Date ►►► February 28, 2011

Mush From the Wimpess

Hatched by Dafydd

Over at Power Line, the lads have a long-running (since at least 2004!) series of posts all titled with variations on "Mush From the Wimp" -- a 1980 joke headline that accidentally ran as-is in the Boston Globe, atop an editorial about new austerity measures demanded by then-President Jimmy "Boss Peanut" Carter.

Each post in the Power Line series highlights mushy, wimpy, incoherent, mealy mouthed, evasive, high-falutin', blame-shifting, disingenuous, deceitful, shifty-eyed, and bromidean bureaucratese, coming not just from Carter himself but from his semantically impared successors, including the current occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Well, neither Scott nor John, nor the dearly departed (and eventual prodigal returner) Paul, nor even the succession of guest bloggers at that site has any trademark on the phrase; Beldar has used it, and what's good enough for that rascally and irascible insurgent is good enough for me!

But first a counterexample of some plain speech from the man with convictions:

[British Prime Minister David Cameron] repeated his earlier call for Col Gaddafi to step down and said that all measures would be considered to increase pressure on him to go.

"We do not in any way rule out the use of military assets," Mr Cameron said.

"We must not tolerate this regime using military force against its own people. In that context I have asked the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone."

Simple; straightforward; direct; and anybody can understand it, especially Muammar "Muumuu" Gaddafi.

And now, the official American policy from our own Secretary of State, Hillary "Hell to Pay" Clinton, straight from her horsey mouth:

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, met with her counterparts from Europe and Russia on the sidelines of the UN meeting to discuss fresh measures to weaken Col Gaddafi's regime.

She said she had been seeking a consensus so that "we can better coordinate and organise in meeting the expectations laid down by the Security Council."

Of course, the former Fist Lady is only playing follow-the-misleader here; as reported in (ahem) Power Line as "More Slush From the Limp," here is the same policy, short-form, from her capo. If you truly want to torture yourself with Barack H. Obama's entire statement in long-form, click the "slither on;" but if you trust me to give you the Beau Gist, just keep reading:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Secretary Clinton and I just concluded a meeting that focused on the ongoing situation in Libya... working around the clock to monitor the situation... coordinate with our international partners about a way forward... my highest priority... urged our people to leave the country... all Americans should give thanks to the heroic work that's being done by our foreign service officers and the men and women serving in our embassies and consulates around the world... the very best of our country and its values... period of unrest and upheaval... maintained a set of core principles which guide our approach....

[W]e strongly condemn the use of violence... the suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable... violate international norms and every standard of common decency... violence must stop... universal rights of the Libyan people... these are human rights... not negotiable... cannot be denied through violence or suppression... volatile situation... imperative that the nations and peoples of the world speak with one voice... unanimous U.N. Security Council sent a clear message that it condemns the violence... accountability for the perpetrators... this same message, by the way, has been delivered by the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and many individual nations... north and south, east and west, voices are being raised together to oppose suppression and support the rights of the Libyan people....

[P]repare the full range of options... actions we may take and those we will coordinate with our allies and partners... responsibility to refrain from violence... humanitarian assistance... held accountable... continued violations of human rights... entire world is watching... coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community... intensify our consultations with allies and partners... consultations with her counterparts on events throughout the region and continue to ensure that we join with the international community to speak with one voice... urgent situation... how the international community can most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt.

So let me be clear... change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region... the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life... the most basic of aspirations... time of transition... stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people.

Thank you very much.

Slushy mush from the limp wimp, to be sure. Or to quote from an altogether unmushian antiwimp pen-named Lewis Carroll...

This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.

Or in this case, perhaps the better term would be -- toot his own horn. Brave words from America's first International-Community Organizer in Chief!

Really? You don't believe me, and you're really going to read the whole thing? Well you're a better man than I am, Doubting Din:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Secretary Clinton and I just concluded a meeting that focused on the ongoing situation in Libya. Over the last few days, my national security team has been working around the clock to monitor the situation there and to coordinate with our international partners about a way forward.

First, we are doing everything we can to protect American citizens. That is my highest priority. In Libya, we've urged our people to leave the country and the State Department is assisting those in need of support. Meanwhile, I think all Americans should give thanks to the heroic work that's being done by our foreign service officers and the men and women serving in our embassies and consulates around the world. They represent the very best of our country and its values.

Now, throughout this period of unrest and upheaval across the region the United States has maintained a set of core principles which guide our approach. These principles apply to the situation in Libya. As I said last week, we strongly condemn the use of violence in Libya.

The American people extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all who’ve been killed and injured. The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of Libya. These actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. This violence must stop.

The United States also strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people. That includes the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. They are not negotiable. They must be respected in every country. And they cannot be denied through violence or suppression.

In a volatile situation like this one, it is imperative that the nations and peoples of the world speak with one voice, and that has been our focus. Yesterday a unanimous U.N. Security Council sent a clear message that it condemns the violence in Libya, supports accountability for the perpetrators, and stands with the Libyan people.

This same message, by the way, has been delivered by the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and many individual nations. North and south, east and west, voices are being raised together to oppose suppression and support the rights of the Libyan people.

I’ve also asked my administration to prepare the full range of options that we have to respond to this crisis. This includes those actions we may take and those we will coordinate with our allies and partners, or those that we’ll carry out through multilateral institutions.

Like all governments, the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need, and to respect the rights of its people. It must be held accountable for its failure to meet those responsibilities, and face the cost of continued violations of human rights.

This is not simply a concern of the United States. The entire world is watching, and we will coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community. To that end, Secretary Clinton and I have asked Bill Burns, our Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, to make several stops in Europe and the region to intensify our consultations with allies and partners about the situation in Libya.

I’ve also asked Secretary Clinton to travel to Geneva on Monday, where a number of foreign ministers will convene for a session of the Human Rights Council. There she’ll hold consultations with her counterparts on events throughout the region and continue to ensure that we join with the international community to speak with one voice to the government and the people of Libya.

And even as we are focused on the urgent situation in Libya, let me just say that our efforts continue to address the events taking place elsewhere, including how the international community can most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt.

So let me be clear. The change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region. This change doesn’t represent the work of the United States or any foreign power. It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life.

As one Libyan said, "We just want to be able to live like human beings." We just want to be able to live like human beings. It is the most basic of aspirations that is driving this change. And throughout this time of transition, the United States will continue to stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people.

Thank you very much.

Happy now?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 28, 2011, at the time of 2:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 24, 2011

Misrule by Decree

Hatched by Dafydd

Yesterday, President Barack H. Obama decreed that the popular surge for restricting marriage to the traditional definition was unconstitutional; further, that the popular Defense of Marriage Act was likewise unconstitutional; and he forbade his racially discriminatory Attorney General, Eric Holder, from defending any anti-DOMA lawsuit that disgruntled gay activists might bring:

“The president has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny,” Mr. Holder said. “The president has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the president has instructed the department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the president’s determination.”

All I can say is -- thank goodness! Three cheers for Obama's moral resolve and newly grown spine -- because that smirking trick of his clears the decks for for legal challenges to be answered by attorneys for House and Senate Republicans, who actually support traditional marriage and oppose the same-sex inversion of marriage.

And before going one nanometer further, I once again strongly support and defend both the repeal of Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of forcing gays in the military to remain in the closet, and also the seminal U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas overturning all "anti-sodomy" state and federal laws. In other words, I have not budged on any of my positions:

  • I support allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
  • I support the fundamental liberty of consenting adults to have any kind of sex they want, so long as it does not cross the line into assault, battery, homicide, or public exhibition.
  • But I completely and adamantly oppose instituting same-sex marriage (SSM).

Back to Lucky Lefty, the Obamunist. Note the traditional liberal hubris and megalomania: First, he is not content to leave findings of constitutionality to the courts; Obama has discovered somewhere in Article II of the Constitution a clause that allows him to nullify, by presidential diktat, any federal law he dislikes, even though duly enacted by Congress and signed by the president. Second, he seemingly could not care less what voters in the United States think about the definition of marriage; he has concluded that SSM is cool with him, and the rest of us should simply fall in line.

But it's not as if he even believes that he can prevent such defenses, thus forcing -- as the state of California and its new (and its former) governor are trying -- to deny all potential defenders standing, then eighty-six the laws due to lack of defense. Rather, the administration seems almost giddy at the thought of Congress defending traditional marriage, while the president attacks it:

The decision effectively throws the defense of DOMA into the lap of Congress, which can instruct its own attorneys to defend federal laws. Mr. Holder said he had informed members of Congress of the decision so that “members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option.”

Supporters of traditional marriage immediately called on the Republican-majority House to intervene in the DOMA lawsuits.

“With this decision, the president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president’s neglect of duty.”

Many on the left are likewise giddy to the point of vertigo, calling the president's principled act of unprinciple a tremendous victory for the forces of radicalism and transformation, hastening the eventual Europeanization of the United States.

But not so fast; lefties may be missing the point.

When the Attorney General or the Soliciter General of the United States undertakes to defend a law under constitutional assault, the courts surely consider that defense much more seriously than some outside, third-party, amicus curae brief; I'm sure they privilege those arguments, since it's the official policy of the United States. Thus, if the administration's defense is deliberately lame and incomplete, the law stands in grave danger of being overturned... even if a better argument was available but unused.

And evidently, the administration has been doing exactly that, offering an intentionally impaired defense of DOMA while ignoring winning arguments that have prevailed in state cases, hoping that the feds' feeble efforts will "fail" to uphold DOMA; the crafty Obamunists will then have gotten a major policy change while leaving their own hands clean, thus sidestepping voter vengeance:

While it was sudden, Wednesday’s move did not come out of nowhere. Opponents of same-sex marriage had grown increasingly frustrated with the administration for what they called its underzealous defense of DOMA and its omission of key arguments.

In a brief filed Jan. 13 in defense of DOMA at the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department states that “the administration supports repealing DOMA,” but that the department must do its job to defend the law “as long as reasonable arguments can be made in support of their constitutionality.”

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, told The Washington Times recently that he suspected the administration of purposely tanking its case.

“They purposely avoid arguments that are winning time and time again in court,” he said. “Even scholars on the other side of this issue have said, ‘What is going on here is wrong.’ Anyone who cares about constitutional government should be very concerned about what’s happening in the DOMA case.”

But Obama, Holder, and the entire administration are now openly at war with traditional marriage while aiding and abetting same-sex marriage, and congressional conservatives have been given the green light to vigorously defend the sanctity and necessity of a legal marriage being between one man and one woman. That very fact means that DOMA has a much greater opportunity to be upheld yet again.

Inadvertently, the tremendous victory is ours, not theirs, a gift from the smug and cocky Left. As usual, "Progressivism" overreaches and draws back a stump, setting itself up for voter blowback as well.

Thank you, mask man!

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 24, 2011, at the time of 6:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 20, 2011

Transparent Baloney

Hatched by Dafydd

Wanna see the whole problem with Obamanomics in a knothole, and with Democratic/Progressivist/socialist economics in general? Take a look at this and see if you can spot what's wrong with the picture:

The latest congressional showdown centers on spending for the current fiscal year, which is one-third over. House Republicans have promised to cut $60 billion from "discretionary non-security" programs. Those programs comprise only 12 per cent of the entire budget, and they exclude items such as the military, Social Security and Medicare, the government program that provides health care coverage for the elderly.

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats say such cuts would be reckless and damaging at a time when the economic recovery remains fragile. They want to freeze discretionary, non-security spending at current levels for five years. That would slow or halt the typical annual climb, but Republicans say it's not enough....

At his news conference last week, Obama chastised both parties for even talking about a shutdown.

Federal spending must be tamed, the president said, but "let's use a scalpel. Let's not use a machete. And if we do that, there should be no reason at all for a government shutdown."

If you're not quite sure what I'm getting at, perhaps it would help to remind you that the current budget -- the one from which we're talking about cutting $60 billion -- is about $3.5 trillion... or to put it another way, about $3,500 billion.

If you're still stumped, then I suspect you're one of the few Democrats who reads Big Lizards! Here is the key: $60 billion constitutes less than 1.8% of the federal budget.

If Barack H. Obama considers 1.8% a "machete," then the "scalpel" he's thinking of must be a strand of monomolecular wire from Larry Niven's science-fiction stories. Just how thin and transparent does the president believe he can shave the baloney before the customers tar and feather him and ride him out of town on a rail?

But wait -- these reductions are taken entirely from "discretionary non-security" federal spending. Might the GOP cuts be huge and drastic compared to that one sliver of the budget?

By my calculations, that portion is a scant $609 billion. Yet the $60 billion Republicans want to cut still constitutes less than 10% of "discretionary non-security" spending alone. Evidently, even that's far more than the Left can tolerate.

Therefore I conclude that in reality, the deepest "cuts" Democrats will ever accept would be a modest decrease... in their proposed rate of increase of federal spending. And there's yer problem light there: The gap between Capitalist and socialist economics isn't sixty billion dollars; it's sixty lightyears.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 20, 2011, at the time of 5:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 19, 2011

Munching Czardines

Hatched by Dafydd

Buried in the midst of the wave of cutting and defunding finally coming from House Republicans was a squib you might not have seen:

Republicans successfully added an amendment to the continuing resolution that would leave President Barack Obama’s senior advisers on policy issues including health care, energy and others out of a job.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) offered the amendment that blocks funding for various policy advisers to combat what he called “a very disturbing proliferation of czars” under Obama.

“These unappointed, unaccountable people who are literally running a shadow government, heading up these little fiefdoms that nobody can really seem to identify where they are or what they’re doing,” Scalise said Thursday. “But we do know that they’re wielding vast amounts of power.”

In particular, nine named positions are defunded in Scalise's successful scrubbing of the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2011:

  • Auto industry manufacturing policy czar
  • Climate-change special-envoy czar
  • Energy and climate czar
  • FCC diversity czar
  • Green jobs czar
  • Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility closure czar
  • Health-care czar
  • TARP executive-compensation oversight czar
  • Urban affairs czar

But Scalise promises more cuts to come:

“This is the first round,” said Scalise, who knows his amendment faces a tough battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate. “I think we sent a strong message last night. The fact that it was such an overwhelming, bipartisan vote tells not only the president, but the Senate, that we’re serious about this.

I have been as disturbed by the rash of czars, czarinas, and czardines appointed by President Barack H. Obama for the sole and radical purpose of bypassing congressional oversight as I have of the madcap spending and attempts to regulate all aspects of human life in America.

In fact, these very czars have been the vanguard of the "transformative" revolution of Obamunism:

  • Outgoing Energy and Climate Czarina Carol Browner attempted to implement "cap and tax" by stealth regulation after Congress -- the massively Democratic Congress of last year -- refused to pass it.
  • Former energy czar Van Jones praised Communism, supported convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, and may (or may not) have signed a petition suggesting that the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks (Jones denies it).
  • According to the Newsmax piece, Mark Lloyd, the FCC diversity czar, "cites author and radical organizer Saul Alinsky as a source of inspiration, and has praised Venezuela President Hugo Chavez for his 'incredible' attainment of a 'democratic revolution.' He favors re-implementation of the Fairness Doctrine through what is known as local-content restrictions, and has called Thomas Jefferson’s maxim 'That government is best which governs least' an 'outdated canard.'"

I think you get the picture. The policy of appointing "czars," answerable only to Obama himself, to circumvent the United States Constitution is literally unAmerican; it is an affront to the liberty protected by what is supposed to be a limited government of checks and balances (another "outdated canard," I suppose). I say good riddence to bad rubbish.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 19, 2011, at the time of 4:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 17, 2011

The "Hair On Fire" Presidency

Hatched by Sachi

This post is a collaboration between Sachi and Dafydd.

It seems that whenever the administration of Barack H. Obama implements a new policy, it always fits one of two modes:

  1. Either another radical, revolutionary, leftist assault against traditional America, intended to transform us into a Euro-emulating, liberal-fascist, internationalist State;
  2. Or a belated, unplanned, spasmotic reaction to some "unexpected" event, giving clear indication that the issue has never before come up in cabinet meetings, and on which the administration is an utterly blank slate.

Since we and everybody else have beaten the "transformative" policies to death, let's talk about Mode 2, for a change. Let's call them Unpremeditated Policies, or UPsies (pronounced "oopsies"); they play out in an easily detected pattern:

  1. A major, game-changing event occurs that catches Barack H. Obama and his entire administration completely by surprise. (This is not difficult to do.)
  2. Exasperated at the interruption to the smooth transmogification of America that he evisions, his first step is to completely ignore the rhinoceros in the Jacuzzi. ("Nothing to see here, folks; just step lively to your left.")
  3. When ignoring the best fails to make it slink away, when things go from bad to worse to worst, Obama panics. He makes an instantaneous decision -- and mandates the first policy response that pops into his smooth and unwrinkled cerebral cortex. ("Quick, somebody -- get a brush and paint that rhinoceros green!")

He (Obama, not the rhinoceros) doesn't bother to debate the situation; consult experts; formulate a plan; determine if there already is a plan from "the previous administration;" caculate how to make disparate special-interest groups follow the plan; or even mentally work through the event step by step, envisioning the response and the likely consequences or counter-responses; those activities he reserves for his Grand Transformational Strategy. He simply issues a decree off the top of his rapidly graying head and turns his attention back to the next element of the "vision."

  1. When the "instacision" turns out to be even worse than ignoring the crisis, as is invariably the case, he digs in his heels ("no more Mr. Nice Guy!")

Since Obama is the smartest man in the room -- every room, every day, a legend in his own mind -- he cannot be wrong. As he is the Right Man, dissenters must necessarily the be wrong men. The enraged, half-painted rhino can only be rampaging through the pool party due to either treachery from Republicans, non-assimilated Democrats, Big Capitalism, unreconstructed Christians, the Jewish Lobby, or embittered people clinging to God and guns; or else (b) rank stupidity on the part of everybody in America except the Obamunist himself (appease be upon him).

Exasperated, befuddled, in a pet, President B.O. sets out to resolve the most urgent element of the crisis: fixing blame:

  1. He sends his surrogates out, and he himself hits the airwaves, to lecture America on why his decision really ought to have worked, and how the rest of us let him down.

If the situation finally resolves itself in a way that can be spun positively:

  1. (a) He triumphantly announces that his brilliant plan worked, thus vindicating his original decision.

But if the situation finally resolves itself in a way that not even Obama can pretend to like:

  1. (b) Then he hands it off to one of his many spokesmen, top aides, advisors, czars, czarinas, or czardines; and the surrogate makes a stealth reversal. ("As we warned Republicans from the very beginning, rhinos hate being painted green... you should have listened to us!")
  2. See option 6 (a) above.

Obama's instincts are generally very bad; so every snap reaction quickly morphs into a wild overreaction, without any consideration for the consequences. The administration more and more resembles a drunk driver veering wildly left and right with his foot pushing the accelerator practically through the floorboards in the mistaken impression that it's the brake. Let's shake out a few recent incidences, just to give you the flavor of this pattern...

The Sphinx spheax

One very good example of a presidential UPsie has been the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. We run through the pattern:

  1. The protests, strikes, and mounting rage throughout Egypt catch Obama totally off guard. It's foreign-policy stuff, which he doesn't do well under the best of circumstances; and in this case, he had no plan what to do in the event that the Mubarak regime was threatened.
  2. For more than a week, he utterly ignores what's going on. Complete radio silence while he hopes the angry mobs with torches and pitchforks just fade away naturally, allowing the great man to return to destroying the fossil-fuel industry, mandating union membership for every person in America (especially children), driving private health insurance out of the country, and all his other plans to create paradise on Earth.
  3. When his lofty refusal to recognize that the peons are revolting, Obama makes the snap decision to give a speech (his favorite solution for everything!) democracy Democracy Now!; the vox populi must reign supreme throughout the land. Immediately. Yesterday.
  4. Soon it becomes clear that the Muslim Brotherhood has become a major player in the revolution. Things appear to be going downhill rapidly, in despite of the leader's speech. So Obama doubles down, announcing (through selective leaks) that his administration is now working with the Brothers to incorporate them into a new government. After all, they've "renounced violence" and become completely "secular." ("Who are you to argue with me? Can you unionize Leviathan by a fishhook?")
  5. The administration announces that Obama's brilliant speech and devilishly clever diplomacy is working: Mubarak is about to resign and hand over power to his new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, in an orderly succession. Suleiman and the parliament -- with help from the Muslim Brotherhood -- will then immediately meet to implement all the demands of the Egyptian community organizers protesters, and real democracy will prevail... a much greater achievement than anything the previous administration did in the Middle East.
  6. (a) But Mubarak unexpectedly refuses to leave. Whirling like a Dervish, the administration tells reporters that it was betrayed by Mubarak, by Suleiman, and by the incompetent intelligence officers of the United States.
  7. (b) The next day, when the Egyptian army executes a coup d'état against Mubarak (at the behest of the Egyptian protesters), the administration flacks triumphantly announce that in response to Obama's speech -- and just as Obama predicted -- the army had ousted Mubarak, seized control, shut out Omar Suleiman, and now proposes to overthrow the entire regime that has lasted since Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956 and replace it with a "democratic" government.

Obama stands atop a gilded pillar, arms akimbo, with rainbow-colored light radiating from behind his head. Greatness has triumphed again!

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man called Barack...

Here is another UPsie to ponder; by now, the pattern should be familiar:

Consider the British Petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For ten days following the deadly April 20th explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, the president and his administration did -- nothing. Absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, an underwater oil gusher was pumping millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf.

Besides doing nothing, they went to great pains to ensure that nobody else did anything either. In this case, the brain freeze typical to UPsies was so severe, every other body, public and private, that could have done something constructive was ordered to freeze as well.

We normally don't quote from WikiPedia, but this summary is so succinct, it's hard to top it:

Three days after the oil spill began, the Netherlands offered to donate the use of ships equipped to handle very large scale spills.

The Netherlands also offered to prepare a contingency plan to protect Louisiana marshlands with sand barriers and a Dutch research institute developed a strategy to begin building 60 mile-long (100 km) dikes within three weeks. According to Geert Visser, Dutch Consul-General, the U.S. government responded to the Dutch offer with "Thanks for your help, but at the moment we can manage ourselves", despite BP's desire to bring in the Dutch equipment. [Note that by "manage ourselves," the president meant "do absolutely nothing while watching the Gulf ecology die". -- Big Lizards] US regulations require that oil-contaminated water must be stored onboard in US waters. The Dutch vessels continuously extract the majority of the oil, but the water that returns to the ocean does not comply with the U.S. standard. [So we would rather all the oil remained in the Gulf, rather than extract most of it and allow a tiny dribble to be squirted back into the ocean. American environmentalism strikes again! -- Big Lizards].... The US later relaxed its requirements and took the Dutch up on part of their offer, airlifting Dutch equipment to the Gulf and retrofitting it to U.S. vessels, where as of 10 June, it had not yet entered service. To avoid using Dutch ships and workers, the U.S. government asked them to train American workers to build the sand berms. [I suppose they were more thoroughly unionized. -- Big Lizards] According to Floris Van Hovell, a Dutch spokesman, Dutch dredging ships could complete the Louisiana berms twice as fast as the U.S. companies.

Then on April 30th, all hell broke loose. The Obamunist ordered an immediate and absolute "moratorium" on oil drilling in the Gulf; despite the fact that, since most of the Gulf is international waters, that snap decision had the net effect of banning only American companies (and a few foreign companies with significant American assets, including BP) from drilling... but leaving the underwater oil fields wide open to everyone else, from Mexico to Venezuela to Iran.

Obama later doubled down, defying a direct court order to lift the illegal moratorium. And now, as the Gulf recovers (and finds that some damage was not as great as the administration claimed), the Obama spokes-offices cite their leader's genius as having once again saved the world.

No load network

But let's talk about a third example, the WikiLeaks scandal; one of the authors of this post, Sachiko Yamada, has personal knowledge of the fallout from this fiasco.

LeaksGate follows the same pattern as the Mubarak ousting and the Gulf oil spill: a deer-in-headlights freeze up, followed by a thoughtless snap decision, hysterical overreaction, then triumphant self-aggrandizement that turns reality on its head.

In July of 2010, WikiLeaks posted over 90,000 highly sensitive diplomatic and military cables about the Afghanistan War, obtained (it seems at the moment) from an American traitor of the lofty rank of private first class. Then three months later, WikiLeaks leaked another 400,000 sensitive cables and documents, this time from the Iraq War.

For literally months, the administration had no reaction whatsoever, none. But then in December, after a third batch of leaks on November 28th, 2010 -- about which see below -- federal offices all over the world, including military facilities, received orders from the top of the chain: Effective immediately, nobody is allowed to download any data at all from the classified government internet.

To understand the impossibility of obeying such an ill-considered order, we need a little background:

The federal government has its own computer networks, both unclassified and classified. The classified network, SIPRNET (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network), is used to transmit classified information and host classified websites.

For security reasons, not all secret computers are physically connected to the SIPRNET; many offices have stand-alone secret computers which may be connected to a local area network (LAN), but are not connected to SIPR.

Until this order was promulgated, employees on classified projects did most of their work on their own stand-alone secret computers. When they needed to share files, as they often do (projects include many engineers, managers, and support personnel from several facilities), they had a secure protocol to follow:

  1. The sender copies the files to an authorized removable hard drive;
  2. He then uploads the relevant files to a computer that is attached to the SIRP network;
  3. Then he e-mails the files to another authorized SIPRNET user at some other facility;
  4. The recipient would then download the files from the SIPR computer onto an authorized external hard drive;
  5. Then the recipient uploads them to his own stand-alone computer.

Then, out of the blue, came the new orders... and now the vital Step 4 is forbidden: No longer can any file, whether classified or un-, whether attached to e-mail or downloaded from a secret website, be downloaded from the SIPRNET computer to a removable drive, thus to be transferred to a stand-alone machine.

You can imagine the stunned confusion this order creates. Suppose an employee needs to give a classified PowerPoint presentation to a meeting in a classified room which has no networked computers (that's true of most meeting rooms). Therefore, he must use a stand-alone secret computer to run the presentation.

Many different team members are working on pieces of the presentation all across the country, submitting their contributions via SIPRNET. Our employee's job is to collate and consolidate all these files to a single project -- which he must somehow transfer to the stand-alone in the meeting room.

But how? You can't disconnect the SIPRNET computer and lug it into the meeting room to show your presentation.

The order is absurd, self-defeating, and impossible to obey while still carrying out the very function it was designed to safeguard. It's like trying to stop drunk drivers by forbidding anyone to operate a motor vehicle within 20 miles of a building that contains liquor. You may as well just forbid all automobile travel; or in the present case, you may as well forbid all projects whose members are unable to personally carry their physical computers to the same meeting room.

Scrambling to make sense of the senseless, somebody somewhere offered a provision for exceptions; but the exception protocol is so larded down with a lengthy series of required permission slips that it doesn't help:

  • For urgent operational requirements, the exeptions protocol requires a digitally signed e-mail to be sent via SIPR by the unit commanding officer detailing why an exception to the order must be issued in the particular case.
  • If he or she isn't available, then the digitally disnged e-mail must be sent by the next officer up the chain of the rank O-6 or higher, or the civilian equivalent. (O-6 is a colonel in the Army, Marines, and Air Force or a Navy captain.)
  • For non-urgent operational requirements, Command must send a digitially signed e-mail through SIPR, filling out a lengthy exception form identifying the precise workstation computer from which the employee will download.
  • Then eventually, some technician will get around to going to that workstation and specifically resetting the machine's ability to download to removable media.
  • After which that employee can download the necessary files from that particular computer. But if that computer is unable to handle the files, the process starts all over again with a different SIPR networking station.

As anyone who has ever worked within the federal government understands only too well, this procedure can take days or even weeks, if it ever happens at all; the request form can also wind up buried on somebody's desk until the stars grow cold. So in reality, many if not most requests for exceptions, no matter how vital, will either be rejected or more likely simply disappear into the void, with nobody having a clue where they went.

Meanwhile, what happens to project meetings, many of which are called on a day's notice or even less, is anybody's guess.

But what cosmic stimulus triggered the Obama administration to issue the order in the first place? As the WikiLeaks meltdown ran its course, what caused the Obamacle to shift from stage 2 (ignore everything) to stage 3 (order the first "solution" that springs to mind)? Why after the November leak, but not after the leaks in July and October?

The earlier leaks outed sources and secret American agents, surely endangering hundreds of our military personnel and Afghan and Iraqi allies. Yet the Obama administration didn't seem concerned enough to react to leaks that merely undermined our war effort: It certainly didn't order any changes in the downloading of classified materials in July, August, September, or October.

So why did it fly into a tizzy in December, after the third leak? Why did the nomenklatura suddenly run wild in the streets with their hair on fire?

Perhaps this has something to so with it: Unlike the two earlier data dumps, November's leak exposed diplomatic cables, embarassing the administration and Barack H. Obama himself. The third set of leaks directly affected diplomats that Obama had appointed and even his own cabinet members; it was their e-mail conversations that went public. Returning to Wikipedia -- occasionally, for some purposes, it is the best source -- we get an excellent description of what must finally have moved the administration to try to "do something":

The contents of the U.S. diplomatic cables leak describe in detail events and incidents surrounding international affairs from 274 embassies dating from 28 December 1966 to 28 February 2010. The diplomatic cables revealed numerous unguarded comments and revelations: critiques and praises about the host countries of various U.S. embassies, discussion and resolutions towards ending ongoing tension in the Middle East, efforts for and resistance against nuclear disarmament, actions in the War on Terror, assessments of other threats around the world, dealings between various countries, U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence efforts, U.S. support of dictatorship and other diplomatic actions.

The leaked cables expose that British official revealed that diplomats of the U.S. and Britain eavesdropped on Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, even though international treaties prohibit spying at the UN. Further, they reveal that U.S. diplomats told an Afghan government official to keep quiet after they learned that a major U.S. government contractor firm was pimping little boys to be auctioned off to be raped by Afghan policemen in parties organized by the contractor.

(That last cable was dated June 24th, 2009, and the event itself occurred on April 11th, 2009 -- and who was President of the United States then?)

The panic was entirely avoidable, because the crisis of a severe leak was entirely forseeable. Rules were already in place to prevent that private from stealing classified data in the first place, since he certainly had no authorization or legitimate reason to download anything onto a removable drive. The security procedures specifically forbid using any removable hard drive except those maintained by the base itself, and there is an elaborate procedure for checking out a removable drive; had the existing rules been followed, the command would know that the private was misusing his access (which he shouldn't have had in the first place).

The problem wasn't in the rules themselves; the problem was inadequate supervision of personnel with security clearances, improper and ineffective security checking, and allowing completely open access to classified files that had nothing to do with the duties of that private, or of anybody else at that base, for that matter.

Again, Obama's "hair on fire" reaction to the WikiLeaks scandal led him to enunciate a rule that had nothing whatsoever to do with the crisis (which he had not forseen), had no possibility of solving it (because the rule doesn't get at the root of the problem), and in fact will only make things worse. But once the Obamacle hath spake, it becomes holy writ that cannot be changed or modified.

Impulse engines on full ahead

In every UPsie example above, the fundamental error is not the snap decision itself; those are merely symptoms of Obamunism. The underlying problem is Barack Obama's attitude towards decision-making: He's both a revelator and a defender:

  • Obama begins with the assumption that he is so brilliant, so far-sighted, so beyond all mortal ken, that any idea of his is a revelation that will astound the masses and cut the Gordian Knots that have bedeviled presidents and prophets for centuries. He is, in a nuthouse, full of himself to bursting.
  • Then, once having issued his commandment, he is so thin-skinned that even a hint that he might have been wrong elicits a towering rage, and induces a vicious and bloodthirsty defense of every last jot and tittle of his pronunciamento. He digs in and defends his original impulsive policy like a gambler calling an all-in bet with a jack-five offsuit.

As witness for the last, ponder Obama's response to what he himself called a "shellacking" in last November's election. Having been told in no uncertain terms by voters that we need to cut the budget drastically and lay off the "transformative," revolutionary policies, he has since then:

Issued a new budget that increases spending and taxes and assumes staggering new deficits as far as the eye can see;

  • Refused even to consider any serious changes to ObamaCare;
  • Ordered his EPA to ram through "cap and tax" by regulatory fiat, and to hell with Congress;
  • Pushed hard to unionize the TSA;
  • Denounced Israel for building houses in its "settlements" (by which Obama means Jerusalem, Israel's capital);
  • Pressed the Federal Communications Commission to start "regulating" the internet, beginning with so-called Net Neutrality rules;
  • And applauded his wife's crusade to promote federal regulation to tell ordinary Americans how much to eat, how much salt to consume, what kind of cooking oil we can use, and what beverages we can drink.

In other words, he doubled down on every last piece of the nanny-state that voters rejected just three months ago.

Revelator and defender: It's a potent combination for a man who, whatever his faults, has been elected leader of the free world; and it has become a nightmare for we the people. Even if Obama is defeated in 2012, he will have had four years to mire us so deep in the muck that we might not be able to escape for a decade... during which an awful lot of ordinary people will either die outright -- in war zones, our soldiers, agents, and allies; here at home, those left to the tender clutches of ObamaCare -- or at the least, will see their lives ruined, their fortunes obliterated, and their sacred honors defiled.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama himself will truck blithely along, by and large insulated from the consequences of the laws, orders, and rules he has crafted for the "little people," and immune even to the slightest self-doubt or sober reflection. After his presidency ends -- whether he wins, loses, or even refuses to stand for reelection next year -- he will move on to greater power, prestige, and corrupt payment.

The tremendous blows he continues to strike against traditional American exceptionalism and America itself endear Obama to the army of envious, anti-American power brokers throughout the world; in return, they will shower him with laurels and accolades and dine him on milk and honey the rest of his life, just as they do his comrade in arms from the late 1970s.

Indeed, Obama has wrought himself into a successful Jimmy Carter, version 2.0. Will we ever recover this time?

Hatched by Sachi on this day, February 17, 2011, at the time of 11:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 11, 2011

Mubarak Regime Dead Pool - Place Your Bets! - Results - Bumped

Hatched by Dafydd

The pool is for (1) the date (all dates on U.S. time) on which everyone agrees the regime of Hosni Mubarak has fallen and can't get up. Side bets:

  1. Will Mubarak himself be arrested, killed, or will he escape?
  2. Will Egypt veer towards Democracy (Middle-East style, like Iraq) or full-blown theocracy under the Muslim Brotherhood or Egyptian Islamic Jihad?
  3. And how soon after the fall will Obama filtch credit for the collapse? (Perhaps quickly to be retracted if (3) goes the opposite of how I predict.)

As the instigator of the dead pool, I'm picking (1) Monday, January 31st, 2011; (2) Mubarak will escape into Jordan or Libya; (3) the Brothers will try to seize power, but it will turn into a civil war, which democracy will win; and (4) Obama will try to grab credit for the revolution by Wednesday, February 2nd, retract the next day (as the battle begins), and when the forces of pseudo-democracy win, will again reassert his own central role, without ever acknowledging his previous back-tracking.

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets! Winner gets super-ultimate bragging rights (or rites).

Breaking! Results of the Mubarak regime dead pool:

  1. Resignation: February 11th, 2011. On the date, the closest winner was Bart Johnson, who had February 6th as his pick.
  2. Mubarak's fate: Has removed himself to Sharm el-Sheikh, still in Egypt; as Drudge would say, "developing..."
  3. Egypt's fate: For the moment, secular military rule. I don't know why I forgot to include this option above; it was always one of the likely scenarios. All I can say in exculpation is... doh!

    Mubarak's "resignation" was in fact a coup d'état, which was demanded by protesters: Yesterday, they pleaded with the military to force Mubarak out after his shocking announcement that he still intended to stay on until September, after hinting all day that he would resign immediately.

    At the moment, GW and Geoman have the inside track to win this part of the pool; but my scenario of a civil war between those demanding democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood is still possible. Developing...

  4. And how long will it take for Obama to claim credit? Ah... the very same day! Bart Johnson and I definitely lose this one; but nobody else ventured a guess, so there is no winner.

I'm surprised he held off as long as he did -- Mubarak, I mean, not Obama, who could hardly have grabbed credit any quicker; but in the long view, it has been but eighteen days since the mass protests began. Indeed, it has been only two weeks exactly since this post was originally published on January 28th! That is a remarkably short time for a multi-decadal dictatorial regime to completely unravel.

And it's not just Mubarak himself; the entire regime appears to have vanished in a puff of smoke. Yahoo is reporting that the Egyptian military plans to implement democratic reforms, then turn control to a new civilian government:

The question now turned to what happens next after effectively a military coup, albeit one prompted by overwhelming popular pressure. Protesters on Friday had overtly pleaded for the army to oust Mubarak. The country is now ruled by the Armed Forces Supreme Council, the military's top body consisting of its highest ranking generals and headed by Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tanwawi.

After Mubarak's resignation, a military spokesman appeared on state TV and promised the army would not act as a substitute for a government based on the "legitimacy of the people...."

Earlier in the day, the council vowed to guide the country to greater democracy. It said was committed "to shepherding the legitimate demands of the people and endeavoring to their implementation within a defined timetable until a peaceful transition to a democratic society aspired to by the people.

It still remains to be seen whether they mean it, and also what "democracy" entails in an Arabic-Moslem country like Egypt, home of the Muslim Brotherhood. But that's a subject for another post.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 11, 2011, at the time of 11:58 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 10, 2011

Ooh, Cold Snap!

Hatched by Dafydd

The administration of Barack H. Obama is at last proposing to cut some federal spending; according to the National Journal, his budget will slash about 50% from LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program:

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, would see funding drop by about $2.5 billion from an authorized 2009 total of $5.1 billion.

I reckon the thinking is, now that we're in the midst of such robust anthropogenic global warming, with 2010 tying for the hot-test year in the his-to-ry of Pla-net Earth, why should anyone need government assistance for home heating costs? With the current heat wave sweeping the country, poor people should be sweltering! Obviously, they have not obeyed instructions.

It appears not everybody has climbed aboard the same page, however:

In a letter to Obama, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., wrote, "We simply cannot afford to cut LIHEAP funding during one of the most brutal winters in history. Families across Massachusetts, and the country, depend on these monies to heat their homes and survive the season."

Perhaps Senator John "On the one hand, on the other hand" Kerry (D-MA, 95%) should get in contact with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK, and synchronize stories. On the other other hand, so too might President B.O. himself:

Obama tapped the LIHEAP discretionary fund in January during a record-shattering cold snap in the Northeast.

Fortunately for the future of Obamunism, there will not be any real cuts; under the adminstration's core guiding philosophy of "SpendGo," any cuts in spending must be offset by corresponding spending increases:

Officials were quick to stress that while LIHEAP was being trimmed, many other Department of Health and Human Services programs, particularly those funding early childhood education initiatives, will see their funding rise.

So poor people may freeze during the current "record-setting," "brutal" "cold snap" that characterizes global warming; but at least, thank goodness, pre-schoolers will still receive intense instruction in avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and attitude adjustments about same-sex marriage.

Whew!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 10, 2011, at the time of 12:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 5, 2011

Multi-Culti Higgledy Piggledy - CORRECTION

Hatched by Dafydd

United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, of the "Conservative" Party, gave a speech in Munich (that's in Germany) on February 5th (that's in Germany). The subject was radical Islamism and its interaction with the perverse and contra-civilizational Western heresy of "multiculturalism," the political policy of refusing to promote one's own core culture over foreign cultures. To quote the Wikipedia entry:

In a political context the term has come to mean the advocacy of extending equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central. Multiculturalism as "cultural mosaic" is often contrasted with the concepts assimilationism and social integration.

And unlike our own head of government, Barack H. Obama, Cameron forcefully articulated exactly what is wrong with that diabolical doctrine. In his speech, he indicts the West as accessory to its own annihilation:

What I am about to say is drawn from the British experience, but I believe there are general lessons for us all. In the UK , some young men find it hard to identify with the traditional Islam practiced at home by their parents, whose customs can seem staid when transplanted to modern Western countries. But these young men also find it hard to identify with Britain too, because we have allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.

Cameron hits the finger on his head: In civilized, Western countries, the Islamist problem is not caused by discrimination against Moslems, or oppression by Christian culture, or that the wicked Jews are persecuting them again; those grievances are nearly always lies, delusions, and fantasies. And even when a molecule of truth may lurk behind an accusation, the grievance is invariably a symptom, not the underlying cause.

Rather, the underlying cause is that for the last few decades, we in-and-of the West have failed to demand assimilation by those who are in-but-not-of the West. We let them have their own enclaves, stagnant cultural backwaters that refuse to integrate with the majority culture surrounding them, flouting the laws and principles of free countries in favor of hyperbolically mimicking the worst aspects of sharia states, from forced marriages, to slavery, to sexual discrimination, to religious intolerance, to supposed "honor" killings:

So, when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious frankly -- frankly, even fearful -- to stand up to them. The failure, for instance, of some to confront the horrors of forced marriage, the practice where some young girls are bullied and sometimes taken abroad to marry someone when they don’t want to, is a case in point. This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared. And this all leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist ideology. Now for sure, they don’t turn into terrorists overnight, but what we see -- and what we see in so many European countries -- is a process of radicalisation.

In his Munich speech, Prime Minister Cameron outlines two dramatic policy changes, reverting from the insanity of the Labour Party's multi-culti kow-towing to radical Islamists back to what nearly everyone reading this blog would consider simple common sense:

So first, instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we -- as governments and as societies -- have got to confront it, in all its forms. And second, instead of encouraging people to live apart, we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone.

Let me briefly take each in turn. First, confronting and undermining this ideology. Whether they are violent in their means or not, we must make it impossible for the extremists to succeed. Now, for governments, there are some obvious ways we can do this. We must ban preachers of hate from coming to our countries. We must also proscribe organisations that incite terrorism against people at home and abroad. Governments must also be shrewder in dealing with those that, while not violent, are in some cases part of the problem. We need to think much harder about who it’s in the public interest to work with. Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement. So we should properly judge these organisations: do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separation? These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations -- so, no public money, no sharing of platforms with ministers at home.

The climax of the speech pulls the whole together into a single paragraph, like a hologram; but one that I think my favorite blogger on my favorite blog somewhat misunderstood:

Now, second, we must build stronger societies and stronger identities at home. Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism. A passively tolerant society says to its citizens, as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. It says to its citizens, this is what defines us as a society: to belong here is to believe in these things. Now, each of us in our own countries, I believe, must be unambiguous and hard-nosed about this defence of our liberty.

I think it clear that when Cameron uses the word "liberalism," he means it in the sense of "liberal democracy"... not in the sense of liberalism vs. conservatism; he is, after all, the Prime Minister of the Conservative Party, not Labour; and even in Jolly Olde E., there is a distinction.

His littany of "genuinely liberal" values comprises rights and liberties that conservatives and independents embrace, but political-liberals often do not. As further proof, Cameron did not include any number of political-liberal shibboleths: the right to cradle-to-grave welfare, equality of outcomes for each person, the sanctity of public-employee unions, the sacrament of abortion, or the paradise of Britain's National Health Service.

Ergo, I take exception to the two conclusions John Hinderaker drew in his blogpost. First:

What is not clear to me is whether a post-Christian Great Britain has enough self-confidence to promote its own values; and also, whether the weak tea of contemporary liberalism, which has difficulty articulating ideals beyond the equal treatment of women and homosexuals, has enough appeal to counteract the attraction of radical Islam.

I have been skeptical for a long time of the claim that ordinary Britons actually believe the tripe swallowed by the bulk of Labour Party leaders -- and to be fair, a disturbingly large number of Tory leaders as well. Rather, the very structure of parliamentary democracy virtually guarantees that all parties will wind up controlled by liberals who live for the State.

How so? Because in parliamentary elections, voters typically can only choose between parties, not personalities. Candidates don't run for parliament as individuals but merely as labels: "Conservative," "Labour," "Liberal Democrat." Thus, parliamentary democracies almost never get a Ronald Reagan or a Margaret Thatcher -- or a Sarah Palin, a Michele Bachmann, or even a Barack Obama. They're generally stuck with John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and, well, David Cameron.

Correction: Commenter Robert from the UK offers an important correction to the previous paragraph:

In the UK, we do vote for individuals. The ballot cards have their names, with the parties in smaller letters afterwards, and there are MPs with actual personality, who can attract a personal vote on their own merits.

However, you are correct that the grey men dominate British politics, just not for that reason. Instead, you have to look at the way the cabinet and its shadows are drawn from Parliament. MPs can be cabinet members, so they direct their ambition that way, encouraging them to be lobby fodder; Senators can't be cabinet members, and there is no US shadow cabinet, so party discipline is much weaker.

I apologize for getting the mechanism of election wrong above; but as Robert notes, the basic point remains: Because party discipline is so intense in a parliamentary democracy, including Great Britain, mavericks rarely rise to cabinet level, let alone to become prime minister. So the rest of this post still follows with slight emendation.

Rarely does a politician rise to the top of either major party by being strongly ideological (Thatcher was sui generis); instead, it's the grey men, the men without chests, the men with flexible principles and rubber morals who connive and maneuver their way up the party ladder to be "appointed" PM.

By contrast, in the United States, which thank God is not a parliamentary democracy, we vote for individuals at nearly every level of election. When I look at my ballot, I don't see a slot that reads DEMOCRAT and another that reads REPUBLICAN; rather, I must choose between BARACK OBAMA (Democrat) and JOHN MCCAIN (Republican). Every candidate -- not just presidential but congressional, gubernatorial, legislative, and even judges -- runs as an individual person, who individually enunciates positions, principles, and policies; we judge him on those promises and on his moral and ethical character, to the best we can determine it. It's an intensely personal evaluation.

Sometimes he fools us, as we saw in 2008 with President B.O.; but when that happens, the sense of personal betrayal is so strong that voters respond... well, just as they responded last November. But in a parliamentary election, when the party ends up doing the exact opposite of what it proposed in order to gain a majority, it's awfully hard to pin down just whose fault it was. Voters have no idea whom to blame; and next election (whenever that is), they have exactly the same choice between exactly the same two or three parties saying exactly the same things they said last time.

Just because British voters have for decades been electing politicians who, here in America, would be considered to the left of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 100%), does not mean voters actually support all that liberal-weenie, multi-culti nitwittery. Or all that socialist claptrap, either. The electoral system they're saddled with simply has an awful lot more inertia than does ours, which can turn its coat on a dime... both an advantage and a disadvantage.

I suspect that the average Briton is just as appalled at the over-the-top welfarism, nanny-statism, the denigration of Western culture and religion as we, on this side the Atlantic. They simply don't have the ability to communicate that anger to their political leadership the way we can.

But in this case, the head of government himself appears to share that disgust with radical Islamists running virtual sharia states, bantustans, within Great Britain. Cameron may very well be able to do something about it.

Finally, I especially take exception to John's last conclusion:

The immediate reaction to Cameron's speech was not encouraging. It was denounced both by Labour Party spokesmen and by prominent Muslims.

Since when is it "discouraging" that a paean to traditional conservative values and assimilation instead of Balkanization is denounced by the very ideologies that desperately desire to overthrow and replace those values and Balkanize Britain? Rather, it would be discouraging indeed if a major policy change offered by the Conservatives were to be embraced by Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, and applauded in a fatwa from some radical Islamist imam in a British mosque!

After all, when Obama, Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%) denounce the attorneys general for 26 states for rejecting the individual mandate provision of ObamaCare, well that was just "situation normal, nothing has changed."

But if that axis of evil would have joined the call to strip out the individual mandate, wouldn't we all have smelled a rat in the state of Denmark?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 5, 2011, at the time of 11:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Glenn of Arabia

Hatched by Brad

The Secret True Truth

Revealed by Brad Linaweaver

 

The scales have fallen from my eyes. It is now perfectly clear that anarchists, minarchists, Objectivists, constitutional conservatives, right wing radio, and the Tea Party are all in on a secret Islamic conspiracy.

Agorism is the worst of all.

Of course, I have an unfair advantage. As one of the culprits myself, let me be the first to admit we are all bought and paid for in gold dinars.

But the jig is up. A few honest Republicans have seen through the scheme, patriots like Duncan Hunter and John McCain. You see, any freezing or cutting in military spending makes us part of the World Caliphate (arriving by Tuesday)! Actually, we need to increase military spending, right now.

Our Islamo-libertarian propaganda is very clever. Any suggestion that America could ever run out of money is Jihad propaganda. The Muslim Brotherhood must all be fans of Atlas Shrugged and Alongside Night.

The most pernicious secret agents of Islam in America may be found in the Off Grid movement. These immoral hoodlums won't even pretend that they should pay their taxes.

The evil Neil Boortz has actually made patriotic Americans question their duty to pay income tax. The only guarantee in this dangerous world that the Pentagon will have enough is through the IRS and the income tax. It is shockingly naive to think that anything else is reliable.

Naturally, Ron Paul and Rand Paul are high level traitors. A more subtle infiltration is courtesy of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. They pretend to support America and yet lend tacit support to small government movements that could limit the amount of tax revenue essential to propping up Western Civilization in this war of survival.

Clearly, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Queda, and MSNBC must secretly approve of the gold bugs in the right wing who would take money away from the American State in this time of peril. Every day is the Alamo is Pearl Harbor is 9-11.

But who would be diabolical enough to be running the whole scheme? He would have to pretend to oppose the World Caliphate, while actually persuading Americans to opt out of the system. Imagine using international gold instead of patriotic National Scrip to support the troops, God bless them.

Or do we really mean "Allah"?

Who is the Benedict Arnold in America? He couldn't be an out and out Muslim. He couldn't be a conventional Christian. He couldn't be a Jew. Who could he be? He couldn't even be a secular humanist.

If only a religion existed that was sort of half Muslim; a religion in which Jesus Christ is a miracle worker from God -- like in the Koran -- but not a manifestation of the actual godhead. Such a religion could confuse everyone: It could breach the Judeo-Christian wall around America and let in the bad ideas that must lead ultimately to the Caliphate. If only a representative of such a religion could preach the Gospel of Gold, and trick Americans into not paying their essential taxes.

Let's see. What is such a religion? The Mormons! Well, is there a gold bug leader? Glenn Beck!

Beck is the secret leader of radical Islam in the USA! He brings together the elites into a strange alliance for a radical new world order.

Don't trust me. Do your own research. You'll see the truth on your own.

Google it.

Hatched by Brad on this day, February 5, 2011, at the time of 5:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 2, 2011

A Thought on the Muslim Brotherhood in Post-Mubarak Egypt

Hatched by Dafydd

I've been utterly unsatisfied by the speculation on Egypt after Dictator Not-Quite-for-Life Hosni Mubarak exits, stage left. Both the jubilant exultations from the Left at the incoming heaven on Earth and the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Right about the looming apocalypse seem simplistic, overblown, and facile; more than anything else, such quotidian quote-mongering bespeaks an appalling lack of imagination.

A train or thought occurs to me. The MB has been at war with the Egyptian government since at least the 1940s, accelerating in the 1950s as Gamal Nasser's "Pan-Arabism" threatened to de-Islamicize Egypt and other Arabian countries. The MB is more Pan-Islamist than Pan-Arabist, even though it mostly focuses on the Arab states; its goals are sharia, and its methods are "dawa" at the very least, sometimes inspiring other groups to engage in actual jihad, and occasionally engaging in jihad itself. The Brotherhood sees all the presidents of Egypt from the coup e'etat of 1952 to the present day as a seamless, anti-Islamist tyranny.

Nasser overthrew Gen. Muhammad Naguib, the public face of the coup, and took control in 1954. Nasser's protégé was Anwar Sadat, who succeeded to the presidency upon Nasser's death; similarly, Hosni Mubarak was Sadat's supporter and vice president, and he too succeeded to the presidency upon Sadat's assassination. Thus there is a clear regime continuity from Gen. Muhammad Naguib, the public face of the coup, to Nasser, to Sadat, to Mubarak today.

I suspect the Egyptian people cannot help but see the Muslim Brotherhood as the chief enemy of the regime that has brutalized and repressed Egyptians for more than half a century, hence the chief ally and/or representative of anybody who hates Mubarak. While that seemingly puts the MB in the driver's seat for seizing power when the Mubarak regime is ousted, there is a contrarian response that should be noted as well: Much of MB support may be solely due to its role as a counterweight to Mubarak; therefore, when that brutal regime dies, that portion of the Muslim Brotherhood's support may diminish as well.

There are three legs of support for the Brotherhood:

  1. Radical Islamists who fully support the ultimate goals of the MB, including turing Egypt (and all Arab countries) into a caliphate under sharia law;
  2. Anti-regime activists who see the MB as their best chance of overthrowing Mubarak and his followers;
  3. And those who have been helped, or whose friends or loved ones have been helped, by the MB's "charity and relief" efforts to Egyptians impoverished by the socialist policies of the regime.

Nothing whatsoever can change (1), unless the Muslim Brotherhood itself changed and became too mainstream, which strikes me as unlikely. But both (2) and (3) will be affected by the fall of the regime:

First, anti-regime activists (some of them pro-democracy) will no longer need the MB to fight the government, and likely will see them as rivals anyway; they won't be required to maintain the alliance of convenience with the Brotherhood after the fall.

And when the regime collapses and is no longer able to hijack and interfere with relief efforts, then for the first time, other groups besides the MB should be able to enter and distribute relief, thus diluting the Brotherhood's current monopoly on smuggling food, medical aid, and other necessities to the poor. (If we're smart, when Mubarak and his regime fall, we'll make a point of smuggling in food and medicine ourselves, clearly identified as coming from America. Of course, we're not smart, "we" (the administration of Barack H. Obama) are ideologically pure and politically correct.)

Regardless, the collapse will bring about an opening not only for the Brotherhood but also for many powerful groups of Egyptians who oppose the MB, either ideologically or more likely due to their own self interest.

My bottom line: The contest between the Muslim Brotherhood and the forces within Egypt that are actually pro-democracy (if not exactly pro-liberty) may not be as one-sided as so many conservatives gloomily predict; the fact that the MB is talking about power-sharing at all indicates they may not be as confident of short-term victory as the Right seems to be on their behalf.

Just a thought.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 2, 2011, at the time of 5:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 27 and Last!

Hatched by Dafydd

There are but two amendments left. Neither is long enough to be an entire post; still, I struggled to concoct a rationale for lumping them together.

I thought at first that I could call them the "contemporary" amendments; but I realized I based that appellation solely on the fact that these are the only two whose passage I personally marked, the only two ratified during my conscious political life. That seemed a bit too narcissistic, even for a fellow with an ego the side of a planet (and not just any planet; I refer to the Jupiterian gas giants).

I agonized for days, hunting for a justification that would pass muster. Well, hours. All right, all right, you've got the thumbscrews on me: I had agonized for two or three minutes when something occurred to me, plausible enough to finish out this monumental project (the longest series of connected posts ever to appear on this blog, whoopee).

The 26th Amendment extended the franchise to 18, 19, and 20 year olds; while the 27th provided that if congressmen raised their own salaries, at least one election must intervene before they could collect it. Each amendment was touted as a quick'n'easy cure-all for huge, complex, and deadly serious problems (youth protests and congressional corruption); so I have dubbed these last two the panacea amendments...

~

The Panacea Amendments

Amendment 26 - Voting Age Set to 18 Years. Ratified 7/1/1971.

1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment 27 - Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay. Ratified 5/7/1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

The 26th Amendment was enacted and ratified against the backdrop of those halcyon days of the Vietnam War, protests, hippies, Yippies, acid rock, psychedelic drugs, biker thugs, and CIA bugs. Timothy Leary had just run for governor of California, with huge support by teenagers and 20-somethings, against Democrat Jesse Unruh and Republican Ronald Reagan (Reagan won). A small fraction of the youth population hallucinated that we were on the verge of a mind revolution to end all revolutions -- and all traditions and "the Establishment" itself.

(In one freakshow I recollect, protesters surrounded the Pentagon and attempted to (a) levitate the entire building using Transcendental Meditation, and (b) exorcise the demon they imagined was imprisoned within that "pentagram." Heavy, man!)

It was the "tune in, turn on, drop out" generation: Tune in to what's really happening, turn on to the joy around you, and drop out of your destructive terrestrial brain circuits, is how Leary described it. The watchword was "never trust anybody over thirty," passionately believed by all those loyal sychophants who had supported the 50 year old Leary for governor in 1970.

The ostensible reason for expanding the franchise was glib and smug: If a man is old enough to be drafted to fight in a war (proponents argued), he's old enough to vote, dadburn it!

But while superficially persuasive, the argument actually breaks down, logic-wise:

  • Americans had been drafted into wars for decades without having the franchise. Why now?
  • Girls couldn't be drafted at all; does that mean they shouldn't have a vote?
  • Why no corresponding amendment to standardize all official age-based discrimination? If you're old enough to be drafted, aren't you old enough to be president, be elected to Congress, receive Medicare, and get drunk?

Having been there at the time, and having followed the debates with great interest (I wasn't yet 18, but I could do the math), I can tell you that the buzz on everyone's lips was that "Youth," the "good" side of the generation gap, would save the world... and that meant Youth must have its say.

I believe that was the real motivation for the 26th Amendment, the idea that if only teenagers were given the right to vote, then all would be peace, love, freedom, and happiness. Paradise on Earth, theirs for the asking. And Youth wanted it all... not now, man -- yesterday! Dig?

Youth got its way; the amendment was enacted in Congress, and exactly 100 days later was ratified by the thirty-eighth state -- North Carolina, yipe! -- joining the other twenty-five amendments to the United States Constitution.

It was the fastest ratification of any of the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, by a long shot; but we're still waiting for our seventy-two virgins.

For the last amendment, the 27th, the panacea aspect should be readily apparent. In a frumious effort to weed out "corruption" in Congress -- a worthy goal, no doubt -- all attention was somehow misdirected to the absurdity of congressional paychecks... as if that were the real problem, that the politicos received too high a salary.

How convenient: Rather than talk about corrupt congressmen who sold their votes and their committee chairmanships to lobbyists for millions of dollars in campaign contributions, we focused obsessively on congressional pay raises. Yeesh.

So the heavily Democratic Congress, feeling intense heat over the House Banking scandal ("Rubbergate") -- where members of Congress (mostly Democrats) casually wrote bad checks on the House "Bank," knowing that the federal government would pony up the money -- cleverly siezed upon an ancient congressional amendment, shouted "Squirrel!", and threw it to the states. They hoped to defuse the anger at them by prohibiting something entirely different from the crisis du jour, and far removed from the real corruption. (The blowout election of 1994 showed how perfectly that scheme worked.)

The amendment was first enacted through Congress in 1789, but it never could get ratification by 3/4ths of the United States, as required; ratifications kept dribbling in, but not as fast as new states were added to the Union. By the time Hawaii became the 50th and last state (so far), the amendment needed 38 ratifications -- but only had eight. Hey, 170 years, and just thirty states to go!

(Nobody seemed to realize that Kentucky had ratified the amendment in 1792; they thought only seven had done so, with 31 to go. The discrepency was discovered only after the amendment was ratified in 1992.)

By the time Rubbergate broke, many more states had ratified the amendment; but it was still two states short (or three states, as everyone at the time thought). Then, over the course of a single week -- starting just three weeks after Rubbergate broke -- five states ratified the amendment, in the middle of which spurt it was certified as a part of the Constitution, a scant 202 years after being passed by Congress -- the slowest ratification, by a huge margin, of any of the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

And as any fool can plainly see, forcing congressmen to ride out an election before being able to raise their own salaries has completely ended the culture of corruption that used to permeate Washington D.C. Voilà! It's so easy!

Panacea; it'll cure what ails ya...

And that's all, folks, the entire United States Constitution, including all amendments to date.

That's all she wrote.

All verses in the Lizardian Constitutional Collection:

  1. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 1 (Preamble)
  2. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 2 (Congress; House, part I)
  3. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 3 (House, part II)
  4. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 4 (Senate, part I)
  5. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 5 (Senate, part II)
  6. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 6 (General congressional admin stuff)
  7. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 7 (Legislative process and enumerated powers)
  8. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 8 (Limitations)
  9. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 9 (The prez -- who does he think he is?)
  10. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 10 (What would a president do?)
  11. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 11 (Judiciary)
  12. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 12 (States, part I)
  13. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 13 (States, part 2)
  14. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 14 (Amendment; supreme law of the land)
  15. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 15 (Ratification rules and signers)
  16. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 16 (Amendments: Bill of Rights, Amendments 1-4)
  17. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 17 (Bill of Rights -- Courtroom Amendments 5-8)
  18. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 18 (Bill of Last Rights 9 and 10)
  19. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 19 (Amendments: Suing other states, president vs. vice president)
  20. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 20 (Amendments: Abolition of slavery)
  21. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 21 (Amendments: States prohibited from infringing rights)
  22. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 22 (Amendments: Racial voting rights)
  23. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 23 (Amendments: Wilsonian-Progressivism I)
  24. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 24 (Amendments: Wilsonian-Progressivism II)
  25. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 25 (Amendments: Rooseveltian amendments)
  26. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 26 (Amendments: Camelot amendments)
  27. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 27 (Amendments: Panacea amendments)

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 2, 2011, at the time of 12:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Date ►►► February 1, 2011

Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 26

Hatched by Dafydd

The next three constitutional amendments all relate in some way or other to John Fitzgerald Kennedy -- not his actual presidency per se, but to the era of the new, the young, the open and idealistic; hence I call them the Camelot amendments...

~

The Camelot Amendments

Amendment 23 - Presidential Vote for District of Columbia. Ratified 3/29/1961.

1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment 24 - Poll Tax Barred. Ratified 1/23/1964.

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment 25 - Presidential Disability and Succession. Ratified 2/10/1967.

1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

The 23rd Amendment, giving the District of Columbia electors in the presidential election, was enacted by a whoppingly Democratic Congress (65%-35% in both houses) during the feverish Kennedy adulation during his presidential campaign, one month before his triumphal nomination. It was clear his opponent would be the very tough Vice President Richard Nixon. I have no way of knowing, but in my mind, it's plausible that the enthused Democrats might even have fantasized that they could get the amendment ratified before the election, thus giving JFK an extra three electoral votes... should he need them (he didn't).

The poll-tax Amendment clearly fits into the "power to the people" era of Camelotism.

But why do I include the 25th Amendment, enacted by Congress more than a year and a half after Kennedy's assassination and ratified in 1967, among the Camelot amendments? Simple: Congress and the states were driven to clarify the rules of presidential succession, and to legislate for the possibility of a president who was incapacitated but not killed outright, by the gruesome events of November 22nd, 1963.

Thus did Camelot end not with the bang of a Carcano but the whimper of the Great Society and a highly technical constitutional amendment.

All verses in the Lizardian Constitutional Collection:

  1. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 1 (Preamble)
  2. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 2 (Congress; House, part I)
  3. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 3 (House, part II)
  4. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 4 (Senate, part I)
  5. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 5 (Senate, part II)
  6. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 6 (General congressional admin stuff)
  7. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 7 (Legislative process and enumerated powers)
  8. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 8 (Limitations)
  9. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 9 (The prez -- who does he think he is?)
  10. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 10 (What would a president do?)
  11. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 11 (Judiciary)
  12. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 12 (States, part I)
  13. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 13 (States, part 2)
  14. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 14 (Amendment; supreme law of the land)
  15. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 15 (Ratification rules and signers)
  16. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 16 (Amendments: Bill of Rights, Amendments 1-4)
  17. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 17 (Bill of Rights -- Courtroom Amendments 5-8)
  18. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 18 (Bill of Last Rights 9 and 10)
  19. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 19 (Amendments: Suing other states, president vs. vice president)
  20. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 20 (Amendments: Abolition of slavery)
  21. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 21 (Amendments: States prohibited from infringing rights)
  22. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 22 (Amendments: Racial voting rights)
  23. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 23 (Amendments: Wilsonian-Progressivism I)
  24. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 24 (Amendments: Wilsonian-Progressivism II)
  25. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 25 (Amendments: Rooseveltian amendments)
  26. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 26 (Amendments: Camelot amendments)
  27. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 27 (Amendments: Panacea amendments)

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 1, 2011, at the time of 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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