Take it from one who knows

I saw something rare today:  a car that not only had a discrete McCain/Palin bumpersticker, but that also had a big bumper sticker saying “Freedom vs. Socialism – November 4, 2008.

As I was standing there admiring this sight, the car’s owner hove into view.  I stopped her politely and said, “I have to tell you, I really love your bumper sticker.”

She smiled at me and, in a thick Russian accent, replied, “I don’t hear that often.”

I bet she doesn’t, but her accent explains precisely why the charge that Obama is a socialist resonates so strongly with her.  She knows socialism up close and personal, and she knows that a move in that direction is a simultaneous move away from a free society.

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Comments

  1. sammy378 says

    I haven’t decided if you are real or not. Out here in the “red” land…we’re not quite convinced. Maybe just using us to find out what the ordinary people think??

    However, I was a bit moved by your fondness of Leslie Howard as the ‘Scarlet Pimpernel.”

  2. Deana says

    Wow, Bookworm. What an amazing story!

    You know what is so sad, though? If that woman, who has first-hand knowledge of what she is talking about, were introduced to America, half of America would belittle her, find ways to humiliate her, and otherwise discredit her.

    When I stop and think that Russians are recognizing what is happening here, it makes me scared.

    Deana

  3. Ellie2 says

    If you meet a person in American with a Russian accent, the chances are very high that he/she is a “refusnik.” I know several. They came to America and got a first job at a car wash but ended up with a Master’s degree in Computer Science.

    Listen well. This is still the Land of Opportunity.

  4. rockdalian says

    As long as I am already off topic,

    FCC Probe Signals Democratic Attack Machine

    The FCC has sent letters to some of the nation’s most prominent military analysts — some of them pro-President Bush and pro-war — suggesting they may have broken the law when they appeared on television stations to comment on and explain the war on terrorism.

    The FCC letters came at the behest of two House Democrats, who say the analysts parroted on air the private briefings they received at the Pentagon. This may have broken the law, the lawmakers said.

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=29263

    The current polls show a tightening of the race. At this point I am sure McCain will be elected.

    Found through http://dirtyharrysplace.com/

  5. 11B40 says

    Greetings:

    Interestingly enough, yesterday, at the end of my Yoga for Older Students class, I was approached by one of my class mates, also a Russian immigrant woman, who was concerned that nobody in the class seem very upset about the possibility of Senator Obama’s election. I had had several previous conversations with this woman because I had travelled in the USSR back in the ’70s. I told her that I thought Senator Obama was a bad, bad man and most likely a serious communist underneath his carefully crafted veneer. She seemed somewhat re-assured by my assessment.

    I think that the poor people who had to live in the paranoid atmosphere of the USSR have a kind of sixth sense about noticing things like this that remain below the radar of so many Americans who have a more Candide-like view of the world in which we live.

    My fear is that we may have to develop that capability before too much longer.

  6. 1Lulu says

    I volunteered at my local McCain HQ today. As I was calling down the phone list, I came to an obviously Russian name. A charming woman told me how frightened she was by the prospect of an Obama presidency. “I am 150% behind McCain- a thousand % if I could be.”

    There is a home I know that has a replica of the Statue of Liberty prominently placed in front of the house. The family who lives there are Russian immigrants who are grateful, grateful, grateful for their freedoms here and their success.

    I’m embarrassed to admit that when I was a young Liberal I had no respect or appreciation for their sentiments. Now I do get it. We are blessed to live here with our freedoms. Our freedoms should be nurtured and guarded because in this world, they are very rare.

    What happened to Joe the Plumber is an inkling of the intimidation the Left plans on unleashing on any who dare differ openly or challenge their views should they gain power.These Russians know what America is about and unsurprisingly, are overwhelmingly Conservative.

    Go John! Go Sarah! Victory on Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Ozzie says

    Naomi Wolf reports that a holocaust survior prompted her to read books about what occured in Germany before the Nazi clamp down and that these things are happening in American today. She reportedly kept telling Wolf. “This is what the Germans did,” and at first, Wolf thought she was being ridiculous, until she started doing her own research.

    Yet Bush supporters scoffed – and continue to scoff at these concerns.

    You’re so sure Obama is the threat, while ignoring the changes that have occured in the past 8 years.

    This is what Wolf said, in a interview:

    NW: . . . The book actually got started with the influence of a holocaust survivor — a dear friend, who’s the daughter of two holocaust survivors from Germany. She basically forced me to start reading history.

    Not the end or outcome. She was talking about the early years and the effects on rights groups, gay rights groups, and sexuality forums and architecture, At first I didn’t even want to draw conclusions, but my hair was just standing on edge.

    When I saw that, then I went and read other history books, and looked at Stalin and Hitler, a real “innovator.” I thought, if people want an open society, they need to pay attention.. . . ”

    Not surprisingly, Wolf ended up on the Bush Administration’s terrorist watch list.

    The editor of the ‘American Conservative’ has endorsed Obama, and Esquire has issued its’ first endorsement in 75 years. This quote is key:

    “More than any other recent election, we are voting this year not merely for a president but to overthrow two governments. The one we can see is the one in which constitutional order has been defaced, the national spirit degraded, and the country unrecognizable because so much of the best of itself has been sold off or frittered away. The other one is the far more insidious one, a doppelgänger nation of black prisons, shredded memos, and secret justifications for even more secret crimes. Moreover, the current administration has worked hard not only to immunize itself from the political and legal consequences of the government we can see, but it has also worked within the one we cannot see in order to perpetuate itself. ”

    http://www.esquire.com/features/esquire-endorsements-2008/esquire-endorses-barack-obama?click=main_sr

    Reasonable Republicans are jumping ship in droves. The ones who quietly endorse the “Dopelganger nation’ (Or are unaware it even eixsts) will be what’s left.

  8. 1Lulu says

    Ozzie,
    On the other hand, I watched with a Holocaust survivor from Austria the film of the Venice kids singing to Obama and she immediately flashed back to Hitler Youth, also the frenzied, chanting crowds, the cult of personality, and a leader rising on no record, little experience, shady associates, and iconic images. She also has noticed the lack of free speech in institutions controlled by the Left, such as universities, a clearly biased press choosing to erode our freedom of telling the whole story in order to spread a message and support a candidate- and the possibility of an increasingly more powerful government left in the hands of a man we know next to nothing about, but who seems to have long associations with anti-Semities and Israel haters (and don’t forget what Jessie Jackson promised in an Obama presidency vis-a-vis Israel and the Jews.
    One Holocaust survivor may see it one way as is her right. Others, who lived under the worst abuses of an all powerful government and an unknown idealized and charismatic leader see what you love, and get nervous. Very very nervous.

  9. Mike Devx says

    >> Reasonable Republicans are jumping ship in droves. >>

    Ha ha ha ha. There she goes again! Ozzie is nothing if not consistent. Did you get a pay raise from the Big Axelrod, Oz?

    Ozzie’s latest post above (#13) is a *perfect* example of how a concern troll operates. Raise the issue and support it. Make a few discouraging, depressing statements at the end. Then leave. Offer nothing, absolutely nothing beyond 1 – The Issue; 2 – Supporting commentary for the issue; 3 – The concluding attempt at demoralization.

    Remember, everyone : concern trolls are paid to demoralize and disrupt.

    Just calling it as I see it, Oz. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it may very well be a duck.

  10. Charles Martel says

    Hi, folks. I’m new here. I’ve been looking around for some kindred Marin souls and this forum seems like a haven to me.

    But I guess every Eden has its serpent. Is there a conservative blog anywhere that doesn’t have pests like Ozzie?

    Oh, well, I think of Ozzies the way a set of fine kitchen knives thinks of a whetstone: something to sharpen itself on.

    I’m fascinated by the “what happened in Germany is happening here, too” mindset. You know, the concentration camps filled with the likes of Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn, the fascistic major media like the NYT and CBS, the relentless oppression of gays, who are thwarted everywhere in their quest for domestic partner benefits and sitcom characters.

    Maybe the best example of that mentality is Esquire’s own statement: “Moreover, the current administration has worked hard not only to immunize itself from the political and legal consequences of the government we can see, but it has also worked within the one we cannot see in order to perpetuate itself. ”

    Isn’t it amazing that the brilliant minds at Esquire know what it is the Bushitlers are doing even though they can’t see it?

    Who woulda figured that being a leftist confers ESP?

    Ozzie! Where do I sign up?

  11. BrianE says

    This is all the more reason that it is critical that a man who has served his country honorably, who has demonstrated his commitment to his country with sacrifice and valor, and has a good plan to keep America secure and provide for its future prosperity be elected President of the United States!

    John McCain is a man of his word and countries around the world will know that America is a country that keeps its word.

    Vote for John McCain if you share these goals.

  12. Mike Devx says

    Charles Martel, Welcome!

    We’ve been missing you since the Battle Of Tours, 1275 years ago! (And by the way, your reappearance couldn’t have been timed better! Western Civilization is down to few defenses with the underbelly totally exposed once again. Welcome!

    Glad to see Book’s got another associate and ally over there in Marin County!

    A wonderful conservative resurgence is coming! Over the next two years, we’ll all be determining, reexamining just what it means to be a conservative. A variety of opinions, well thought out and strongly stated, will emerge, and we’ll be promoting candidates for the Republican primaries of 2010 and 2012. Via these elections – and the winners we choose! – the conservative resurgence will solidify and be defined.

    I am so hoping that there will be a conservative resurgence particularly in California that is stronger than anyone suspects. There are plenty of conservatives out there, and at some point the Independents outside LA and SF will become weary of liberalism. You and Book are likely to be a large part of it! Can you imagine, California hotly contested year in and year out? Conservatives standing up for principle! Conservative politicians making the case clearly and powerfully to enthusiastic crowds of California Conservative Voters!

  13. Deana says

    OK. To get a sense of how “reasonable” people like Naomi Wolf are, take a look at this quote that Erica Jong gave in an interview in the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera:

    “Jong says her fear that Obama might lose the election has developed into an ‘obsession. A paralyzing terror. An anxious fever that keeps you awake at night.’

    She also says that her friends Jane Fonda and Naomi Wolf are extremely worried that Obama will be sabotaged by Republican dirty tricks, and that if an Obama loss indeed comes to pass, the result will be a second American Civil War.

    Here’s a translation of Jong’s more spirited quotes to the Milan-based Corriere, as selected by Rocca.

    “The record shows that voting machines in America are rigged.”

    “My friends Ken Follett and Susan Cheever are extremely worried. Naomi Wolf calls me every day. Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can’t cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduces her to a bundle of nerves.”

    “My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium.”

    “After having stolen the last two elections, the Republican Mafia…”

    “If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it’s not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets.”

    http://www.observer.com/2008/politics/erica-jong-tells-italians-obama-loss-will-spark-second-american-civil-war-blood-will-r

    Naomi Wolf?
    Jane Fonda?
    Crying all night?
    Back spasms?
    Needing VALIUM???

    All because that McCain, who is NOT a conservative might win?

    Please.

  14. Charles Martel says

    Hey, Mike, thanks for the great welcome!

    Like you, I’m a glass-half-full fellow. So even if America elects Mr. Hopeychangey next Tuesday, this country’s subsequent quick descent into Jimmy Cartery will bitch-slap millions of people back to reality.

    I would love to see California become a contested state again. People like you and me and most of the others here are going to have to be willing to come out of the conservative closet and speak up. We will lose friendships and affections for sure, but skulking around trying to avoid setting off people who lack civility and self-control is a no-win game.

    I am willing to commit 30,000 seasoned troops to the effort. Yes, they’re French, but they’re hardy French, the type that walked the earth before the Italians taught them how to cook and the Germans taught them how to sneer. (However, do not ask them to go door to door canvassing. They will take it as an invitation to pillage.)

    Take care, Mike!

  15. Ozzie says

    OK. To get a sense of how “reasonable” people like Naomi Wolf are, take a look at this quote that Erica Jong gave in an interview in the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera:

    She has been reading and chronicling the 10 steps to fascism and feels that’s where we’re headed. I’m sure its made her rather “jumpy” like the Russian who’s certain that if Obma wins, we’re going to be be just like Russia.

    Nobody is worried about real Conservatives who value things like the Constitution and Separation of Church and State.

    It’s the authoritarians who scare people.

    From John Dean:

    . The McCain/Palin Ticket Perfectly Fits the Authoritarian Conservative Mold
    During the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican candidates, have shown themselves to be unapologetic and archetypical authoritarian conservatives. Indeed, their campaign has warmed the hearts of fellow authoritarians, who applaud them for their negativity, nastiness, and dishonest ploys and only criticize them for not offering more of the same.

    The McCain/Palin campaign has assumed a typical authoritarian posture: The candidates provide no true, specific proposals to address America’s needs. Rather, they simply ask voters to “trust us” and suggest that their opponents – Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden – are not “real Americans” like McCain, Palin, and the voters they are seeking to court. Accordingly, McCain and Plain have called Obama “a socialist,” “a redistributionist,” “a Marxist,” and “a communist” – without a shred of evidence to support their name-calling, for these terms are pejorative, rather than in any manner descriptive. This is the way authoritarian leaders operate.

    In my book Conservatives Without Conscience, I set forth the traits of authoritarian leaders and followers, which have been distilled from a half-century of empirical research, during which thousands of people have voluntarily been interviewed by social scientists. The touch points in these somewhat-overlapping lists of character traits provide a clear picture of the characters of both John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    for more:
    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20081031.html

  16. Ozzie says

    “reasonable” people – Deanna

    Reasonable Conservatives are jumping ship

    “Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday. […] Duberstein spoke with Zakaria about his final days in the Reagan White House. The Reagan official, along with Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, also discussed the transition process to a new administration.

    On some level, I sort of regret seeing people like this hop onto the Obama bandwagon. Realistically, at some point the Republicans are going to come back into power and I’d prefer that to be a less-crazy version of the GOP. That’s going to require less-crazy people, people like Duberstein, to exert some influence and have some credibility.”

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/10/24034.php

  17. BrianE says

    “Accordingly, McCain and Plain have called Obama “a socialist,” “a redistributionist,” “a Marxist,” and “a communist” – without a shred of evidence to support their name-calling, for these terms are pejorative, rather than in any manner descriptive. This is the way authoritarian leaders operate.”- John Dean

    Yawn.

    Ok, he’s right. Obama isn’t socialist, redistributionist, marxist or communist.

    Obama’s stated views, both now and in the past are socialist, redistributionist, marxist and communist.

    John Dean should crawl back under his rock. If there is a man in America that doesn’t deserve respect, it is Dean.

  18. Ozzie says

    John Dean should crawl back under his rock. If there is a man in America that doesn’t deserve respect, it is Dean.- Brian

    That’s the great thing about America. You’re allowed to write columns and write books and have your say, even if others think you should keep quiet.

    Meanwhile Sarah Palin’s view of the First Amendment is the latest foible that makes this the most ridiculous (but admittedly entertaining) election ever.

    So far, the Witch doctor preacher remains my favorite but we still have a few days to go.

  19. BrianE says

    “I am willing to commit 30,000 seasoned troops to the effort. Yes, they’re French, but they’re hardy French, the type that walked the earth before the Italians taught them how to cook and the Germans taught them how to sneer. (However, do not ask them to go door to door canvassing. They will take it as an invitation to pillage.)”- Charles Martel

    Mike D is sharp.

    You are sharp.

    Get you two in the same room. This will be good.

  20. says

    Ozzie, you have to take my word for it, as one who has known Naomi Wolf since she was young, that she has always been an incredibly gifted loony toonz. Her take on the world has always operated along skewed lines. She’s compensated for that fact with brains and beauty, but I would never now (nor would I then) have classified her as “reasonable.”

  21. Deana says

    Ozzie –

    Listen. First, McCain is NOT a conservative. He takes conservative stances on some positions but he concerns many who are conservatives because of his tendency to buck some key conservative principles. There is a big difference between him and, say, Reagan.

    Second, remind me again which candidate just banned reporters from newspapers that don’t agree with them for being on his plane?

    And you think McCain / Palin are authoritarian?

    Third – as for that “trust us” claim – Ozzie, which vice presidential candidate just stood up and, after telling his supporters that America needs to “gird its loins” because it “will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama”, then went on to say that:

    “. . . it’s not gonna be apparent initially . . . that we’re right . . .”

    And:

    ” . . . I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going ‘oh my God, . . . so I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.”

    And now YOU have the nerve to claim that McCain / Palin exhibit authoritarian tendencies?

    Whatever, Ozzie.

    Deana

  22. Zhombre says

    Deana, I believe McCain when he asserts he is a conservative and a Reagan conservative. It’s always been not his conservatism or lack thereof I have had the problem with. It’s been his judgment and temperament. But to me and I assume many others too McCain’s faults are preferable to Obama’s strengths, those strengths being his ability to project an unthreatening demeanor, and his uncanny ability to inspire legions of eager fools under the mantra of Change and Hope.

  23. 1Lulu says

    Nothing we say will convince Ozzie, for now. She has Moveon.org, Mother Jones the Daily Kos and the NYT, etc for indoctrination, I mean “information”. I went to UCB and probably had more in common with her views than I care to remember, though even then I was a bit more of a free thinker than average and found the excesses of the Left to be, well, excessive. And immature.
    What changed me was doing just what she is doing (though without writing diatribes to be sure); reading and listening to the opinions of the other side. Bit by bit, and then in a big leap after 911, i had to admit that the Conservative view was better- and not at all the evil thing the Left believes it to be. In fact, it was the Left I saw being more willing to “do what it took” to win, however manipulative.

    That being said, maybe with maturity and responsibility, and perhaps by being exposed to some alternative ideas like those here, a seed may be planted that will blossom years down the road. After all, unlike most Lefties, Ozzie is actually reading Conservative arguments. Ozzie, watch out. By reading these views you show a dangerous interest in the other side and with information and rounded out pictures comes…knowledge. I predict Ozzie, like Bookie, like me, like so many others here, a future Conservative!

    Happy Halloween Ozzie.

    And to all of Bookie’s other readers:
    Don’t let your emotions be affected by the polls this year. It aint over til it’s over. The polls are skewed and distorted this year and claims of “landslides” are just meant to intimidate.
    My husband received an LAT poll once with questions like, “Are you aware that voting this way will cause… to happen.” How do you feel about this issue NOW?”

    Polls like this prove nothing but the bias of the pollsters.

  24. Charles Martel says

    1Lulu, like you I have hope for Ozzie.

    Here’s why: I am in receipt of a letter from Ozzie’s forefingers, the ones she sticks into her ears whenever people here refute one of her second-hand arguments.

    The fingers report, “Ozzie jabs us into her ears then forces us to listen to her go ‘Na na na na na na na, I can’t hear you!’ Although she’s good about keeping her ears reasonably clean, there’s still the occasional wax. Yuck!

    “Our issue is really with her disrespect. We don’t like suddenly being jerked into the air and shoved into ears. We wish she were a little less emotional!”

    1Lulu, I believe that Ozzie is a humanist, and by logical extension, a fingerist. A good fingerist will take into account her digits’ feelings and act accordingly.

  25. Ozzie says

    Nothing we say will convince Ozzie, for now. She has Moveon.org, Mother Jones the Daily Kos and the NYT, etc for indoctrination, I mean “information”. – Lulu

    Actually, you’re prety much wrong on all counts. I have probably read the Daily Kos twice in the past year, I may have read one article in Mother Jones, and the New York Times lost me when Judy Miller’s front page propganda helped sell the war in Iraq.

    I still read it from time to time, but with a jaundiced eye.

    “What changed me was doing just what she is doing (though without writing diatribes to be sure); reading and listening to the opinions of the other side.” – Lulu

    Beleive it or not, I try to read news and commentary from all angles, including news from around the world.

    Obama is not using Jedi Minds Tricks on me and I’m not stupid, ill-informed and/or naive.

    “That being said, maybe with maturity and responsibility, and perhaps by being exposed to some alternative ideas like those here, a seed may be planted that will blossom years down the road. After all, unlike most Lefties, Ozzie is actually reading Conservative arguments” – Lulu

    I think the Conservative/Liberal argument is worn and not at all appplicable i today’s political climate and that thigns are better expressed in terms of authoritarian vs liberatarian descriptions.

    In fact, I tend to agree more often with libertarians on the right than I do with authoritarians on the left.

    If you were to chart U.S politics using a worldwide political compass (as people at the “political compass” have), all major candidates are actually in the right/authoritrian quadrant though Biden and Obama are closer to the Center and McCain/Palin are futher to the right.

    Dennis Kucinich and Ralhp Nader land in the liberatarian Left, but they dont have a chance in hell.

    “I predict Ozzie, like Bookie, like me, like so many others here, a future Conservative”- Lulu

    If today’s Republican party went back to the way it was during the Eisenhower era, I might. They’d have to dump the religious kooks, though, and now that they’re saying Sarah Palin is the future of the GOP, I don’t see that happening.

    I’m a registered Independent and plan to stay that way.

  26. Ellie2 says

    Polling is voodoo science. With the “refused/hangups” supposedly at over 80% and the rise of cell-only citizens, it is impossible for polls to be representative of a majority of the people.

    You have likely heard of “push-polling” — “if you knew that candidate Joe Blow eats roasted cats for holiday dinners, would you be more or less likely to vote for him?” The operative clause of course is “if you knew…” But the brain hears an assertion: Joe eats cats. (At this point the alert callee hangs up.)

    Pre-election polls have been shown over and over to be rotten predictors of actual results, but still they are reported over and over and over and over. Why? Because of the theory that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth.

  27. Deana says

    Ozzie –

    I’m sorry but no one can possibly support libertarian ideas on the right AND also agree with key principles of authoritarians on the left. That is simply impossible and nonsensical. Too much of what libertarians value collides directly and violently with authoritarians on the left.

    Deana

  28. Ozzie says

    I’m sorry but no one can possibly support libertarian ideas on the right AND also agree with key principles of authoritarians on the left. Deanna

    I’m not sure what your’e getting at.

    When I think of authoritarians on the left, I think of those like feminists, who believe you have to think as they do. I disagree with most feminists, (particularly the gender feminists) and I believe that their rigid views and authoritarian tactics are frightening.

    On the other hand, I agree with liberatrians on the right who feel that our military is overbloated, that Eisenhower’s warning about the military/industrial complex is correct and that we have to reduce the number of miitary bases, along with the corresponding costs, if we are to remain free.

    We cannot wage forever way and hold onto our liberties and it’s the libertarians on the right who most often sound that alarm.

  29. Charles Martel says

    Ozzie:

    Seriously, if the United States were to cease being the one power on earth that can keep the bad boys at bay, ranging from sea pirates in Southeast Asia to the Castro brothers to China, who’s going to step up?

    If we retire to Fortress America, defended by a mini-military, who’s going to stop Iran from its adventurism, or Hugo Chavez from threatening Colombia? Who, in God’s name, will defend Canada? (The Canadians are not quite up to it themselves.)

    Also, please remind me: How is having a military that the civilized world looks to to keep order, and which costs us about 4% of GDP annually, stripping us of our liberties? It’s been years since a soldier—actually, it’s been never—knocked at my door and asked to inspect my writing, weapons or property.

  30. BrianE says

    Charles,
    Ozzie has presented an opinion that defense spending off the books is equal to that on the books. That would put defense spending at 8% of gdp, not an insignificant amount.
    Since wages always make up the largest percentage of any operating budget, most of that $1 trillion goes to wages and benefits of Americans though.
    I do share her desire to see that money go toward other endeavors as soon as we can figure out how to get those who would harm us and our friends to cease and desist.

  31. Ozzie says

    How is having a military that the civilized world looks to to keep order, and which costs us about 4% of GDP annually, stripping us of our liberties? – Cahrles..

    It’s all the hidden costs that are breaking us. The U.S spends more on our military than all other nations combined.

    Former CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, former GOP strategist Kevin Phillips, and fomer officer Andrew J. Bacevich have all argued that with close to 800 military bases spanning the globe, the U.S, is now an unoffical empire, with all that entails.

    They all believe that military overreach and massive debt will break us.

    This is what Johnson wrote a few years back:

    “Four sorrows, it seems to me, are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined in the Constitution of 1787. First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut. Second is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co-equal ‘executive branch’ of government into a military junta. Third is the replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there is bankruptcy, as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health, and safety of its citizens.”

    James Madison warned that no nation could retain their liberties in the face of perpetual war and thanks to Dick Cheney, we’ve seen the a return of the Imperial presidency.

    Posse Comitatus has been ditched, a brigade is now policing U.S streets, dissent has been criminalized and it’s now much easier for the president to declare martial law.

    We can’t be an Empire and a Republic.

  32. Charles Martel says

    Oz:

    Thanks for the reply, although you did not answer my direct question about who will be the world’s cop on the beat.

    The quotation you cited is deeply flawed in both its reasoning and its predictive abilities:

    There is no “perpetual war.” That is a nifty sounding slogan, but I’m not sure where you can point out its reality. One of its problems it is that implies the Cold War was an error. I’m sure the Grenadans, Poles and Letts would disagree.

    What “imperial juggernaut?” The one that dictates what India does? The one that has honored its agreement for almost 50 years not to touch a hair on punk Castro’s head? The one that liberated Afghanistan?

    The one that poured millions of dollars of aid spontaneously into the recovery efforts after the Great Tsunami even though most of the recipients spit on it?

    Second, a military junta? From what fever swamp did that reasoning arise? There simply is no indication whatsoever of such a thing happening. Military juntas don’t allow elections to take place and don’t allow the press to commit open sedition.

    Speaking of, when you cite “the eclipsing of truth,” are you pointing a finger at the mainstream media, which has become a giant mendacity? I don’t recall the LAT, NYT, CNN, NBC or Time magazine demanding “the glorification of war, power and military legions.”

    Finally, it is not the constitutional obligation of the United States to provide for the education or health of its citizens. Their safety, yes. The Founders did not intend to create an Obama-esque play pen for nancy boys and nancy girls.

    Oz, it occurs to me that you always hide behind (dubious) authorities when you argue your case here. Is there some reason why you can’t walk in here armed with your own, rather than somebody else’s, reasoning and insights?

  33. Charles Martel says

    BrianE:

    Thanks for both the compliment earlier today and your latest comment.

    I agree with you (and Oz) that $1 trillion a year is a high price to pay to keep the barbarians at bay.

    The difference between you and me and Oz is that he/she doesn’t believe that the barbarians exist.

  34. Ymarsakar says

    When Oz sees herself and her supporters as “reasonable” and then says something like America can’t be an Empire and a Republic, you have to ask yourselves when did America stop being a Republic simply because it admitted new states into the Union?

    What other polity accepts new territories and gives them the same political representation and rights as the “core” group? Empire.

    Oz functions on too many mutually incompatible premises. Until those are hacked down and thrown away, she will never have room enough for conservative principles. A lot of the Libertarian activists are people with axes to grind, in such a way that not identifying themselves as either Republican or Democrat allows them to grind that axe to a fine edge in order to cleave American politics in twain. They find this mysteriously satisfying.

  35. Ymarsakar says

    Oz, it occurs to me that you always hide behind (dubious) authorities when you argue your case here. Is there some reason why you can’t walk in here armed with your own, rather than somebody else’s, reasoning and insights?

    Cause Oz finds comfort in using “reasonable conservatives” in order to paint herself as some kind of moderate proponent, rather than the unreasonable positions she really supports.

    For all Oz claims to be against feminism, I’ve never heard or seen her say one word on the subject, in a negative fashion. In fact, she lauds Naomi Wolf, a feminist, instead and uses her as an authority in order to cleave Republican unity apart.

    Oz just likes to see things dissolve, and her preferred target is the GOP and its allies.

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