After a polite traffic stop, a young black man was moved to comment that people are people, regardless of color, and that civil behavior goes a long way to smooth out differences:
I’m sure someone’s said it before, but Obama is remarkably consistent in his approach to everything. For example, he believes that people who have been subject to systemic disrespect become violent or criminal. If you show them the respect they need, they will stop behaving in that way. He therefore believes that his job as America’s leader is to correct systemic disrespect which will, in turn, cause them to give up their bad behaviors and embrace good ones.
I believe in respect too. My feeling is that you respect people by demanding of them the same good behavior you demand of yourselves. That’s not the Obama way, though. Just a few examples should suffice:
I believe that African-Americans are not doing well because Democrat policies infantilize them and encourage them to be helpless victims rather than people in control of their own destinies. I believe that the best thing we can do for African-Americans is to offer them a free market, equal opportunities under the law, and the right, finally, to be free from government meddling, whether that meddling is badly or well intentioned.
Obama, however, believes that all problems in the African-American community — from poverty, to single motherhood, to crime — come about because America’s predominantly white society has failed to respect blacks. He further believes that the way to confer respect on them and encourage future good behavior is perpetual welfare and insulation from the consequences of their own actions. That hasn’t worked out well. Black unemployment and crime rates (especially racially-associated crime rates) are up.
I believe that Hispanic illegal immigrants are law-breakers, cheat people who are playing by the rules, destroy the legal American working and middle class, and allow tyrannies to continue in their native lands by siphoning off the working population and sending back cash. I believe that America, a nation of immigrants, should continue to encourage people to come here from foreign lands — but we should do so on our terms, not theirs, in order to protect our borders, our sovereignty, our public health, our crime rates, and our economy, and so as to disempower those Latin American nations that profit by sending us their labor and taking back our cash (cash that could have been in legal American hands).
Obama believes that illegal immigrants are being denied the respect. It is this disrespect that makes them “live in the shadows.” Obama further believes that the way to confer respect on illegal Hispanic immigrants, thereby bringing them out of the shadows, is blanket amnesty (which automatically erases that shadowy “law-breaker” status), followed by welfare. With this level of respect conferred on the illegal immigrants already here, he hints to Americans that the flow of illegal immigrants crossing our borders to demand our respect will stop. It’s worth pointing out that the more “respect” Obama shows illegal immigrants who are already here, the more of them keep flowing across our borders.
And of course, I believe that the Iranian Republic is a fanatic, tyrannical Islamic theocracy that has, since its inception, dedicated itself to the complete destruction of Israel, the Islamic takeover of America, and control over the Muslim Middle East. To this end, it has spent the past 36 years fomenting Islamic terror and revolution the world over.
Obama, however, sees a nation disrespected and misunderstood. He believes that the root cause of its violent, genocidal, world domination attitude is that it has been subject to this emotionally hurtful lack of respect and understanding. The same craving for respect has powered its nuclear ambitions. Obama’s answer to Iran’s bad behavior is to treat the root cause: Give Iran respect. And of course, in Obama-land the way to give respect to a fanatic, genocidal, terrorist nation is to give it unfettered access to nuclear weapons. Obama is remarkably clear in his believe that, once it achieves its nuclear ambitions, the sense of respect this will confer on Iran will cause it instantly to lay down the same nuclear weapons it just perfected.
Obama is quite obviously an ideological fool, who is blinded to the realities of human nature, most specifically how humans react to power, incentives, and punishments. Don’t confuse that for stupidity, though, his handling of Israel has been masterful since the very first day of his presidency. He has moved Israel into increasingly smaller boxes to the point at which Israel is now locked tightly into a box with a very large target painted on it. I’m with the Commentary editors in that I see no good outcome here.
Oh, and one more thing: Obama clearly grew up feeling that he, a mixed-race American child in Indonesia’s anti-American streets and Hawaii’s ultra exclusive enclaves, didn’t get the respect he deserved. The way he responds to this root cause problem remarkably parallels his take on Iran’s response to a lack of respect: He punishes his enemies and has no problem with the possibility of their annihilation. Indeed, as I mentioned vis-a-vis Israel, he seems to share with Iran those same genocidal urges that seem to be the last resort of those feeling disrespected.
In other words, when it comes to his own enemies, trying to change their bad behavior by showing them respect is a concept that goes right out the window.
And no, Klavan isn’t being racist when he says that not all black lives matter. He’s making a point, which is that the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is a purely political statement that has absolutely nothing to do with actual black lives mattering:
I didn’t watch the SOTU. Aside from finding Obama a boring, inelegant speaker, I was helping a client with trial prep. Today, the trial got continued for a few months so, before settling in for a nice 12 hour sleep (I wish!), I can blog — and share with you, among other things, a couple of my favorite SOTU analyses. I’ve got a lot to say, so I’ll just start saying….
My two favorite SOTU wrap-ups
As I admitted above, I did not watch the SOTU, so I can’t actually say if these wrap-ups are accurate. I can just say that I liked them.
But Obama long ago concluded that the best defense is a good offense. He has never had to face the consequences of his failures. He has been able to fool most of the people most of the time, at least when it counted. He has skated past disaster after disaster, and gotten away with lie after lie. The biggest repercussion he’s been met with—the 2014 Democratic defeat in Congress—may not stop him. Republicans are somewhat toothless, in part because they are divided among themselves but also because Obama has veto power that will be difficult to override. He’s also got that phone and that pen, and the will to use them. He has successfully transformed the US into a second-rate power and allies into enemies (or at least, into abandoned and confused ex-allies). And he has turned enemies into, if not allies, then gloating and stronger forces in the world for whatever evil they’ve got in mind.
It’s actually worked out very well for Obama. So why not brag?
Unlike most of my Bookworm Beats, in which I try to share with you as many articles and ideas as possible, this one’s going to be short. I have only three points I want to discuss, but I think all of them have so much merit, I don’t want them to get lost in a larger post. So, off we go….
Obama’s revenge against the American voter
Politico has published a quite fascinating article entitled “Operation Revenge.” The article’s central theme is that Obama not only intends to use his last two years in office to act without Congressional and constitutional restraints, but that he especially intends to exact revenge upon all those Republican Congressional figures who have stood in his way:
Obama’s turnaround in recent weeks – he’s seized the offensive with a series of controversial executive actions and challenges to leaders in his own party on the budget — can be attributed to a fundamental change in his political mindset, according to current and former aides. He’s gone from thinking of himself as a sitting (lame) duck, they tell me, to a president diving headlong into what amounts to a final campaign – this one to preserve his legacy, add policy points to the scoreboard, and – last but definitely not least – to inflict the same kind of punishment on his newly empowered Republican enemies, who delighted in tormenting him when he was on top.
Think about that for a moment: Our president intends to “inflict . . . punishment on his . . . Republican enemies.”
Neither Politico nor Obama seem to care about the reason those Republicans in the House have been so recalcitrant since 2010. These fractious men and women didn’t just magically appear in the House one day. They were there because American voters liked their promises to rein in Obama’s worst excesses.
This gal identifies herself as “Honestly Speaking” and, boy, does she speak honestly. She tells “her people” that she’s not a “race traitor” for demanding that black people listen to their best angels, rather than their worst demons. She also explains, with great detail, why she’s a Republican. I wish there where millions of this lady all across America:
Hat tip: Navy One
The last question is a good one: Why do black people gravitate to demagogues?
Political correctness demands that I agree with Lena Dunham that she was raped and that I agree with blacks, race hustlers, college students, and communists that the race problem in America is a white problem, not a black one. To hell with political correctness. I hereby pronounce myself unfettered, and am going with the truth as I see it — which is that young woman and American blacks need to own the problems about which they protest so vehemently — and that the situation won’t change until they change their behavior.
Here’s the truth about Lena Dunham: Lena Dunham was not raped. Lena Dunham was stupid.
The current crop of Michael Brown and Eric Garner themed protests apparently have as one of their goals educating white Americans about the horrors of racism in America. (I say as one of their goals, since their primary goals seem to be twofold: the rapture of riot and the opportunity for looting.) I strongly believe that the protests will fail to achieve this goal.
For starters, when you see a million dollar athlete parading around in an “I can’t breathe” t-shirt, or writing the “I can’t breathe” slogan on his $300 Nikes, do you immediately think, “Oh, my God! Blacks in America are sooo oppressed”?
I don’t. I think “I want to be as oppressed as you are.” That’s what I think. (Except without the part where I have to play pro-football.)
A cold has been making the rounds in my neighborhood and it finally caught up with me. I don’t feel particularly ill, but I feel congested and quite desperately sleepy. I had a great deal to do today, and mostly managed to re-read Agatha Christie’s Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, which wasn’t too taxing (and, thankfully, I’d forgotten whodunnit). I’ve now roused myself enough to clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and share with you a few browser tabs I still have open from yesterday:
The all-around best post about the Rolling Stone’s journalistic malpractice
I’ve shouted my opinion about Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story from the treetops (“It didn’t happen that way!”), and I’ve linked to several posts that agreed with me, only they did so more thoroughly, more elegantly and, most importantly, from more prominent platforms than mine. These combined voices forced Rolling Stone to admit to gross journalistic malpractice.
Of all these bully-pulpit loud voices on the subject, my favorite is Jonah Goldberg. Writing before Rolling Stone walked back its story, Jonah Goldberg had this to say:
The longer I’ve lived as a conservative — which still doesn’t equal the number of years I spent as a younger person on the Left — the more I’ve come to realize that one of the gaping chasms between conservatives and the Left is truth or the absence of truth. Conservatives construct their narratives around facts. Leftists eschew facts and focus entirely on the narrative. And really, if you don’t have any fealty to the truth, it’s a smart thing to do: Unfettered narrative is always going to be the more entertaining and accessible, because it’s expressly created to capture the audience’s interest.
As Ben Shapiro explains, the Left’s Ferguson narrative perfectly illustrates the fact v. narrative divide between conservatives and the Left: