Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The worst political video...

...and of course it was made by college progressives.

I honestly thought I was going to have to give it to the "Gather your armies" video which I found to be corny, fringy, and all together bad, even though it was popular among conservatives.  Of course I underestimated how young, ignorant, progressives have this ability to fail even your lowest expectations as if it were a continual source of pride.  Brace yourself, because you'll likely feel like the next three minutes of your life were stolen.





The link that's supposed to give me help me understand all this takes me to a page with one sentence that doesn't help at all.  I was hoping I was going to get something that would make sense of all of it, like an explanation for the title and phrase they use to replace Thriller, "Iller".  I can see that you dropped the first three letters of thriller, but does it actually have a point other than a questionable attempt at avoiding copyright infringement?  Or does it seriously mean "sicker", with sick meaning cool.  And even if that's the case,"Cooler nights"?  I still don't get it.

Failing an explanation I would of liked something that would of made me feel a bit sympathy for these kids.  Sure the video would still be awful, but at least I would feel bad for them instead of feeling like they're insufferable, ignorant, twits.

But no, instead I got this:  "Campus Progress created a video to push back on the notion that politically active young people are Zombies."

I'm not quite sure how having bad singing, a theme that doesn't make any sense, and an unoriginal video is suppose to make us think that you're not all, in fact, zombies, and the fact that nobody said "Hey guys, maybe we shouldn't release this terrible crap." just reinforces my belief that these people are completely morons.

I honestly expect better from a bunch of ten year olds with a camcorder and some free video editing software they found online.  The singing might be just as bad, but they would of had the good decency to give us a coherent theme and a few goofy, funny moments.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pro-Life consistency

For the past couple years I've been struggling with my Pro-Life views.  The issue isn't whether or not the fetus is a child, but rather it's a problem I have with the Pro-Life movement. It's also the issue that zombie discussed in a recent post he made to PJTV:

I think both sides of the abortion debate are lying and have been lying since the argument first arose. Anyone who wants to forbid abortion “except in cases of rape or incest” is, frankly, full of crap. And here’s why:

If you truly are “pro-life” in that you believe abortion is murder because the unborn child is a full-fledged human being, then you wouldn’t so casually allow the child to be murdered simply based on its parent’s misbehavior.

Most people who are anti-abortion adopt the label “pro-life” based on the shared notion that the zygote/embryo/fetus, no matter what its stage of development, is an undiminished human being with full human rights. And that’s a principled position which I can respect — if you stick to it consistently. But if you start making expedient exceptions, then your dishonesty has been revealed. Because if you really and truly believed that an embryo was a full human being, then you wouldn’t allow it to be murdered simply because its father was a bad man.

Zombie starts his post out by saying that he's not going to make any friends by writing this, and I'm sure that more than a few people won't be able to stomach everything he has to say.  However his review of both sides, while harsh, is 100% accurate and something that long needed to be said.  At this point I'm going to recommend fully reading the article, which I'll go ahead and link again.

The Pro-Life movement has attatched an asterisk next to their platform.  

"A fetus is a life!*"
*: Except in cases of rape or incest.

In terms of political pragmatism, that asterisk makes sense.  Abortion isn't particularly popular in this country, but then again neither is the thought of forcing a woman, who was just raped, to carry the child of the man who raped her.  However this isn't an argument about what is politically pragmatic.  This is an argument about the intellectual, and principled consistency of the Pro-Life movement, and as zombie points out, the people who buy into and promote this pragmatism aren't really Pro-Life so much as they are anti-abortion, or anti-sex.  The main concerns of any Pro-Life person are in protecting an innocent Human life, not on what is going to be easiest to sell to the American public.  Looking at it from this perspective you inevitably reach the conclusion that there is no valid reason to punish an innocent person for a crime someone else committed, or as zombie puts it "Allowing a rape-and-incest exception to any abortion ban essentially means we are willing to punish the children for the sins of the father."

The argument may not be a winner, but if you truly believe that a fetus is a life, what other conclusion can you reach?  When innocent lives are at stake, principle needs to trump pragmatism every time.  The Pro-Life movement needs to drop the asterisk.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A bad week in the polls

...and it doesn't matter which poll you look at, or how biased it is.

Gallup

Thirty-eight percent of independents approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, the first time independent approval of Obama has dropped below 40% in a Gallup Daily tracking weekly aggregate. Meanwhile, Obama maintains the support of 81% of Democrats, and his job approval among Republicans remains low, at 12%.

[...]

Overall, 46% of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president in the June 28-July 4 aggregate, one point above his lowest weekly average. Obama's average weekly job approval rating has not been above 50% since Feb. 8-14, though it reached the 50% mark as recently as May 3-9.

Obama's lower ratings come amid a still-struggling economy, the ongoing difficulties presented by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent change of command in the war in Afghanistan. Underscoring the challenge at hand, Obama's 44% approval rating in July 2-5 polling (Gallup did not interview July 4) ties his lowest three-day average to date.

WaPo

On the question of Obama's leadership, 42 percent of registered voters now say they have confidence that he will make the right decisions for the country, with 58 saying they do not. At the start of his presidency, about six in 10 expressed confidence in his decision-making.

Obama's overall job-approval rating stands at 50 percent, equaling his low point in Post-ABC polling; 47 percent disapprove of the job he is doing. For the first time in his presidency, those who strongly disapprove now significantly outnumber those who strongly approve.

Among those who say they definitely will vote in November, 53 percent disapprove of the way he is handling his responsibilities.

CBS

Economists have declared the economic recession over largely over, but most Americans don't share their optimism, and they are increasingly blaming President Obama for their money woes.

Mr. Obama's approval rating on the economy has tumbled five percentage points from last month, according to a new CBS News poll, with just 40 percent of those polled expressing full confidence in his actions.

More than half of those questioned (54 percent) said they disapproved of Mr. Obama's handling of the economy. Last month, 45 percent approved. The drop in approval has been seen mostly among independents, just 35 percent of whom now say they approve

[...]

The poll shows widespread concern among Americans when it comes to employment. Seven in ten Americans rated the job market in their area "fair" or "very bad"; only a quarter of those polled described it as "good".

There did appear to be some optimism that the job market would improve over the next year -- but not a lot. While 28 percent said they expected the job market in their area to get better over the next year, twice as many -- 56 percent -- said it would likely remain the same. Another 14 percent predicted even fewer available jobs in the coming years.

PPP

Barack Obama's hit a record low in PPP's monthly national polling on his approval numbers. 45% of voters approve of the job he's doing while 52% disapprove. This is the first time he's topped the 50% disapproval mark in our surveys.

There isn't any one smoking gun to point to in explaining Obama's diminished standing. In the last month he's seen small increases in the number of voters disapproving of him among Democrats (from 13% to 16%), Republicans (84% to 88%), and independents (55% to 56%) alike.

The two most troublesome things for Obama in his numbers at this point are his standing among white voters and independents. Whites now disapprove of Obama by nearly a 2:1 margin, with 62% giving him bad marks and only 35% saying he's doing a good job. With independents his approval is just 40% and 56% disapprove of his performance.


Both WaPo and CBS have a tendency to skew their samplings in favor of the Democrats, and these polls are no different.  In the WaPo poll there's a 7 point advantage for Democrats while the CBS polls has a 5 point advantage for Democrats, both of which are far higher than they should be.  Even with a seven point bias in his favor Obama only manages to get 42% support for his decision making, which is just slightly important when you're the chief executive of a nation.  In fact the few subjects Obama and Democrats manage to win on in either poll are by small amounts, which means they aren't actually winning in those areas.

Even if you ignore the bias, Democrats will still have a hard time justifying the huge decline in support they've witnessed.  Both Gallup and CBS are quick to point out that both Clinton and Reagan has similar approval numbers during this phase in their Presidency and went on to win second terms.

Obama is not alone in facing a challenging second year in office -- Bill Clinton (43%), Ronald Reagan (42%), and Jimmy Carter (40%) all were below the majority approval level in July of their second year. Of course, each of those presidents saw his party lose a substantial number of seats in that year's midterm congressional elections, though both Reagan and Clinton recovered in time to win a second term as president.

What both fail to mention is that neither President has seen a decline on the same level of Obama.  If you look at Gallup's numbers you get some interesting results.  For example, Obama has seen a 23 point drop in support since he took office, while Clinton's level of decline at this point in his Presidency was 15 points, and Reagan's was only 9 points.  Keep in mind that Clinton only won 43% of the popular vote in 1992, meaning that he never lost the support of those who voted for him.

In fact the other person they mention - the one who failed to win reelection - who most resembles Obama.  Both Carter and Obama started with similar numbers at the start of their presidency (Obama 67%, Carter 66%) and ultimately Carter would lose 26 points in this same time frame, just three points more than Obama.  Keep in mind that Obama is still pulling in around 90% approval from blacks, which helps boost his approval ratings slightly.

The point both polls were trying to make (If you give CBS the benefit of the doubt) is that it's too early to be using these polls as an indication of reelection chances.  But reelection is exactly what Obama needs to be worried about.  In 2012 Obama will have to actually win the election on his own merits, without the hope of a huge turnout of young voters or minorities eager to elect the first black President.  In 08 Obama was a sort of "fill in the blank" candidate.  To the moderate he was a moderate and to the progressive he was a progressive, but in 2012 everyone will know exactly what he is, and it's not something anyone is happy with right now.

Speaking of reelection, wasn't she suppose to be unelectable?

With his approval numbers hitting new lows it’s no surprise that Barack Obama’s numbers in our monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race are their worst ever this month. He trails Mitt Romney 46-43, Mike Huckabee 47-45, Newt Gingrich 46-45, and is even tied with Sarah Palin at 46. The only person tested he leads is Jan Brewer, who doesn’t have particularly high name recognition on the national level at this point.
 

It’s not that any of the Republican candidates are particularly well liked. Only Huckabee has positive favorability numbers at 37/28. Romney’s at 32/33, Gingrich at 32/42, Palin at 37/52, and Brewer at 17/20. But with a majority of Americans now disapproving of Obama it’s no surprise that a large chunk of them would replace him as President if they had that choice today.
 

There are two things driving these strong poll numbers for the Republican candidates. The first is a lead with independents in every match up. Romney leads 48-35 with them, Gingrich is up 50-39, Huckabee has a 46-40 advantage, Palin’s up 47-42, and even Brewer has a 38-37 edge.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

St. Louis Tea Party condemns NAACP racism

With the NAACP set to condemn the Tea Party movement as racist, the St. Louis Tea Party decided to go on the offensive by condemning the NAACP for their own racism.  It's about time too:

St. Louis Tea Party Coalition Resolution
July 12, 2010


Whereas, the National Coalition for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded to advance the position of minority groups, and

Whereas a hallmark of the NAACP has been to do the important work of identifying and exposing remaining vestiges of racism and discrimination, and

Whereas the NAACP vocally stands against the discriminatory and harmful practice of labeling people with a broad brush, and

Whereas the NAACP decided to launch their 101st National Convention with a resolution condemning the Tea Party movement and labeling millions of their fellow Americans who subscribe to the movement as “racists”, and

Whereas the “Tea Party movement” is a label applied to patriotic Americans who have expressed their political free speech in the grand tradition of all that is American, that being the spirited expression of viewpoints in a 100% peaceful manner, and

Whereas, it is a hallmark of America that we settle our disputes civilly and avoid the gutter tactic of attempting to silence opponents by inflammatory name-calling, and
Whereas the very term “racist” has diminished meaning due to its overuse by political partisans including members of the NAACP, and

Whereas, the NAACP had an opportunity to preserve some semblance of legitimacy by standing up for Ken Gladney, the victim of a vicious racist battery conducted by a black avowed communist, even labeling him an “Uncle Tom”, but chose instead to use the opportunity to mock the St. Louis Tea Party, and

Whereas, the NAACP has refused to denounce the New Black Panther’s call to murder white cops and their babies, and

Whereas, the NAACP does its entire membership a grave disservice by hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose,

Now therefore be it resolved that the St. Louis Tea Party condemns the NAACP for lowering itself to the dishonorable position of a partisan political attack dog organization, and,

Be it further resolved that the St. Louis Tea Party calls on similar organizations to join in unanimous condemnation of this despicable behavior, and

Be it further resolved that we demand that the NAACP withdrawal their bigoted, false and inflammatory resolution against the tea party for any further consideration, and

Be it further resolved that these organizations call on the Internal Revenue Service to evenly apply their standards and consider the tax-exempt status of the NAACP considering the degree to which they are engaging in habitual partisan political behavior.

Adopted unanimously, this day, July 12th, in the year of our Lord, 2010.

It was only a matter of time until the repeated hypocrisies became too much.  As I've started before, the leaders of the black community - which includes the NAACP - all have political goals, and they use their position to control thinking and use blacks as a political club for their own purposes.  It becomes increasingly difficult to give those leaders the benefit of the doubt when you see someone like Jesse Jackson being outraged over the Arizona law, but absolutely no outrage when the leader of the New Black Panthers calls for the death of "crackers" and their babies.

Hopefully other Tea Party organizations will pass similar resolutions.  I doubt very many people will care if the NAACP passes a resolution calling the Tea Party racist - the talking point is rather old now - but why ignore it when you have legitimate grievances of your own to bring up?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hey Nancy: I found your Astroturf

Anyone remember the Coffee Party

In case you forgot (or blinked and missed their brief existence ) the Coffee Party was basically the left's grassroots response to the increasingly successful Tea Party.  The movement billed itself as non-partisan and civil, using the cliched stance of being tired of partisanship in Washington and wanting thoughtful discourse.  Unsurprisingly the leftist organization received a glowing reception from the media, but despite the promotion they didn't manage to accomplish anything other than directly confronting the Tea Party (Kinda).  To give you an example of how badly the Coffee Party failed, look at their "breakout" protest, which attracted a grand total of...30 people.

The failure of the Coffee Party has to be rather disappointing and mildly embarrassing for a Democratic party so desperately in need of some sort of momentum from Progressives, especially while the Tea Party continues to enjoy some level of success.  So what's the left to do when a grassroots movement won't shoot up on its own?  Create one:

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, the "tea party" movement must be honored.

In an effort to replicate the tea party's success, 170 liberal and civil rights groups are forming a coalition that they hope will match the movement's political energy and influence. They promise to "counter the tea party narrative" and help the progressive movement find its voice again after 18 months of foundering.

The large-scale attempt at liberal unity, dubbed "One Nation," will try to revive themes that energized the progressive grass roots two years ago.

[...]

The groups involved represent the core of the first-time voters who backed Obama, including the National Council of La Raza, the Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and the United States Student Association. (The effort is separate from the Democratic Party's plan to spend $50 million trying to reach those same voters.)

WaPo does a pretty poor job of covering their bias, but what else is new?  Ed from HotAir hits nail on the head over that last paragraph:

Separate?  Uh, sure it is.  The SEIU and the AFL-CIO never  coordinate with Democrats, and neither do La Raza or the NAACP … right?  This overly credulous statement should embarrass the WaPo editorial staff.  If the Tea Party had been formed on the basis of massive funding from the NRA, the Chamber of Commerce, and Focus on the Family, would anyone in the media have written that the effort would have been “separate” from the GOP?

Say, didn't Nancy Pelosi have something to say about groups like this?




Throughout this blog I've repeatedly pointed out cases of liberal hypocrisy, and this is certainly a big one.  When the Tea Party was gaining ground the left was comically schizophrenic in their lies, either claiming that the Tea Party was a group of fringe extremists, or fake grassroots controlled by special interest groups loyal to the GOP.  The Democrats and Progressives spewed the demagogue and the media eagerly proliferated it.  But when their own grassroots organization failed miserably, they wasted no time in dabbling in a bit of astroturf.  In other words:  Demagogue the opposition and then engage in the very same thing you accused them of.

The hypocrisy falls not just on the heads of the Democrats, but also on the media, who is undoubtedly going to ignore the obvious while at the same time proclaiming "One Nation" as a great example of civic involvement.  I'd include the groups involved in this, but being hypocritical is the last thing anyone should be concerned about when it comes to a group of thugs (SEIU), racial supremacists (La Raza), and charlatans (NAACP).

Exit question:  Wouldn't silence on this be in violation Pelosi's much vaunted ethics?  More hypocrisy?  There's a shocker.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Am I not a man and a brother?"

In August last year a black, conservative man was handing out Gadsen flags at a Tea Party rally in St. Louis when he was attacked and beaten by members of the SEIU who yelled racial slurs while beating him.  From the police report:

I then contacted Witness #1, Harris Himes.  Witness H. Himes stated that as he was leaving the school gymnasium, he saw Suspect McCowan talking to Victim Gladney.  He stated he saw Suspect McCowan reach over the table and punch Victim Gladney in the face.  This assault knocked the victim off balance.  Suspect Molens then went around the table and pulled Victim Gladney over the table backwards by the back of his shirt collar.  he began to punch and kick Victim Gladney.  Witness H. Himes added that while Suspect Molens was kicking and punching Victom Gladney, Suspect McCowan joined in on the assault.

Witness #2, Sandra Himes, statement of the incident concurred with Harris' account of the incident.  She did add that Victim Gladney did nothing to provoke this assault.

[...]

Gladney stated that he was handing out pens and buttons outside the gym.  He stated that is when Suspects Molens and McCowan, along with a third suspect who is unidentified at this time, walked by his table.  Suspect McCowan picked up one of the buttons from Gladney's table and said, "Who's sellin this shit?" Victim Gladney stated, "I'm not selling anything, it's free."  At this time Suspect McCowan said, "What kind of nigger are you?"  Suspect McCowan then reached across the table and punched Victim Gladney in the face.  Victim Gladney added that Suspect Molens grabbed him from behind, at which time he was struck several times and taken to the ground.  At this time he was struck several more times.  He doesn't know how many people struck him or how many times exactly he was struck after he was on the ground.

There was no outrage among the black community, no appeal from Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or the NAACP for charges or justice.  No one lamenting "black on black" violence, or the attack on free thinking.  Just a silence that emphasize a message most conservatives already knew:  "You cannot be both black and conservative." To be both would make you a traitor, a dog, and below human in their eyes, and ff a "real" black man happened to attack you, then you probably deserved it.

So the event went ignored by the black community, and the media decided to ignore it as well.  After all such a beating would undermine their already weak "Racist Teabagger" narrative.

In my first post I wrote this:

In case you're wondering about the name of this blog I decided to give a little explanation. There's a particular hatred for Black Conservatives on the Left. The names they use to describe us say it all: Race Traitor, Uncle Tom, Oreo, Pet Monkey, among others. The message is clear "You cannot be both a Conservative and Black." You are forced to pick between your beliefs and your race.

It's an absurd thing, especially when you consider who it comes from. The people who claim to champion tolerance and free thought are the very same ones who become so outraged whenever someone dares to think differently. It is surreal to think that the rewards for freedom and equality are a loss of individuality and a demand to participate in group think. We must become what THEY want us to be.

Keep those words in mind as you watch a video released today showing a NAACP leader calling Kenneth Gladney an Uncle Tom, and basically saying he isn't black:





He's far too excited to praise political, racially motivated violence, especially for an organization that is supposed to protect blacks from those very things.  It's more than a little ironic that the organizations and people who fought for black equality now encourage violence against those who dare think differently then them. 

If any one video could be used as proof of the hypocrisy of black community, and evidence that black Americans - in general - are used as sheep for the far left, then this is it.  This is the  reason I made this blog, and the reason it's named "TheRaceTraitor".

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Indepedence Day follow up

Gallup released a poll a couple days before Independence Day showing an increase in the number of Americans who are willing to describe themselves as "Extremely Patriotic."  The increase is hardly worth noting since a total of 74% Americans call themselves either "Extremely Patriotic" or "Very Patriotic" with the individual being allowed to discern between the two. What is worth noting is what is driving the increase, and the timing of it:

The increase in the overall percentage of Americans calling themselves "extremely patriotic" is driven largely by seniors, Republicans, and conservatives -- all of whom are significantly more likely to say so than they were in 2005. Republicans' relatively higher identification with the "extremely patriotic" label is particularly intriguing when one considers that Democrats are currently far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country (41% vs. 7%, respectively).  Still, the majority of Americans in each of these subgroups say they are "extremely" or "very" patriotic.



The interesting thing, as Gallup points out, is the sharp increase of patriotism among conservatives and Republicans despite being unhappy with the current course of the country.  The only logical conclusion from that is that their opposition to the current administration and its policies isn't driven by partisanship or selfish ideology, but by a genuine concern for America and her well being.  We oppose Obama not because he's black, a Democrat, or anything like that, but because we genuinely believe that his policies harm America.  Even if we're misguided, our priorities and loyalties still lay firmly with America, which significantly undermines the liberal accusation that we are rabid, racist, haters - unless they're suggesting that a love for country includes those attributes, or a that their patriotism is the only right form patriotism, something I hardly think would be popular.

The slight drop with Democrats and liberals is hardly concerning since, as Gallup stated, they retain a majority when you consider the "Very Patriotic" bracket.  However it would be interesting to theorize why they're not seeing a surge in patriotism while they control both the Presidency and Congress.  Perhaps they expected both to enact even more of the leftist agenda?  Too much of a stretch to add this to the evidence of liberals going far left?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." - James Madison



Every year we celebrate 4th of July with barbecue, fireworks, parades, and displays of patriotism. but all of these things are empty if we do not understand what we are really celebrating.  The declaration of independence is not a long document, but it is a document which shook the very foundations of the world. Take a moment out of your celebrations to read the document that declared our independence from Great Britain, and brought about our nation.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The American People have an obligation to understand where they came from, and how they got to where they are today.  Without that understanding the concept of American liberty will gradually die, until we wake up one day and do not understand what is to American anymore.  Although it's cliche, the past really does hold the answers to our future, and by having a firm grasp of both the past and the present we can ensure the survival of our Republic and our freedom.

Happy Fourth of July everyone.  God Bless America.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Petraeus to ease RoE in Afghanistan?

Lets hope he goes through with it:

Gen. David Petraeus, tapped to replace McChrystal after President Obama fired him last week, vowed Tuesday to take a hard look at the rules which came in "tactical directives" from McChrystal to unit commanders.

In a message to troops and their families who believe the ROE have led to unneeded battlefield defeats and deaths, Petraeus pledged before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he will "look very hard" at the restrictions. He offered no specific changes.

"I want to assure the mothers and fathers of those fighting in Afghanistan that I see it as a moral imperative to bring all assets to bear to protect our men and women in uniform and the Afghan security forces with whom .... troopers are fighting shoulder-to-shoulder," he testified at his confirmation hearing. "Those on the ground must have all the support they need when they are in a tough situation."

He said that after Obama nominated him last week one of the first issues he discussed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai was the ROE.

Ever since Petraeus has taken McChrystal's spot there's been a lot of buzz over whether or not he will change the rules of engagement, which as of now seem to do more to help the Taliban than coalition forces.  I understand the idea is that you don't want people becoming upset  with American forces and joining up with the enemy, but they have their own PR problems to deal with, and at the end of the day we still have to be able to engage and destroy the enemy.  It doesn't matter how many or how few people join the enemy if you're unable to kill them effectively.

I'd go more into why the RoE's are so bad, but the article touches on that point so well, that I don't have to:

An Army special operations soldier who has served in Afghanistan had this bitter assessment:

"If soldiers in contact need an air strike or a fire mission, give it to them. Don’t deny them illumination or smoke because a canister might land on a civilian.

"If a Taliban runs into a deserted house after clacking off an IED killing Americans, don’t disallow the attack on the house because it is a civilian dwelling. If the same guy who just shot at you, hides his weapon, walks out and gives you the finger, don’t let him go because he’s an unarmed civilian. The enemy knows our ROE and is using it against us. If we are going to turn war into a joke—get out."

There really isn't a better summary of what's going on, and he's right in that we're not really fighting a war currently.  If we're going to be in Afghanistan spending time, money, and lives, we have to be in it to win it, no matter how long it takes.

The RoE in the Afghan war has my biggest complaint (followed by the lack of support from our NATO allies) about the war, so seeing a change there would be pretty exciting.   Perhaps if we gain some ground and make some progress the defeatist talk of withdrawal will go away and be replaced with something a bit more pragmatic.  I doubt it though.  Obama will probably need a "victory" before November 2011, and a withdrawal would give him that.