Showing posts from July, 2009


Sympathy for America's Devils

For the past decade, the sight of Western liberals gathering in defense of terrorists seeking to impose a medieval patriarchal cult on the rest of the world by force seems incongruously odd. What is there about Islam that is so appealing to the erstwhile defenders of minorities, women and gays-- all of whom have next to no rights under Islam? Looking over tomes by liberal authors that argue that Islam is truly feminist, progressive and shares all their basic values, the rational observer is forced to wonder, "Who exactly are they kidding?" The answer is a complicated one, but the problem is not as new as it seems. The far left and the far left have a longstanding affinity for playing, "The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend", with America designated as the primary enemy, and everyone from the headmasters of the guillotine to Al Queda has emerged as their friends. Before 9/11, the Taliban had a spokesman named Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, today studying in Yale on a

Israel's Obama Problem

Hints have begun trickling out of Washington D.C. that the Obama administration has realized that it went too far in attacking Israel, and may now be looking to take a step back. With general opposition from Israelis, street protests, and a forceful rejection from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the failure of Obama's approach is fairly obvious. But that doesn't mean that Israel's Obama problem is over. Not by a long shot. The Obama administration's hard line on Israel was a show of arrogance by people who assumed that they owned the American Jewish community and that Netanyahu would quickly knuckle under. They proved to be wrong on both counts. But that initial setback only means that a new administration plan will rely less on an overt frontal attack. In their first engagement, Netanyahu succeeded in tangling Obama in ambiguities, while letting the administration's own aggressiveness blunder into making Jerusalem an issue u

ObamaCare's Prescription for Death

The big lie of those advocating socialized medicine in America is that government mandate can give everyone the health care they need. The truth is that every system of medicine shortchanges some to the benefit of others. The only difference lies in how many options those who are shortchanged have to get access to health care anyway. The more a health care system is centralized, the less options there are for those who are shortchanged by it. It is why Americans who can't afford to pay for surgery can look to charities, surgeons willing to do procedures pro-bono, and various fundraising mechanisms. By contrast Canadians have to travel to the United States or look into one of a number of illegal clinics. In a free market health care system, the main barrier is financial, and that can be overcome far more easily than in the socialized system where lack of resources and centralized planning combines to close off all legal options. That is why ObamaCare would not serve to expand Americ

Obama's Six Month Policy Implosion

Six months in and the Obama Administration looks a lot like the Bush Administration did after 8 years, with policy messes on every side, growing public discomfort with the direction the country is taking, and no clue what to do next. In both domestic and foreign policy, the Obama Administration is flailing badly. At home its big accomplishments have been the generally unpopular bailouts and stimulus package which failed to accomplish anything, except preserve the jobs of some of his supporters, while vastly inflating the deficit. Had they been followed by an actual recovery, Obama might have something to hang his hat on. Instead he's had to begin soft pedaling the economy in favor of vague speeches and reassurances that do nothing to reassure the 1 in 10 Americans who are out of work. Obamacare, which was supposed to succeed where the Clintons had failed, ran into skepticism from the same conservative Democrats that the Democratic congress had relied on to create a congressiona

How Celebrity Trumped American Politics

Are we a nation of individuals or a great collective worshiping our leaders. That is one of the fundamental questions behind the present day cultural malaise. The America that French General Lafayette fell in love with on his visits here during the 17th and 18th centuries was markedly different from Europe because it was a nation of individuals, a place where the humblest farmer did not defer to the wealthiest man, where class was an economic fact that could and was transcended by hard work. The 20th century however saw a radical transformation in American culture as media technologies including radio, film, rapid nationwide magazine and book deliveries and eventually television and the internet, reshaped American culture from a local culture to a national one, defined by the subjects of those media titles themselves. In the process Americans went from being individualists to being collectivists. The media technologies that enabled a single radio talk show to speak to a national au

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The Media Barks, but the Caravan Moves On

The media celebrated Obama's sudden fiscal minded reforms in cutting money for the F-22's, using that defense cut to pretend Obama wasn't wasting money like a drunken sailor on the fourth of July, and pluging America deep into trillion dollar deficit territory. But luckily we won't be wasting money on any F-22's to defend America. We will however be sending 200 million dollars to the terrorist leaders of Fatah . As it turns out, and wouldn't you know it, the good folks at Fatah are having a budget crisis. Just like us! Except we actually fund Fatah and have been for some time. Since Fatah, better known as the Palestinian Authority led by "President Abbas" has a budget which consists of Intake: Money from Western governments Output: Payments to terrorist militias and Fatah leaders , a workforce that totals over 200,000 people. Or 1 in 4 Palestinian men is on the Palestinian Authority payroll. A payroll for which we pay for. Lest you think that 200 mil

If You Would Have War, Prepare for Peace

A Roman tactician once coined the maxim, "If you would have peace, prepare for war." Hence the motto of the Strategic Air Command, which was ready at a moment's notice to rain nuclear fire across the world, was "Peace is our Profession", displayed beneath a mailed fist holding both the olive branch and the thunderbolt. The message to potential enemies was painfully clear. Choose. The latter century's military history can be read to coin an equally blunt maxim. "If you would have war, prepare for peace." In the wake of WWI's horrors, America and much of Western Europe decided that nothing could be worse than a war. The remainder of that first half century would be dedicated to teaching them the lesson that there was indeed something worse than a war, and that was losing or nearly losing a war. The nations who desperately prepared for peace all through the 20's and 30's, confronted enemies willing to mime peace negotiations only long

We're From the Government, and We're Here to Help

The best argument against any new government program, is government itself. Were the United States government a corporation, its business model would make Enron, Countrywide and Bernard Madoff look like models of rock solid corporate responsibility. The kind of corporation that goes trillions of dollars into debt, buys wrenches at a thousand dollars a pop and spends much of its budget on kickbacks for the friends of its boards members. If at the height of the New Deal, liberals were full of optimism about what the powers of an expanded Federal government could accomplish, few liberals today can argue with a straight face that the Federal government is either competent, efficient or even any better at managing money than your average unemployed drunken brother in law. The old rhetoric of the New Deal is there, its proponents have simply learned to completely detach it from the reality that government is doomed to be incompetent and ineffective, compared to private citizens. The curr

Through the Media's Eye

The death of Walter Cronkite has occasioned an outpouring of grief for the media personality dubbed "The Most Trusted Man in America", by the media's own polls. Cronkite, like Woodward and Bernstein, or Neil Sheehan, served as a turning point as the media's love affair with itself went from creating its own icons, to treating those icons as a vital part of the national culture. Cronkite's genial fatherly manner and non-threatening good nature, made him appear trustworthy; which made him a vital asset for the media's new role, that of "explaining America to itself". That was the phrase that Newsweek editor Ellis Cose used when accepting the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, an award that would normally make one think of charging into minefields or rescuing the wounded from a battlefield, not writing articles for Newsweek. It is a phrase that communicates the media's new role, to "explain" their image of America to t

Stopping the Cycle of Violence

The "Cycle of Violence" is a phrase that has become a fundamental part of the liberal lexicon. Its key point is to imply that violence is itself a useless tool for stopping violence, in the process it morally equates all forms of violence, whether it is the police officer returning fire at an armed robber, a soldier firing on a terrorist, or a homeowner firing in defense of his family. The phrase "Cycle of Violence" renders them all equally wrong and equally hopeless. That is where "Breaking the Cycle of Violence" comes in. Since the phrase itself presumes that violence cannot stop other forms of violence, only keep the violence going, the cycle can only to be broken by agreeing to an end to the fighting... on any terms. The more popular word for this is known as appeasement. The two obvious flaws in the premise of a "Cycle of Violence", is that first it presumes that violence cannot be used to stop other forms of violence. This is blatantly