True Immigration Reform

it’s friday morning, so let’s roll up our sleeves and see what victor hanson has to say in his weekly op/ed piece — The True Opponents of Immigration Reform

Solving the illegal-immigration problem should not be hard. No one knows how many foreign nationals are residing illegally in the United States — estimates range from 11 million to 20 million. But everyone understands that it is an untenable situation that must be addressed.

The two extreme positions of the Left and Right probably have little public support — on the one hand, blanket amnesties and open borders, and on the other, deportation of all foreign nationals who reside here without legal authorization.

Polls show that most Americans want something in between.

Close the border. Allow entry only to those who have legal permission. Ensure that employers hire only those foreign nationals who have valid green cards. Permit those who have resided here for a while, who are without criminal records and are employed, to apply inside the U.S. for either a pathway to citizenship or legal residence.

Require that those residing here unlawfully pay a fine for breaking the law and wait in line until immigrants who followed the law are first processed. Reform legal immigration to make it ethnically blind and predicated on skill sets and education rather than on proximity to our borders or on family connections to those residing here unlawfully.

Most would agree with those sensible reforms, but I doubt that we will see any such grand bargain. The trouble is not, as the Democratic and Republican establishments allege, because of xenophobic and nativist bigots. Only a minority now favor sending every undocumented immigrant home without a chance for the hard-working and law-abiding to stay here while they apply for citizenship.

The problem instead is that the establishments of both parties talk in high-minded fashion but in fact act selfishly. Unfortunately, identity-politics elites and Democratic-party activists, along with employers of undocumented workers, do not support such a grand bargain.

Why not? Because Democrats and the members of the identity-politics industry believe that they have gained millions of new constituents. The more slowly huge surges of undocumented immigrants assimilate, the more they are likely to remain bloc constituents for particular causes and politics.

seems pretty sensible to me… damn politicians.

#morecoffee

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The New Inquisition

we’ve survived yet another week, and it sure seems like quite a lot as happened in the world, but let’s go ahead and see what victor hanson has to say — The New Inquisition

What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up over the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?

Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?

Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference?

The Los Angeles Times would not print your letter to the editor to that effect.

The CEO of Apple Inc. might advise that you should “get out of this stock.”

Or maybe if you were a skeptical climatologist, you would cease all research and concede that man-caused global warming needed no further scientific cross-examination — as columnist Bill McKibben recently advocated.

If you were a drought-stricken California farmer and worried about diversions of irrigation water to support fish populations, you would be told by the president of the United States that the real problem is not a failure to build reservoirs and canals but is due entirely to global warming, which is a “fact” and “settled science.”

What if you supported equality for all Americans regardless of their sexual preference, but — like presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and about half the country today — opposed making gay marriage legal?

If you were the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, you would be forced to resign your position.

personally, i still think that Brendan Eich shouldn’t have been fired… but i hear that Kathleen Sebelius is free, and i’m sure silicon valley is scrambling right now to hire her.

{ tries to keep a straight face }

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Golden State Hypocrisy

well, it sure has felt like awhile since i exercised in my friday morning tradition… so let’s see what victor hanson is talking about this week — Golden State Hypocrisy

No place on the planet is as beautiful and as naturally rich as California. And few places have become as absurd.

Currently, three California state senators are either under felony indictment or already have been convicted.

State senator Leland Yee (D., San Francisco) made a political career out of demanding harsher state gun-control laws. Now he is facing several felony charges for attempting to facilitate gun-running. One count alleges that Lee sought to provide banned heavy automatic weapons to Philippines-based Islamic terrorist groups.

State senator Ron Calderon (D., Montebello), who had succeeded one brother, Thomas, in the state assembly and was succeeded by another, Charles, now faces felony charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, and falsification of tax returns.

State senator Roderick Wright (D., Inglewood) originally entered politics as a champion of social justice. Not long ago, the Democratic leaders of the California senate in secretive fashion paid $120,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a sexual-harassment suit against Wright. This time around, not even his fellow senators could save Wright, who was convicted earlier this year on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud.

What is the common denominator between all three California senators — aside from the fact that they are still receiving their salaries?

man, what the hell is wrong out there in california?! i’ve thought that they were pretty screwed up out there anyways, at least for quite awhile now… but damn.

p.s. latest from krauthammer: Kerry’s Folly

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Untrustworthy Government

Untruthful and Untrustworthy Government

Transparency and truth are the fuels that run sophisticated civilizations. Without them, the state grinds to a halt. Lack of trust — not barbarians on the frontier, global warming or cooling, or even epidemics — doomed civilizations of the past, from imperial Rome to the former Soviet Union.

The United States can withstand the untruth of a particular presidential administration if the permanent government itself is honest. Dwight Eisenhower lied about the downed U-2 spy plane inside the Soviet Union. Almost nothing Richard Nixon said about Watergate was true. Intelligence reports of vast stockpiles of WMD in Iraq proved as accurate as Bill Clinton’s assertion that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

Presidents fib. The nation gets outraged. The independent media dig out the truth. And so the system of trust repairs itself.

What distinguishes democracies from tinhorn dictatorships and totalitarian monstrosities are our permanent meritocratic government bureaus that remain nonpartisan and honestly report the truth.

The Benghazi, Associated Press, and National Security Agency scandals are scary, but not as disturbing as growing doubts about the honesty of permanent government itself.

It is no longer crackpot to doubt the once impeccable and nonpartisan IRS. When it assured the public that it was not making decisions about tax-exempt status based on politics, it lied. One of its top commissioners, Lois Lerner, resigned and invoked the Fifth Amendment.

A system of voluntary tax reporting rests on trust. If the IRS itself is untruthful, will it be able to expect truthful compliance from taxpayers?

it’s been awhile since i’ve posted the lastest op/ed from victor hanson around here, did you miss it? c’mon now, i know you did… heh… and as always, good stuff to munch on over some morning coffee.

median income is down $4K on average, most people aren’t too happy about obamacare being shoved down their throats now that they know more about it, the economy still kinda sucks and hasn’t rebounded like it should, and read something just the other day about how the majority of americans think we’re less safe and less strong as we were just 5 years ago.

three more years, mang.

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The Anti-Empirical Left

what the hell, it’s been one of those weeks, so why not go with a double-dose? here’s the lastest from victor hanson as well — The Anti-Empirical Left

Science is ignored when it doesn’t support politically correct policy.

President Obama entered office promising to restore the sanctity of science. Instead, a fresh war against science, statistics, and reason is being waged on behalf of politically correct politics.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, the president attempted to convert national outrage into new gun-control legislation. Specifically, he focused on curtailing semi-automatic “assault” rifles. But there is no statistical evidence that such guns — semi-automatic rifles that have mostly cosmetic changes to appear similar to banned military-style fully automatic assault weapons — lead to increased gun-related crimes.

The promiscuous availability of illegal handguns does. Handguns are used in the vast majority of all gun related violent crime — and in such cases they are often obtained illegally. Yet the day-to-day enforcement of existing handgun statutes is far more difficult than the widely publicized passing of new laws.
Late-term abortions used to be justified in part by an argument dating back to the 1970s that fetuses were not yet “human.” But emerging science has allowed premature babies five months old or younger to survive outside the womb. Brain waves of fetuses can be monitored at just six weeks after conception. Such facts may be unwelcome to many, given the political controversy over abortion. Yet the idea that fetuses are not viable humans until birth is simply unscientific.

The president still talks of “settled science” in the global-warming debate. He recently flew to California to attribute the near-record drought there to human-induced global warming.

There is no scientific basis for the president’s assertion about the drought. Periodic droughts are characteristic of California’s climate, both in the distant past and over a century and a half of modern record-keeping. If the president were empirical rather than political, he would instead have cited the logical reasons for the fact that this drought is far more serious than those of the late 1970s.

California has not built additional major mountain storage reservoirs to capture Sierra Nevada runoff in decades. The population of the state’s water consumers has almost doubled since the last severe drought. Several million acre-feet of stored fresh water have been in recent years diverted to the sea — on the dubious science that the endangered delta smelt suffers mostly from irrigation-related water diversions rather than pollutants, and that year-round river flows for salmon, from the mountains to the sea, existed before the reserve water storage available from the construction of mountain reservoirs.

The administration has delayed construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, citing concern about climate change. Yet a recent State Department environmental report found that the proposed pipeline would not increase carbon dioxide emissions enough to affect atmospheric temperatures. There is no scientific basis from which to cancel the Keystone, but a variety of logical reasons to build it — such as moving toward North American energy independence and protecting ourselves against energy blackmailers and cartels abroad.

ahhhhh… the wonders of science, good stuff mang.

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Wages of Weakness

time to sit back, maybe drink some morning coffee, and see what the latest op/ed is… this week i figured i’d go with krauthammer, since it seems more relevant to what’s been going on this past week — Obama, Russia, and the Wages of Weakness

Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he’s got three more years of luck to come.

He takes Crimea, and President Obama says it’s not in Russia’s interest, not even strategically clever. Indeed, it’s a sign of weakness.

Really? Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years. Russia conquered it 20 years before the U.S. acquired Louisiana. Lost it in the humiliation of the 1990s. Putin got it back in about three days without firing a shot.

Now Russia looms over the rest of eastern and southern Ukraine. Putin can take that anytime he wants — if he wants. He has already destabilized the nationalist government in Kiev. Ukraine is now truncated and on the life support of U.S. and European money (much of which — cash for gas — will end up in Putin’s treasury anyway).

Obama says Putin is on the wrong side of history and Secretary of State John Kerry says Putin’s is “really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century.”

This must mean that seeking national power, territory, dominion — the driving impulse of nations since Thucydides — is obsolete. As if a calendar change caused a revolution in human nature that transformed the international arena from a Hobbesian struggle for power into a gentleman’s club where violations of territorial integrity just don’t happen.

“That is not 21st-century, G-8, major-nation behavior,” says Kerry. Makes invasion sound like a breach of etiquette — like using the wrong fork at a Beacon Hill dinner party.

How to figure out Obama’s foreign policy? In his first U.N. speech, he says: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” On what planet? Followed by the assertion that “alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War” — like NATO? – “make no sense in an interconnected world.”

you know it’s pretty bad when your president’s already low approval ratings dip another 5 points down to just 38% approval, and even the Washington Post comes out with a headline saying Obama’s foreign policy is based on “fantasy”… all the while Putin is probably laughing his ass off, and many other leaders/dictators around the world are certainly paying attention, too.

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Useless Outrage

well it’s already friday morning, thank gawd, so let’s go ahead and see what victor hanson has in store for us — Ukraine and Our Useless Outrage

The history of Obama’s foreign-policy posturing bodes ill for the future of Ukraine.

Don’t step over the line and re-militarize the Rhineland. Absorbing Austria would cross a red line. Breaking up Czechoslovakia is unacceptable. Get out of Poland by the announced deadline. The rest was history.

Don’t dare blow up another American military barracks overseas. Don’t even consider another attack on the World Trade Center. Don’t even try blowing up one more American embassy in East Africa. Don’t ever put a hole in a U.S. warship again. The rest was history.

President Obama issued yet another one of those sorts of warnings to stop the violence to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych just before protesters drove Yanukovych out of office. “There will be consequences if people step over the line,” Obama threatened.

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national-security adviser, amplified that veiled warning. He called the Ukrainian government’s repression “completely outrageous” — as opposed to just outrageous or completely, completely outrageous.

Secretary of State John Kerry joined the chorus of condemnation by hinting at economic sanctions if Yanukovych didn’t stop his violent crackdown on protesters.

Why does this rhetorical assault sound familiar?

i’m not an expert in the area, and i’m not sure what exactly President Obama should’ve (or really could have) done… but i do think that after his “red line” rhetoric he’s been shown to look very weak — and i have a feeling that he’s totally okay with that.

in related news: Ukraine PM says $37 billion went missing under Yanukovich

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Obama’s Newspeak

it’s friday morning, so let’s see what victor is talking about this week in his latest op/ed — Obama’s Newspeak

The nightmare societies portrayed in the George Orwell novels 1984 and Animal Farm gave us the word “Orwellian.” That adjective reflects a vast government’s efforts not just to deceive and control the people, but also to do so by reinventing the meaning of ordinary words while rewriting the past itself.

America, of all places, is becoming Orwellian. The president repeatedly reminds the American people that under his leadership, the U.S. has produced a record level of new oil and natural gas. But didn’t Obama radically curtail leases for just such new energy production on federal lands? Have the edicts on the barn wall of Animal Farm been changed again, with the production of new oil and gas suddenly going from bad to good?

Does anyone remember that the Affordable Care Act was sold on the premise that it would guarantee retention of existing health plans and doctors, create 4 million new jobs, and save families $2,500 a year in premiums, all while extending expanded coverage to more people at a lower cost?

Only in Orwell’s world of doublespeak could raising taxes, while the costs of millions of health plans soars, be called “affordable.” Is losing your existing plan and doctor a way of retaining them?

The Congressional Budget Office recently warned that Obamacare would “keep hours worked and potential output during the next 10 years lower than they would be otherwise.” That nonpartisan verdict should be bad news for workers.

Not in our brave new world. The Obama administration says it is pleased that workers will now be freed from “job lock.” What is job lock — a made-up Newspeak word right out of 1984? Work fewer hours, make less money, and create fewer outputs — and be happy. continue…

good stuff, as always… i’ll be pretty damned curious to see what happens with rand paul’s lawsuit against Obama, and whether it’s taken up by the Supreme Court — it really should.

KING OBAMA: “I Can Do Whatever I Want”

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Our Icarus-in-Chief

it’s already friday morning, so let’s go ahead and see what victor hanson has to say this week — Our Icarus-in-Chief

In the last two weeks, we learned that Bashar Assad has dismantled only 5 percent of his WMD arsenal, despite President Obama’s soaring rhetoric to the contrary. Russia violated a long-observed agreement with the U.S. about testing missiles. Iran’s take on the negotiations over its bomb program bears no resemblance to our interpretation. Chinese officials now happily leak fantastic stories about using their military to punish Japan. All that is trumped by veiled threats from the Sunni Gulf monarchies, terrified of Iran, to buy a bomb or two from Pakistan. We hear other rumors that even China thinks the new leadership in North Korea is unhinged and is not worried about friendly warnings from Beijing.

Whether all these incidents are minor or serious, and whether they are random or interconnected and perceived as proof of the loss of U.S. deterrence, depends on which particular bad actor is studying them to try to guess whether the Obama administration will do anything should a provocateur start a war or attempt to redraw a regional map.

In short, our Icarus-in-Chief, without much foreign-policy experience but with youthful zeal and good intentions, soared far too high for his flimsy waxen wings. Now they are melting, and as the American commander-in-chief careens back to earth, lots of those below are wondering what will come next. Still, there is a lot of irony as Obama freefalls to earth. continue…

another really good read, especially the part about the europeans and the comparison of Athens to Rome.

time for another cup of coffee.

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Postmodern Lying

since it’s now friday morning and it’s become a bit of a tradition around here, let’s see what victor hanson has to say this week — The Poison of Postmodern Lying

All presidents have, at one time or another, fudged on the truth. Most politicians pad their resumes and airbrush away their sins. But what is new about political lying is the present notion that lies are not necessarily lies anymore — a reflection of the relativism that infects our entire culture.

Postmodernism (the cultural fad “after modernism”) went well beyond questioning norms and rules. It attacked the very idea of having any rules at all. Postmodernist relativists claimed that things like “truth” were mere fictions to preserve elite privilege. Unfortunately, bad ideas like that have a habit of poisoning an entire society — and now they have.

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was recently caught fabricating her own autobiography. She exaggerated her earlier ordeals, lied about the age at which she divorced, and was untruthful about how she paid for her Harvard Law School education.

When caught, Davis did not apologize for lying. Instead, she lamely offered that “my language should be tighter.” Apparently, only old fogies still believe in truth and falsehood — period. In contrast, Davis knows that promoting a progressive feminist agenda is “truth,” and she only needs to be “tighter” about her fabrications to neutralize her reactionary critics. [...]

Without notions of objective truth there can never be lies, just competing narratives and discourses. Stories that supposedly serve the noble majority are true; those that supposedly don’t become lies — the facts are irrelevant. When Senator Hillary Clinton in 2007 heard the factual details of the successful Iraq surge as related by General David Petraeus, she said they required a “suspension of disbelief.” In her postmodern sensibility, fighting an unpopular war was a lie, but opposing it was the truth — and the actual metrics for whether the surge was working or not were simply an irrelevant narrative.

Later, as secretary of state, Clinton dismissed the circumstances surrounding the murders in Benghazi with the callous exclamation, “What difference does it make?” She had a postmodern point. If President Obama, then-United Nations ambassador Susan Rice, and Clinton herself all wrongly and deliberately assured the nation that a politically incorrect video had triggered the attacks in Benghazi, were they not on the right side of opposing religious bias and helping a progressive president to be reelected? How could that good intention be a lie?

good stuff to read over while still waking up and drinking your first hot cup of coffee… emmmm… coffee…

p.s. How to Debunk the ‘War on Women’

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Obama’s Recessional

damn this week has flown by, hasn’t it? but it’s now friday morning and you know what that means around here… yup, time for a dose of dr. hanson – Obama’s Recessional

Does Barack Obama have a strategy? He is often criticized for being adrift.

Nonetheless, while Obama has never articulated strategic aims in the manner of Ronald Reagan or the two Bushes, it is not therefore true that there is no “Obama Doctrine.” Indeed, now that he has been in office five years, we can see an overarching common objective in otherwise baffling foreign-policy misadventures.

Collate the following: large defense cuts, the president’s suspicions that he is being gamed by the military, the pullout from the anti-missile defense pact in Eastern Europe, the pressure on Israel to give new concessions to its neighbors, the sudden warming up with an increasingly Islamist Turkey, the failed reset with Russia, radical nuclear-arms-reduction talks, the abject withdrawal of all U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq, the timetable withdrawals in Afghanistan, the new worries of our Asian and Middle Eastern allies, the constant euphemisms on the war on terror, the stepped-up drone attacks, the lead-from-behind removal of Moammar Qaddafi, the pullaway from Mubarak in Egypt, the support for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the pink lines in Syria, the Iranian missile deal, the declaration that al-Qaeda was on the run and the war on terror essentially ending, the Benghazi coverup, and on and on.

Does such American behavior display any consistent strategic coherence?

I think it most certainly does.

i’ve heard and read quite a few articles about how Obama is completely inept and naive regarding foreign policy, which i can kind of agree with when it’s all layed out, but i also think he knows exactly what he’s doing and has his own agenda going on behind all the smiles and flowery speeches.

p.s. dentist appt. this morning… ugh.

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The Idol of Equality

i usually go with either victor or krauthammer, but what the hell, we’ll go with a double whammy this week… so here’s the lastest op/ed from victor hanson as well — The Idol of Equality

“There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality which excites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

In his famous admonition about the tyranny of the majority, Tocqueville went on to warn that “Liberty is not the chief and constant object of their desires; equality is their idol: they make rapid and sudden efforts to obtain liberty, and if they miss their aim resign themselves to their disappointment; but nothing can satisfy them except equality, and rather than lose it they resolve to perish.”

If we keep Tocqueville’s advice in mind, we can appreciate why and how the present war against personal liberty in service to mandated equality may become the greatest danger of the 21st century. The theaters of battle already extend to every segment of American life; and every weapon is employed, from government coercion to the progressive media to the Orwellian effort to change the meaning of language itself.

Millions of Americans have lost the liberty to select their own type of health insurance, purchased on their own volition to best match their own assessments of their particular needs. Obamacare — the federal government’s redistributive effort to equalize health care for all — sought to destroy the liberty of many millions in order to ensure a state-directed sameness in care for all. Note also how a redistributive plan that spiked costs, reduced care, and so far has taken away more health coverage than it has provided is named the “Affordable Care Act.” Better to call it the the “Unaffordable Uncaring Edict.”

Most initiatives that Obama has embraced are characterized by going after a suspect group or tradition — targeting particular businesses deemed not sufficiently socially sensitive to workers, focusing on legal gun owners, eroding the military tradition in infantry service of restricting women to non-combat roles, coercing schools that would discipline trouble-makers in class, promoting the suppression of interest rates by the Federal Reserve to reward the many who owe money and punish the fewer who saved some — all on the notion of helping the proverbial “people.” Such a thoroughgoing effort at enforcing ideas of fairness covers both the important and the trivial: The government renames terrorism “man-caused disasters”; the fight against it is merely “overseas contingency operations.” The Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular.” If need be, we can jail an obscure video maker on trumped-up charges of parole violation to serve the larger need not to show bias against anyone.

The universities are probably society’s worst offenders. Under the guise of seeking race, class, and gender equity, they have denied free expression through “speech codes.” They have undermined traditional liberal-arts curricula on the grounds that they were not sufficiently sensitive to these same gender, race, and class issues. And they have placed their institutions — from the selection of graduation speakers, to the hiring and promotion of administrators and faculty, to the criteria for admitting students and the scale on which they are graded — in service not to academic excellence or even civil liberties, but to a perceived equality of result.

to be honest, hearing Obama talk about “equality” often give me goosebumps.

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Not His War

well gang, it’s friday morning and time for that morning op/ed to browse over a cup of hot coffee… here’s krauthammer’s latest – Not His War

By early 2011, writes former defense secretary Robert Gates, he had concluded that President Obama “doesn’t believe in his own [Afghanistan] strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his.”

Not his? America is at war and he’s America’s commander-in-chief. For the soldier being shot at in the field, it makes no difference under whose administration the fighting began. In fact, three out of four Americans killed in Afghanistan have died under Barack Obama’s command. That’s ownership enough.

Moreover, Gates’s doubts about Obama had begun long before. A year earlier, trying to understand how two senior officials could be openly working against expressed policy, Gates concluded that “the most likely explanation was that the president himself did not really believe the strategy he had approved would work.” This, just four months after Obama ordered his 30,000-troop “surge” into Afghanistan, warning the nation that “our security is at stake . . . the security of our allies, and the common security of the world.” [...]

How can a commander in good conscience send troops on a mission he doesn’t believe in, a mission from which he knows some will never return? Even worse, Obama ordered a major escalation, expending much blood but not an ounce of his own political capital. Over the next four years, notes Gates with chagrin, Obama ignored the obligation of any commander to explain, support, and try to rally the nation to the cause.

And when he finally terminated the surge, he did so in the middle of the 2012 fighting season. Militarily incoherent – but politically convenient. It allowed Obama to campaign for reelection proclaiming that “the tide of war is receding.”

One question remains, however. If he wasn’t committed to the mission, if he didn’t care about winning, why did Obama throw these soldiers into battle in the first place?

i don’t think anybody’s really surprised to hear that Obama’s heart wasn’t in it, but he turned around and sent 30,000 troops over anyways – that just doesn’t sit too well, especially if you’re in the military.

i need more coffee.

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New Anti-Semitism

Fighting Back against the New Anti-Semitism

For decades, the American Studies Association has labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It’s now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians.

Given that Israel has a profoundly democratic political system, the freest press in the Middle East, a fiercely independent judiciary, and astonishing religious and racial diversity within its universities, including affirmative action for Arab students, the charge is rather strange.

Made more so when you consider the state of human rights in Israel’s neighborhood. As we speak, Syria’s government is dropping “barrel bombsâ€? filled with nails, shrapnel, and other instruments of terror on its own cities. Where is the ASA boycott of Syria?

And of Iran, which hangs political, religious, and even sexual dissidents and has no academic freedom at all? Or Egypt, where Christians are being openly persecuted? Or Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or, for that matter, massively repressive China and Russia?

Which makes it obvious that the ASA boycott has nothing to do with human rights. It’s an exercise in radical chic, giving marginalized academics a frisson of pretend anti-colonialism, seasoned with a dose of edgy anti-Semitism.

time for that friday morning op/ed, and i thought i’d go with krauthammer this week since i find the “chic” double-standard that’s so often applied to israel is pretty damn rediculous – especially when you look into where it’s coming from… speaks volumns.

Changes in the Pacific: A Return to the 1930s

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The Year of the Dud

sure doesn’t feel like a friday, but it is… and a really really cold white one at that… so let’s see what victor has to say this week with this latest op/ed.

The Year of the Dud

Lots of things that should have happened in 2013 did not.

We were supposed to have long ago reached “peak oil” and an age of always-higher gas prices. Wind and solar power — and a reduced lifestyle — were our dismal future.

But someone or something did not cooperate with gloomy government predictions. After all the failed subsidized green companies, the postponement of the Keystone Pipeline, the radical restrictions of new gas and oil leasing on federal lands, and the promises for radical climate-change legislation curtailing carbon-energy use, the United States nevertheless seems awash in old energy.

Gas prices have been going down. Oil and natural-gas production is going up. America may soon be the largest coal exporter in the world. There is little worry over any more Middle East embargoes and cutoffs of oil.

Energy-intensive industries talk of relocating from Asia and Europe to a new America of cheaper electricity. The more the Obama administration wanted a landscape of alternative energy, the more, it seemed, traditional oil and natural gas gushed out of American soil.

Obamacare may take its place among Sasquatch, crop circles, and the Loch Ness monster as one of the great hoaxes of all time. Before the 2012 election, Americans swallowed hook, line, and sinker the con that they could all at once keep their existing health plans, keep their own doctors, keep their 25-year-olds on the family health plan, never be denied coverage for a costly preexisting condition, sign up instantaneously on a website, buy insurance only after becoming seriously ill — and yet save $2,500 in annual premiums as part of the bargain. And all that without any new taxes on the middle class.

In 2013, the ruse was revealed. Voters learned that nothing is free, and that it’s impossible to get more coverage for more people at less cost. Plans were canceled, doctors were dropped, premiums soared, websites crashed. Medicare was raided. Taxes were raised on everything from medical devices to real-estate sales. Medicaid enrollments spiraled.

saw something in the news yesterday about how only 1 in 20 americans think the government is doing a good job — seemed to me like that stat just kinda told it all… i’d like to say that Obama was a “dud”, but he’s done and changed so damn much there’s no way that’d be even close to being true.

i know i have little hope or optimism concerning our government at the moment… can’t help but hope that 2014 is a good year, though.

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