THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

THE DETROIT CHRISTMAS TERROR MOVIE

photo by Reuters

Even though “The Detroit Christmas Terror Movie” had a happy ending, the fact that it occurred at all was almost inevitable.  Over the past year an environment has emerged that weakens our position both offensively and defensively with respect to the “War on Terrorism”.  It has been noted by others, who are experts on Islamic terrorists, that the Obama Administration has failed to grasp the ultimate goal of our enemies—total destruction of we “infidels”, and the establishment of world-wide rule by an Islamic Theocracy.  By any measure, our enemy is not your average criminal.  Yet much to our detriment, and most probably to the benefit of the terrorists, the Obama Administration insists upon treating Islamofascists in the same way as an American thug who knocks over the local 7-11.  We are told that by acting in this fashion, we are somehow “living up to American values” and applying the “rule of law”.  Somehow, these actions are supposed to so impress our enemy that they will beat their swords into plowshares and use their bombs for peaceful mining operations.

In January 2009, we were told by the POTUS that closing Gitmo would keep us safer from the terrorists bent on destroying us.  Despite many sensible arguments to the contrary, the closing of Gitmo is progressing.  Its closure may miss the deadline set by Mr. Obama, but not by much.  So, my question to the POTUS and his ilk is: “Why does Al Qaeda continue to attack us?  Closing Gitmo is what they wanted, right?  Are we just not moving fast enough?  Or, was closing Gitmo an empty, futile partisan gesture all along?  Do they continue to attack us  for their own evil reasons?”

If one looks at a timeline of the decisions, policies and events during the first year of the Obama Administration, it becomes evident that the Executive Order to close Gitmo was only the beginning of a road leading away from strong National Security.  For example:

 Obama continues to state that he will negotiate with Iran without preconditions.
 Obama makes a fawning speech on Al-Jazeera.
 Obama makes an appeasing speech in Egypt.
 Obama admonishes Israel to freeze West Bank settlement.
 Obama continues his “apology tour” throughout the world.
 Uighers relocated from Gitmo to Bermuda.
 The East European missle shield is scrapped by the Obama Administration.
 Obama expresses lukewarm support for Iranian dissidents.
 As both North Korea and Iran ramp up their nuclear programs, weak or no sanctions are enacted.
 Arkansas Recruitment Center terrorist attack occurs.
 Ft. Hood terrorist attack occurs.
 AG Holder announces his decision to move KSM, et al to NYC for trials.
 Obama Administration announces moving Gitmo detainees to Illinois.
 Failed attack on Flight 253 in Detroit.  Perpetrator to be tried in U.S. court system.

By no means is the above list inclusive of everything that has transpired in the past year that has worked against our safety.  However, these are some of those proverbial “dots” that can been connected.  The picture, or at least pattern, that emerges leads me to conclude that this Government will not keep us safe.  Perhaps, no Government really can without ultimately enslaving us.  Consider the following quotes:

“There are all kinds of devices invented for the protection and preservation of countries: defensive barriers, forts, trenches, and the like… But prudent minds have as a natural gift one safeguard which is the common possession of all, and this applies especially to the dealings of democracies. What is this safeguard? Skepticism. This you must preserve. This you must retain. If you can keep this, you need fear no harm.”
–Demosthenes

“It is, therefore, a fact of law and of practical necessity that individuals are responsible for their own personal safety, and that of their loved ones. Police protection must be recognized for what it is: only an auxiliary general deterrent.” –Peter Alan Kasler

In the final analysis, we must depend upon ourselves, our faith, our good sense and one another to keep us safe.  However, we can certainly expect that our Commander-in-Chief will not actively conduct our Country in such a way as to expose us to more danger than we might otherwise face.  Let us continue to put ourselves and our Country in the hands of God, while staying alert (and skeptical) ourselves.

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , ,

OBAMA ADDRESSES CENSORSHIP IN CHINA WHILE GAGGING THE EPA AT HOME

Photo by Stephen Crowley/New York Times

(Photo by Stephen Crowley/NYT)

President Obama answered questions during a town hall meeting with future Chinese leaders at the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai on Monday.

 

SHANGHAI, CHINA — Mr. Obama addressed an audience of more than 400 Chinese university students from eight different Chinene universities at the Museum of Science and Technology yesterday.

At one point, Obama stated, in part,
“…I am a big believer in technology and I’m a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information. I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable. They can begin to think for themselves. That generates new ideas. It encourages creativity.”

The president said that he has “always been a strong supporter of open Internet use. I’m a big supporter of non-censorship. This is part of the tradition of the United States that I discussed before, and I recognize that different countries have different traditions. I can tell you that in the United States, the fact that we have…unrestricted Internet access is a source of strength, and I think should be encouraged.”

In a jocular manner, President Obama then observed,
“I should be honest, as President of the United States, there are times where I wish information didn’t flow so freely because then I wouldn’t have to listen to people criticizing me all the time.”

He then stated on a serious note,
“I think people naturally,…when they’re in positions of power sometimes think, ‘Oh, how could that person say that about me,’ or ‘That’s irresponsible.’…But the truth is that because in the United States information is free, and I have a lot of critics in the United States who can say all kinds of things about me, I actually think that that makes our democracy stronger and it makes me a better leader because it forces me to hear opinions that I don’t want to hear. It forces me to examine what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis to see, am I really doing the very best that I could be doing for the people of the United States.”

Contrast these words, that purportedly express the beliefs, values and opinion of the POTUS, with what is happening to two EPA attorneys who are opposing the Waxman-Markey “Cap and Trade” legislation.

Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in the Washington Post on October 31, 2009.   At the end of the article, there is a link to their site.  On their site is a discussion paper, as well as a video that is criticizes the “Cap and Trade” legislation now in the Senate.  However, the video is no longer accessible on their site, because the EPA demanded that they take it down, even AFTER they approved it.  It is still available here.

This latest move by the EPA is reminiscent of their action to muzzle another EPA employee, Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst several months ago when he questioned “climate change” from a scientific standpoint.  (To refresh your memory on that instance of EPA censorship see Michelle Malkin’s blog here.)

Now,  re-read the remarks of the POTUS.  What are his real beliefs about free information flow and censorship?  To me, his “joking” remark is what rings true, i.e., he wishes that information was harder to access because then he would not be criticized “all the time”.  Well, Mr. President, it does seem that your EPA is definitely working hard to ensure that this desire becomes reality.  Our lesson?  Pay no attention to what Obama says.  Pay attention to what he does.

Filed under: cap & trade, censorship, INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, language, POTUS, , , , , ,

AFGHANISTAN-SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY

POTUS meets with national security team

The latest news on the long-awaited decision with respect to sending more troops to Afghanistan is—that we are going to wait some more.  So,  while our troops on the ground there continue to hope for the cavalry, the POTUS will be taking off for his Asia trip.  Sometime after his return on November 19th, he will make his decision, perhaps before Thanksgiving, perhaps after, perhaps the first week in December—or not.  After all, this situation is not a huge emergency like, for example, Healthcare Reform.  Right?  It is reported that the White House is “chafed under the criticism” that Mr. Obama is “dragging his feet.”  Well, if his shoes are looking scuffed…

Contrary to what Mr. Obama had previously said about making decisions based on the assessments of his Generals on the ground, he is now resisting that very advice, choosing instead to give preference to the opinion of  U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Eikenberry whose leaked, classified cable voiced a sharp dissent from General McChrystal.

afghanistan flagOur newest “reset” Afghanistan policy seems to be focused on how and when the U.S. and its allies will turn over responsibility to the Afghan government.  The POTUS stated that “U.S. commitment is not open-ended”.  Currently, we seem to be fighting a holding action that is aimed at heading off Taliban insurgents and protecting the population.  The prevailing opinion of the “powers that be” is that “insurgency can be blunted but not defeated by force”.  So it looks like the goal of this War is quickly becoming buying time for the Afghani Army, ill-trained and ill-equipped as they are, to take over from Allied troops.  And, when we are not buying time, we are buying off the enemy so that we can operate under the present, reduced circumstances.  Consider the quote below:

“In this grotesque carnival, the US military’s contractors are forced to pay suspected insurgents to protect American supply routes. It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting. And it is a deadly irony, because these funds add up to a huge amount of money for the Taliban. “It’s a big part of their income,” one of the top Afghan government security officials told The Nation in an interview. In fact, US military officials in Kabul estimate that a minimum of 10 percent of the Pentagon’s logistics contracts–hundreds of millions of dollars–consists of payments to insurgents.”
Aram Roston, The Nation

In my opinion, there are several problems with the way the POTUS is handling this decision, not the least of which is that every day that goes by puts our soldiers in Afghanistan at greater risk.  And, do we really want to signal to the enemy that we are not in this War for the long haul?  Mr. Obama may deal with people in this Country that have the patience and attention of a gnat, Islamofacists are not likewise afflicted.  Furthermore, for someone who was hailed to be a “the most intelligent president in our lifetime”, Mr. Obama seems to be unable to either articulate the real goal of this War, nor how to achieve it.

In an earlier post I included a link to a cogent argument for why total victory in this War is essential.  If you read it, then you already know that the critical issue is that the Taliban cannot re-take Afghanistan in order to have a safe haven from which to launch more and deeper attacks into Pakistan, thus de-stabilizing that nuclear nation.  If we are worried about Iran having nuclear weapons, how much scarier is it to have them in the hands of the Taliban?

Finally, consider this quote from a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant that was e-mailed to Jamie M. Fly at “The Corner” blog on NRO:

“Our service members are dying and the president is dithering. I have been in the military while a president dithered or failed to make a tough decision, it is eviscerating, and a rot settles in. “Commander in Chief” is not just a fancy title. The president is the ultimate officer and like any poor officer his failure to make tough decisions is seen as a weakness by his NCOs and men. Morale, that most fragile base of any good military unit suffers immediately. When our officers are fearful and indecisive, we become fearful and indecisive.

NCOs find reasons not to patrol or to avoid high-risk areas, Convoys are diverted to avoid possible confrontation, our allies desert us and the advantage is ceded to the enemy.

And this happen quickly, weeks are all that’s left to keep the advantage in Afghanistan. After a certain point in time “mission weariness” begins to settle in and the edge is lost on our weapon and almost impossible to regain. Quite frankly I fear that the time to make a difference is quickly slipping away and even if he eventually approves the fully levy of Gen McChrystal’s request the momentum may have been permanently lost”.

In short, where is a “Decider” when we need one?

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, national defense, POTUS, , , ,

“NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, EVEN COLD NOVEMBER RAIN”

(title of this post from a Guns n’ Roses song of the same name)

NOTE: The author of this post is Caesar 10044.  He holds a PhD in History.  These are his reasons why the current liberal ascendancy cannot last.

1) Barack Obama already appears haggard and joyless.  His lying is probably making him sick.  History will remember him as “Barack the Unready”.

2) Speaker Pelosi is already a laughingstock and will probably suffer a nervous breakdown out of fear of being caught-out in her lies, (a la Tell Tale Heart),

3)Rahm Emanuel is good at street fighting, but I predict that he will blow up at the wrong person at the wrong time.

4)Expect a backlash against paying the huge taxes and utility increases that the “Cap and Trade” Bill will establish.  (I believe that Al gore will eventually be discredited).

5)Should Health Care Reform pass, there will be a backlash against the taxes that will proceed the implementation of the actual Health Care.

6)It is heartening that the first, real bipartisan action is to have Congess compel Mr. Obama to remove his “czars”.  Without them, his power base is weakened.

7)There is a good chance that those radical Democrats, as well as the “Blue Dogs”, who voted for “Pelosicare”, will be looking for new careers in 2010.

8)As people see their own taxes rise, the public will demand that  Rangel and others who have not paid their taxes finally receive their just deserts.

9)People will finally become exasperated at not being able to tell jokes about Obama.

10)I believe that the Health Care Reform bill will be successfully be blocked in the Senate.

11)If a ‘second stimulus’ comes to pass, it will cause enough discontent that moderates and independents will start listening to the ‘Tea Party’ movement.

12)In the foreign policy area, Obama’s decisions about Afghanistan will continue to make him look weak.  If Iran develops a nuclear device, Obama will look even worse, especially with respect to our allies.  If Israel acts on its own and bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities, (as it did in Iraq), Obama will look even more ineffectual.  (Remember, Likud is in power.)

13)If Democrats are expected to “fall on their swords” on behalf of their Congressional leaders (who view them as expendable) the Democrat party will become even more divided and have a lack of trust within its ranks.

14)More young people than one would think do not want to be paying for something created by people who they are realizing lied to them about its benefits to them.  (Graduating college students are already realizing this.)

15)The recent Government take-over of the student loan industry, making no private loans available once “caps” are reached, means no Graduate School for many students.  Less education will make it harder for younger people to compete for jobs with 30-somethings.  It will be too late to blame Bush when they realized this.

16)Look at Great Britain and their “love affair” with Blair.  Now they are sick of Labour and cannot wait for their defeat.

17)People only tolerate corruption when times are good.  (Look up what happened to Bertie Ahern in Ireland if you don’t believe me.)

come_to_the_dark_side

...and a conservative sense of humor.

Filed under: cap & trade, congress, economy, education, healthcare, INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, LEGISLATION, national defense, POTUS, , , , , ,

TWO ANNIVERSARIES, SAME MESSAGE: IRAN & EAST GERMANY

iran hostageThirty years ago, I watched in disbelief and horror as Americans were taken hostage in Iran.  As they were bound and blind-folded and manhandled, my heart sunk.  These were AMERICANS.  How could this have happened?  What did these people want anyway?  Every night at the start of the evening news there was a segment on the hostages in Iran.  In the upper right hand corner of the screen, a special graphic showed the number of days they had been held.  I tied yellow ribbons around my trees.  I prayed for the safe return of all of them, and finally they were returned— on Iran’s terms, not ours.  One giant point for the bad guys!

Twenty years ago, I watched in disbelief and wonder as the wall in Berlin began to fall.  From berlin wallmy childhood it had stood, rising over both east and west.  My children had never known a world in which it did not exist.  To me, that wall had always been synonymous with “the Iron Curtain”.  It symbolized tyranny, cruelty, fear and hopelessness—a powerful symbol, indeed.  More powerful yet was the meaning of its breaching three decades later—evil cannot prevail, liberty is finally victorious over oppression,  zeal for freedom overcomes totalitarianism.  One giant point for the good guys!

Today I heard that there are large demonstrations in the streets of Tehran.  No surprise there, they always celebrate the anniversary of the hostage-taking.  But wait.  Listen.  They are sending apologies to us and asking support from us.  “Are you with us,” they chant, “or are you with them?”  (The chant creates a word play on the name, “Obama”, that means “with us” in Farsi).  My heart lurches.  I find myself feeling disbelief and wonder.  Here is another three decade old wall.  Is it beginning to crack and teeter?  Will it also fall?

iranian anti-government protest

The wall in Berlin was felled by a strong America with a strong President who believed in our goodness and that our values were superior to those of the wall-builders and said so in a clear, strong voice.  Today, we have a very different kind of President with a very different perception of America and its values, who will not be marking the fall of the Berlin Wall.  And though the people of Iran long to hear his clear, strong voice raised on their behalf, what they hear is, at best, a weak whisper.

I still believe that evil cannot prevail, that liberty is finally victorious over oppression and that zeal for freedom overcomes totalitarianism.  My preference is for the “good guys” to win again, sooner rather than later.  We need to have the Iranian people as friends.  My fear is that this moment will pass, just as the moment during the Iranian election demonstrations passed, without comment, without remark, without so much as a whimper or a sigh.  Ignoring the Berlin Wall is not what tore it down and freed the people behind it.  Ignoring the pleas of the Iranian people shores up the wall that imprisons them.  Shame on him who bolsters its strength, if only by his silence.  And my (rhetorical?) question is, whose side is such a man really on?

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, national defense, POTUS, , , , ,

VUNDERFUL, VUNDERFUL COPENHAGEN

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about the Global Climate Treaty that will be considered in Copenhagen this December.  The last I heard, the POTUS was not planning to attend the Copenhagen meeting, since he will be busy picking up his Nobel Prize in Oslo, and so he has no plans to sign on to the Global Climate Treaty.  In the near future, however, (probably after we have finally cleared the Healthcare Hurdle), Climate Change will take center stage in the Congress.  If the Congress passes some sort of “Cap and Tax” scheme, I think that the road will be paved for the POTUS to argue that he has the “mandate” to sign onto the Treaty.

So, why should we be concerned at this point about the Copenhagen gathering?  Because forewarned is forearmed.  Lord Monckton, a well-known British “climate change” critic, recently sounded a warning about the ratification of this Treaty.  I, like Steven Groves at the Heritage Foundation, think that perhaps Lord Monckton has over-stated the issue somewhat, however, there is good reason to believe that the Treaty could compromise U.S. sovereignty, as well as act as a vehicle to globally redistribute wealth.  (Remember the Global Anti-poverty Tax that Obama supports?)

After you have the opportunity to read the articles linked above, you will want to watch the videos below that describe the contents of the Treaty.   What are your thoughts about this?

Filed under: cap & trade, constitution, INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, LEGISLATION, liberal activism, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , ,

IRAN, URANIUM and NUKES

In case you missed it, these are the latest developments concerning the negotiations with Iran with respect to its uranium enrichment program.  Following the Fox News release is an entry from today’s National Review Online.  The link to the column that Peter Robinson refers to is here.

I have watched “Uncommon Knowledge” programs that air, usual in several parts, on NRO.  They are full of valuable information.  I will definitely be watching the interview that Peter Robinson has done for this series–you should too.

Fox News
U.S. Disappointed Iran Delays U.N. Nuclear Proposal
Oct 23, 2009 3:33 PM EDT

The United States expressed mild disappointment Friday that Iran withheld a decision on whether to accept a U.N.-coordinated plan that could ease fears about Iran’s potential for making a nuclear weapon.

The U.S., along with Russia and France, officially endorsed the plan Friday. The State Department said it was unhappy that Iran was not ready to embrace the plan, which calls for Iran to ship most of its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment. The resulting fuel is to be used for a research reactor in Tehran that makes medical isotopes and is under regular monitoring by a U.N. agency.

The plan is attractive from the U.S. point of view because it would consume a large proportion of Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium, thereby limiting the potential for it to secretly convert it into uranium suitable for making a nuclear weapon. Iran denies it has any intention of making a nuclear weapon.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog that is coordinating the uranium shipment plan, said Iran gave notification on Friday that it could not yet provide a final answer.

Iran said it was “considering the proposal in depth and in a favorable light, but needs until the middle of next week to provide a response,” the Vienna-based nuclear agency said.

Iranian state television reported that Tehran prefers to simply buy a quantity of higher-enriched uranium from abroad for use in the Tehran reactor, rather than give up a large portion of its own stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

State Department spokesman Ian C. Kelly said the U.S. still hopes Iran will go along with the IAEA option.

“This is a real opportunity for Iran to help address some of the real concerns of the international community about its nuclear program and at the same time still provide for the humanitarian needs of the Iranian people,” Kelly said.

“We hope that they will next week provide a positive response,” Kelly added. “Obviously we would have preferred to have had a response today. We approach this with a sense of urgency. The international community’s been waiting a long time for Iran to address some of our real concerns about their intentions.”

The draft proposal to ship Iran’s uranium to Russia was put forth earlier in the week after three days of talks in Vienna.

Armageddon Time   [Peter Robinson]

This past week I conducted an Uncommon Knowledge interview with Victor Davis Hanson and Robert Baer that scared the bejeepers out of me. Our topic: Iran, Israel, Russia, nuclear weapons, and the next six months.

The interview will begin airing on NRO on Monday. In the meantime, here’s my column.   (Link appears above.)

10/23 01:42 PMShare

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, national defense, U.S. GOVERNMENT, ,

REPRISE: THE OBAMA DOCTRINE RE: AFGHANISTAN

afghanistan

In a former post, we looked at manner in which Obama was handling both our enemies and our allies with respect to foreign policy decisions.

Currently, the most pressing foreign policy decision that this Administration needs to make concerns our commitment to Afghanistan-the people there, as well as our own troops there.  I have linked to three articles that, I believe, should inform those who are charged with making such a decision.  However, if they do not inform the White House, they certainly will inform us.

The first article is written by John Bolton for the L.A. Times, and is a general overview of the “Obama Doctrine” to date.  The second article is from Investor’s Business Daily and describes the relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  The last article, that appeared in The Daily Beast is one of the best analysis of why we are in Afghanistan.  Furthermore, the article paints a dire picture for not only those in the region, but for our own national security should we pursue this war with anything other than a “victory” mentality-as much as that word makes the POTUS “uncomfortable”.

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, national defense, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , ,

GREEN JOBS=GREEN HOAX

windmill

Ronald Reagan once summed up the Government’s view of the economy, “If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  If it stops moving, subsidize it.”  This view is equally applicable to the present Administration’s energy policy.

The Institute for Energy Research has a study of the European experience with creating “green jobs”.  Since the Europeans have been held up as a model for the U.S. pursuit of “green jobs”, it is crucial that we are informed about the true outcome of this European experiment.  Here is a link to a map that displays the change in electric prices by U.S. region, if the German model is adopted here.

Sparrows, is this really the direction that we want to take in this Country?  Comment at will.

Filed under: cap & trade, economy, INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, LEGISLATION, , , , ,

Comment: absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobel peace price – Times Online

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE, media, POTUS, , ,

"His eye is on the sparrow, and He surely watches me." --Mrs. Doolittle, 1905

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