$10 million huh? No wonder he looks so happy:
I wonder when we’re going to see something like this outside the White House:
(Don’t worry. I was just joking. Like that’s going to happen.)
Sgt. Gary Stein was discharged from the Marines because he created a web page critical of President Obama. Despite the fact that I agree with Sgt. Stein’s political views, I think the Marines did the right thing. One of the things that makes our military great is the fact that it is a non-partisan institution. Sure, we know that individual service members have political views — often strong ones — but the military presents itself as assiduously non-partisan. Our American military, including the individual men and women serving within it, supports America as a whole, not specific parties within America.
To address the tension between serving ones country and losing ones First Amendment speech rights within that same country, the Department of Defense came up with a fairly decent compromise: If you’re presenting yourself as a private citizen, you have full First Amendment rights. When you are actually wearing that uniform, however, you represent the American military and your powers of speech, while presenting yourself to the public as a service man or woman, must be consistent with the military mission and therefore be non-partisan.
Not all Marines, however, seem to be subject to the same scrutiny as Sgt. Stein was. The Mellow Jihadi has come across a group of Marines and other members of the Armed Forces who have actively embraced the Occupy philosophy, including creating a web page advancing the far Left occupy agenda.
The Mellow Jihadi, who takes seriously his responsibility to remain non-partisan, even as he shares with his readers interesting stuff from all over the world, asks in a polite and non-partisan way “Please tell me if this the way Marines (active-duty or not) should be treating their uniforms.” As I understand it, the answers he’s received from people associated with Occupy Marines have, apparently, been non-responsive, unless you consider obscenities and threats adequate answers to the question.
The Department of Defense Directive regarding political activities while in uniform actually provides a pretty clear answer to the Mellow Jihadi’s question:
4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:
18.104.22.168. March or ride in a partisan political parade.
22.214.171.124. Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces, except as a member of a joint Armed Forces color guard at the opening ceremonies of the national conventions of the Republican, Democratic, or other political parties recognized by the Federal Elections Committee or as otherwise authorized by the Secretary concerned.
It is no defense to the conduct of the people in the Facebook page to say that OWS isn’t partisan but is, instead, a “people’s movement.” Because OWS has a clear political agenda, that in itself makes it partisan. In effect, by having clear, consistent policy goals, OWS has turned itself into a political party. As for the fact that some of the people in the photos may be former or fake service members . . . well, the former group should be ashamed of itself and the latter group is committing a fraud on the public. Neither group has anything to boast about.
My parting question: Will these protesters, assuming they are still (and actually) active duty, be subject to the same sanctions that saw Sgt. Stein discharged (not very honorably) from the Marines? Or in Obama’s America, is all political speech by men and women in uniform to be treated equally, except that some (that favorable to the Obama agenda) will be treated more equally than others?
Zombie has another superb photo essay, this one about the OWS protest of Shimon Peres’ San Francisco visit. If you haven’t already checked it out, please do. My favorite part is the bit with the San Francisco motorcycle cop. You go, guy!
Please remember when you read Zombie that Zombie is the new media. Part of dis-empowering the anti-American, socialist, antisemitic, anti-Leftist old media is to support the new media. By the way, it’s no coincidence that in describing our shiny, rich, famous old media, we use precisely the same adjectives that we use to describe the violent, aggressive OWSers on the street. Different appearance and tactics, but same ideology and goals.
We tend to find what we’re looking for. Since conservatives know that Obama comes from a socialist background, has advanced policies that are antithetical to capitalism, and has defeated opportunities and initiatives that are supportive of capitalism, we’re going to assume that, in any speech he gives, ordinary statements are actually code for a socialist agenda. Having this predisposition (“to a hammer, everything is a nail”) can damage ones credibility. Monomania is not normally associated with reliable analysis.
Except that, with regard to Obama’s recent State of the Union speech, I can tell you with a certain amount of assurance that all those conservatives who saw in it a strident call to class warfare, the end of an American system based upon equality of opportunity, and the destruction of the free market were probably right. Or, if they weren’t right, they’ve met an equal, although completely opposite, monomania that manages to read the same message into Obama’s speech.
(Come on, Bookworm, spit it out! What are you saying?)
What I’m saying is that the Occupy crowd is thrilled with Obama’s speech, which they see as a high level articulation of their beliefs and agenda:
Linking the dominant themes in Obama’s nationally televised address Tuesday to the mantras of the Occupy Wall Street movement would have been unthinkable five months ago. But in having its message echoed in the State of the Union address, the Occupy movement reached a milestone in changing the national conversation.
“Once you say the definition of my campaign is fairness, you don’t have to say anything else,” said Lawrence Rosenthal, an expert on social movements who directs UC Berkeley’s Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements. “It is the central tenet” of the Occupy movement, he added.
Obama never specifically mentioned Occupy – and probably won’t, analysts said, because the term remains politically divisive. For some, the dominant images of Occupy are of street activists confronting police and committing vandalism, as has occurred several times after Occupy demonstrations in Oakland.
“He won’t, because given half a chance, the Republicans would try to link him to everything that’s gone on with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations,” said James Miller, a professor of politics at the New School for Social Research in New York.
Still, analysts found Obama’s speech full of several Occupy-related themes: The president said he would not reward multinational corporations who “remove jobs from this country” and demanded “no bailouts, no handouts, no copouts.” Obama even outed himself as a member of the monied class when he said that “we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.”
“Tax reform should follow the ‘Buffett rule,’ ” Obama said, referring to billionaire Warren Buffett, who has volunteered to pay more taxes. “If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.”
When Obama said Tuesday that “if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up,” Rosenthal said, “it’d be hard not to say that he was alluding to the Occupy movement.”
(Read the rest here.)
Apparently while Occupy the White House was a bust from the sidewalk point of view, it worked perfectly when it came to occupying the Oval Office.
Zombie has put up a short post explaining just how debased the Occupy movement really is. Please disseminate Zombie’s post widely, as this is the type of story that might help otherwise disinterested Americans understand that the Occupiers are not a grass-roots movement made up of people who lost their jobs recently but are, instead, hard-core Leftists with a deep hatred for all things American, or even all things decent.
I’ve blogged here before about Madison Rising, an almost-heavy metal rock group that several vets formed. Despite its hard guitar licks, pulsing beat, and gravel voiced singing, the band’s orientation is definitely conservative. It’s songs are pro-military, pro-American, pro-capitalism and anti-OWS. It’s not necessarily my kind of music (I’m a bit old for it), but it’s definitely my kind of band. (Kind of like Taylor Swift: Her music doesn’t float my boat, but I really admire her because she is a classy gal in an often debased industry.)
I learned recently that I have a “one degree of separation” relationship with Madison Rising. The band’s manager is Richard Mgrdechian. Back in 2006, he wrote a very good book called How The Left Was Won: An In-Depth Analysis of the Tools and Methodologies Used by Liberals to Undermine Society and Disrupt the Social Order. I have a copy of the book in my office, courtesy of Rich himself. When he first published How The Left Was Won, Rich was still living in the Bay Area. I met him for coffee (he’s a really nice guy), and he told me about the impetus for the book. Rich gave me permission to post several interesting passages at my blog, which you can see here, here and here.
You can see where I might have a strong interest in Madison Rising, given that it’s a band I admire, managed by a man I like. Just the other day, the band added to the list one other reason for me to like it: it walked into the lion’s den, performing at an OWS rally — to the great delight of the OWSers, who had no idea what the band was singing, but who knew they liked the music:
In a story you will NOT hear or read about in the mainstream media, it appears Madison Rising truly did “occupy” the Occupiers and those in attendance were completely oblivious to the fact that they were being entertained by a pro-American, pro-military, pro-capitalism (you get the picture) band. In fact, they absolutely loved the music; they were dancing to it, cheering them on, and even tweeting how “tight” this band was as they performed songs like American Dream, Honk if You Want Peace, Before the Hyphen Came, and Where Was The Media Then. Perhaps they were too stoned to pay any attention to the lyrics or could it be they are just that clueless? My guess is both!
You rock, guys, truly you do!
It’s not only conservatives who have noticed that the waning OWS movement was pretty much whiter than white. Black activist preachers have noticed the same thing and are trying to mobilize their congregants to get out there to camp on sidewalks like homeless people along with the white drug-addicted, violent OWSers:
The Rev. Harold Mayberry stood before his First African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation Sunday morning in Oakland and outlined how it was time for members to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Nationally, many African American leaders have acknowledged a disconnect between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the larger black community.
Mayberry is among nearly two dozen prominent African American Bay Area pastors trying to bridge that gap at the community level through a growing national effort that is ramping up today – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – called Occupy the Dream.
“This is a great leap forward to involve local pastors,” said James Taylor, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Francisco and an expert in African American studies. “The general critique of Occupy is that it has lacked a specific agenda. But this could be a sign of maturity for the movement.”
In February, the pastors will ask their congregants to withdraw a small amount of money – at least $30 – from their bank accounts and deposit it in either a credit union or a minority-owned bank.
If that symbolic move doesn’t get the attention of “Wall Street banks,” as Mayberry described the nation’s largest financial institutions, then in March, Occupy the Dream will ask larger African American-dominated institutions, churches and black professionals to begin transferring greater amounts to credit unions.
“I ain’t got no problem with people becoming millionaires – I wouldn’t mind joining the club myself,” Mayberry told his congregation. “My problem is when you are so insensitive to people who have not been able to raise themselves up to the level where you are – and you snuff out their dreams.”
I just heard from a friend who lives in and functions in the welfare/drug community. (I’m not kidding when I say that I have contacts in all walks of life.) There’s a black market of food stamps there. My friend is dining on roast beef tonight because another friend traded his food stamps with him for weed. All these people have a few things in common: they’re white; they’re drug users (mostly post); they rely heavily on welfare programs because of their drug use, whether we’re talking about impairment from actively using drugs or from decades of past drug use; and they support the OWS movement. They are explicit that they see OWS as a way to ensure a continued flow of welfare benefits.
Is this really the milieu to which black pastors want to sink their congregants?
UPDATE: This video of Valerie Jarrett giving a rousing political speech at a historically black church (after which the church hosted a voter registration guide) seems apropos. At least Michelle Obama limited her black voter drive speech to the BET awards, a venue that doesn’t get the tax benefits extended to a church.
As you already know, I’m sure, the Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem are fighting hard to segregate men and women in public spaces in Jerusalem. I posted about the fact that Mr. Bookworm analogized this small group, which is fighting against a democratic, egalitarian government, to the sharia law that exists across large segments of the Muslim world. I doubt Mr. Bookworm arrived at this thought by himself. I haven’t been reading the New York Times lately, nor listening to NPR, but I’m willing to bet that their coverage implies that this comparison is real and valid.
Today, the AP managed to state outright that the Ultra-Orthodox are aping the Nazis. Here’s the AP headline:
The implication, of course, is that the Ultra-Orthodox Jews outfitted themselves in swastikas and jackboots. What the Ultra-Orthodox really did was to dress themselves up in concentration camp garb, thereby sending the message that they are helpless prisoners of a Nazi-style Jewish government:
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered Saturday night in Jerusalem to protest what they say is a nationwide campaign directed against their lifestyle. The protesters called Israeli police officers Nazis, wore yellow Star of David patches with the word “Jude” – German for Jew – dressed their children in striped black-and-white uniforms associated with Nazi concentration camps and transported them in the back of a truck.
The Ultra-Orthodox’s stunt was tacky, offensive, ugly, distasteful, and inappropriate. But the more correct description of this tasteless bit of street theater would be that “Ultra-Orthodox Jews use Holocaust-era Images in Protest.” For the AP to have implied otherwise adds one more layer of indecency to the whole protest — and, worse, it’s a layer of indecency that dovetails perfectly with the Leftist (especially the European Leftist) effort to paint Jews as Nazis. It’s bad enough when radical Jews describe each other as Nazis, without having the media pile on too.
UPDATE: Somehow, this post seems apropos, insofar as it explains that the OWS add-on to the Rose Bowl Parade relied on Nazi imagery to depict the Jews’ alleged influence on world finances.
There’s nothing like a Progressive who’s not worrying about reelection. If you thought Barney Frank’s moobs were repellent, wait until you get a look inside Lynn Woolsey’s brain. The 10-term House Democrat from Marin County is retiring this year, so she finally feels that she can speak freely. It’s not pretty.
For example, we learn why Woolsey doesn’t like Michelle Bachmann, who holds, not just a JD, but an LL.M. from the prestigious William & Mary School of Law:
“[S]he’s an idiot,” Woolsey said. “It’s not very politic to say that of another member of Congress, but she is.”
As it happens, I’m not overly impressed with academic credentials, since I think they often train people away from decency, logic and common sense, but I feel obligated to point out here that Woolsey’s education consists of . . . well, it’s unclear. According to Wikipedia, she attended a lot of schools, but doesn’t seem to have emerged with any discernible degrees. That’s okay. She clearly had enough education to lose her decency, logic and common sense anyway.
Woolsey doesn’t like Newt Gingrich either:
“He would be the worst president on earth.”
She does concede, though, that he’s got a brain, which would make him more dangerous than the “idiot” Michelle Bachmann.
The Tea Party crowd don’t fare well in Woolsey world, since she sees them as an impediment to saving the world from climate change (never mind that the climate change narrative is unraveling before Woolsey’s eyes):
“Half of them have never held an elected office in their lives; they don’t know nothing,” Woolsey said. “They don’t know why they’re against what they’re against. They don’t know what is happening to our environment. All they know is it’s not something they’re supposed to support.”
Poor Lynn. She apparently missed the poll showing a wide-spread belief that Tea Party members are better informed than your average 10-term member of the House of Representatives. I guess it’s axiomatic that the ill-informed are always the last to know to that particular truth about themselves.
Lynn may not like Tea Partiers, but she does love the Occupy crowd:
“I love the Occupiers,” Woolsey said. “They’re such a breath of fresh air for me. I’ve been waiting for them for a long time.”
There’s nothing like a gang of Apple computer toting, drug-taking, dirty, vomiting, defecating, raping, murderous thugs to excite an aging Progressive politician.
Interestingly, Woolsey is not a Barack Obama fan. Not only is he too conservative for her (“He’s a moderate president. He’s not a progressive.”), she thinks he’s not a very nice person:
“He is kind of a cold, aloof guy.”
Back in 2008, she was rooting for Hillary, both because she thinks Hillary is a more principled Progressive than Obama (there’s a scary thought), but also because she thinks Hillary has the cajones Obama lacks.
Woosley, apparently, isn’t the only one who isn’t thrilled about Barry. Although Woolsey was speaking to an “overwhelmingly liberal” crowd, I think she sensed a certain chill in the air when it came to Obama. How else to explain the fact that she felt compelled to tell those in attendance that they must vote for him in 2012:
“Do not stay home,” she said. “Any one of those other people — we thought George Bush was a problem, huh.”
I wish I’d been at Woolsey’s talk. Seeing the Progressive mind unfettered is kind of like wading in an old swamp. It looks ugly and smells bad, but there are still interesting things swimming in the depths.
San Francisco used to be charming. Now it’s just kind of creepy — or, at least, large parts of it are. For example, the OWSers are creepy. Even creepier is what happens when the OWSers come together with the nekkid Santas. And I have to ask, as I always do: Why is it always only the ugly people who insist on taking their clothes off?
As I was up early, I listened to KSFO’s Brian Sussman show. A man called in, identified himself as someone who works at the Port of Oakland, and described with some amusement the eight or so luxury buses that pulled up, disgorging a bunch of people in their 30s and 40s, completely with mass-produced signs, who then set up trying to block the port. He was pretty sure the bus company was Galactic, which is amusing, because this company offers “party” buses. I wonder if the Galactic people knew what party they were hosting.
What’s peculiar is that I read the SF Chronicle’s account of this morning’s strike, and the Chronicle makes no mention of the buses, instead describing the protesters as walking to the site from BART:
Carrying signs saying “Shutdown Wall St. on the Waterfront” about 200 protesters marched the three blocks from the West Oakland BART Station to the port entrances before sunrise today.
Okay, this is seriously NSFW, since Carolla is exceeded only by Jon Stewart when it comes to F-bombs (except without the little “beeps” that let people pretend Stewart isn’t really swearing). If you can, though, ignore Carolla’s language and listen to it when you get the chance. Adam Carolla applies — gasp! — logic to America’s economic situation and the OWSers.
Interestingly, he talks about envy, which has always existed. What’s different, and what Carolla nails, is that in Obama’s “hope-filled” America, people couple envy with dependence. Rather than using their envy to power their own engines, they use it to whine and beg. That’s so not the American way.
Anyway, watch it and see what you think: