Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 01, 2014, 04:28:55 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
82688 Posts in 2251 Topics by 1062 Members
Latest Member: seawolfpack5
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 25 26 [27] 28 Print
Author Topic: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces  (Read 275944 times)
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1300 on: April 19, 2014, 06:22:47 PM »

From the 'no good deed goes unpunished' department.  Hey, it's company policy.
 

Kroger manager fired after he slams a knife-wielding shoplifter to the ground
By Will Lerner5 hours agoOdd News
 
 

If you’re an employee of a chain store and you see a shoplifter, don’t confront them. It’s been proven again and againand again and again that no matter how noble your intentions are, you can be fired from your job. As KDFW FOX 4 Newsreports, this is exactly what happened to one Kroger grocery store manager in Arlington, Texas.

 
View gallery
.
<image001.png>
The manager is seen here, after having slammed the suspected shoplifter to the ground. (KDFW)
A customer in the parking lot of the Kroger recorded the incident on their cellphone. In the video, you can see the unnamed manager approach the shoplifting suspect. The suspect appears to have a knife in his hand. The manager shoves him into a parked car and gets the knife out the suspect’s hand before eventually slamming him down to the ground.

 
View gallery
.
<image002.png>
Claude Medlock (KDFW)
The alleged shoplifter is 51-year-old Claude Medlock. According to KDFW, Arlington Police say that Mr. Medlock has a, “lengthy criminal history that includes theft and robbery convictions.” They didn’t consider the manager’s actions a crime, but that didn’t matter to Kroger. Kroger sent a statement to KDFW, which read in part:

“The incident…is not a reflection of our company’s fraud prevention protocol, procedures or training…He is no longer employed by our company.”
The manager told the station that he had worked in loss prevention for 13 years, and “believed he handled the situation properly.”
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1301 on: April 20, 2014, 11:57:41 AM »



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-YtYL6br_8
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1302 on: April 21, 2014, 07:05:19 AM »

Well this is something Americans can be proud of.  The immigrants are coming here and working past a lot of our own and what do we do?  Get stoned.

I can only hope that the lure of marijuana will wear itself out and people will realize they are wasting the lives smoking this shit:

http://news.yahoo.com/colorado-pot-holiday-tries-mainstream-074215765.html

But think of the good the tax income will do???   Using GMs phrase:  bahaha.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1303 on: April 22, 2014, 11:44:52 AM »



http://www.dennisprager.com/greatness-whiteness/
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1304 on: May 02, 2014, 11:31:47 AM »



http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/134388-freshman-shames-ivy-league-college-personal-story-white-privilege/
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12056


« Reply #1305 on: May 02, 2014, 11:52:05 AM »


Awesome!

http://www.theonion.com/articles/white-male-privilege-squandered-on-job-at-best-buy,35835/
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1306 on: May 02, 2014, 12:56:37 PM »

Here is David Horowitz's and John Perazzo's brilliant pamphlet detailing the corollary argument to the indeed "awesome" article Crafty posted by the young white male student:

www.amazon.com/Black-Skin-Privilege-American-Dream-ebook/dp/B00BXPIHLA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399053246&sr=1-1&keywords=black+skin+privilege
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1307 on: May 06, 2014, 05:33:47 PM »

Ultimately I think this reduces to "One is free to do it.  Others are free to make of it what they will."

======================================
http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/same_sex_marriage_coercion_dolled_up_as_civil_rights

Same-sex marriage: coercion dolled up as civil rights
Stop treating Brendan Eich as a one-off – gay marriage is inherently illiberal.
Brendan O'Neill | 5 May 2014
comment 13 | print |

It's six weeks since Javascript inventor Brendan Eich was hounded out of his job at Mozilla by a virtual mob of intolerant tweeters and campaigners. His crime? Failing to genuflect at the altar of gay marriage, which is now the closest thing our otherwise godless, belief-lite, morally vacuous societies have to a sacred value. For refusing to bow down before this new sainted institution, and for having the temerity to donate money to a campaign group opposed to it, Eich was found guilty by the mob of sacrilege and was hounded out of public life as a modern-day heretic.

And in those six weeks, some gay-marriage backers, feeling more than a little red-faced, have called for the zealots in their camp to get a grip. The treatment of Eich was an example of what happens when bad-apple activists turn crazily self-righteous, they say. British-American writer Andrew Sullivan says the witch-hunting of Eich speaks to the ‘fanaticism’ of certain campaigners, which apparently runs counter to the gay-marriage movement’s desire to create a more ‘tolerant and diverse society’. Recently, prominent American liberals and libertarians published an open letter headlined ‘Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent: Why We Must Have Both’, which says the Eich episode showed the ‘eagerness [of] some supporters of same-sex marriage to punish rather than to criticise or to persuade those who disagree’. ‘Enforcing orthodoxy hurts everyone’, the letter says, and gay-marriage campaigners must lobby for the ‘freedom to marry’ in a less hysterical fashion.

It is always refreshing to see people stand up for the freedom to dissent, especially on an issue like gay marriage, on which there’s an astounding amount of nodding-dog conformity. But there is nonetheless something off, something problematic, something wrong about the past month’s burgeoning critical response to the Eich affair. And it’s this: it treats the illiberalism and intolerance hurled Eich’s way as a one-off, an extreme case, an instance of ‘some activists’ going too far, when in truth what happened to Eich is entirely in keeping with the coercive culture of the politics of gay marriage more broadly. To view the hounding of Eich as an aberration, as a veering off the alleged path of diversity mapped out by the gay-marriage campaign, is utterly to miss the point – Eich’s treatment is better seen as the logical conclusion to what has been a strikingly illiberal movement from the get-go.

This is the thing no one in the gay-marriage lobby, or in political and media circles more broadly, seems to want to talk about - the fact that in every jurisdiction in which it has been introduced, gay marriage has been heavily attended by authoritarianism and coercion.

Sometimes the coercion is soft, taking the form of what John Stuart Mill called ‘the tyranny of custom’, where those who refuse to embrace gay marriage - the most speedily formed custom of modern times - will be branded phobic and hateful and perhaps boycotted by agitators, pressured to choose between their moral opposition to same-sex marriage and their place in polite society; you absolutely cannot have both. And sometimes the coercion is hard, involving, in the case of France most obviously, actual state violence against opponents of gay marriage. But whatever form it has taken, coercion has been the order of the day in every campaign to legalise gay marriage, meaning Eich’s fate wasn’t some abnormality - it was part of a pretty scary ‘new normal’, of a sweeping culture of intolerance that has been fostered by the political set pushing gay marriage.

It is odd that people should be so shocked by what was done to Eich this month considering that, over the past year and more, we’ve already had the hounding of individuals and businesses that refuse to go wild for gay marriage. Indeed, pre-Eich the US National Review published an article appositely headlined ‘Support gay marriage - or else’, which discussed the growing number of cases in which private businesses that refuse to cater to or work at gay weddings - that is, which exercise their freedom of association - are being threatened with punishment under hate-crime legislation. As the National Review said, ‘refusal [to celebrate gay marriage] is now considered tantamount to a crime’. Eich’s treatment only made more explicit this creeping criminalisation of opponents of gay marriage. In Britain, too, one of the first things secularist supporters of gay marriage did when it became clear that their new institution was going to come into being was to agitate against Catholic schools for failing to promote it. They accused Catholic schools of ‘politically indoctrinating’ their students by teaching them only about traditional marriage, and said such ‘encouragement to bigotry’ shouldn’t be allowed. It was another attempted assault on freedom of association, another indicator of an emerging censorious hostility to anyone who doesn’t embrace gay marriage. The mob punishment of Eich - and the stern warning it sent to other traditionalist-minded or religious folk in public life who might foolishly have been thinking of expressing their views on gay marriage - was just an extension of earlier moral assaults on any person or group that didn’t fully buy into the gospel of gay marriage.

Critics of gay marriage have for months faced ‘ostracism from public life’, as the columnist Damon Linker put it - in an article published pre-Eich. As Linker said, there is a morally coercive streak to the gay-marriage movement, which seems to desire not just tolerance of its ideas, but ‘psychological acceptance and positive affirmation’ of them by everyone. To this end, businesses run by individuals who are less than keen on gay marriage have found themselves boycotted against, protested against, demonised by Twittermobs. Individuals who have voted in favour of traditional marriage in referendums have been denounced as ‘hateful’, ‘brainwashed’, ‘knuckle-draggers’. American states that have failed to introduce gay marriage have had their tourism websites hacked and smothered in abusive commentary. The impact of all these shrill assaults on opponents of gay marriage, of this often media-led branding of critics of gay marriage as ‘phobic’ and irrational, has been to chill debate, to encourage one side in the discussion to shut the hell up or risk ‘ostracism from public life’. It was only a matter of time before this striking unwillingness to tolerate the existence of anyone who isn’t thrilled by gay marriage translated into the physical hounding-out of public life of an individual like Eich. The signs were there.

In some places, the mob pressure to silence one’s moral opposition to gay marriage has been backed by the armed wing of the state. In France, mass protests against the introduction of gay marriage have been met with the violence of the truncheon and even the copious deployment of tear gas. Parisians who have gathered in public while wearing pro-traditional marriage t-shirts – which feature a man, woman and child – have been cautioned by police for organising ‘unauthorised protests’. In the words of the Paris-based writer John Laughland, opponents of gay marriage are being treated as ‘ideological enemies’ by the French state, where ‘every effort [is made] to delegitimise those who protest [against] same-sex marriage’. The moral assault on Eich can hardly be considered special, or especially shocking, when it springs from a movement that has already physically assaulted its critics.

Elsewhere, there has been a strong strain of Orwellianism in the advance of gay marriage. States have been busy rewriting official documents to reflect their elevation of a new form of marriage to replace the old one. In France, Canada and elsewhere, words like husband and wife, even mother and father, are being replaced with what officials call more ‘gender-neutral’ - translation: utterly soulless - terms such as ‘partner’ or ‘parent’. Some campaigners claim this is merely a practical step to reflect a new reality, but as Orwell knew only too well, language itself can be used to shape reality. In gay marriage’s great rewriting and renaming of various communal identities that have been a core part of our societies for generations - from mother to wife to child - we can see the implicit diminishing of the value of a certain, more traditional way of life, with the old-style family unit itself being robbed of moral meaning and reduced to a business-like collection of partners and ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’. Here, too, there’s a coercive component, an attempted top-down refashioning of identities that emerged from within communities over a great period of time.

Anyone who over the past few years has paid attention to the moral delegitimation of critics of gay marriage, to the state attacks on anti-gay marriage protesters, to the social ostracism of those who favour traditional marriage, to the attempt to force religious schools to teach about gay marriage, and to the Orwellian airbrushing from history of the words and identities cleaved to by the already married, cannot have been surprised by what happened to Eich. His fate wasn’t the product of a handful of zealous campaigners going too far on Twitter - it was the end result of an intolerant culture, sometimes mob-like, sometimes state-enforced, that has been gaining ground for years, and which showed long before the elbowing aside of Eich that it was more than happy to ostracise, punish, criminalise and censor anyone who dared raise a peep of opposition to gay marriage. Coercion is built into gay marriage. They used to say love and marriage went together - in the gay-marriage movement, it’s authoritarianism and marriage that are bedfellows.

The question is: why? Why has the gay-marriage issue been such a shrill and intolerant affair? It isn’t because some campaigners are overly keen and a bit hotheaded; it’s because gay marriage is not actually a campaign to expand equality, far less freedom, but is better seen as the main mechanism through which modern society now challenges traditional cultural norms, through which society expresses its dislocation from, and its growing disdain for, the old-world values of family life, family sovereignty, long-term commitment, loyalty, and so on.

Gay marriage has emerged as the perfect means through which our post-traditional, relativistic elites can both subtly denigrate older values and also impose a set of whole new values, related to viewing traditional married life and family integrity as problematic, and therefore more individuated, changeable forms of human relationships as good. And because this is fundamentally about eradicating old moral values and enforcing new ones, it constantly verges on being coercive, expressing a hostility towards its opponents that tends to treat them, not simply as wrong or pesky, but as actual blocks, as ‘ideological enemies’, to the elite’s attempted enforcement of a new moral outlook.

One of the most striking developments in Western societies in recent years has been the sacralisation of homosexuality, the transformation of sexuality from a simple matter of who you have sex with into a set of values and behaviours. In a very short period of time, historically speaking, homosexuality has gone from being a crime to being possibly the most celebrated way of life in modern Western nations. Indeed, such has been the sacralisation of homosexuality, everywhere from popular culture to the political sphere, that the criminals are now those who criticise gay sex, not those who have it - as witnessed in such acts of authoritarianism as the imposing of a one-month prison sentence on a Swedish pastor who preached against homosexuality, the arrest of a preacher in Dundee for saying homosexuality was a sin, the banning of an advert in London that offended gays, the sending of American experts to Africa to preach about the virtues of homosexuality (in a similar way that Christian colonialists used to preach to Africans about the virtues of the Bible, including, er, anti-homosexual views), and so on. Gay-friendliness has become probably the key barometer of decency in the modern West; and those who fail the test can expect censorship or some other form of punishment.

There are various reasons for this move from decriminalising homosexuality, which was a very good thing, to the sanctification of homosexuality, which is just weird. But the main one is that over the past two decades, the gay issue has evolved as the perfect way for the new elites to distance themselves from values that have fallen out of their favour. We have seen the weaponisation of homosexuality, the transformation of it by sections of the political and media classes into the focal point for the expression of hostility to the straight world – which means not just people who are sexually straight, but also so-called straight culture and straight values, straightlacedness itself, ways of life that are based on commitment, privacy, familial sovereignty, things that tend to be viewed by the modern cultural clerisy as outdated or, worse, dangerous and destructive. The sacralisation of homosexuality corresponds precisely with the growing denigration by the state and others of the sphere of the family and the ideals of lifelong commitment, because celebrating gayness has become the main and most PC means through which traditional values might be dented and traditional identities called into question, even thrown open to heightened official scrutiny.

This is what explains both the peculiarly speedy and strikingly authoritarian way in which gay marriage has been adopted by governments across the West who otherwise care little for freedom and choice - because officials recognise in it the opportunity to push further their instinctive hostility towards traditional communal and familial ideals that to a large extent exist outside of the purview of the state. Understanding the impulse behind Western officialdom’s feverish adoption of gay marriage is key to understanding what makes this new institution so illiberal and intolerant. Its great driving force is not any commitment to civil rights but rather an urge to coerce, a desire to reshape the views and ideals and habits of the public, to enforce a new morality that elevates individuation over family life, risk-awareness over commitment, and an openness to being guided through life by experts over loyalty to one’s family unit or community.

So when you criticise gay marriage, you’re not just criticising gay marriage, you’re challenging a new moral framework carved out by those who apparently know better than us what our private lives and relationships should and shouldn’t look like. You’re not just an opponent of gay marriage - you’re a moral heretic whose very thoughts and behaviour are seen as deviant, as running counter to a new, apparently better kind of morality. And that, as Eich’s treatment and everything else that preceded it has shown us, simply will not be tolerated.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked, an on-line magazine in the UK. This article has been republished with permission
- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/same_sex_marriage_coercion_dolled_up_as_civil_rights#sthash.SlsKPAHf.dpuf
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1308 on: May 12, 2014, 10:11:33 AM »

begins at 02:18

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUhTqFGa4iA

« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 10:17:28 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1309 on: May 12, 2014, 11:14:21 AM »

Monica Lewinsky Wasn’t a Victim —- America Was

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 12, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

Monica Lewinsky wasn’t brought back from a cul-de-sac of the ‘90s celebrity scandal universe, where Kato Kaelin still sleeps on a couch, Amy Fisher stalks quiet Long Island streets and Tonya Harding skates around in circles, in order to hurt Bill and Hillary.

Vanity Fair brought Monica in to help them.

That’s why it’s Monica’s essay in Vanity Fair and not the essays of any of the women whom Bill Clinton sexually harassed and whom Hillary Clinton tried to silence.

Hillary’s political career was built on Monica Lewinsky and cancer. Rudy Giuliani’s cancer. Without Monica and cancer, instead of running for president she would be delivering a commencement address at Bennington College and the dean would be introducing her as Hillary Rodham.

Monica made Bill and Hillary into the victims of their own misbehavior. Vanity Fair is hoping that Democrats forget the political dysfunction, sellouts and blatant corruption of the Clinton years. Its editorial staff is hoping that they’ll get angry about Ken Starr and “privacy violations” all over again.

But Bill and Hillary aren’t victims. They’re two dysfunctional people with a knack for making their personal problems into the country’s problem. They’ve done it before and they’re doing it again. They deal with their personal problems, just as they dealt with Monica Lewinsky, through abuses of power.

Monica was disposable. If it hadn’t been her, it would have been someone else. Bill and Hillary treated her the way they treated any woman who became an obstacle to their political ambitions. That’s a step up from how the Kennedy clan treated inconvenient women by drowning them, drugging them or lobotomizing them.

Feminists are debating whether Hillary was right to call Monica a “narcissistic loony toon” instead of discussing the private War on Women she waged against any woman complaining about her husband’s behavior. It’s a cheap distraction from what really matters. The outrage over the War on Women, ‘90s edition, featuring stops at the Tailhook Symposium and Anita Hill’s Department of Education digs, did not extend to abuses by powerful liberal men. There was one set of feminist rules for a drunken Navy lieutenant in Vegas and another for the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States.

As long as he was a liberal.

Monica isn’t a victim either. Liberal feminists were hypocritical in their treatment of her, but they were far more hypocritical in their treatment of the women Bill Clinton sexually harassed. Talking about how unfair they were to Monica lets them off the hook for how unfair they were to women who did not want a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton and who demonstrated more authentic feminist creds by speaking out about it than the professional liberal feminists who smeared and demeaned them to protect Bill.

There was a power imbalance between Bill and Monica. And Bill Clinton is a compulsive manipulator, but Monica wasn’t a child. She chose to have an affair with another woman’s husband and was humiliated because that man was the President of the United States. The outcome was inevitable.

Hillary Clinton was right to call her a “narcissistic loony toon”, but Hillary, running for president on a platform of her own Monica-manufactured celebrity, is an even more narcissistic loony toon than Monica could ever aspire to be. And Bill Clinton, who chases cameras as avidly as he chases women, is the king of all narcissistic loony toons.

The real victim wasn’t any of these three repulsive characters. It was the United States of America.

The American people wanted good government and instead got a demented duo whose uncontrolled appetite for power, admiration and everything else, including White House furniture, knew no limit.

And they’re still the victims today.

There are two types of victims. There are those Americans who consented to have a political relationship with Bill and Hillary. Twice. And there are those who didn’t.

There are the Monica Lewinskys and the Juanita Broaddricks.

There are Americans who were raped by the Clinton Administration. And there are Americans who chose to be abused by it and would still be willing to be abused by it all over again.

Obama and Clinton voters have much in common with Monica Lewinsky. They caused their own problems and yet, like Monica, they whine about being unable to find work. They blame Republicans for humiliating them by revealing their disgusting relationship with a politician who is a serial liar.

And they act as if the whole thing is someone else’s fault.

They whine that if it hadn’t been for the Republicans no one would know just how disgusting their affair with the man who wrecked the country’s national defense, sold pardons like hotcakes and used his own adultery to position his wife’s presidential bid was.

They complain that if Republicans would just shut up about Benghazi, the national debt, the return of Al Qaeda, the imperial presidency and the constant lies leaking out of the White House, no one would judge them for that faded Obama-Biden sticker on the back bumper of their taxpayer subsidized Prius.

They’re not the victims. Victims don’t choose to be victims.

It’s the women who didn’t accede to Bill Clinton’s sexual demands and were smeared by Hillary Clinton for daring to complain about it… who are the victims. It’s the Americans who didn’t play Monica Lewinsky at the ballot box, surrendering to Bill Clinton’s charms while ignoring a funny little man in a cave who was threatening to attack America after bombing its embassies, who are the victims.

Monica Lewinsky is the Clinton and Obama voter, narcissistic to a fault and incapable of acknowledging fault, feeling victimized but unable to point to the real perpetrator, blaming Republicans for exposing her sordid behavior and that of the man who was taking advantage of her, and then complaining that she can’t find work.

Who needs a special essay from Monica Lewinsky when any Obama voter will tell you the same story?

The real victims of Bill, Barack and Hillary are the hardworking Americans who do the best they can for their families and their country, who don’t make excuses for their misbehavior or the misbehavior of their politicians, who work hard at their jobs and work harder to raise their children.

They are the victims of bad governments and bad politicians they didn’t vote for. They are harassed and assaulted by a corrupt political machine, a power-mad bureaucracy and a degenerate Washington establishment. They did not consent to be abused by Bill, Barack, Hillary, the EPA, the DOJ, the BLM, the FEC, the IRS and every other alphabet soup agency out of D.C.

And they are smeared and demonized when they complain about it.

They are the real victims of the abusers, exploiters and manipulators in Washington D.C. whose lust for power knows no limits. And they are also the victims of the Monica Lewinsky voters who whine and make faces, but refuse to end their political affair with the abusers of their country.
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1310 on: May 12, 2014, 11:51:17 AM »

Please post on Clinton thread too.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1311 on: May 14, 2014, 03:48:23 PM »

What's the Real 'Climate Change' Agenda?
A Perfect Storm for an End Run on Liberty
By Mark Alexander • May 14, 2014    
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel." --Patrick Henry (1778)
 

We're nearing the hot season in the Northern Hemisphere and, predictably, that means the Left's alarmist "global warming" rhetoric is heating up. Never mind that most weather forecasts beyond 72 hours are largely speculative; these purveyors of hot gas believe we should accept their inviolable 100-year forecast.

Ahead of this year's midterm elections, amid the plethora of its domestic and foreign policy failures, the Democrat Party has chosen to make their "climate change" fear and fright campaign an electoral centerpiece. Their strategy is to rally the most liberal cadres of Al Gore's cult of Gorons, whose religious zeal toward "global warming" is fanatical. Unfortunately, for the rest of America, most who occupy this Leftist constituency are no longer capable of distinguishing fact from fiction.

Though the climate alarmists of the 1970s were driven by rhetoric over the coming ice age, the current climate calamity is one of global warming. But the question about climate isn't if the weather is varying but why it is varying.

And the answer to that question is far less complicated than the "climate change" agenda, which is not about the weather, but about a political strategy to subjugate free enterprise under statist regulation -- de facto socialism, under the aegis of "saving us from ourselves."

The climate is always changing relative to complex short- and long-term climate cycles, so "climate change" is a superbly safe political "cause célèbre" -- sort of like "heads we win, tails you lose." So, declarations like Barack Obama's 2014 State of the Union warning -- "The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact" -- fall into the "keen sense of the obvious" category.

In April, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change released a synopsis of thousands of climate studies, which contradict the conventional "global warming assumptions." According to the Cato Institute's Roger Pilon, "We are now at 17 years and eight months of no global warming."

Not to be outdone by the NIPCC, however, the Obama administration released its own 800-page apocalyptic National Climate Assessment last week, with such erudite conclusions as, "[W]e know with increasing certainty that climate change is happening now."

I "know" with more than "increasing certainty" that every time I walk outside, I can detect climate change, and this ever-changing condition is better known as "weather."
Despite the hot hype, Jason Furman, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, the week before Obama trotted out his climate assessment, had this to say about sluggish first quarter economic growth: "The first quarter of 2014 was marked by unusually severe winter weather."

Global cooling? That's right, economic stagnation is not the result of failed "economic recovery" policies but "unusually severe winter weather."

 

Obama's minister of propaganda, Jay Carney, followed with this explanation: "We had historically severe winter weather which temporarily lowered growth in the first quarter ... in other words, a reduction of 1 to 1.5% in GDP as a result of what was historically severe weather, one of the coldest winters on record, the greatest number of snowstorms on record."

After the White House climate assessment was released, Carney was challenged about the disparity between "historically severe winter weather" and global warming, and responded, "The impacts of climate change on weather are severe in both directions."

Well there you go -- climate change is the default explanation for hot and cold weather.

It was no small irony that last week, Obama chose to promote his administration's "green agenda" with Walmart as a backdrop -- ironic given that most of Walmart's products are produced in China and other third-world nations, the biggest land, water and atmospheric polluters on the planet.

To that end, columnist Charles Krauthammer notes, "We have reduced our carbon dioxide emission since 1996 more than any other country in the world, and, yet, world emissions have risen. Why? We don't control the other 96% of humanity. We can pass all the laws we want. We can stop all economic activity and take cold showers for the next 100 years, it will not change anything if India and China are opening a new coal plant every week."

I would suggest to Charles that it's called "global climate" because it is not "local climate," even if China and India reduced their CO2 emissions it would not stop "climate change."

Further, the administration's report claims that "climate disruption" has resulted in a global temperature rise of 1.3 to 1.9 degrees since 1895 -- and it is no coincidence that the report cherry-picked that starting date because 1890 is recognized as the end of the 300-year "Little Ice Age" global cooling period.

For the record, estimates of the minuscule temperature fluctuation over the last century, if correct, would explain why White House science adviser John Holdren has abandoned the term "global warming," opting instead for the more ambiguous and all-encompassing phrase "global climate disruption."

Fact is, we "disrupt" the global climate every time we exhale.

Such linguistic obfuscations would make the old Soviet Dezinformatsia Bureau proud! Of course, the Obama administration has mastered the art of the "BIG Lie" from the top down. (Think about it: Would you buy a used car from any of them?)

However, even the Left's cherished United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that there "is limited evidence of changes in [weather] extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century."

And, regarding the objectivity of all those erudite "climate change" scientists, columnist George Will observed, "There is a sociology of science. Scientists are not saints in white laboratory smocks. They have got interests like everybody else. If you want a tenure-track position in academia, don't question the reigning orthodoxy on climate change. If you want money from the biggest source of direct research in this country, the federal government, don't question its orthodoxy. If you want to get along with your peers, conform to peer pressure. This is what's happening."

Krauthammer added, "All physicists were once convinced that space and time were fixed until Einstein, working in a patent office, wrote a paper in which he showed that they are not. I'm not impressed by numbers. I'm not impressed by consensus."
 

As for those of us who can distinguish between fact, fiction and political endgames, and are most decidedly not among Obama's legions of pantywaist bed-wetters, he unilaterally suspends the revered scientific method and accuses us of "wasting everybody's time on a settled debate -- climate change is a fact. ... Climate change is not some far-off problem in the future. It's happening now. It's causing hardship now."

This week, you can expect to hear the Leftmedia trumpet some Antarctic ice melt, but you haven't heard much about the record ice pack in the Arctic, which is threatening Al Gore's once-marooned polar bear population, because the ice is too thick for the bears to reach their primary food source, seals.

Let me repeat myself: The climate hype is not about the weather, but about a political strategy to subjugate free enterprise under statist regulation -- de facto socialism, under the aegis of "saving us from ourselves."

Indeed, Obama's economic policies and regulations have already moved our nation rapidly toward the brink of statist totalitarianism.

And there was more evidence this week of Obama's reckless strategy to subjugate our economy and by extension, our national security, to his "climate change" agenda.
Adding to his "War on Coal," Obama has ratcheted up his War on Energy Independence, not only refusing to complete the Keystone XL pipeline but now going after alternative oil exploration methods by implementing new fracking disclosure rules. On top of that, he is undermining alternate transportation options for oil in the absence of Keystone XL with new regulations for trains transporting oil, and specifications for rail cars. Oh, did I mention Obama's regulatory obstacles to constructing new refineries despite the fact that our current refinement capacity is approaching its limit?

How does this all add up?

According to columnist Terence Jeffrey, "Ultimately, it will not matter if people in government cynically promote the theory that human activity is destroying the global climate as a means of taking control of your life, or if they take control of your life because they sincerely believe human activity is destroying the global climate. Either way, government will control of your life. ... In a nation where government can de-develop the economy, stop population growth and redistribute wealth both inside and outside its borders, there will still be droughts, floods and hot summer nights. But there will be no freedom." 
In his 1735 edition of Poor Richard's Almanack, Benjamin Franklin observed, "Some are weatherwise, some are otherwise." While the Left promotes its agenda as "weatherwise" and its detractors as "deniers," fact is, they are otherwise.

Oh, wait, my bad. "The debate is settled."

Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5970


« Reply #1312 on: May 22, 2014, 10:49:09 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70
http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/05/16/admiral-mcraven-commencement-speech/

A worthwhile watch or read.
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1313 on: May 23, 2014, 08:07:51 AM »

‘The Point’ of an Honest Discussion of Race

Posted By Jack Kerwick On May 23, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

In reply to a recent article in which I disclosed some neglected facts concerning race and slavery, a reader inquired as to the point in unveiling them.  Before answering, let’s review some of the tidbits that I shared in the interest of that “honest discussion” of race that the Eric Holders of the world continually charge the rest of us with deferring:

(1) For centuries, millions of white European Christians were enslaved by Asian and African Muslims;

(2) The first slaves in Colonial America were white;

(3) Blacks were in America prior to slavery;

(4) A significant portion of African blacks who eventually became slaves in America were already Christian;

(5) These black slaves had been converted by the African blacks who sold them into bondage;

(6) During the antebellum period, there existed several thousand slave owners who were black;

(7) The first slave master in America was a black man, Anthony Johnson, an Angolan who had originally been sold into slavery by his fellow Africans to Arabs and who owned black and white servants.

There is still other historical “trivia” that defy the conventional narrative on race and slavery.

The civilized world, justly, expresses outrage over the abduction and enslavement of hundreds of young Nigerian schoolgirls at the hands of the African Islamic terrorist organization, Boko Haram.  But the stone-cold truth of the matter is that this sort of thing has been transpiring in Africa from time immemorial.  For millennia upon millennia, black Africans have seized upon and enslaved other black Africans.  And, as notes famed Islamic scholar, Bernard Lewis, among others, from the dawn of Islam, Muslims have abducted and enslaved non-Muslims—both black and white.

It is estimated that well over 100 million black Africans died over the span of 14 centuries as they were marched across the scalding hot sands of the Sahara Desert by those Arab raiders and traders intent upon reducing them to a life of bondage in foreign lands.

In spite of the tremendous number of blacks transported to the Middle East, the latter consists of relatively few blacks today. Why?  For one, African boys were frequently forced to undergo castration, a practice so barbaric that but a tiny percentage survived it.  Those who did, however, fetched a purchasing price several times that of their peers who were not made into eunuchs.

Another consideration accounting for the miniscule black population in the contemporary Middle East is that African girls were sold as concubines and into sex slavery to Arab masters.  This reflected the Islamic belief—most recently articulated by the leader of Boko Haram but first stated in the Koran and practiced by Muhammad—that girls can and should become wives once they are nine years of age.  Upon begetting their masters’ offspring, many eventually became assimilated into their families.

But, thirdly, the tragic fact is that many slaves were simply worked to death.

What follows are some other fascinating truths that are a “must” for any truly honest discussion of race and slavery:

While whites were by no means unique in practicing slavery, they were indeed unique insofar as they were the first people in all of history to have developed a moral revulsion against this age-old institution.  No one liked being abducted and enslaved by others.  But many of these same unfortunates wouldn’t have hesitated to do the same to others if the opportunity had arisen.  Whites, more specifically, English white Christians, personified and led by the conservative William Wilberforce, succeeded in prevailing upon the British Empire—the most economically and militarily powerful presence on the planet at that time—to abolish slavery, not just in England or even within the Empire, but in every area of the globe over which Britain could hope to exercise any of its influence.

More scandalously, the British met with much resistance from Arabs, Asians, and Africans.  Bernard Lewis relays an exchange between a British Consul General in Morocco and the Sultan of that land that typifies precisely the challenges to its campaign against slavery that the English had to surmount.  When the Sultan was asked what he had done to relegate to the dustbin of history the trade in human flesh, he “replied, in a letter expressing evident astonishment, that ‘the traffic in slaves is a matter on which all sects and nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam…up to this day.’”  The Sultan added that he was oblivious to slavery’s “manifest to both high and low and requires no more demonstration than the light of day.”

Incidentally, England’s success was a long time coming, for in some parts of the non-European world, places like India and Saudi Arabia, slavery didn’t become illegal until the 1940s and 1960s, respectively.

My reader who inquired as to the “point” in raising these facts at no time denies any of them.  Thus, he confirms what some of us have long suspected: in their tireless promotion of the conventional orthodoxy on race and slavery in America, neither he nor his ilk has ever been in the least bit interested in history for its own sake.  Rather, there has always been a “point” to their campaign, the advancement of a political agenda involving fictions concerning perpetual black suffering, white oppression, and white guilt.

The facts to which I allude here frustrate that agenda.

And this, by the way, is “the point” of mentioning them.
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1314 on: May 23, 2014, 09:26:35 AM »

Please post on the Race thread on the SCH forum as well.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1315 on: June 01, 2014, 09:27:01 AM »

There is something about this that is reminiscent of Nero throwing coins off the balcony to the 'little' people:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/05/31/hidden-cash-man-buries-cash-in-angry-bird-eggs-at-la-beaches/
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1316 on: June 15, 2014, 12:06:20 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/362419/president-who-has-done-most-damage-dennis-prager
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1317 on: June 18, 2014, 08:00:51 PM »



http://patriotpost.us/alexander/26746
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1318 on: June 19, 2014, 11:09:17 AM »

 The Power of Crowds
Global Affairs
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 03:00 Print Text Size
Global Affairs with Robert D. Kaplan
Stratfor

By Robert D. Kaplan

When the history of the current Ukraine crisis is written, scholars will note that it began with demonstrations. The demonstrators were in significant measure young urbanites from the capital of Kiev, in search of a more Western orientation for their country. The European Union might be battered with a half-decadelong financial crisis. But the demonstrators, nevertheless, in large part saw the European Union in symbolic terms as a moral savior, promising a future of states governed by impersonal laws that treat everyone equally -- unlike the future promised by Russia's authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, and his local cohorts: that of nations, saddled with historical grudges, that seek glory for ethnic groups rather than rights for individuals. Cynics believed the demonstrations would peter out in the freezing cold Ukrainian winter, with insufficient public support. They were wrong. The demonstrators kept returning to Independence Square, also known as Maidan, toppling the pro-Moscow regime and changing European geopolitics.

Demonstrators obviously don't always get what they desire. The '60s youth rebellion in the United States split the Democratic Party of the era and alienated many middle-of-the-road American voters -- sometimes referred to as the silent majority -- and thereby helped enable the presidential election of the conservative Republican Richard Nixon. Many of the Iranian students who demonstrated in massive numbers against the repression of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1978 thought that they were enabling the future of a more democratic and accountable government. Instead, they got the suffocating autocracy, laced with terrorism, of the Shiite ayatollahs. The young Egyptian idealists, influenced by the values of cosmopolitan global culture, thought that their demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square in early 2011 would break the back of military tyranny. Instead, their protests led to an immoderate Islamic regime that, in turn, was toppled by another military tyranny.

There are two major lessons here. Demonstrators, as numerous as they appear on the television screen -- and in the eyes of the media in general -- represent only a minute portion of the society, which may be with them or against them. And even if the society is with them, it does not mean that the same society has the social, economic and institutional traction for organizing itself into a version of the new political order for which the demonstrators yearn. Demonstrators often represent an educational elite, and an elite, well, by its very nature is not representative of the population at large, which, in the cases of Iran and Egypt, is composed of vast peasantries and proletariats prone to deep religiosity. The other lesson follows from the first: Just because demonstrators may be capable of undermining an existing order -- whether the administration of Lyndon Johnson or the rule of the Shah or of Hosni Mubarak or of Viktor Yanukovich -- does not mean that they have the capability of directing, or much less influencing, the emergence of a replacement order. For example, in recent times we have seen how social media can help depose regimes in the Arab world but is unable to foster the bureaucratic and institutional wherewithal to build better alternative ones.

The autocracies of Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria were all initially overthrown or at least weakened in 2011 by liberal-trending demonstrators. But with the exception of Tunisia, the result was either anarchy or partial anarchy, not a more liberal order. The fact that demonstrators are change agents does not mean that they know how to direct change. To wit, Ukraine may eventually turn out very different from what the original demonstrations in Kiev suggested.

Of course, massive demonstrations across Central and Eastern Europe in 1989 led to the end of communist tyranny and its replacement by mostly liberal democracies of varying degrees of stability and competence. The difference between Europe and the Arab world is that Europe, as socially pulverized as it was by decades of communism, nevertheless had the semblance of institutions and the historical memory of a middle class, as well as high literacy rates, that enabled it to survive the political rigors of freedom -- something that the Arab world, with the possible exception of Tunisia, lacked. And Tunisia, remember, is the most European of Arab countries -- geographically close to Europe, with a long history as a state and no significant ethnic or sectarian divides. In other words, demonstrators may all look similar on the television screen and shout similar things, but the societies in which they are enmeshed are all somewhat different. And it is that difference that determines what happens after the demonstrators remove an existing order.

Recently, some of the most sustained demonstrations we have seen have been in Brazil and Thailand. Both upheavals fall under the broad theme elucidated by the late Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington in his 1968 book, Political Order in Changing Societies, in which he posits that the more developed and complex a society turns out to be, rather than become more satisfied, the emerging middle class of that society becomes less satisfied and therefore demands more efficiency and accountability from the government. The more complex a society becomes, in other words, the more it requires more nimble and responsive institutions. This means that social and political upheaval is a constant. Brazilians are dissatisfied that the country's newfound wealth is not being more equally distributed, even as their government is not becoming more efficient. Thailand's political divisions are based in part on the wealth disparity between the capital of Bangkok and the far poorer, rural countryside. These are the problems of relative success, but they can nonetheless lead to fierce and prolonged disturbances. And in the case of Thailand, they can lead even to a military coup.

All these demonstrators, from Ukraine to Tunisia to Thailand, have had an ally: postmodern communications technology. Not only does social media facilitate crowd organization, but so does satellite television, which requires only enough bodies to fill a screen in order to provide a crowd with global significance. And with global significance -- the knowledge that you are not alone against a hated regime but have virtual supporters worldwide -- comes a lift in morale that, in turn, brings along with it courage and the sense of empowerment for those in the street.

The crowd can thus be small in size but vast in meaning. Among the many themes in the late Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti's 1960 book, Crowds and Power, is his concept that crowds provide an escape from loneliness. Inside a crowd you are protected, for your passions are those of the person next to you, and the next, all flowing together. If a hated regime represents one type of crowd formation, the demonstrators in the square represent another. And from that comes their strength.

The virtual crowd is now everywhere, whether as a horde of Facebook followers tracking an entertainment star or as a throng of people in sync on Twitter supporting or opposing some person or idea. Postmodern civilization encourages loneliness and anxiety, for which joining a crowd constitutes an escape.

Thus, we should expect crowd formations to be a permanent feature of global politics. And the nightmare of leaders, particularly authoritarian ones, is that of being overthrown by a crowd as in Ukraine. Chinese leaders live with this fear, especially as their country's rate of economic growth is expected to continue its decline. The clerical regime in Iran fears ending up like the Shah's -- toppled by a crowd. That is why the ayatollahs are so keen to see a relaxation of economic sanctions against their country.

Perhaps the most famous crowd formations in early modern and modern history were those of the 1848 revolutions in Europe, when crowds of bourgeois intellectuals and working class radicals rose from France to the Balkans demanding the end of authoritarian imperial orders. But with the exception of the Orleans monarchy in France, those regimes all ultimately survived because divisive ethnic interests undermined the universalist longings of the demonstrators. It was all a close-run affair, though, that took many months to play out. Had the 1848 rebellions succeeded, the history of Europe thereafter would have been dramatically different, with different power arrangements that could very well have precluded the world wars of the 20th century.

Always keep 1848 in mind. For with technology now providing a tipping point in a world of vast urban concentrations, and with more and more human beings living in dense, claustrophobic settings, crowds will be at the very center of history in the 21st century -- and, therefore, at the center of geopolitics.

Read more: The Power of Crowds | Stratfor
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1319 on: June 23, 2014, 09:18:05 PM »

So I am reading this article supposedly about Robert E Lee when the  author suddenly makes a left turn comparing the "fire-eaters" who were "incendiary" Southern politicians who wanted to bring back the African slave trade to expand slavery and cotton to, get this the Tea party politicians of today:

"The fire-eaters were a minority then, as the Tea Partiers (their spiritual descendants) are today, but like today’s Tea Party they promoted extremist agendas and pounded down on wedge issues that sundered the nation and very nearly destroyed it."

What in the heck does the Tea Party have to do with advocates of slavery?  Answer:  they are the Union soldiers fighting for freedom.

****How I Learned to Hate Robert E. Lee

By Christopher Dickey June 21, 2014 10:18 PM The Daily Beast
 
All the time I was growing up in Atlanta, the face of Robert E. Lee was taking shape on the side of an enormous granite mountain just outside town. He loomed like a god above us, as much a presence as any deity, and God knows he was accepted as such. It was only much later that I began to question his sanctity, and then to hate what he stood for.

When I was in elementary school, the face of Lee on Stone Mountain was a rough-cut thing, weathering and wasting as the generation that began it in 1912—a generation that still included veterans of the Civil War 50 years before—gave way to generations with other wars to focus their attention.

Then the carving began again in 1964 in a centennial haze of romantic memories about the Old South and frenzy of fear and defiance provoked by the civil-rights movement. As Martin Luther King Jr. was marching on Washington, Confederate battle flags floated above state houses and sculptors using torches began again to carve the granite features of Lee, along with Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis, taking up three vertical acres on the mountain’s face.

It is this sort of image—the bas-relief nobility of memorial sculpture—that Michael Korda chisels through in his massive and highly readable new one-volume biography: Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. But, as Korda clearly recognizes, Lee himself could be almost as impenetrable as stone.

He was not cold. He was very loving with his wife and many children. He enjoyed flirting (harmlessly, it seems) with young women. He had the self-assurance of a Virginia aristocrat, albeit an impecunious one, and the bearing of a man born not only to be a soldier, but to command. He was tall for his time—at least 5’10”—and as a young man he was strikingly handsome, broad-shouldered, and Byronic.

But perhaps Lee’s most memorable feature, even in the worst of times, was his phenomenal self-control, whether in the face of triumphs or disasters. His belief in God’s will lent “a certain opaque quality” to Lee’s character, as Korda writes. Perhaps the general did not cultivate his fame as “The Marble Man,” but he earned it.

Lee was so much the model of a Virginia gentleman that he came to seem a hero not only of the Lost Cause in the South, but of a restored peace for the Union in the aftermath of the war. He believed in reason, good manners, and moderation in all things except battle, when his skill in defense and audacity in offense managed to keep the Confederacy’s hopes for independence alive years longer than would have—or should have—been the case.

And that is part of the problem. While the dream of the Confederacy was kept alive, the men on the battlefield on both sides perished by the tens of thousands. In his desperate effort to triumph at Gettysburg in 1863, deep in northern territory, he waged a battle that cost more than 50,000 soldiers their lives over the course of three days—more than died in combat in the entire Vietnam War.

Lee put the blame for Gettysburg on himself, which was a rare and noble thing to do, then retreated, and kept on fighting. Almost a year later at Spotsylvania Court House, where 32,000 soldiers died, a Union officer described a scene in which the Confederate dead “were piled upon each other in some places four layers deep, exhibiting every ghastly phase of mutilation. Below the mass of fast-decaying corpses, the convulsive twitching of limbs and the writhing of bodies showed that there were wounded men still alive and struggling to extricate themselves from the horrid entombment.”

It may be unfair to criticize a general for wanting to fight on against all odds. That is what we assume generals will try to do, and Lee often put himself in as much personal danger and daily discomfort as his faithful soldiers. But it’s a plain fact that by prolonging a conflict he could not win, Lee’s brilliance and the loyalty he inspired helped destroy what was left of the South.

Korda writes that by late 1864 the Union commander Ulysses S. Grant (the subject of another Korda biography) and Lee had “created dreadful, static sieges that would postpone the end of the war by 10 painful months,” during which time Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman “would march through Georgia, taking Atlanta, marching from there ‘to the sea,’ and destroying everything along his way: towns, railway lines, telegraph lines, homes, farms, crops, and livestock.”

What cannot and should not be forgiven about Lee, despite his many virtues, is the cause that he defended.

Korda argues convincingly that Lee was ambivalent about slavery. His wife’s family owned more than 100 Negroes, but when her father died, Lee took pains to see that the old man’s will emancipating them after five years was executed. (That this finally took effect in 1862 does not diminish the fact that he had set the wheels in motion to free these servants and laborers years before.) Lee and his wife set up a school for the slaves, which was actually illegal in Virginia at the time. And he proposed, toward the end of the war, when the white South was bled dry, that slaves should be enlisted as soldiers and granted their freedom in the process. But that bold suggestion went nowhere with the politicians, who stalled until the idea, along with the Confederacy, was dead.

Korda is especially good at explaining why Lee, who had performed heroically in the Mexican War and served as the superintendent of West Point, turned down the command of the Union armies offered to him by the Lincoln administration in the first days of the conflict. He saw himself as a Virginian, deeply rooted in the state’s genteel culture. And while he did not support secession and thought it dangerous and revolutionary (thus anathema to his aristocratic values), he could not bring himself to lead an army that would force Virginia or any other state to remain in the Union. Once Virginia reluctantly seceded, so, also reluctantly, did Lee.

But after that decision was made, Lee’s nobility and charisma, and the carnage that he commanded, gave cover to all those incendiary Southern politicians who did not, in fact, feel ambivalent about slavery. These “fire-eaters,” as they were called, not only wanted to perpetuate their peculiar institution, they wanted to reopen the slave trade with Africa, which was recognized even at the time as a terrible holocaust banned for half a century, but rationalized by them because African slaves were just so cheap and profitable and could be so useful to those Southerners who wanted to spread their voracious cotton economy to the west and south.

The fire-eaters were a minority then, as the Tea Partiers (their spiritual descendants) are today, but like today’s Tea Party they promoted extremist agendas and pounded down on wedge issues that sundered the nation and very nearly destroyed it.

Lee had no time for these men, and he opposed their ideas, but he fought for them year after year, battle after battle, slaughter after slaughter. Maybe that makes him in his way a fascinating and tragic leader, but readers of Korda’s balanced and detailed book will have to decide for themselves if he was a heroic one. For my part, I think not.
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 5970


« Reply #1320 on: June 24, 2014, 07:55:36 AM »

So I am reading this article supposedly about Robert E Lee when the  author suddenly makes a left turn comparing the "fire-eaters" who were "incendiary" Southern politicians who wanted to bring back the African slave trade to expand slavery and cotton to, get this the Tea party politicians of today:

"The fire-eaters were a minority then, as the Tea Partiers (their spiritual descendants) are today, but like today’s Tea Party they promoted extremist agendas and pounded down on wedge issues that sundered the nation and very nearly destroyed it."

What in the heck does the Tea Party have to do with advocates of slavery?  Answer:  they are the Union soldiers fighting for freedom.
...


Nice catch.  Quite obnoxious and obsessive that they can't put their hatred aside long enough to tell an unrelated story.
Logged
MikeT
Power User
***
Posts: 84


« Reply #1321 on: July 17, 2014, 01:34:36 PM »

Asked to post this here...  Political satire from Bill Whittle is always entertaining and generally 'spot-on':

https://www.billwhittle.com/


Also, if you can still find them on Youtube, the Whiteboard voice-overs he did (I think for PJ Media) are great, i.e. the one on the Palestinian conflict.  I wish he would do more of these.  It's quite evidently his voice.  These were actually how I 'discovered' him.  I recall there being at least a half dozen ofthem on various subjects but I'm not in posession of a single repository site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZY8m0cm1oY
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 01:43:55 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


WW1
« Reply #1322 on: July 26, 2014, 02:53:00 PM »



The War That Broke a Century
A king, a kaiser, a czar—all were undone as they realized what they had unleashed with World War I.
By Peggy Noonan
WSJ
Updated July 25, 2014 6:52 p.m. ET

Next week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. It was the great disaster of the 20th century, the one that summoned or forced the disasters that would follow, from Lenin and Hitler to World War II and the Cold War. It is still, a century later, almost impossible to believe that one event, even a war, could cause such destruction, such an ending of worlds.

History still isn't sure and can never be certain of the exact number of casualties. Christopher Clark, in "The Sleepwalkers" (2013), puts it at 20 million military and civilian deaths and 21 million wounded. The war unleashed Bolshevism, which brought communism, which in time would kill tens of millions more throughout the world. (In 1997, "The Black Book of Communism," written by European academics, put the total number at a staggering 94 million.)

Thrones were toppled, empires undone. Western Europe lost a generation of its most educated and patriotic, its future leaders from all classes—aristocrats and tradesmen, teachers, carpenters and poets. No nation can lose a generation of such men without effect. Their loss left Europe, among other things, dumber.

Reading World War I histories, I have been startled to realize the extent to which the leaders or putative leaders of the belligerent nations personally suffered. A number of them fell apart, staggering under the pressure, as if at some point in the day-to-day they realized the true size and implications of the endeavor in which they were immersed. They seemed to come to understand, after the early hurrahs, that they were involved in the central catastrophe of the 20th century, and it was too big, too consequential, too history-making to be borne. Some would spend the years after the war insisting, sometimes at odd moments, that it wasn't their fault.
Enlarge Image

Illustration of King George V visiting a soldier's grave on the Western Front during World War 1. Getty Images

As Miranda Carter shows in " George, Nicholas and Wilhelm " (2010), the king of England, the czar of Russia and the kaiser of Germany were all in different ways wrecked by the war.

Kaiser Wilhelm, whose bombast, peculiarities of personality and lack of wisdom did so much to bring the conflict, folded almost from the start. Two years in, he was described by those around him as a "broken man"—depressed, lethargic, ill. An aide wrote of him as "violent and unpredictable."

Barbara Tuchman, in the classic "The Guns of August" (1962), notes how in the early days of the war Wilhelm's margin notes on telegrams became "more agitated." ("Rot!" "He lies!" "False dog!") In time, top brass shunted him aside and viewed him as irrelevant. The kaiser rarely referred to the sufferings of his people. Ms. Carter writes: "Wilhelm had always had difficulty in empathizing with others' difficulties." When his country collapsed, he fled to Holland, where in conversation he referred to his countrymen as "pigs" and insisted that the war was the fault of others. He died at age 81 in 1941, two years into World War II.

King George V did have empathy, and it almost killed him. Touring the Western Front, he suffered at the sights—once-rich fields now charred craters, villages blasted away, piles of dead bodies. He aged overnight, his beard turning almost white. Ms. Carter writes that he now surveyed the world with a "dogged, melancholic, unsmiling stare." A year into the war, a horse he was riding on a visit to the front got frightened, reared, and fell on him. The king never fully recovered from the injuries. Years later, he was haunted by what he called "that horrible and unnecessary war." In 1935, war clouds gathering once again, he met up with his wartime prime minister. The king, wrote Lloyd George, "broke out vehemently, 'And I will not have another war, I will not.' " He also said that the Great War had not been his fault. He died the following year.

Czar Nicholas II of Russia, of course, would lose everything—his throne and his life, as his family would lose theirs. But from the early days of the war he too was buckling. His former chief minister, Vladimir Kokovtsov, called Nicholas's faded eyes "lifeless." In the middle of conversations, the czar lost the thread, and a simple question would reduce him to "a perfectly incomprehensible state of helplessness."

Two years in, Kokovtsov thought Nicholas on the verge of nervous breakdown. So did the French ambassador, who wrote in the summer of 1916: "Despondency, apathy and resignation can be seen in his actions, appearance, attitudes and all the manifestations of the inner man." The czar wore a constant, vacant smile, but glanced about nervously. Friendly warnings that the war was not being won and revolution could follow were ignored. For him, in Ms. Carter's words, "Contradiction now constituted betrayal." At the end, those close to Nicholas wondered if he failed to move to save his throne because he preferred a crisis that might force his abdication—and the lifting of burdens he now crushingly understood he could not sustain.

Then there is Woodrow Wilson at his second Versailles peace conference, in the spring of 1919. Negotiations were draining, occasionally volatile. The victors postured, schemed and turned on each other for gain. They had literally argued about whether windows should be opened, and about what language should be the official one of the talks. (They settled on three.) President Wilson developed insomnia and a twitch on the left side of his face. He was constantly tired, occasionally paranoid. After a trying meeting with France's finance minister, Louis Klotz, Wilson joked with a friend of his weariness: "I have Klotz on the brain."

He may have. Weeks earlier, weak and feverish, he had physically collapsed. It was a flu, a cold, possibly encephalitis. He rallied and returned to work but sometimes appeared impatient, euphoric or energized to the point of manic.

On the afternoon of May 1 at the peace conference, Wilson suddenly announced in his office, to his wife and his doctor, Adm. Cary Grayson, "I don't like the way the colors of this furniture fight each other." As biographer A. Scott Berg notes in "Wilson," published last year, the president continued, saying: "The greens and the reds are all mixed up here and there is no harmony. Here is a big purpose, high-backed covered chair, which is like the Purple Cow, strayed off to itself, and it is placed where the light shines on it too brightly. If you will give me a lift, we will move this next to the wall where the light from the window will give it a subdued effect. And here are two chairs, one green and the other red. This will never do. Let's put the greens all together and the reds together."

Mr. Berg : "Wilson's bizarre comments did not end there. He described the Council of Four meetings, how each delegation walked like schoolchildren each day to its respective corners. Now, with the furniture regrouped, he said each country would sit according to color"—the reds in the American corner, the greens in the British.

Grayson didn't know what to think. Perhaps it was nervous exhaustion, perhaps a sign of something more serious. After returning to the U.S., Wilson launched a grueling campaign for America to join the League of Nations. That fall, in the White House, he would suffer the stroke or strokes that would leave him disabled the rest of his life.

So what are we saying? Nothing beyond what I suppose has long been a theme, which may be a nice word for preoccupation, in this space: History is human.

And sometimes it turns bigger than humans can bear.

(Correction: Czar Nicholas II was married to a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. He was not himself Victoria's grandchild, as an earlier version of this column stated.)
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1323 on: July 26, 2014, 03:01:35 PM »

second post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hMUZ3wOXXc
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1324 on: July 28, 2014, 08:45:58 PM »

Sunday Review | CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER
18 July 2014

Love People, Not Pleasure
Arthur C. Brooks

ABD AL-RAHMAN III was an emir and caliph of Córdoba in 10th-century Spain. He was an absolute ruler who lived in complete luxury. Here’s how he assessed his life:

“I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity.”

Fame, riches and pleasure beyond imagination. Sound great? He went on to write:

“I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to 14.”

Abd al-Rahman’s problem wasn’t happiness, as he believed — it was unhappiness. If that sounds like a distinction without a difference, you probably have the same problem as the great emir. But with a little knowledge, you can avoid the misery that befell him.

What is unhappiness? Your intuition might be that it is simply the opposite of happiness, just as darkness is the absence of light. That is not correct. Happiness and unhappiness are certainly related, but they are not actually opposites. Images of the brain show that parts of the left cerebral cortex are more active than the right when we are experiencing happiness, while the right side becomes more active when we are unhappy.

As strange as it seems, being happier than average does not mean that one can’t also be unhappier than average. One test for both happiness and unhappiness is the Positive Affectivity and Negative Affectivity Schedule test. I took the test myself. I found that, for happiness, I am at the top for people my age, sex, occupation and education group. But I get a pretty high score for unhappiness as well. I am a cheerful melancholic.

So when people say, “I am an unhappy person,” they are really doing sums, whether they realize it or not. They are saying, “My unhappiness is x, my happiness is y, and x > y.” The real questions are why, and what you can do to make y > x.

If you ask an unhappy person why he is unhappy, he’ll almost always blame circumstance. In many cases, of course, this is justified. Some people are oppressed or poor or have physical ailments that make life a chore. Research unsurprisingly suggests that racism causes unhappiness in children, and many academic studies trace a clear link between unhappiness and poverty. Another common source of unhappiness is loneliness, from which about 20 percent of Americans suffer enough to make it a major source of unhappiness in their lives.

THERE are also smaller circumstantial sources of unhappiness. The Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues measured the “negative affect” (bad moods) that ordinary daily activities and interactions kick up. They found that the No. 1 unhappiness-provoking event in a typical day is spending time with one’s boss (which, as a boss, made me unhappy to learn).

Circumstances are certainly important. No doubt Abd al-Rahman could point to a few in his life. But paradoxically, a better explanation for his unhappiness may have been his own search for well-being. And the same might go for you.

Have you ever known an alcoholic? They generally drink to relieve craving or anxiety — in other words, to attenuate a source of unhappiness. Yet it is the drink that ultimately prolongs their suffering. The same principle was at work for Abd al-Rahman in his pursuit of fame, wealth and pleasure.

Consider fame. In 2009, researchers from the University of Rochester conducted a study tracking the success of 147 recent graduates in reaching their stated goals after graduation. Some had “intrinsic” goals, such as deep, enduring relationships. Others had “extrinsic” goals, such as achieving reputation or fame. The scholars found that intrinsic goals were associated with happier lives. But the people who pursued extrinsic goals experienced more negative emotions, such as shame and fear. They even suffered more physical maladies.

This is one of the cruelest ironies in life. I work in Washington, right in the middle of intensely public political battles. Bar none, the unhappiest people I have ever met are those most dedicated to their own self-aggrandizement — the pundits, the TV loudmouths, the media know-it-alls. They build themselves up and promote their images, but feel awful most of the time.

That’s the paradox of fame. Just like drugs and alcohol, once you become addicted, you can’t live without it. But you can’t live with it, either. Celebrities have described fame like being “an animal in a cage; a toy in a shop window; a Barbie doll; a public facade; a clay figure; or, that guy on TV,” according to research by the psychologist Donna Rockwell. Yet they can’t give it up.

That impulse to fame by everyday people has generated some astonishing innovations. One is the advent of reality television, in which ordinary people become actors in their day-to-day lives for others to watch. Why? “To be noticed, to be wanted, to be loved, to walk into a place and have others care about what you’re doing, even what you had for lunch that day: that’s what people want, in my opinion,” said one 26-year-old participant in an early hit reality show called “Big Brother.”

And then there’s social media. Today, each of us can build a personal little fan base, thanks to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like. We can broadcast the details of our lives to friends and strangers in an astonishingly efficient way. That’s good for staying in touch with friends, but it also puts a minor form of fame-seeking within each person’s reach. And several studies show that it can make us unhappy.

It makes sense. What do you post to Facebook? Pictures of yourself yelling at your kids, or having a hard time at work? No, you post smiling photos of a hiking trip with friends. You build a fake life — or at least an incomplete one — and share it. Furthermore, you consume almost exclusively the fake lives of your social media “friends.” Unless you are extraordinarily self-aware, how could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?

Some look for relief from unhappiness in money and material things. This scenario is a little more complicated than fame. The evidence does suggest that money relieves suffering in cases of true material need. (This is a strong argument, in my view, for many safety-net policies for the indigent.) But when money becomes an end in itself, it can bring misery, too.

For decades, psychologists have been compiling a vast literature on the relationships between different aspirations and well-being. Whether they examine young adults or people of all ages, the bulk of the studies point toward the same important conclusion: People who rate materialistic goals like wealth as top personal priorities are significantly likelier to be more anxious, more depressed and more frequent drug users, and even to have more physical ailments than those who set their sights on more intrinsic values.

No one sums up the moral snares of materialism more famously than St. Paul in his First Letter to Timothy: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Or as the Dalai Lama pithily suggests, it is better to want what you have than to have what you want.

SO fame and money are out. How about pleasures of the flesh? Take the canonical hedonistic pleasure: lust. From Hollywood to college campuses, many assume that sex is always great, and sexual variety is even better.

This assumption actually has a name: the “Coolidge Effect,” named after the 30th president of the United States. The story (probably apocryphal) begins with Silent Cal and Mrs. Coolidge touring a poultry farm. The first lady noticed that there were very few roosters, and asked how so many eggs could be fertilized. The farmer told her that the virile roosters did their jobs over and over again each day. “Perhaps you could point that out to Mr. Coolidge,” she told him. The president, hearing the remark, asked whether the rooster serviced the same hen each time. No, the farmer told him — there were many hens for each rooster. “Perhaps you could point that out to Mrs. Coolidge,” said the president.

The president obviously figured these must be happy roosters. And notwithstanding the moral implications, the same principle should work for us. Right?

Wrong. In 2004, two economists looked into whether more sexual variety led to greater well-being. They looked at data from about 16,000 adult Americans who were asked confidentially how many sex partners they had had in the preceding year, and about their happiness. Across men and women alike, the data show that the optimal number of partners is one.

This might seem totally counterintuitive. After all, we are unambiguously driven to accumulate material goods, to seek fame, to look for pleasure. How can it be that these very things can give us unhappiness instead of happiness? There are two explanations, one biological and the other philosophical.

From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that we are wired to seek fame, wealth and sexual variety. These things make us more likely to pass on our DNA. Had your cave-man ancestors not acquired some version of these things (a fine reputation for being a great rock sharpener; multiple animal skins), they might not have found enough mating partners to create your lineage.

But here’s where the evolutionary cables have crossed: We assume that things we are attracted to will relieve our suffering and raise our happiness. My brain says, “Get famous.” It also says, “Unhappiness is lousy.” I conflate the two, getting, “Get famous and you’ll be less unhappy.”

But that is Mother Nature’s cruel hoax. She doesn’t really care either way whether you are unhappy — she just wants you to want to pass on your genetic material. If you conflate intergenerational survival with well-being, that’s your problem, not nature’s. And matters are hardly helped by nature’s useful idiots in society, who propagate a popular piece of life-ruining advice: “If it feels good, do it.” Unless you share the same existential goals as protozoa, this is often flat-out wrong.

More philosophically, the problem stems from dissatisfaction — the sense that nothing has full flavor, and we want more. We can’t quite pin down what it is that we seek. Without a great deal of reflection and spiritual hard work, the likely candidates seem to be material things, physical pleasures or favor among friends and strangers.

We look for these things to fill an inner emptiness. They may bring a brief satisfaction, but it never lasts, and it is never enough. And so we crave more. This paradox has a word in Sanskrit: upadana, which refers to the cycle of craving and grasping. As the Dhammapada (the Buddha’s path of wisdom) puts it: “The craving of one given to heedless living grows like a creeper. Like the monkey seeking fruits in the forest, he leaps from life to life... Whoever is overcome by this wretched and sticky craving, his sorrows grow like grass after the rains.”

This search for fame, the lust for material things and the objectification of others — that is, the cycle of grasping and craving — follows a formula that is elegant, simple and deadly:

Love things, use people.

This was Abd al-Rahman’s formula as he sleepwalked through life. It is the worldly snake oil peddled by the culture makers from Hollywood to Madison Avenue. But you know in your heart that it is morally disordered and a likely road to misery. You want to be free of the sticky cravings of unhappiness and find a formula for happiness instead. How? Simply invert the deadly formula and render it virtuous:

Love people, use things.

Easier said than done, I realize. It requires the courage to repudiate pride and the strength to love others — family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, God and even strangers and enemies. Only deny love to things that actually are objects. The practice that achieves this is charity. Few things are as liberating as giving away to others that which we hold dear.

This also requires a condemnation of materialism. This is manifestly not an argument for any specific economic system. Anyone who has spent time in a socialist country must concede that materialism and selfishness are as bad under collectivism, or worse, as when markets are free. No political ideology is immune to materialism.

Finally, it requires a deep skepticism of our own basic desires. Of course you are driven to seek admiration, splendor and physical license. But giving in to these impulses will bring unhappiness. You have a responsibility to yourself to stay in the battle. The day you declare a truce is the day you become unhappier. Declaring war on these destructive impulses is not about asceticism or Puritanism. It is about being a prudent person who seeks to avoid unnecessary suffering.

Abd al-Rahman never got his happiness sums right. He never knew the right formula. Fortunately, we do.

A contributing opinion writer and the president of the American Enterprise Institute.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1325 on: August 02, 2014, 06:01:50 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-clueless-in-gaza/2014/07/31/d781a286-18e8-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1326 on: August 06, 2014, 02:26:08 AM »



http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1b9_1407258785#sthash.MjyqVuvD.gbpl
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1327 on: August 06, 2014, 07:40:36 PM »



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152340146258717&fref=nf
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1328 on: August 08, 2014, 11:04:11 AM »



http://www.jewishjournal.com/dennis_prager/item/lessons_of_the_holocaust
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12056


« Reply #1329 on: August 13, 2014, 06:09:37 AM »

http://www.steynonline.com/6506/you-want-nazis
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1330 on: August 13, 2014, 08:04:47 AM »

Thanks for posting.  I haven't read Steyn in a while but he is really good.

And his final question:   where are the Republicans?

In hiding.   To think after what Obama and his mafia army has done to this country the Republicans should be ready to roll into power.  Instead people from  both the moderate to far right and the entire left even hate them more.

Just because Obama's ratings are as low as possible (he would NEVER go lower than 40% due to the entitlement die hard progressive crowd)  doesn't mean most of these people will automatically vote Republican who are disliked even more.

Can Cruz or anyone step up.  All we need is a likable, smart person with a great mouthpiece.  That does not include Romney, Jeb or Rand (IMO).
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1331 on: August 17, 2014, 10:32:13 AM »

As I posted before I disagree.  While Obama's approval rating (still over 50%) with Jews may be dropping those Jews will not become Republican.   Indeed his approval rating makes no difference now since he is not running again.  The liberal Jews will be out in force voting for Dems in '16.

http://nypost.com/2014/08/17/obama-is-driving-jews-from-democratic-party/
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1332 on: August 20, 2014, 07:28:44 AM »

The Hell That Is the Obama White House

Posted By David Horowitz On August 19, 2014

Originally published by RedState.com.

Let me begin by acknowledging that this inspirational title is lifted from a tweet by screen actor James Woods. And now I will explicate his tweet.

Every sentient human being whose brain isn’t stuffed with ideological fairy dust can see that Obama is behind every major scandal of his administration from Benghazi to the I.R.S. disgrace. How can one know this? Because the culprits haven’t been fired. Moreover, if they are serial liars like Susan Rice, they’ve actually been promoted to posts where their loyalty to the criminal-in-chief can do America and its citizens even more damage, if that is possible.

A president faced with a scandal created by underlings behind his back would be naturally furious at their misbehavior, and want heads to roll. This didn’t happen in any of these scandals because their point of origin was the White House itself. Promoting the culprits is a way of keeping them quiet.

And what exactly is the I.R.S. scandal about — to take just one case? It’s a plan unprecedented in modern American politics to push the political system towards a one-party state by using the taxing authority of the government to cripple and destroy the political opposition. The administration’s campaign to promote voter fraud by opposing measures to stop it (and defaming them as “racist” is guided by the same intentions and desire.

And why shouldn’t Obama want to destroy the two-party system since he is also in utter contempt of the Constitutional framework, making law illegally, and defying an impotent Congress to stop him? Of course every radical, like Obama, hates the Constitutional framework because, as Madison explained in Federalist #10, it is designed to thwart “the wicked projects” of the left to redistribute income and destroy the free market.

The same desire to overwhelm and permanently suppress the opposition drives the war that Obama and the Democrats have conducted against America’s borders and therefore American sovereignty. Their plan is too flood the country with illegals of whatever stripe who will be grateful enough for the favor to win them elections and create a permanent majority in their favor. The immediate result of these efforts is that we have no secure southern border, and therefore no border; and therefore we have effectively invited criminals and terrorists to come across and do Americans harm.

Which brings us to the deepest level of Obama’s hell, which is his anti-American foreign policy. When Obama was re-elected in 2012, the very first thought I had was this: A lot of people are going to be dead because of this election. How disastrously right I was. Since their assault on George Bush and their sabotage of the war in Iraq, Obama and the Democrats have forged a power vacuum in Europe and even more dramatically in the Middle East, which nasty characters have predictably entered with ominous implications for the future security of all Americans.

Take one aspect of this epic default: Obama’s lack of response to the slaughter of Christians in Palestine, Egypt and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been slaughtered and driven from their homes in Iraq – over half a million by some counts. This is the oldest Christian community in the world dating back to the time of Christ. What was Obama’s response to this atrocity until a group of Yazvidi along with the Christians were trapped on a mountain side, and politics dictated he had to make some gesture? His response was to do and say nothing. Silence. Even his statement announcing minimal action to save the Yazvidi and the Christians mentioned the Christians once in passing while devoting a paragraph to the obscure Yazvidi.

What this unfeeling and cold response to the slaughter of Christians tells us is that Obama is a pretend Christian just the way he is a pretend American. What he is instead is a world class liar. That is because his real agendas are anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Jewish, and obviously and consistently pro America’s third world adversaries to whom he is always apologizing and whom he is always appeasing. Obama lies about his intentions and policies because he couldn’t survive politically if he told the truth.

The socialist plot against individual freedom called Obamacare was sold as a charitable attempt to cover the uninsured (which it doesn’t), to lower health insurance costs (which it doesn’t) and to allow patients to keep their doctor and their plan (which it doesn’t). What it actually does is to take away a major piece of the freedom that Americans once enjoyed – the freedom to choose their plan and their doctor, and not to have the government control their health care or have easy access to all their financial information.

This devious, deceitful, power hungry administration is just as James Woods described it. But it is also a mounting danger for all Americans. Thanks to his global retreat, the terrorists Obama falsely claims are “on the run” are in fact gathering their strength and their weapons of mass destruction until a day will come when they will cross our porous borders and show us what the years of perfidy not only by Obama but by the whole Democratic Party have wrought.
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1333 on: August 23, 2014, 03:01:34 PM »

http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topcontribs.php
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1334 on: August 24, 2014, 12:38:23 PM »

Please post that in the Politics thread.  TIA

========================

Our Thoroughly Modern Enemies
ISIS in the 21st Century
POTH
AUG. 23, 2014
Ross Douthat

IN his remarks on the murder of James Foley, the American journalist decapitated by the terrorists of ISIS, President Obama condemned Foley’s killers, appropriately, as a “cancer” on the Middle East and the world. But he also found room for the most Obama-ish of condemnations: “One thing we can all agree on,” he insisted, is that the would-be caliphate’s murderous vision has “no place in the 21st century.”

The idea that America’s foes and rivals are not merely morally but chronologically deficient, confused time travelers who need to turn their DeLorean around, has long been a staple of this administration’s rhetoric. Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad and tyrants in general have been condemned, in varying contexts, for being on the dreaded “wrong side of history.” Earlier this year, John Kerry dismissed Putin’s Crimea adventure in the same language Obama used last week: “19th-century behavior in the 21st century,” foredoomed by its own anachronism.


These tropes contain a lot of foolishness. Where ISIS is concerned, though, they also include a small but crucial grain of truth.

The foolishness starts with the fact that the history of liberal democracy is actually inseparable, as Abram Shulsky writes in The American Interest, from “the constant appearance of counter-ideologies that have arisen in reaction against it.” Whether reactionary or utopian, secular or religious, these counter-ideologies are as modern, in their way, as the Emancipation Proclamation or the United Nations Charter. Both illiberal nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism are younger than the United States. They aren’t just throwbacks or relics; they’re counterforces that liberal modernity seems to inevitably conjure up.

So writing off the West’s challengers as purely atavistic is a good way to misunderstand them — and to miss the persistent features of human nature that they exploit, appeal to and reward.

These features include not only the lust for violence and the will to power, but also a yearning for a transcendent cause that liberal societies can have trouble satisfying.

As The Week’s Michael Brendan Dougherty argues, discussing the Europeans who have joined up with ISIS, liberalism’s “all-too-human order” — which privileges the sober, industrious and slightly boring — is simply “not for everyone.” Nor, most likely, will it ever be: in this century, the 22nd, or beyond.

Which is why liberalism’s current dominance is contingent rather than necessary, and why its past victories have often been rather near-run things. The arc of history, another favored Obama phrase, has at times bent toward pogroms and chattel slavery, totalitarianism and genocide, nuclear annihilation. (For the Middle East’s persecuted Christians and Yazidis, it bends toward annihilation even now.) The ideals of democracy and human rights are ascendant in our age, but their advance still depends on agency, strategy and self-sacrifice, no matter what date the calendar displays.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story

And yet: Despite perpetuating various comforting fallacies, the White House’s talk of history’s favorites does hint at an important point about the key weakness of the enemies we face right now.


That’s because even if history doesn’t actually take sides, many people the world over share President Obama’s impulses: They want to feel that it sides with them. So the most successful counter-ideologies, the most threatening of liberalism’s rivals, have always managed to give the impression that their ideas are on the winning side of history, and that it is the poor milquetoast liberal democrats who are antique and out of date.

This was obviously true of Marxist-Leninism, but it was true of fascism as well. The fascists were reactionaries, to a point, in their appeals to mythic Roman and Teutonic pasts. But they offered far more than nostalgia: What the late Christopher Hitchens called “the mobilizing energy of fascism” was inseparable from a vision of efficiency, technology and development, one that helped persuade many Europeans (and some Americans) that Mussolini and then even Hitler stood at history’s vanguard, that the future was being forged in Rome and Berlin.

Fortunately for us, that kind of energy is mostly absent from today’s counter-ideologies, and particularly from the self-styled caliphate whose brutality was on display last week. The term “Islamofascist,” popularized after 9/11, was imprecise because it gave groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS too much credit: They may know how to use the Internet to propagandize, but they otherwise lack even a hint of the reactionary futurism, the marriage of romanticism to industrial efficiency, that made the original fascism appealing to so many.

That doesn’t mean their ideas are destined to disappear. Their place in our century, our era, is secure. We may crush them militarily, kill and scatter their adherents, but variations on Al Qaeda and ISIS will probably persist as long as liberalism does.

But to contend for mastery, to threaten us the way Nazis and Communists once did, they would need to do more than demonstrate, by their continued depredations, that history doesn’t have necessary destinations. They would need to somehow persuade the world that history’s arc might actually be about to bend toward them.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 09:06:55 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1335 on: August 27, 2014, 06:40:58 PM »

Farnam Street: The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection

<https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/WitcZkBT49Nt1fd-bS0DAC51Y7zqveAR99K0NtzERzvUgHWWa4QM_5dXPtJnh8UvUCSmz-KYaZu958XuNt9h1xfwo9hTUnAfWbCvZXbDnUMnz2Ya=s0-d-e1-ft#http://farnamstreetblog.com/images/FarnamStreet_Icon_10093.png>
________________________________

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection

Posted: 26 Aug 2014 05:00 AM PDT

Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral. — Melvin Kranzberg

It won’t be long before people fail to remember a world without the internet. Michael Harris explores what that means in his new book The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection.

For those billions who come next, of course, it won’t mean anything very obvious. Our online technologies, taken as a whole, will have become a kind of foundational myth —a story people are barely conscious of, something natural and, therefore, unnoticed. Just as previous generations were charmed by televisions until their sets were left always on, murmuring as consolingly as the radios before them, future generations will be so immersed in the Internet that questions about its basic purpose or meaning will have faded from notice. Something tremendous will be missing from their lives— a mind-set that their ancestors took entirely for granted— but they will hardly be able to notice its disappearance. Nor can we blame them.

However, we have in this brief historical moment, this moment in between two modes of being, a very rare opportunity. For those of us who have lived both with and without the vast, crowded connectivity the Internet provides, these are the few days when we can still notice the difference between Before and After.

This is the moment. Our awareness of this singular position pops up every now and again. We catch ourselves idly reaching for our phones at the bus stop. Or we notice how, midconversation, a fumbling friend dives into the perfect recall of Google.



I think that within the mess of changes we’re experiencing, there’s a single difference that we feel most keenly; and it’s also the difference that future generations will find hardest to grasp. That is the end of absence— the loss of lack. The daydreaming silences in our lives are filled; the burning solitudes are extinguished.

Before all memory of those absences is shuttered, though, there is this brief time when we might record what came before. We might do something with those small, barely noticeable instances when we’re reminded of our love for absence. They flash at us amid the rush of our experience and seem to signal: Wait, wasn’t there something . . . ?

***

In 1998, the writer Linda Stone coined the phrase that perfectly describes the state of most people: “continuous partial attention.” More than welcoming this impoverished state, most of us run toward it.

We are constantly distracted. Pings. Texts. Emails. We’re becoming slaves to devices and perpetual connectivity.

Dr. Gary Small, a researcher at UCLA, writes that “once people get used to this state, they tend to thrive on the perpetual connectivity. It feeds their egos and sense of self-worth, and it becomes irresistible.” We feel needed. We’re weaving our self-identity with our devices. We think that if they are not constantly buzzing we’re not “needed, necessary, crucial.” This “atmosphere of manic disruption makes (our) adrenal glands pump up production of cortisol and adrenaline.”

Dr. Small points out:

In the short run, these stress hormones boost energy levels and augment memory, but over time they actually impair cognition, lead to depression, and alter the neural circuitry in the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex— the brain regions that control mood and thought. Chronic and prolonged techno-brain burnout can even reshape the underlying brain structure.

***

Harris argues that there was a moment weirdly similar to this one: the year 1450. That’s the year when Johannes Gutenberg managed to invent a printing press.

Like the Internet, Gutenberg’s machine made certain jobs either ridiculous or redundant (so long, scriptoria). But much more was dismantled by Gutenberg’s invention than the employment of a few recalcitrant scribes. As the fidelity and speed of copying was ratcheted way up, there was a boom in what we’d now call data transfer: A great sermon delivered in Paris might be perfectly replicated in Lyon. (Branding improved, too: for the first time subjects knew what their king looked like.) Such uniformity laid the groundwork for massive leaps in knowledge and scientific understanding as a scholastic world that was initially scattered began to cohere into a consistent international conversation, one where academics and authorities could build on one another’s work rather than repeat it. As its influence unfurled across Europe, the press would flatten entire monopolies of knowledge, even enabling Martin Luther to shake the foundations of the Catholic Church; next it jump -started the Enlightenment. And the printing press had its victims; its cheap and plentiful product undid whole swaths of life, from the recitation of epic poetry to the authority of those few who could afford handmade manuscripts.

[...]

For any single human to live through such a change is extraordinary. After all, the original Gutenberg shift in 1450 was not a moment that one person could have witnessed, but a slow-blooming era that took centuries before it was fully unpacked. Literacy in England was not common until the nineteenth century, so most folk until then had little direct contact with the printed book. And the printing machine itself was not fundamentally improved upon for the first 350 years of its existence.

But today is different.

How quickly, how irrevocably, this kills that. Since ours is truly a single moment and not an era, scholars who specialize in fifteenth-century history may be able to make only partial comparisons with the landscape we’re trekking through. While writing this book, I found it necessary to consult also with neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychologists, technology gurus, literature professors, librarians, computer scientists, and more than a few random acquaintances who were willing to share their war stories. And all these folk, moving down their various roads, at last crossed paths— in that place called Absence. It was an idea of absence that seemed to come up time and again. Every expert, every scientist, and every friend I spoke with had a device in his or her pocket that could funnel a planet’s worth of unabridged, incomprehensible clamor. Yet it was absence that unified the elegies I heard.

***

The change with Gutenberg was so total that it became a lens through which we view the world. “The gains the press yielded,” Harris writes, “are mammoth and essential to our lives.” Yet each new technology — from the written word to Twitter — is both an opportunity for something new and an opportunity to give something up.

In Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan wrote that: “a new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace.”

New mediums that become successful subjugate the older ones. It “never ceases to oppress the older media until it finds new shapes and positions for them.”

Harris challenges us: “As we embrace a technology’s gifts, we usually fail to consider what they ask from us in return—the subtle, hardly noticeable payments we make in exchange for their marvellous service.”

We don’t notice, for example , that the gaps in our schedules have disappeared because we’re too busy delighting in the amusements that fill them. We forget the games that childhood boredom forged because boredom itself has been outlawed. Why would we bother to register the end of solitude, of ignorance, of lack? Why would we care that an absence has disappeared?

The more I thought about this seismic shift in our lives— our rapid movement toward online experience and away from rarer, concrete things— the more I wanted to understand the nature of the experience itself. How does it feel to live through our own Gutenberg moment? How does it feel to be the only people in history to know life with and without the Internet?

After a month long break from the Internet, Harris emerges without an epiphany. “But it’s the break itself that’s the thing. It’s the break—that is, the questioning—that snaps us out of the spell, that can convince us that it was a spell in the first place,” he writes. While he doesn’t propose taking a month off, he does propose the occasional break: “I think what you get is a richer interior light and the ability to see yourself in a critical light, living online. Because if you’re in the middle of something you can never see it properly.”

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection urges us to remain aware of what came before and “to again take pleasure in absence.”


Brought to you by: CURIOSITY: A curiously unconventional ad agency that helps you stand out in today’s crowded world.
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1336 on: August 27, 2014, 10:57:27 PM »

I do think that there are some very deleterious effects on kids that have been born within the last 15 years that can be observed and traced back to the Internet, video games, and social media.  While I agree that these things are not necessarily bad in and of themselves, moderation in everything is the key, IMHO.  Most people, for example - even of my generation (I'm 52) - find the idea of being alone with only their thoughts for more than about 5 minutes very unpleasant.  Based upon my observation, this has become much more widespread since the advent of the Internet, as the author describes.

Those people (myself included) who actually enjoy solitude for moderate amounts of time (anywhere from 4 hours to a couple of days) have always been in the minority in my experience.  I'd estimate those folks comprise less than 5% of the American population.  Since I haven't travelled much outside the U.S., I can't say if this is true world-wide.  I've found that most people have a need for constant stimulation/entertainment of some sort. I can only say that for my own mental equilibrium, regular periods of solitude and contemplation are important.

I'm interested in what other members of this forum think...
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1337 on: August 27, 2014, 11:16:27 PM »

Amongst Carl Jung's various theories was one which said the people have four basic functions of which one is dominant:  Thinking (about 10% of the population IIRC) feeling (about 60%?) sensation, and intuition and are either introverted or extroverted.  This makes for 8 basic personality types, and as the theory is fleshed out it becomes 16 or 32.  (The Briggs-Meyer personality test and various others are based upon this work)

From the sound of your description, you are an introvert.

(Tangent:  In our hands, usually there are three major lines.  Do the bottom and middle line come together or not?)



Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12056


« Reply #1338 on: August 27, 2014, 11:43:16 PM »

Amongst Carl Jung's various theories was one which said the people have four basic functions of which one is dominant:  Thinking (about 10% of the population IIRC) feeling (about 60%?) sensation, and intuition and are either introverted or extroverted.  This makes for 8 basic personality types, and as the theory is fleshed out it becomes 16 or 32.  (The Briggs-Meyer personality test and various others are based upon this work)

From the sound of your description, you are an introvert.

(Tangent:  In our hands, usually there are three major lines.  Do the bottom and middle line come together or not?)


INTJ and palm reading is silly.

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12056


« Reply #1339 on: August 28, 2014, 12:58:20 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/386305/key-demographic-americas-wrong-information-voters-jim-geraghty

I'm less concerned about the impact of technology and far more concerned by the rise of stupidity in this country. We are becoming Idiocracy more and more every day.
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1340 on: August 28, 2014, 07:22:47 AM »

GM:

I agree wholeheartedly with you.  I was simply indulging Crafty in the interesting, if somewhat non-pragmatic discussion he started with his last post here  grin
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1341 on: August 28, 2014, 10:25:46 AM »

Objectivist:

"Those people (myself included) who actually enjoy solitude for moderate amounts of time (anywhere from 4 hours to a couple of days) have always been in the minority in my experience."

Just reminds me of watching part of the cable biography on Einstein the other day (again) and how he would sit or days, weeks, months in solitude working out his theoretical problems.

I've read Newton was the same way.   Barely eat or bathe.  Just shut themselves in a room and with brute force of indomitable will come up with theories that could explain the physical world and consequently humanity forever.

Now people like that probably use computers to boost their efficiencies to do the same thing.    The rest of us just cruise around on social or other entertainment type media allowing it to direct our thoughts to some extent.   Free association from our own imaginations is influenced by what we see on the screen.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1342 on: August 28, 2014, 10:33:12 AM »

1)  There are two methods "palmistry" and "hand reading".  The two are quite distinct.  I learned a fair amount of the latter from Top Dog.  It was, and presumably still is, wonderful for picking up girls. 

2) It also presents itself as an empirical method, hence my as of yet unanswered question to Obj.

3) I'd say we are plenty serious around here and that a moment of levity is a good thing.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4094


« Reply #1343 on: August 28, 2014, 10:38:19 AM »

"It was, and presumably still is, wonderful for picking up girls."

Once on the Atlantic City boardwalk a date and I stopped into a palm readers salon.   We each went in separately.  I cannot even remember what I was told.  Yet my date came out all anxious and silent.  I asked her what happened. She refused to tell me.   She was horrified.   I never learned what that gypsy dressed witch said to her.

Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 563


« Reply #1344 on: August 28, 2014, 10:53:48 AM »

Crafty:

Agreed - levity is welcome.  The bottom and middle lines DO NOT come together on my palms.  Therefore...?
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1345 on: August 28, 2014, 12:15:17 PM »

Therefore the theory, or my diagnosis of you as an introvert, is wrong in your case.  In introverts the lines are supposed to come together.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1346 on: August 28, 2014, 12:16:26 PM »

Again, gypsy palmistry and hand reading (note, NOT palm reading) are NOT the same thing at all.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12056


« Reply #1347 on: August 29, 2014, 09:02:16 AM »

1)  There are two methods "palmistry" and "hand reading".  The two are quite distinct.  I learned a fair amount of the latter from Top Dog.  It was, and presumably still is, wonderful for picking up girls. 





You could always ask them their sign and show them your mood ring.  grin
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31323


« Reply #1348 on: August 29, 2014, 09:13:00 AM »

Hand reading was an AWESOME way of meeting women for me.  You hold their hand and talk about their favorite subject--themselves.  When I would do this at a bar sometimes I had a number of others competing to be next to be read.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12056


« Reply #1349 on: August 29, 2014, 09:42:57 AM »

I don't doubt it. I do doubt the validity of it as a method for personality analysis.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 25 26 [27] 28 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!