Sunday, January 30, 2011

Revolt in the Middle East

I get the sense the billions of dollars we've borrowed from China to give to the dictator shooting these people who are burning his picture was a poor investment.

I think my two year-old will agree, when she and her children are still working off our debt to China long after I'm gone.

There's more where that came from. Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen...even Saudi Arabia. Maybe Pakistan, before all is said and done.

People don't like the repressive autocrats we've propped up because they were supposedly "important partners" in our war on terror. Imagine that. Same thing with Iran, in our efforts to stop communism. Look where that got us.

I don't think these people appreciate our meddling. Nor do they buy our hypocritical calls for democracy.

Our "help" is neither wanted nor necessary. It isn't even help.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 14, 2011

What goes around...

I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin. Trust me.

But it's terribly frustrating to watch the media unfairly drag her through the mud over the Arizona shootings. There is not, and has never been, any proof of a link between Loughner and Palin, or between Loughner and conservative ideology in general. But the media couldn't resist the opportunity, and soon began escalating the irresponsible, slanderous speculation that the shooter was inspired by the Tea Party in general, and Sarah Palin in particular. This absolute dishonesty was based purely on stereotypes and fueled by political pundits with axes to grind and agendas to push.

In the frenzy, the media and a depressingly large segment of the public started demanding something be done about the clear and present danger presented by ... the First Amendment. Politicians were happy to oblige. Not content with wrecking the First Amendment, our representatives promoted equally unworkable and unconstitutional legislation targeting the Second Amendment as well.

I haven't been this frustrated with a news story since the ridiculous "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy.

Wait a minute...

At that time, I joined some of my liberal/progressive friends in arguments with some of my conservative friends. Many conservatives were demanding the government violate the constitutional rights of Muslim property developers based on a scandalously unfair smear campaign pushed by a coalition of scumbags to advance their own purposes.

I've found myself using the same arguments in relation to the Giffords shooting - but my allies have switched sides.

To my conservative friends and family, the mere thought of a Muslim community center on Manhattan Island was enough to trigger a knee-jerk, emotional reaction to accept hateful, politically-driven lies as justification for violating the constitutional rights of American citizens. Apparently the mere thought of Sarah Palin was enough for my liberal/progressive friends to do the same.

With a little reflection, maybe we can try to be less partisan, less hypocritical and more reasonable. Now that she's on the receiving end of an unfair smear campaign, maybe even Palin will see the light and stop her own demagoguery. After all, two wrongs don't make a right.

I told you I don't like her.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Immediately after the Giffords shooting, the media began a game of speculative one-upmanship. Pretty soon, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and even traditional Republicans were being condemned for contributing to the attacks.

There was, and remains, no evidence that the shooter was in any way influenced, or even aware of the now infamous "crosshairs map" or any Tea Party issues at all.

But rather than retreating, the media is ratcheting up the false association between conservative talking points and a pot-smoking, atheist, Karl Marx fan - and likely a schizophrenic one at that. This is wrong, people.

There's no connection at this point. Even if there was, when an insane person does insane things, you can't blame people for that. If so, you'd have to blame violent imagery in music and television for people committing violence. You'd have to blame the Beatles for the Sharon Tate murders. You'd have to blame the Son of Sam killings on his neighbor's labrador retriever.

You can't do it. At least in those cases, the perpetrators had heard those things, or at least thought they did.

Again, there was, and remains, no evidence that the shooter was in any way influenced, or even aware of the now infamous "crosshairs map" or any Tea Party issues at all.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

This AP article points out how the media, particularly NPR, screwed up by prematurely and inaccurately reporting that Giffords died, while bragging about the fact that they didn't fall for it.

Two thoughts:

Isn't this the exact scenario the mainstream media has used for years to argue that the Drudge Report, bloggers, etc. aren't real journalists, and therefore shouldn't be extended the same legal protections?

Also, the article has only the slightest hint of the real story - the widespread blame immediately levied on Sarah Palin and the entire Tea Party. That error was the worst part. It was based on absolutely nothing - and appears likely to be completely wrong.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

War is not a Conservative ideal

He's right, of course. Traditional Republican ideals do not involve foreign wars or nation building. World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam all occurred under Democratic presidents. Americans were so desperate to get out of Vietnam that they elected Richard Nixon.

Conservatives were furious when Clinton went into Somalia, Haiti and the Baltic states.

People forget that George W. Bush actually ran against Al Gore on this very issue.

I really like what Bush was saying there. It wasn't out of line with Republican ideals from only a few years ago. Unfortunately, he totally fell apart on this issue after the September 11th attacks. The real tragedy was that he took the majority of the American public with him, not just the Republican party. It's taken a long time for people to come back to their senses on this issue.

While we're talking about Bush, please don't mistakenly believe he was a conservative, free market, limited government president. There's nothing conservative about unprecedented levels of federal deficit spending. Creating the biggest entitlement expansion since Johnson isn't a free market activity. Neither is bailing out failed private companies with funds taken from taxpayers. Creating the Department of Homeland Security has nothing to do with limited government. Reagan campaigned on ending the Department of Education. It was part of the official Republican platform in 1996, when Bob Dole campaigned on the issue. Bush, on the other hand doubled the Department of Education's budget during his tenure - and gave us No Child Left Behind.

Bush was not a free market, limited president. He was a big government, deficit-spending president who led us into disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have yet to find our way out.