Friday, September 06, 2013

The Syrian Political Charade

A funny thing happened on the way to the U.S. attacking Syria: Barack Obama decided to seek congressional approval. Such is not his usual wont. Since occupying the Oval Office, Obama has made a practice of issuing executive orders and other decrees about all manner of policy preferences without bothering to go to Congress. He attacked Libya without Congress, but now with Syria he's seeking an accomplice -- though he still insists he doesn't need one.

Columnist George Will notes that, ironically, the British Parliament's rejection of military action prompted Obama to go to Congress. "If Parliament had authorized an attack," Will wrote, "Obama probably would already have attacked, without any thought about Congress' prerogatives."

The outcome of a looming congressional vote on military action is uncertain -- the sides don't break along party lines. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) support Obama's call, as does Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). But significant numbers of the rank-and-file aren't convinced, despite assurances from Secretary of State John Kerry that we won't be "going to war in a classic sense."

The issue for many in Congress -- as well as grassroots Americans -- is whether a limited strike will achieve any clear policy objective that serves vital U.S. interests. Kerry warns that "we cannot allow Assad to be able to gas people with impunity." But will a strike eradicate Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons stores now that he's had time to move and protect them? If we weaken or remove Assad, will al-Qaida rebels come out on top? Will a limited strike sufficiently chastise Assad for crossing the "red line" Obama now ridiculously asserts he "didn't set"? And if a strike is strong enough, what reaction can we expect from Syria, Iran or Russia?

In short, Obama has turned this into a political charade. Any principle governing our response was lost as soon as he opened his mouth.



12 Unspoken Rules For Being A Liberal

There may be no official rule book for being a liberal, but that doesn't mean there aren't rules. There are actually quite a few rules liberals go by and the more politically active liberals become, the more rigidly they tend to stick to their own code of behavior. These rules, most of which are unspoken, are passed along culturally on the Left and viciously enforced. Ironically, many liberals could not explain these rules to you and don't even consciously know they're following them. So, by reading this article, not only will you gain a better understanding of liberals, you'll know them better than they know themselves in some ways.

1) You justify your beliefs about yourself by your status as a liberal, not your deeds. The most sexist liberal can think of himself as a feminist while the greediest liberal can think of himself as generous. This is because liberals define themselves as being compassionate, open minded, kind, pro-science and intelligent not based on their actions or achievements, but based on their ideology. This is one of the most psychologically appealing aspects of liberalism because it allows you to be an awful person while still thinking of yourself as better than everyone else.

2) You exempt yourself from your attacks on America: Ever notice that liberals don't include themselves in their attacks on America? When they say, "This is a racist country," or ",This is a mean country," they certainly aren't referring to themselves or people who hold their views. Even though liberals supported the KKK, slaughtering the Indians, and putting the Japanese in internment camps, when they criticize those things, it's meant as an attack on everyone else EXCEPT LIBERALS. The only thing a liberal believes he can truly do wrong is to be insufficiently liberal.

3) What liberals like should be mandatory and what they don't like should be banned: There's an almost instinctual form of fascism that runs through most liberals. It's not enough for liberals to love gay marriage; everyone must be forced to love gay marriage. It's not enough for liberals to be afraid of guns; guns have to be banned. It's not enough for liberals to want to use energy-saving light bulbs; incandescent light bulbs must be banned. It's not enough for liberals to make sure most speakers on campuses are left-wing; conservative speakers must be shouted down or blocked from speaking.

4) The past is always inferior to the present: Liberals tend to view traditions, policies, and morals of past generations as arbitrary designs put in place by less enlightened people. Because of this, liberals don't pay much attention to why traditions developed or wonder about possible ramifications of their social engineering. It’s like an architect ripping out the foundation of a house without questioning the consequences and if the living room falls in on itself as a result, he concludes that means he needs to make even more changes.

5) Liberalism is a jealous god and no other God may come before it: A liberal "Christian" or "Jew" is almost an oxymoron because liberalism trumps faith for liberals. Taking your religious beliefs seriously means drawing hard lines about right and wrong and that's simply not allowed. Liberals demand that even God bow down on the altar of liberalism.

6) Liberals believe in indiscriminateness for thought: This one was so good that I stole it from my buddy, Evan Sayet: " Indiscriminateness of thought does not lead to indiscriminateness of policy. It leads the modern liberal to invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Why? Very simply if nothing is to be recognized as better or worse than anything else then success is de facto unjust. There is no explanation for success if nothing is better than anything else and the greater the success the greater the injustice. Conversely and for the same reason, failure is de facto proof of victimization and the greater the failure, the greater the proof of the victim is, or the greater the victimization."

7) Intentions are much more important than results: Liberals decide what programs to support based on whether they make them feel good or bad about themselves, not because they work or don't work. A DDT ban that has killed millions is judged a success by liberals because it makes them feel as if they care about the environment. A government program that wastes billions and doesn't work is a stunning triumph to the Left if it has a compassionate sounding name. It would be easier to convince a liberal to support a program by calling it the “Saving Women And Puppies Bill" than showing that it would save 100,000 lives.

8) The only real sins are helping conservatism or harming liberalism: Conservatives often marvel at the fact that liberals will happily elect every sort of pervert, deviant, and criminal you can imagine without a second thought. That's because right and wrong don't come into the picture for liberals. They have one standard: Does this politician help or hurt liberalism? If a politician helps liberalism, he has a free pass to do almost anything and many of them do just that.

9) All solutions must be government-oriented: Liberals may not be as down on government as conservatives are, but on some level, even they recognize that it doesn't work very well. So, why are liberals so hell bent on centralizing as much power as possible in government? Simple, because they believe that they are better and smarter than everyone else by virtue of being liberals and centralized power gives them the opportunity to control more people's lives. There's nothing scarier to liberals than free people living their lives as they please without wanting or needing the government to nanny them.

10) You must be absolutely close minded: One of the key reasons liberals spend so much time vilifying people they don't like and questioning their motivations is to protect themselves from having to consider their arguments. This helps create a completely closed system for liberals. Conservative arguments are considered wrong by default since they're conservative and not worth hearing. On the other hand, liberals aren't going to make conservative arguments. So, a liberal goes to a liberal school, watches liberal news, listens to liberal politicians, has liberal friends, and then convinces himself that conservatives are all hateful, evil, racist Nazis so that any stray conservatism he hears should be ignored. It makes liberal minds into perfectly closed loops that are impervious to anything other than liberal doctrine.

11) Feelings are more important than logic: Liberals base their positions on emotions, not facts and logic and then they work backwards to shore up their position. This is why it's a waste of time to try to convince a liberal of anything based on logic. You don't "logic" someone out of a position that he didn't use "logic" to come up with in the first place.

12) Tribal affiliation is more important than individual action: There's one set of rules for members of the tribe and one set of rules for everyone else. Lying, breaking the rules, or fomenting hatred against a liberal in good standing may be out of bounds, but there are no rules when dealing with outsiders, who are viewed either as potential recruits, dupes to be tricked, or foes to be defeated. This is the same backwards mentality you see in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, except it's based on ideology, not religion.



Family Farmers Fight Michigan Township For Their Animals

Kelly Vander Kley Hunter and her family have spent the last three years pouring their time and money into building a small hobby farm in Mattawan, MI. Today, they are fighting their local township government in order to keep their farm animals.

“We feel like we’re under a microscope. We feel like everything we do, on our own property, we have to get permission from the township,” says Vander Kley Hunter.

Roughly a three hour drive from Detroit, Mattawan is a rural community that is home to many small farms with many farm animals.

Yet Vander Kley Hunter had still checked before purchasing the property to make sure that having animals would be all right, and the township confirmed that farm animals were indeed allowed. But earlier this summer, the Hunters received a letter stating that their farm was no longer in compliance with the township zoning ordinance and that they had 90 days to get rid of more than half of their animals.

“It knocked the wind out of my sails,” says Vander Kley Hunter, "I was pretty depressed for awhile over it."

Vander Kley Hunter says that her neighbor complained to the township about the animals, thus prompting the township to reinterpret the ordinance and state that the Hunter farm was out of compliance.

“The local government can change the zoning of any parcel of land on a whim,” says Reason Foundation’s Adrian Moore, “it's being played out basically on crony politics rather than any kind of real, objective standard."

Moore says that property rights have eroded vastly over the last 100 years in America, and that these kinds of issues should be resolved in the courts, not in the political arena that is far more susceptible to abuse.

“The fact that the neighbors are using the political process rather than the court system already says they’ve got a somewhat suspicious complaint.”

Moore says the only way to fight a political battle is with politics, and that the community has to rise up against the township. Luckily for the Hunters, the community has come to their aid and is speaking out against the township at regular town hall meetings.

“The support that we’ve received from all of this has been completely overwhelming, I’ve never experienced anything like it,” says Vander Kley Hunter.

Vander Kley Hunter is hopeful that the community's support combined with her family's persistence will be enough to save her animals.




S&P: Lawsuit is “retaliation” for stripping AAA rating:  "Standard & Poor's on Tuesday blasted a $5 billion fraud lawsuit by the U.S. government as retaliation for its 2011 decision to strip the country of its 'AAA' credit rating. The McGraw Hill Financial Inc unit was the only major credit rating agency to take away the United States' top rating, and the only one sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly misleading banks and credit unions about the credibility of its ratings prior to the 2008 financial crisis."

TX: Guard refuses to process same-sex benefits:  "The Texas National Guard refused to process requests from same-sex couples for benefits on Tuesday, citing the state constitution's ban on gay marriage, despite a Pentagon directive to do so. ... Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces, wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that because the Texas Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman, his state agency couldn't process applications from gay and lesbian couples. But he said the Texas National Guard, Texas Air Guard and Texas State Guard would not deny anyone benefits. ... He then listed 22 bases operated by the Department of Defense in Texas where service members could enroll their families."

DoD training manual: Founding fathers followed “extremist ideology”:  "A Department of Defense training manual obtained by a conservative watchdog group pointed to the original American colonists as examples of an extremist movement, comments that have sparked fear of a broader crackdown on dissent in America. ... The first paragraph of the section entitled ‘Extremist Ideologies’ opens with a statement that has drawn heated criticism: 'In US history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.'"


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