Immigration to the United States and the Syrian Civil War.

Lack of Executive Action
I saw both Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson this morning on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Both are Senators in the United States Congress, one representing the Democrat point of view and the other the Republican on the subject of ten thousand Syrian refugees immigrating to the United States as the Syrian civil war takes place.
Mind you, the war has been in effect for four years.

These are my thoughts on
Immigration to the United States and the Syrian Civil War.


Dear Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): First, please address your fellow Senators by their title and not their first name. They do deserve your respect.

Second, every aspect of the immigration, lack of speed at the vetting of potential emigres and the civil war in Syria and the terror of ISIL can be laid at the feet of the Executive Branch, and therefore President Obama. Please, finally, regardless of party, place the blame where it belongs.

As to the immigration process: it takes from 18 months to 2 years to vet a single person wishing to come to America. It doesn’t matter which nationality, these are the facts. Where is the improvement of that process under President Obama’s watch? It simply doesn’t exist. As you should remember, prior to Candidate Obama taking office, he was unable to correctly vet Van Johnson. There has been no improvement; however he supposedly can vet his cabinet members almost immediately as they have been cronies and personal friends it seems. That’s a terrible record for the nation of the United States.

Further, you stated you thought it would be a good idea to take the monies appropriated to Train and Arm the Syrian Rebels and use that money to bring 50 thousand Syrian refugees to America. Obviously you are aware that a specific amount is required per person, per family, to insure that they are not a drain on the national debt. (Most people aren’t aware of this.) However, wouldn’t it be best to do as the Congress of the United States has voted on and approved – Train and arm the Rebels of Syria? After all, the vacuum left in Iraq that gave rise to ISIL has been caused by President Obama’s withdrawal prior to the insurance that both Iraq and Iran, and the surrounding area, was stable. Besides, there are 4 thousand possible trainees that are in Europe right now that have left their Syrian homeland and an additional 7 million who are displaced from their lands in Syria. Somehow, I think the US might find more than the 50 they’ve trained to date. Again, this failure can be laid at the feet of President Obama as both C-in-C and it’s most high Executive.

It isn’t wrong to admit the truth. But, it is wrong to sidestep reality for the sake of your political party as you showed in your appearance today. If you’d not noticed, the American citizen, almost to a person, is fed up with politicians doing exactly what you are doing: ignoring the reality of political problems by banking on both the Liberal Media and the supposed ignorance of the American voter.

As the election process for the next President continues, please institute what your constituency demands: a better political process and an executive in the oval office worthy of the title of President. One who, through their foreign policy, places the safety and security of the United States foremost as both the Chief Executive as well as the Commander-in-Chief. (I doubt seriously your statement today that you couldn’t find one person in your state that would agree to Train and Arm the Syrian Rebels. [A parphrase of mine])

Also, since it’s not your race, please refrain from interfering simply for the sake of your political party. Let the candidates speak for themselves. If they can’t make the case for their own election  then they shouldn’t receive the support of the American public. I’m sure you agree. At least, if you’re an honest politician you should agree.

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Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals “Think.”

Image    Evan Sayet, 2006: I call myself a 9/13 Republican. I grew up a liberal New York Jew; you don’t get much more liberal than that–although it was lower-case “l,” not what’s considered Liberal today. I graduated from high school knowing only one thing about politics: that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil.

I tell a story. It’s not a true story, but it helps crys­tallize my thinking that brought me to become a conservative. I say: Imagine being in a restaurant with an old friend, and you’re catching up, and suddenly he blurts out, “I hate my wife.” You chuckle to yourself because he says it every time you’re together, and you know he doesn’t hate his wife; they’ve been together for 35 years. He loves his daughters, and they’re just like her. No, he doesn’t hate his wife.

So you’re having dinner, and you look out the window and spot his wife, and she’s being beaten up right outside the restaurant. You grab your friend and say, “Come on, let’s help her. Let’s help your wife,” and he says, “Nah, I’m sure she deserves it.” At that moment, it dawns on you: He really does hate his wife.

That’s what 9/11 was to me. For years and years I’d hear my friends from the Left say how evil and horrible and racist and imperialistic and oppressive America is, and I’d chuckle to myself and think, “Oh, they always say that; they love America.” Then on 9/11, we were beaten up, and when I grabbed them by the collar, and I said, “Come on, let’s help her. Let’s help America,” and they said, “Nah, she deserves it.”

At that moment, I realized: They really do hate America. And that began me on what’s now a five-plus-year quest to try to understand the mindset. How could you possibly live in the freest nation in the history of the world and see only oppression? How could you live in the least imperialist power in human history and see us as the ultimate in imperi­alism? How could you live in the least bigoted nation in human history and, as Joe Biden said, “see racism lurking in every dark shadow”?

Over the next five years, what I came to think through, what I came to learn, what I came to find in conversations and studying, listening, and read­ing became this talk and very soon will be the book Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals “Think.”

I assume that just about everybody in this room agrees that the Democrats are wrong on just about every issue. Well, I’m here to propose to you that it’s not “just about” every issue; it’s quite literally every issue. And it’s not just wrong; it’s as wrong as wrong can be; it’s 180 degrees from right; it is diametrically opposed to that which is good, right, and successful.

What I discovered is that this is not an accident. This is part of a philosophy that now dominates the whole of Western Europe and the Democratic Party today. I, like some others, call it Modern Liberalism. The Modern Liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Give the Modern Liberal the choice between Saddam Hussein and the United States, and he will not only side with Saddam Hussein; he will slander America and Americans in order to do so. Give him the choice between the vicious mass murderer corrupt terrorist dictator Yasser Arafat and the tiny and wonderful democracy of Israel, and he will plagia­rize maps, forge documents, engage in blood libels–as did our former President Jimmy Carter– to side with the terrorist organizations and to attack the tiny democracy of Israel.

It’s not just foreign policy; it’s every policy. Given the choice between promoting teenage abstinence and teenage promiscuity–and believe me, I know this from my hometown of Hollywood–they will use their movies, their TV shows, their songs, even the schools to promote teenage promiscuity as if it’s cool: like the movie American Pie, in which you are a loser unless you’ve had sex with your best friend’s mother while you’re still a child. Conversely, NARAL, a pro-abortion group masquerading as a pro-choice group, will hold a fund-raiser called “‘F’ Abstinence.” (And it’s not just “F.” It’s the entire word, because promoting vulgarity is part of their agenda.)

So the question becomes: Why? How do they think they’re making a better world? The first thing that comes into your mind when trying to under­stand, as I’ve so desperately tried to understand, is that if they side always with evil, then they must be evil. But we have a problem with that, don’t we? We all know too many people who fit this category but who aren’t evil: many of my lifelong friends, the people I grew up with, relatives, close relatives.

If they’re not evil, then the next place your mind goes is that they must just be incredibly stupid. They don’t mean to always side with evil, the failed and wrong; they just don’t know what they’re doing. But we have a problem with this as well. You can’t say Bill Maher (my old boss) is a stupid man. You can’t say Ward Churchill is a stupid man. You can’t say all these academics are stupid people. Frankly, if it were just stupidity, they’d be right more often. What’s the expression? “Even a broken clock is right twice a day,” or “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.”

But if they’re not stupid and they’re not evil, what’s their plan? How do they think they’re making a better world by siding with Saddam Hussein, by keeping his rape and torture rooms open, by seek­ing the destruction of a democracy of Jews? I don’t know if you’ve seen the list going around the Inter­net of all the Nobel Prize-winning scientists from this tiny state of Israel. How do they think they’re making a better world by promoting to children behaviors that are inappropriate and cause diseases and unwanted pregnancies and ruin people’s lives? How do they think they’re making a better world?

What I discovered is that the Modern Liberal looks back on 50,000 years, 100,000 years of human civilization, and knows only one thing for sure: that none of the ideas that mankind has come up with–none of the religions, none of the philos­ophies, none of the ideologies, none of the forms of government–have succeeded in creating a world devoid of war, poverty, crime, and injustice. So they’re convinced that since all of these ideas of man have proved to be wrong, the real cause of war, pov­erty, crime, and injustice must be found–can only be found–in the attempt to be right.

If nobody ever thought they were right, what would we disagree about? If we didn’t disagree, surely we wouldn’t fight. If we didn’t fight, of course we wouldn’t go to war. Without war, there would be no poverty; without poverty, there would be no crime; without crime, there would be no injustice. It’s a utopian vision, and all that’s required to usher in this utopia is the rejection of all fact, reason, evi­dence, logic, truth, morality, and decency–all the tools that you and I use in our attempts to be better people, to make the world more right by trying to be right, by siding with right, by recognizing what is right and moving toward it.

When this first started to dawn on me, I would question my Liberal friends–and believe me, there were plenty of them in Hollywood. The thing about Hollywood is that it is overwhelmingly Liberal: upper-case “L,” not lower-case “l.” There are a lot more of us conservatives than you would suspect, but they are afraid. It’s hard to come out because what’s so Orwellian–and virtually everything about this philosophy is Orwellian–is that the Lib­erals are as illiberal as you can imagine. As much as they scream “McCarthyism,” there is a “graylist” there that sees people not get hired because they don’t toe the Leftist line.

What you have is people who think that the best way to eliminate rational thought, the best way to eliminate the attempt to be right, is to work always to prove that right isn’t right and to prove that wrong isn’t wrong. You see this in John Lennon’s song “Imagine”: “Imagine there’s no countries.” Not imagine great countries, not imagine defeat the Nazis, but imagine no religions, and the key line is imagine a time when anything and everything that mankind values is devalued to the point where there’s nothing left to kill or die for.

Obviously, this is not going to happen overnight. There are still going to be religions, but they are going to do their best to denigrate them. There are still going to be countries, but they will do what they can to give our national sovereignty to one-world bodies. In the meantime, everything that they teach in our schools, everything they make into movies, the messages of the movies, the TV shows, the newspaper stories that they pick and how they spin them have but one criterion for truth, beauty, honesty, etc., and that is: Does it tear down what is good and elevate what is evil? Does it tear down what is right and elevate what is wrong? Does it tear down the behaviors that lead to success and elevate the ones that lead to failure so that there is nothing left to believe in?

You might recognize this as the paradigm and the purpose of one of the most successful Liberal motion pictures of all time, Fahrenheit 9/11. There’s nobody who believes Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was an honest attempt to portray the real events of that horrific day and its aftermath. Every­body knows that Michael Moore is a Leftist and that it was a propaganda film in which the facts were cherry-picked, the evidence manipulated, the nar­rative near-lunatic, all for one purpose. The ques­tion that we were debating at the time was, “Should we go to war against the Iraqi government, against Saddam Hussein?” So he used all the tricks and manipulations and lies that he could to show that America isn’t that good, that America isn’t worth fighting for, that Saddam Hussein isn’t that evil and not worth fighting against, for the purpose of undermining our efforts to go to war.

Again, there is quite literally nothing in Holly­wood, in the newspapers, in our schools that does not have this as its sole criterion. For example, there is no journalistic standard by which the misdeeds of a handful of night guards at an obscure prison for terrorists–misdeeds in which nobody was killed and nobody was seriously hurt–ought to be a front-page story in The New York Times. Not for a single day. Yet, for 44 straight days, this non-story was a front-page story in The New York Times. Why? Because while it met no journalistic standard, it met the one and only Modern Liberal standard: “You think America’s good? We found something that’s going to make you not believe that any longer. You think that the Islamic fascists are bad? No, no, no, this is why they do it. No wonder they fly airplanes into our buildings.”

And that’s just one of so many other examples. There was no journalistic standard by which News­week printed the story of Korans being flushed down the toilet. Not only was it a bogus story, it never happened–it was an impossible story. Think about it: Can you flush a book down the toilet? Even a five-year-old would know that you can’t flush a book down the toilet; you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. So why did Newsweek run a story that was not only bogus, but that failed to meet even the most obvious logic? Because nothing matters to them. There is no standard, because a standard would require them to say something is better than something else, which goes against this entire philosophy. It met the one and only criterion of truth to Newsweek, which was that it attacked America and justified the Islamic fascist terrorist.

The same thing is true in the art world. There is no artistic standard, no aesthetic criterion by which– forgive me–a jar of urine with a cross in it is beauti­ful. There is no aesthetic criterion by which the cura­tors of the museum said, “Take down the Monet and put up the urine,” but it met the one and only stan­dard of art that exists to the Modern Liberal.

Similarly, the movies last year met no criterion of storytelling and no criterion of cinematography. The five nominees for Best Picture met one criterion. Brokeback Mountain said heterosexual marriage isn’t that important; go be a homosexual if you choose. Munich said there is no difference between the terror­ists and the people who stop them from murdering again. And if you look at the other pictures as well, ultimately with Crash winning, Crash said America is this evil, horrible nation where every moment of every day is filled with bigotry and racism.

There truly is no standard, no criterion for truth, beauty, justice, or anything else amongst the Mod­ern Liberals, the dominant force in today’s Demo­cratic Party: not all Democrats, but those who will mindlessly accept without question, without doubt, that of course we went into Iraq to steal their oil because that’s what America does; no need to even consider any other possibility. Not everyone who voted for John Kerry and who fits that description is aware of the elite’s blueprint for utopia, and I don’t think some of them would support it if they were.

What the elite have succeeded in doing through the institutions we’ve allowed them to control–and if we’re going to save America, we must take back the schools, the universities, the media, the entertain­ment industry–is indoctrinating, starting with the very young and going all the way up through college and beyond, starting the first time they turn on “Ses­ame Street” and “Buster Bunny,” going up through the middle years when they’re told, “Hey, little boy, if you have a queer eye, you’re going to be a cool guy,” or, “Hey, little girl, it doesn’t matter how cool you are; if you grow up to be a heterosexual married woman, you’re going to be a desperate housewife.”

So many of the other shows that are on the air show family and marriage and all the things that are traditional and that we recognize as good–shows like “The War at Home” and “Rules of Engagement”–as if it’s another battle. They wouldn’t allow “Make Room for Daddy” and shows like those because they were not realistic, so instead we now have the Bundys, where the mother and father hate each other and are looking to get as much as they can from each other, and this whole mindset. And it continues on through Ward Churchill’s ethnic studies class.

What happens is, they are indoctrinated into what I call a “cult of indiscriminateness.” The way the elite does this is by teaching our children, start­ing with the very young, that rational and moral thought is an act of bigotry; that no matter how sin­cerely you may seek to gather the facts, no matter how earnestly you may look at the evidence, no matter how disciplined you may try to be in your reasoning, your conclusion is going to be so tainted by your personal bigotries, by your upbringing, by your religion, by the color of your skin, by the nation of your great-great-great-great-great grandfa­ther’s birth; that no matter what your conclusion, it is useless. It is nothing other than the reflection of your bigotries, and the only way to eliminate bigot­ry is to eliminate rational thought.

There’s a brilliant book out there called The Clos­ing of the American Mind by Professor Allan Bloom. Professor Bloom was trying to figure out in the 1980s why his students were suddenly so stupid, and what he came to was the realization, the recog­nition, that they’d been raised to believe that indis­criminateness is a moral imperative because its opposite is the evil of having discriminated. I para­phrase this in my own works: “In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.”

I’ll give you an example. At the airports, in order not to discriminate, we have to intentionally make ourselves stupid. We have to pretend we don’t know things we do know, and we have to pretend that the next person who is likely to blow up an airplane is as much the 87-year-old Swedish great-great-grand­mother as those four 27-year-old imams newly arrived from Syria screaming “Allahu Akbar!” just before they board the plane. In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.

The problem is, of course, that the ability to dis­criminate, to thoughtfully choose the better of the available options–as in “she’s a discriminating shopper”–is the essence of rational thought; thus, the whole of Western Europe and today’s Democrat­ic Party, dominated as it is by this philosophy, rejects rational thought as a hate crime.

So what you’re left with after 10, 12, 14, 20 years in the Leftist indoctrination centers that our schools have become are citizens of voting age who are utterly unwilling and incapable of critically judging the merits of the positions they hold and have held unquestioned since they were five years old and first entered the Leftist indoctrination process.

There was a book that came out at just about the same time as Professor Bloom’s that in some ways even better describes and explains the mindset of the Modern Liberal. It was Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and it reads like the bible of Modern Liberalism and the playbook of Democratic Party policy.

The sentence fragment “Don’t hit,” which is one of the lessons that Fulghum refers to, has morphed into an entire sentence now that they’re adults: “War is not the answer.” But they don’t really need to know anything, because even though they know about Neville Chamberlain and what happens if you appease evil, they don’t really need to know it because knowing it or not knowing it would not have changed the position they have now and have held unquestioned since they were five.

When I was five years old, I used to go around the neighborhood trick-or-treating with my friends on Halloween, and we’d have in one hand a bag for candy and in the other hand a little box with a slit on top for nickels and dimes and pennies for UNICEF, because at five years old, the United Nations is a terrific thing: “Don’t hit, talk.” Another lesson from Robert Fulghum is “Share everything.” Well, here, we’ll share power; we’ll share our wealth; we’ll pay for the United Nations. Let’s talk things out. What a lovely, wonderful thing.

Then you turn 10, 15, 20, and you learn some things about the United Nations that change your opinion. You learn about the corruption. You learn about the anti-Semitism, that they ran away from the genocide in Rwanda, have done nothing about the Sudanese genocide–in fact, made the Sudanese members of the Human Rights Commission while they were committing this genocide! You and I change our position because these are things we really need to know, yet the Modern Liberal will maintain their five-year-old’s position, their belief that the United Nations is this great, wonderful thing, and completely ignore everything they’ve learned since.

There was a song that came out at about this time called “Goodbye Stranger” by a group called Super­tramp–because, you know, being a “tramp” is super! In it, this guy and this girl shack up together for a couple weeks, and apparently things are pretty wonderful until she says something like, “Honey, we’ve run out of food. Why don’t you go to the supermarket, pick up some things, and then we can do this for another week or two?” He says, “I should go shopping? No, no, that’s not my paradise. I’m leaving.” And as he’s walking out the door, he says to her, “Now, I believe that what you say is the undis­puted truth, but I have to see things my own way just to keep me in my youth.”

That is so much the mindset of the Modern Lib­erals. It’s not that they are not aware of all the things that we’re aware of; it’s that they need to reject them in order to remain in this five-year-old’s utopia that they’ve been told is the only hope for mankind: a mindless indiscriminateness.

So what you’re left with is not really adults, but citizens of voting age who cannot judge their own positions but are virulently antagonistic to any posi­tion other than their own. Why? Because when you’ve been brought up to believe that indiscrimi­nateness is a moral imperative, any position other than their own must have been arrived at through the employment of discrimination. This is why Bush is Hitler; this is why Reagan is Hitler; this is why Giuliani is Hitler.

How is Rudolph Giuliani like Hitler to a thinking person? In one way: Hitler discriminated against the Jews; Giuliani discriminated against the crack-addicted prostitutes mugging people in Times Square. Hitler discriminated against the Catholics; Giuliani discriminated against the criminal over­lords. Hitler discriminated against the gypsies; Giuliani discriminated against the terrorists on 9/11 and beyond. In other words, any form of discrimi­nation is wrong.

The Modern Liberals know that theirs is a posi­tion arrived at through the moral imperative of indiscriminateness; therefore, any position other than their own must have been arrived at through the employment of discrimination. So this makes you not just wrong on your issues and your stances. They don’t even think about your issues and your stances. They don’t have to. Even if they were will­ing to, even if they were able to, they don’t need to. Would you sit and contemplate Hitler’s Social Secu­rity policy? No, you would fight Hitler.

So what you’re left with is, after 10, 12, 14, 20 years in these indoctrination centers–and it’s not a coincidence that the longer you stay in the indoctri­nation process, the more morally inverted you become, so that to become head of the Ethnic Stud­ies Department, you have to argue that the Islamic fascist terrorists are the good guys and the victims of 9/11 were all little Eichmanns–is people who quite literally cannot differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong, better and worse.

But indiscriminateness of thought does not lead to indiscriminateness of policy. Indiscriminateness of thought invariably leads the Modern Liberal to side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Why? Because in a world where you are indiscriminate, where no behavior is to be deemed better or worse than any other, your expectation is that all behavior should lead to equally good out­comes. When, in the real world, different behaviors lead to different outcomes, you and I know why– because we think. We know why communities that promote teenage promiscuity tend to fail at a greater rate than communities that promote teenage absti­nence: Teenage promiscuity and teenage abstinence are not the same behaviors. Teenage abstinence is a better behavior.

Forget the moral component for a moment; let’s just talk practicalities. If your boy’s out messing around, he’s not home reading a book. If your daughter’s down at the abortion mill again, she’s not at the library studying for the SATs. If your son’s in a hospital bed somewhere dying of AIDS, he’s not putting together his five-year plan.

You and I recognize why communities that pro­mote teenage abstinence do better than those that promote teenage promiscuity in their music, in their movies, in the schools. But to the Modern Liberal who cannot make that judgment–must not make that judgment–that would be discriminating. They have no explanation. Therefore, the only explana­tion for success has to be that somehow success has cheated. Success, simply by its existence, is proof positive to the Modern Liberal of some kind of chi­canery and likely bigotry. Failure, simply by its existence–no other evidence needed, just the fact that it has failed–is enough proof to them that fail­ure has been victimized.

So the mindless foot soldier, which is what I call the non-elite, will support the elite’s blueprint for utopia, will side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success, out of a sense of justice. As I said at the beginning, they’re not evil. It’s just a mindless acceptance without any true Socratic desire to talk about the real consequences. It’s meaningless to them, and it’s why John Lennon said utopia was all the people living for today.

By the way, it’s not a coincidence that those who live for today now have so much debt. What is debt? It’s the failure to repay a promise from yesterday. And they vote themselves nothing but more and more entitlements, which is what? Stuff for me. I’ll worry about who pays for it later.

The same is true of good and evil. Since nothing can deemed good, nothing can be deemed evil. That which society does recognize as good must be the beneficiary of some sort of prejudice. That which society recognizes as evil must be the victim of that prejudice. So, again, the mindless foot soldier will invariably side with whatever policy, mindlessly accept whatever policy seeks to tear down what is good–America, Israel, Wal-Mart–and elevate what is evil until everything meets in the middle and there is nothing left to fight about.

Take an issue in the news and think like a Mod­ern Liberal, and you will see how, once you’ve been indoctrinated into this mindset, there is no other choice. Remember, I said it was inevitable. Once you belong to this cult of indiscriminateness, there is no other conclusion you can come to than that good is evil and that evil is the victim of good.

We all know it’s official policy at the Leftist media outlets to never call Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Hezbol­lah, Hamas, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, or any of the oth­er Islamic fascist terrorist groups around the world “terrorists,” and you know why. In fact, it’s even in official memos to reporters ordering them not to use the appropriate word. That reason is that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Who are we to employ critical, rational judgment?”

But, as a very minimum standard, can’t we at least agree that in order to be called a “freedom fighter,” you have to be fighting for freedom? We know what Osama bin Laden is fighting for; he’s told us. It’s not freedom; it’s an oppressive theocracy in which women are covered from head to toe and beaten if their ankles become exposed, and unless we all change to his religion, we are considered the offspring of pigs and monkeys to be decapitated. People like Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore will call Osama bin Laden a freedom fighter because being indiscriminate quite literally leaves them unable to tell the difference between freedom and having your head hacked off. That’s how sick this mentality is.

So, if The New York Times and CNN and News­week and the rest of the leftist media outlets are right and there is no objective difference between the ter­rorist and the freedom fighter, why is it that you and I teach our children that George Washington is a hero and Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein are vil­lains? You and I know why because we think.

George Washington risked his personal fortune to personally lead his troops into battle: battles fought nobly against other uniformed warriors for the purpose of creating the freest nation in the his­tory of the world. Pretty noble, pretty heroic stuff. Yasser Arafat, on the other hand, stole his people’s money, sent 14-year-olds out to fight his battles: battles fought against kids and women and civilians in pizza parlors and Passover ceremonies, all for the purpose of maintaining his corrupt dictatorship. Pretty villainous stuff.

But to the folks at The New York Times, there is no objective difference between the terrorist and the freedom fighter. So why do we teach our children that George Washington is a hero? The only possible explanation is that he is a white Christian of Euro­pean descent. If there is no difference between the behaviors of the freedom fighters and the terrorists, then why do we teach that Yasser Arafat and Sadd­am Hussein are villains? There can be no other rea­son than they are darker-skinned Muslims of Middle Eastern birth.

So when push comes to shove and after 18 Unit­ed Nations resolutions and 10 years of having our airplanes shot at in direct violation of our very clear agreements, after Saddam Hussein had invaded Iran and invaded Kuwait, bombed Saudi Arabia and bombed Israel, committed atrocities against the Kurds in the North and was committing genocide against the Marsh Arabs in the South, we finally, reluctantly go to war to liberate those poor people. You and I know why because we think: because we make critical, rational, moral judgments.

But to the Modern Liberal, to the mindless, to those who cannot discriminate between these behaviors, the only possible explanation for us going to war is some nefarious cause: because we’re evil and Saddam Hussein, therefore, is a victim. So they will rush there, as we’ve seen, and act as human shields to protect his rape rooms and his tor­ture chambers because they won’t judge rape rooms and torture chambers, for that requires critical and moral judgment.

And if you listened to the chants of the mindless minions as they marched down the streets in their anti-America rallies, which the forged document users and the Leftist press euphemistically called “anti-war rallies,” you could hear their chant: “One, two, three, four, we don’t want your racist war.” What race, exactly, comprises Iraq? What are they talking about? They don’t know. It’s not a factual statement; it’s not an accurate statement. Didn’t we just recently go to war to protect Muslims in Kuwait? Didn’t we bomb the Christians of Europe to protect the Muslims of Europe?

What is this based on? It’s based on the reality that once you subscribe to indiscriminateness, any­thing other than indiscriminateness is the evil of having discriminated.

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Journalism is an act, not a profession

SACRAMENTO – Watching some recent debates about who is a “real journalist” and who isn’t has been a source of amusement for me given that being a real journalist has not always been that great of an honor. When I told Mom I was getting a job in journalism, she was miffed that her son would waste a decent education on such a low-rent pursuit.

That question of journalistic authenticity, though, has been in the news as Congress has debated a “shield law” designed to protect journalists from government prosecution – an outgrowth of the Obama administration’s legal pursuit of people who leak and publish sensitive government information. (Without leaks, there would be little real journalism, by the way. And to government officials, everything is sensitive.)

Sen. Dick Durbin, that noted journalistic expert from Illinois, wrote that “we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.”

An outraged Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor, rightly called Durbin a “constitutional ignoramus if he thinks that when the Framers talked about freedom of the press, they were talking about freedom for the press as an institution.” Reynolds was writing in the New York Post, but only Durbin would know if that makes Reynolds a real journalist or a poseur.

Reynolds’ point is a good one: It’s scary to think of the government as the final arbiter of what separates a real journalist from a fake one. It’s typical of government to want to put everything in a box, which makes it so much easier to control, regulate and subsidize (just another way to control it).  One of the big problems with the herd journalism often practiced in White House press corps or among those journalists “embedded” with the military, is that they curry favor with government officials lest they lose their access to information.

Newspapers and other large media organizations often publish good journalism, but they often publish bad journalism also. The media world has changed so dramatically with the Internet and cable TV and talk radio that these debates seem so arcane that only Congress can have them with a straight face.

We’re just as likely – sometimes more likely, based on recent events – to see great journalism practiced by nonprofessionals or by professionals who work for small or independent media as by those working for the major national media. For most of my life, readers were stuck relying on the talking heads featured on the network TV news shows, all of whom produced stories with the same establishment tilt to them.

We also relied on major liberal-oriented newspapers and had few alternatives for getting and publishing contrarian information. The Internet changed all that, but one can be sure that the likes of Durbin will end up protecting only those journalists who fit a more traditional role if they get to put their definitions in law. Bloggers and others like them will be on their own. That’s not only elitist, but dangerous for those who value good watchdog reporting.

Government already holds the cards. It is so big and powerful, so secretive and arrogant that we ought not to hobble efforts by reporters and bloggers to expose its dealings. Look at how the government has reacted to Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, who provided that NSA spying information to media sources.

The New Media World, with its plethora of nontraditional reporting voices, has so changed the journalism landscape that even denizens of the major national media understand that any shield law should protect the practice of journalism, not a caste of journalists who work for organizations approved by the federal government.

The New York Times’ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan recently noted how news organizations sometimes dismiss serious writers and reporters as “bloggers,” as if to diminish the work they do. She quoted Times’ columnist Frank Rich, who recently savaged NBC anchor David Gregory for suggesting that one reporter ought to be charged with a crime for his work reporting on the information that Snowden provided.

Wrote Rich: “Is David Gregory a journalist? … [N]ame one piece of news he has broken, one beat he has covered with distinction, and any memorable interviews he’s conducted that were not with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin or Chuck Shumer.”

Ouch. Bravo to Rich. Journalism is about covering news, not echoing the talking points of government officials. How dare anyone suggest that the ridiculous Gregory is a real journalist, whereas the dogged Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian writer at issue here, is not.

Sometimes great acts of journalism are the work of average citizens who use their cellphones to record, say, a police beating, or to pound out some news on an infrequently read blog. This is no more surprising than realizing that great acts of Christian charity often take place by people outside of church institutions, or that the best teaching takes place outside the halls of your local high school!

When I started a small investigative news site in Sacramento, the Assembly speaker refused to grant us credentials even though we were doing the same work as “real journalists.” But the press organization at the Capitol kindly went to bat for us, which shows how much the new media has changed the thinking even among the old media.

A shield law is a good idea, but only if it recognizes that real journalism is an act, not a credential.

Steven Greenhut is vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.

 

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My Case for a No Fly Zone in Syria

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Wow – Obama says he doesn’t actually know what he’s going to do about Syria. He hasn’t decided what kind of weapons to send to the rebels and he doesn’t yet know if a no fly zone will be a part of the plan.

I have a feeling that the reason Obama doesn’t know is that Obama has zip for experience when it comes to war. So far, since he came into office, all he has done is delegate the Afghan and Iraqi Wars to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As we all recall, when a second surge was discussed, Obama dithered. Remember that? Cheney got involved in that one and forced Obama’s hand by simply using that word – dithering. Classic political push from Darth Vader and Obama in his mom jeans caved.

So, here we are again between a rock and a hard place and Obama has failed to do that which he does best – outsource his problem to someone else. He tried to send all of this to the UN but of course, that didn’t work, and why would it? As I recall, the United States of America doesn’t need to ask anyone – no nation, no body, no international court, whether it can or cannot protect it’s citizens from the evil of he world. We are a sovereign nation who, like all nations, need no one’s permission to defend ourselves.

Unfortunately though, we have a President who has no experience in either running a large conglomeration of diverse entities nor does he have the experience to run a soda shop on the weekends. Therefore, Obama sits and ‘thinks’, which is just really another word for ‘dither’. Here we go again.

I come down on the side of the no fly zone much more than the insertion of new weaponry into the Syrian Civil War. Unlike some politicians, I realize that whatever weapons we decide to offer up to the rebels can one day come back to be aimed at our young soldiers. Realizing that, I would have to say that the no fly zone allows us to do a couple of things without leaving behind anything that may come back to bite us.

First, we can, from the air, take out the command and control of the Syrian Government. That would benefit us in numerous ways, knowing of course that the Russians are sitting off shore and will help Assad where they can, they won’t have that ship there in the long term. What will be left will be late 20th Century technology when all is said and done. Bonus – as Syria when it tries to rebuild will be spending their cash on products made in the US of A. I like that idea considering we need something to do as a nation – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

Secondly, we will be able to slice and dice their air power. Yes, Russia has just delivered their outstanding military orders for machinery which included jets and tanks and such. But, we can hit those babies from miles above thereby offering the Russians a reason to not interfere. After all, they’d have to replace those jets in the future as Syria rebuilds. I’ve never known a true Russian to not have an ulterior motive to any deal. They say they’re helping their ally, but they also have a couple of moves laid out to their benefit in the future. Additionally, there are those horrid little tank thingy s that are terrorizing the people of Syria who just want to get on with their lives. I see no reason we can’t target those things and reduce the Syrian Assad Regime’s power to inflict civilian casualties. Sure, we will have some collateral damage while we do this, but if the Syrian people are first made aware of what we are about to do, I’m sure they’ll give the Regime a wide birth. Besides, if our previous air raids are any indication of what could be, this won’t take too long. We’re in, we’re out, and the people of Syria begin to decide for themselves how they will continue into the 21st century. Will they enter as a nation governed by the people, for the people, or will they allow themselves to be subservient to a Dictator who obviously sees no problem in attacking and killing his own people just because he’s hungry for power.

As for the religious overtones in the region, I’ll deal with that in another post. There is no reason to make religion the crux of this issue. After all, this battle has been going on between the west and Persia from the beginning of known time. All one need do is remember the Persian Wars beginning in 492 BCE. Some things never change.

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Government Workforce Mindset

Special Counsel’s Conclusion

    As discussed above, several of the Air Force’s findings are not supported by the evidence presented and thus do not appear reasonable. Those findings demonstrate a pattern of the Air Force’s failure to acknowledge culpability for wrongdoing related to the treatment of remains of service members and their dependents. Despite the failure to accept accountability with respect to certain allegations, the Air Force has taken substantial corrective actions to address the findings and issues brought to light through this investigation. As noted, however, I am concerned that the retention of the individuals responsible for serious violations of codes and regulations, gross mismanagement, dishonesty, and misconduct sends an inappropriate message to the workforce.

Dear Senator Grassley and Representative Issa:

Attached above is the final conclusion regarding an investigation into the disposal of human remains returning from the war in this document:

2Within that document you will find two civilian workers who did terrible things while working for the government, but were ‘reassigned’ instead of being fired. To that end, Lois Learner comes to mind.

I would ask that the oversight committees of both the House and Senate find some way to review the ability for the Government, as a whole, to dismiss civilian workers who are found to have been responsible for serious violations of rules and regulations, gross mismanagement, dishonesty, and misconduct that sends an inappropriate message to the workforce.

At this time, with the many scandals rocking our nation’s ability to govern, this is one of the most important areas that have yet to be addressed.

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Monday, July 14, 2011

Senator McConnell:

 I’m just a nobody out here in the U.S. Who’s been watching the debt and deficit debates. I have a request for you and the Senate Republicans that I hope you will consider.

I would like to see all the Senate Republicans, seated in their places, and the announcements made that Senate Republicans are here and ready to discuss, debate and vote on the debt ceiling and the budgets of 2011 and 2012.

If need be, I’d like the Ryan Budget used as the template as to the categories to vote on with the cap of 18% of income overall being the goal in government spending. From those numbers, once agreed upon, the deficit cuts could be derived. Consequently, once decided, I’d ask that you then have Speaker Boehner have the House Republicans, seated, and again the announcement made that the House Republicans are seated and ready to discuss, debate and vote on the budget for 2012 and the debt ceiling increase.

If drama theater is the only thing the Democrats and Obama will respond to, then give it to them. Show them that they, their positions, their positioning toward the 2012 elections are not now, nor will they ever be more important than the nation of the United States of America.

Enough is enough. Someone has to tell President Obama that he isn’t any more important than any of the rest of us. If the Democrats, separately and collectively, are unwilling to make that statement, I personally don’t have a problem stepping up to fill that position.

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