Against my better judgment, I watched the Obamanation’s prime-time performance a few evenings ago. It is not that I am uninterested in the ISIS situation – rather that I don’t care to listen to the words of a consistent/consummate liar. Historically, there is little or no relationship between what the Obamanation says and what he does (or, more likely, what he doesn’t do).
For sure, some of what he said last evening sounded good on the surface, but then, so did “If you like your current insurance, you can keep it. Period. If you like your current doctor, you can keep him. Period.” Most people today would say to that, incorrectly, “the proof is in the pudding”. I say, more correctly, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. In any event, it is the actions (or in-actions) to come that matter, not the scripted words intended solely for domestic political consumption.
As to the ISIS situation itself, I find it not nearly as simple as some try to make it. For a number of reasons:
First, our history in Iraq has been a series of bumbles, starting with the most recent invasion (under George W Bush), the removal of Saddam, the failure to insist on an impartial government there, the failure to leave a residual force sufficient to keep order. Why then would we now expect the same bumbling government that made the past bumbles to suddenly become proficient in this matter?
Second, there is NO good guy in this fight, possibly excepting the Kurds. This means that, Kurds excepted, no matter which group we help in Iraq or Syria, we are backing bad guys and will regret it before it is all over. I am especially wary of sending arms (to any but the Kurds) for fear they will be used against us – as ISIS is doing as I write this – as the Taliban does in Afghanistan.
Third, we have NO true allies in the Middle East. NONE! For sure, a few of them, primarily Israel, will take whatever we offer (and then demand even more) but there are none who will rush to our aid when we are in trouble, as a true ally would do. Indeed, it strikes me as absurd that the United States, which is drowning in debt, should be expected to borrow even more to protect nations that are so wealthy that they have trouble figuring out how to spend it all (for example, building palatial hotel complexes and palm tree-shaped islands for palatial mansions).
Fourth, ISIS has NOT mounted an attack on the US homeland and there is little evidence, other that loud-mouthed boasting, that they have any such capacity. For sure, the brutal murders of the American journalists was provocative and maddening for us all but we must remember that the victims here did knowingly place themselves in harm’s way. That surely does not justify what happened to them but their murders do not constitute a direct attack on the United States.
Fifth, no strategy yet proposed does anything to contain or destroy the main enemy of the US – that being the Islamic State of Iran. So long as they are permitted to start trouble wherever and whenever they wish, the terrorism will continue. As well, we have no strategy for handling our “false allies” in the region (such as Saudi Arabia which is an active sponsor of radical Islam).
Sixth, the Obamanation tells us that the terrorists do not represent are not “real” Islam. Are we then to believe they are Buddhists, Methodists or such? Of course they represent “real” Islam and their actions are directly called for in the Koran. Any so called “strategy’ that is based on such unreality is flawed in its very conception.
So, here we are caught between Iraq and a hard place. What are we to do? I am by no means sure because the conflict in question has been going on for over 1,000 years – during which time, Islam has grown by leaps and bounds. I can, however, offer what to me seems a logical approach, obviously subject to adjustment as things become clearer:
First, give assistance to the Kurds, second remove all Americans (and other Westerners?) from the area and then sit by and watch. Since this is primarily Muslims killing Muslims, seems to me we gain either way it goes.
Eventually, ISIS will try to make some attack on the U.S. homeland. Once that occurs, invade Iraq and Syria with overwhelming force and occupy the region long term, with no pretense of any self-government on the part of the losers. Then we drill and pump as fast and as much oil and gas as is physically possible. Much of this oil and gas should then be sold to Eastern and Central Europe at rates that undercut the Russians. This should free the receiving nations from energy blackmail on the part of the Russians while, at the same time, devastating the Russian economy – probably harming that of Iran as well. At such time as the conquered lands have been pumped dry, then give it back to the original owners with our compliments.
In the meantime, stop choosing sides and giving aid in the Middle East (Kurds excepted) and force them to work things out for themselves, recognizing that the likes of Saddam may be required to govern peoples who are still tribal as well as brutal in their behavior. These people will adopt Western European culture and governmental styles if and when THEY are ready – which may well be NEVER. We must accept that and quit trying to remake them in our own image.
In closing, I offer an idea that I am by no means able to support with anything other than a hunch: Might it be that the reason an ISIS “strategy” was so long in coming was that the Obamanation needed time to coordinate with his Islamic allies to find a course that would allow him to play “tough guy” here at home while doing little or nothing to truly cripple the Islamic movement? (A movement that encompasses far more than the Middle East and includes much of Southeast Asia, most of North and Central Africa, parts of Southeast Europe, most of Asia Minor, etc.)
Think about it.
P.S. Sorry this is a bit late but I had to rebuild my computer before I could post it.
Troy L Robinson
As should be clear to anyone paying even the slightest attention, our “reigning” president’s behavior seems to become ever more bizarre, irresponsible, unconstitutional, and detrimental to the nation, possibly to the entire world. Of course, there are various attempts in the media and in political circles to explain this behavior.
Among the explanations frequently offered, we hear that Obama is disengaged, that he is incompetent, that he is bored (being the head of the greatest nation in history is SO beneath his capabilities as the story goes), etc., ad nauseam.
Any and/or all of these may be true, at least so some extent. However, I sincerely doubt that they actually explain the motivation for Obama’s behavior.
On the one hand, I ask you to think back over all the cruel and ugly stereotypes blacks, especially black males, have had to endure in our nation– that they are lazy, shiftless, dishonest, unreliable and, worst of all, prone to operate outside established law. Now, consider Obama’s behavior in office. At various times, he seems to have gone out of his way to act in accordance with every one of these stereotypes. Why?
Add to this his continuing attempts to grab power that is constitutionally allotted to the other 2 branches of government. Why?
Then, not only does he grab power that rightly belongs to Congress, he goes out of his way to ridicule and humiliate members of Congress in the process. Why?
Obama seems never to pass up an opportunity to encourage political and ethnic disharmony among the people he presumes to lead. Why?
As we approach a mid-term election in which pollsters predict the opposition party will take control of the Senate, while keeping control of the House of Representatives, his behavior seems to become even more bizarre. Why?
Allow me to offer a possible answer to all these “Whys”. I suspect Obama and his cohorts are intentionally trying to provoke the American people into demanding action against him by the Congress – probably in the form of impeachment.
It is obvious that, so long as Harry Reid and the Democrats are able to control the Senate, no impeachment charge could possibly achieve a conviction, ergo the GOP leadership in the House know better than to embarrass themselves by trying. But, in early 2015, with GOP control of the entire Congress and with an increasing number of voters demanding that something be done, the GOP may well feel themselves compelled to risk an impeachment.
IMHO, that is exactly what Obama and company are hoping for. Why? This time the answer is very simple. Any serious attempt to remove Obama from office would almost assuredly trigger massive riots in most or our major cities. This, in turn, would present that long sought-after condition for a declaration of martial law nationwide. Once said declaration is in effect, we will have become a dictatorship, plain and simple. Most probably, some manner of civil war would soon follow – a civil war in which freedom-loving Americans would stand little chance of prevailing.
No doubt some of you who have agreed, to whatever extent, with my analysis so far will dispute this last assessment. My response is that your should never underestimate the corrupting power of the promise of power and wealth, even when that promise is actually false.
The only other possible outcome of ongoing events is that the Congress and the Courts simply continue to allow Obama’s power to grow, unchecked. In this case, he becomes dictator by default. Same outcome as above, only without the riots and the martial law.
You may further note that this analysis contains no suggestion of a response on our part. This is because I consider the situation too far gone for any effective action.
Consider that, despite several years of Obama acting as a pseudo dictator, with most of our international respect gone, with much of our military might intentionally forfeited, with our economy in shambles, nearly half of our citizens still approve of Obama’s job performance.
Can you spell “hopeless”?
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Like most Americans, I get a daily dose of updates from the front lines in Ferguson, MO. Being me, I can’t help but offer a few comments of my own…
To begin with, let me clearly say that I have no idea what actually transpired between the dead youth and the police officer – and, I suspect we will never know for sure because most of the “witnesses” seem to have viewed the incident through lens distorted by their own personal prejudices, these slanting in all directions.
Next, I highly suspect that officer Wilson will see his reputation, if not his freedom, sacrificed in the name of Political Correctness and “community relations”, just as happened several years ago in the Rodney King case. I cite the King case based on my personal opinion that the opinion of the public (and the original jury that refused to convict the police) was very different based on whether they viewed the entire video tape of the incident or the carefully edited version shown by the major media. The point being that “evidence” can be manipulated to cause differing responses from those considering said evidence.
My next point concerns the notion that an “unarmed youth” was shot multiple times by an armed police officer. I contend that a 300+ pound 18 year-old human body, used in anger, can be a quite formidable weapon, particularly when launched against an older human of about ½ the body mass of the perpetrator.
Then there is the major paradox in the case: This involves the claim, probably often true, that many police are very prone to be especially suspicious of the criminal tenancies of young black males. Now, one can reasonably respond that crime statistics support this apparent attitude on the part of the police. One can also reasonably counter that, if police apprehend young black males in excess, that in itself will tend to generate those very statistics. But that is not the paradox. Instead it is this – in far too many cases like Ferguson, too many members of the black community “protest” their alleged over-criminalization by committing repeated criminal acts – looting, rioting, attacking police and innocent civilians – usually in public and often on camera. Can they not realize that such open and obvious behavior is seen by many fair-minded people as justifying the attitudes and actions of the police?
A second paradox is the climate of fear, caused by black outrage, encouraged by “professional racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, discourage the open and honest exchange of thoughts and feelings necessary to sort through and, hopefully, resolve this continuing national tragedy. This is (to me at least) especially distressing at a time when a number of the most powerful political offices, most distinguished scholastic positions, and most lucrative entertainment positions are held by members of the black community.
As I have opined multiple times in this space, the genetic differences between the ethnic groups in this nation are superficial to the degree of being meaningless, consisting almost entirely of environmental adaptations that will one day disappear. The meaningful differences are all cultural. While it may well be slowly changing (for the worse), the most successful cultural model in this nation is derived from that of Western Europe. That culture embodies such notions as education, ambition, perseverance, supportive/protective family units, honesty, integrity. Historically, members of all ethnic groups who embrace this culture succeed, to the extent that they usually achieve whatever they desire in their lives. Sadly, far too many members of the black community, especially in our inner cities, embrace an artificial, dysfunctional culture that knowingly rejects those cultural attributes that reliably lead to success. Sadder still, this phenomenon is encouraged by various political groups who profit from a downtrodden, dependent black community. Saddest of all, the worst offenders in this viscous process are themselves members of the black community. The power to change this lies totally in the hands of the blacks themselves – if they would only realize it.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Quite a while ago, I wrote that one way to tell that we are near the end of our freedom (i.e. that our government has become tyrannical) is when those in charge no longer even attempt to explain their actions.
I believe this is the case with the current IRS debacle. Everyone involved knows that nobody actually believes the lies put up concerning e-mails and such. Offering a childish and insulting explanation is simply their way of saying “F You”. And, there is actually nothing we can do about it.
Why the GOP nuts keep calling the same people before committees, asking the same questions over and over and getting the same “F You” response over and over is something I truly do not understand. Can’t they understand how useless it makes them look? Oh, right! If they get really mad about it, they will turn the offending witness over to Eric Holder! That will teach them.
Much is said (mostly on FOX) about the incompetence of the Obamanation administration. I disagree. They are doing exactly what the Obamanation promised to do (in his books) long before taking office. He intended to punish the United States and, I say, he is doing a damn fine job of it. IMHO, he (and his cohorts) should be tried for high treason.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Just how stupid do the progressives think we “ordinary” citizens are? Consider a recent statement by Queen-in-waiting Hillary Rotten Clinton that she and Bill are “Dead Broke”.
In my limited little world, “dead broke” means no money whatever and no prospects for improvement.
In Hillary’s world, “dead Broke” means down to their last $200,000,000 with Bill’s miserable pension of $200,000 per year (plus certain expenses paid – like for his office, security, etc., etc.), supplemented by outrageous lecture fees and book deals.
Now, it is possible that this statement was meant to be some bizarre form of humor – but, I doubt it. She does not seem (to me) to be that clever plus she has, heretofore, shown no sense of humor (or of anything else save self aggrandizement).
Nope. I suspect that, like others of her kind, she has actually started to believe her own BS.
BTW, by referring to the possible election of Hillary Rotten Clinton, I obviously am backing away from previous predictions that the Obamanation might choose to remain in power as a sort of dictator. He very well may still want this but it looks (to me) as if his “sponsors” may be growing tired of him and his incessant bungling of even the simplest task. Perhaps Putin has replaced Obama as the darling of the one world’ers?
To be totally honest, I don’t know what the heck is really going on or why. My best guess is that we have become so corrupt – the people as well as their governments and their huge corporations – that we will simply rot away. From that perspective, perhaps Hillary Rotten Clinton is a perfect choice to lead us into the ultimate decay.
Think about it (if you can without throwing up).
Troy L Robinson
Seems America just can’t speculate too much regarding Bowe Bergdahl… Was he mistreated by the Taliban or was he their buddy? Did he convert to Islam or did he perhaps try to spread the doctrine of some other faith among them? Was he on the soccer team or in a metal cage? Etc., etc.
I find that I really don’t care. I further find that trying to invoke sympathy for this person is rather like feeling sorry for a robber who injures himself while breaking into your home.
The apparent fact, if we are to believe virtually all of those who were present when it happened, Bergdahl willingly left his military posting, in a war zone and while hostilities were ongoing. Whatever happened next, I find totally beside the point. The offense charged is a capital offense under military law and, if proven true, should be promptly invoked.
If there is any other rational explanation for this person’s actions, I sure wish that someone (outside the Obama administration) would explain it to the rest of us in terms that are credible.
Irrespective of whatever Bergdahl may or may not have done, is there any possible justification for sending 5 known terrorists out to commit further atrocities? Indeed, is it too much to ask why these people were not long since tried and executed for crimes against humanity rather than being kept in style in a tropical retreat?
(As an aside, has it occurred to any of you that, had the veterans who died while awaiting treatment at various VA facilities instead been sent to Guantanamo, they would have gotten superb health care in a well managed facility rather than being left to die?)
On a related but broader topic, is it just me or is the Obamanation symbolically giving America the middle finger salute in virtually all of his recent actions? He seems, clearly to be saying to us all, and particularly to the Congress, “I will do whatever I please and there is not a damn thing you can do about it!”
Please excuse me if this sounds racist (it is not meant to be) but if the current president were a Caucasian male, acting in the same manner, he would long since have been impeached. Is the state of race relations in this nation at that point where the nation as a whole must suffer endless abuse of office on the part of the president simply because calling him to account might seem racist? I can’t help but think that the only ones of our citizens who would say “yes” are, in fact, themselves motivated by racism.
Will this abuse never end or must our nation itself end instead?
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
As we all know, terrorists in Nigeria have kidnapped nearly 300 school girls. Predictably, every bleeding heart liberal in the country, including most of Hollywood, are crying crocodile tears and waving signs advertizing a “hash tag”.
Now there is no doubt that this kidnapping was and still is a terrible thing. The perpetrators are of the worst sort of terrorists (despite what Hillary said and did not do) and I support any REAL effort to:
1. Rescue/recover the victims, and,
2. Kill as many of the terrorists as possible, preferably all of them (along with most of their friends and supporters as well).
Having said that, I fail to see or understand how responding to a “hash tag” can have any real effect. Are we to presume that the terrorists are monitoring social media and that their intent will be changed if only the right personalities make a convincing statement thereon? We all know better!
But, think of other possibilities… Most of the luminaries I have seen on news reports, with their anguished looks and their “hash tag” signs are among the wealthiest/highest paid people in the country. If memory serves, when the bad guys first pulled off this cowardly stunt, they proclaimed their intent to SELL the kidnapped girls. As I understand it, they proposed selling them into sexual slavery but I doubt they really care what happens to the girls if the selling price is right.
Therefore, the obvious answer… Let all these overpaid bleeding hearts offer some small portion of their personal wealth to buy as many of the girls as possible. After they have bought them, it should be a simple matter to return them to their rightful homes. Imagine, “stars” (both entertainment and political types, assuming there is really a difference) actually doing something positive rather than publicly bemoaning problems that they fully expect others to fix.
So, I hereby challenge every “star” who has publicly shown anguish and/or “hash tag” sign to put up (the money to buy the girl’s freedom) or shut up their phoney mouths!
Troy L Robinson
In addition to the constant stream of allegations I see on the television, a number of recent personal incidents have convinced me, beyond doubt, that we live in a culture that is mired in deception. (Much of it self-deception but that is another article.)
As a for-instance, just last week, I and one of my daughters, got a letter from a law firm, addressed to “The Family of Xxxxxxx Robinson”, Xxxxxxx being a substitute for the name of my ex wife, and the mother of the daughter in question. The letter went on to explain that Xxxxxxx had been killed in a collision caused by a commercial vehicle; to deeply sympathize with our loss; then went to offer to represent us in the case.
Needless to say, both my daughter and I were at first shocked (having heard nothing of the sort), then we were totally disgusted when we figured that these unethical ambulance chasers had done sloppy research and had contacted members of the wrong family. However, when I called the law firm to complain, not only did they fail to offer any sort of apology, they went on to defend this method of “shotgun relative identification” as a totally ethical business practice. Can they really believe I would use or recommend their firm were such to occur in reality?
I will offer only this one example but I am certain anyone reading this can offer hundreds if not thousands of their own examples – whether driven by evil intent, unethical and uncontrolled greed, sloppy business practices or simple lack of concern for the feelings and well being of their fellow humans.
Our political “leaders”, of both parties, regularly stand before us and make statements that they know to be deceptive – and, often, outright lies. And they know that most of us, excepting only the most poorly informed, know that we are being methodically deceived. Why don’t these politicians care?
Otherwise presumably honest product manufacturers make deceptive claims on product labels – my favorite being the manipulation of “serving size” and mathematical rounding such that they can claim that foods containing fat are “fat free”, that foods containing sugar are “sugar free”. Most of us know better. Why don’t these manufacturers care?
Everyday citizens loudly proclaim beliefs, affiliations and accomplishments that they do not have simply to gain some phoney sense of respect from others. Why don’t we care?
Why do so many of us continue to do this, even when there is no high office or increased sales at risk? In other words, why do we feel the need to deceive, even when there is no logical need for it?
I fear the answers are that deception so pervades our culture that it now seems normal. If so, what a tragedy for us all!
Are we that unsure or uncomfortable with what we think of ourselves – or with what we perceive others think of us? In addition, can’t we realize that most of the deception we practice is easily seen through by the very people we seek to persuade?
Why can’t we open our eyes, and our minds, and see the extent to which this cheapens our institutions, our culture, and, of course, our individual selves?
For your own sakes, can’t we each simply be what we are? If any of us are truly not satisfied with who and what we are, then improve! If you are satisfied with who and what you are, how can it matter what others think?
Did it ever occur to you that you might well garner more respect and admiration by openly and un-apologetically being who and what you are rather that constantly practicing this transparent deception that all but the block heads see through like glass?
Part of my conclusion is that this is part and parcel of a national attempt to evade reality. And, I will venture to speculate that this goes a long way toward explaining such things as recent mass killings, especially those involving innocent children. When one has rejected the real world, what can it matter what one does in the world of unreality?
Can it be that we simply cannot face the real world that WE have created? I refer, of course, to a real world where values have no value, where our once noble government has become a tyrant, where levels of national indebtedness surpass our comprehension, and where, seemingly, nobody can be trusted?
Think about it!
Troy L Robinson
E-cigarettes have been much in the news lately, both pro and con. While they are clearly a healthier way of consuming nicotine than inhaling tobacco smoke, there is concern that they legitimize smoking, and kids are drinking the refills. The Progressive PC control freaks are starting to ban their use in many circumstances and locales. What if an electronic substitute for smoking were available, which never needs refilling and would be considered PC to the most radical fanatic?
I have been smoke free for almost 5 months now. Nicotine itself no longer has a hold on me; but there are psychological triggers that still cause me to miss lighting up occasionally. Stress and/or anger is a big one. In the past, I have managed to quit for several months, only to blow it over a quarrel with a woman! Fortunately, no woman has such power in my life anymore, so that won’t be a problem this time.
Other triggers are circumstances which habitually induced me to light up in the past. Something as simple as being interrupted by phone call, can cause me to recall that I used to light up at such times. A classic example has surfaced since I recently reacquired my dog. Because I never smoked in my vehicles, every time I stopped to allow her to run around, sniffing and eliminating, I naturally lit a cigarette. The length of her potty break was the time it took for my smoke break.
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I am having blog-withdrawal problems and must contribute something – however, continuing to point out the myriad wrongdoings of the Obamanation and his administration is boring and repetitive. Add to that the fact that I have lost nearly all passion for things political and I am left with the nearly overwhelming need to say something despite having nothing very inteeresting to say.
Then, voila, last evening I found a subject – although nothing really earth shaking. Congressman Paul Ryan was commenting that after several decades and trillions of dollars spent, US government programs to help those in poverty had not worked. (Imagine that!)
Finally, something to dispute, and from a conservative mouth to boot!
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Things sure have been slow around here. I know that I have not been holding up my end of things, mostly because there really is not much new to say RE our national condition. I just sit back and watch too many of the things I predicted come to pass with the honest hope that it stops short of my worst prediction (a full-fledged dictatorship).
It is still too early to guess whether the Obamanation will peacefully leave office at the end of his elected term. I suppose that much depends on the prospects for his successor. If the Obamanation’s masters can confidently predict that Hillary will be the next president, then they will no doubt let that happen, knowing that their power will continue undiminished. Should the GOP get its head out of — uh, wherever it usually keeps its head, then who knows what our true masters might then decide. However, such seems very unlikely. Just look at the speed with which assumed GOP front-runner, Krispy-Creame Chistie was reduced to almost-ran status.
Meanwhile, we are off this coming weekend for the next Reason Foundation cruise. Perhaps I will find sufficient inspiration there to write something new. I have been reading and thinking a lot about the effect of fundamentalist religion on our nation and on many of the bizarre happenings therein but have not seen fit to write about it because previous articles on this subject were not well received. While I don’t mind causing minor upset if it makes my readers think, I am not looking to get on any more enemies lists.
Dave, where are you? Have you abandoned this blog for greener pastures? (Or at least, for blogs with more activity?)
I admit to being a fan of Duck Dynasty although I would be hard pressed to give a rational reason why. I guess it is the fact that I grew up in similar country (swamps) and enjoyed hunting (especially ducks although I was never especially successful at it – one needed $$ to hunt where there were lots of ducks and $$ I did not have).
So, GQ (of all magazines) interviews the Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, a retired fundamentalist preacher as well as a duck call inventor. And they, along with the A&E cable network pretend to be surprised that he answered most of the questions exactly as one would expect from a fundamentalist preacher. Imagine that.
I don’t happen to agree with Phil about anything concerning religion or tolerance of my fellow man – but – that is not the point of their TV program. Sure, they work a prayer into every episode, usually at the dining table, but I somehow manage to ignore that just like I ignore the myriad times I am subjected to public prayer in my everyday life (part of the price of living in the rural South).
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On a more serious note, in those 2 days between the surgery and my release from hospital, I was amazed how well I had gotten off. The doctor predicted weeks of miserable pain and here I was up and walking the day after. Needless to say, I could hardly wait to get home. Well……. it seems I had reckoned far too little on this innocuous little button that I was allowed to press (as needed) every 10 minutes or so. It was, in fact, a magic button. Each time I clicked it (and heard the answering “dong”, a dose of pure morphine was being injected into my system. Oh truly happy days!!!!
Now that I am home and dependent on nothing stronger than percoset (itself a schedule II narcotic), I clearly understand the doctor’s prediction.
Leading me to ask — why? If something that simple and that cheap can take a large chunk of the misery out of my life (or that of another), what business should government have in my decision to use it? Yes, after a few weeks of usage, I would be somewhat addicted. All this means is a few more weeks of tapering me off the stuff.
My fondest Christmas wish for those who rule me is that they could feel 1//2 of what I needlessly feel right this moment.
I also wish the rest of you peace and joy. Thanks to all of you for thinking of me and shame on those who think this nothing less than I deserve.
I have had to rebuild my hard-drive (after an accumulation of errors). That alone not being sufficient challenge, I decided to upgrade to Windows 8.1. In spite of all this, I am now up and (sort of) running again.
The bad news is that, despite backing up 3 times each week, I seem to have lost most of my personal data, including email history, address book, all documents created with Open Office, and much more. However, there is still a slight chance some of it may be recoverable by using St. J9’s system (which is still W-7).
So much for pain in the ass and on to pain in the back.
My surgeon is back to work after the holidays (and after the tragic loss of an infant son) and my surgery is now scheduled for December 2. If all goes as planned, I will be out of pocket for about 3 days – then home again with little to do but read and blog.
So much for me. Obviously, I have contributed almost nothing to this blog in recent weeks. This is because there is little new to say. Mostly I am watching things long predicted come to fruition and hoping the worst I have predicted might still NOT come to be. Having said that, about all I see left before a formal declaration of the dictatorship is the institution of martial law and the coming collapse of the national healthcare system may well serve as the catalyst.
Failing that, the recent “deals” with Iran that virtually assure they will obtain nukes should soon do the trick. Then there is the slight possibility that the treason surrounding the Benghazi debacle could come to light, prompting serious calls for impeachment. Or, perhaps no reason whatever is needed?
In closing, I hear that the Obamanation wants to “re-brand” his signature health-care destruction plan. I propose the new name of “ObamaCrap”.
Have a nice Thanksgiving!
In political discussions, I generally identify myself as a small (el) libertarian, since it is too time consuming to explain what I mean, when I say I am an objectivist. There are, however, profound differences between some of the various schools of libertarianism, and the specific philosophy of Ayn Rand, which she named objectivism. This will serve as a succinct introduction to the subject, to which I can link in future discussions here and elsewhere.
The Ayn Rand Institute has some superb interactive online courses. They just added a short 15 minute introductory course on objectivism, narrated by Ayn Rand herself. It is very well done, and I highly recommend it. However, although it is free of charge, one must enroll in their online university to watch it. While safe and painless, few would probably bother to do so. Thus, the following is the transcript of Ayn Rand’s voice-over, without the visuals:
At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did, as follows:
1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism
If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:
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I am well aware that we are rapidly approaching the demise of America. If the last five years have not inspired the ruling class to do something to prevent the coming total crash of our economy and bankruptcy of the Federal government, nothing will. It is only a matter of (a short) time before we devolve into civil war/revolution (same thing) and the chances of holding it together until the mid-term election in ’14, much less the chance for a reset in ’16, are almost nil. Thus, wasting any time on anything other than preparing for the inevitable martial law looming on the horizon, is precisely that – a waste of time.
However, I am as prepared as I need to be at my age, so permit me to waste some time (as if we had a viable future), on a rather insignificant issue. On the other hand, if pondering it causes others, who may not be as psychologically prepared for what is coming as I am, to grasp the implications of Obama’s promised ‘civilian security force,’ then perhaps it is not such a waste of time, or so insignificant. I would like to suggest that we start a movement to totally defund and eliminate the National Park Service (NPS).
I am by no means the only one who has been outraged at these wanabe petty tyrants. The obvious relish with which they have been executing their egregious orders, to ‘make it hurt’ the taxpaying citizens, during the quasi-shutdown of the Federal government for the past couple of weeks, is truly disgusting. Somehow, they have lost sight of the fact that our national parks belong to the people, who are only paying them as caretakers and janitors to keep them tidy.
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After some fruitful discussion on my “Natural Rights Explained” essay, posted here and elsewhere, my blogging partner, Troy, posted his “Natural Rights Refuted” post, neatly dismissing the whole concept. This is my rebuttal to that.
We may be twisting ourselves into semantic knots here, Troy. Suggesting there is no “such thing,” comports with the understanding we had already developed, which suggested that natural rights are ideas, akin to opportunities, rather than things. Yet, as Chris pointed out, ideas are ‘things’ too.
I had been working on the notion that it was sovereignty itself, which was the primary, and the concept of natural rights were mere corollaries of that proposition. Then, the Enlightenment era treatise by Quesnay, suggested that it was the right to pursue one’s own pleasure, which was fundamental and gave rise to the notion of sovereignty, and the other so-called natural rights.
In any case, I entirely agree with your assessment of the intention of Jefferson, et al. That was precisely the point I was making in my original “Sovereign Rights” essay back in ’07, when I interpreted and restated his most famous line about self-evident truths, in the Declaration of Independence, thusly:
“We freeborn Americans are sovereign individuals, each on par with King George III himself, with the inalienable right to live our lives as freemen, pursuing our own happiness, subservient to no one.”
Do natural rights exist? As ideas, they most certainly do. The meaning, validity, and/or effect of those ideas can certainly be fairly challenged; but their existence cannot, and more importantly, probably should not. I think we need to back up and look at the big picture, to assess the whole point of this discussion.
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I have a confession to make – one inspired by friend Dave’s recent articles regarding natural rights. The fact is, I do not believe there is any such thing as a natural right.
Yes, I truly support Mr. Jefferson’s sentiments, expressed in the Declaration Of Independence, that “all men are created equal”. However, I interpret that statement differently than most of my fellow citizens. I believe that what Mr. Jefferson meant, taken in the context of the document in which he said it, is that there is no “divine right of kings”. That there are no special humans, designated and recognized by some deity as having a special, deity-granted right to rule (or tyrannize) other people. One obvious reason this must be true is that there is no evidence of any deity with the authority or the power to grant such a right (actually, this would more correctly be defined as a privilege).
I also support Mr. Jefferson’s contention that all humans have an equal “right” to their lives, to the extent that they can defend their lives; to their liberty, to the extent that they can effectively demand and maintain their liberty; and, to whatever property they can morally and ethically accumulate, defend and maintain.
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A typical comment directed at me elsewhere, inspired some cogitation resulting in the following explanation of ‘natural rights':
“What is the point of the constitutional phrase right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness if you can murder babies in the womb? We only have a right to life if we are already born? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
That phrase is found in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, and it was part of the sentence declaring the equality and natural rights of all ‘men,’ not babies, or children, and certainly not fetuses. In our Founder’s time, it probably did not even include women, and for an embarrassingly significant percentage of them, it excluded the entire negro race. Allow me to offer another way to look at this business of natural rights, which may help you make some sense of them.
When Enlightenment thinkers developed the philosophical concept of natural rights, it was in the context of individual sovereignty. The extant paradigm for Western civilization at that time, was that one was necessarily born into servitude, to the sovereign potentate claiming dominion over the territory in which one was born. There were different classes in society, enjoying differing levels of privileges; but all were born subjects of their king, whether serf or gentry. Supported by the clergy, the king had the divine right to rule over his subjects. He could order a subject’s head detached on a whim, and a serf was not permitted to relocate or change occupations without permission.
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I am involved in an interesting discussion on a conservative site frequented by Christian fundamentalists. This morning, a fellow named Rich made a comment suggesting that the Left is waging a “war against Christians,” and that political activism by the religious Right, is “most always” to counter that. It inspired me to share a unique perspective I have, as a non-combatant in the culture war raging across our land, who has communicated extensively with participants in both camps. I think it is worth sharing with a wider audience, so it follows:
The tragedy, Rich, is that most of those on the Left think they too, are playing defense. I spent a couple of years back in ’07 and ’08, frequenting freethinker forums, which were mostly populated with insufferable ACLU type atheist activists. There, I essentially played the opposite role that I have here. I referred to myself as a godless redneck heathen, and defended the traditional American culture extant in flyover country. I was as much an enigma there as I am here.
Here, my patriotism and more or less conservative political views, generally resonate; but my lack of faith, and unabashed willingness to challenge Christian dogma, is confusing and consternating to most. There, I passed their godless test; but my unabashed willingness to defend Judeo-Christian culture, and challenge their equally dogmatic Politically Correct ideology, drove them nuts. Thus, I can report with some authority, that they are irrationally afraid of the Piously Correct agenda.
While flawed in their support of government coercion, for the purposes of redistributing wealth for ‘social justice,’ they are fulsome in their support for civil rights for all mankind, and adamant in their insistence that government stay the hell out of their personal lives. In this, I was in full agreement, although I took pains to point out their inconsistencies, and insist that I wanted government to also stay out of my personal pocketbook.
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