrorist acts have been carried out in the US? Here's some LEFT WING attacks will someone list the RIGHT WING ones?

Ted Kaczynski sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23: LEFT WING

Free Puerto Rico's FALN and Macheteros activities resulted in 72 actual bombings, 40 incendiary attacks, 8 attempted bombings and 10 bomb threats, resulting in 5 deaths, 83 injuries, and over $3 million in property damage: LEFT WING

According to the FBI this PETA/ELF nut Andreas and his fellow LEFT wing companions are responsible for "more than 1,800 crimes and caused more than $110 million in damages. He said the FBI is currently investigating about 170 incidents of animal rights or environmental extremism.
It also looks like he planted his bombs to go off sequentially to get the first responders. Anyone here got a friend or loved one that's a EMT or fire fighter? If so it looks like the left wing has taken a page from Hamas and is planing to kill them when they arrive to help.

But as I pointed out above these people aren't particularly fond of reason:

The Bush Administration
Corporate America
The Banking industry.
Just to get the ball rolling.

Sorry for not having the facts and figures,
But you and I both know that these three terrorist Groups
have done more harm to the US than Al,Saddam,

Still the same old mentallity
Hunt and kill Jesse James for stealing $150,000 over a lifetime
and yet refuse to investigate these multi-billion dollar robbers and politicians
thank you

At least he's polite and admits that he doesn't have anything to back up his argument other than his own self-righteousness.

The comments continue in this fashion, dismissing this man as either a hero or non-threat while at the same time warning about Christians, the right, bankers, corporations, and Bush. To be a fair a few individuals do point out that this man broke the law, and is in fact a terrorist, but these reasonable few are drowned out by the hundreds of others ranting about what a great injustice this is.

Now to be clear: I'm not using these comments as an example of Huffington Post. What I'm using them as is an example of the left, which I think is more than fair unless someone wants to make the argument that HuffPo posters aren't at all representative of the left.  But I don't think anyone would make that argument, in fact I find it significantly more likely that leftists will agree the posters. 

Now lets contrast all of this to how conservatives acted when George Tiller was murdered:

I am conflicted.
I am relieved Tiller will not be able to kill any more of our children. I am sad this is because he was murdered.

Murder is murder and here’s to hoping the shooter is caught and either locked up forever or given his own dirt nap.

“The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” James 1:20
I’ve been praying for his family and loved ones all day. I’ve also asked that God would not allow murder to be the means of justice in the minds of those who claim to be called by His name.

The worst comment I found from a casual glance through was:

Prayers for the dead are an invention of the Catholic church, and have no basis in Scripture. Tiller wasted his life as a murderer, and now his own murderer will also have to answer for his abominable act.

If you feel a need to pray for someone, pray for the living fiends who welcomed a baby-murderer into their worship assembly simply for his blood-drenched tithes.

Hot Air does moderate its comments section, so anything extremely vile would be removed, but even so the vast majority of posts are tame and compassionate.

Liberals are extremely good at appearing to be reasonable or fair on the surface, but underneath it they are far detached from the majority of Americans.  The posts above are a good example of that, but it's also a warning for conservatives.  As we get more and more riled up we have to be careful to ensure we don't become what they are.  So far we're doing a pretty good job.

If you ever find yourself edging closer to that line, just think of this gem I found in the comment section:

This country should worry more about the right wing extremism, they are the most scary.

We're not the ones starting riots and planting bombs, bud.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

America's history with Islamic Terrorism

Recently one of my friend's asked me to write about America's history with terrorism, and I thought that wouldn't be a bad thing to do with the recent attempted car bombing in NYC.

America's first encounter with Islamic terrorism would have to come in the form of the Barbary pirates, against whom we fought two wars:  The First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War.  Though rarely connected to terrorism I would argue that the Barbary pirates were in fact terrorists in their day.  Their war was one waged not against targets of opportunity, but rather as an ideological struggle against Christians.  With religion as their justification the pirates often attacked villages, fishing boats, and merchant ships.  The crews would usually be enslaved and ransomed back to their families or countries.  All of this is similar to how modern Islamic terrorists operate, especially the Somali pirates.  Both the Barbary pirates and modern day terrorists wage a greater war against anything non-Islamic, specifically targeting the West.  For the most part targets are based on vulnerability, often striking civilians and using religion as a justification for taking innocent life.

For these reasons I would argue that the Barbary pirates constitute America's first conflict with Islamic terrorism, and also help demonstrate that this war is about more than a handful of extremists driven by perceived abuse from the West in general.  Rather, this is a war based in an ideology that is driven to form a hegemony.

After the Barbary Wars most incidents of terrorism in the US were committed either by anarchists or The Black Liberation Army until the late 20th century.

It's a bit difficult to say what the first act of Islamic terrorism in the 20th century is.  The Lod Airport massacre could be considered since the Japanese communists who carried out the attack did so for the PLO.  Otherwise it would be in 1973 when the terrorist organization Black September killed two US diplomats in Sudan.

Other events are:

These are just a small handful of the repeated attacks made against America over the last four decades, and doesn't really touch on the numerous other attacks committed by Islamists against other governments and people.  Western governments have always been the primary targets, but even Muslim nations see their fair share of terrorist activities as Islamists use their ideology as an excuse to kill any who disagree with them.

To see more attacks and attempted attacks I suggest you look at these websites:

A short list of attacks before 9/11
The wikipedia list of Terrorist attacks
Global Security list of both successful and attempted terrorist attacks

After the events of 9-11 Americans were warned to not vilify all Muslims for the actions of a handful of bombers and extremists.  My views on Islam aside, I agree with that advice wholeheartedly as there are plenty of hardworking Muslims in the US who live normal lives and contribute to society.  

As time went on, however, the advice changed until the left stopped believing we should connect Islam to terrorism at all.  Obama's administration once again provides the example as Terrorism becomes "Man caused disaster" and any references to Jihad or Islam get removed from national security documents. To me that seems to be the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears, shutting your eyes, and screaming "la-la-la" at the top of your lungs.

Similarly Ron Paul and his followers believe that the only reason Islamists attack America is because we occupy their lands, bomb their houses, and rape their women.  The argument completely fails to account for a wide Islamic movement outside of middle eastern countries directly affected by the US, attacks that happened decades ago, or how strikingly similar it is to the actions of the Barbary pirates over 200 years ago.

Liberals can believe whatever they want, but that doesn't make it true.  Whether they like it or not there is a clear link between Islam and terrorism.  No, not all Muslims are terrorists, and not all terrorists are Muslim, but most terrorists are Muslim.  At the very least the most relevant to America's interests are Muslim and that alone warrants drawing a distinction between them and other terrorist groups.  The attempted bombing in NYC should remind us who our enemy is, and knowing your enemy is a key part of the battle.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Obama's Diplomacy: The UK

One of Obama's big promises during the campaign was his pledge to restore America's standing in the world.  The aggressive foreign policy of Bush got things done, but it also alienated our allies in Europe and upset pretty much everyone else.  Obama's theory essentially came down to being nice so that potential conflicts could be avoided and we get a bit more support when needed it.  Things like getting more European combat troops in Afghanistan, more sanctions in Iran, and easing tensions with Russia.

In theory it's not a bad plan, however it completely fails to account for people who don't like us because our goals directly conflict with theirs.  Nations like Russia and Iran have no reason to comply with us diplomatically, and pursuing a policy which tries to appease them is dangerous as we're finding out now.

More dangerous than how Obama is treating our enemies and rivals is how Obama is treating our friends.  Israel, the United Kingdom, and Poland are among our closest allies, and they've all be insulted, ignored, or sold-out in some way.  For the most part these insults aren't random occurrences, they're part of pattern of abuse that suggest Obama just doesn't like that nation.

Let's look at UK.

The slights against the UK started just a few weeks in to the Obama administration with the removal of Churchill's bust from the White House and it's return to the British:

A bust of the former prime minister once voted the greatest Briton in history, which was loaned to George W Bush from the Government's art collection after the September 11 attacks, has now been formally handed back.

The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush's tenure.

But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: "Thanks, but no thanks." 

The insults continued with a low key reception for the British Prime Minister and with an exchange of gifts:

As he headed back home from Washington, Gordon Brown must have rummaged through his party bag with disappointment.

Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.

Mr Brown is not thought to be a film buff, and his reaction to the box set is unknown. But it didn't really compare to the thoughtful presents he had brought along with him

The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.

The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.

As if trying to make things worse the Obama administration's excuse was that he was "too tired" to give Brown and the British the respect they were used to and deserved.  The British noted that the Obama administration seemed to have no idea what they were doing and were "bemused" by the complaints of the British.  Even if we excuse this as an amateur moment for Obama it makes you wonder who decided that the British deserve the same treatment as a minor nation.

Still one could argue that, up until now, Obama may of just been making honest mistakes.  But then Obama did something which is both irresponsible and disrespectful no matter how you look at it.

In his effort to close down Gitmo Obama's weak strategy relied on other nations taking in the prisoners.  Despite the heavy criticism the US has received for having the facility, few were willing to actually take the prisoners themselves, and few Americas were interested in bringing the prisoners moved onto the continental US.  Of the prisoners seventeen were Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group from China.  Unwilling to return them to China where it was feared they would face torture or worse, we looked for other options. The tiny pacific island of Palau accepted thirteen of the prisoners, and the remaining four were to be sent to Bermuda.

The problem is that Bermuda is a British territory who's defense and security is completely handled by the British.  Moving four terrorists into British territory would certainly fall under the category of security, and yet not only did Obama do it, but he saw fit to to actively keep the whole thing a secret until the Uighurs were being put on the plane. 

It could just be me, but I don't think releasing four terrorists into your friend's land is a good way to treat them.

In case all of the above wasn't enough Obama snubbed Brown again, and then refused to back Great Britain's sovereignty over the Falkland Islands:

There is one big difference between the situation regarding the Falkland Islands in 1982 and today - the Americans will not endorse Britain's claim to sovereignty. Furthermore, they are refusing to back Britain's argument that it has the right under international law to drill for oil in the waters surrounding the islands. They says it's a matter for the Argentines and the British to sort out between themselves.

In short, Barack Obama's administration is determined not to allow the US to be dragged into the issue as President Reagan was three decades ago when, to the fury of South Americans, he offered Margaret Thatcher public support and intelligence back-up during her war to regain the Falklands following Argentina's invasion.

The British have long been a strong supporter of America, but their support truly stands out as exemplary more recently with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Where most of our "allies" have abandoned us or actively worked against us, the British have fought and died beside us.  It seems to me that if the British want to retain control of a tiny island at the bottom of the world then we owe them our support.

The fact is that Obama's foreign policy has not only failed to win over anyone at all, but it's harming our relations with those who have remained loyal friends.  Most of these incidents have gone unreported in the US outside of conservative blogs, but the people in the UK have taken notice to the repeated insults and it serves only to strengthen those who would end the "special relationship" established  between our two countries.  Recently British MPs declared that the special relationship was over and the Liberal Democrat candidate in the British elections saw a huge surge after the first debates, which is worrying for America since he doesn't believe in the special relationship either.

If this is how Obama plans to restore America's standing in the world we have to once again wonder if he's a radical, stupid, or simply incompetent.