Here’s the Secretary of State for the great state of Kentucky, and senatorial candidate, opining on the wonder of the Israelis Iron Dome missile defense system:
The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in…
Now, does this mean that Grimes is stupid? No, but let’s apply the fairness doctrine here and compare this to the excoriation of Sarah Palin after she said she had some knowledge of the Russians during an ABC interview. The actual quote, not the Saturday Night Live one –
They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska…
Alaskan state government doesn’t do any direct negotiations with Russia, that is the purview of the federal government, but Alaskan state politics has long been concerned with security, and with economic competition in the areas of oil and natural gas production with Russia. It’s pretty easy to imagine Palin assumed people would realize that as governor of Alaska, she might have some knowledge of Russian-American relations, just as a governor in the southwest should be expected to have some knowledge of the state of the Mexican border. Instead, Palin was touted as stupid and uneducated.
That brings us back to Grimes. Instead of saying, “Nope, I was completely misinformed about Israel because i just ape the talking points the party gives me” — which I doubt would actually hurt a candidate in this age of stunningly opinionated, yet uninformed youths — she trotted this out:
“The Iron Dome is an integral part of Israel’s defense system which allows them to defend themselves against missiles and focus their efforts on eradicating the terrorists who try to tunnel their way in…”
Fair enough. Maybe she misspoke. I mean the president visited 57 states in this nation with a constitution that is 20 centuries old. (I think Cicero help out with the writing…), so it’s possible, when racing from one fund-raiser to another that you might not think through your answer before engaging brain; we’ve all done it. And she is running against Mitch McConnell — a corrupt man who’s loss to the nation would not be mourned — so what the hell? What’s another idiot in Congress more or less?
Here’s Obama the lovable campaigner flashing — sorry, flashin’ — the smile.
See, he could just get so much done if Congress wasn’t so mad all the time. That lawsuit? Come on, come on, just help out a ll’l bit, yo. That separation of powers I’ve blatantly shattered multiple times over six years — that’s just a guideline, guys. (Andrew Jackson thought the same thing, when the Indians of northern Georgia were stubbornly trying to be good citizens…)
Hell, even Jonathan Turley — not a scion of conservative or libertarian politics, but an Obama supporter who teaches law at George Washington — testified to Congress that they had to shift off their fat asses and do something about presidential overreach before the legislature became a paper tiger, and the republic a dictatorship.
It was a position Obama allegedly agreed with before he got to be the man in charge, proving Lord Acton correct.
Power tends to corrupt, and ultimate power corrupts ultimately…
Gallup released it’s latest poll asking, “Should smoking in all public places be banned, or not?” The response:
The proper — and until Americans got all Euro schoolmarmish, obvious – response is “No.” This comes from a non-smoker who hates cigarette smoke…but I’m also not a whinging pussy who has to support curtailing other people’s activities for my own comfort.
Funnily, the open-minded idiots below the age of 30 who gave us the worse leader since Nero seem to be the biggest supporters of a ban, with 19% of the people surveyed saying smoking should be totally banned. Because that’s worked so well with alcohol in the 1920s and drugs since 1970.
That’s called being tolerant.
Here’s Granma Botox talking about missiles, return addresses, uhs, and how the Qataris assure her Hamas is a “humanitarian organization” — which is entirely possible in Muslim thinking, since anyone outside dar al’Islam isn’t really “human”, per se. The level of stupid here is pretty high, but to be fair, it must be a delicate balancing act trying to appease Jewish donors and the big money coming out of the Hamas-supporting Muslim Brotherhood.
March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance was issued by the National Counterterrorism Center showing how people get put on the terrorist database, the no-fly lists. No evidence is needed. A sole White House officer can place entire categories of people on the list. Government officials can “nominate” people for the list based on “fragmentary information” (read: on a whim.)
Eric Holder, the ax-man for the administration, continued the Bush era secrecy around the nomination process with this tidbit: “The Watchlisting Guidance, although unclassified, contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.”
Or more to the point, could damage their ability to target people and groups that are unpalatable or in opposition to the semi-retired president and his collection of Chicago mafiosi. Just last year, 468,749 nominations saw only 4,915 were rejected.
Since The Intercept has already leaked the document online, and the destructive and capricious nature of the guidelines places Americans (and foreigners) at grave risk to their freedoms, I’m hosting a copy here and linking to The Intercept.
Like pornography, we all know it when we see it. That point where it went from a simple attempt to restrain to beating the crap out of some poor mook because they’ve got badges and guns, and a state-issues monopoly of the legitimacy of violence.
That legitimacy, however, comes from the people, not the state. They get to revoke it. Witness:
Flee, Bostonians! Disaster is headed your way! “The unusual public criticism by police chiefs comes after the Senate last week voted to remove a House provision giving chiefs discretion to deny firearms identification cards, required to buy shotguns and rifles, to people they deem unsuitable. They now have that discretion over licenses to carry handguns.”
“Are people really going to be any less dead if they’re killed with a rifle or a shotgun than a handgun?” railed Police Chief Terry Cunningham of Wellesley. Well, no, Chiefie — but, oops! according to the FBI’s crime statistics bureau, 323 murders were committed in 2011 with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs. The ratio hasn’t changed much. That’s 323 out of 2.5 million deaths a year.
What’s the point, Scott? That means people aren’t running around killing folks in Boston with rifles and shotguns, because 1) they’re heavy, 2) they’re not the most inconspicuous of weapons, now, are they?, which leads to 3) they’re much more likely to have a couple of trigger happy BPD officers close their eyes before they can use their violence on unsuspecting citizens. It’s not an issue. The police just want to arbitrarily decide who gets to have a gun…
Like this guy:
He looks like a fucking James Bond villain! What heinous crime did this man commit to be photographed in a courthouse in such a swanky suit? Murder? Pedophilia? Talking in a movie theater? NO — this is the Boston Police Commissioner, William Evans. This is the guy they brought in to flood the streets of Boston after the Marathon Bombing with hordes of armor-wearing thugs going house to house and violating people’s Fourth Amendment rights. Certainly he isn’t trying to take your guns away.
Have another look: the hatred of pretty much anything to do with life is written over his sepulchral face. Yet, this guy thinks the police need more power to seize guns. So only people like him have guns. Feeling safer?
“Having long guns–rifles and shotguns–especially here in the city of Boston, I think we should have, as the local authority, some say in the matter,” said the Sean Penn impersonator to Boston Public Radio (WGBH) on July 23. “For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun. Nobody needs a rifle.”
Thanks, Red Skull, but I think the people get to make that decision. Part of the freedom thing…oh, you’ve not heard of it? No surprise there.
Now, Erik Blake of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association tells us they only want the police to have discretion on firearms identification cards. “It’s not about being capricious or arbitrary or taking away people’s rights…’” So rest easy, peons, and give us your guns before we send Commissioner Evans over to hide in your bushes and scare the shit out of your kids.
To give the police their due, the excuse used by these elected halfwits is pretty laughable. “A lot of members felt that since the focus of that was on long guns, which is basically what people use for recreation and sport, there were sufficient controls through the federal criteria and therefore it was not necessary” You mean the same criteria used by the federal government to approve legal handgun sales, Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg (D, Amherst)? Wouldn’t that suggest that the police discretion for handgun licenses might be equally stupid? Because we know that all those illegal guns…those people aren’t carrying because, shit! they’d be breaking the law!
“Joseph Miller”, a nom de plume for “a ranking Department of Defense” official has an opinion piece out regarding the prospect of Senator Rand Paul running for president. Why Rand Paul’s Ideas Scare Me — And Why They Should Scare You is a typical scare piece from the military/law-enforcement/intelligence-industrial complex, and a completely inappropriate step into electoral politics for the bureaucracy.
While “Miller” ‘s opinions have some merit — the world should think that the United States is ready to throw down over an issue, but as Reagan showed, having people you’re just nuts enough to nuke the planet doesn’t mean you have to do that. Other than a few select actions, Reagan was careful to avoid direct conflict while talking tough. As with the current president, Paul’s statements show a reticence to use military force — a position that can be construed as weakness. (See the current Ukrainian situation.)
His position is in sync with the American people, which the “Miller” points out, then dismisses as naive.
The problem is not the sentiment, which is shared by a large number of Americans: The problem is that any decision on what military resources the United States is willing to bring to bear on its sworn enemies must not come based on some campaign commitment, but based on what the U.S., dealing with real-time facts, has decided its mission is; and what tools U.S. leadership has decided are required to achieve them.
After all, the 307 million or so people he works for — their opinions don’t matter. He’s the “expert.” Probably one of the same that saw nuclear weapons in Iraq. Worse is the assumption that the missions decided upon by the “U.S.” exclude the civilian leadership. That would be the administration, not the bureaucracy. Unfortunately, the various bureaucracies now see themselves as the drivers of policy, not the administration or legislature.
The problem is that Paul cannot seem to differentiate what U.S. national security interests are any more so than Obama can, though Paul does so in the name of a noninterventionist dogma…
After all, Paul is not an “expert.” More importantly, his policies would mean a dramatic reduction of money for the military, their contractors, and could endanger the massive, profitable police militarization programs that are a spin-off of the Terror War.
“Miller” is also obsessed with the collapse of the US puppet governments in Afghanistan and Iraq — situations that were almost certain to occur as soon as American troops left the area (as any historian of the region or intelligence analyst below the rank of lieutenant could have predicted.) The dominos, we are assured, are falling — just as they were in 1961, after we lost China, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. This trend, the “expert” assures us, will lead to certain, imminent threats to our nation.
What “Miller” and the big warfare types miss is, historically, there are two factors that lead inevitably to the collapse of an empire or hegemon…1) massive military campaigns, and 2) large scale public welfare programs. Egypt, Athens, Rome, the Carolingians, Spain, France, Britain — constant war and expensive monuments eat the state up from the inside and make it weak to outside attacks. The Cato Institute shows us what this looks like:
The failure of policy is Afghanistan and Iraq was due to colonial dreams of creating stable nations from cultures that had no real cultural capital regarding self-ownership, freedom of expression, free trade, or representative government. The expansion of the Terror War into Africa and Yemen has not destroyed al-Qaida or other Islamic terror groups because the strategy is not to destroy them, but contain them and keep the money and influence flowing to the DoD and their contractors.
It’s welfare for warfare.
“Miller”, as well as other warfare-welfare sock puppets Dick “Sorry I shot you, dude” Cheney, John “Angry Gnome” and Newt Gingrich assert that the world is more dangerous and unstable than ever before, but the facts do not bear this out. 1) Wars are less deadly than ever before (which also makes them more palatable for long-term conflict…)
But, Scott, those numbers stop at 2008! True — and averaging out the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, we still do not top the violence of the 1990s, and is nowhere near the levels of the period of classic socialist state violence in the 1940s and 1950s. As for terrorism, the deaths are still lower than that of 2001.
The hawks are wrong — we are safer than we’ve been for a decade. Does that mean we should be less vigilante about monitoring events in the world — absolutely not. Should we be involving ourselves in the internal affairs of other nations? How did that go in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan..? Do we need to be spying on every cell phone and internet user in the United States? No.
But where “Miller” is right — we should look like we’re ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. That might make a politician like Obama, Paul, or (Gary) Johnson look weak internationally, and this can entice our enemies to action. But it is imperative that we strengthen the country internally, and to do that we have to cut our spending dramatically — both on military adventurism, and personal and corporate welfare; reduce harmful regulation by cutting the size of the federal government; and strengthen our nation’s identity by divisive racial and gender politics.