Category Archives: NeoConservative

The futile nature of foreign policy under cowards and idiots.

“Evil is an outreach program.”—P.J. O’Rourke

 

These are the hardest moments for neocons and sane people (but I repeat myself).  You realize that in Venezuela, in Ukraine, in Syria, in Turkey, in South Sudan, and a dozen other nations there are terrible things going on.  That any rational understanding of natural rights and that they apply to all people equally (regardless of what country you live in) and ethics (and the basic tenet that you have to help people when you know about their suffering and are in a position to help them) tells us that we need to do something…
Flexibility-copy

…but reason also tells us that we can’t do anything. Not because there is nothing to do, but because with the leadership we have now any intervention would not only be pointless it would likely make things worse(as occurred with the Arab Spring).

 

And that’s the problem, there are things to do, things that can improve the situation everywhere, but the idiots we currently have can only muck things up and it may be best to let these atrocities work themselves out.  Which is terrible.

 

It was bad when you have a life long cowardly isolationist (from a family of worthless cowardly isolationists)  like Bush try to adopt the mantle of a neoconservative on foreign policy…but not bother to understand the part about long term planning to help build, rebuild and establish functioning constitutional republics that defend the rights of their people.  Nope, like all Bush’s, W. didn’t seem to understand long term thinking (like daddy didn’t understand the truth of supply-side realities, and W. also didn’t grasp that tax cuts have to be permanent to have any lasting effect).  No let’s just ignore that it was long term involvement, planning and slower turning over of control to the local governments that made Germany and Japan a success…no, let’s just assume that a functioning democratic-republic will just spring up in a couple years (to hell if it took the US over a decade and two Constitutions to get it right). It was bad when this non-neoconservative gave neoconservatives a black eye.  But at least we were trying.   And even with the complete cluster—- that Iraq and Afghanistan have become there are fewer governments and tyrants actively funding terrorism.  There are at least silver linings in these screwups.

 

But even though Bush was a moron, at least he left things better than they were before (not good by any means, but marginally better than when he got on the scene), he was a genius compared to Obama who makes everything worse.  Give Iran money to build nukes.  Stop actually gathering needed intelligence on terrorists (while oddly focusing really hard on American citizens…maybe if we tell him that Al-Qaeda is thinking of starting a SuperPAC he might actually go after them).  Not backing Britain in their dealing with socialist Argentina.  Back stabbing Israel at every single turn because the fact is that with the exception of Ron Paul followers there is only one party I can think of more anti-Semitic than Obama and his Democrats.

 

Yeah I know everyone is using the excuse that Bush let Putin have parts of Georgia in 2008…but let’s be honest when that happened Bush was entirely out of political capital to use on foreign affairs (not saying he would have done the right thing if he had any chips to play, but we should at least admit realities)…but, as a particular commentator likes to correctly point out “Bad behavior doesn’t excuse other bad behavior.”tumblr_n1w40gdLBs1qaoso9o1_500

 

Let’s ignore the thousand and one things we could have done over the past 6 years that would have prevented all these things (and make no mistake a strong and intelligent US foreign policy could have prevented all of it).

 

We could easily impose harsh sanctions against Russia and open every form of oil and natural gas production in the US. This would devastate the Russian economy, keep Europe relatively stable, and work as a shot of adrenaline to the US economy. But we really can’t do that because if we did push for sanctions Obama would probably idiotically engineer sanctions that only annoy Russia and fail to open up US production of energy that would leave Europe even in worse shape than they currently exist.

 

We could honor our treaty with Poland (you know the one Obama broke) and help them defend themselves.  And we could offer to extend that defense treaty to all those other nations that were once part of the Eastern Block we have no intention of doing so. But as experience tells us, Obama would rather give guns to the villains instead of  our allies.

 

We could send arms and support (training, advisors, infrastructure) to Ukraine as a clear sign we are drawing a line in the sand which you will not cross…but we know what happens when Obama draws foreign policy lines.

 

Hell…we could even be going to the UN asking for meaningless peacekeepers be sent to Crimea to observe the situation.  It would be pointless, and would likely be vetoed by Russia, but at least it would be more than rolling over for dead as Barry and Michelle  go on separate vacations while the world falls apart.

 

spineless-posterWe could do a lot of things…and we could do it for a lot of nations…because we do have a moral obligation to see liberty and human rights defended and spread over the whole world.  But as long as this moron is in charge nothing will get done and pushing to have anything done will only result in even a worse situation occurring because he is too cowardly to do what needs to be done and too stupid to even know what that is or the conspirisists are correct and it is what he wants –one or the other no in-between.

 

There is a silver lining to this at least in the Ukraine. The fact is that while we should be leading a movement to band the nations of Eastern Europe together, they will probably do that on their own. Also, despite the fact that everyone likes to say that Obama is playing checkers while Putin is playing chess…the fact is that in reality Obama is drooling on himself while Putin is playing tic-tac-toe poorly. This may be a short-term goal for him, but it will strain his already strained economy, and it will likely make Russia not just the target of Islamic radicals in Chechnya but inflame and put Russia right in the crosshairs of al-Qaeda
.   I think we speak from experience that al-Qaeda is a bitch to deal with when you attack the nations they claim to be from…it will be a complete nightmare for Russia when they even lack the moral and ethical high ground that the US had.  Let me know how your population problem is going in ten years Vladimir when you’ve had to sacrifice every young man to holding the nations you’ve invaded to try and reestablish the evil empire.  And like Stalingrad, I will be actually quite happy with Russia and al-Qaeda wasting time, money and lives killing each other…it really doesn’t matter who wins so long as both sides lose.  Long term, we are lucky that evil may be an outreach program but it also always includes the seeds of its own destruction.

 

 

 

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Long Term Thinking, NeoConservative, Obama

The Problem of Syria

 

 

Someone (we’re not sure who, Obama and Kerry say Assad, the UN says the rebel—I don’t trust either, so who knows) used chemical weapons in Syria.

 

Now it’s really funny how the left suddenly thinks that chemical weapons in the hands of a Mideast dictator is a bad thing that needs to be stopped.

 

Some might argue that we should punish those who have done so.  That we need to go in to save lives.

 

But they’re looking at it wrong.  While we do as decent people have a responsibility to stop genocide, that isn’t enough, we have to make sure we can actually improve the situation.  The question shouldn’t necessarily be is Assad (or the rebels) killing people, it should be, can we stop the killing?  In Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan there were either prodemocracy forces (and in those last two I will fully admit we botched any attempt to rally those forces and form a real government)…and in Japan we had the wherewith-all to stay in charge for over a decade to ensure a stable government was left in place.  The problem with Syria is that it’s a choice between Assad and his Iran/Hamas terrorists backers and the Rebels (read Al-Qaeda)…if either side wins, they’ll use the chemical weapons and kill the people of Syria and probably other nations…and America at this point (even if we had a leader and not an idiot in charge) doesn’t have the resolve to stay the time needed and spend the money required to take over Syria and build a system that will end the killing of people.  The fact is that no matter what we do, people are going to die.  If we help people die, if we don’t help people die.  There is no way out of this that can stop the killing.

 

Kerry Syria

Kerry was against intervention over chemical weapons before he was for it…and he was for it before he was against it…

Now some people, whose opinions I respect, suggest we should go in and just bomb Assad’s ability for air dominance, level the playing field and let the rebels and Assad fight it out on equal terms.  I can see the wisdom in this…but this assumes a leader who knows what do to and how to handle such a campaign.  And here’s the problem if you had such a leader my NeoCon side might just say, why half-ass it?, go in occupy the nation and set up a democracy…but lacking such a leader I don’t know if I can even trust the idiot we have now to level the playing field…honestly has he done anything else right in foreign policy?  Which again leads me back to it’s best to stay out of this mess.

 

The silver lining to not doing anything at the moment is that this is Hamas and Al-Qaeda killing each other…which saves us the time and trouble of doing it.

 

But let’s talk about what we should do if reality had no bearing on this (or, say, if we had done the intelligent thing and elected a leader and good man and not a buffoon and corrupt hack).  Now Syria would present it’s own challenges but I think the best way we should do with Syria, if we were going to get involved is to look at our two most recent mistakes, Iraq and Afghanistan, and see where we screwed up there.

 

Now let’s first deal with some of the points of why we went.  We went to take out terrorist threats (and both nations did present such a threat), we went to do the ethical thing and stop genocide, and we went to spread democracy.  All could have been accomplished if Bush and/or Obama had had even half a brain between them…but Obama likes to grovel and apologize for America’s virtue and Bush was an isolationist (just look at his debate with Gore where he said he didn’t want to engage in nation building…so stop blaming NeoConservatives for Bush’s idiocy, he was never one of us and never will be).  It was the right war to fight.

 

It was also fought well.  The military is not the part to blame, it is the diplomats and politicians who screwed the occupation up, not the war itself.

 

Now let’s review what we should have done but didn’t.  And, in terms of full disclosure, I honestly thought we would have been bright enough to do these things when I gave my support for these wars…I thought that even if Bush was dumb enough to not know to do these, his advisors would at least be bright enough…boy was I wrong.

 

Obama moron

Do you trust this man to do anything right? Do you even trust to not make it worse?

The first thing we should not have done was turn over Iraq and Afghanistan to Iraqi and Afghani control so soon.  We were in control of Germany for year (and only gave them independence to gain their alliance in the Cold War) and were in complete control of Japan for nearly a decade.  We should have remained in political and military control of Iraq and Afghanistan for nearly a decade as well.  It takes time to rebuild the infrastructure of a nation, it takes time to get the culture used to the principles of rule of law and a democratic-Republic, it takes time to properly write a Constitution.  All of these were rushed for political convenience.  And that is partly what ultimately made these situations so terrible.

Someone should have gone to Congress to first get an act of war declared and second to get Congress to lay out in writing and law what defines success and when we can legally leave.  Right now we can leave whenever, whether we’ve finished the job or not, and it is largely up to the president and the president only. These are powers that Congress should have, and they should not have been given up, nor should any president have grabbed them.

The nations should have been broken up.  Their current borders are arbitrary creations of colonialism and forced numerous ethnic and religious groups that loathe each other.  Pluralism is also superior, but it grows best naturally when two group both doing well see each other as equals that both can grow and learn from, not from being forced together.  Iraq, should have been three nations (Kurds, Sunni, Shia)…Afghanistan should have likely been broken into a Southern and Northern part (although I’ll admit my knowledge of the breakdown of clans, ethnicities and religious divisions in Afghanistan is not as deep as it could be).  My point here being that smaller less diverse areas are easier to administrate, easier to work with, easier to maintain stability it…and if there is terrorist activity in one it does not mean that destabilizes the whole operation (for instance Kurdistan would have likely been stable, and possibly even economically prosperous very quickly which would have led to more stability in the whole area and an ally we can count on).

We should have never let the armies disband as quickly as we did.  We should have kept them as POWs vetting every single one of them before releasing them.  This would have delayed the terrorists attacks.

I agree completely with the surges, only disagreeing that they should have been done earlier and probably to an even greater degree.

We should have burned each and every poppy field in all of Afghanistan to the ground and shot any drug lord who complained.  The terrorists live off the funds of the drug trade and one of our first goals should have been to deny them any and all funds.

The Peace Corp should have been recalled for training in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Dari, (and anything else we needed) and then sent to Afghanistan and Iraq.  There is no point in having a Peace Corp in helping in social and economic development if you’re not going to use it where it was needed most.

Border walls.  As we have learned in the US, there is nothing so important as a border wall…more so when dealing with terrorists.  We should have been building walls on the border of every single nation, starting with the borders of Iran, Pakistan, Syria.  If we had done this the terrorist activity would have been drastically reduced (as most of it came from Iran, Pakistan and Syria)…and if there had been a division of the nations we should have had walls between them as well to help stop the spread of terrorism.

With staying longer, our first responsibility should have been building up roads, water, electricity, schools, hospitals and the basic of industry…the infrastructure needed to support a republic of law.  Training the military and police should have been a distant second (because when you rush that, you let the terrorist infiltrate easily and attack us from within, as we’ve seen all too well) as the military can handle that for a longer period as we’ll be there for a while.

There is no way we should have ever left Iraq without gaining a permanent military base and the same goes for Afghanistan. One of the only reasons why these invasions made sense in the long run from a tactical stand point was gaining foot holds to ensure stability in the area (would Syria be as violent as it is right now if there was a permanent US base with missile launch capability just a few minutes from it’s borders?)

Massacre of Syrian Christians

This is a picture of the handy work of Obama’s allies in Syria…the massacre of Christians for no other reason than their religion. Yes we should help these people.

Among stronger women’s right pushes than we made, we should have made it a requirement that both nations add full rights to women and some version of our burning bed justifications (which more or less makes it justifiable for a woman who is afraid of her husband beating or murdering her to kill her husband…and then we should have probably armed every woman as we could have). This would hopefully have cleared out a lot of the worst bastards we would have to worry about, and the scum who objected should have just been summarily shot as well because you know they’re shit who would be nothing but a blight on humanity. (And I can hear some liberal whiny about it’s their culture who are you to judge.  I’m a human being with a brain, that’s who.  Any man, any law, any religion that says women are inferior to men is shit and deserves to be wiped off the Earth with extreme prejudice.)  We should probably also have installed a lot of women in positions of power, those who objected can be shot.  (This is more to quickly identify the terrorist scum and quickly eliminate them).

We should never have stopped it being a major function of the military and CIA to gather intelligence.  We should be capturing terrorists leaders and water-boarding every last piece of information out of them.  The problem with drones isn’t their use or their death toll…it’s that they’re being used in lieu of gathering intelligence which actually (causes more death in the long run) kills even more people in the long run.

(On a side note) We should have backed, supported and armed the revolution that started in Iran.  Conversely we should not have given moral support to the largely terrorist led Arab Spring.

We should have gone in and still should be going in with the mentality that first and foremost this is a war.  If you are dealing with rational people then negotiate with them, but otherwise there is no retreat, no fallback, no quarter and all that is acceptable is either complete and unconditional surrender or every member of your opposition dead.  No negotiations with the Taliban, no playing nice for Iran and Pakistan.  This is a war, we are in the right (or at least we could have been) and we will not stop until every tyrant is dead or in jail and every innocent citizen enjoys full human rights.

 

Now, while Syria presents it’s own challenges and idiosyncrasies, but it is these general principals that should guide the occupation and rebuilding of any nation.  And the question you need to ask is, do you think Obama has the spine and intelligence to do any of this?  Do you think he even has the brains to carry out attacks on Assad’s military targets?

For me the answer is simple.  No.  I would love to spread liberty and end genocide everywhere…but from what I have seen of this nation, and especially Obama, we don’t know how to do it, we don’t have the patience it takes to do it, and right now we certainly aren’t in an economic position to do it.  In an ideal world intervention is what we should do, but the realities of the present state that our current situation will only lead to making things worse.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Congress, Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, NeoConservative, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Tyranny, War on Terrorism

The Core Values of True Conservative Belief

“We ought not to listen to those who exhort us, because we are human, to think of human things.…We ought rather to take on immortality as much as possible, and do all that we can to live in accordance with the highest element within us; for even if its bulk is small, in its power and value it far exceeds everything.” — Aristotle

Knowledge of Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do. – St. Thomas Aquinas, Two Precepts of Charity.

So I have been looking for the core of conservative belief lately.  What is conservative, what isn’t.

Why is this even an important question?  Well because the conservative movement is overly obsessed with the idea of what a true conservative is (it doesn’t help when your main opposition is a bunch of blind followers in the Democrat party who will kneel before anyone who promises them more shit, and libertarians* who will promise them pot).  Paeloconservatives.  Neoconservatives.  Fiscal conservatives.  Social Conservatives.  Compassionate Conservatives.  (Hint I consider only two of these terms not be contradictions).  It’s a wide range.

And there is no big help when looking to intellectuals.  Sure there is Russell Kirk’s famous list of highly dense academic speak, I even used it in Republicans and Reincarnation, but over the course of his career he kept changing the last few points, making it more and more isolationist, and it’s so complicated as to be useless.

The Wizard's Rules Sword of Truth

Meanwhile, while I love Goodkind’s eleven wizard’s rules, and think them an excellent companion to Aristotelian philosophy, they’re not all that specific.

Then of course you could name certain policies…but that doesn’t work because what is conservative today isn’t conservative tomorrow.  Facts of reality change, priorities get shifted…for instance every conservative needs to be a fiscal conservative, however one can still be a conservative and willing to make a deal to that would raise deficit spending when a more important goal is present, say, toppling an evil empire.  And real conservatives, love the nature of America to take pieces of every culture and incorporate them into the melting pot of this nation…but right now reality and sanity dictate we need to concentrate on border control and being a little more picky about who gets in.

So the problem I’ve had for nearly a year is to find something that is accessible, adaptable, and always accurate in describing the core beliefs of conservatism.  And I just realized it was so bluntly obvious that I didn’t see it (but then again I haven’t seen anyone else talk about it all this time either)..I’ve even stated it, it’s just always been implied.

What are the core values of conservatism that remain the core values at any time any place any situation? The thing that binds Aristotle to Cicero to Aquinas to Locke to Burke to Smith to Adams to Goldwater to Reagan?

The Four Cardinal Virtues and the Three Theological Virtues.

Four Cardinal Virtues
Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, Justice

Prudence

Temperance

Fortitude

Justice

Faith
Hope

Love

The first four come from Aristotle, the last three from Paul (although I would argue they are implicit in Aristotle if you read all of his works) and they are the basis for the most perfect system of ethics ever created.

Think about it.   Liberals only care about results, damn what rights or means you have to violate to create your Utopia (and that’s even before you consider they lack the follow through to do anything); the crazier members of the Libertarian party only care about means and an absolutist idea of right, to hell if you need some minor infringement to make a society properly function or to secure the vast majority of your rights.  Only the virtue based ethics of Aristotle deal in the reality of needing to consider ends and means.  And this refusal to look at only ends or means is one of the first reasons why the virtue ethics are inherently conservative—conservatives by nature see the whole.

Now let’s look at the virtues themselves.

Yes, Aristotle listed a lot of other virtues,

Sense of Shame

Pride

Wit

Proper Ambition

Truthfulness

Righteous Indignation

Generosity

Friendliness

Magnificence

Good Temper

But all of these are natural extensions of the other seven.  So let’s go over them and show why they are at the heart of conservatism.

In the order which most highlights the political aspects.

Cardinal Virtues
Justice.  Conservatives believe in the concept of Justice, that people should be rewarded and/or punished by what they deserve.  Merit.  Earning.  The basis of meritocracy of free market capitalism.  This is of course opposed to the liberal obsession with fair. It’s not fair.  Things should be fair.  Life’s not fair.  And of course whereas Justice requires the equality of opportunity and equality before the law, liberals want the equality of fairness where everyone has equal results.

Prudence.  While a highly complex concept that the word prudence doesn’t quite convey the complexity for the classical concept, it might be best defined as the knowledge of what should be valued.  With Prudence comes the understanding that the only truly valuable thing is Happiness (again I’m using the classical definition of a life lived well) and to value all the subordinate good that are required for Happiness.  This includes liberty, because Happiness cannot be achieved without free will, actual achievement.  Liberalism values material things and sees no higher point to life other than living, social conservatives only value society and some perverted view of God and not the individual or their happiness

Temperance.  Often mistaken for moderation, Temperance is taking the knowledge of what to value from Prudence, and deciding how much you should value it, at what time, in what place and in what manner.  In very simple terms this is the pragmatism of what works so clearly Keynesian economic and the libertarian desire to wipe everything out in one fell swoop without letting society adjust are right out.

Fortitude.  Again often misunderstood to just be courage, it is more tied into the previous three virtues as the will to do what you know to be right.  This throws out RINOs who stand for nothing, and worst of all the politically apathetic who seem to feel that there is no value in anything and nothing worth fighting for.

For purposes here, I am going to take Faith and Hope together because this is the primary difference between paleo and neoconservatives.  Paleoconservatives with their isolationist ways at their core are only looking out for themselves (clearly also lacking in that last virtue) but this is also because they do not have any faith in humanity or hope in the inevitability that republicanism and capitalism will spread to everyone.

Love, the last of the theological virtues and what must be required for all stable society. It is the belief that other humans have value and worth, and must be respected and helped when possible. This is actually the basis for capitalism, democratic-republics, friendship and all progress.  The belief that human beings are worth it (it’s a belief you don’t find in many political beliefs).

I have no doubt that I will come back to this theme over and over…but it has become clear to me that one or all of these virtues is missing in every political philosophy other than true conservatism.

(This will be the first post in an ongoing series on these virtues.)

*Not that all libertarians are this bad, but you have to admit there is a disturbing high number of single issue voters in your party…and their single issue is one that is really dumb. Of course Republicans have social conservatives who are just as stupid.

**I’m just going to gloss over these for now, don’t worry I’ll eventually have numerous blogs dedicated to this now that I’ve figured this out.

 

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Filed under Aristotle, Capitalism, character, Conservative, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Foreign Policy, Founding, Free Will, Individualism, Natural Rights, NeoConservative, Patriotism, philosophy, politics, Purpose of Life, Sword of Truth, virtue

The Most Patriotic Movies Ever!

Flag of the United StatesSo last year I pointed out that we needed not just the holidays of Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day but a whole season of patriotism from late May to early July, a month that reminds us that this is the greatest nation on Earth because of our ideals and we need to remember that.  And given that we should all recognize the important nature popular culture in getting people to come over to our side, here is the list of last years most patriotic films.

Hope you enjoy this season from Memorial Day to Independence Day.

A Season of Patriotism

The Greatest Films of American Patriotism: Overview and Honorable Mentions

Most Patriotic Movies #29: Movies that are stand-ins for American Patriotism

 #28: Stripes

 #27: Iron Man 2

 #26: The films of Michael Bay

 #25: Born Yesterday (1993)

 #24: 24

#23: Lifeboat

#22: Field of Dreams

#21 An American Tail

#20 The Hunt for Red October

#19 Star Trek—The Original Series: The Omega Glory

#18 A Few Good Men

#17 National Treasure

 #16 Glory

 Tie for #14 Air Force One

Tie for #14 The Outlaw Josey Wales

 #13 Red Dawn  plus some good commentary on the new one Red Dawn, 2012

#12 Cinderella Man

#11 To Kill A Mockingbird

#10 How the West Was Won

 #9 Casablanca

 #8 Yankee Doodle Dandy

 #7 –1776

 #6 The Movies of John Wayne

#5 Independence Day

#4 The Postman

 # 3 Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

Greatest Patriotic Films of All Time #2: John Adams

The Most Patriotic Film Ever: State of the Union

And some good news for the Man of Steel there was that that great line of patriotism running through the Dark Knight Movies

And a reminder why this is still, has always been, and will likely always be the greatest nation on Earth

The Greatest Nation On Earth…

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Filed under American Exceptionalism, Evils of Liberalism, Founding, Government is useless, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Natural Rights, NeoConservative, Patriotism, politics

The Short-Term-Thinking Ideas of Liberals on Foreign Policy

Red Eye is the one of the greatest TV shows ever.  It is fun, witty, bizarre, informative in spite of itself, and a place where you will hear commentators be bluntly honest where in other formats they would be more reserved.  And then there is Bill Schulz, Bill is the liberal on Red Eye…most of the time he plays just a coked out hobo spouting idiocy…but sometimes he’ll tell you what he really thinks, and that’s when his spiel turns from funny to just plain stupid.  But it’s not that the real Schulz is particularly below average…in fact, I think his honest moments show us the level of idiocy of your average liberal (and probably some of your dumber libertarians*) on foreign policy.  So to give you an idea of how little your average liberal knows, let’s look at some comments made by Red Eye’s liberal voice.

So let’s start with a discussion about his opinion about Obama’s term in office so far.

Amb. John Bolton: And significantly in the days of the IRA terrorism, Britain was led by Margaret Thatcher—we’re led by Barack Obama.

BS: Who has got a really good record so far.

Bolton: Five dead in Massachusetts .  And four Americans in Benghazi.  All unanswered at this point. That’s the signal to the terrorists that it’s open season.

BS: I think so far that’s a great record.  You don’t want anyone dead, but those are the realities of our war on terrorism.  I thought he’s done a great job defending this country so far.  I have never understood that argument.

Bolton: The question is stability in the Middle East where the Arab Spring has turned badly wrong.  The loss of influence in Iraq.

BS: How is that his fault?

Bolton: Because of the policies he’s pursued.  The withdrawal from Iraq, the withdrawal from Afghanistan. And the unwillingness to take on the war on terror.  The unwillingness to go after countries like Iran and North Korea who are pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

BS: I think if you ask most Americans they’re going to say I want out of Iraq.  I want out of Afghanistan.  And I don’t see what the negative repercussions will be.

Red Eye April 23rd

So so many stupid statements in such a short period of time.  Let’s deal with the last statement first.  That because people wanted out of Iraq then it’s a good thing.  Leadership is not about doing what the people want.  Leadership is about doing what is best for the nation in the long run. If those happen to match up, great.  But when they diverge leaders do the unpopular thing, they will try to convince the nation that it is the best thing, but if they can’t they will still expend all their political capital and even commit political suicide to do what is important and right .  But just doing what is popular is the base and cowardly move of hacks.  And to praise that is idiocy that only liberals can embrace.  It doesn’t matter if everyone thinks a course of action is wrong, if you believe it to be right and it is your job to set policy you do what you believe to be right.  Now there may be compromises here and there to ensure the most good comes about depending on the limitations of your power, but overall you do not care about what is popular if you are a leader.

But then let’s deal with the truly idiotic statement of “And I don’t see what the negative repercussions will be.”  Which pretty much sums up the rest of his comments and shows the differences between liberals and their opponents.  Liberals are too stupid to see any long term consequences.  They think only in the emotional moment.  Libertarians and conservatives on the other hand both consider the long term perspectives—where they differ is Libertarians focus on the consequences of action and conservatives point out that the consequences of inaction outweigh the negative effects of action.**

So let’s look over some of Obama’s foreign policy moves.

Iraq: Bush was an idiot who didn’t have a plan on how to rebuild Iraq.  But if I can lay into Bush for being short sighted, Obama was worse.  First off, did he do any of the right things and begin to rebuild Iraq?  Nope he left, and left it to crumble.  Yeah there are still US soldiers there (so if anyone tells you he ended the war in Iraq, they’re either lying or they’re dumb) but there are not enough there to do anything substantive…only enough there to get killed.  Great plan Barry.

Then he did something even more short sighted.  You don’t have to be terribly bright to realize that the Middle East is going to take up a large portion of foreign policy for a while.  Part of the reason to go into Iraq was not only to stop a dictator (something we should have done in the  early 90’s) and to stop support for terrorist networks…but one of the major reaons, long-term reasons, (besides stability, but you’d need a plan for that) was to establish a base from which we would be centrally located in the Middle East and thus have more effective influence on the entire area.  Right now our only major staging grounds (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel) are kind of on the periphery of the Middle East.

So thinking short term Obama not only doomed the nation to chaos again but he also blew one of the most important long term goals of the war.  Also since problems you don’t fix always tend to come back, don’t be surprised to see that this is not the last of major US troop deployments in Iraq in your lifetime.

time.afghan

Even the liberals at time seem to have an understanding of exactly what will happen if we leave the Taliban in charge.

Afghanistan:  Initially I thought this might not be a complete cluster.  We were burning more poppy fields than under Bush, and the initial stories of the uptick in drone warfare were hopeful.  But then we found out drones weren’t being used to take out high value targets we couldn’t easily get to, they were being used without any concern.  No one was being captured, no one was being interrogated.  You run a war as much on intel as you do on manpower….yes you can perhaps keep the problem at bay by an unrelenting drone war, but that is like sandbagging a river that shows no sign of stopping its flooding, the minute you stop sandbagging the flood will break, the second you stop the drones the flood will break (keep in burned with acidmind Obama was planning on putting strict rules on how to use drones should Romney have won).  And then you will have no drone and no intel to work with.  Whoever takes over from Obama will have their hands tied on both fronts.  And not only that…we’ve been in negotiations with the Taliban.  That’s right we want to make peace with the people who throw acid in women’s faces for not wearing a burka and who shoot little girls in the head.  I want you to take a look at these pictures.  Those are the people Obama has tried to negotiate a peace with.  Take a long look.  You cannot, you must not negotiate with things that can do that to the innocent. The collateral damage of war is one thing, the intentional mutilation of innocent is another, and any society that can coexist with people who do this as typical means to get what they want has no right to call itself civilized.  And to negotiate with butchers like that sends a very clear message that America does not stand for ethics, values nothing but her own whims, and will tolerate any evil so long as it does not bother us.

Iran: Besides leaking information about the virus we planted in Iranian computers and probably leaking information of Israeli plans to attack to ensure everyone in Iran was safe.  But while general incompetence abounds in not seeming to realize psychotically crazy religious people with nuclear weapons is a bad thing (and I would like here to thank Bush for blowing all his political capital by not having a plan, thus not being able to deal with this before moron boy took over) it takes a special kind of stupid to consistently back the wrong horse.   In Iran that would be the uprising in 2009 where (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/15/iran-elections-protests-mousavi-attacks)  the people of Iran rose up against the government run by the Ayatollah…and the US did nothing.  Now you can argue to me all day long about how we couldn’t do much…but please consider that in the light of running guns to Al Qaeda backed rebels in Lybia and Syria…to using US intel to help these groups allied with our enemies…to giving money and weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt…during the pro democracy, true pro democracy uprising in Iran, we did nothing.  No word of encouragement.  No behind the scenes support, not even running our jets and ships dangerously close to their border to remind them we are watching.  NOTHING.  When it is a real battle between tyranny and liberty, this worthless pieces of scum did nothing.  I can’t promise that there was any way for this uprising to succeed, there probably wasn’t, but because we did nothing we made it very clear to every real desire for liberty in the world that we will not back you.

Israel: Obama has made it clear time and again he will not defend the democracy of Israel, going so far as to compromise the safety of Israeli intelligence officers so he could appear like the leader he is not (notice also they haven’t gone after this and like leaks that they thought made them look good…but leaks that made them look bad hell they’ll bug the AP, call reporters criminals for reporting, and god knows what else in the days to come.

In each and every dealing with Israel Obama leaves no doubt that support for Israel will be tepid at best, and nonexistent at worst, only encouraging further buildup and, God forbid, aggression.

Arab Spring: So while the pro-democracy protests of Iran were left to die, the pro tyranny, pro-Sharia, pro-Al Qaeda uprising of the Arab Spring were praised, supported, encouraged, armed, supplied, and even given money after their reigns are in place.  I wonder if the long term consequences of this will be five countries supporting terrorism where we had just gone through so much in Iraq to get rid of one.  Again I feel the long term effects of this will be less liberty and more terror.

I could go on, but in every single move the Obama administration has taken it has set long term advantages for the very people who want to destroy liberty and held back the long term strength of those who defend it. Don’t believe me on the weakening of our side, well then I would suggest you take a look at the latest lawsuit against Obama by the families of some of the dead members of SEAL Team 6…they’re not happy.

(yes the video of the press conference is very long, you may want to come back later and watch it because it’s worth it…though infuriating).

But back to Bill Schulz, it’s not a one night occurrence.  Try this recent debate with former CIA Agent Mike Baker on the May 1st show.

BS:The congress thing is true.  When he ran in 2008 it was not a Republican led Congress.  It is now.  There is no way he can get this to happen.  You guys can complain about that but that’s the fact.

Mike Baker: You know why he’s not closing Gitmo.

BS: Because Congress won’t let him.

Baker: Bush spent several years doing what Obama found out is almost impossible to do.  Get someone to take these people.

BS: Well Yemen wants 90 of them why won’t we give them to them.

So Bill’s genius idea is to send them to a nation where terrorists are numerous and partly in control.  Can’t see the possibility of a jail break at all, can you?

Baker: The best way to end this prison let them die from the hunger strike.

BS: A lot of them have never been tried for anything and we don’t know if they’ve done anything.  I don’t necessarily know if that’ s a great idea.

This is the face of "You can't possibly be that stupid." brought to you by Mike Baker.

This is the face of “You can’t possibly be that stupid.” brought to you by Mike Baker.

Baker: I’m sorry what.

BS: None of them have been tried for anything and we’ve already released a bunch that were innocent.

Baker: We just randomly picked these guys up and threw them in there?

BS: A lot of people have admitted that we’ve done just that.  A guy working under Cheney said just that.

Greg Gutfeld: I think Baker’s going to kill you .

BS: No but isn’t that true?

I’ll agree Gitmo isn’t perfectly simplistic and that we probably did pick up a few innocent people (there is a reason we have the term “the fog of war”)…but the way Schulz is portraying it (especially if you watch the recording) is that everyone down in Cuba was just minding their own business and the US military randomly picked them up off the street (hence Baker’s face)…also the guy Schulz is likely referring to, Lawrence Wilkerson, who was on Colin Powell’s staff (yeah real conservative credentials there) is also on the record that we made up all the evidence against Saddam and he never had any WMD programs…which in light of the fact that we had to ship 500 ton of yellow cake uranium out of Iraq (according to CNN).  Also Wilkerson currently makes a living as a pundit who goes on left wing shows and says that the GOP is nothing but a bunch of racists.  Given that he’s clearly a liar (or too stupid to understand what 500 tons of uranium is) and he hates the party he supposedly is from (thought I doubt) his statements about us taking the innocent and shipping them to Gitmo so one finds that his statements may be more motivated by leftist ideology than those pesky things known as facts, which makes most of his points as being the kind you should take with a grain of salt.

Yes military tribunals would be nice…but Schulz in his hypocrisy has forgotten about the constant blocks from liberals who wanted to give them every single civil liberty of US citizens and all protections of the Geneva Conventions (this ignores that little point that the Geneva Convention only applies to those in uniform, and the uniform clause was put in there specifically to prevent the major kind of terrorism that these terrorists were engaged in.  The Geneva Convention wanted to set rules that you will fight in certain ways, or we will not guarantee your safety in the least and you’re on your own.  To offer this scum those protections only encourages the kind of behavior you don’t want to encourage…but there again we go back to Obama and other leftist). And their lack of understanding of all rules and regulaions, laws, constitution, etc.

And an earlier part of the conversation dealt with the foolish idea that Gitmo is something that makes us enemies…yeah cause our drone attacks are making us so many friends (I don’t buy into the pacifist BS that the drones do nothing but kill innocent children, I’m an adult and realize there is such a thing as unintended collateral damage…but on the same token Barry is rather haphazard in his use of drones and doesn’t seem to care about doing the normal thing and trying to limit collateral damage where possible).  But back to creating enemies. It’s not creating more enemies.  Religious psychopaths tend to hate whether they have a reason to or not.  Note they hated us before the first Gulf War, they hated us before the Shah was put into power, the Mufti of Jerusalem was conspiring with Hitler on how to kill all the Jew in the 1930’s before there was a major Western presence, they have waged endless and constant war on the west since, well, their founding. When you found a religion on an act of genocide (the killing of the Jews of Medina) the after effects tend to be people who find enemies whether you give them a reason or not.  If we pulled out every Western base from the Middle East tomorrow AND moved all of Israel here to America…I’d lay down my entire net worth on a bet that would say they would still be calling for death to the Great Satan.  We’re not making enemies by our actions, an ideology that hates reason is going to find any example of it as an enemy.

The fact of the matter is that no sane person thinks the people in Gitmo are a bunch of saints.  The fact of the matter is that liberals only care about what’s popular now and doing what they want now with no concern for long term.

Yeah Bush botched the job at rebuilding…probably because he wasn’t a real neoconservative (go back to the Bush/Gore debates, you will hear him say he doesn’t believe in nation building), it’s just that like his liberal sensibilities he did the only thing that made sense in the short term.  The fact of the matter is that we don’t have anyone in power right now in this nation who thinks long term, and we haven’t had one for a while (although we did blow the chance to have one very recently).  I’ve pulled out Bill Schulz  as the representative of liberal thought here, but you hear dumb shit like this all over the place, not just on the token liberal of one show, and it is an ideology of short term thinking that will always lead to problems.

*Honestly, libertarians, why are you letting your party get taken over by the whiny anti-war crowd. You used to be Ayn Rand and Barry Goldwater types who encouraged destroying tyranny.  What happened?

**Libertarians may dispute the idea that they don’t see as far into the future as conservatives, but history backs up neoconservatives on this point in terms of foreign policy

***Anyone who thinks George W. —Let me expand entitlements, give federal control of education, sign stimulus bills, not worry about Tort reform, Social Security reform, cutting any part of the government, do nothing about Fannie and Freddie –Bush was a fiscal conservative in any way, shape, or form is deluding themselves.  But he lowered taxes!  No he didn’t, conservatives know that a temporary tax reduction has no lasting effect on the economy, so even that move wasn’t conservative.   The man was conservative only in the part of “conservative” that is a gross misuse of the word and that the GOP needs to drop, let’s the use government to promote social values.

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Rand Paul at Heritage

I agree with Rand that we need more reason and less action without thought in our foreign policy.  I would agree with him that there is not long-term policy or nuance in our dealings with allies and enemies. I would agree we need to restore more power to the legislature and have less in the executive.

But I take a couple of points with him.  Yes, Reagan was far more clever than the last 2 decades of presidents, but Rand is a little off in his vision of Reagan.  Reagan’s tactics may have been far more intelligent, and Rand correctly points this out, but it is not accurate to describe Reagan’s strategy as one of containment.  Reagan’s intention wasn’t  “containing” the Soviet Union, his goal was the total destruction of the Soviet Union.  And he won.  “He won the Cold War without firing a shot,” as Thatcher pointed out. (Although we did bomb a lot of allies of the Soviet Union, even if we didn’t attack them directly). He drew a line in the sand and did not back down and this caused the Soviet system to panic, to overspend, to collapse much faster than it would have if the policies of Reagan’s predecessors had continued.  Senator Paul points to the fact that “The cold war ended because the engine of capitalism defeated the engine of socialism” but ignores that while socialism’s defeat by the laws of economics are guaranteed, capitalism’s defeat can easily come at the hand of military and political force (and 4 more years of Carter may actually have seen such a collapse).

He also conveniently forgets that sometimes in Reagan’s policy we had to deal with some terrible people to hold back even worse people.  Now I don’t really fault him for this, the ideals of policy speech should be above the need to sometimes get your hands dirty that actual policy requires, but it annoys me during the speech that he ignores how many freedom fighters we did arm, and how many deals with the devil we had to make to keep the worst evil at the time at bay.

Further he condemns nation building as not being our responsibility.  I will point to two situations.  We did not rebuild Germany after World War I.  We had to come back a little over 2 decades later.  We did not help rebuild Afghanistan after we helped them push the Soviets out.  We had to come back a little over a decade later.  There is a great scene at the end of the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, a quote from Wilson on our helping the nation fight for itself, and how we didn’t help them rebuild.  “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world…and then we fucked up the end game.”   If Rand Paul wants pragmatism then it is the fact that capitalism, rule of law, and classical liberal ideals must be supported, sometime monetarily.  The fact is that if we had supported these nation after they were destroyed it is far less likely they would have fallen to tyranny again as quickly (Hitler only won about 40% of the vote, if the nation had been more stable would he have even won that?…Afghanistan was Westernizing before the Soviet invasion and was not a fruitful ground for extremism, would it have bred the Taliban if we had helped it recover after the Soviets left?).  When you don’t deal with problems before they become problem you have expensive problems that are almost impossible to solve.

Yes the last 20 years of foreign policy have been conducted haphazardly with no end game in mind at best, and simply idiotically at worst.  There has been no ability to adapt, no oversight of the stupidity, and little rational debate.  And I agree with Rand that we need more of that.  And yes we shouldn’t be doing anything if we don’t have the money or time to do it (like now).

But the word containment is wrong.  If you go in just wanting to stop the spread of something you will always lose.  The goal needs to be the spread of democratic-Republics, the spread of capitalism, the spread of liberty.  Certainly not in such a slipshod helter-skelter way that non-interventionist Bush (who only turned to Neoconservatism on 9-11 because it was the only thing that made sense, but without understanding it to be long-term, possibly generational idea, not a quick two term fix) and drone happy Obama have done it.

The long-term goal cannot be containment.  It has to be to win, or it will always result in loss.  Reagan understood this, I wish I could say that Rand Paul understood this, but while I’ll certainly take Rand over Obama, Bush, or anyone currently in control of foreign policy, I’m not sure he has Reagan’s understanding yet.

“We win.  They lose.”–Ronald Reagan

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Filed under Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is useless, NeoConservative, Patriotism, politics, Ronald Reagan

Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part II

So as I explained in the last part there are reasons that we can’t beat Obama at his game right now.  His data mine is geared to categorizing people by demographics of gender and race, things that can’t be changed, and then he plays to these groups based on promising them things (the fact that his gifts really hurt most of these groups in the long run is only secondary).

So how do we win?

Well first let’s take a look at a few things.

When you compare the 2008 numbers to the 2012* numbers you find that Romney beat McCain’s total numbers and he did much better than McCain in 32 states (possibly more as some states still haven’t certified).  The three states that saw the biggest loss in GOP numbers were New Jersey, New York (and Sandy might be partially to blame for those two) and California—all three liberal bastions where conservatives may have seen no reason to come out.

Obama did worse in all but 4 states.  (Again, maybe a couple more when the counting is done, but it’s still pathetic).

The next thing to look at is that Romney did better with almost every group (except Latinos) than McCain, including young African Americans (which offers hope that this voting block is beginning to realize they’re being used and exploited).

So we’re making headway anyway.

But we can’t rest on that for obvious reasons.

So what I see are the larger things that we, as individuals, may not have a lot of control over…and the smaller things we can do.

Let’s start with the larger stuff.

Now as the great Dirty Sex & Politics points out we do need to rebrand ourselves. 

And as many of the right have pointed out we need conservative media and conservative politicians to confront the liberal propaganda and spin even more.

And we also need to learn to not fall into all these stupid traps liberals set.

Now this last one is probably the easiest.  Most of the liberal traps deal with social issues (The libertarians did 600,000 voters better in 2012 than 2008, now, granted that’s a lot of anti-war liberal cowards, but it’s still something we can try and poach).  So everyone needs to remember this line and pass it on when it comes to any social policy at the federal level:

“I do not support that personally, but I am a conservative which means I support limited federal government and the Tenth Amendment.   While I don’t support that issue personally, it is not the place of the federal government to pick a side one way or the other, that is for individual states to decide and I will stop any attempt by the federal government to intrude on this issue.

And on issues where this can’t help but involve federal issues, the federal government must follow what the majority of the states are doing at the time. “

There you can be against drugs, gay marriage, abortion…but since we believe in the 10th Amendment we don’t think it’s the role of the federal government and will not do anything where the states chose in a way that contradicts our beliefs.  Social conservatives, this still allows you to not betray any of your values, but it also upholds your values of state’s rights…oh and it will allow us to win more elections.

You might want to tell me I’m wrong on this, but look at these exit poll numbers.

Blanket opposition to abortion isn’t going to win.  Ever again.  Now making it a state’s rights issue can win and you can prevent your tax dollars from funding anything…but just a blanket opposition is stupid.  The majority support abortion, the exit polls numbers and Gallup confirm this.

We need Voter ID laws in every state.  Better checks to make sure we don’t have false registrations (and Draconian punishments for turning in false registrations or “losing” the registrations of people aren’t for the party you like).  We need laws to clear the voter rolls every 2 to 4 years.  We need to dump these voting machines which seem to be a little too prone to leftist cheating and go back to paper ballots.  And we need laws ensuring that military will be counted no matter what.

Now really long term I would love it if we could get a lot of blue states to split their electoral votes, but that’s a pipe dream.  And really long term I think we need to look into overturning the 26th Amendment.  Yes, it seemed all nice and fuzzy and right to give 18 year olds the vote when we had the draft…but honestly, have you met most 18 year olds?  I mean we don’t trust these idiots with alcohol or rental cars…but we trust them with the future of the nation?  Yeah there are exceptions, and I’m more than willing to say anyone who has served or is serving their nation has the right to vote…but honestly, I think we need to move the age up to 30.  I mean just look at these numbers.  People under 30 are statistically idiots.

And of course we need the GOP to put some money into voter turn out at all levels, not just relying on the Presidential candidate to do it…which seemed to be their really dumb move this year.

Finally, the conservatives in power need to hold the line.

That means that the debt ceiling does not get raised (unless maybe we adopt the Ryan budget and overturn Obamacare).

That means we don’t make compromises unless we get something we really want or it gets us halfway to our goals….

…oh so you want to raise taxes on the rich.  And we want to get rid of loopholes and lower those taxes. We’ll meet you halfway and get rid of all loopholes for those making over $250K. (That way we just have to worry about lowering the rate when we get in).

…oh you want big public work programs and amnesty for all the illegal immigrants (oh I’m sorry we can’t use that term anymore, migrant felons)…okay then we want real immigration reform in exchange for amnesty and we’ll let you have a big public works project building a big damn wall on the southern border.

You know compromises like that.

As for the sequestration…I’m not that concerned about it honestly.  Yes it will cut military spending, and in the short run this is problematic.  But honestly the smaller military that this dimwit has at his disposal, that’s probably for the best.

These simple things will help us stay true to our values but make us more likely to win, reduce the liberal chance to cheat, and get us what we actually want.

This needs to be the plan the GOP holds to because it is the plan that will work.

But what can we do as individuals?  I’ll deal with that in the third part.

*I’m going to spare you the chart with all the state by state numbers unless anyone asks for it.

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Obama’s abysmal attempt to look like he understands foreign policy

So as we approach this last debate Obama is beyond desperate…he’s to the point where he is just making his ignorance his only argument.

Namely Obama’s latest ad makes 5 really stupid claims.

1. The first is that Romney got his facts wrong about Obama not calling Benghazi a terrorist attack.  Obama didn’t call it a terrorist attack, his people went on a major cover up to hide his incompetence.  They kept saying it was about a video…if you believe that please contact me I have some lovely bridges to sell at rock bottom rates.  Meanwhile here is a link to a lot of videos that show the cover up…also I have video of Candy Crowley admitting that Romney was right and Obama is a liar. 
So what are they covering up?  Oh just that they knew there was a riot going on at the time.

Just that they had a predator drone over Benghazi that could have done something to stop the attack and save our people.

 

That Ambassador Stevens constantly requested security time and time again.  Including just 2 hours before his death.

  Along with the military advising to not pull down security in Benghazi.  

 

Also you have the Libyan PM saying it was a terrorist attack and a bunch of other people.

That the CIA told them within 24 hours that it was Al-Qaeda so there is no excuse whatsoever for the two weeks of lies.

 

So why this massive set of lies, cover ups, and leaving our own people to be murdered?  Because if you admitted the truth that Al-Qaeda is stronger than ever you have to admit that Obama’s triple plan of groveling, drone strikes that yield no actionable intelligence, and killing Bin Laden did nothing, less than nothing actually and Obama is a miserable failure on the terrorist front.

…oh…by the way…it appears that the latest scandal is that Obama didn’t even order the Bin Laden raid…Obama, or more accurately Valerie Jarett who seems to be the one who wears the pants in the Oval Office, kept calling it off…so the military and CIA just did it themselves and only told Barry after SEAL Team 6 was already in Pakistani airspace and couldn’t turn back.  God bless the United States Armed and Intelligence Service…and the opposite to that worthless excuse of a president. 

 

Oh on a related topic, when Barry says he ended the war in Iraq, I would like someone to remind him we still have lots of soldiers in Iraq fighting terrorists. And dying.

2. Obama claims Romney has undermined our relationship with Britain because of his comment about worries about Olympic security…you know the same worries everyone in Britain had.

As opposed to Obama’s reprehensible treatment of Israel which borderlines anti-Semitic.

As opposed to giving the British PM DVD’s as present.  Ignoring the tackiness of giving DVD’s, he gave DVD’s that only work in the U.S.

Or returning the bust of Churchill, which is an absolute insult to the British.

Or his lack of knowledge about etiquette during a toast to the British Queen.

Perhaps his deferential treatment to terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Or how about back-stabbing Poland and breaking a treaty with them for missile defense.

Obama has pissed off all of our allies.  Romney has good relations with Britain, Poland and Israel.  Remind me again who is less qualified in foreign policy.

3. The ad then tried to hit Romney because he said as foreign policy issues come up he will consult experts for each area of the world.  Heaven forbid! Romney will seek out the advice of experts.  Truly the acts of a terrible leader.

Unlike Obama who consults Valerie and no one else.  I mean this is Obama, he knows so much he doesn’t need to ever consult his jobs council, or his economic council…and let us remember Obama is such a great leader he never needs to attend his daily security briefing.  Obama is just so great he doesn’t need to seek advice from anyone…and that seems to be working just horrifically.

Good leaders seek advice…they make their own choices, but they surround themselves with people who offer informed advice…meanwhile Obama surrounds himself with pretty much the same kind of people who were telling Mao that everything was working and going great and the people were happy and prosperous.  (Election day is going to come as a complete shock to Barry.)

And trying to hit someone for saying they would seek advice just seems beyond pathetic.  Oh, this is the Obama administration.  They have created whole new levels of beyond pathetic.

4. They of course claim that Romney and his advisors are war mongers (because Obama’s done such a bang up job to achieve security…see point 1).

From ancient Rome to Sun Tzu to Ronald Reagan there has always been the knowledge that if you want peace you prepare for war because nothing acts like a deterrent to war like being the kind of people you don’t want to attack.

But to make Romney sound like war monger both in this ad, and in various other articles I’ve seen they try to compare Romney to that evil Neocon Bush.  This is stupid as Bush wasn’t a NeoCon, he was a foreign policy wimp and idiot, just like daddy.  Yes Bush had a brief flirtation with Neoconservatism after 9/11 when it was clear to even idiots like Bush that Neoconservatism is the only policy that works…but he soon fell back on idiocy.   A Neoconservative believes in building democracies…not just invading and thinking a democracy will just magically spring up.

Yes Romney has a lot of Neoconservative advisors…advisors that Bush ignored.  Ones that say if you have to invade, oh, have a plan for rebuilding the nation.  Minor stuff like that.

And let’s keep in mind it was Obama, not Romney or Bush, who did nothing for the last four years while Iran built up a nuclear program.  It was Obama who did nothing when the pro-Democracy protestors in Iran were slaughtered.  It was Obama who supported the pro-Islamist Arab Spring.  It was Obama who did nothing about Syrian genocide.*  It was Obama that has never spoken out against the violence against women and children by Muslim Brotherhood, and pretry much all of Islam.  See 14 year old girl in Pakistand that just wanted an education – truly evil – I am still blistering from his speech against them about that – Oh wait – no he never said a word.

No one wants war. But there are things worse than war—tyranny and genocide for instance.  And the person who is really committed to peace and against war, does everything in their power to make sure the causes of  (tyranny, genocide, weapons of mass destruction) things and does build up and prepare.  Obama seems to have done everything he can, short of assassinating little known Austrian nobility, to ensure the world is unstable.

Remind me who is pushing us to war?

Oh and before you bring up that BS story that Iran wants to talk now (you know only a few weeks before the election) right when Obama most needs a foreign policy victory…do you think maybe it’s because Iran wants a weak president in the Oval Office who will do nothing to stop them from wiping Israel off the face of the Earth?

(Okay that’s unfair.  Obama won’t do “nothing” when Israel is destroyed.  He’ll probably cheer.)

5. Not knowing who the enemy is.

Then of course they try to make fun of Romney saying that Russia is our chief adversary is stupid.  You know that country

Is there anyone he doesn’t grovel to…oh year, democracy and non-tyrannical nations.

Obama want to be more “flexible” with…like FDR was flexible with Stalin…

You know Russia which is in good with our enemies in Syria and Pakistan.

Russia which is supporting Iran.

Russia which is in a new alliance with China (and they’re such a friendly, human rights respecting bunch)

Russia controlled by dictator Vladimir Putin (if you think he won an honest election, boy are you stupid) who locks up anyone who disagrees with him.

Russia which is trying to become friends with all those Islamist countries.

Russia that just bought the election in Georgia.

Russia which has been poisoning foreign leaders it doesn’t like.

Russia which is selling aircraft carriers to China so they can expand their sphere of influence. 

Russia which is right now doing tests of its nuclear arsenal. 

Yeah that Russia which any foreign policy expert with half a brain knows Russia is really missing its former glory and wants it back (the Obama video tries to show Romney for being an idiot by quoting Colin Powell…who advised which idiot?  Oh that’s right.  Powell the genius who backed invading countries when we had no plan on how to rebuild them).   Will they fail eventually?  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean they won’t slaughter scores if someone isn’t there to stop them.

 

———-

 

The fact is that Romney plans a foreign policy of actually knowing something and developing of strong alliances, actually backing our allies, showing strength, and backing up our values with action if needs be. You know, the policy which saves lives in the long run  and expands freedom….unlike Obama’s policy of groveling, cowardice, Chamerlain-esque appeasement,  and cutting the military in a way that Obama’s Secretary of Defense called “shooting ourselves in the head”.

With support from dictators like that, how could you possibly be opposed to Obama?

*By the way, where did Syria get a weapons program from.  I can find nothing about a Syrian weapons program from any source until everyone was worried that their biological and chemical weapons would fall into the hands of terrorists.  It’s as if this weapons program just appeared out of nowhere…I mean it’s not like someone drove a massive amount of chemical and biological weapons into Syria from neighboring Iraq right before the invas–…oh, so that’s where they went.

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The Conservative New Ager and The Snark Who Hunts Back Review The Dark Knight Rises: A Tale of Heroes, Politics and Death

This last week we (The Snark Who Hunts Back and The Conservative New Ager) went to go see The Dark Knight Rises together for the second time (the first being a trilogy marathon on opening night). We delayed writing a blog then because it became obvious there was so much we would have to see it again to fully appreciate the depth…and even on a second viewing we realized there is more than a single blog here.

But let’s get the overture out of the way. The final piece of this spectacular trilogy, like almost all of director Christopher Nolan’s recent work is thematically based off a work of literature…A Tale of Two Cities, in the case of The Dark Knight Rises. And while it might be hard to find the undercurrents of Othello in The Dark Knight, Faust in The Prestige, or Zorro in Batman Begins (which for symmetry should be renamed The Dark Knight Begins).

But it’s not just literary, it’s political…or at least it appears to be. The Dark Knight seemed pretty obviously a defense of the War on Terror, and The Dark Knight Rises seems a pretty striking assault on the morals of leftist economics. Now Nolan claims that his works aren’t political (a common defense by those who want to survive in a hostile political environment) and Occupy Wall Street thugs think they’re really smart in pointing out that the movie was written before OWS so it can’t be about them (this poor argument ignores that their rhetoric of evil has been spouted by the left quite vehemently in the last few years and also they clearly are so ignorant of the history of their own ideas that they don’t know their filth was spouted by demagogues in ancient Athens, and shown to be stupid then…so just because Nolan didn’t know about OWS doesn’t mean he wasn’t responding to the evil)…and even if Nolan is telling the truth that he didn’t intend it to a political statement (which I doubt) it works too well as one not to make some comments about the philosophy of the work.

Now ignoring the message of the trilogy taken as a whole (that’s another blog for another time) we think there are three main philosophical statements to this film: The nature of heroism, the politics of progressivism, envy and “social justice”, and the fear of death.

The Nature of the Hero

“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat over a little boy’s shoulder to let him know the world hadn’t ended.”

One of the more unbelievable complaints I’ve heard about The Dark Knight Rises was that it made it look like the common man can’t do anything for themselves, that they need the rich to save them. Never mind the fact that, by the end, Bruce Wayne barely had a cent to his name or that his money certainly didn’t help him climb out of the pit. We would just want to know if the person who made the complaint was even watching the same movie that we saw with our friends.

Not long after Bruce Wayne loses all his money, due to Bane’s attack on the stock exchange, he has a conversation with John Blake, a police officer who knows Wayne’s identity as Batman. Wayne tells Blake that the whole point of Batman was that he could be anyone, Batman was meant to be an inspiration to the people of Gotham, something that is repeated in both of the previous movies.

In Batman Begins Bruce Wayne tell Alfred:

“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy. And I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man I’m just flesh and blood, I can be ignored, destroyed. But a symbol….as a symbol I can be incorruptible, everlasting…..”

In The Dark Knight, the Joker asks the fake Batman, Brian what batman means to him. Brian answers “He’s a symbol … that we don’t have to be afraid of scum like you”. And the whole point of Batman, as we see come to fruition at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, was not to create a legion of caped crusaders, but an army of men like Harvey Dent (before his psychotic break) and Jim Gordon—a group of people willing to stand up for what is right.

But we digress. The point is what made the average person a hero in The Dark Knight Rises.

At no point did John Blake, Commissioner Gordon, or the other members of the resistance, sit down and go ‘well, I’m just a common person, I’m just going to wait for the government or Batman to come save us’ (except for the character of Foley, who was rightly called out for being a coward). They worked tirelessly to find a way out on their own, they realized they were on their own the moment Bane took over the city and began to look for ways to free the city’s police force from the sewers.

When Batman did come back, in an a miraculous 11th hour miracle, they didn’t wait for him to clean up the mess. The police banded together and marched on Bane’s army, many of them dying in the fighting to save their city.

Selina Kyle, despite telling Batman that she was leaving the city as soon as she destroyed the debris blocking the tunnel, turned around and risked her life to fight for the city and to save Batman’s life.

Lucius Fox risked death and drowning , trying to find a way to stop the nuclear bomb from detonating.

Even Ra’s al Ghul (don’t you hate it when you agree with the words, if not the actions, of a villain?) says, during Bruce’s training, “The training is nothing! The will is everything! The will to act.”

The heroes who kept Gotham alive while Batman fought his way out of the pit

Every one of these people, training or no, had the will to act. They were all willing to give everything for their city, for their freedom. What could possibly be more heroic than that?

Fancy toys, nice cars, and a cool suit will only get you so far if you don’t have the will to do what is necessary, even when what is necessary may end your life.

Heroism isn’t about money, toys, or good looks; it’s a state of mind and living life, not with no fear of death, but with a willingness to die to defend others and defend your beliefs.

You may not be a superhero, but anyone can be a hero. That’s what The Dark Knight Rises shows us about heroism.

Politics, Socialism and evils of envy

“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend, will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof shuts out the sky.'”—A Tale of Two Cities*

You would have to have been pretty dense not to get that this movie was thematically inspired by A Tale of Two Cities. Even Dickens, for all of his sickeningly naïve progressive rhetoric, had an inkling of the evil of the French Revolution. A quick review of history if it’s been too long since that high school history class. Louis XVI in response to economic woes and civil unrest had given the public everything they wanted: an assembly, power of due process of law, and abdicated much of the absolute power of the monarchy. And while many where happy with these changes, the ignorant rabble who were open to the rhetoric of the most extreme thought it wasn’t enough. They stormed the Bastille, arrested Louis and his wife (who if you actually study history was not the vapid slut a layman’s understand of history tries to depict her as), and placed power in the hands of radicals like Robespierre and Marat. The Terror, Madam Guillotine, rivers of blood, atrocities on a scale that wouldn’t be seen again in France until the Nazi’s allowed the French to revel in their anti-Semitism. (A similar pattern would be seen when the Russians replaced the Tsar with a democratic government…but soon got rid of that in favor of a psychotically evil government).

She learned to hate her “ideal” world quickly enough.

This history lesson is important because this is the same pattern Nolan shows in Gotham. For all of it’s corruption in the first two films, Gotham at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises was a city that had everything it wanted: Clean streets, an efficient police force (a city of 12 million with only 3,000 uniformed officers means an obscenely low crime rate), a healthy economy (the city could afford multiple simultaneous construction projects by Dagget, that means an incredibly good tax base, ergo strong economy…and football stadiums aren’t packed to the brim with every last seat filled during hard times), a mayor who has survived for over 8 years in office (usually a sign of prosperity) Even Selina Kyle’s words of decrying inequality ring hollow, he “old town” (suggestive of the gutter) apartment is hardly a shabby SRO or the slum heap of “the narrows” from the first film—and while in Batman Begins criminals could carry on with their nefarious dealings out in the open, or hide them in the vast slums, this is a Gotham where there are so few places to hide your activities you literally have skulk in the sewers (everywhere else is too bright and too well off to hide such activities)…Like the French they had everything they had asked for. And, like France, it took only a little fear and few mad men to stir the lowest rungs of society and bring about anarchy.
There are of course differences between A Tale of Two Cities and the Revolution it describes and the events of The Dark Knight Rises. The Bastille was stormed not to free prisoners (there were hardly any left in the Bastille by the time of the Revolution) but to gain weapons to take over the city. And even if you buy the myth of the Storming of the Bastille, the prisoners released from the Bastille were primarily political prisoners…not hardened thugs of organized crime. The fact that the Dent Law in The Dark Knight Rises was passed because there was a martyr to push through the law, does not change the fact that it, like all three-strikes laws and mandatory sentencing laws, are a particular point of hatred for the progressive who think it’s unfair that people who do evil and horrific things should, heaven forbid, be locked up where they can’t do any harm. But be it the Bastille and the release of a mere seven political prisoners or the opening of Blackgate Prison and letting a host of violent criminals go free, the result was ironically the same: The Terror.

The terror: a system where justice and trials are a mockery and the innocent are held as guilty for crimes they never committed…and where there is only one punishment: death. The terror, a system that provides so much that it makes everyone so equal that they are all starving and tearing at each other for daily sustenance (or like the Soviet Union or Gotham you could have food imported from the capitalistic society because you can’t produce any on your own). The terror: the utopia every half brained progressive idealist praises, only to lead to their own downfall.

In the real French Revolution the villain was Robespierre who used high rhetoric to justify rank thugery as a progressive march to fraternity and equality. In A Tale of Two Cities the villain was Madame De Farge, a woman so hell bent on avenging her family’s murders that she will see the whole world burn to get her pound of flesh. Nolan gives us both villains in the form of Bane and Talia al Ghul. Which of course leads us into the villainy of their perverse understanding of economics.

Let me spout the politics of envy and class warfare knowing it will only lead to your eventual destruction!

Before we get into showing how Nolan destroys the ideals of progressivism by showing what it brings, let’s dismiss one semi-intelligent objection: Bane and Talia don’t believe in progressivism, they’re trying to show how it is a failed system and how people must reject it. That’s not entirely an incorrect point…but what you need to also realize is that just because the villains may be a tool they don’t really believe in doesn’t mean that it isn’t showing the flaws of progressivism…and that just because they don’t believe in progressivism doesn’t mean they’re capitalist. Point in fact, the entire League of Shadows from Ra’s Al Ghul’s first words to Talia’s last is a world view based on feudalism and cronyism. The League believes it should be the one who decides who shall be successful and who shall fail. Bane says as much when he tells Wayne, “I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the sun.” You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny… We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.” As we stated above they rule through terror, not reason, not ethics, not law, justice—they dress their words up in the clothes of these higher ideals but their actions show them to be as hollow and lacking in substance on the inside as any scarecrow (especially if said Scarecrow sets himself up as the instrument of justice).

Politically speaking, there is much that is applicable to our current political situation in our country. Now, to be fair, I don’t believe that Christopher Nolan’s intent was to create a modern political allegory. This movie was written and being filmed long before the Occupy Wall Street movement, which shares many of the villains sentiments, began.

During the first few weeks of the Occupy movement we both remember having many conversations about the similarities between that movement and the early days of the French Revolution. Which is why the connection between The Dark Knight Rises and OWS comes so easily.

The views of Occupy Wall Street were shown almost perfectly in Bane’s and Catwoman’s words, as well as the actions of the people who jump at the chance to drag the rich out and punish them for their success.

Bane’s entire speech outside of Black Gate Prison is so reminiscent of something from a ‘mic check’ at Occupy Wall Street

“We take power from the corrupt, who, for generations, have kept you down with myths of…opportunity and we give it back to you, the people. Gotham is yours, none shall interfere, do as you please. We’ll start by storming Black Gate and freeing the oppressed…an army will be raised, the powerful will be ripped from their decadence and cast out into the cold where we all have endured, courts will be convened, spoils will be enjoyed…”

-Bane (apologies for mistakes, I was working from a VERY scratchy audio clip)

and for those of you who remember the scenes that accompanied the final lines of that speech, the violence is so similar to the rioting at Occupy Oakland that is was almost frightening, especially when you realize that this movie was written months before any of that every happened.

Selina Kyle (Catwoman) starts out with the same exact rhetoric as many an Occupy Wall Street supporter. In a conversation with Bruce Wayne she says “You think this is gonna last? There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches. ‘Cause when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large, and leave so little for the rest of us.”

Though after her betrayal of Batman she appears to change her tone in a way that OWS never did. Upon entering a home that had been ransacked after Bane’s Black Gate speech she comments on the fact that ‘this used to be someone’s home’ when she looks at a smashed family photo. Her friend says ‘now it’s everyone’s home.’ Kyle, unlike just about everyone in OWS who only has to look to the failure of the Soviet Union, the collapse of Greece or the repression of China and North Korea to know what a failed system socialism, when she saw what her ideals brought about very quickly had no problem seeing their evil and abandoning them.

The Dark Knight Rises shows what happens when give us capitalisms for anarchy or socialism. You have perversion of justice. You have to survive on the handouts and scraps provided to you. There is no growth. No prosperity. No civilization. Only blood and the terror.

Now on to a slightly more hilarious turn of events.

Shortly before the movie came out the Obama campaign (and liberals in general) noticed something they thought they could use as a brilliant attack against Romney.

Did you know that Romney had a business named Bain Capital?

Bain/Bane…get it?**

One of these guys is someone rich who could easily leave others to fend for themselves but doesn’t…the other is named Bane. Which one reminds you the most of the presidential challengert?

“It has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood,” said Democratic advisor and former Clinton aide Christopher Lehane. “Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society,” he added.

As the Friday release date has neared, liberal blogs were the first to connect Batman’s toughest foe with Romney’s firm.

– Christopher Lehane (via Washington Examiner)

Yeah, they actually did that.

Hilariously, when Rush Limbaugh dared to point out the name similarities, liberal bloggers thought he was being insane and completely ignored that their side was the one who made the comparison first.

Luckily conservatives had a fellow conservative Chuck Dixon, comic book creator, and coincidentally, the co-creator of the villain Bane, to smack some sense into liberals.

In an interview with ComicBook.com Dixon had this to say.

“The idea that there’s some kind of liberal agenda behind the use of Bane in the new movie is silly…I refuted this within hours of the article in the Washington Examiner suggesting that Bane would be tied to Bain Capital and Mitt Romney appearing. Bane was created by me and Graham Nolan and we are lifelong conservatives and as far from left-wing mouthpieces as you are likely to find in comics…As for his appearance in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is a force for evil and the destruction of the status quo. He’s far more akin to an Occupy Wall Street type if you’re looking to cast him politically. And if there ever was a Bruce Wayne running for the White House it would have to be Romney.”

-Chuck Dixon (Via ComicBook.com)

Romney is Bruce Wayne? That’s the best pseudo-endorsement I’ve heard all year. If I wasn’t voting for Romney before, I sure am now.

The Fear of Death

Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Bruce Wayne: Why?
Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there’s no one there to save it.
Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.
Bruce Wayne: How?
Blind Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.

Now on the Conservative New Ager we have a fairly low opinion of the fear of death. In numerous blogs it has been ridiculed as the foolish, childish, ignorant paralytic it is. However, it must be admitted, that in the rush of these blogs to point out that “Wise men at their end know [death] is right” and that it is nothing to be feared but merely a natural part of life, that the wise also “do not go gentle into that good night.”

Bruce Wayne doesn’t fear death for the first half of the movie, that is true. He is not hindered by the fears that he once was. The problem is that in this attempt to rid himself of fear he went too far and rid himself of the desire for life as well. While the movie only uses the phrase “fear death” it might seem that it is encouraging people to embrace fear. But from context the movie is not telling people to embrace the paralyzing fear of death because it is this fear that encourages the federal government and the people of Gotham to stand ideally by, and the fear that causes Modine’s Foley to hide, while a terrorist takes over the city. Rather, the movie is encouraging a balance—that the proper way is to rid one’s self of the paralyzing fear of death of Wayne did in the first film, but to maintain the love of live, and the appreciation of death and knowledge that each moment could be your last and must be fought for, that comes with this love of life. It is only this appreciation of death, that pushes Wayne to make a jump that he could not otherwise make, because he knows that if he is to live he must push himself—and he cannot push himself without both the knowledge that there is no turning back or without the desire to do something other than seek his own end.

And then of course, as a final thought we can’t forget how wonderfully patriotic this film is. Okay maybe not so much in it showing the President to be a sniveling coward who gives into terrorist demands (patriotic or not that might be an accurate assessment)…or in how cowardly the bureaucracy is when they blow the bridge condemning many to die (again might be an accurate conservative message). But you will notice that the people of Gotham (not the scum the who follow Bain mind you, but the people who are terrorized by them) stand for “The Star Spangled Banner” and the only person shown to not have his hand over his heart is the scummy mayor (who apparently is close to an even scummier Congressmen…again perhaps an accurate assessment of current events). And along with the police it is these people who fight against Bain. And you’ll notice that on the day of the battle even a British director like Nolan knows to show the tattered remains of the flag still flying, still offering hope, and as a symbol that on that day evil will fall. Finally the last words about Gotham, which they say is America’s greatest city, is that it will rise from the ashes of this act of terrorism…you would have to be pretty dense not to see this as a reference to New York, and a testament to how quickly America did pick itself up.

You don’t owe these people anymore. You’ve given them everything.

Not everything. Not Yet.

And the sad fact is that we’ve only scratched the surface of this film…

*On a side note, it should be said that, for all of Dickens’ flaws, A Tale of Two Cities is Dickens’ best work…too bad he stole half the plot from Victor Hugo’s Ninety-Three.

** Oh and if you want to to play the silly let’s compare political figures to fictional ones…I see your Bane/Bain…and raise you…
(Romney Ryan photos thanks to Heather Parsons)
 

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Trying To Snatch Defeat From The Jaws of Victory

Is the Republican Party out to kill itself?

I am perpetually bothered by the simultaneous lack of pragmatism and idealism in the GOP when it comes to campaigning this election.

Oh where to start?

(And let’s just ignore that I could get a whole blog off of all the Republicans who complained about the Tea Party that put them back in power in the House.)

Well let’s deal with Mitt Romney.  Nothing this man does makes conservatives happy…which is odd as we have been saying for years we need the common sense and wisdom of the private sector brought to government (check), we need someone with character (check) we need a fiscal conservative (check) we need a foreign policy conservative (check) we need someone  who will stick to their guns but make tactical concessions to achieve the larger goals (check again).  His record and his words are everything we have said we’re looking for (I’ll admit that the reality might fail, but I choose to hope for the best).  But somehow not only are liberals attacking him but our own party seems hell bent to do their job for them.

Now, as any reader of this blog is well aware I loathe the uberliberal RINO team of John McCain and Sarah Palin.  Really hate them.  Bleeding heart liberals and mindless populists who stand for nothing, every inch of them.  But I remembered the 11th Commandment during the election and didn’t publicly hit them every chance I got.  I had hopes of publishing Republicans & Reincarnation before the 2004 election, didn’t work out that way, but there isn’t a single word condemning either McCain or Palin because as much as I loathe them you don’t destroy your party’s brand and reputation over a single person.  But Republicans right now can’t hit Romney fast enough.

Romneycare!  A call which is ignorant of what was included by Romneycare and why Obamacare needs to go.  I’d like to remind Republicans we hate Obamacare for not just the mandate but for all the aspects of it: the loopholes, the creation of the massive bureaucracy, the restrictions of freedom of choice, the worsening of medical care, the destruction of the private sector, the intent to turn us into a single payer system…it’s just the mandate was the easiest thing to attack it on Constitutionally. The only one of those Romneycare has is the mandate (in fact Romneycare was designed to stop the Massachusetts legislature from doing all of that)…but the mandate, you know, the mandate which is unconstitutional to anyone who actually is capable of reading the Constitution (Roberts clearly does not belong in that list) but actually fully constitutional at the state level.  (This is even more ironic that the same people who hit Romney over the constitutional mandate at the state level, will also rightly scream about the federal government overreach in Arizona and that federalism demands that states have powers to act independently of the federal government….oh I see you only like federalism when it matches your beliefs…why are you a conservative again?)

Or “He raised taxes in Massachusetts!”  No he didn’t.  He raised fees (which is how a good libertarian and conservative government raises money) and he closed loopholes in the tax code (again something we conservatives want to do).  Yes it would have been nice if rate reduction had accompanied, but the pseudo-socialism of trying to give breaks to certain groups but not others is just as evil as high taxes.  Better only one evil than two.

I could go on but the fact of the matter so far is that any and all policy attacks on Romney at Bain, at the Olympics or as Governor turn out to be bullshit if you do the research.

But let’s get to the problems of Republicans saying he’s not campaigning hard enough, he’s not hitting Obama enough, he’s not on the attack.  That’s right.  Because we all know how history works.  Did Reagan win against Jimmy Carter by letting Carter always put his foot in his own mouth and then just calmly going “There you go again”?  No, he did it by attacking Carter every minute of every day and calling Carter out as the socialist and anti-Semite that he is.  Oh, no, I got those backwards, Reagan ran a fairly low key campaign constantly jabbing Carter, but letting dim Jimmy do most of the work by constantly talking like the f’ing moron he is…you know, much like Obama is doing.  In fact there are a lot of comparisons to be made between Romney and Reagan. 

But is history enough?  No.  Why should Romney take a national holiday off to spend time with his wife and family, thus showing character, and regaining energy for the push of this coming month.  Why should he take the day off when Obama once again humiliates himself by trying to use the 4th to push legislation no one wants.  No Romney should have been on the campaign trail,  “Get off the jet ski!”  Yes he should be out there politicizing the 4th as well, thus mitigating how much of a jackass Obama looked like making statements about the DREAM Act on the 4th.  Yeah that would have been brilliant.  (And if Romney had been on the campaign I’m sure the same people would be bitching how a real man would spend the holiday with his MS stricken wife and family).

Or in perhaps my favorite move, from Breitbart.com, the site that praised Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Kennedy as being defenders of conservatism for saying it was an unconstitutional mandate not a tax but chided Romney as not being a conservative for saying it was an unconstitutional mandate not a tax…you have this lovely hit piece ROMNEY WATCH: WEBSITE NOWHERE ON LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES (which I give you as  a screen shot because this is just too good to have claims I edited it)

So, ignoring that Romney gave an almost immediate statement

This message was carried on C-SPAN, Fox News, CNN, Drudge, and RealClearPolitics…he made similar comments on Twitter and Facebook.  So I’m not sure what the statement “Where is the Romney campaign?”  Where are you nameless Breitbart writer?  How did you miss all of this?  “Meanwhile Obama’s campaign’s website, Obama’s economic plan is near the top of the page.”

Oh really?  At the top I was greeted with an opportunity to share a meal with Joe Biden if I donate and I get a picture of Joe.  I’ll pay you to keep the dumbfuck away, but not to actually meet him (unless I get to slap him for every dipshit thing he’s said during his term as VP).

Scrolling down I see more begging for money…

And then,  I go up to the “Issues” category and find “Jobs and the Economy”

Now a look at Romney’s campaign…(a note I did not get around to getting these screen shots until 7pm Pacific Coast Time…but I will say this  is the typical kind of stuff you will see on Romney’s site any day).

Hmm…on the top of the Romney page…yeah can’t see a “Jobs & Economy” plan anywhere (A.  Yes it’s the forth slide in a series, but it is there if you’re even there for only a few moments B. This was there last week)

And if I scroll down a little (three things on the economy, one which, The Best of America, I know has been there since Wednesday)

And finally, yep the Jobs & Economic Growth in the same place, under the issues categories.

In other words, the Romney site is three time as blatant about the economic situation as the Obama page.  (Not to mention he’s right about the economy).

Of course my favorite part of the Breitbart hit piece is” The jobless statistics came out nearly three hours ago. Voters looking for answers from Mitt Romney are going to go to his campaign website—“  Three whole hours.  Wow, way to sound like a whiny liberal who needs instant gratification constantly.  Yeah, because for a written piece we should consider what Obama said, construct a well thought out response that attacks it on points…but no, we need an immediate knee jerk prewritten general piece.  Oh and I love how voters on Romney’s site don’t know how he will respond…you know because the 160 page plan with the 59 point plan and the 5 laws he will send to Congress and 5 executive orders he will sign (on day one) hasn’t been there since the early part of the primary…I’m so glad the writer of this piece has taken the last 10 months do his research and not found something that is staring him right in the face.

And to top it all off the Breitbart website let this trash be published without a name.

And you wonder why I think since Breitbart’s death his website has degraded into an MSNBC-esque Romney hit machine.

Oh, and to top it all off…

Then I was told by three people today that this morning’s review of how we stand in the Senate races was overly optimistic. (And two of them were Republicans!)  I’ll grant you the optimistic part, but not the overly.  I made the point that we could win all of the toss up states.  Unlikely but not impossible.  I pointed out a few races that were very likely but with the right set of circumstances (money, boots on the ground donating time and utterly demoralizing the opposition early) we could win them.  With the exceptions of the extreme long shots I posted all the relevant polling data.  I didn’t try to hide anything.  I trust my readers to be able to read and make conclusions on their own.  But apparently the “I’m overly optimistic “ thinks I should not show that we are in a position to win.  Oh yeah that will work.  Let me publish a headline.  “Our odds of winning the Senate is maybe 30%” (Honestly, with the currents winds of change and Obama poisoning the Democrat brand, our odds of taking the Senate are around 90%, but you get the point) …but let’s go with that really cautious line. I’m sure that will bring out the money and the volunteers, I’m sure of that.

“Well that’s not a balanced and dispassionate look at things” I was told.  This isn’t a balanced and dispassionate blog!  I’m sorry if you’ve missed this, but the reason I write is to hasten the demise of ideologies I abhor.  Until Communism, socialism, progressivism, Islamofascism, social conservatism, and isolationism  have all been thrown on the dust heap of history ranking up there with Carthage as moments in history  that not only failed, but failed with everyone involved being destroyed I will keep not being “balanced and dispassionate.”  Now don’t read into that I have illusions that I currently have a huge following or great sway—I have no such illusions—but I’m a high school teacher, I’ve learned the value saving one mind at a time (in case you’re wondering my politics don’t come into my classroom).

I’m sorry but people have to believe that they CAN win.  You have to be truthful, but tell them the good stuff.  Don’t lie, but downplay the weaknesses…because anything dealing with human beings has the risk of becoming self-fulfilling prophecy.  If the Republicans believe that they will win and that they have candidates who will wipe the floor with the liberal scum, then guess what, they’ll donate time, they’ll donate money, they’ll challenge friends and neighbors who insult their candidates and they’ll win a few converts along the way.  However, if you just hit your own side and say that “you’re being overly optimistic” you’ll kill morale and prove that you’re right we can’t win, because if people believe they can’t win, they’ll stay home, keep their money and may not even vote.

But let me be clear about some facts.

Fact 1: Romney is a fiscal and foreign policy conservative and if you say otherwise you’re either ignorant, an idiot or a liar.

Fact 2:  The Republican Party is in the position where it can win a majority in the Senate.

Fact 3: Put Fact 1 & 2 together and you have at least 2 years of very conservative policy and extreme economic growth.

Fact 4: That is worth fighting for.  With words.  With money.  With time donated.

Fact 5: If you’re just going to naysay and complain and speak against Facts 1 & 2 you’re not helping.

I don’t know what is wrong with this part of the Conservative party that seems hellbent on self-destruction, but I do know I will not give in.  We will fight and WE WILL WIN in November.

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The Most Patriotic Film Ever: State of the Union

“I can be interested in the county, without being interested in politics.”

State of the Union?  Haven’t heard of it have you?  (If you have you have to admit you’re in the minority on this).  Which is odd—it’s Tracy and Hepburn!  How can you miss Tracy and Hepburn?  And in a Capra film too!  It also stars Angela Lansbury as the woman trying to break our eternal couple up, and control Tracy…Lansbury always plays the villain, be it the communist mother in Manchurian Candidate or the weekly serial killer who always frames others for her crimes in Murder She Wrote (there’s no other way to explain the body count), she always plays the villain…

So since you probably are not familiar with the plot, let me quickly sum up. Estranged husband and wife Grant and Mary Matthews are thrown together when Grant decides to move from a highly successful business career to taking a chance at running for President in 1948.  But first he has to get the Republican nomination.  At first he speaks from his heart…but when swayed by Lansbury’s Kay Thorndyke, the other woman, and a W.R. Hearst-esque media baron, he begins to play the games of politics he had previously hated.  Here we see Capra in full swing detailing the cynicism of voting bloc politics, of playing one minority off against other, of making deals for votes.  This nearly destroys him, and his chances for election, until he’s brought back to his senses by his loving wife. Whether he wins or not, the movie doesn’t cover.

It’s a good story, but what makes this film so patriotic is that Matthews at several points makes comments on what does and doesn’t work in America. The character of Matthews is actually given to making some very detailed speeches, (which I sadly could not find clips of on youtube, found a couple edited to seem to benefit liberal positions alone, but not the full speech).  It is in these speeches that you see the virtue of America praised, and our flaws acknowledged and combated.

Matthews: Well the next time you’re up there, Mr. Conover, look down.  Look down on Pittsburgh, for example, what do you see?

Spike: Smoke

Mathews: That’s right, smoke.  From the steel mills.   Miles and miles of steel mills.  But you see something else, too, don’t you?  Farms, factories, lumber, mines, railroads, business, management, labor.  Not one able to exist alone, but together, working together with courage and imagination.  That makes America.  That’s a great picture from the air.  Yeah but come down to Earth and walk into one of those meetings like that one in Cleveland, and what do you find? Farmers, cattlemen, lumbermen, business, labor, they were all there.  All working together?  In a pig’s eye.  All scared to death, all fighting each other.  Each out for the biggest bite in the apple.  Well, there aren’t that many bites in the apple.

[…]

Because you politicians instead of helping pull the country together are helping to pull it part, just to get votes.  To labor you promise higher wages and lower prices.  To business, higher prices and lower wages.  To the rich you say, “Let’s cut taxes”.  To the poor, “Soak the rich”.  To the veterans cheaper housing.  To the builders uncontrolled prices. [Italics added]

Notice that here the win-win mentality of rational self-interest and capitalism is stated.  That capitalism is dependant on numerous individuals working together, out of their own rational self-interest, but together.  Rather than the greed and irrational, short-sighted self-interest of “what’s in it for me politics” of promising this group or that group something.  Notice this is in 1948, before the post-war boom, before the boom of the early 60’s before the boom of the 80’s and 90’s…and yet it foresees that our “courage and imagination” are the things that will bring about this great prosperity.  It subtly implies the truth, that while socialism simply divides the apple between this group or that, it is capitalism and capitalism alone that creates wealth (not just distributes it) so that there is actually an apple for everyone.

Or when he goes to see the White House while considering his run, a man chides him for bluntly stating the White House needs a new paint job:

Bystander: Do you know who lives in that historic mansion [the White House]?

Matthews: Yeah the spirit of all those who fought for human dignity lives there.  Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Christ, Paul, St. Francis, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, Plato, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Pasteur, Newton, Galileo, Edison, Franklin, Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Crispus Attucks, Lafayette, Garibaldi, Bolivar, Kosciusko.  The martyrs, the saints, and the poets.  Civilizations past and present. Man’s whole history. His evolution from worm to animal to Einstein, his long search for God, all those things live in that noble dwelling, but I still say it needs painting.

And of course the central point of the movie is when after giving an off camera speech filleting big labor he prepares to give an equally harsh speech against what would be called big business then, but now we use the more correct term cronyism. (Please note that in 1948 almost everything he says is the action we should have taken…from a man this principled however, the speech would be different on a few points, so please keep the times in mind as you read it).

Matthews: Those men [labor bosses] in there are the kind of men who are responsible for the wildcat strikes.  If I can make them see something bigger than their own jobs as head of their own locals and what little power they get from that…Why? What did I say to them? I just said that when the members stop running the unions, the unions start running the members.

[…]

Matthews: I’m going to tell them they do a lot of yapping about communism but as long as they think about high profits instead of high production, they’re playing the communist game.  High production is the way to kill high prices.

Conover: They want high prices.

M: High prices means inflation. Inflation today means depression tomorrow.  And a depression in these United State is exactly the ace card Moscow is waiting to draw.

C: They don’t want to hear these things.

M: They’re gonna hear them.  They’re going to hear that capitalism itself is being challenged.  If it doesn’t survive, it’s because men like themselves haven’t the guts or the imagination to make it survive.

C: You can’t talk to that crowd this way you’ll antagonize them.

All right.  So what?  So I’ll antagonize them.  I yelled my head off about labor, didn’t I, and its responsibilities.  Well, I’m going to lay it right on the line about industry too.  Now look here Jim, you know just as well as I do that there are men at that banquet who’ll be rooting for a depression, just so they can slap labor’s ears back.

C: And I suppose you have a few well-chosen words to say about tax reduction.

M: You better not worry so much about tax reduction until we accomplish some of the things we have to accomplish.  I’m going to tell the wealthiest nation in the world it is a failure unless it’s also the healthiest nation in the world.  That means the highest medical care for the lowest income groups.  And that goes for housing, too.  The one thing this nation is not rich enough to afford is not having a roof over our heads.  And I’m going to tell them the American Dream is not making money.  It is the well being and the freedom of the individual throughout the world from Patagonia to Detroit.  We can’t be an island of plenty in a world of starvation.  We have to send, food, clothing, machinery, and money to the bitter, impoverished people of the world.  Try to recreate their self-respect.  Give them the desire again for individual freedom.  And I’m gonna tell them that as long as dictatorships remain in the world, we better remain well armed.  Because the next time we’re not going to get two years to get ready.  They’re gonna jump us overnight.  And I’m gonna tell them that there’s only one government which is capable of handling the atomic control, world disarmament, world employment, world peace, and that’s a world government.  The people of thirteen states started the United States of America.  Well, I think the people of that many nations are ready to start a United States of the World.  With or with out Russia.  And I mean a “United” States of the World.  With one Bill of Rights.  One international law. One international currency.  One international citizenship. And I’m gonna tell them that the brotherhood of man is not just an idealistic dream, but a practical necessity if man is going to survive. [Italics added]

Here he correctly realizes that there are two sides to both labor and business.  In labor there are actual workers, and there are the corrupt union bosses who fleece their members, pad their pockets, and make ungodly campaign contributions to politicians who allow them to repeat the cycle. A bit prophetic in his critique of labor isn’t he?  I would never advocate for ending unions (except for public employees and professional), they serve an important function, but today they have become worse than the caricatured robber barons they were supposedly formed to end.

Meanwhile in business there are real businessmen like Matthews who enjoy making a great product and enjoy making profit off that great product (the heroes of an Ayn Rand novel) and there are those who like cronyism, who as this movie makes clear are very un-capitalistically for high tariffs, anti-free trade, protectionist legislation against competition from new inventions, and low taxes ON THEIR INDUSTRY (GE, GM, Google, Goldman Sachs, and basically all the biggest Obama contributors).  And I’ll forgive Matthews’ statement about not lowering taxes before we have paid for what we need to do, at least he’s advocating balanced budgets, and 10 years before Rand, 15 before Goldwater, 20 before Milton Friedman, and before Laffer and Reagan it’s forgivable to not know the truth and facts of supply-side economics (at least implicitly he understands the heart of supply-side economics by putting the focus on high production).  And before anyone thinks I’m giving up my conservative roots by praising his call for the healthiest nation and housing for all…go back and read your Hayek and Friedman…you need a safety net, it just should be at the local, not federal level (and in 1948, I can assume a Republican defines “the lowest income groups” as the bottom 5% not the modern Democratic definition of the “the lowest income groups” as the other 99%).

And I have to love the admission that America is not a nation of isolationists, as some would now have you believe.  We are the beacon of freedom in the world and that comes with a responsibility to spread freedom.  There’s a throwaway joke early on “After all Senator Fosdick was an isolationist.  I think he should be isolated.”  This was the correct view of isolationism: it doesn’t and can’t work.  Not just on pragmatic reasons, but on ethical ones.

And you’ll also notice that the ideal world government presented is one of a union of free nations, that will advocate and push for liberty around the world, not just throwing everyone into one body and being run through with corruption.

This is close to the kind of speech I want to hear now. Praising America’s greatness and condemning those who see it only as a way to make a quick buck for themselves and screw everyone else.

The movie is also quick to condemn the evils of identity politics and condemn those who trade in it (I’m looking at you Democratic Party).  It is expressed best by “Spike” McManous, a reporter sent to keep an eye on Matthews, “In Conover’s eyes a lazy people, an ignorant people, a prejudiced people are not free.”  And he’s sadly right; people who are lazy, ignorant, and prejudiced are always slave to those who would exploit those flaws.  And that is why it is the responsibility of Americans to keep themselves informed and reasonable…but it is also the responsibility of politicians to not to play to such disgusting habits.

And at the end of the film, when, after making a dozen crooked deals, Matthews realizes his sins, he takes to the air and gives an impromptu speech baring his soul and again showing what is great about this nation.

I had the right idea when I started to talk to you people of America. The idea that you voters, you farmers, you businessmen, you working men, you ordinary citizens of whatever party, are not the selfish scum that venal politicians make you out to be. I thought I could speak my peace straight out and forward. I thought I could tell you that this country of ours is young, it’s not old. That we’ve just begun to grow. That all we need is courage, and from out of that courage will come a greatness greater than we ever dreamed. I wanted to tell you that we Americans are the hope of the world, and the secret of our great plenty is freedom, and we’ve got to share that secret and that plenty with the other nations of the world. And I wanted to tell you that we face a great problem, because when people are cold and hungry and scared, they gather together in panicky herds, ready to be led by communists and fascists who promise them bread for freedom, and deliver neither.  [Italics added]

A sobering reminder we still need to this day.

As he says, we are a young nation.

Today we are 236 years old. 236 years old…just for comparison at 236 years the Roman Republic had managed to come up with a crappy constitution, get the city burned to the ground by Gaul’s and conquer most of Italy (which sounds impressive until you realize that France was once able to conquer most of Italy, and if France can do it, well…) and at 236 England had done…well…um….nothing. Same story for France. Certainly none of them were the center of the world at 236. Oh and before you ask none of these countries had art at 236 let alone jazz, rock’n’roll, Frank Lloyd Wright, almost all film, Faulkner, Twain, Hawthorne, Frost, Gibran, Whitman. Not bad for only 236 years.  None of these others were economic powerhouses, or beacons of any ideal. And that’s at 236 for nations that would leave an undisputed mark on history.  We’ve already begun to make our mark and it is one of spreading liberty, freedom, capitalism, and all that speaks to the best in human nature.

This movie, possibly more than any other, reminds me of what a great nation this can be, and what we are capable of.  It reminds me of our greatness that was, is, and will be if we just embrace the best within us and do away with the rest.

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The Patriotic Films #13 Red Dawn

“I never saw the Eckert Brothers again. In time, this war – like every other war – ended. But I never forgot. And I come to this place often, when no one else does. … In the early days of World War 3, guerillas – mostly children – placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth.”

Let me start off by saying I’m not going to be defending the exceedingly high production standards or the Oscar quality performances seen in this film.  To do so would just be dishonest.  This is a B flick that became a cult classic.  (And I’m just going to ignore all the logistics and tactical issues).    (It will be interesting to see if the remake can maintain the same pro-American theme which is so unpopular in modern Hollywood).  But this is a beloved film of my youth and you know how those films always stay with you.

But it does show that America (more embodied in our teenage protagonists than the townspeople who behave in a strangely un-American fashion) does not roll over in the face of greater odds (or at least that was the intent, I really do have a problem with how the town seems to be rather passive…but I get that wasn’t the point of the film).

It’s either really bad writing or a very high opinion of America (or both), but you have to admit this small band is not only extremely good at laying traps and taking out superior forces…but they are truly spectacular at scavenging. Military camouflage for different season, fully automatic weapons, RPG’s—the very thing that turned the tide against the Soviets in Afghanistan and which has to be provided by us—the heroes of this film really know how to raid the good caravans and for great military equipment.

And while I’m on the topic keep in mind that this movie was made at the same time the very same thing was going on in Afghanistan, but not with such spectacular results.  The only reason the Afghani insurgents did well was American support, and I think writers were trying to show that Americans don’t necessarily need foreign support to defend their own nation.  (Oh, before someone chides me by saying backing the Afghan forces was a bad idea, it wasn’t. What was a bad idea was not going in after the Soviets left and helping them to rebuild their nation, rather preferring to let butchers and psychopaths take control of the nation.  What was Wilson’s quote “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world…and then we fucked up the end game.”* Thank Bush Senior for turning a nation that could have become a first world nation and ally into a complete clusterfuck.  It must be a genetic thing that the Bush’s have no ability to see the long game.)

But back to Red Dawn.

One of my favorite lines in the film is when they are about to execute the Soviet solider whom they had captured calls out, “This violates the Geneva convention.”  It’s laughable.  From a man who had participated in the killing of civilians as reprisals for the acts of others.  From a man from a nation that has killed more innocent people than any nation in history, begging for following the rules of civilized society (also, it’s not a violation of the convention, guerillas aren’t covered by the convention and thus they don’t have to abide by it…but Communists aren’t real big on a actual understanding of law and natural rights).  Quite frankly, given what heartless genocidal lunatics the Soviets were (and it looks like they’re hoping for a comeback with strongman Putin) it only reminds me of a line from another film from my childhood, “You who are without mercy, now beg for it?” (Kudos, if you know the film).

Of course Red Dawn also points out that there are certain difference between America and most of Europe. When getting news from their downed Air Force Colonel, they ask

“What about Europe?”

…and get the response…

“I guess they figured twice in one century was enough. They’re sitting this one out. All except England, and they won’t last very long.”

And it’s sad how so true this is.  Most of Europe were cowards in helping us take down a dictator (except for a lot of Eastern Europe, I wonder if it might have something to do with the fact that Eastern Europe understands why dictators MUST be opposed) and for all their high handed morality in not helping with wars, they were also strangely silent in helping to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.  Like the entire Greek population, most of Europe is motivated by short-sighted grasping and looking out for their own ends without any consideration of morality, a hallmark of their beloved socialist systems (as opposed to Capitalism which is self-interest tempered by foresight, reason and ethics).

Of course I do need to bring up a couple points about what bothers me more over the years…

Now there are a couple of problems that do need to be dealt with.  The first, which I assume was simply the nature of needing to have a movie in the first place.  Do you know how many privately owned guns there are in America, and especially in the Midwest which is where they claimed the Soviets were able to take a foot-hold.  I’d like to see someone try an invasion like this.  In a nation as well armed as the United States it would probably not go nearly as well as this movie suggested it would.

More than anything however, my biggest problem is the rather anti-American idea that it was just these kids.  Yes, I know it looked like they rounded up or killed half the town initially, and yes I know they had a throwaway line that from when Jed (Swayze) said he didn’t want to take on any more people…but the fact of the matter is that if you provide a rallying point, I would assume that you would see a good portion of Americans rise up should something like this ever happen.  History and the news tells us it’s damn near impossible to put down a guerilla revolt when the guerillas are fighting for oppression and tyranny…it should be damn impossible to do it if you actually have something to fight for, especially for a populace that didn’t grow up under tyranny.   I get that they were trying to show the character drama of what it was doing to these kids, but it does a disservice to the majority of the American populace whom I believe would never sit back and prefer to live on their knees than die on their feet.

*Before you ask Charlie Wilson’s War while a great story is about the man not the nation which is why it will not be officially on this list.  But I must ask, what happened to Democrats like Wilson who actually loved their nation and freedom?

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Some thoughts on Foreign Policy

Sad how this is still very relevant (just add Beijing and Teheran to Moscow)(sorry about the music, I couldn’t find this part of the speech on it’s own)


Over the last 4 years:

A dictator has returned to the Russian Presidency

China is building it’s Navy and saber rattling

Pro-Democracy forces were slaughtered in Iran and the U.S. did nothing

Anti-American Islamists have taken over Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and are about to take over Syria (and yes these psychos

are worse the bastards they booted out)

We abandoned Iraq

Israel backstabbed at every opportunity

Pakistan is actively supporting Islamists

We are in talks to give Afghanistan back to he Taliban

But, it’s not our problem…just like Kaiser, the Red Army, the Fuhrer, the Ayatollah, Mao, Tojo, Ho, the Khmer Rogue, all of Africa were never our problem.

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