There’s never been a better time to be an enemy of the United States of America. Whether you’re a trained jihadist in US custody, a diminutive cult leader starving his own people while developing nukes, or part of a ruthless regime that murders dissidents in broad daylight, you can rest assured that the United States government is unlikely to act—or perhaps even speak—in a manner likely to disrupt your daily routine. While invoking “our values,” hailing the importance of American humility, and rejecting the “failed policies of the past,” the current administration is projecting a dangerous image to the world. This approach may be extolled as cautious pragmatism on the Beltway cocktail party circuit, but it’s most assuredly perceived as something entirely different by America’s current and emerging adversaries around the globe: Weakness.
Within days of assuming office, President Obama ostentatiously announced his intention to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within one year. That his administration had no workable plan to do so was beside the point; details were not about to obstruct the path to Hopenchange. Obama has since been thrashed by former Vice President Cheney in a public debate on this matter, and public opinion polls are trending decisively against his rushed and irresponsible decision.
Nevertheless, to avoid allowing a campaign promise to go by the wayside—while (quietly) adopting yet another staple of the previous administration's supposed failures—Obama has been working hard to relocate Gitmo detainees. He first floated the idea of releasing some of the supposedly least threatening blokes, Chinese Uighurs, onto US soil, where they’d be supported with welfare checks. His own party was so receptive to that lead balloon that they voted down funding to close the prison altogether. Obama then went knocking at the collective door of the same “international community” that had decried the facility’s very existence for years. Strangely, none of those nations were especially keen on welcoming radical Islamists onto their streets. After being rebuffed more than 100 times, the president finally identified two takers; the island paradises of Bermuda and Palau.
After training with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Uighers were caught on the battlefield (the terrorist Miranda warning policy wasn’t in effect at the time—a grave injustice) and transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where they were afforded soccer, television, and pizza privileges. Their TV viewing got a bit dicey at times, as they reportedly destroyed a television set after being subjected to the obscene image of a woman’s bare arms. Aside from picayune details like that, they’re generally regarded as a pretty reasonable, well-adjusted bunch. They’re now arriving in exotic vacation destinations, along with millions of US tax dollars in aid—making themselves at home on pristine tropical islands. Islands, mind you, that most law-abiding, tax-paying, non-terrorist American citizens couldn’t afford to visit right now, given the current economy. Wage war against the West, and you too might end up catching rays in Bermuda! What a deal.
Meanwhile, the plump, aging woman who rules North Korea has been conspicuously misbehaving for months. The White House has been attempting to determine a productive way forward that—needless to say—bears no resemblance to those failed policies of the past. Remember, the era of US hubris, in which America “punishes” outlaw regimes by refusing to legitimize them, is over. So when Kim Jong Il’s military test fired a missile in April, the Pentagon was instructed not to deploy its most sophisticated missile-tracking technology to, well, track a missile launched illegally by an enemy regime. Why? As the Washington Times’ Bill Gertz reported at the time, officials were concerned that employing our superior technology simply to gather data on North Korea’s test would “provoke” the North Koreans.
The North Koreans, in turn, have exhibited their appreciation for the administration’s non-provocative, humble, “smart power” approach by conducting multiple additional proscribed weapons tests, and pledging to lob a ballistic missile toward US soil on July 4th. So it’s back to the ever-useful bargaining table, it would seem.
Speaking of July 4th, guess who’s coming to dinner at US embassies across the globe? Despite fomenting historic internal unrest by shamelessly rigging an election, denouncing and taunting the aforementioned international community, callously beating and slaying its own reform-minded citizens in the streets, and unilaterally declaring all nuclear negotiations permanently “closed,” envoys of the profoundly evil Iranian regime are invited to Independence Day barbeques hosted by top American diplomats. As State Department spokesman Ian Kelly blithely explained, “We have made a strategic decision to engage on a number of fronts with Iran.”
“Therefore,” he might has well have continued, “literally no level of Iranian barbarity will dissuade us from the undeniable wisdom of inviting to Iranian representatives to our parties, and we just can’t wait to start a dialogue.”
President Obama has insisted for days that America must not “meddle” in Iran’s business, despite demonstrators’ pleas for Western support, and in the face of much stronger statements from European leaders. In fairness, Obama has finally begun playing rhetorical catch-up with John McCain and Nicholas Sarkozy. Still, in his public statements, Iran’s unapologetic meddling in our business (funding terrorism, killing American soldiers in Iraq) goes unmentioned, as does his own administration’s overt meddling in Israel’s internal affairs.
A primary reason for Obama’s rhetorical reticence is his stubborn commitment to the campaign-promise-turned-inoperable-fantasy that he might actually manage to strike a historic accord with the regime in Tehran through direct, unconditional negotiations. In light of recent developments, this notion is more absurd than ever, yet Obama cannot let it go. Consequently, he’s hedging, taking pains to avoid inflaming the Ahmadinejad/Khameini unholy alliance by siding with pro-freedom demonstrators (which they’ve accused him of anyway) in the hopes of eventually inducing them into rational and honest negotiations.
Even if one fully endorses Obama’s no-meddling policy, how can the July 4th barbeque invitation decision possibly be justified? Not only is Obama assuring these theocrat thugs that he won’t lift a finger to stop their violent suppression of millions yearning for freedom, his State Department is taking this posture a step further by reaffirming Iranian emissaries’ friendly invitations to American-hosted parties. Parties held on a day that celebrates freedom from tyranny, no less. He’s not simply refraining from undue interference. He’s actually rewarding coercive despotism. It’s a shameful low point in this young administration’s history.
Enemies of America, this is your moment. This is your time. Considering joining the jihad? If captured, you’ll be read your rights, spared any and all harsh interrogation methods, and might even win an all-expenses-paid trip to a hot vacation spot. Hankering for some illicit WMDs? We’ll bend over backwards to avoid appearing provocative. Want to attend a fun summer BBQ? Just mercilessly quash a reformist uprising in your country, slaughter some unarmed young women, vow to wipe Israel off the face of the planet, and relentlessly pursue nuclear weapons. The State Department’s e-vite to DeathtoAmerica1979@gmail.com should be arriving any minute.
Monitor ABC World News Sponsors in Light of White House "Town Hall" Meeting on Health Care
New Webpage Provides List to Public
In light of the ABC World News program's decision to host a "Town Hall" meeting on health care at the White House without opposition participation, the National Center for Public Policy Research is making a list of ABC World News sponsors available online for those who wish to boycott sponsors or/or send a letter of protest to them.
The list of sponsors includes sponsors from the June 18, 2009 program - the date ABC announced the White House-based program would take place - to the present and beyond, and is available at www.nationalcenter.org/ABCNewsSponsors.html.
"Town Hall meetings are generally understood to cover a wide range of viewpoints," said National Center for Public Policy Research president Amy Ridenour, "and network newscasts are supposed to be objective. Yet ABC is holding a Town Meeting with the chief backer of government-run health care at a venue entirely favorable to him, and inviting opposition only in the form of questions to him from a generalized audience placed in an entirely inferior position. An objective conversation is impossible under those conditions."
"Moreover," said Ridenour, "ABC News has refused offers from opponents of the President's plan even to buy paid advertising during scheduled commercial breaks. ABC is not only pitching for Obama, it's pitching him a no-hitter."
"Many Americans, probably millions, believe so-called 'ObamaCare' will lead to shortages of health care services, leading to pain, misery and even death," Ridenour continued, "as this is the experience of every nation that has tried government-run health care so far, The health care debate is literally life-and-death, yet ABC is treating it like an afternoon tea at the White House."
"Because of this," she concluded, "the National Center for Public Policy Research is posting online a list of all the sponsors of ABC World News since ABC announced this program, and we encourage people to make their views -- including, if they so choose, with their wallets -- known to ABC's sponsors."
The list of ABC World News sponsors can be found online here.
I have just put up on my Scripture blog an article about John Calvin -- for those who are interested in Christian history.
There is an article here which not only points out that Hitler learnt his eugenics from America but also shows that the American system was twisted and crooked too.
Iran’s unrest: Opportunity or threat? : "Iran’s Sunni Arab neighbors have long feared its revolutionary rhetoric, its Islamist political style, and its popularity among many of their own citizens for its strident criticism of Israel. With that background, one would expect the Arab states to be jumping for joy at the political turmoil in Iran, a Shiite oil power. But so far their response has been muted to non-existent. Here’s why: The mechanism that has created Iran’s biggest political crisis since the Islamic revolution in 1979 is street power, the voice of a disenfranchised populace. And while that might eventually deliver a regime in Iran that Arab states would be more comfortable with, it also provides a powerful immediate example of the sort of popular sovereignty that the autocratic Arab regimes fear most.”
MA: State cuts health coverage by $115 million: “Overseers of Massachusetts’ trailblazing healthcare program made their first cuts yesterday, trimming $115 million, or 12 percent, from Commonwealth Care, which subsidizes premiums for needy residents and is the centerpiece of the 2006 law. The board of the Connector Authority made the cuts as officials confronted two side effects of the recession: the state budget crisis and a surge in enrollment by the recently unemployed. The largest share of the savings will come from slowing enrollment. An estimated 18,000 poor residents who qualify for full subsidies, but who forget to designate a health plan, will no longer be automatically assigned a plan and enrolled and thus could face delays in getting care"
Racism in the market and voting booth: “Nobody likes racism. At least, nobody whose opinion we should take seriously likes racism. Many argue that private racism provides a justification for state intervention to ensure everyone is treated fairly. When we carefully look at basic economic theory and the historical record, though, it becomes clear that government is much more likely to produce racism than to prevent it.”
Obama’s Iran policy is a bomb : “Here is the one immutable fact of Barack Obama’s foreign-policy agenda as it relates to Iran: It’s over. The rule book he came in with is as irrelevant as a tourist guide to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. If the forces of reform and democracy win, Obama’s plan to negotiate with the regime is moot, for the regime will be gone. And if the forces of reform are crushed into submission by the regime, Obama’s plan is moot, because the regime will still be there.”
The nirvana fallacy: “President Obama has announced his ’sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system.’ We can debate endlessly whether the Constitution authorizes any president to ‘overhaul’ the financial system. But I want to focus on a different matter: whether any president, with all his advisers, is capable of overseeing something as complex as the financial system. My answer is no, and it is ominous that a bright guy like Obama doesn’t know this.”
Finally, a state that cuts tax rates on the rich: "At last, there's a place in America where tax cutting to promote growth and attract jobs is back in fashion. Who would have thought it would be Maine? This month the Democratic legislature and Governor John Baldacci broke with Obamanomics and enacted a sweeping tax reform that is almost, but not quite, a flat tax. The new law junks the state's graduated income tax structure with a top rate of 8.5% and replaces it with a simple 6.5% flat rate tax on almost everyone. Those with earnings above $250,000 will pay a surtax rate of 0.35%, for a 6.85% rate. Maine's tax rate will fall to 20th from seventh highest among the states. To offset the lower rates and a larger family deduction, the plan cuts the state budget by some $300 million to $5.8 billion, closes tax loopholes and expands the 5% state sales tax to services that have been exempt, such as ski lift tickets. This is a big income tax cut, especially given that so many other states in the Northeast and East -- Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York -- have been increasing rates. "We're definitely going against the grain here," Mr. Baldacci tells us. "We hope these lower tax rates will encourage and reward work, and that the lower capital gains tax [of 6.85%] brings more investment into the state."
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)