Political Finger-Painting

On April 5th The Signal published a column by Gary Horton entitled “America Has A Complex Complex” which brought a memory to mind for me.

When my daughter was a little girl she’d do finger-paintings for me. She’d sit at the table and smear random colors all over a piece of paper, and then turn to me.

“Look, Daddy”, she’d say proudly. “A sunrise!”

Of course, all I could see was paint smeared randomly all over the page.

That’s what we have with this Horton column: a little kid’s finger-painting of what’s wrong with America. It makes no sense to the person reading it. Only in the mind of the “artist” who created it do any of the shapes or colors coalesce into a meaningful whole, as they’re randomly selected and applied.

Horton’s painting of an “industrial-congressional-complex” makes as much sense as my daughter’s finger-painting of a “sunrise”, meaning none. It’s a very pretty picture, quite colorful, but not at all representative of anything in the real world.

He’s taken disparate elements of our society which he considers flaws or shortcomings in its fabric and tried to tie them together into a neat package of cause and effect. But the fatal mistake in this approach is that it ignores the benefits that derive from that very same system.

We live in a society unique in the world, with freedoms and liberty, guaranteed in our Constitution, that are unparalleled anywhere. We’ve also – whether willingly or not – been forced to assume the mantle of being the defender of those freedoms on a global scale, both for ourselves and our allies.

There are costs, both overt and hidden, that accrue to those kinds of benefits and responsibilities. That’s just the way the world works.

I know Horton, and those like him, have a utopian vision of how they think things should be. I’ve been active in politics for about five decades, and have been debating these issues for all of that time. But utopia doesn’t exist, and never will. That’s just a fact.

Any society with freedoms such as ours is going to be a messy place. Open debate, electoral politics, federalism, equal access of competing interests, free-market economics, free speech, property rights, individual responsibility, open competition… these are all concepts that, when put in practice, will naturally lead to uneven results.

Equality of outcome can only be assured by the imposition of tyranny.

So… which system would you prefer?

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

FLHHC

FLHHC? What the heck is Baker babbling about now, right?

Well, my friends, that’s an acronym. It stands for:

Facts,

Logic,

History,

Human nature, and the

Constitution.

Those are the five things non-conservatives – of any party – have to be able to ignore in order to advance their arguments.

In my experience, any argument on any political topic that observes those five precepts will end up, by definition, being truly “conservative” in nature. In contrast, any argument advanced by leftists to support their position on a topic will by necessity have to ignore at least one, and generally several (if not all), of those elements.

Try it out for yourself. Have some fun with it. I think you’ll find it’s a very accurate litmus test, and once you do you can use it when you’re debating your not-so-conservative friends to hopefully show them the error of their ways.

Remember: FLHHC.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

 

Homo sapiens democratus horribilis

My knowledge and experience as an eminent bio-political socio-anthropologist has enabled me to identify, and name, a previously unrecognized sub-species of human beings (Homo sapiens). I have named this sub-species Homo sapiens democratus horribilis.

This sub-species can be identified by the presence of several distinctive traits:

1.  The inability to apply logic, reason, and/or common sense to practical political problems and issues.

2.  The inability to consider the actual historical record.

3.  The inability to acknowledge the reality of human nature, and consider its effect while seeking real solutions to problems.

4.  The propensity to apply wishful thinking to the task of problem-solving while ignoring real-world practical solutions.

Democratus horribilis have an extreme tendency toward self-destruction, particularly as applied to any social institution in which they find themselves that may have well-established social mores, customs, and traditions. Once recognized, they should be quickly removed from any position which may empower them to have influence over such institutions, or control over individual members of that society.

This has been a public service announcement.

PSA

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

 

Sacrificed On The Altar of Political Demagoguery

Last week saw the worst Islamic terrorist attack on US soil since the Twin Towers went down on 9/11, and it creates a confluence of political issues of immense proportions: the national gun control debate and Obama’s foreign policy failures.

San Berdoo terrsTwo Islamic jihadists stormed a social services center in San Bernardino, California, at which the employees were throwing a holiday party, and opened fire with a variety of guns, both long guns and handguns, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others. They were also armed with pipe bombs, and when the police finally searched their house they found many more pipe bombs as well as a “pipe bomb factory”. The pair had acquired their guns legally; the long guns had been illegally altered.

Syed Rizwan Farook, the male, was a native-born citizen of the US of Pakistani extraction, and a Muslim. He had visited Saudi Arabia several times, as late as 2013. His wife, Tashfeen Malik, was a Pakistani citizen, in the country on a fiancée visa, and also a Muslim, with ties to terrorist organizations. Her visa application to enter this country listed a non-existent Pakistan address.

Those are the facts. Now to the issues.

Gun Control

Literally before the bodies had even cooled Obama was swooping down on this event, like some deranged vulture, to exploit it for political purposes, in this case to advance his agenda for further restrictive gun control laws. He was immediately and enthusiastically joined by his Dem/socialist comrades in Congress, as well here in California by the Dem/socialists who run the state legislature.  It’s been a morbid and disgusting display of cynical political manipulation, an attempt to exploit the nation’s natural revulsion to this horrific event in the hope of severely restricting gun rights.

But the policies Obama & Company have proposed – such as expanded background checks – are already in place in California where this event took place; in fact, California has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and is often held up by Dem/socialists as the example to which the nation as a whole should aspire.

pipe bombOn top of that, Farook and Malik were also using pipe bombs, which are completely banned under Federal law.

So how would any new restrictions have prevented an attack like this? The plain and simple fact is they won’t, just as logic and common sense tells us, and just as this attack proves, as it took place in the state that has enacted the Dem/socialists’ wish list of gun restrictions, and included destructive devices already completely banned under Federal law.

This event simply proved the old maxim that criminals, by definition, don’t obey laws. Therefore further restrictive gun laws are only going to affect law-abiding citizens. Have drug laws kept drugs out of the hands of illicit users, or immigration laws kept illegal aliens out of the country? Of course not. Why would anyone with an ounce of sense think things would be any different with guns?

There’s another maxim that applies: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

But laws that deprive the good guys of the tools they need to stop the bad guys are obviously only going to make the situation even worse. I know that if I’m at a party and some nut comes in shooting, I’d sure like something in my hand more suitable for defending myself than a Dixie cup full of beer.

There’s one law that would be effective in addressing the dangers of these attacks: a law that makes it mandatory that any law-abiding citizen who applies for a permit to carry a concealed weapon be issued that permit.

The plain fact of the matter is that the police aren’t bodyguards. Theychalk outline respond to crimes after they’ve already taken place. It’s up to each of us as individuals to protect and defend ourselves as well as we can until the cops show up. The cops are the ones who draw the chalk lines around the bodies; it’s up to us to determine whether it’s us or the other guy who gets outlined.

Will an armed citizenry absolutely prevent these occurrences in the future? Probably not all of them, but have you noticed that these things always take place in venues at which everyone is unarmed? Have you ever heard of a mass shooting at a gun range, or gun shop, where a lot of people are armed? Of course not.

And even if such an event does take place, I’m sure we could anticipate much lower body counts; fewer casualties. If only one or two of the people in San Bernardino had been carrying guns, and able to deploy them, the rampage would have been very quickly curtailed, either by the shooters’ retreat or deaths.

Foreign Policy and “Refugees”

From the Arab Spring to Benghazi to the rise of ISIS, Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been an unmitigated disaster. He seems to have absolutely no grasp of the issues or players involved, nor understand the consequences of his actions, or failures to act when appropriate.

He’s declared al Qaida as being “on the run”, and just recently characterized ISIS as the “JV team”. The reality is far different.

ISIS territoryNot only are both still active, but there are many splinter groups of both scattered around the world. ISIS alone has captured and consolidated enough geographical territory to qualify as a minor nation-state, though a rogue one. They’ve developed an economic infrastructure that revolves around oil exports as well as agricultural production. Contrary to Obama’s blind assurances, they’re developing into a regional power able to export their terrorism to the world stage.

For years there’s been a steady emigration from the region, primarily into Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Europe. But the recent intensification of the conflict with ISIS, primarily in Syria and Iraq, has led to sudden surge in the number of people—again primarily from Syria – seeking to relocate, and has been labeled by the media as a “refugee crisis”. There’s no estimated number of how many people are seeking to relocate, as it’s an ongoing situation. Several countries have pledged to take in varied numbers of these refugees, and interestingly enough several countries in the region have decided not to take in any: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Oman.

Obama has pledged to import 85,000 of these refugees, with 10,000 of them to be admitted this fiscal year. In all his grand pomposity, he’s lashed out at those opposing his scheme, using terms such as “offensive” and “hysterical”. The problem for Obama is that there’s plenty to oppose in bringing those people into this country, particularly in such large numbers, and so quickly.

First, the usual screening time for approval of an entry visa is anywhere from 18 to 24 months, on an individual basis. And as we can see from Malik’s successful entry into the country, even then it’s not a foolproof system (to say the least). But what happens when the system is suddenly jammed up with tens of thousands of applicants from the same region all being entered into the system at the same time?

Gridlock, that’s what. Even the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has admitted that this is going to be very problematic. And I think we can easily assume that if these “refugees” are being rushed through the system in order to meet Obama’s political agenda, that screening will be haphazard at best.

Further, the myth that radical Muslims are a very small minority is just that: a myth. Sources vary, but the percentage of Muslims who support radical Islam is anywhere from 10% to 80% depending on locale, with the worldwide average estimated as 10% – 15%: (Breitbart) and (Answers.com).

Using an even more conservative figure of 2% to represent those who would actively participate in, or actively provide support to, terrorist acts at some point, means that for every 10,000 “refugees” we let into the country, we’re also importing 200 jihadists. Obama’s complete plan for importing 85,000 of them means we’ll be bringing in 1,700 jihadists and spreading them all around the country, a very bad idea. It strikes me as being akin to playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded revolver.

There are those, starting right at the top with Obama, who call keeping those people out of the country “inhumane” and “racist” and “xenophobic”. Do those terms also apply to the six countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Oman – that are in the region and of the same religion that are also keeping them out? Or do they know something that Obama et al are simply failing to acknowledge?

Further, our legal immigration system has always used one primary guideline as the basis for admittance into this country: the prospective immigrant has to be able to positively contribute to our society. In whatCAIR way will these “refugees” do that? Since when did this country become a dumping ground for the planet’s dispossessed? Don’t we have enough balkanization at home already, with CAIR and #BlackLivesMatter and MALDEF other special interest groups raising a ruckus all the time at the drop of a hat? And what about the United Nations, that idol of the Left? Why aren’t they setting up some kind of “safe zone” for those people over there, in the region? Yet more proof of why they’ve earned the sobriquet “Useless Nations”.

Further, we as a country have to stop denying that Muslims as a group present a potential for violent activity unprecedented in our history. We have to face reality, and adapt to that reality. Muslims who are already in this country enjoy constitutional protections, and rightly so. Even then, as illustrated by the actions of Farook specifically, we already have a problem on our hands. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while; all one had to do was look at what was happening in Europe to see what was in store for us.

But why import even more in a large group that’s virtually impossible to screen properly? Does that make any sense whatsoever? Because once we let them into our country, they, too, enjoy constitutional protections. Better to keep them out as a preventive measure.

In Conclusion

It’s clear to me that the safety and security of this country and its people are under a concerted two-pronged attack by Obama and the Dem/socialist establishment. Whether it’s intentional or the result of sheer, willful blindness to reality I’ll leave for others to determine.

But for this country to be importing tens of thousands of people, among whom, without doubt, there will be Islamic fanatics intent on doing harm to us and our country, while at the same time crippling our ability to adequately defend ourselves, is a national disgrace.

 

©Brian Baker 2015

 

“Politicization”?… Well, Duh!

Obama and his minions are mired up to their eyeballs in scandals, what with Benghazigate, the IRS targeting of conservative groups for harassment, and the Justice Department’s secret grab of Associated Press phone records, not to mention the lingering Operation Fast & Furious debacle.

thCA03K8S0I’ve been watching the so-called “testimony” of outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller (that’s him sweating in the picture) as he tries to weasel his way around actually having to answer very pointed questions directed to him by the congressional committee investigating the IRS’s malfeasance. Highly entertaining.

Even more entertaining are the howls of protest from Obama’s apologists who bleat that these investigations are merely some kind of “politicization” and that those pursuing these issues are simply trying to “score political points against Obama”.

Well… what’s wrong with that? Obama was elected to office – a “political” process – and I’d think it’s certainly a perfectly valid and rational question to ask whether or not that political process ended up putting into that office a man who is corrupt, or at the very least allows and even encourages corruption to permeate the ranks of government, all to achieve his own “political” purposes.

th[3]Isn’t that what the “political” process is about? Giving the people the information they need to make “political” decisions about the people they’re electing to public office? Is a person in office somehow magically immunized from having any further “political” responsibilities for his actions anymore? Really? Is that the same standard the leftists applied when Bush was in office? Not to mention Reagan, when they spent eight years setting their hair on fire?

Or are we simply watching another exercise of standard leftist hypocrisy?

I know where I place my money on that question…

© Brian Baker 2013

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

CommissarObama copyYou’ve really got to hand it to Commissar Obama. When it comes to going all in on his socialist agenda, he’s certainly wasting no time at all now that he never has to face the electorate again.

The latest example is the hysteria over the tragic shootings at the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. There are several illustrative elements I think are worth considering. First, how is this incident any different from the one that took place in Aurora, Colorado in a movie theater during the premiere of the latest “Batman” movie (and of which I wrote a few essays ago)? Why didn’t that massacre, with a much higher body count, lead to these panicked Chicken Little gun control efforts from our socialist brethren?

I’ll tell you exactly why: that shooting took place only a month or two before the next national election, and the socialists know that gun control is an election-killer for them, whereas this event happened as absolutely far as possible from the next election, so they’re banking on the electorate’s short attention span in making this the most opportune time possible for them to try to realize their dream of imposing Draconian gun restrictions.

Then there’s the added benefit to Comrade Obama of using this event, and its headline-grabbing nature, to distract everyone from the very real and immediate problem that is facing this country, and his arrogance and ineptitude in dealing with it, namely our looming fiscal insolvency. It’s a classic case of presidential sleight-of-hand: “Hey, look! We need to save the kids and ban guns! Don’t pay any attention to what my other hand’s doing!”

It’s pure, sheer political cynicism, chicanery and hypocrisy of the first order.

Speaking of hypocrisy and chicanery, whatever happened to the investigation into “Operation Fast And Furious”, in which Eric Holder and the BATF ran thousands of full-auto assault weapons into Mexico in an effort to gin up a fraudulent case that American gun laws were too lax, resulting in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry?

Anyway, here are some points to consider. The Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings both took place in venues which are already under stringent gun restrictions. In fact, Connecticut already has an “assault weapon” ban in place ( Link ), as does Denver ( Link ), of which Aurora is a suburb and under its jurisdiction, under Municipal Code 38-130. So, in light of that, how would any new federal laws have prevented these killings? They wouldn’t have, plain and simple, as both shooters were already violating “assault weapon” bans.

I hear a lot blather about how the Second Amendment was written in the 18th Century and therefore only covers the technology of the time, i.e. flintlocks. Using that rationale, I guess the First Amendment right of free speech only covers hand-operated movable-type printing presses, then, and not the internet, TV, radio, movies, computers, automated printing presses, or telephones of any kind.

The blather continues with the usual nonsense that the Amendment only covers members of the active duty military and National Guard because it mentions a “well-regulated militia”. Here’s the complete text:

“Amendment II

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

MinutemanAnd what is the “militia”? It is the body of the whole populace of able-bodied law-abiding citizens, as defined by the Founders in their contemporary writings and encoded by Title 10 US Code, Section 311. And, as mentioned in the Amendment, this is an issue of “a free state”; it doesn’t mention deer hunting anywhere. It’s about freedom from government tyranny, a condition assured by an armed populace capable of resisting oppression.

This is a country founded on the principle of equality, with no “privileged classes”, and the cops and soldiers are just citizens like everybody else. EVERY citizen has an equal right to equal weaponry. If the cops and soldiers can have them, so can any other law-abiding citizen.

Otherwise, we don’t have an “equal society”; we have a ruling class – the “privileged” – and a subject class – all the rest of us.

Thanks, but I think I’ll pass. I’m not anyone’s “subject”. I’m a free man, and citizen with full rights.

© Brian Baker 2013

Phew! We Didn’t Fall Off The “Fiscal Cliff”!!!

Um… wow… I’m so relieved, I’m sure. The world has been saved from a return to the Dark Ages.

Or not.

I’m sick to death of hearing about the ginned-up non-emergency of the “fiscal cliff”. As a matter of fact, the term tops the annual list published by Lake Superior State University of words that should be “Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness” ( Link ).

I read an article today ( here ) entitled “How Much Should We Really Fear the Next Budget Fight?”

And my reaction was: We shouldn’t FEAR it at all. We conservatives should WELCOME it as an opportunity to take this battle to where it needs to be: about profligate and insane SPENDING. No country in history ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. We’re squandering the next couple of generations’ inheritance and chance at prosperity, and dooming them to poverty and government dependency, AT BEST.

Is that what “the land of the free and the home of the brave” is supposed to mean? The populace chained to and enslaved by the government’s dependency plantation, slaves to whatever “largesse” our government masters deign to let us keep of our own earnings?

fiscal cliff bipartisanReally? THIS is what we fought a Revolution for? To trade in a tyrannical King George for a tyrannical Commissar Obama and Slavemaster Reid, aided and abetted by Quislings Boehner and McConnell?

I say no! By God, I hope not!

© Brian Baker 2013

Socialist Anti-Gun Vultures Swoop!

vulture

We’ve all heard about the tragic and horrible killings at an elementary school in Connecticut carried out by a nutjob who also killed his mother, all the killings carried out using guns he stole from her. It turns out he’d actually tried to legally buy at least one gun prior to the event and was turned down by the appropriate authorities.

As predictably as the sun rising in the east, the “usual suspects” in the gun-banning crowd swoopno guns onto the still-warm corpses with opportunistic shrieks of glee at their good fortune in finding another excuse to try to somehow stop madmen from carrying out their deranged acts, evidently under the illusion that curtailing gun rights is a magic panacea for insanity.

Democrat Senators Joe Lieberman, Diane Feinstein, Chuckie Schumer (of course) and Dick Durbin, as well as New York Mayor Michael “Big Gulp” Bloomberg, have already taken the lead in exploiting this mess to advance their leftist/socialist agenda of banning guns, Feinstein vowing to introduce her same old, tired “assault weapon ban” yet again when the Senate reconvenes next year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the fact-checker. It turns out that “mass shootings” aren’t exactly the rising phenomenon those zealots claim they are. In fact, according to criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, and Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, there has been no increase in these incidents, and in fact “while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s.” ( Link )

Democrats have avoided gun control like the plague in recent years because they know it’s a political loser for them. I won’t go into all the stats; suffice it to say that the anti-gun sentiment in the country that peaked in about the 1970s has completely reversed itself in the last couple of decades. I think the only reasons these socialists are trying again now are twofold:thCA1J3QJR first, this is an especially terrible event, as it involved little kids. They’re hoping for an emotional backlash. And secondly, it’s a couple of years until the next election, and they’re banking on the electorate having a short memory. Of course, they’ve made that particular miscalculation with great regularity in the past. But then, the socialists definitely aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

Another thing to bear in mind: the killer tried to buy a gun, and the current system worked. He was prevented from doing so, and had to steal the guns he used. So… what law, exactly, do the gun-haters think is going to “solve” this problem? Logically, the only thing that could work would be for all the guns in the country to magically vanish. How would that be accomplished?

ripcon 2Any law banning gun ownership is already deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases. Further, just a week ago 7th District Court Justice Posner held that Illinois’s total ban on public gun carry was also unconstitutional.

We’ve also had quite a bit of experience on the efficacy of bans in general. If “bans” were effective, we wouldn’t have a drug problem in this country, nor would there be any illegal aliens. How’s that been working out?

Let’s also not forget the mass murderer in Norway, Anders Breivik, who last year killed 77 people during his rampage, using a bomb to kill 8 and guns to kill 69 more, most of them young teens. Compared to this country Norway has very strict gun laws, and yet…

I think it’s funny – as in “hypocritical” – how so many on the Left are using this event as a vehicle to advance their gun control agenda while at the same time they’ve remained absolutely mute on Obama’s and Holder’s Operation Fast & Furious, the gun-running scheme which resulted in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and one US Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry. That operation was very possibly conceived to gin up a case for arguing that our domestic gun laws were too lax, a political exercise in every way, and it backfired when they lost control of it. Where was the outrage then?

I guess “outrage” is very selective in nature.

© Brian Baker 2012

Obama: “Bin Laden is dead”… Me: “So What?”

In light of everything that’s been going on in the Middle East and North Africa over the last week, I have to comment.

First of all, as those who know me or have read my scribbling over the years are aware, I’ve long maintained that the idea of a Western-style democracy successfully taking hold in the Muslim/Arab world is a pipe dream. There are no cultural underpinnings to support such an enterprise, and in fact their cultural and religious foundations are antithetical to the concept.

Over the years I’ve written several essays on the subject, and you can read them here, here,  here, and here.

Our country suffers from two deadly weaknesses in our approach to the problems in the region. The first is that, with the exception of Reagan, no one inside the Beltway in post-Vietnam history has had Clue One about how the Arab/Muslim mind works. They think, in spite of all the historical evidence to the contrary, that the prevailing mindset is no different from our own. I think you actually have to have lived in the region to realize how wrong that idea really is. I spent my high school years in Iran, and I can’t imagine a more foolish concept.

The second weakness is our dependence on oil from the region. Unquestionably, that limits our options, and forces us into “alliances” that are contrary to our own national self-interests. A perfect example is our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Though that country is perhaps less anti-Western than others, they’re certainly not our friends in the way that a country like the UK is, for example. We’re simply a market for their product: oil. They’re still the source for international Wahabiism, and terrorists such as bin Laden draw much of their financial support from sources within that country. Don’t fool yourselves; they’re not our allies in the real sense of the word.

Which brings us to Obama. Obama is the “perfect storm” of ignorance of the region coupled with stupidly utopian idealism coupled with a refusal to take any realistic actions to lessen our dependence on oil from the region. A disastrous trifecta of insane policy.

As I’ve said before (here, here and here) we’re sitting on an ocean of oil we’re just letting sit in the ground purely for political reasons. We have more known and recoverable oil than any other nation on the planet; three times as much as Saudi Arabia. The solution to our “energy dependence” problem is very simple: Drill, baby, drill!

But we can’t do that because the amateur in the Oval Office won’t allow it. The pump price of gasoline has doubled since Obama took office, but he’s stuck on stupid when it comes to oil, and would rather hitch his wagon to fantasies about “alternative energies” that don’t even exist at this point in time, rather than actually address the problem with the obvious and easy solutions that already do exist.

All we have to do is drill our own oil to free us from having to worry about the actions being taken by Muslim extremists who seem to spend their whole lives being “offended” by everything under the sun. We could simply flip them off and have done with it.

And just exactly what are the policies being implemented by Obama in the Muslim/Arab world? They’re a repeat of the exact same policies that worked so well under “Peanut Jimmy” Carter! Remember those good old days?

Carter proved how “tough” he was by engineering the downfall of the Shah of Iran, and his replacement by Ayatollah Khomeini, and look how well that turned out. Obama proved how tough he was by “killing bin Laden” and facilitating the “Arab Spring”, and look how well that’s turning out. Obama is Carter Redux. Worse, actually, because he’s refused to learn the lessons of history, and is repeating the same stupid actions that have already proven to be disastrous in the past.

If we insist on remaining engaged with the Arab/Muslim world, we have to do so from a position of unyielding strength and pragmatism that isn’t filtered through rose-colored lenses that project a vision of Western values that doesn’t exist in the region. We have to use our aid dollars as both a carrot and a stick. We have to find some pro-Western strongmen, and back them. Maybe over time a foundation can be laid that will allow Western-style democracies to develop there, but the key words are “over time”. A long time, probably generations at least.

At this time, we’re viewed in the Muslim/Arab world as being paper tigers; easy and impotent targets that never respond to provocation. In that world, that’s fatal. Until we learn that lesson and act accordingly, attacks against our interests and outposts will continue. It’s just that simple.

These are all lessons that are clear to see. Obama has proven to be an epic failure in this arena. His response has been to thrash around impotently, throwing blame hither and yon, then promptly getting back to the only activity he’s reliably pursued throughout his presidency (other than playing golf), campaigning for re-election. The current debacle in the region doesn’t seem to interest him as anything more important than just a minor campaign delay.

Good. Grief.

© Brian Baker 2012

Indicting Obama

“The Buck Sure Doesn’t Stop HERE!

The Truman presidency has been mythologized in many ways. Time and faulty human memory have worked to make the man somewhat of a legend, and as one of the characters in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” noted, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.

But one thing you have to hand to the man: he took responsibility for everything that took place under his administration. As the sign on his desk said, “The buck stops here”, and he meant it.

Contrast that to the current occupant of the Oval Office, the amateur who refuses to take responsibility for anything that’s happened during his utterly incompetent administration.

As I noted in my last essay, very shortly after his inauguration, in an interview with Matt Lauer, Obama stated, “… I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress. But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Big words. How do they stack up to reality, you ask? Well… let’s take a quick look, shall we?

The Economy: Four years ago, one of the very few issues Obama actually took any kind of definable stand on was the economy; how bad it was and how he’d “fix” it. That was actually what the Lauer interview was all about.

But what have we heard for the last three years (at least)? “Blame Bush”. It’s all “Bush’s fault” or the fault of “my predecessor”. It’s not my fault. The buck doesn’t stop here. The dog ate my homework. Where’s that accountability he bragged about to Lauer?

One of two things happened: Either he was truly ignorant of what his prediction entailed – in which case he was just plain unqualified for the job – or he lied.

Gas Prices: When he took office a gallon of gas was about $1.87; now it’s over $4.00 out here in Greeceifornia. And, of course, the constant refrain is that the President doesn’t “control” gas prices. While semantically true, the President does control key policies that have a direct effect on gas prices, primarily policies which affect availability, which – according to the irrefutable law of supply and demand – directly determine what oil, and therefore gasoline, are going to cost.

Quite simply, the more there is of something, the less it’s going to cost. Scarcity is what drives up price.

This President has done everything in his power to block domestic access to the absolute ocean of oil upon which we sit, plain and simple. But he won’t acknowledge that; oh, no! It’s always someone else’s fault: Iran, the Saudis, world oil markets, speculators, the e-e-e-e-vil oil companies … everyone under the sun except him. But the reality is that he’s the one person standing in the way of allowing this country to do the one thing that would entirely solve the problem: letting us drill, baby, drill!

Solyndra:  Of course, one of the big reasons Obama continues to block domestic oil extraction is his worship at the altar to the myth of “alternate energy”, from which we got the boondoggle funding of solar manufacturer Solyndra to the tune of over $500 million, after which they promptly went bankrupt.

Naturally, it was simply another “blame Bush” moment. It seems the Bush people had considered that same funding… but what Obama had failed to mention was that they also had decided Solyndra wasn’t a sound company in which to make that investment, so this one ended up being another egg-on-the-face moment for the ObaMessiah. But ya gotta give him props for trying, right? After all, “the buck doesn’t stop here!”, at least if he can help it.

He didn’t even learn from that debacle, repeating it with SunPower and even doubling down, wasting over $1.2 Billion and “creating” all of 15 jobs from a company over $820 Million in debt.

Obamacare:  His “signature” (and just about only) piece of legislation, which is hugely unpopular with the people and on the verge of being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Of course, that’s not his fault. That will be due to the “partisan” nature of those Justices who decide against it. I guess the ones who find for it aren’t “partisan” somehow. “Partisanship” only seems to be a feature of those who don’t agree with Obama (and liberals in general, apparently. Evidently, leftists are never “partisan”. They must be “principled”).

Bottom line: “The buck doesn’t stop here! It’s the ‘partisan’ Justices.”

Gridlock:  Always the fault of the other party and their obstructive “partisanship”, of course. The buck doesn’t stop with Obama. It’s the fault of the GOP. Naturally.

It doesn’t matter that his own party had complete control of Congress for the first two years of his presidency and could pass absolutely anything they wanted. Somehow or another, the GOP was still at fault. Now, of course, the GOP has control of the House, and so it’s their fault that his proposals go nowhere. Not that anything’s really changed; even when his own party controlled everything, they didn’t bother to pass a budget, even though they didn’t need one single GOP vote to do so. And it doesn’t matter that ObaMessiah’s own budget proposals have been killed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by his own party.

The buck doesn’t stop here. It’s the GOP’s fault.

Rancorous political tone:  Which, of course, only refers to things said by his opponents. When he calls his political opponents “enemies”, that’s not rancorous, of course. Because the buck doesn’t stop here. When Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin a “c***”, that’s not “rancor”, and Maher’s $1 Million political donation is happily accepted.

Operation Fast And Furious:  Early in his presidency Obama tried to gin up a case that gun laws were too lax, allowing thousands of guns to “leak” across the border into the murderous hands of the Mexican drug cartels, leading to thousands of deaths. Hence Operation Fast And Furious was born.

It turned out that those guns were being “walked” across the border through straw purchases as part of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tax and Firearms (BATF) operation purportedly in place to trace and apprehend the end users of those very guns. Only problem was, the BATF lost track of those guns, the Mexican authorities were never informed of this operation, lots of people died – including at least one US Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry – and thousands of guns (enough to arm an Army battalion, literally) ended up in the hands of Very Bad Guys.

When this whole debacle came to light, we saw Operation The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here come into being in a major way. It seems that no one of any authority ever had any knowledge of any such program. It must have been devised and implemented by gremlins. Maybe Santa’s Helpers decided to gift the drug cartels or something, because this whole operation seems to have appeared out of thin air, with no one in charge, or knowledgeable, or having given authorization, or overseeing it, or answerable for it.

The BATF is part of the Justice Department, of which Attorney-General Eric Holder is in charge… except it seems that the guy “in charge” isn’t informed of critical operations, at least according to Holder. The buck doesn’t stop with Holder, the man in charge of his department.

And, of course, Holder reports to Obama, who doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that there’s an investigation by Congress going on about this issue. Utter silence. Because, of course, the buck can’t stop at Obama’s desk if he closes his eyes and refuses to even acknowledge it. His silence is deafening.

The last time I saw this kind of stonewalling was during the Watergate era. A lot of people lost their jobs – including a sitting President – and several went to prison.

White House leaks:  Over the last couple of weeks secrets concerning highly-classified military and intelligence operations have been leaked to the press. The only perceptible beneficiary of those leaks would be Obama himself, as the leaked material seems to be of a nature that would enhance his being perceived as a decisive and tough “war leader”, beneficial during an election year, particularly for an incumbent with big problems to overcome on other issues (maybe like those outlined above? Just sayin’…).

The only way secrets of that nature could be accessible would be if someone very high up – at White House level – leaked them.

Of course… “the buck doesn’t stop here!”, according to the White House.

Of course it doesn’t. No responsible President or his minions would purposefully leak information that could lead to the deaths of agents working on our nation’s behalf in foreign and hostile countries, simply to enhance his political prospects. The idea’s unthinkable… right?

I even had to laugh at that one myself, and I knew it was coming…

“The Buck Does Stop HERE”… Except It Really Doesn’t:  In his desperation to try to cobble together a winning coalition and secure a second term, Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage a few weeks ago. For his die-hard supporters, that seems to be a little too late on the issue, easily pegged as a cynical ploy to try to regain the LGBT vote that supported him so enthusiastically last time and has been so disappointed by his performance to this point.

More importantly… who cares what a presidential candidate thinks about what is essentially a state issue: the definition of marriage? That varies from state to state, as is proper. So he’s grabbing the buck where it’s irrelevant.

And doing the same thing with his announcement this past week that he’s going to grant work permits to illegal aliens who meet certain criteria. Sorry, Obama, you don’t have the power or authority to do that. You’re sworn to uphold the law as passed and enacted by Congress. Nowhere in the current law is there any authority to take it upon yourself to determine who is and who is not allowed to get work permits as an alien. You have to abide by the law as written and properly passed and enacted. And lawsuits have already been filed against you to address your actions.

Which is particularly ironic in that he had his Justice Department minion Holder file a lawsuit against the State of Arizona over its SB1070 law, which allowed its own police forces to help enforce federal immigration law. Their law was enacted on the premise that the feds weren’t effectively enforcing the extant laws. And here he is, proving their point.

The problem for the ObaMessiah is that he’s not Emperor; he doesn’t get to pick and choose what laws he’s going to have his administration enforce. He’s sworn to enforce the laws on the books as written and lawfully enacted.

So, in this case grabbing that buck he tries the rest of the time to avoid simply doesn’t wash. It’s easily and accurately perceived as nothing more than an attempt at cheap populism aimed at a very specific voter demographic.

Bottom Line:  Except when he gets it wrong, as in the amnesty and same-sex marriage issues, not only is Obama’s slogan “The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here!”, it’s “Buck?… What Buck?”

I indict Obama for dodging responsibility for his actions and the actions of those who work for him; of world-class hypocrisy; for speaking out of both sides of his mouth; for illegal arrogation of power to himself in violation of the US Constitution; and for just basically being the lousiest President since… ever.

The only guy who ever made Jimmy Carter look good by comparison.

© Brian Baker 2012