Barack Obama, in his own words, on Islam and Christianity

obama-churchBarack Obama self-identifies as a Christian.  He seems, though, to find Christianity troubling.  Meanwhile, although he denies being a Muslim, he obviously finds it an emotionally and aesthetically attractive belief system.  Why do I say this?  Because someone was good enough to assemble a list of his statements about both religions, and to put them side-by-side:

Obama on Islam:

1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

6. “Islam has always been part of America”

7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

Obama on Christianity:

1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

4. “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”

5. “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”

6. From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”

7. Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

8. “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”

9. “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”

10. “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”

11. “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”

12. “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”

13. “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”

14. On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”

15. “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

16. “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”

17. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

18. “We have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”

19. “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra— (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)”

20. “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

The list doesn’t mean that Obama isn’t a troubled, doubting Christian, or that he’s a closet Muslim.  As Queen Elizabeth I said, it’s not up to us to make windows into men’s souls. But the list of those statements, all of which I remember him making in real-time, strongly indicate that, whatever his actual beliefs, Obama’s affinity (which is different from his faith) seems to hew towards Islam, rather than to the Judeo-Christianity that has for so long underpinned our nation.

Currently, you can find the list here and here.  I found it at American Thinker.

 

With friends like Obama, why would Israel need enemies?

I've always suspected that, in addition to the official message, Obama added his own little prayer about Israel's demise.

I’ve always suspected that, in addition to the official message, Obama added his own little prayer about Israel’s demise.

Harry Truman could have been called an anti-Semite based on some of the things he said about Jews, but it was he who voted “yes” at the UN, making possible Israel’s creation in 1948.  Nixon could have been called an anti-Semite based on some of the things he said about Jews, but it was he who saved Israel’s bacon (pardon the non-kosher word choice) in 1973.

Oh, and here’s the really funny part:  Barack Obama, who claims to be the greatest friend Israel has ever had in America, gives every indication of being the worst enemy Israel has ever had in the White House.  He speaks of love, but his actions can be measured just by looking at his appointments to State, Defense, and the UN.

And speaking of Obama’s appointment to head America’s State Department:

Yes, in what’s now being called his ‘poof’ speech, our secretary of state went out of his way not to blame Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO’s intransigence and refusal to negotiate anything for the failed talks. Of course, it’s all Israel’s fault!

“Israel didn’t release the Palestinian prisoners on the day they were supposed to be freed, and another day passed, and another day, and then another 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem, and ‘poof’…that was sort of the moment,” remarked Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Read the rest here.

I’m struggling to come up with some amusing animal kingdom analogy (“lions blame antelope for hastening their own deaths because they run away, enticing the lions”), but I can’t.  I’m too irritated, and there’s nothing amusing about this.  It’s just scary.

Can we get people to realize that Obama does not take his job seriously?

Obama smoking potPresident Obama does not take his job seriously, nor does he respect the dignity of the office.  Both are important.  Not taking a job seriously inevitably means a job done badly.  And when that job is as much symbolic as it is practically, disrespect can be fatal.  After all, in the old days, even if one disliked the candidate, one still “respected the dignity of the office.”  But what happens if the president demeans the office so much there’s nothing left to respect?

Today three things crossed my computer screen addressing the fact that Obama is a lightweight who’s so protected by the media bubble that he and his followers actually think that, in serious times, his lack of seriousness is a good thing.

First, a video showing the world’s priorities versus Obama’s priorities:

Second, you know Robert Fulghum’s New Age, feel-good book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Michael Walsh has penned a post that could be called “Barack Obama: Your kindergarten guide to governing.”

Third, Stephen Green says that the only reasonable explanation for Obama’s failure to take any action regarding Ukraine must be a lack of seriousness.

Obama has taken the Kennedy doctrine and reconfigured it for himself:  “Ask not what your president can do for his country; as what the presidency can do for your president.”

The malignant narcissism that is the Democrat party, as headed by Barack Obama

modest-narcissistEvery day, we get more evidence that the ruling Democrat party in thrall to a malignant narcissism.  Below, I list the 20 generally agreed upon symptoms of malignant narcissism, almost all of which can easily be aligned with conduct emanating from the Obama White House and the Democrat side of Congress. For brevity’s sake, I’ve included only one example of Obama’s/the Democrats’ pathological behavior, but one can easily come up with many more:

1. THE PATHOLOGICAL LIAR is skillfully deceptive and very convincing. Avoids accountability by diverting topics, dodging questions, and making up new lies, bluffs or threats when questioned. His memory is self serving as he denies past statements. Constant chaos and diverting from reality is their chosen environment.

Democrat Example: Obama’s claim that people would keep their insurance under Obamacare. Another example is Seth Mandel, who offers convincing evidence that the true Obama Doctrine is “selective memory,” as it rewrites or ignores history to suit the needs of the moment, which is simultaneously dishonesty and brainwashing.  (Mandel’s, incidentally, was the article I read that sparked this whole malignant narcissism post.)

2. THE CONTRACT BREAKER agrees to anything then turns around and does the opposite. Marriage, Legal, Custody agreements, normal social/personal protocol are meaningless. This con artist will accuse you of being the contract breaker. Enjoys orchestrating legal action and playing the role of the ‘poor me’ victim.

Democrat Example: Getting Democrat Bart Stupak’s's vote on Obamacare by promising that it would not cover abortion, and then immediately drafting rules so that Obamacare would cover abortion.

3. THE HIGH ROLLER Successfully plows and backstabs his way to the top. His family a disposable prop in his success facade. Is charismatic, eloquent and intelligent in his field, but often fakes abilities and credentials. Needs to have iron-fisted control, relying on his manipulation skills. Will ruthlessly support, exploit or target others in pursuit of his ever-changing agenda. Mercilessly abuses the power of his position. Uses treachery or terrorism to rule or govern. Potential problem or failure situations are delegated to others. A vindictive bully in the office with no social or personal conscience. Often suspicious and paranoid. Others may support him to further their own Mephistophelian objectives, but this wheeler-dealer leaves them holding the bag. Disappears quickly when consequences loom.

Democrat Example: Here’s a list of the many people Obama threw under the bus after they wore out their usefulness.

4. THE SEXUAL NARCISSIST is often hypersexual (male or female). Pornography, masturbation, incest are reported by his targets. Anything, anyone, young, old, male/female, are there for his gratification. This predator takes what is available. Can have a preference for ‘sado-maso’ sexuality. Often easily bored, he demands increasingly deviant stimulation. However, another behaviour exists, the one who withholds sex or emotional support.

Democrat Example: At the individual level, all I need to say is Bill Clinton. At a broader level, the entire Democrat party has become sexually fixated, placing more weight on gay rights than on problems in the Ukraine or Venezuela. For Democrats, the most pressing issue today isn’t the economy or national security, it’s gay rights.

5. THE BLAME-GAME NARCISSIST never accepts responsibility. Blames others for his failures and circumstances. A master at projection.

Democrat Examples: Harry Reid blames Republicans for the situation in Ukraine; and Obama blames Republicans for the problems with Obamacare. And before you say all politicians do that, try to think of a single instance in which George W. Bush blamed anyone for his travails. Heck, he could hardly bring himself to blame Islamists for 9/11, starting instead to chant that ridiculous “Islam is a religion of peace” slogan. It’s not, although there are millions, even billions, of peaceful Muslims.

6. THE VIOLENT NARCISSIST is a wife-Beater, Murderer, Serial Killer, Stalker, Terrorist. Has a ‘chip-on-his-shoulder’ attitude. He lashes out and destroys or uses others (particularly women and children) as scapegoats for his aggression or revenge. He has poor impulse control. Fearless and guiltless, he shows bad judgement. He anticipates betrayal, humiliation or punishment, imagines rejection and will reject first to ‘get it over with’. He will harass and push to make you pay attention to him and get a reaction. He will try to make you look out of control. Can become dangerous and unpredictable. Has no remorse or regard for the rights of others.

Democrat Examples: New York Times says that those who don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change should be stabbed through the heart, while Adam Weinstein and Lawrence Torcello suggest trial, followed by execution.

7. THE CONTROLLER/MANIPULATOR pits people against each other. Keeps his allies and targets separated. Is verbally skillful at twisting words and actions. Is charismatic and usually gets his way. Often undermines our support network and discourages us from seeing our family and friends. Money is often his objective. Other people’s money is even better. He is ruthless, demanding and cruel. This control-freak bully wants you pregnant, isolated and financially dependent on him. Appears pitiful, confused and in need of help. We rush in to help him with our finances, assets, and talents. We may be used as his proxy interacting with others on his behalf as he sets us up to take the fall or enjoys the performance he is directing.

Democrat Example: Using deceptive propaganda to control and manipulate people.

8. THE SUBSTANCE ABUSER Alcohol, drugs, you name it, this N[arcissist] does it. We see his over-indulgence in food, exercise or sex and his need for instant gratification. Will want you to do likewise.

Democrat Example: This one doesn’t yield easily to a specific example, because abuse is an individual problem. However, you could say Democrats are hooked on spending. Sadly, so are Republicans.

9. OUR “SOUL MATE” is cunning and knows who to select and who to avoid. He will come on strong, sweep us off our feet. He seems to have the same values, interests, goals, philosophies, tastes, habits. He admires our intellect, ambition, honesty and sincerity. He wants to marry us quickly. He fakes integrity, appears helpful, comforting, generous in his ‘idealization’ of us phase. It never lasts. Eventually Jekyll turns into Hyde. His discarded victims suffer emotional and financial devastation. He will very much enjoy the double-dipping attention he gets by cheating. We end the relationship and salvage what we can, or we are discarded quickly as he attaches to a “new perfect soul mate”. He is an opportunistic parasite. Our “Knight in Shining Armor” has become our nightmare. Our healing is lengthy.

Democrat Example: The entire Obama presidential campaign in 2008.

10. THE QUIET NARCISSIST is socially withdrawn, often dirty, unkempt. Odd thinking is observed. Used as a disguise to appear pitiful to obtain whatever he can.

Democrat Example: I’ve got nothing here.

11. THE SADIST is now the fully-unmasked malignant narcissist. His objective is watching us dangle as he inflicts emotional, financial, physical and verbal cruelty. His enjoyment is all too obvious. He’ll be back for more. His pleasure is in getting away with taking other people’s assets. His target: women, children, the elderly, anyone vulnerable.

Democrat Example: Obama seems remarkably unperturbed by the fact that everything he’s done has imploded. At home, the economy is in the longest recession since the Depression and more people are in poverty than in the past thirty and more years. Overseas, the world is exploding, with the Arab Spring having turned into a blood-soaked Arab winter, with Ukraine under attack, with North and South Korea actually firing at each other, etc. And Obama and the missus party, go on exotic trips, and generally stand on the battlements of their dark castle and gloat.

12. THE RAGER flies off the handle for little or no provocation. Has a severely disproportionate overreaction. Childish tantrums. His rage can be intimidating. He wants control, attention and compliance. In our hurt and confusion we struggle to make things right. Any reaction is his payoff. He seeks both good or bad attention. Even our fear, crying, yelling, screaming, name calling, hatred are his objectives. If he can get attention by cruelty he will do so.

Democrat Example: I can’t think of a specific high profile Democrat individual or Democrat party example of this.  While there are wild cards in the party, on the whole, Obama and his cadre are very disciplined.  To the extent they use rage, it’s like Khrushchev at the UN — calculated.

13. THE BRAINWASHER is very charismatic. He is able to manipulate others to obtain status, control, compliance, money, attention. Often found in religion and politics. He masterfully targets the naive, vulnerable, uneducated or mentally weak.

Democrat Example: Again, the entire Obama 2008 presidential campaign.

14. THE RISK-TAKING THRILL-SEEKER never learns from his past follies and bad judgment. Poor impulse control is a hallmark.

Democrat Example: Obama has superb impulse control. He’s a cold fish. Nevertheless, despite this frigid temperament, he’s so emotionally well-insulated, that he has never deviated from his chosen path, despite the fact that every single Obama initiative has failed.

15. THE PARANOID NARCISSIST is suspicious of everything usually for no reason. Terrified of exposure and may be dangerous if threatened. Suddenly ends relationships if he anticipates exposure or abandonment.

Democrat Example: Harry Reid’s increasingly unhinged attacks on the Koch Brothers.

16. THE IMAGE MAKER will flaunt his ‘toys’, his children, his wife, his credentials and accomplishments. Admiration, attention, even glances from others, our envy or our fear are his objective. He is never satisfied. We see his arrogance and haughty strut as he demands center stage. He will alter his mask at will to appear pitiful, inept, solicitous, concerned, or haughty and superior. Appears the the perfect father, husband, friend – to those outside his home.

Democrat Example: Obama pretty much embodies this, doesn’t he?

17. THE EMOTIONAL VACUUM is the cruellest blow of all. We learn his lack of empathy. He has deceived us by his cunning ability to mimic human emotions. We are left numbed by the realization. It is incomprehensible and painful. We now remember times we saw his cold vacant eyes and when he showed odd reactions. Those closest to him become objectified and expendable.

Democrat Example: Obama again, the cold fish.

18. THE SAINTLY NARCISSIST proclaims high moral standing. Accuses others of immorality. “Hang ‘em high” he says about the murderer on the 6:00 news. This hypocrite lies, cheats, schemes, corrupts, abuses, deceives, controls, manipulates and torments while portraying himself of high morals.

Democrat Example: Obama, the messiah who accuses others of dastardly deeds.

19. THE CALLING-CARD NARCISSIST forewarns his targets. Early in the relationship he may ‘slip up’ revealing his nature saying “You need to protect yourself around me” or “Watch out, you never know what I’m up to.” We laugh along with him and misinterpret his words. Years later, coping with the devastation left behind, his victims recall the chilling warning.

Democrat Example: In 2009, Obama joked about having the IRS audit his political enemies. In 2012, in the lead-up to his reelection, Obama’s IRS silenced his critics.

20. THE PENITENT NARCISSIST says “I’ve behaved horribly, I’ll change, I love you, I’ll go for therapy.” Appears to ‘come clean’ admitting past abuse and asking forgiveness. Claims we are at fault and need to change too. The sincerity of his words and actions appear convincing. We learn his words are verbal hooks. He knows our vulnerabilities and what buttons to push. We question our judgement about his disorder. We can disregard “Fool me once…” We hope for change and minimize past abuse. With a successful retargeting attempt, this N will enjoy his second reign of terror even more if we allow him back in our lives.

In the Democrat party, there are no penitents.

Barack Obama is both right and wrong (but mostly wrong) when he talks about Russia

pb-130617-obama-putin-meeting.photoblog900The past hundred years have seen two worldwide ideological wars:  The Cold War and the current war between the West and Islam, which Norm Podhoretz calls World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism.

In both of these wars, the world has been a battle ground between opposing forces, one of which seeks to enslave the world’s citizens before a socialist or theocratic government, and the other of which seeks to prevent that enslavement.  (I was going to say “seeks to maximize individual freedom,” but I don’t believe that we can say that anymore about America and we never could say that about Europe.) The fact that the Islamic war has been going on intermittently since the 7th century, with innumerable individual Muslim nations leading the charge, doesn’t change its essential ideological nature.

The same hundred years have seen two worldwide “regional” wars, as well as uncountable small regional wars.  The worldwide ones were, quite obviously World Wars I and II.  Some people are a bit confused about WWII’s inclusion in this category.  While Hitler definitely had an ideology, he was not seeking to spread that ideology.  He simply wanted to expand his nation as far as possible, bringing some geographical regions into Germany, and enslaving others to Germany.

World War I was also about zones of power rather than advancing an ideology throughout the world.  The myriad other 20th and 21st century regional wars have pitted communists against non-communists, but the warring nations, rather than seeking to spread their ideology, were simply working to expand their regional power bases.

Which gets me to what Obama had to say about Russia, where he managed to be both sort of right and entirely wrong.  Since Putin first zeroed in on Ukraine and the Crimea, Obama has been on defense about the fact that Mitt Romney, all the way back in 2012, accurately predicted that Russia would be a geopolitical foe.

Understandably, Obama cannot now concede that Romney was right.  (Much as I dislike and distrust Obama, I think any president in his shoes would never acknowledge that his former opponent was right and would do anything and everything to spin the situation.)  So Obama spins and spins and spins with the inevitable result — the more he talks, the more foolish he appears:

[Obama:] With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has a whole lot of challenges.

Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neigbors, not out of strength, but out of weakness.

Ukraine has been a country in which Russia had enormous influence for decades, since the breakup of the Soviet Union. And we have considerable influence on our neighbors. We generally don’t need to invade them in order to have a strong, cooperative relationship with them. The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more.

So my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is: Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan.

To the extent Obama’s logorrhea disclaims a new Cold War, he’s correct. Putin may mourn the old Soviet Union, but he’s not backing a new Cold War strategy of using guile, stealth, and proxy warfare in order to spread communism throughout the world. He’s a strong Russian nationalist who has no ideology he wants to market. In terms of ideological warfare, our enemy remains Islam, which wants to take over the world with a ferocity that even the communists couldn’t muster.

For Obama to dismiss Russia as a mere regional power, however, and to state that this power base is a “weakness” reveals Obama’s profound historical ignorance and intellectual insularity. It’s as if, in his mind, when the Cold War ended, all possible wars ended. In reality, throughout history, countries seeking regional dominance have successfully wrecked havoc on the world. After all, as they increase their geographic scope, they increase the “region” in which they operate.

In ancient times, Persia wasn’t selling ideology. It was just spreading its wings, seeking Persian lebensraum, an effort that saw it work its way across the entire Aegean until the Spartans stopped it. It’s regional reach managed to go from Persia itself to almost the entire known world. The same was true for both the Greeks and the Romans. While they thought that their ways were best, they weren’t selling an ideology when they conquered. They wanted power and wealth, aka Greek and Roman lebensraum. The Mongol hordes? Ditto. Louis XIV’s France? Ditto. Napoleonic France? Ditto. World Wars I and II, as mentioned above? Ditto.

None of the above aggressor nations conquered a nearby “region” and then stopped voluntarily. Each was emboldened by regional victories and sought to expand the territories it controlled. All were stopped only when their reach exceeded their grasp or when they met a foe more implacable than they were. For Obama to assume that Putin, having stretched his wings a little bit in the Ukraine, will now stop his territorial aggression is woefully or willfully naive.

For Putin, this expansion is a marvelous offset to his problems at home. Dying, aging population? Get a new population. Weakened, corrupted economy? Prop it up with wealth acquired using arms against other nations. An increasingly unpopular, undemocratic rule? Become a successful warrior king and watch your poll numbers shoot up.

The fact that Putin’s armed conquest is unsustainable in the long run (all warrior conquerors have a reach that exceeds their grasp), doesn’t mean in the short run that it won’t be successful. For a time that can run into decades, Putin will control vast swathes of reasonably productive land — something that will give him power far beyond his region. He’ll be able to meddle in Western Europe again. He’ll hold over the world the threat of an alliance with China. He’ll continue to be a power player in the Middle East, especially since Arab nations will always ally themselves with the strong horse.

America’s endlessly naive peace party, which has Obama as its perfect leader, has always assumed that if America makes nice with the world, the world will suddenly become a nicer place.  That this isn’t how the world works eludes these peace makers, as it did after World War I and during the Cold War and during our current World War IV.

Since time immemorial, the world has been a balance of powers. If one power weakens, other step up to fill the vacuum. The world is in bad shape when the dominant power is evil and the world is in good shape when the dominant power is less evil. I would say America is the best dominant power ever to have walked the earth (with the Pax Britannica probably a good second), but we don’t even need to award a dominant power with the label “Best Dominant Power Ever.” It’s enough to know that civilization advances (wealth, health, and innovation) if a particular reigning dominant power is simply better than the alternatives.

It’s not quite clear what Obama’s thinks, but both his ideas are wrong.  He either loathes America so much that he believes, contrary to the entire weight of history, that she has been an evil dominant power or, as I said, he’s so naive and stupid he believes that, if a dominant power voluntarily departs the scene, peace will reign eternal.  Either could explain his deliberate decision to remove America from the world stage, despite global success under her mostly benignant leadership and his conscious refusal to acknowledge the forces of evil hastening to fill the vacuum America has left in her wake.

When I think about the American Lefts’ moral and historical blindness, I keep being reminded of the rebooted Twilight Zone, which ran for two seasons in the mid-1980s. One of its episodes was called A Small Talent for War:

An ambassador (John Glover) from an alien race arrives, claiming that his race had genetically engineered the people of Earth. He tells the quarrelsome members of the United Nations Security Council that his race is displeased over Earth’s “small talent for war”, having failed to produce the potential that the aliens had nurtured. When the alien ambassador announces that his fleet will destroy Earth, the Security Council earns a 24 hour reprieve to prove Earth’s worth. With survival at stake, the Security Council negotiates, and the General Assembly acclaims, an accord for lasting global peace and presents it to the alien ambassador.

The global peace agreement brings great humour to the emissary. The aliens were, in fact, seeking a greater talent for war, as they had genetically seeded thousands of planets to breed warriors to fight for them across the galaxy. Humanity’s “small talent” for war (crude weapons, petty bickering over borders) is not significant enough to be of any use to them, and he laughingly states that – worst of all – the people of Earth long for peace. As the ambassador calls down his fleet to destroy the Earth, he thanks the Security Council for an amusing day and their “delightful sense of the absurd”, and his parting comment is “…as one of your fine Earth actors, Edmund Gwenn, once said, Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”

Humans are never closer to animals than when it comes to their passion and ability for war. Only two things stave off war, especially when these two things operate simultaneously: free trade between nations, so that peace is more beneficial than war; and a dominant world (or regional) power that acts defensively, not offensively. It’s only Twilight Zone script writers and Democrat Party members who think that we will erase war if we successfully stifle the free market and then create a power vacuum that any tin pot tyrant can fill.

A brilliant line about Obama

Imperial ObamaAt Power Line, Paul Mirengoff writes about the way the Russians took Obama’s measure way back during his 2009 visit.  He explains (emphasis mine):

The Russians also had a good laugh at Obama’s imperial trappings. These included the flotilla of Air Force jets that brought him and his entourage to Moscow and the takeover of the Ritz Carlton hotel, where (I was told) rooms started at around $1,200 per night and the presidential suite went for $13,000. Russians were mindful that Presidents Clinton and Bush had traveled far less lavishly. Obama as Neville ChamberlainIt was, I suspect, the jarring juxtaposition of the two phenomena — a president who travels like Julius Caesar but negotiates like Neville Chamberlain — that most amused Russia’s oligarchs. Like the way the juxtaposition of Greek columns and platitudinous mush amused (but also dismayed) observant Americans.

Isn’t that a brilliant line?  “A president who travels like Julius Caesar but negotiates like Neville Chamberlain.”  It so beautifully illustrates Obama’s overweening arrogance, coupled with his careless, callous disregard for America’s standing, reputation, and security.

Putin campaign posters and the real deal with Obama

When you think about it, with the exception of the first one, Obama could have used each one of them:

Putin poster:

Putin1

Obama reality:

There is no Obama reality for this one.  He’s the mirror image of Putin, giving up on America and her allies.

Putin poster:

Putin2

Obama reality:

Obama-Irs

Putin poster:

Putin3

Obama reality (a poster that his own OFA put out):

Obama-gun-control-1jph9kc

Putin poster:

Putin4

Obama reality (and you do remember the collective media swoon over this one, don’t you?):

obama-shirtless-hawaii-12-081

Hat tip: Simply Jews

Monday afternoon mini round-up (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesThoughtful Jews are increasingly thinking one thought:  the notion of a two-state solution is ridiculous.  Moshe Philips and Benyamin Korn explain why it’s ridiculous.  And in a superior interview on the Glenn Beck show, Caroline Glick offers a single-state alternative.

***

When I was on vacation a few years ago, I met an extremely nice man who had retired from being a (very) high-powered executive and, instead, had become an Episcopalian minister.  He did not have a congregation but, instead, spent his energy furthering “social justice.” I, being a curious type, tried to elicit from him what this meant in practical terms. He was unable to answer my questions.  I have wondered since then whether his reticence was because he didn’t want to admit what he was doing or because he couldn’t admit what he was doing. After all, as Jonah Goldberg explains in this video, social justice is a very amorphous concept at best. And at worst, when boiled down to its essence, it demands that Big Government redistribute all wealth — something I don’t think this former high-powered executive, who lived an expensive life, was willing to admit even to himself:

***

I’ve seen several articles about the English Law Society’s decision to accommodate sharia law officially in the courts. All decry it. Tom Wilson, I think, has the best analysis of why it’s such an appallingly dreadful thing to happen in the land that gave us the Magna Carta and that seeded in America the ideas of liberty and equality.

***

Here’s something that is totally weird: I agree completely with Bill Clinton. When it comes to the internet, he makes good sense: “I understand in theory why we would like to have a multi-stakeholder process. I favor that. I just know that a lot of these so-called multi-stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people and restrict access to the Internet.” Part of Obama’s post-election flexibility, though, means he no longer need make obeisance to the Clintons, so he can ignore Bill’s sound advice.

***

Obama’s feminization of the American military continues apace. The latest goal is to use special forces not to engage in high-level military activity (guns, grenades, 20 different ways to kill with a ballpoint pen) but, instead, to turn them into a cutting-edge coffee-klatch. No wonder Obama is getting rid of the Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles. The new military will no longer shoot weapons; instead, it will kill the enemy with vicious girly gossip.

***

The far-Left is a comfortable resting place for angry, insane people. And no, those are not pejoratives. They accurately, almost clinically describe women who claim that Ronald Reagan is responsible for any stigma that fat people suffer in today’s society.

***

Sultan Knish has an excellent comparison between Vlad Putin’s old-fashioned hunger for land and power (so 19th century!) versus Barack Obama’s cool, modern hunger for pop culture fame, especially when it comes to selling the all-important Obamacare. Daniel Greenfield’s important point is that, while the two men intentionally project very different images, they are both totalitarians at heart, doing what they need to seize absolute power in their own countries.

***

Too many Jewish families fail to realize how antisemitic American college campuses have become. Nor is this antisemitism confined to fringe departments. Instead, it’s front and center, and increasingly enforced with physical threats and actual violence.

***

“Never before has our nation seen corruption on this scale.” John Hinderaker’s Obamacare epitaph, after reading one liberal woman’s description of her Obamacare travails — and what it finally took to fix the problem.

Saturday mid-day roundup (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesI have learned something about myself over the past 5.5 weeks:  I will never master crutches.  After all this time, I still fall going up the stairs, get vertigo going down the stairs, topple over when trying to reach light switches, get abrasions on my skin, and exhaust my injured shoulder.  My big hope for this coming week is that the doctor tells me I can ditch the crutches and use a cane or go unaided on my own two feet.  In the meantime, though, I’ve got stuff I want to share with you:

In 2008, Obama won in significant part by hooking up with pop culture and making himself “cool.”  The implication was exactly what it is in high school:  if you hang with the cool kids, you’ll be cool too.  Obama was cool because he hung with Hollywood . . . and young voters were cool because they wore Obama t-shirts.  Obama is trying to reprise that cool factor with his current campaign to get healthy young people to sign up for Obamacare.  Now that actually money is involved, I suspect he’ll have less success than in 2008, when all you needed to be cool was a t-shirt and a vote.

***

When it comes to understanding how the media functions as the PR arm for the Democrat party, you can’t do better than to read John Hinderaker’s article describing the downstream fallout from the Washington Post‘s cheap and false attack on the Koch brothers. (Hinderaker’s challenge to the original WaPo article is here.) Not only does Hinderaker strip bare the ugliness behind the Post’s defense of its own bad reporting, he also analyzes why the Left is so obsessed with the Koch Brothers, the problems Democrats are starting to have with the “green” worldview, and the money behind the Democrats’ attacks on the Kochs.

***

Two Democrat politicians, one in Arkansas and one in Alaska, have rather foolishly chosen to attack their Republican opponents for having been in the military. The GOP has done an ad highlighting these attacks and focusing on the fact that there is something honorable about having served in the military. I agree, but for me there’s more than that going on.  When I think about military service, what I think about is competence and responsibility. In a society where young people avoid both — and, indeed, are encouraged by law to remain infantile until their 26 — the military forces young people to step up. I know that there are shirkers in the military, but the statistical likelihood is that someone who spent many years in the military is probably a can-do and will-do kind of person.

***

Over the years, I’ve written about the fact that people who support abortion use a very dishonest debate tactic when they pretend that the world is the same as it was before Roe v. Wade. The implication is that, if abortion again becomes limited to life-of-the-mother (and perhaps rape and incest) cases, young girls will be thrown starving into the streets and children will be raised with the stigma of bastardy. In a world in which single mothers are one of the fastest growing demographics, this is ludicrous. The Left also pretends that women will once again return to back alley abortions, complete with unsanitary coat hangers. Indeed, one pro-Abortion outlet is giving “cute” little coat hanger necklaces to those who donate money to the cause.

Here’s something interesting, though: Just as the pro-abortion crowd lies about the world as it is, implying that unwed pregnant women will once again be driven into the snow (barefoot, of course), so too is it lying about the world as it was. Kevin Williamson finds contemporaneous evidence from Planned Parenthood itself saying that, back in the 1960s, while abortion was illegal, it was also safe — indeed, probably safer than at places like Kermit Gosnell’s House of Abortion Horror.

***

J. Christian Adams asks a good question: Why does Michelle Obama’s mother live rent-free in the White House? It might have made sense when the Obama’s first arrived in D.C. with two fairly young daughters, but it makes no sense now. I guess, though, that Michelle loves her Mommy and wants to make sure that Mrs. Robinson also gets to enjoy the pleasures of staying in $8,000 per night suites in Beijing (taxpayer-funded, of course).

“White Trash” is not a skin color, it’s a state of mind. One aspect of the WT state of mind is the person who, when he knows someone else is paying the restaurant bill, orders the most expensive thing on the menu. The Obamas are quite definitely White Trash.

***

In my real-me Facebook world, my friends still cling to the Anthropogenic Climate Change theory. In the real world, actual scientists (as opposed to PhD-holding crusaders looking for large government grants) are finally waking up and smelling the con-job coffee. It remains to be seen whether the climate-change generation is going to be able to walk away from this false God.

***

A couple of weeks ago, I said that the hate-crime hoaxes coming from the Left meant that I didn’t believe a gay guy who claimed (without corroboration) that his aged Baptist minister grandfather, who had been married for 65 years, confessed on his deathbed that he was gay. Maybe grandpa did; maybe he didn’t. It’s just that, as I said, absent ample evidence, I don’t believe the Left. In that vein, I point out that yet another hate-crime has proven to be a hoax.

***

Last week, I showed a picture of a school workbook telling students that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms provided that the government first gives them permission to do so. Someone asked for the provenance of that image. It turns out that (surprise! surprise!) it comes from an Illinois Middle School.

***

Reading travel tips that Chinese give those of their compatriots heading to America I thought to myself, “What a nice country we have.”

Friday morning wrap-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’ve ranted here before about the fact that, when discussing the Left’s insistence that government should be able to give the Pill to young girls, no one mentions how dangerous hormone-based birth control devices are.  It seems, though, that people are finally waking up to the fact that there’s a price to pay for messing with women’s hormones.

***

Walt Disney was a futurist because he believed that the future would be a wonderful time that would see Americans, and people around the world, enjoying better living through technology. Obama is a futurist too. He envisions a barren, parched wasteland with bazillions of starving people, among whom will be history professors passing judgment on today’s events — hence Obama’s perpetual concern with “being on the right side of history.” What Obama doesn’t grasp is that the world’s bad actors are not futurists. They are “here and now” -ists. Putin, in true George Washington Plunkitt fashion, saw his opportunity and took it, history be damned. What Putin understands, which Obama doesn’t, is that the victors get to write the history.

***

Back in August 2008, David Goldman foresaw the Russian (and American and Israeli) future. George Bush is not without guilt on this one. America as a whole, has been naive and credulous in dealing with Putin. In 2008, though, no one could have envisioned an American leader quite as bad as Obama. Goldman’s 2008 article posited Russians playing chess and Americans playing Monopoly. Obama, however, has been playing Chutes and Ladders.

***

In any event, whether the West is playing Monopoly or Candy Land, the Onion has a wonderful satirical piece in which Putin expresses his gratitude.

***

We all know (and the Left knows too) that Paul Ryan is not a racist for pointing out exactly what Obama pointed out: that American black men live within a damaged and damaging culture. Where Ryan failed, though, was his decision to bob and weave when the usual race-baiters labeled him as a racist. He apologized for being misunderstood and met with black leaders and did the usual sackcloth and ashes routine. What Ryan should have done — what every person of good will should do when the race-baiters call him names — was to come out swinging: “I am not a racist. You are the racist because you refuse to allow anyone to talk about the welfare state’s massive failures. Etc.” The moment anyone apologizes on this one for anything, even using the wrong punctuation, the race-baiters win.

***

On the subject of racism, affirmative action is one of those racist Leftist evils. While it may have had some merit in the first years after 1964 (and I doubt even that), it’s become poison in the decades since then. For more than fifty years, it’s told both whites and minorities that the latter need not try as hard because the system will raise them up anyway.  This is a terrible message. Up until affirmative action, disfavored American groups raised themselves up by working twice as hard and by competing head-on with the entrenched classes. That’s the way to break racism (or anti-Catholicism or anti-Semitism). You try harder; you don’t try less hard. According to John Fund, it might be that some people are finally figuring this out.

***

Incidentally, affirmative action is why Obama got elected and it’s one of the reasons he will never be impeached. With that kind of job security, Obama doesn’t need to work hard and can, during the hours he does deign to work, go about freely de-valuing America.

***

I liked 300. A lot. I didn’t get to see the end though. With only 10 minutes to go, the liberal friend with whom I was watching it said, “This is disgusting,” turned the TV off, took out the disk, put it in the Netflix mailer, and that was that. I liked the movie for precisely the reasons Andrew Klavan liked it. I also fail to see how any sequel could work. The Spartan stand at Thermopylae was a unique moment in history. Any subsequent film will just be about a battle, not about an idea.

***

My son said that kids at his school are saying that the endless coverage about the missing Malaysia Airline is to cover for the debacle (from America’s viewpoint) in the Ukraine. Smart kids. The DiploMad says the same thing.

***

Daniel Greenfield has an extended, thoughtful, detailed, accurate, depressing rumination on the death cult lying at Islam’s heart.

Obama wasn’t mugged by reality; he wanted this reality

obama gives us the finger_thumb[41]William Kristol has a good summary about Obama’s inertia in the face of world chaos.  I disagree, however, with the language I’ve emphasized:

In late 1979, with the seizure of American hostages by Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter was mugged by reality. Carter then tried, however haplessly, to change direction. But Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter. Will Obama increase defense spending, as Carter did? Is he likely to launch a military excursion, as Carter did, over the objection—and then resignation—of his dovish secretary of state?

Carter, whatever his problems, was more hawkish than most in his party. In this he followed in the footsteps of every other Democratic president in the past century. Until Barack Obama.

It’s been a bit bewildering, even disorienting, to watch Obama get mugged by reality and refuse to press charges.

Obama hasn’t been mugged by reality.  This is what Obama wanted.  That’s why the comparisons with Carter don’t actually work — and it’s not just that Carter only had a four-year term, rather than an eight year term.

When Carter embarked upon his foreign policy, his imagined result was that America would still be a world leader, but one that would lead through Gandhi-esque peace, rather than through arms.  When peace didn’t work, Carter pivoted in an effort to return America to leadership through economic and military strength.  When he was voted out of office, Reagan did that job and did it well.  Carter was a dreadful president and I seriously dislike him for his increasingly overt antisemitism, but he was still a patriot.

Obama is not a patriot.  America’s total retreat is what he wanted.  That is, he was never seeking world domination through peaceful means.  Instead, his stated goal was to cut America down to size and make her just one nation among many.  The world cheered him in that goal.  Now the world is being reminded of the dictum to “be careful what you wish for because you might get it.”

Obama, however, is not weeping over his wishes being granted.  He got exactly what he wished for and is undoubtedly pleased with the results.  Insulated by his praetorian White House guard and sycophantic media, he doesn’t worry about the downsides of his execrable foreign policies.  All he cares about is the fact that he succeeded in weakening (perhaps permanently) a nation he’s always viewed as an overbearing, racist, capitalist bully.

Wednesday evening round-up (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesThis has been a crazily chaotic day.  I got thrown off my stride by my morning swim (phase 2 in physical therapy for my knee, now that I’m off the perpetual motion machine), and just couldn’t catch up anymore.  Throw in a few unexpected demands on my time and — voila! — I’m doing my round-up early in the evening instead of first thing in the morning.  Still, proving that there’s always room for a cliched phrase, better late than never.  So, here goes:

A friend sent me the following link in the mail and it was so eerily close to the way real events are playing out, that it took me a second to realize that it’s satire (and pretty damn funny satire at that): On Defense Cuts, Obama Just Comes Right Out And Says He Wants The Terrorists To Win

***

Perhaps we’ve reached a stage where the best we can hope for is that Israel will have our back, rather than vice versa.  At least today, Israel had its own back (can I say that and still make sense?), capturing a massive arms haul — Syrian missiles, shipped out from Iran, and headed to Gaza. Thank God the Israelis still have the sechel to watch out for their own interests.

***

And speaking of Israel’s interests, if the last twenty-two years have shown us anything, it’s that participating in peace talks isn’t working. The reason, of course, is that the peace talks are all directed at a “two-state solution,” but the Palestinians, as well as the surrounding Arab and Muslim states, have no interest in a two-state solution. Yoav Sorek says that it’s time to stop chasing this chimera and create a new paradigm: a one-state solution — Israel — that the Palestinians have to learn to live with.

***

If you’re girding your loins against the possibility of a Hillary victory in 2016, maybe it’s time to stop girding and start working incredibly hard for a good conservative candidate, instead of the usual lousy conservative candidates. I say this because Hillary is also a lousy candidate and the only way in which Republicans can lose if she’s the Democrat candidate is if they put up another McCain.  (What do you bet that the Republicans put up another John McCain?)

***

Here’s a scary thought: I already suggested that Obama has gone round the bend. What if Putin has done the same? The world is scary enough with one madman in power. What’s it going to be like with the last two great powers of the 20th century both headed by malignant narcissists whose already tenuous grip on reality has been destroyed by the bubbles in which they surrounded themselves?

***

Maybe none of it matters anyway, at least when it comes to Russia. I’ve noted before that Russia is in serious decline and this article provides the facts behind my conclusions. Whether Putin’s move on the Crimea is crazed or calculated, it can only buy a small amount of time for a country that will be eaten by China in the next few decades. (And considering its population, China will have a credible “lebensraum” argument, won’t it?) Ultimately, Putin will have gained nothing for his own country, although he will have succeeded in providing more evidence that Obama is feckless and unreliable, and may have caused several thousand, or even several hundred thousand, deaths along the way. Given the two delusional men at the helm of two declining nations, the last thing we want is a fast-walk to military confrontation.

***

If Snowden had merely shown how the U.S. government routinely collects very scrap of data it can about American citizens, he would have deserved the “hero” title that the far Left and far Right placed on him. But considering that he mostly stole 1.7 million sensitive files touching upon national security, and then headed for the Chinese and, after that, the Russians, it’s clear that he’s the biggest traitor in American history. I’m putting more and more credence in the theory that he was a massive traitor all along, and that he stole the “spying on American” stuff only to provide himself with cover.

***

Walt Disney Co. is free to demand that everyone and everything with which it deals support gay marriage. And people who disagree with that position are free to stop dealing with the Walt Disney Co. I really like Disneyland and Disney World, but it won’t be the end of the world for me if I never go to either place again. I bet the same is true for a lot of Americans. I’m not suggesting a formal boycott. I am pointing out, however, that in this information-rich world, we no longer have to deal with companies that spend our money in ways we dislike.

***

Jonah Goldberg supports Obama’s initiative to help black youth, even if it’s manifestly discriminatory for the federal government to extend aid to one racial group while ignoring others (not that this has ever stopped the feds before). Jonah is right that America’s black youth are in desperate straits and need all the help they can get. My only concern is that it was the federal government that got America’s black youth in this situation in the first place, thanks to Leftists’ belief that blacks cannot manage without government support. It seems to me that the federal government is the last entity that should be trusted to get blacks out of this miserable cycle of violence, drugs, and poverty. Remember Frederick Douglass’s words (emphasis mine):

In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us…. I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … Your interference is doing him positive injury.

***

Not only did I enjoy Ace’s take on Obama’s manifestly unconstitutional decision to amend Obamacare again, but I loved the Photoshop you’ll find at that link. (BTW, Obama’s action is unconstitutional because only Congress can amend a law. This is banana republic stuff.)

***

Did I say “banana republic stuff”? I did, and I meant it. Michael Ramirez has his own comment on what Barack Obama has managed to do in five short (although they seemed very long) years.

***

The NAACP says “stand your ground” laws are part of “institutional racism.” Think about that for a moment. The laws simply say that, if your choices when faced by an assailant are to cut and run or to stand and fight, you can stand and fight (especially when cutting and running carries risks). They are facially neutral laws that apply to anyone facing a threat, black or white. What the NAACP is implicitly conceding is that the only/primary threatening parties in America — the ones who will be on the wrong side of “stand your ground” — are black. Wow! Is that racist or what? It seems to me that the NAACP is guilty of a bit of institutional racism itself.

***

There are two writers out there who make just about everything interesting . . . and when the subject matter is inherently interesting, they’re off into the stratospheres of wonder for their readers. Enjoy the Diplomad’s Cage Fighter vs. Pajama Boy; Putin Confronts the West and Sultan Knish’s A Maddow in MSNBCland.

***

Boehner’s bad: He freely concedes that all he cares about is opening up America’s borders. Who cares that the voters don’t want that? Remember, our elected officials are no longer our servants; they are our masters.

***

Muslims bomb the Boston Marathon and Boston, home to the American Revolution, does what the Left does best: it backs down. That’s the word from Runner’s world:

A decade long tradition will be missing from this year’s Boston Marathon. Due to the new, stricter security guidelines released by the Boston Athletic Association last Wednesday, ruck marchers will not be allowed to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boylston because they are considered “unauthorized participants.”

Active members of the military have participated in ruck marches at the Boston Marathon for years. Donning full fatigues and carrying 40-pound rucksacks on their backs, ruckers march the length of the course in support of families of fallen soldiers.

Muslims don’t have to defeat America on the battlefield. If they scare us enough, we’ll unilaterally declare defeat and turn ourselves over to the enemy.

***

And finally, Danny Lemieux posted the following quotation on his real-me Facebook:

“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”

- Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
(publ. 1776-1789)

It’s funny how we spend our adolescent years desperately trying to shake off our parents’ care, which we feel comes with too many strings attached, and then spend the rest of our lives trying to get someone to care for us, strings or not.

Kerry’s negotiating desperation re Putin would be funny if it wasn’t so scary

John Kerry's Right To Be StupidAs I was driving home from the swimming pool today, I heard that Russia’s representative was refusing to accede to John Kerry’s request that the Russians sit down for face-to-face negotiations with the Ukrainians. My first thought was that the report was way too polite. Kerry’s not requesting, he’s begging.

My second thought was that this is what happens when the President of the United States spends five years making it plain that America will not use its power and, worse, that the president’s word cannot be relied upon. Kerry has no leverage.

As for my third thought, I didn’t actually have a third thought.  Instead, I’m borrowing from a friend, who forwarded his thoughts on the matter to me:

Obama and Kerry attempting to use diplomacy with Putin is like trying to use reason with robbers during a home invasion. As they are talking, he’s filling his pockets and getting the tactical advantage. If he gets away with this who’s next? Further, why would anyone choose to negotiate over something they can simply take?

All of the above would be amusing if it was written into a lunatic novel.  (By the way, if you’re looking for a wonderful, clever, laugh-out-loud funny lunatic novel, I highly recommend Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood.)  But this is isn’t a lunatic novel.  It’s real life, and Obama has managed to destroy in five years almost 70 years of American influence.

Does Obama’s interview about Israel reveal a president who has finally broken free of reality?

Young Obama Young Bibi and Bib NetanyahuMano a mano, I’d bet on Netanyahu against Obama every time.  Nation to nation, though, Bibi has the misfortune to be facing off against a spoiled, Leftist, anti-Israel, pot-smoking adolescent who nevertheless controls the world’s greatest military and economic power.  I’m still betting on the Israelis, but it’s not a no-brainer — especially because Obama appears to have reached his conclusions by ignoring stubborn facts and, instead, substituting data that is entirely unrelated to any facts on the ground.

I bring this up because, although the headlines are about Ukraine, no Jew who cares about Israel can have missed Obama’s truly dreadful interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. In it, he made clear that, as far as he’s concerned, the only thing stopping Middle East peace is Israel’s peculiarly stiff-necked intransigence.

To reach this conclusion, Obama shows that he is as delusional about the Muslim Middle East as he is about the rest of the world.  In Obama’s world, Israelis have no interest in peace.  It is, instead, the Palestinians (who strongly support terrorism, who voted for Hamas when they had the chance, who celebrate Jewish genocide, who have never complied with past “peace” agreements, who openly demand a world without Israel, and who have refused to negotiate without preconditions by which Israel gives up her nationhood) who are chomping at the bit to get to the negotiating table.

Don’t take my word for it about Obama’s twisted view of the Middle East.  After you’ve read his own words, check out John Podhoretz’s masterly deconstruction of Obama’s fantasies — as well as his take on Obama’s threats.  It remains to be seen whether Obama’s fact-free preemptive strike against Israel bear fruit in the complacent media.  (I can’t believe I said that.  Of course they’ll bear fruit.)

Caroline Glick, a strong, logical, fearless voice for conservative Israelis, hitback swiftly, telling Obama that his threats cannot frighten a nation that has seen much, much worse.  She also took the time to expose some of Obama’s more reality-challenged statements.  Sadly, I don’t think anyone in the White House is paying attention to Glick.

I don’t expect the administration to pay attention to a Jew.  The administration likes only deracinated Jews who have replaced obedience to God with obedience to the Democrat party.  But maybe the Obama administration should listen to one of Islam’s most prominent spokes people.  Anjem Choudary is clear about the existential inconsistencies between Islam and the West:

 

If you don’t recognize Choudary’s name, Jim Hoft fills you in:

Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary blamed Lee Rigby’s murder on British foreign policy.

In 2008 Choudary gloated over the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

[snip]

Anjem Choudary is a British-Pakistani, who lives on social welfare funds and supports jihad. Choudary takes in a reported sum of £25,000 ($37,770) per year from the British welfare program while soldiers earn only $24,000 a year. Something is wrong with the system.

I used the words “delusional,” “fact-free,” and “reality-challenged” to describe Obama’s approach to the Middle East and even included a link to a Washington Post editorial calling his approach to Ukraine a “fantasy.”  Up until this past week, I would simply have said that Obama has long lived in a Leftist bubble, which has guided his practical and moral approach to the world.  Those weren’t delusions, but grave ideological errors.  This past week, though, we are seeing Obama trading in his foul ideological glasses (which distort everything on which they focus) for actual delusional facts.  Has the bubble gotten so thick about him that our president is literally becoming deranged?

Pot can do that to you, so I’ll leave you with the very surprising words that came out of Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown of California, when asked about  his enthusiasm for legalizing pot in California (emphasis added):

Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work. The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay, but there is a tendency to go to extremes, and all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? World’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we needed to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the pot heads might be able to put together.

Barack Obama : the president as spectator to the world’s democratic uprisings

Obama mouth taped shutFrom the time he hit the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama made it plain that he considered America to be too big for her britches when it comes to international matters.  Looking at imperfect nations, you could see him mentally scolding America — “Haven’t you done enough already?” — for bringing so much pain and suffering to the rest of the world.

In the years since his election, Obama has reacted strongly to only three international issues:  climate change, gay rights, and Libya.  The first two are pet issues of the Left.  As for Obama’s enthusiasm about invading Libya . . . well, that continues to mystify me.  Obama’s silence has been most pointed and damaging when it comes to naturally occurring democratic movements within a despotic state.

It’s one thing (usually a stupid thing) for America to waltz in and take out a tyrant; it’s another thing entirely when the nation’s own citizens are yearning to be free, and are willing to face their own government’s guns to gain that freedom.  Under those circumstances, every person who believes in individual liberty should speak up — especially the president of the nation that has long represented itself as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Obama, however, will not speak.

When brave Iranians challenged the mullahs, Obama was silent.  The mullahs tightened their hold.

When the Muslim Brotherhood filled the power vacuum in Egypt, Obama was silent.  A year of repression ensued.

When brave Egyptians challenged the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama was silent.  The country is now once again under a military dictatorship.

When brave Syrians challenged the tyrannical Assad regime, Obama was silent.  Had he spoken up sooner, a violent, bloody civil war — violent and bloody even by civil war standards — might have been avoided.  When the civil war took a chemical turn, Obama spoke up, only to retreat quickly when called to make good on his words.

When brave Turks challenged Erdogan’s increasingly totalitarian, Islamist rule, Obama was silent.

Today, Obama continues this familiar pattern.  Ukrainian citizens, horrified at the realization that their government is trying once against to drag them back into the Soviet orbit (we know how well that went for them in the 1930s and beyond) are battling in the streets.  Obama is silent.

And in Venezuela, citizens worn down by the repression and poverty of Chavez’s and Maduro’s hard-core socialism are rising up in the streets.  Obama is silent.

Since WWII, people around the world knew that if they sought freedom and called upon America for help, America would help.  Sometimes the help was military, sometimes financial, and sometimes it was moral.

This aid wasn’t for America’s benefit — at least it wasn’t directly for America’s benefit.  To the extent that democracies tend to be the most peaceful form of governments, it was always to America’s benefit to encourage democratic governments around the world.  Nevertheless, America’s first motive was often altruistic.  Because we were the world’s most powerful free nation, we believed that we had a moral obligation to wield that power beneficently.  Sometimes America’s road to Hell has been paved with those good intentions, but our craven retreats from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all revealed that the post-American vacuum is often infinitely worse than the American occupation.

We’ve learned from our experiments in Iraq and, especially, in Afghanistan, that countries that have always had dictatorships, especially tribal and/or theocratic dictatorships, do not benefit from removing the existing dictator, because another one will always come along.  I therefore wouldn’t recommend interceding directly in a Muslim country ever again. Instead, we should be doing what Saudi Arabia did for Wahhabism:  establishing and funding institutions throughout the Muslim world that are dedicated to teaching the principles of freedom.  This generation may be lost, but perhaps we can save the next one and, along the way, save ourselves too.

Things are different, though, when the cry for freedom (or at least for less tyranny) originates within a country.  Had Obama immediately given moral support to internally grown democratic movements in Iran, Egypt, and Syria, he might have been able to turn the tide.  American moral support in Venezuela and Turkey would have fallen on especially fertile soil, because both are countries that have known some form of democracy.

Obama, however, considers that there is no such thing as beneficent American power.  To him, America’s strength is, by definition, malignant and destructive.  He truly believes that the Iranians are better off under the mullahs, the Egyptians under the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrians under Assad, the Turks under Erdogan, the Ukrainians under Putin, and the Venezuelans under Maduro.  Judging by his complicit silence, there is no tyranny worse than that of being behold to the United States.

 

I’ve finally figured out why I dislike the gay rights’ movement — and it has nothing to do with my support for gay civil rights

Obama First Gay PresidentI’ve always thought of myself as someone who’s cool about gays.  For many years, I could honestly say that many of my good friends, and some of my best friends, were gay.  I didn’t appreciate their lifestyle excesses (especially because I lost a lot of friends to AIDS because of those lifestyle choices), but I appreciated the qualities that made them my friends.  These were the same qualities I looked for in any friends, female (straight or gay) or male (straight or gay):  humor, kindness, intelligence, loyalty, etc.

Lately, though, I find myself increasingly uncool about gays and I haven’t been happy about that feeling.  I kept asking myself, “Am I a homophobe?”  My answer was, “I don’t think so, because I wish all American citizens well, and I pray for the well-being of all victimized people at home and abroad.  I don’t see where homophobia fits into that world view.”

It was Ben Shapiro’s article about the failed Sochi Olympics that made me realize what was bugging me.  It’s not the gays that bother me; it’s the way the Democrat establishment, from the White House down, is hiding behind gay rights to avoid being called upon for the Obama administration’s myriad failings in every area of domestic and foreign policy.

Here (in no particular order) are just some of the headlines that should concern the President:

Venezuela is teetering on the brink of revolution.

America is completely reliant on China and India for prescription drugs — countries that frequently provide tainted or defective medicines

Syria peace talks have failed, leading to increased tension between Russia and the United States

Islamist rebels in Africa are attacking Christians at an accelerated pace

Obamacare is proving to be a costly, destructive train wreck (no link needed for that, right?)

America’s debt now stands at $17 trillion, and that number is growing at an exponential rate

Our jobless rate is artificially low, because many people have just given up

Obama is paving the way for a nuclear Iran

The routine persecution everyone (including gays) in Muslim countries.

America is running out of clowns

Those are some pretty damn significant issues, and all of them fall within the purview of a President who owns half of Congress and who, for two years, owned all of Congress.  Moreover, this is a president who came into office with all the goodwill in the world to give him a head start on tackling big issues.

Obama and his friends, however, are not interested in big issues.  Instead, here is what the administration and its spokespeople are talking about:

Climate change, despite the fact that there’s ever-increasing evidence that the earth’s temperature hasn’t risen in almost two decades, that any change is natural and cyclical, and that we’re losing the benefit of the lovely warming period that’s made the earth so fruitful for the last few centuries.  In other word’s, climate change is a con.

Gay rights as the “unfinished business of the 21st century.”

Gay football players

Gays in Uganda (when the administration should be talking generally about the dysfunctional, corrupt Ugandan political scene)

Transgender bathrooms in California’s public schools

Gays at the Sochi Olympics

Persecution of gays in Christian countries (although persecution of gays in Muslim countries and societies continues to be the persecution that dares not speak its name)

And, of course, gay marriage, gay marriage, gay marriage

Just about the only thing lately that gets the Obama administration excited is a report of discrimination against gays anywhere in the world.

Let me be clear:  It’s morally right to take a stand against discrimination against gays, whether in Russia or the NFL or Uganda or the entire Muslim world.  No one should ever be imprisoned, murdered, beaten, fired, barred from employment, harassed, or otherwise accorded violent or oppressive treatment at the hands of the state or of fellow citizens simply because that person does not embrace heterosexuality.

My complaint, therefore, isn’t that the administration regularly takes a principled stand for gay civil rights.  My complaint is that, in addition to Obamacare (a terrible, destructive failure), and anthropogenic climate change (a non-falsifiable theory that is almost certainly a con), LGBTQ rights are the only things that excite the administration and its base. In that context, gay rights are a shell game, meant to distract the American people from the fact that the administration is routinely failing in its responsibilities to ensure that all Americans, not just gay Americans, can thrive at home.  It’s also failed to fulfill America’s traditional role (since WWII) of keeping the world a safer, more democratic place, something that benefits all people regardless of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

The whole gay rights thing puts me off, not because I hate gay rights, but because the administration uses it as both shield and sword to ignore much more pressing matters, some of which, if they were addressed (such as rising Islamism or increasing Russian oppression), would benefit gays along with everyone else.  I don’t hate gays or gay rights; I hate false flag operations that hide policy failures with real world consequences, not just for gays, but for everyone.

As long as the Democrat establishment cynically uses gay rights as a way of avoiding the real issues, I’m going to have a negative visceral reaction every time I see yet another Democrat talking head or media figure (but I repeat myself . . .) mouthing off about gay rights issues at home or abroad.

The Left is okay with executive overreach, when it’s their guy doing it

emperor_obamaAccording to Power Line, when a Fox News Poll asked people point blank whether our system supports a president circumventing Congress, 74% of respondents said “no” and only 23% said “yes.”  That answer was only marginally different when the question was re-framed to ask people to ignore the way things should be under our Constitution and, instead, to answer whether they thought it was okay for Barack Obama to circumvent Congress.  In that case, 60% of respondents thought that it still wasn’t okay and only 37% of them approved of Obama acting as a dictator.

My very first thought when I read about that 37% was that I think I know every one of them on my real-me Facebook.  In that Facebook account, with the exception of conservative friends I’ve made in the last few years, and a handful of apolitical people, everyone else in my world — the world made up of school friends, work friends, and neighborhood people — is rabidly Progressive.

These Progressives have been silent since October, when it became clear that Obamacare was going to be an even more dismal, dysfunctional failure than Republicans predicted.  Now, however, with Obama promising to enact his agenda unilaterally, they’re happy again.  When they’re not celebrating gay rights (and I’d so that, gay or straight, 75% of their political Facebook posts are about gay rights), they’re starting to put up MoveOn.org style posters encouraging what most Americans recognize as Obama’s lawlessness.

If one were to ask my highly educated, well compensated friends to support their position, I’m sure that all would reply that (a) whatever is wrong now is the fault of Republicans in Congress and (b) that the ends justify the means.  That phrase, incidentally, is one of the scariest in the English language.

Nor would any of them be fazed if they were shown Obama’s blatant hypocrisy:

These Progressives would only say, again, that it’s not hypocrisy at all.  The problem wasn’t executive overreach, they’d say, it was Bush’s executive overreach.  When Obama does the same thing, it’s different.

Found it on Facebook: Barack Obama, warrior for the middle class

Obama-warrior-middle-class

In other words, Moochelle’s dress costs more than a year’s income for a poor family.  This disconnect from reality and this utterly classless ostentation also explain Obama’s delightful “middle class” dinner for the socialist French president:

American osetra caviar “farmed from the estuaries of Illinois”
Pennsylvania quail eggs and a dozen varieties of American potatoes.
“Winter Garden Salad”
Dry-aged rib eye beef “sourced from a family-owned farm in Greeley, Colorado.”
Chocolate malted cake “presented in a geometric form,” using bittersweet chocolate from Hawaii, along with vanilla ice cream from Pennsylvania.
Wines from California and Washington state
Chardonnay from Monticello
Vermont maple-syrup fudge
Lavender shortbread cookies
“Cotton candy dusted with orange zest.”

Food fit for Marie Antoinette and friends.

Europeans look at Hillary and Obama through the Benghazi lens

The American media won’t touch Benghazi with a ten foot pole, since there is no way that either Hillary or Obama come out of it looking good.  The Europeans, however, are not so squeamish.  (Hat tip:  Snoopy the Goon, a fellow Watcher’s Council member who blogs out of Israel at Simply Jews.)

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Help wanted re executive order analysis

imageOne of the things making the rounds on my “real me” Facebook is a poster claiming that Bush signed off on many more executive orders than did Obama. Since the poster is obviously out of date (not to mention the fact that it compares Bush’s 8 year term to Obama’s 1 or 2 year term at the time), I went to Wikipedia and found some interesting numbers.

Over eight years, George W. Bush issued 291 EOs, with the largest number in 2001 (presumably because of 9/11). That’s an average of slightly more than 36 per year. In the course of five years, Obama has issued 167 EOs, or an average of almost 21 per year. Under that metric, Progressives are absolutely right that Bush was the bigger offender.

It seems to me, though, that a numerical argument is a red herring. I’m under the impression — and I’m asking you, please, to correct me if I’m wrong — that conservatives’ objection to Obama’s EOs stems from the nature, not the number. That is, Obama is using EOs to void legislation, rather than as directives to effectuate legislation. In doing that, he’s unconstitutionally usurping Congress’s power (although Democrat Congress people seen fine with waving — or waiving — their prerogatives goodbye).

Please let me know if I’m right or wrong, and please direct me to articles with more information about this subject.

(And yes, I know I’m being lazy “crowd sourcing” this question, rather than doing the research myself. The thing is that I’ve learned from experience that you guys, individually and collectively, have extraordinary funds of knowledge. I’d be crazy, therefore, not to tap into those funds.)

Wednesday Wrap-Up (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesI didn’t watch Obama’s SOTU.  Between cooking and carpooling, I had neither the time nor the inclination.  I’ve never been impressed by “Obama the Orator,” and his speech’s details had already been leaked, so the whole thing fell into the “Why Bother?” category.  I did hear one interesting thing about it, though, while I was walking the dog and listening to Rush.

A caller named Jesse found Obama’s homage to Cory Remsburg off-putting.  I too found it off-putting, but Jesse put his finger on the problem:  Obama’s focus was about Remsburg the warrior but was, instead, about Remsburg the victim.  Obama made no real mention of Remsburg’s actual service.  Instead, Obama spoke about Remsburg’s injuries and his recovery (which is laudable, of course).

Obama could have given precisely the same speech been given about someone in a bad car accident.  Jesse and Rush both noted that, in previous administrations, when the president celebrated this or that veteran, at least some of the praise focused on the veteran’s bringing war to the enemy.  Now, though, the Left finds noteworthy only the injury part of “injured vets.”

Jesse felt, and I agree, that Obama’s purpose in talking about Remsburg was to highlight his opposition to the military, to America’s wars, and to the notion of manliness itself.

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For those of you interested in a conservative take on Obama’s SOTU, Bryan Preston offers one.

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Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s resident “fact checker” seems to have soured on Obama.  Rather than doing the old “false but accurate shtick” that characterized Obama’s first term, Kessler simply points out that Obama is making up things as he goes along.

I don’t believe Kessler has actually seen the light.  As was true for all of the MSM, he knew what was going on the first time around, but wasn’t going to do anything that might derail a second term.  Members of the Left might have gotten over its love affair with Obama, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still wholeheartedly approve of his agenda.

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A new book calling for a socialist revolution features contributions by Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers, among others.  As you chew over that, think about this too:  Back in the 1930s and onward through the end of the Soviet Union, the vast majority of Americans were staunchly opposed to Communism despite the fact that they really hadn’t seen it in action.  Countries such as the Soviet Union or China were closed to them (or run through the Duranty-filter), so those Americans who hated Communism did so because they knew — without data — that Communism stifled freedom and created a tyrannical state.

The fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of China revealed that Communism was worse even than anyone had guessed.  If you don’t believe me, just ask the kulaks that Stalin “re-educated” in the Ukraine or the Chinese who were around when Mao started his Great Leap Forward.  Oh, wait!  You can’t ask them because they’re dead.  Depending on estimates, Stalin killed roughly 7,000,000 kulaks through execution or starvation.  He was a piker compared to Mao, though, who killed 50,000,000 or more during his Great Leap forward, again through execution or starvation.  Despite knowing these facts with certainty nowadays (rather than merely guessing them, as we once did), communism and socialism are no longer considered dirty words.  This is what 40 years of Progressive education has wrought.

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Ted Cruz has written a really good Wall Street Journal opinion piece about Obama’s imperial presidency:

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat. On Monday, Mr. Obama acted unilaterally to raise the minimum wage paid by federal contracts, the first of many executive actions the White House promised would be a theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The president’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

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And speaking of Obama’s imperial presidency, Victor Davis Hanson has written one of his best works about Obama’s lawlessness.  I highly recommend it:

We are reentering Nixonian times, or perhaps worse, given that a free press at least went after Nixon’s misdeeds and misadventures. Now it has silenced itself for fear of harming a once-in-century chance for a fellow progressive’s makeover of America. We live in an age when a CNN moderator interrupts a presidential debate to help her sputtering candidate, and when a writer for the often ironic and sarcastic New Yorker sees no irony in doing a fawning interview with the president, tagging along on a shakedown jet tour from one mansion of crony capitalists to the next — as Obama preaches to the head-nodders about inequality and fairness in order to ensure that the bundled checks pour in.

Without the media acting as a watchdog, the administration has with impunity found the IRS useful in going after political opponents. When Obama’s IRS appointees were exposed, he for the moment called their deeds outrageous; when the media did not pursue the outrage, he wrote it off as a nothing story.

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And finally, Megan McArdle points out that even Democrats are beginning to realize that there’s truth to the saying “be careful what you ask for; you might get it.”  It turns out that when they have a president desirous of fulfilling their wish list, some of the more intelligent among them are realizing that this way lies economic madness.  (Of course, that hasn’t stopped Al Franken from trying to push a constitutional amendment to forbid corporate speech, while keeping alive and well union, especially government union, speech.  Apparently it’s not enough for him that almost all of the largest donors in politics are Leftist unions.  He wants all of the largest donors to be Leftist unions.)

Everything that’s wrong with America in two sentences

You-Lie-copyIt turns out that someone I’ve known for yours is, in fact, a conservative.  We were both pleasantly surprised to find that we had that in common.  He recently forwarded me an email with two telling sentences.

I’ve seen both of these wandering around the internet, but for some reason their juxtaposition struck me as very powerful — or maybe it’s just that tonight Obama’s giving his SOTU, which I am not watching, and these thoughts counterbalance whatever malarkey he’s spouting.  I’ll read what he has to say tomorrow.  Reading is always better than that tight-ass, clipped, whiny hectoring.

Anywhere, here’s that email:

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works.

And here’s another one worth considering.

2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t.

Think about it…..

Image: PowerLine