Militant, Ignorant Stupidity And The President-Elect

We have heard it before: “Don’t stand up to them, it will just make them angry.” By now this inane advice should have been packed away with slave auctions and smallpox, but every so often some idiot resurrects the antique cant. Like this:

The hamfisted tactics favored by George W. Bush, including his ill-fated invasion of Iraq, were a gift to al-Qaida and its recruiting efforts. They allowed bin Laden and Zawahiri to paint the U.S. government as an imperial power bent on a 21st-century crusade against Islam.

However, that’s a more difficult argument to make when the Oval Office is occupied by a black man whose Kenyan grandfather was Muslim and who played with Muslim friends during his childhood years in Indonesia.

Yes, you read that right. This reminds of the comment made by a Thai English-language “newspaper” that John McCain was a friend of Southeast Asia because he had spent a lot of time there.

“Obama’s election has taken the wind out of al-Qaida’s sails in much of the Islamic world because it demonstrates America’s renewed commitment to multiculturalism, human rights and international law,” former National Security Council staffer Richard Clarke said. “It also proves to many that democracy can work and overcome ethnic, sectarian or racial barriers.”

Amazing. If this is the sort of thinking we can expect from the incoming administration, we are in deep, deep trouble.

Fortunately it may not be representative of Obama’s policies, though it certainly reflects past mistakes and current partisan babble. The author of the above quotes is one Cynthia Tucker, an editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. Her opinions count for more than yours, of course, because of her credentials — she can get her notions smeared around Atlanta and on the internet, while you (and this newsletter) are nobody — and that’s not great.

Unfortunately this moron Clarke is an even bigger problem. He was a high official. There may be lots more like him, and since Obama is dredging has-beens out of Georgetown dumpsters to staff his administration, we have no guarantees that some of the recycled ideologues won’t be just as simple-minded as Clark.

The weblogger who brought Tucker and Clark to the world’s attention explains a few facts of life to those who may have temporarily set reason aside:

Tucker seriously believes that Obama’s strategy (whatever it is, other than attacking Pakistan and unleashing prosecutors) has al Qaeda up late at nights after Bush’s strategy has killed them on battlefield after battlefield? After al Qaeda has lost their reputation for invincibility? After the jihadis have lost support among Moslem governments and people who reject bombings of innocents and the whole jihad thing in far greater numbers today?

There’s more. Read it all if this sample does not convince.

And Clark? What about the expert, the experienced foreign policy and security wonk? Well….

The man is an idiot. The idea that the Islamic world thinks we are now a bunch of multi-culturalists (as if the jihadis even like multi-culturalism!) is farcical. (Even) San Francisco liberals don’t believe we are no longer a racist nation despite electing Obama. You really think the jihadis are going to say, “Oh never mind. The Great Satan is just peachy fine now.” The jihadis hate democracy. Why would they be impressed with democracy in action even if we elected Obama?

How did we get into this mess? And what, exactly, is it that we are in?

We are in trouble partly because the electorate did not have enough information to make a rational choice. The recent presidential campaign was among the least revelatory in US history. Voting was more an act of faith than a commitment to principles.

The folks who elected Obama are a mixed bunch; some of them cared only about his skin color, some of them thought Sarah Palin was his running mate, some of them thought he wanted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and most of them thought he would bring in change rather than recall many of the folks who made the Clinton administration what it was. (In a few days or weeks, someone is going to say that the Obama administration is what the Hillary Clinton administration would have been.)

We are in trouble partly because the choice we had was wretched; both candidates had disqualifying flaws. And we are in trouble because we remain a divided nation. The culture war only seems to have disappeared, and that because the losers are not as prone to violence as the winners.

And the future? All we can do is hope that the real Obama, the man nobody knows, the man who has managed to hide behind seeming candor, will turn out to be a better thinker than his cynically manipulative utterances so far suggest.

This in as we go to press: yikes! Hey, Barry, can we talk about this?

“The Buck Stops Here.” What This Country Needs Is Another Truman

This newsletter and its predecessor have been complaining for years about the failed domestic security system that is not protecting airline travel in the USA. Now we read of an imposter who claimed to work for the feds, was taken at his word, and learned from the flight crew the locations of air marshals on his plane. He also wound up in the cockpit of one flight.

DHS is a disgrace. The public is not safe in the air, and has not been since September 11, 2001. The new president is about to inherit not just an incompetent system, but, in all likelihood, if Al Qaeda is on the ball, a catastrophe.

The infuriating story is here.

The above report is wrong in one very important detail: the airport, while obviously incompetent and at fault, does not bear final responsibility for what happened. It is to DHS that we should turn, and it is DHS that needs to be reformed. Had that agency been doing its job, Logan International would have been unable to misbehave.

And why was DHS incompetent?

George W. Bush, this is your fault. Don’t whine about the inevitable imperfections of a large bureaucracy, or claim this was a unique event and therefore somehow acceptable. At the absolute minimum, you could and certainly should have gotten this right. Yes, it was a huge challenge; that’s what presidents are supposed to handle. It was your job. You failed.

Note to Obama: learn your lesson now, not after hundreds or thousands die. You can’t fix this by organizing the community or serenading us with a children’s choir. Nor will sermonizing work. You are going to have to fire a lot of people and hire good ones to replace them, and then you are going to have to test the system continuously and rigorously to make sure it works. It has to work every damn day and in every airport. Zero defects, Barry Baby, and that means exactly what it says. You asked for the job — now do it.

Websites That Deserve Your Attention

Yes, do click on the links. All were carefully selected to improve your understanding, rationality, or mood.

Begin with a shocker. It will clear your sinuses.

You may not have thought of firearms this way — which only means it’s time to start. Software genius and clear thinker Eric S. Raymond clarifies the principles.

Here’s a guy who is in trouble, an event that’s long overdue.

What not to do about the current financial crisis. We should know all this already, but there is always the danger that the iconic status of FDR may hinder reason.

FemiNazis rejoice! Your dreams are being fulfilled. Good bye, and enjoy your liberation, you pestiferous sows.

Think this through: who, exactly, started this, and ultimately who is responsible for its continuation?

This comes as a relief. Spared!

Everything you knew about vitamins is being proved wrong. This will save you some money…and maybe your life.

This newsletter is pleased. You may be enchanted.

Afghanistan. Two hundred fifty heavily-armed Taliban set a trap for thirty US Marines, who walk right into it after an exhausting trek across the moonscape. Who ya got?

New material is slipperier than Teflon, almost as hard as diamond — and needs no lubricant. Being metal, it cannot think. It should be named after Chris Dodd.

Can’t remember how flash memory works? A reminder.

Food. That is all.

T Shirts. Maybe They Should Be Illegal

It’s not the shirt, it’s what people put on them. You may have seen some that made you cringe — pornographic texts are fairly common. Really, why should people be allowed to wear whatever they want?

Well, because that’s just one of the prices we pay for freedom of speech and press. Even idiots are entitled.

Which is why this newsletter has never championed censorship, and never will.

The proper response to improper utterances and texts is twofold: first, an expression of displeasure, and second, boycott/ostracism. Say, for example, you walk into a store and find a photo of Karl Marx on the wall. You should ask why it is there, and you might want to tell the proprietor that you will not be purchasing anything from him, and will ask your acquaintances to follow your lead. Given Marx’s inhumane contributions to mankind, that is appropriate.

Some of you may wish to substitute photos of the Pope, George W. Bush, or Pee Wee Herman for Karl Marx in the above scenario. It’s up to you. Pick your villain.

Or pick your text. Why not tell the teenager wearing a pornographic T shirt that you wish his parents had brought him up decently? It might make him think — in a decade or so.

Some kids have no one in their lives who loves them enough to make them behave.

Of all the objectionable images currently on clothing, that of Che Guevara is the most egregious. The man was thoroughly evil, yet his face seems to be everywhere. It’s more common than depictions of Jesus, The Buddha, Mother Teresa and Mickey Mouse all taken together.

Guevara was a rabid communist mass murderer (of Cubans) and later incompetent jungle fighter who thought being in one of Castro’s invasions of several South American nations would be easy and glorious. A Guevara quote:

The US is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination. We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies’ very home, to his places of work and recreation. The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! We must keep our hatred against them alive and fan it to paroxysms!

(Source: the first link below.)

After some time spent bravely standing political prisoners against a wall and shooting them, the hero of the revolution left to overthrow Bolivia. He underestimated both the locals and the CIA that trained them. The man was a total failure, ethically, philosophically, politically and militarily.

So why in the world has this happened?

The facts of this thug’s life do not justify honoring him, except in benighted hellholes like Cuba.

Of course, let the statue remain, and don’t deface it. There is much in the world of which decent people do not approve, and decency is not thereby diminished. Simply let the truth be known: Guevara was a bloody totalitarian who besmirched the principle of justifiable revolution. It is appropriate to despise his memory and those who venerate it.

For Californians, And Others Whose States In The USA Are In Trouble

California is said to be at considerable risk for bankruptcy.

Perhaps you had forgotten: the state tax on gasoline includes a percentage of the retail price. That means nobody benefits more from high gasoline prices than the state.

Nobody. Not the oil companies, not the gas station owners, not the workers who refine the oil. The state is the big winner, and only the state. (Well, OPEC and the other oil producers benefit most of all, but that’s due to the high price they charge for crude, not the high price of gasoline at the pump.)

Have a look at this.

California’s Solons typically blame every financial crisis they oversee on the state constitution, which provides for the initiative process. The citizens can create law. Bad idea, to hear the legislators tell it. Good idea, to hear the homeowners tell it, for it saved hundreds of thousands of them from ruination at the hands of a tax system run amok.

Whose state is it? The answer depends on whom you ask, unfortunately.

By Now, You Would Think They Would Know We Are Onto Them. But No — They Still Think We Are Ignorant, Stupid, and Gullible. Maybe It Has To Do With The Election Results

That’s right: the New York Times is rewriting history again, and as always, it’s in support of partisan ideological claptrap. No, they won’t stop abusing their privileged position and us, and yes, the final issue of the propaganda sheet will still be an unreliable source of information.

Here’s the latest junk news.