sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The End of the Rainbow in 2014?


When Mr. Obama came into power, he seemed determined to make Afghanistan 'his war' - even though we'd been there for a long time already. Now, he's not so sure that he wants to link his presidency to the Afghan War. And I don't blame him. As with so many other similar conflicts throughout history, you first have to ask yourself where the end of the counterinsurgency rainbow is. And while you're searching, consider why we went there in the first place and why we remain.

When the British left Asia and the Middle East, the US took their place and the power vacuum was temporary and rather small.  If the US suddenly decided to abandon the Middle East and Asia it would create a problem for the world and I am not suggesting that we take that Libertarian course of action. When we left Viet Nam, we didn't leave Asia.

A 10 year land war in Asia for the sake of fighting Muslim extremists can turn into a 20 year war or a 30 year war if we plan to turn Afghans into Americans. (The Afghans have a stubborn historical precedent for remaining Afghans no matter who occupies their country) Political Islam failed to deliver on its promise of a just government. It failed to provide a prosperous society. And it has failed to foster a flourishing culture. Islam, the faith doesn't translate into good government. Brutal Sharia Law doesn't lead to a blossoming society full of new science and 'the good life'. And the Afghans have their own brand of Sharia based on the jirgha (literally 'circle') of elders who decide what the tribe will do. It has been and will be the basis of Afghan society and law no matter how much we try to change it.

Our broad strategic objectives for Afghanistan are part of the problem. Keeping America safe can remain  a goal for keeping troops in Afghanistan at some sustainable level. However, when you look at the map (above), you need to ask yourself if Six Corps (a lot of people) will make the social change we seek by 2014. Is that the end of the counterinsurgency rainbow?

Monday, June 27, 2011

US Roadmap for Afghanistan (Opinion)

Nobody has ever accused me of being a peacenik, however, the question of where we should be heading in Afghanistan remains. Is America's continued involvement there is a good idea or not.
Thomas Friedman, New York Times wrote: "When President Barack Obama announced his decision to surge more troops into Afghanistan in 2009, I argued that it could succeed if three things happened: Pakistan became a different country, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan became a different man and we succeeded at doing exactly what we claim not to be doing, nation-building in Afghanistan. None of that has happened, which is why I still believe our options in Afghanistan are: lose early, lose late, lose big or lose small. I vote for early and small."
I am pessimistic that the US will be able to achieve any long term nation building in Afghanistan (a bronze age tribal culture armed with modern small arms).

Whether the surge is working or not may soothe our egos in the short term, but in the long term, unless we are going to continue to pour soldiers and money into that tribal morass for all eternity, it will eventually revert to its natural state which is feudal and chaotic and not worth one American life nor a penny of American taxpayer funds. 

Killing Al Qaida was a noble, necessary, and achievable aim; anything beyond that is only wishful, unrealistic, and very expensive thinking. 
Back to Friedman:
"My wariness about Afghanistan comes from asking these three questions: When does the Middle East make you happy? How did the Cold War end? What would Ronald Reagan do? Let's look at all three.
"When did the Middle East make us happiest in the past few decades? That's easy: (1) when Anwar Sadat made his breakthrough visit to Jerusalem; (2) when the Sunni uprising in Iraq against the pro-al-Qaida forces turned the tide there; (3) when the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was routed in 2001 by Afghan rebels, backed only by U.S. air power and a few hundred U.S. Special Forces; (4) when Israelis and Palestinians drafted a secret peace accord in Oslo; (5) when the Green Revolution happened in Iran; (6) when the Cedar Revolution erupted in Lebanon; (7) when the democracy uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Egypt emerged; (8) when Israel unilaterally withdrew from South Lebanon and Gaza.
"And what do they all have in common? America had nothing to do with almost all of them. They were self-propelled by the people themselves; we did not see them coming; and most of them didn't cost us a dime."
We need to let the Afghans sort out their own problems with or without Pakistani involvement - it's up to them. 

P. S. 
Until the US has a comprehensive, sane energy policy, the Middle East will matter more to us than it should. So we have to keep a hand in the mix -- but the sooner that we take a step back and make the hard choices for a long term independence from Middle Eastern oil, the better off we'll be. 



Saturday, June 25, 2011

News of the Weird

Sometimes the news is weird and sometimes you think you're reading a Monte Python script.


Woman Dies After Waking Up at 
Her Own Funeral (LINK) in Russia

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov (age 49) (pictured above, with her husband on a better day) woke up in a funeral home and found herself laying in a coffin, surrounded by grieving relatives, praying her soul from hell.

She began to scream as it sunk in that they were getting ready to bury her. Apparently Fagilyu became so agitated by the circumstances that she induced a heart attack. Her loving friends and family rushed her to the local hospital in Kazan, Russia...but she didn't make it. Doctors pronounced her genuinely dead at the scene.
(LINK) "Her eyes fluttered and we immediately rushed her back to the hospital," her husband Fagili, 51, said. "But she only lived another 12 minutes before she died again, this time for good." He said: "I am very angry and want some answers. She wasn't dead when they said she was and they could have saved her."
There is a lesson here. If you are in Russia and they say you're dead, friends and relatives should confirm that before they plant you in the ground to enjoy your eternal rest. ONLY in Chicago are the dead allowed to rise (and vote) before returning to the earth.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some things are TIMELESS

Time to put Obama on a lie detector...


Monday, June 20, 2011

WHO is the Old Whore?


Yes, it is more shameless self-promotion of my work. Some of the preliminary reviews from editors and even a couple big-name reviewers are promising. For those of you who read my novels, thanks. For those of you who dodged the bullet -- well, there's still time for you to catch the wave.



I had not intended to write this book in this order, but a number of people were kind enough to ask/beg for another book in the Cartel Wars Series. Thus, the genesis of The Old Whore: A Novel of Cartel Wars.

It's true that there's not that much good fiction set in Mexico because the reality of the situation down there is bizarre enough to keep you reading non-fiction. The Old Whore should be available sometime in August. If you want to know who the old whore is, you need to buy the book - available at the best book stores, on amazon.com, Kindle, e-books and if it's not at your local lending library.

~
Publisher's Entry: Back of the Book

Here is the second volume in Larry B. Lambert’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes Bloody Mexico and The Old Whore. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern, all too real, dramatic fiction, espionage, intrigue, romance and adventure. The story transports us to modern Mexico, where the absence of a just and moral government has led to a vacuum where evil runs virtually unchecked. Already heralded as a classic, Larry B. Lambert’s stunning series provides a with an image of what may be, as Mexican society festers and an underground empire rules a land in self-destruct mode. 

The cult of Holy Death threatens to unleash unthinkable horror, through their ‘Dead Saint’s’ thirst for blood. An American intelligence failure requires a cover-up. Argentine and Macedonian hit squads miss the mark. A murder in Paraguay sends a bereaved widow on a quest for justice and retired CIA case officer Gary Granger is called on to manage a deniable solution to the American President’s problem. 
~

I continue to work in Mexico dealing with cartel-related issues, and depending on how you define success, I've been successful of late. While the novel is a complete work of fiction, I hope that as you turn the pages that you feel the vibe and some of the roller coaster ride that the Cartel Wars provides to those who dip their cracker into the soup. 


No, I don't have anything to do with ATF. Operation Fast and Furious was ill conceived and reflects badly on the US Government and is an embarrassment to the American people.

###

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bloody Mexico - Fast and Furious

Two guns sold to a Mexican cartel and used in the high-profile kidnapping and murder of a Mexican lawyer last year were purchased under the U.S. Justice Department's failed anti-gun trafficking program Operation Fast and Furious, sources tell Fox News (LINK).

U.S. law enforcement sources and officials in Washington told Fox News that two AK-47s were purchased in Arizona by a straw buyer — someone who legally buys guns, then illegal sells them to a third party – and were allowed to “walk” into Mexico. Police recovered the guns in the course of their investigation of the kidnapping of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez.

Gonzales, brother of the now former attorney general of Chihuahua, Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez, was kidnapped in October. He was taken by six gunmen from the Sinaloa cartel and tortured extensively over two weeks.

Three videos posted online show Gonzalez surrounded by hooded armed men with his hands and feet bound and apparently being electrocuted with electrical devises attached to his feet. Three videos posted online show Gonzalez surrounded by hooded armed men with his hands and feet bound and apparently being electrocuted with electrical devises attached to his feet. 

The incident received heavy publicity in Mexico – not just because he was a family member of a top law enforcement officer, but because he claims in the video that his sister, while attorney general, protected the Juarez cartel, and that she ordered the murder of two journalists and a member of the Mormon community in that state.

Gonzalez’s body was found last November in a shallow grave outside the city after armed federal police forces raided the kidnappers' compound. Mexican officials arrested the suspects and confiscated the guns.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the US Department of Justice hasn't responded to Fox News yet and say that they're investigating the report. I wonder if it will take a Congressional subpoena to get them to release their findings?

Remember, a Mexico vacation is the antidote for civilization...

Home Values - Still in the Tank

It's good news if you never owned a home and want to buy one, but it's bad news if you want to sell your home or are upside down on your mortgage. (LINK) Standard & Poors Composite Home Price Index shows that the price of homes will fall 5% in 2011 will remain static or fall lower in 2012. So much for the promise of "happy days are here again" refrain that we've heard from Vice President Biden, the 'Recovery Czar'.

Home sales have generally been falling since the expiration of popular home-buyer tax credits (made at VAST public expense) last year. Home sales in April, the most recent month available from the National Association of Realtors, was 12.9 percent below its year-ago level.
(Reuters, op cit) With home prices still falling, many potential buyers are sidelined and banks are more stringent with loan applications and credit scores, Wells Fargo's Vitner said.
"It is not that I am pessimistic about the housing market, it is just that I am not optimistic and a gradual recovery probably will not happen until 2013 or 2014, with a full normalization not until 2015," he said.
Another contributing factor to the dour outlook for the U.S. housing market is stubbornly high unemployment and underemployment.
Home prices will fall another 3 percent from their current levels, according to the median forecast in the poll.
The hope and change mantra that has echoed through the country (promise of the ObamaNation) is very clearly reflected here. There are [conservative] areas of the nation where the economic problems we face
are not as severe - such as Texas. There are other [mostly liberal] areas where it's felt like a depression. And wherever you are and whatever you're feeling - the forecast is that there is really no end in sight. Best case you're looking at the end of the decade to see an improvement in the economic condition providing that Obama is removed by the voters.

Retaining the Obama Administration in power would sink us deeper into the hole. Obama clearly can't run on his record -- and he hasn't put forth any sort of coherent plan as his financial advisors regularly quit for "health reasons" or "to return to academic life".

###

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Running Guns (your tax dollars at work)

The Los Angeles Times reported (quoted below - LINK) that the ATF agents assigned to the OPERATION GUNRUNNER were in a "state of panic". The LA Times quotes from the Congressional probe being conducted by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told congressional investigators that there was "a state of panic" that the guns used in the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in January and two U.S. agents in Mexico a month later might have been sold under the U.S. surveillance operation.
"I used the word anxiety. The term I used amongst my peers is pucker factor," Larry Alt, special agent with ATF's Phoenix field division, told investigators preparing a joint staff report for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
The report will be released Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
(LA Times - continued) Neither of those shootings was ultimately linked to the "Fast and Furious" probe, though two weapons sold to a suspect under surveillance were found at the scene of the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near Nogales, Ariz., in December.
At least 195 of the weapons have been traced to Mexico, found mainly at crime scenes, but ATF agents quoted in the report said more than 1,700 firearms were trafficked "to known criminals or cartel elements south of the border and elsewhere" under the operation.
"I cannot see anyone who has one iota of concern for human life being OK with this," Agent John Dodson told committee interviewers.
I hope that Agent Dodson is of retirement age. Hell hath no fury like a US Attorney General who is hiding the ball and is outed by an ATF Agent.

Congressmen Issa and Grassley have been butting heads with ATF supervisors and senior officials at the Justice Department who signed off on the Project Gunrunner operation. The two agencies, the Republican congressmen say, have refused to provide documents about the origin, direction and supervision of the operation.


Post Script: This just in! (LINK)


Moments ago in his opening statement at today’s hearing, Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) released three e-mails detailing the intimate involvement of ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Acting Deputy Director Bill Hoover in Operation Fast and Furious:
* The first e-mail from March 10, 2010, to Operation Fast and Furious Group VII Leader David Voth indicates that the two most senior leaders in ATF, Acting Director Kenneth Melson, and Deputy Director Billy Hoover, were “being briefed weekly on” Operation Fast and Furious. The document shows that both Melson and Hoover were “keenly interested in case updates.”
* A second e-mail from March 12, 2010, shows that Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon was so excited about Fast and Furious that he received a special briefing on the program in Phoenix – scheduled for a mere 45 minutes after his plane landed.
* A third – and perhaps the most disturbing – e-mail from April 12, 2010, indicates that Acting Director Melson was very much in the weeds with Operation Fast and Furious. After a detailed briefing of the program by the ATF Phoenix Field Division, Acting Director Melson had a plethora of follow-up questions that required additional research to answer. As the document indicates, Mr. Melson was interested in the IP Address for hidden cameras located inside cooperating gun shops. With this information, Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and – himself – watch a live feed of the straw buyers entering the gun stores to purchase dozens of AK-47 variants.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Overhaul the Justice Dept - Eliminate BATFE

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the stepchild that the Department of Justice didn't really want. But when the US Department of Homeland Security scooped agencies from the Department of the Treasury, ATF went to Justice. It may sound like arranging dominoes and power plays -- which is what it was/is, but the larger question is whether or not ATF deserves to exist at all.

The ATF hasn't had a permanent director since 2006, and has no hope of getting one anytime soon. President Obama nominated anti-gun activist Andrew Traver for the post and he was immediately blocked by Republicans because of his anti-gun views and association with the Joyce Foundation. So it's a ship without sail or rudder and it shows in its ill conceived OPERATION FAST AND FURIOUS/OPERATION GUNRUNNER wherein it allowed thousands of firearms to pass to the hands of drug cartels in Mexico who used some of those firearms to murder a US Border Patrol Agent and shoot down a Mexican Army helicopter.

ATF has been so embarrassing to the Obama Administration that they've been fighting subpoenas issued by Congress because the answers -- beat the credibility of the US Justice Department like an unwanted stepchild (which ATF happens to be). 
(Fox News) A hearing in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is laying the groundwork to compel U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to turn over documents related to "Operation Fast and Furious," a secret Obama administration program that put thousands of guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
Fast and Furious aimed to track gun sales to Mexico, allegedly, say critics of the program, to build up evidence to publicly blame cartel violence on U.S. gun store owners and lax American gun laws.
In the past two months, the Department of Justice, on behalf of ATF, has ignored subpoenas and seven letters demanding details of the program. It has refused to provide a single document to the oversight committee, according to chairman Darrell Issa.
I don't hate ATF and don't have an axe to grind with the special agents who work there. I simply believe that the American people would be better served if ATF was rolled into the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Drug Enforcement Administration where they would be better led and more appropriately assigned to meaningful cases. If FBI and DEA don't want them, I'm sure that they could be transferred to the Customs, Immigration and Enforcement Agency in the Department of Homeland Security.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

European Socialism - An American Future?

I admit that when I think of Europe, I often think of it in a vastly historic context. As a close student of the military campaigns of Charlemagne and of his grandfather Charles Martel, I've seen landmarks and at times I've mentioned them to my European friends -- who don't care. To many Europeans, their past is not equated with the Renaissance or the Enlightenment, but in terms of tourist dollars.

Most European cathedrals are empty on Sunday and in Germany, some have been sold to Muslims. Europeans marvel at Americans who 'senselessly cling to their God and guns' (sound familiar?). European Christendom has gone the way of the dodo bird and the iron horse. In its place it their newly found socialism, which is choking them like a strangler fig.

I've been on the phone with friends from Europe because I'm planning to visit this summer. Their tale of recession seems to be more profound than mine is. Prices there are roughly double what we pay in the US and their future seems more uncertain than ours is -- because they've bought off more completely on the promise of a socialist worker's paradise. They've caved to the Muslim thirst for Sharia Law and are now trying to reverse the curse.

European taxes are draconian and the higher taxes go, the more people cheat on them, the less revenue comes in. Just like in the US - but worse. Friends advise that the vast and pervasive value added tax is more for tourists and the unwary than it is for the wise shopper, who will be able to purchase under-the-table without paying the tax. So I guess it means that I'll need to take a local with me when buying presents to bring to the people back home? 

Gasoline/petrol is heavily taxed in Europe. $10/gallon seems to be the norm. Electricity is about three times as expensive as it is in the US and there is no relief in sight. You can avoid paying value-added-tax by negotiating the 'real price', but you still have to buy gasoline at the pump and the electric monopoly is an arm of the government, and taxation.

15% unemployment is the rule in much of Europe (it's double that in Greece), and nobody can figure out what the underemployment numbers would be. Nobody bothers to attempt to figure that one out. But no worries. You can make more on welfare than you can working in much of the utopian worker's paradise, so staying home, drinking beer and watching the television has become a 'job' to many. Their small, expensive apartments look and feel more like jail cells and when they walk the streets, they're shoved by hoards of North African, sub-Saharan African and Pakistani immigrants who out-breed them 10 to 1 and will soon be the majority in many quarters.

But, in the United States, the political class seem intend on copying the European model an force-feeding it to Americans. The only question I can mount is simply this: Why would we want it?


Friday, June 10, 2011

Good-Bye Newt, Hello Rick

There didn't seem to be any of the usual gang of bloggers out there who felt energized in the slightest by the Newt Gingrich announcement that he was going to run for President of the United States. I know that he has a knack for raising money and that he's a bright guy, but I didn't think that he'd make a good president and I don't think that he's a 'good man'. So I more or less ignored his announced candidacy. Since then he's turned on his own party, announcing that his ideas for Medicare reform were the only ones that we should take seriously. That flopped. And yesterday every single one of his campaign staff quit as he was setting off on a Mediterranean cruise. He plans to "restart his campaign in Los Angeles on Sunday" and I can't help but wonder who will show up to watch and listen. I can only say that I won't be there and there isn't anyone I know who will be there -- and I live in the LA area.

a newt but not a politician

The usual suspects who are running for president on the Republican ticket have been tepid at best. The front-runner, Mitt Romney seems like a nice guy, sorta, but he's not anyone I'd send money to, or put a sign on my lawn in support of. Herman Cain won't make it, and neither will Bachmann. Pawlenty might actually make a good president but nobody cares because he doesn't have the traction or the charisma. Palin isn't going to run, but she wants to keep her options open. Ron Paul is running again (as usual) - who cares?

That left the field of people who I would support if they ran, but none of them were running - to include Gov. Christie (R-NJ), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Gov. Perry (R-TX).

AND the current buzz is that Governor Rick Perry is considering running for president. He has solid credentials at the governor of Texas, both as a fiscal conservative, as one who is concerned with bringing order to the US-Mexico Border, and as one who would bring balance to the out-of-control liberal policies that are causing US States to recoil against the federal government (ObamaCare being the poster child).
(CBS NEWS) With confirmation that Gingrich’s top advisers have quite en masse, this obviously means his campaign is all but done, which frankly was only a matter of time and comes as a surprise to no one. The more interesting question for 2012 is what this means for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Sources close to Perry tell me he is now “serious” about a presidential bid. He has been talking with his big money donors for the past week, and they had a conference call on Monday to talk assembling a possible 2012 campaign.
But the rub was this: There was no way Perry would run for president without his top political consultant, Dave Carney. And it also would be nice to have his former campaign manager, Rob Johnson, on board.
Unfortunately for Perry, both of those guys were working on Gingrich 2012. Carney was advising Gingrich in New Hampshire and Johnson was Gingrich’s senior political adviser. As one top Republican strategist told me on Tuesday, the canary in the coal mine for a Perry presidential run is whether Carney would leave Newt.
Carney left Newt.

And IF Governor Perry gets into the race, we may finally have some sense of gravity in conservative circles. There is no doubt that Romney is in it to the end of the primary process, but in my humble opinion, adding Governor Perry to the mix eclipses his candidacy. Cain and Bachmann will still have some supporters and Ron Paul will try to influence the Republican Party Platform -- but it's all but over for them. Palin will still be there, and would make a great Secretary of the Interior in a Perry cabinet. Cain would make a great Secretary of Commerce. Bachmann should remain in the House until she can run for the Senate. Paul will still be Paul -- and Mitt? Well, is there even a place at the table for Mitt Romney?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Profiling Airline Passengers


Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano explains why America's (and TSA's) focus on screening travelers should not be on the young Muslim males who're actually causing all the problems. She seems to be saying that we should continue doing cavity searches on African-American Baptist grandmothers or Irish Catholic toddlers to insure that our focus on diversity remains strong. 

Israel's El Al Airline is widely considered to be the safest in the world to fly. (Walt, Vivienne (2001-01-10). "Unfriendly skies are no match for El Al". USA Today. Retrieved 06-09-11)

Why is Israel's airline safer? Profiling works. Some critics to El Al note that its security checks on passengers include extreme racial profiling and have argued that such profiling is primitive, unfair, irrational, and degrading to those subject to such screening. El Al argues that it does not use racial profiling, but does use behavioral profiling, and that there is nothing inherently racist about behavioral profiling.




Does listening to Secretary Napolitano inspire confidence in you that she has both oars in the water? Or does she seem more like a broken lightbulb (dumb as a bag of hammers/box of rocks)?


Joblessness June 2011 - It's Grim!

Have any of you attended a job fair recently? It's pathetic -- I mean really pathetic.  I had a meeting with attorneys flying in to Los Angeles at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. When I arrived, there was a very long line stretching from the first floor, and winding through the second floor. Somewhere on the order of three hundred men and women wearing business suits cued up to get into a job fair for military veterans that was being held in a banquet hall.

Being a veteran, I thought that I'd take a look and see who was hiring. WalMart and McDonalds were taking applications for immediate employment and invited resumes. The US Border Patrol had a big presence, though they weren't hiring immediately, they did suggest that they'd hire soon. Boeing was there hiring jet engine mechanics and electronic specialists who'd repaired their products when they were in the service -- and that's about it. There were people from a nationwide realty office who were trying to get former service men and women to sell real estate (no, I'm not kidding) and the rest of the people there were from outfits like ITT Institute who were selling education programs.
(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits [in June] unexpectedly rose last week, according to a report on Thursday that could reinforce fears the labor market recovery has stalled.
Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased 1,000 to 427,000, the Labor Department said. However, economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 415,000 from a previously reported count of 422,000. The rise kept first-time claims perched above the 400,000 mark for the ninth week in a row. Analysts normally associate a level below that with steady job growth.
Fueling concerns about job creation, the U.S. government said on Friday the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent in May while nonfarm employers added a paltry 54,000 workers to their payrolls.
The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid slipped to 3.68 million in the week ended May 28 from 3.75 million. Economists had expected so-called continuing claims to edge down to 3.70 million from the previously reported 3.71 million.
Welcome to the ObamaNation! Do you remember the Summer of Recovery? Or the Fall of Recovery? Or the Spring of Recovery? Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors resigned last week. He replaced Christina Romer, who also resigned. I suspect that Obama is looking for a new advisor who will tell him what he wants to hear rather than how the cow ate the cabbage. So there is ONE job opening in America.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Unemployable Senior and Minors

There is a direct relationship between age and the difficulty people experience as they try to get hired these days. The older/younger you are, the more difficult it is to find work. Yes, I know that we're in a recession/depression I don't have to read the tea leaves. All I have to do is drive around town and look at all of the closed businesses.

In order to allow senior citizens to become more attractive to potential employers, we need to consider eliminating payroll taxes for senior citizens -- over 60 -- and also for minors, under 18. This will help seniors (and minors) to get into the work force by reducing the cost of labor for companies. 

Various politicians have suggested these measures from time to time, but the plan never seemed to have the traction that it needs to be implemented. There are a lot of unemployed kids who are looking for work. Young people need skills and discipline that work offers in order to develop their lives and focus themselves on the future. 

This is not the call for a "jobs program" of the sort that government usually proposes, funds at disproportionate expense and then doesn't work. It simply levels the playing field slightly for our oldest and youngest who are out there trying to compete and get hired.

Think about it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weiner's Supporters

The Mainstream Media

Who does Congressman Weiner work for? An impartial outside observer might draw the conclusion that Weiner works for the mainstream media who rallied around him and tried to save their treasured colleague from disgrace and humiliation.

Those are the same people who send hoards of reporters to trail Sara Palin around, seize upon her every word and distort it; which dissects every nano-second of her private life from childhood on, etc., and actively shunned this story about a member of the Donkey party the way lepers were shunned in the Middle Ages. 

The Mainstream Media seem to have a vested interest in keeping Weiner in power. They had to be brought to the story dragging their heels kicking and screaming while simultaneously not only echoing Weiners charges of hacking but themselves casting aspersions at everyone save Weiner. 

Then, suddenly, Weiner’s press conf. was over (And notice that CNN muted the sound on Breitbart during his time at the podium. They couldn’t kill the feed, but they could kill the sound.) the chattering classes began the “personal tragedy” theme/”meme”–that this country is facing huge problems. We  should now just MoveOn because this is all now a strictly “private matter” between “he and his wife.”

There was no outrage at the continual lies, the press conferences where Weiner continually 'perjured' himself to the American public. This is the same press that won't carry the story that the most dangerous place to be black in America is in the womb, so we shouldn't be surprised at the moral consistency.

Democrats

Weiner is a Democrat. Democrats as a group operate under slightly different rules than the Republicans seem to. It's not because either group is ethically or morally superior to the other, but rather because of the fellow travelers they’re with and the peer pressure they experience.

The Republicans courted the Christian vote, hence being Chris Lee and sending a photograph of your torso without a shirt to somebody you met on Facebook is considered worthy of resignation. Christian voters consider that rude and won’t stand by the folks who do it.

Weiner sends a picture of his courtin’ tackle to somebody who at least virtually had to go through the effort of accepting a handshake on Facebook, and does not think it’s an offense worth resigning for. How can anyone blame Weiner? Oh, sure he lied about it on camera again and again but how is lying something unusual for a lawyer and a Congressman?

Weiner is a member of the party that represents gays, transgendered, transexuals, atheists, pagans, agnostics, mimes, starving artists, any other minority fringe organization that can possibly be identified. He's a member of the Party in Power in bankrupt California that always carries the votes in districts such as Haight-Ashbury, Berkeley, Castro, The Mission, and Fillmore. What are they going to do in Castro, put away their leather and chains and quit giving and voting for Democrats? They may support a different candidate next election, but not a different party, and being the incumbent has advantages.

Weiner may well be re-elected by New York voters. 

Most Americans elect and re-elect people that they wouldn't invite into their homes. Why is that?

Seriously. How many of you would want to have Barack and Michelle as house guests? What about Barney Frank and his "wife"?


Monday, June 6, 2011

We need a NEW Oath of Office for Congress

I think that the old one is perfectly fine for people of conscience with the slightest thread of moral fiber, but the WeinerGate scandal raises the need for some sort of enforceable code of conduct that Congress should be legally required to adhere to while in office. 
  • Jamie Jeffords has a good blog post on the Anthony Weiner matter in which he also explores the whole sordid mess in recent years from Gingrich dumping his dying wife to Barney Frank's escapades with male prostitutes and David Vitter having his whores diaper him. (LINK)

Once again, Andrew Breitbart has made the mainstream media look foolish as they take him on when he makes a statement. He has the uncanny knack of being right. Eventually it might sink in to even the most bigoted liberal brain...or maybe I'm giving them too much credit?

Do women really want men to send them this sort of photograph (Courtesy American Perspective) "Congressman Weiner's bulge"(D-NY)? Maybe coming from a Congressman it has a lot more impact on the female imagination? Historically, homosexual Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) wanted an intern to measure his large male part and he ended his political career on that.

What sort of enforceable oath could we create? Matters of honor would seem to have to be written in stone. Should these merely cover sexual misconduct or should the oath extend to corruption of the sort we've seen by the corrupt Congressman Charlie Rangle (D-NY)? Clearly the House Ethics Manual is either it is not enforceable or it doesn't take things far enough (READ IT HERE).

Read Meagan Broussard's account of Weiner's...weiner on BIG GOVERNMENT.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Social Engineers of the Left and their Followers

Saul Alinsky, the Godfather of Community Organizing
C.S. Lewis wrote:

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

The social engineers of the left, motivated as they are by their creative utopian aspirations--expressed by the desire to impose (forcibly, if necessary) universal peace, social justice and brotherhood upon humanity--are completely oblivious to the malignant side of their own natures. In reading an article by George Will, he seems to define it in his analysis of the Obama Administration's "damn-the-arithmetic-full-speed-ahead proposal to spend $53 billion more (after the $8 billion in stimulus money and $2.4 billion in enticements to 23 states) in the next six years pursuant to the president’s loopy goal of giving '80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.' Access and high-speed to be defined later."
(Newsweek) Florida’s new Republican governor, Rick Scott, has joined Ohio’s (John Kasich) and Wisconsin’s (Scott Walker) in rejecting federal incentives—more than $2 billion in Florida’s case—to begin a high-speed rail project. Florida’s 84-mile line, which would have run parallel to Interstate 4, would have connected Tampa and Orlando. One preposterous projection was that it would attract 3 million passengers a year—almost as many as ride Amtrak’s Acela in the densely populated Boston–New York–Washington corridor.
The three governors want to spare their states from paying the much larger sums likely to be required for construction-cost overruns and operating subsidies when ridership projections prove to be delusional. Kasich and Walker, who were elected promising to stop the nonsense, asked Washington for permission to use the high-speed-rail money for more pressing transportation needs than a train running along Interstate 71 between Cleveland and Cincinnati, or a train parallel to Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Madison. Washington, disdaining the decisions of Ohio and Wisconsin voters, replied that it will find states that will waste the money.
California will. Although prostrate from its own profligacy, it will sink tens of billions of its own taxpayers’ money in the 616-mile San Francisco–to–San Diego line. Supposedly 39 million people will eagerly pay much more than an airfare in order to travel slower. Between 2008 and 2009, the projected cost increased from $33 billion to $42.6 billion.
So why is America’s “win the future” administration so fixated on railroads, a technology that was the future two centuries ago? Because progressivism’s aim is the modification of (other people’s) behavior.
Forever seeking Archimedean levers for prying the world in directions they prefer, progressives say they embrace high-speed rail for many reasons—to improve the climate, increase competitiveness, enhance national security, reduce congestion, and rationalize land use. The length of the list of reasons, and the flimsiness of each, points to this conclusion: the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.
To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.
Time was, the progressive cry was “Workers of the world unite!” or “Power to the people!” Now it is less resonant: “All aboard!”
The leftist's desire for power is direct and absolute; and this is a direct consequence of the utopian ideology that drives him. Like a small child, but no longer an innocent one, the typical progressive truly believes that his whims and feelings and "good intentions" are all that matter in the world. 

The clever leftist always manages to hide these darker motivations--the envy, greed, and desire for power--and pretend they don't even exist--even to himself. He tells himself he does not possess such dark motives; that his motives are pure and uncontaminated by the kind of self-serving goals the selfish capitalists pursue. He tells himself that the "greed" of others is to blame for his plight; never his own. He tells himself that it is others who are "selfish", never him. He does what he does "for the children" and some undefined "greater good."

The banal platitudes and silly slogans he chants during his protest marches make him feel oh so good about himself and demonize those who he believes are stealing his rightful piece of the pie. Experiencing too much knowledge and insight about his inner state would make him extremely uncomfortable; perhaps even causing him to question some of his basic assumptions about himself or his beliefs.

This is the essence of the "dilemma of the utopians". They see themselves as so pure and righteous; so correct and virtuous; how is it possible that their beautiful utopian dreams always turn into such horrible human nightmares?

Having porous boundaries to their own self, narcissists do not easily recognize where they end and other selves begin. They have a hard time accepting that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

Watch how the "compassionate" people of the left turn on a member of one of their many victimhood groups when that individual dares to disagree with them. They see them as traitors to their race or gender or whatever. If you are black or female or gay you are not supposed to have your own ideas about what is right and wrong--and god help you if you do, because you will be the recipient of an intense campaign of vitriol and hate for your audacity to think independently.
After Obama's victory in 2008, Byron York attempted to understand this curious phenomenon:"In Time of Victory, Why is the Left So Angry?" :
I asked William Anderson, a friend who is a political conservative, a medical doctor, and a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard. "They are angry, but I think they are also scared, and I think it's because they have a sense that their triumph is a precarious one," Anderson told me. Democrats won in 2008 in some part because of the cycles of American politics; Republicans were exhausted and it was the other party's turn. Now, having won, they are unsure of how long victory will last.
"They see that they have a very small window of opportunity to do all the things they want," Anderson continued. "They see the window of opportunity as small because they know in their deepest hearts that the vast majority of the American people wouldn't go for all of the things they want to do." So they are frantic to do as much as possible before the opposition coalesces. And the tea parties might be the beginning of that coalescence.
These are two sides of of this political narcissism that defines Obama and his leftist base. The grandiosity and smugness on the one hand; and, on the other, the brittleness and anxiety that comes with maintaining a false self-image. Just imagine what we are in for not that they have received a resounding rebuke from the American people.

One simple psychological maneuver that Obama and the progressive left can continue to deflect that anxiety and keep their fear at bay; AND at the same time pump up their already over-inflated egos and self-righteousness is to escalate their attacks on the Republicans in congress (especially their leadership) and to continue to bash former President Bush. The left externalized blame for their own inadequacies before Obama was elected; as well as in the first two devastating years he has been in power; so it is hardly likely that they'll stop now as they begin to see their power and control being wrenched from them.

We can count on the fact that they will remain completely inadequate and fall quite short of even the simple tasks of leadership. You will see that Obama and his minions will now blame Republicans for their own inadequacies on the homefront. And, when it comes to their failures in foreign policy, they will still have Israel as a scapegoat that can be flogged when the occasion demands it.

The anger and rage (that are so much a part of malignant narcissism) that the political left has nurtured and cultivated over the years will not go away. They need it desperately to keep their fragile, rotting narcissistic and grandiose self image--even if they have to destroy this country to do so.