The Celebrity President

The Celebrity President

By J.C. Arenas

Americans have a long-standing infatuation with celebrities. We respect their talents, envy their looks, and imitate their style. We are captivated by their money and fame, and immerse ourselves in their world in order to escape our own mundane existence.

The vast separation between their reality and our fantasy has led to a perception of these select individuals as godlike figures. The emergence of Barack Obama marries American popular culture and American politics. Unfortunately, as a result, mounting evidence suggests that up to this point the general public has disconnected Obama the celebrity from Obama the politician.

 

For example, a recent Associated Press poll (conducted April 16th-20th) indicated that for the first time in years Americans believe that the country is headed in the right direction (48% to 44%).

 

Also, the latest CNN/Opinion Research Poll (conducted April 23rd-26th) finds that Obama has a 63% job approval rating, and 75% of Americans believe he has the personal qualities that the leader of the free world should have.

 

The established media have played a leading role in providing a foundation for the president’s celebrity. In the first 50 days since his inauguration, the network evening newscasts have featured almost 28 hours of coverage to his presidency — five more hours than the first 50 days of the presidencies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined.

 

Obama has graced the magazine covers of Vogue, People, Time, Rolling Stone, just to name a few, and he was the first commander-in-chief to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

 

The media’s promotion of this president has transcended demographics and manipulated public perception; he appears to be extremely popular, ergo, he is extremely popular.

 

For instance, the results of the aforementioned AP poll can’t be classified as astounding especially when taken into consideration that only 18% of the poll participants identified themselves as Republicans, who by and large continue to gainsay the president’s radical liberalism. 

 

Furthermore, this poll was conducted a day after the National Tax Day Tea Party when nearly a million ordinary Americans — across party lines — participated in a grassroots movement to protest against a myriad of government initiatives.

 

Ultimately, the AP had to skew the data in order to achieve a desired result and spin favorable news in the direction of the president.

 

The never-ending reverence towards Obama lends credence to the perception of the president’s popularity. This manufactured perception from the media assists to conjure the feelings of an average citizen like Dora Ramirez, which provide some clarity to the findings of the also aforementioned CNN Poll.

 

“I like the way he tries to be more positive about all the problems that are facing us,” Mrs. Ramirez, of La Miraza, Calif., said in an interview. “I like the way he handles himself personally. I like his family. I like that he’s a family man.”

 

Mrs. Ramirez’s words are kind, but her reflection reveals who she believes Obama is, not what she believes he is doing, and that is the crux of the problem.

 

Voters will continue to assess the president incorrectly if they allow the Obama they read about on the pages of periodical puff pieces, see in media-biased polls, and view on left-wing television networks to overshadow the existence of the Obama that is leading the country in, for most, an unexpected and unprecedented direction.

 

100 days in and already the president has wasted billions of dollars that are yet to have a positive effect on our economy, weakened our national security and dispirited our intelligence community, planned a massive tax increase for all Americans in order to subsidize an overextended, larger government, and chartered a weaker path on foreign policy that has emboldened our enemies to advance their national interests at our expense.

 

Those facts surrounding his presidency thus far have grown from the seeds of reality, so faulty conclusions that the country is headed in the right direction or that Obama was the right person to lead the nation at this time in our history are hardly in order.

 

Some voters are reluctant to publicly concede buyer’s remorse, and understandably, some believe it is too early to judge the president. Perhaps it is, given that much of the key legislation in his domestic social agenda has yet to become law, but we now know that “hope” and “change” means the birth of a new and entirely different America, and the death of a nation that has given us so much.

 

The time has come that the adoration of his celebrity must end, and the skepticism towards his politics must begin. We have bestowed upon Obama the power to change the lives of each and every one of us, and if we don’t see it now, we won’t realize it until it’s front page news.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/04/the_celebrity_president.html at April 30, 2009 – 04:11:17 PM EDT

Socialists Are Fools But Not All Fools Are Socialists

Socialists Are Fools But Not All Fools Are Socialists

Created 2009-04-25 16:41
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George Handlery about the week that was. Hesitant vacillation as a policy principle. Paralyzing preconditions for soluble problems. The failed state and its benefits. Iran, the Anti-Racism Conference and nuclear negotiations. Too neutral? In whose favor? When an enemy is more useful to a dictatorship than a friend.

1. It has become fashionable to present reports on piracy that are wrapped in a tranquilizer. It is suggested that the solution of the problem is in Somalia. Save Somalia (throw money at it?) and all will be hanky-dory. One is tempted to suspect that the popularity of the mantra has to do with the trick of attaching an otherwise threateningly soluble problem to a precondition that cannot be met. The benefit is that, succumbing to the West’s luxurious self-doubts, a good reason is given to persist in doing the unreasonable. Thereafter it becomes easy to desist from solving the solvable.

2. Helping Somalia as a project assumes that Somalia’s population is ripe enough to want to be helped. The assumption that, the solution of the piracy-problem begins with the rescue of Somalia, ignores that piracy is not only a symptom but also among the causes of disorder. Chaos creates golden opportunities. Piracy pays as long as the victims that suffer from moral relativism pay and in doing so acknowledge some moral obligations that make them into virtuous suckers. If the chaos of a “failed state” results in dividends expressed by the profit from piracy then a non-PC solution recommends itself. Make piracy a losing business. Then start to give Somalia what it might be able to use.

3. The question is how to deter the addicted Somali from piracy. In the news, accounts multiply, according to which, pirates are apprehended and then released. The soothing explanation is that there is “no legal power to arrest them”. This gives hesitant vacillation posing as policy a pleasing label and a good excuse. Meanwhile, the self-imposed impotence aggravates the problem by reducing the offenders’ risks. Only by destroying pirates will piracy be restrained and, as a result, its on-shore bases dismantled. To do that security zones need to be set up and these must be patrolled from the air. Obviously, aircraft can hardly detain the mother ships and their auxiliaries. However, what it can do is to be at the aid threatened vessels within useful time. Once on the scene they can destroy buccaneers. The rest may be trusted to word of mouth propaganda. Let the news spread that raiders are unlikely to return and the hunters will desist from sailing. The winds of the present’s ineffective counter-actions might change as soon as non-Western naval forces, unrestrained by inhibitions, appear to participate in the “project.”

4. Parallels pertaining to ignored and tolerated criminality seem to exist on the home front, too.. Those who feel exposed to the unpredictable mercy of criminals, people that are uncertain of their own skill to evade crooks and folks unsure of their ability to fight them off, have a legitimate concern. The state is, under its current rules of operation and, due to the values of those who act in its name, not sufficiently able to protect them. This complaint is not about lacking laws. We have plenty of laws regulating nearly everything – even the right to fight off effectively what are, even according to the official definition, criminals. No, the problem is not that we have no laws or not enough laws. The problem is the predictable application of existing rules. What troubles is the insecurity that flows from the perception that some actions are not acted against even if they are illegal. This is because their perpetrators enjoy, for being what they are, a degree of immunity as a collective right.

5. Kim’s “Rocket and Nuke Show” might convince some analysts that the man is sick. Regardless of his mental state, the “Dear Leader’s” actions are not entirely irrational. He, as well as his Iranian clone, might have a praxis-tested shrewd understanding of how the liberal Western mind works. Let us not forget that extortion – oriented tantrums have tended to net handsome profits. When not, no harm came to visit upon clumsy actors putting on shows of fits of temper.

6. As a concession, Ahmadinedjad likes to tantalize his enemies with proposals to discuss Iran’s nuclear project. The invitations to talk begin with the other side having to accept the already existing facts and what Tehran is overtly or covertly doing. In this case the ensuing negotiations serve to signal at least short-term lenience and the relaxing -but at least the non-tightening- of sanctions.

7. “A dialogue is better than no dialogue” was the justification of Switzerland’s protocol President’s meeting with Ahmadinedjad at the opening of the Geneva Anti-Racism conference on April 19th. Mr. Merz had a reason to meet briefly the Persian at the opening of the widely and rightfully suspected gathering. Switzerland, acting in tune with her traditional role to be the neutral go-between among hostile parties, represents the US’ interest in Tehran -and the other way, too. (She performs the same service for Washington in Cuba.) Israel protested the meeting. The overly warm handshake’s justification depends on how convincingly Merz might have warned Ahmadinedjad about improving his “bad habits”. At any rate, Ahmadinedjad used his performance to reiterate his wish for Israel’s removal from the map. As a concession, he dropped his Holocaust-denial formulated in the original and distributed text. (If Switzerland’s government which is tempted to flirt leftwards would take its official reservations seriously, the Socialist-run foreign Ministry would have down-graded its presence at the summit. As things stand, Switzerland’s credibility as an honest broker and go-between has again suffered by being too neutral in favor of an impostor.)

8. Ahmadinedjad’s speech to the anti-racism conference in Geneva surpassed even the expectations of seasoned pessimists. This it did to such an extent that most scandalized Western delegations walked out during the harangue. The needless provocation in Geneva shows that Tehran is unable or unwilling to apply diplomacy to secure its interests. There are implications to the instinctive use of diplomacy limited to the tactic as an extension of war by other means. The impact of this on future negotiations about nuclear projects is left to the imagination of the reader.

9. Dealing with the enemy brings the Americas’ Summit to mind. Obama assured the prominent autocrats of the continent “I want to be your friend”. There is some potential opportunity in that phrase. Should, as it is to be expected, the addressees persevere on their current course, the President could, while he reacts, state convincingly “I have already tried everything else”. Regardless of the opportunity presented to them, some of the region’s more notorious dictatorships might need a credible enemy more than a wary friend. Why? The ideology at the base of their systems is a password to failure. Malfunctions cannot be admitted because the alleged absolute truth of the ideology legitimizes the absolute Leader. So a malign outside force is needed to explain the gap between the expectations created and the performance delivered. The same applies to the Weltanschauung-related role of the “infallible” Party.

10. We need to be careful not to over-apply the Socialist label. Admittedly, Socialism is foolish. However, this does not mean that everything that is out of whack amounts to Socialism.

11. “Tax haven” is a loosely conceived category. Highly diverse states and policies (ranging from the criminally conniving to the legitimately protective) can be stuffed into it. Exempting the institutionalized dealings with truly dirty money, the legitimate havens serve a useful purpose. They create a tax-competition between systems. Therefore, they encourage the responsible expenditure of the public’s money. Some tax havens allow those who desire to stash away portions of their legitimately created – and at the home base property taxed – reserves in a safe place offering competent management. Some US’ Senators like to grandstand with investigations of contrite havens. In doing so they overlook an important ramification of which they are apparently ignorant. It is that some tax havens like to invest in America many of the untainted billions entrusted to them. The amount is many times of whatever evaded taxes might amount to. Scores of firms and industries are major beneficiaries of these investments. Taking banks such as the UBS hostage –which repentantly admits having had employees that facilitated tax cheats – makes a good show within the congressional circus. The resulting reduction of their operations will net little profit compared to the economic negatives it creates. As usual, the proper corrective reaction to an inequity – in this case of investment advisors violating firm policy by helping clients to cheat on their taxes – lacks a sense for nuances and proportions.


Congratulations, You May Already Be a Terrorist

Congratulations, You May Already Be a Terrorist

By Don Feder
GrassTopsUSA.com | 4/30/2009

In 1993, a terrorist cell detonated a 1,500-lb car bomb below New York’s World Trade Center (six dead, more than 1,000 wounded) The perps were:

  1. Operation Rescue activists
  2. The NRA’s Board of Directors
  3. Members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps
  4. Muslim fanatics lusting for infidel blood and dedicated to jihad.

In 2001, two hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers, an attack in which 3,000 Americans died. The killers were:

  1. A black-ops unit of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum
  2. Constitutionalists committed to preserving federalism
  3. Members of the Boy Scouts of America
  4. Muslim fanatics lusting for infidel blood and dedicated to jihad

In 2002, the “Beltway sniper” and his confederate killed 10 people in the Washington, D.C.-area. The deadly duo were:

  1. On their way to a VFW convention
  2. Rehearsing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  3. Sidewalk counselors at abortion clinics
  4. Muslim fanatics lusting for infidel blood and dedicated to jihad

In 2007, five terrorists plotted to massacre soldiers at Ft. Dix. The would-be assassins were:

  1. Disgruntled U.S. servicemen returning from Iraq
  2. Students at Liberty University
  3. Aides to Congressman Tom Tancredo
  4. Muslim fanatics lusting for infidel blood and dedicated to jihad

Just a bit of background to help you appreciate the absurdity of The Department of Homeland Security’s Report – “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” released on April 7.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has done herself proud.

While her president is busy closing Guantanamo, touting the joys of Islam, promising that the U.S. will never again defend itself without the express permission of the cheese-eaters and beer-drinkers, and considering prosecuting Bush officials who put national security ahead of an obsession with the civil rights of terrorists, Napolitano, who prefers the expression “man-made disasters” (like Obama’s budget?) to terrorism, has discerned the real clear and present danger – “threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups” recruiting individuals susceptible to their appeals.

The nine-page report, about as well-documented as Michelle Obama’s senior thesis, refers to unidentified “white supremacist and violent anti-government groups.” While admitting that their activities “have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent attacks,” the report claims they are a potent threat to the republic.

The document alleges that these rightwing extremists are busy expanding their base, and – if you fall into one or more of the following groups – you are ripe for recruitment. They include Americans who are:

  • Concerned about “the possible passage of new restrictions on firearms”;
  • Returning military veterans “facing significant challenges reintegrating” into their community;
  • Malcontents who “focus on the economy (and) the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in manufacturing and construction sectors and home foreclosures”;
  • Critical of “free trade agreements”;
  • Prone to “reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority” – otherwise known as Constitutionalists;
  • Convinced that “illegal immigrants” are “taking away American jobs”; or
  • Involved with conservative causes such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

Napolitano’s agency has cast a broad net.

A majority of Americans fall into one or more of these categories, including: the 73% who believe there’s a constitutional right to private gun ownership – among them 5 Supreme Court justices (2008, USA Today/Gallup Poll); the 61% who say they are fearful that they or a friend will lose their jobs due to U.S. companies moving overseas (2004 Gallup Poll); and the 79% who want to send the U.S. military to the border to stem the tide of illegal immigrants (2009, Rasmussen Poll).

Still, Napolitano’s Barney Fife Office of Intelligence and Analysis insists the real threat to America comes not from the 35 jihadist training camps in the U.S. (according to a 2006 Department of Justice report) and terrorism-friendly American mosques, but from Christians, conservatives, gun owners and right-to-lifers.

BTW, we’ve heard this before.

Angry lesbian Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s “The View” (October 2006), in response to a co-host’s comments that militant Islam poses a threat to free people everywhere, exploded, “Just a minute. Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America, where we have separation of Church and State.” Wall Builders, which documents America’s Christian heritage, is probably plotting to hijack a plane as you read these words.

On MSNBC’s “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann, Janeane Garofalo called the million or so Americans who attended Tax Day Tea Parties – “a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks.” Garofalo: “This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.” (The DHS report also warned that right-wing extremism would be fueled by resentment over “the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes.”) The media somehow missed all of the crosses burning at April 15 protests.

On MSNBC’s “Hardball” in March, host Christopher Matthews fretted that Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Governor Kathleen Sebelius (who once threw a private party for a late-term abortionist), would end up the target of “the terrorism of anti-abortion people.” He later explained that he was talking about “verbal terrorism,” and not implying that the Family Research Council was going to plant a car-bomb in the Governor’s vehicle.

It was a year ago this month that candidate Barack Obama told well-heeled Democrats at a San Francisco fundraiser (where normalcy is always suspect) that those in small-town America hard hit by job loss are “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment.”

While the future president didn’t say exactly what these gun-toting bigots, religious fundamentalists and xenophobes would do to relieve their bitterness, Commissar of Homeland Security Napolitano has made it clear – join the army of racists and “right-wing extremists” plotting unspecified acts of violence against unnamed individuals.

This focus on potential terrorism from the ranks of law-abiding gun owners and immigration-control advocates is like looking for a serial killer at a librarians’ convention.

While Obama’s Inspector Clouseau is investigating the right, over the past 200 years, most political violence has come from the left – starting with the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, where enemies of the regime were guillotined, drowned, shot and clubbed to death. The Vendee was the model for the Holocaust.

From the Bolshevik Revolution to Stalin to Mao to the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge, communists claimed at least 100 million victims in the 20th Century.

Properly understood, Nazism (National Socialism) was a phenomenon of the left which rejected tradition and Judeo-Christian morality in favor of a racial utopia. Instead of the “proletariat,” its collective centered on race. Until Hitler sent his armies rolling across the Russian border, the browns were comfortably allied with the reds.

In America, the left has had a near-monopoly on political violence, starting with anarchist bombings following World War I.  John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, who spent two years in the Soviet Union. Two other U.S. Presidents were assassinated by anarchists.

The urban riots that swept America in the 1960s were spurred on by radicals like H. Rap Brown. (“If America don’t come around, we gonna burn it down!”)

I can still recall student “protests” in Boston in the late ‘60s. Believe it or not, it wasn’t College Republicans who were throwing nail-studded golf balls at the cops. From violence at the 1969 Democratic National Convention to the Weathermen’s “Days of Rage” to the Weather Underground, which staged bank robberies and bombed government buildings, Sixties violence was almost exclusively a leftist phenomenon.

The Unibomber was an environmentalist whack-job. Those who stormed the streets of Minneapolis-St Paul during the 2008 GOP convention weren’t demanding lower taxes and less government, ditto the Luddites who rioted at the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle. Earth First and the Animal Liberation Front are unlikely to be mistaken for the RNC.

It’s leftist students who harass and, in some cases, physically assault conservative speakers on college campuses. The violence in the aftermath of passage of California’s Proposition 8, including attacks on churches, was the product of rage by homosexual militants.

Of course, there’s always Timothy McVeigh, left-wing poster boy for right-wing violence – who, with his partner Terry McNichols, caused 168 deaths in the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building.

In defending her department’s Fearless Fosdick report, Napolitano confessed that the topic of right-wing extremism “struck a nerve (with her) as someone personally involved in the Timothy McVeigh prosecution.”

Federal investigators never followed the trail of evidence linking jihadists to the “man-made disaster.”

Nichols made several trips to the Philippines before the Oklahoma City bombing. According to Clinton counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, McVeigh’s accomplice was in Cebu at the same time as Ramzi Yousef, convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

In Against All Enemies (page 127), Clarke writes: “We know that Nichols’ bombs did not work before his Philippine stay and were deadly when he returned.”

Why is the left so susceptible to political violence and the right largely immune from it?

We believe in the Constitution and the rule of law, they don’t – ergo their efforts to save Bill Clinton, who was manifestly guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors (including perjury). They believe in flaunting the law when it suits their purposes – witness their support for illegal immigration and an activist judiciary that’s usurped legislative powers.

We believe in the First Amendment, they don’t. Besides the campus storm troopers practicing Marcusian repressive tolerance, Obama and his minions are determined to put conservative talk radio out of business by resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine.

We love America, including the principles on which it was conceived: liberty, tolerance, equality before the law and Judeo-Christian morality. For them, the Founding Fathers are dead, white males and the American saga consists of slavery, Wounded Knee, lynchings, the exploitation of immigrant labor, World War II internment of Japanese-Americans, McCarthyism, and “imperialism.”

We’re patriots.

From Jane Fonda (doing propaganda broadcasts for the North Vietnamese) to Sean Penn posing with a Saddam Hussein poster in Baghdad, to Ward Churchill and Columbia Professor Nicholas De Genova, they make common cause with America’s enemies. De Genova told a 2001 teach-in: “The only real heroes are those who find ways to defeat the U.S. military. Personally, I would like to see a million Mogadishus” — in reference to the 1993 deaths of U.S. servicemen in Somalia.

We believe in the God who commanded “Thou shalt not kill.” They believe in evolutionary theory, moral relativism, embryonic stem–cell research, Jack Kevorkian and the judge who ordered the starvation/dehydration death of Terri Schiavo. .

In Turkey, the Community Organizer in Chief pledged “The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam” (never mind that Islam is at war with us) – perhaps that’s because his administration was planning to declare war on the American people – including veterans, gun owners and pro-lifers.

The DHS report on “right-wing extremism” is just the opening salvo. Sent to police and sheriff’s departments across the land, it calls for domestic spying to gather information on this vast right-wing conspiracy – an operation euphemistically described as Washington “working with its state and local partners over the next several months” to collect information on extremist activity (everything to the right of John McCain).

Speaking of terrorist profiling, imagine a hypothetical individual whose friends included an unrepentant ex-terrorist who took pride in the fact that the group he led blew things up in an attempt to overthrow the government.

Imagine further that this fringe figure was associated with a group involved in organized law-breaking, including harassment and trespass.

Then imagine that this “person of interest” spent 19 years listening to a lunatic pastor who preached anti-Americanism, made excuses for the 9/11 terrorists and concocted off-the-wall conspiracy theories (the government created the AIDS virus as an act of genocide). He also attended or helped organize the 1995 D.C. rally of another notorious demagogue who has consorted with America’s enemies and has called for our annihilation.

Our hypothetical terrorist-in-waiting isn’t the head of the Aryan Nation, the Michigan Militia or the Ku Klux Klan. He is President Barack Hussein Obama, whose extremist ties include Bill Ayers, ACORN, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright and Louis Farrakhan. If you see the president acting suspiciously in an airport, please advise law-enforcement personnel.

Instead of smearing Obama’s opponents, perhaps the Department of Homeland Security should be staking out the White House.

This column originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com and appears here with its author’s permission.


Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.

Dumb Enchanted Evening

Dumb Enchanted Evening

By Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/30/2009

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OBAMA’s 100 DAYS OF ENCHANTMENT press conference WILL BE REMEMBERED for one’s reporters fawning question: What has “Enchanted you the most from [sic.] serving in this office?” Jeff Zeleny, who writes for the – wait for it – New York Times, buried hard news by becaming part of the story. However, the ho-hum presser featured important revelations on three foreign policy issues: “torture,” Iraq, and releasing state secrets. Obama’s comments on abortion and illegal immigration should have raised eyebrows, as should a series of statements that would have gotten Dan Quayle or George W. Bush crucified.

The Real Churchill Record

To defend his banning CIA interrogators of using harsh interrogation techniques against al-Qaeda operatives, Obama claimed:

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, ‘We don’t torture,’ when the entire British – all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

This tidbit was presumably gleaned from Niall Ferguson’s 2006 piece “Why Churchill Opposed Torture” in the Los Angeles Times, or Andrew Sullivan’s recent blog on a topic he’s exploited for months. However, as Charles Johnson has long since pointed out, it’s absolutely false. At the outset of World War II, the Chamberlain government passed Defence Regulation 18B, which allowed for the internment of anyone dubbed to be of “hostile origin or associations.” Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert records how within a year Churchill detained “tens of thousands” of “enemy aliens,” and some “were German anti-Nazi refugees…including many German and Austrian Jews.” These detainees could be held indefinitely, without benefit of habeas corpus, and the ranks soon expanded to include native Britons of suspect political views. Shortly, Sir (yes, Sir!) Oswald Mosley would be carted off, along with most of the membership of the British Union of Fascists.

Nor did Churchill hold all uniformed German soldiers in placid dignity. Many were taken to a prison known as the “London Cage,” a long-kept wartime secret, which operated from July 1940 to September 1948. Its commander, Lt. Col. Alexander P. Scotland, remarked how he would tell himself each day upon entering, “‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.’ For if any German had any information we wanted, it was invariably extracted from him in the long run.” The (UK) Guardian reported the Cage’s “prisoners had been forced to kneel while being beaten about the head; forced to stand to attention for up to 26 hours; threatened with execution; or threatened with ‘an unnecessary operation.’” (You can read more on the London Cage here.)

Not only did Conservative icon Winston Churchill support the measure, there is every reason to believe his socialist successor, Clement Atlee, approved of Regulation 18B (which he helped implement) and presided over even worse tortures of Germans.

Needless to say, Ferguson’s conclusions are as wrong as his “facts.” Niall wrote, “Few, if any, American soldiers currently find themselves in enemy hands. But in the long war on which Bush has embarked, that may not always be the case. The bottom line about mistreating captive foes is simple: It is that what goes around comes around.” Yet even when he wrote this article, there had been two conspicuous examples of Americans “in enemy hands”: the four American contractors in Fallujah, whom they tortured, killed, charred, and then put on display; and Nicholas Berg, whom they beheaded, specifically in retaliation for the photos of Abu Ghraib.


Torture, Iraq, and State Secrets

…On which theme, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked Obama the most penetrating question of the evening: if the Bush administration approved waterboarding, and Obama believes “waterboarding…is torture,” does this mean “the previous administration sanctioned torture?” Obama’s answer, in box-step fashion, was yes; the Bush administration approved of – and uniformed U.S. officials carried out – acts of torture against Muslims. While Obama tipped his hat to “information that was yielded” from waterboarding, he thinks “we could have gotten this information in other ways…that were consistent with our values.” He acknowledged, “In some cases, it may be harder,” but as he said in his speech before the CIA, doing his best Stuart Smalley impression, “That’s O.K.” After all, he theorized last night, ending the practice “takes away a critical recruitment tool that al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have used to try to demonize the United States and justify the killing of civilians.” His assertion that Americans perpetrated torture will itself stir anti-American sentiment, not least as it follows his recently order for the Defense Department to release hundreds of photos of detainee abuse. Apparently Obama believes this al-Qaeda recruitment package can be waved away with an assurance that (wink, wink) we no longer do those things – and by the way, Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak!

The release of these photos, accompanied by memos detailing “torture,” took a more important tone as the president told Time magazine’s Michael Scherer he plans to reveal more state secrets of this sort. “I actually think that the state secret doctrine should be modified. I think right now it’s overbroad,” he said. He then revealed, “Eric Holder and Greg Craig, my White House counsel, and others are working on that as we speak.” The selection of Holder – and Craig, whose commitment to the rule of law led him to assist Bill Clinton’s evasion of it – makes one worry Obama plans to make “a foreign-aid program out of American secrets.”

However, the foreign policy aspect of the conference was not all naïve promises. He explained “his” long-range Iraq withdrawal policy, which is identical to President Bush’s withdrawal policy, saying, “more work needs to be done on the political side to further isolate whatever remnants of Al-Qaeda in Iraq still exist.” But if Iraq was a fraud, a war of choice as the Left insists, why must we win it? In one phrase, he admits al-Qaeda is in Iraq; that it remains a threat; that Bush’s troop surge was the right policy (though Obama opposed it as late as last July); that Nancy Pelosi was wrong to insist, “If we leave Iraq, then the insurgents will leave Iraq, the terrorists will leave Iraq”; and the immediate withdrawal his entire party counseled for years was the wrong policy formulated either out of stupidity or with something other than the nation’s best interests in mind.

Social Issues

Obama also made minor headlines on social issues like abortion and illegal immigration. Summarizing the pro-abortion point of view he said, “I don’t want to create straw men here.” There’s a first. Then he announced, “The Freedom of Choice Act is not my highest legislative priority.” Which means he’s either a liar now or he was a liar on the campaign trail when he told Planned Parenthood, “[T]he first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.” (Even the Left’s Messiah lies.) The word “highest” is also troubling, as it means rolling back the vox populi in every state in the union that demands sensible restrictions is still a part of his (anti-)Democratic agenda.

On immigration, he told Lori Montenegro of the Spanish-language network Telemundo he planned to continue his push for “immigration reform,” though he stopped shy of endorsing her one-year time frame. He referred to illegal immigrants as “undocumented workers,” but he also mentioned the tragic reality of their position in the economy: “they can be exploited at the same time as they’re depressing U.S. wages.” He proceeded to call for “a more thoughtful approach than just raids of a handful of workers.” Not that he wants to create a straw man or anything….

The Iowa Primary?

The majority of the press conference consisted, as most press conferences do, of self-congratulations and nonsense. He continued his penchant for Carteresque just-plain-folks solutions to global problems: “keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough,” inflate your tires….

However, he made two statements no Republican could have gotten away with. When CBS’s Chip Reid tossed him the second softest softball of the evening – “What do you think [Arlen Specter’s party] switch says about the state of the Republican Party?” – Obama replied, “You’re talking to a guy who was 30 points down in the polls during a primary in Iowa.” Iowa doesn’t have a primary. It has caucuses, as do some of the other 56 states.

On the softest softball, he said he felt “humbled” that he “can’t just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want.” In President Bush, this would have been denounced as cowboy “hubris.” For ObaMessiah, a lack of power breeds humility.


May he be richly rewarded with that virtue in his remaining 1,361 days in office.



Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the book 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving.

Obama’s Year Zero

Obama’s Year Zero
By the Editors of National Review Online

It is no accident that “hitting the reset button” has become one of the regnant clichés of the early weeks of the Obama administration. The president has spent the last 100 days acting as though he has the power to make the world anew: to turn enemies into allies by the power of his personal charm and his self-presentation as a break with the sordid past; to re-create the automotive industry, the energy sector, and the economy in general along lines he considers more fruitful and pleasing; to ignore any vestiges of conservatism still present in the populace; to dismiss any criticism as the grunting of dinosaurs. It is Year Zero of a pallid revolution.

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York recently expressed the key political assumption of the governing Democrats with a frankness that he might not have ventured before the election: The era in which traditional values, a strong foreign policy, and skepticism about overgovernment were winning issues is over. If that assumption is correct, then Obama will move from triumph to triumph.

If it is incorrect, however, Obama’s hubris will prove his undoing. He has given the conservative portions of the country a new energy and a new unity. His apology tour and his preening over “torture” have worried hawks. He has signaled his aggressive intent toward social conservatives by opening the door to human cloning, naming a pro-abortion extremist as his secretary of health and human services, and rescinding rules to protect the conscience rights of pro-life health-care workers. He has healed divisions among economic conservatives by proposing to raise both taxes and spending.

The president is still personally popular, and that popularity may persist for some time. Even people who have misgivings about his program are rooting for him to succeed, both because of the recession and his race. But some of his top legislative initiatives are in trouble. Card-check is dead in its present form, and cap-and-trade is on life support. There is no evidence that Obama’s popularity is transferring to congressional Democrats.

We cannot say whether the conservative resurgence for which we hope will come to pass. If it does, President Obama will deserve much of the credit.


National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MThiODA0OGUyMWU3ZjFlNzFjZjc3MTQ1NTBjNjZhZjI= 

100 days of the poser presidency

Napolitano: Border With Mexico to Stay Open for Now === LUNACY DUMP JANET IN MEXICO

Napolitano: Border With Mexico to Stay Open for Now

By Spencer S. Hsu
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano rejected calls to close the U.S.-Mexico border in response to the swine flu outbreak, saying the costs to both countries at this point outweigh the medical benefits.

“That’s something that always can be considered,” Napolitano told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday, before adding that the virus has already spread to several states across the United States.

“You have to look at what the costs of that are. We literally have thousands of trucks and lots of commerce that cross that border. We have food products and other things that have to go across that border. So that would be a very, very heavy cost for — as the epidemiologists tell us — [what] would be marginal, if any, utility in terms of actually preventing the spread of the virus,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano made similar comments in a half-dozen televised appearances, appearing to seek to tamp down potential controversy.

 

On Friday, Rep. Eric J.J. Massa (D), a freshman lawmaker from upstate New York, called for a complete closure of the border. He was joined Monday by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, a group that advocates for reduced immigration, which urged Congress to halt all but “non-essential traffic” at the border and the deployment of the U.S. military to stop illegal immigration.

Massa changed his tune slightly Tuesday morning. “The good news is, it looks like this kind of swine flu is treatable if you can get to the doctors within three to four days,” he told MSNBC, adding that his point was that the U.S. government needed to control its borders. “To the extent that my request has brought attention to this in the United States, I think I’ve served the people of my district,” he said.

Obama’s Narcissism

obama-narc3Obama’s Narcissism
April 27th, 2009
THOMAS F. ROESER, Chicago Daily Obrserver

Obama is quite proud of himself
After he sat listening to a 52-minute tirade about America the Fascist Imperialist tyranny, a droll Barack Obama told the media that the rant by Nicaragua’s Daniel C. Ortega “wasn’t about me.” No, it wasn’t. It was about America which evidently didn’t concern the narcissistic U. S. president since it involved John F. Kennedy, not he. And it did not occur to him to defend America since he himself wasn’t named: thus the narcissism. Also the lack of patriotism.

Criticism about Obama back here has centered on his spinelessness and unwillingness to defend his country from attack. Yes, that’s part of it. But a bigger part is the absolute obsession of this young man with himself-in contrast to concern about the country. This could be expected from one who has caused the press…guilty over charges of racism… to evade its own responsibility for checking facts on presidential candidates-notably the one that his late paternal grandmother made declaring she was present when he was born in what is now Kenya…also checking the recording supposedly of the grandmother making the admission which has been publicly available and about which two men have submitted affidavits attesting to its authenticity, which have not been answered by Team Obama.

Read More:

Obama as the new FDR – unfortunately

Obama as the new FDR – unfortunately
Leslie S. Lebl

At first I thought I had mistaken my catch-up reading for the morning paper. In the passage I was reading, the American president understood that the proposed new program would run out. As he himself put it:
“Ah, but this is the same old dole under another name. It is almost dishonest to build up an accumulated deficit for the Congress of the United States to meet in [the future]. We can’t do that. We can’t see the United States short in [the future] any more than [now].”

Was this President Barack H. Obama being transparent? No, it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt talking to trusted aides about the proposed Social Security plan, as detailed in The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes.

That isn’t the only whiff of déjà vu in her book. Elsewhere, she recounts that Roosevelt was concerned that the Supreme Court might rule his gold policy unconstitutional.
“Days after the oral argument began, he told [Treasury] Secretary Henry Morgenthau and Homer Cummings at lunch that he hoped to keep the bond market in confusion until the Supreme Court decided the gold-clause issue. Then, if the Court decided against the administration, things would still be so rough that the people would turn to the president and say: ‘For God’s sake, Mr. President, do something.’”

Truly, a crisis is too good a thing to waste. Morgenthau reproached Roosevelt, who the next night said he had only been kidding. Morgenthau was not so sure.

As we await the rollout of Obama’s health care and education initiatives, here’s a snippet from an early discussion of Social Security: Then, Democratic Senator “Champ” Clark from Missouri objected to the program’s design:

“If the Social Security program was entirely about social welfare, he said, then why not allow private companies with pension programs already in place to choose to stay out of the government program? This would allow a genuine private-sector counterpart against which to measure the government program…Without the opt-out of the Clark Amendment, companies would give up supplying private pensions. Why should they pay double when the government would do their work for them?”

Or, what about the controversy over the National Recovery Administration and its attempts to micromanage American businesses? In the case brought by the United States against chicken butchers in Brooklyn, to give just one of the examples Shlaes presents, the prosecutor tried to demonstrate that the butchers were cheating by lowering prices – clearly oblivious to the fact that the market price for chickens fluctuated.

Roosevelt’s actions led to a growing chorus of protests that he was violating the Constitution. As the Tea Parties demonstrate, that’s another box Obama gets to check.

In conclusion, I remain skeptical about Obama’s chances of becoming the new Lincoln but I think he definitely has the inside track for becoming the new Roosevelt. That’s too bad, especially when you consider the assessment, made in 1939, by Morgenthau when he testified before Congress:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.”

His measure of effectiveness was the unemployment rate. In 1939 it was higher than in 1931, the year before Roosevelt was elected.

Leslie S. Lebl is Principal of Lebl Associates and a Fellow of the American Center for Democracy.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/04/obama_as_the_new_fdr_unfortuna.html at April 28, 2009 – 11:02:34 AM EDT

Obama’s New Gun Bill—– The Second Amendment… . America’s original homeland security

Obama’s New Gun Bill

——————————————————————————–

Remember when considering this bill. We will be losing our hunting heritage
and the freedoms that we have, since the founding of this great nation,
enjoyed. Ethical gun owners are not the problem. Guns are not the problem.
Those who refuse to obey the laws are the problem. Remember, guns don’t
kill….people kill.
Warmly,
Limoboy77

Subject: HR45 Gun Licensing Bill

HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009

Please send this to everybody on your list… this is Obama
guncontrol by secrecy.

________________________________

Very Important for you to be aware of a new bill HR 45 introduced into the
House.
This is the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009.
We just learned yesterday about this on the Peter Boyles radio program.
Even gun shop owners didn’t know about this because it is flying under the
radar.
To find out about this – go to any government website and type in HR 45 or
Google HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009. You
will get all the information.

Basically this would make it illegal to own a firearm – any rifle with a
clip or ANY pistol unless:

.It is registered
.You are fingerprinted
.You supply a current Driver’s License
.You supply your Social Security #
.You will submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their
choosing .Each update – change or ownership through private or public sale
must be reported and costs $25
- Failure to do so you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are
subject up to a year in jail.

.There is a child provision clause on page 16 section 305 stating a
child-access provision. Gun must be locked and inaccessible to any child
under 18.

The Government would have the right to come and inspect that you are storing
your gun safely away from accessibility to children and fine is punishable
for up to 5 yrs. in prison.

If you think this is a joke – go to the website and take your pick of many
options to read this..
http://www.opencong ress.org/ bill/111- h45/text

It is long and lengthy. But, more and more people are becoming aware of
this. Pass the wordalong.

FAILURE TO DO SO AT YOUR PERIL!

Any hunters in your family – pass this along.

Peter Boyles is on this and having guests. Listen to him on KHOW 630 a.m. in
the morning.

He suggests the best way to fight this is to tell all your friends about it
and “spring into action”.

Also he suggests we all join a pro-gun group like the Colorado Rifle
Association, hunting associations, gun clubs and especially the NRA..

This is just a “termite” approach to complete confiscation of guns and
disarming of our society to the point we have no defense – chip away a
little here and there until the goal is accomplished before anyone realizes
it.

This is one to act on whether you own a gun or not.

The Second Amendment… . America’s original homeland secur

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