Liberals are, Bottom Line, Idiots

Charles Blow, who writes for the New York Times, pounds out the stupid regarding Paul Ryan’s recent comments about poverty in the inner city:

…But instead of cushioning his comments, Ryan shot back, “There was nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all — it had nothing to do with race.”

That would have been more believable if Ryan hadn’t prefaced his original comments by citing Charles Murray, who has essentially argued that blacks are genetically inferior to whites and whom the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a “white nationalist.” (The center’s definition: “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites.”)…

Because Blow expects (correctly) that those who provide his paycheck at the Times as well as most of those who bother to read the Times on a regular basis are even bigger idiots than he is, Blow just goes off and says that Ryan – the racist – is proved to be a racist because he, Ryan, quotes a well known racist (Charles Murray).  Blow won’t tell you precisely why Murray is a racist – expecting, in the end, that most of his readers are too lazy and/or stupid to just look Murray up and see who he is (or, alternately, they are simply afraid – fearful that if they look up Murray they’ll find that maybe a liberal is lying and that can lead to all sorts of horrors).  Murray, of course, is tagged by drooling mouth-breathers (ie, liberals) as a racist because 20 years ago he wrote a book (The Bell Curve) which discussed quite a lot of things, but also noted – in passing, really – that differences in intelligence might partially be determined by genetics.  This was deemed racist by liberal dimwits because the only reason any ethnic group can possibly have a different outcome overall from American whites is because American whites are racist (it was also, at this time, forbidden for anyone to ever point out that Japanese and Chinese Americans appear smarter and more successful – on average – than the racist white Americans who work day in and day out to keep all non-white people down).  And, so, Murray is a racist, forever.  Anyone who quote Murray is also a racist – ergo, Ryan is a racist. Its proved, you see?  Heck, its in the New York Times, right?  What more do you want?

Now that Ryan is a racist, forever, it is time to make certain that no one pays the least attention to what Ryan says (boiled down – in some areas of the country, the culture is pretty much against hard work and, so, a lot of people don’t work).  You see, we can’t risk having an idiot start to think.  That starts happening and the Times will be hurt, Blow will be out of a job and Democrats will be defeated at election time.  So, we have to get some stupid in here which sounds like it means something.  On we go:

…His research, he noted, indicates that “40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least one year below the official poverty line during that period” and “54 percent will spend a year in poverty or near poverty.” Rank concluded, “Put simply, poverty is a mainstream event experienced by a majority of Americans.”…

Which has, of course, precisely nothing to do with what Ryan said. But your basic liberal, reading the Times, will nod his or her head like the brainless twits they are and never go further.  Ryan is a racist and other people besides inner-city people are poor, so can we just get back to fighting racism so that black people can get ahead?  That, seriously, is how liberals view this.  The fact that plenty of Americans experience poverty is immaterial to what Ryan was saying.  I’m pretty sure that out of every 100 people who read this, 50 will be able to remember a time they lived in poverty (full disclosure: when I was a child, my father had to go on food stamps for a while.  Additionally, there have been times in my life when I didn’t have $20 to my name).  But that doesn’t matter – what matters is that in certain areas of the country, poverty is endemic and goes on for generation after generation.  This is especially true in inner cities where the culture is against work (against education, too – we all know the term “acting white” to describe a certain subset of African-Americans who view being educated and working hard as being “white” and thus some sort of race-traitor).

Blow’s work is now done.  Liberals are now free to ignore Ryan (or, better, hate him and do Twitter flame wars claiming he’s a racist).  The idiocy of liberalism can continue undisturbed.  Its all so nuanced and hard to define.  All we need is more money from government on “poverty programs”.  We don’t need to think.  We don’t need to consider that we’ve had the poverty programs for decades and yet poverty still exists. And just what are “results”, anyways?  Are we sure that a demand for positive results is not a racial code word?  We don’t need to look at pesky things like third and fourth generation poverty among inner-city people…and we’d best not contrast that with non-white immigrants who arrived 20 years ago but are now middle or upper class.  All is well.  Remain calm – and keep reading the Times!

Idiots, all of them.  Preventing thought, preventing reform, preventing people from rising out of poverty.  But, hey, why should Blow worry?  He’s got the sweet gig at the Times…and most of his readers are well off, too…

A Corruption Case in Pennsylvania

This is quite the scandal.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city’s state House delegation, on tape accepting money, The Inquirer has learned.

Yet no one was charged with a crime.

Prosecutors began the sting in 2010 when Republican Tom Corbett was attorney general. After Democrat Kathleen G. Kane took office in 2013, she shut it down.

In a statement to The Inquirer on Friday, Kane called the investigation poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans.

Those who favored the sting believe Kane killed a solid investigation, led by experienced prosecutor Frank G. Fina, that had ensnared several public officials and had the potential to capture more. They said they were outraged at Kane’s allegation that race had played a role in the case…

The real reason for shutting it down wasn’t that it was tainted with racism, of course – it was because that while operatives attempted to bribe both Republicans and Democrats, it appears that only Democrats took the bribes.  Had there been even one Republican involved, they probably would have allowed it to continue – because then it is a bi-partisan scandal.  The investigation was likely shut down because this is precisely the sort of scandal, when it involves only members of one party, which the other party can then use to utterly crush the offending party at the polls.  The Democrat Party wanted this to go away – and go away, it has.  No matter how much pressure is now brought to bear on Kane, she will not re-open the case and you can rest assured that Holder’s Justice Department won’t so much as take a glance at it.

This is also a look in to just how things operate in the heavily blue areas of the country – payoffs and kickbacks are the normal course of business, especially in the deep-blue city.  As it turns out, this scandal was nabbing mostly African-American politicians – but that is just happenstance.  Any heavily Democrat city has the same sort of things going on. It is how things are done in the Democrat party.  You think they’re in this for their health?  Or for the people?  Heck no – Democrats get into politics to help themselves…and even with all the perks they vote themselves in office, it is never quite enough, now is it?

But here’s the real reason I bring this up – as all deep blue areas are like this and in all of them the poor who routinely vote Democrat are getting screwed as their bosses rake it in, it is high time the GOP went into these areas and started to campaign.  Tell the poor folks that they are being screwed; point out who is having a rake-off; ask them, “do you think voting for these people, again, is going to help you?”.  And then present plans to improve their lives.  We can do this – we can make Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and Los Angeles if not red, then at least purple…and that just hands just Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and California on a silver platter for Presidential elections.

Hopefully someone at the RNC is starting to think like this.

What is Diplomacy?

There have been several attempts at defining this.  Webster has it as “the work of maintaining good relations between the governments of different countries”, but that is a lot of nonsense.  You don’t need good relations between governments – in fact, good relations can some times hamper diplomacy (ties of sentiment are deadly when dealing with intra-governmental issues).  Will Rogers came closer when he said, “diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggy’ until you can find a rock”.  But that isn’t quite right, either – because the purpose of diplomacy is to not have to use the rock.  But, make no mistake about it, the rock must be part of the equation.

I’ll say that diplomacy is the art of adjusting competing claims between actors of relatively equal power with war as the punishment for diplomatic failure.

It has to be between entities of roughly equal power or it isn’t diplomacy – it is either the stronger imposing its will on the weaker, or the stronger being generous to the weaker for whatever reason.  Only between equals can there be diplomacy – two equals (or two groups who are roughly equal) can sit down at the table and try to adjust their differences, all the while with the knowledge that failure to come to agreement means war – and being as it would be a war between roughly equal powers, no one on either side could be entirely sure of the result, and so the incentive is strongly in favor of coming to a deal.  Unless, that is, one side is determined upon war no matter what.  In such a case, diplomacy also cannot happen – because if one side is determined upon war no matter what and the other side is determined on peace no matter what, then the aggressive side is the stronger and will impose its will on the weaker…and, once again, you don’t have diplomacy.  Let’s look at some examples to illustrate my definition:

1.  It is said that we negotiated a treaty with Panama in 1903 in order to build the canal.  We did nothing of the kind.  We told Panama what we wanted and bade them sign on the dotted line or we wouldn’t build the canal, which is the only reason for Panama to exist.  This was the stronger imposing its will on the weaker.  Not diplomacy.

2.  It is said we negotiated a security treaty with Japan in 1951.  We did nothing of the kind.  Because Japan occupies a strategically vital area in the Asia-Pacific, we promised to protect Japan in return for obtaining certain privileges for our military forces in Japan.  It was a good move by us because Japan is a useful ally to have – but the security of the United States does not in any way depend upon the existence of Japan, and its not like a Japanese army would ever arrive in the United States to help defend us against foreign aggression. This was the stronger being generous to the weaker. Not diplomacy.

3.  When Chamberlain, Hitler, Daladier and Mussolini gathered in Munich in 1938, three of the four were determined to have peace at any price, one of them was determined upon war no matter what.  That it wound up with an agreement rather than war was because of the rather startling amount of surrender that Chamberlain and Daladier agreed to – they eventually decided that Hitler should get the spoils of war without war (keep in mind, that if they hadn’t agreed, Hitler would have gone to war in 1938 rather than waiting until 1939).  This was rather unique in human history (to that point, at least) but it still illustrates the point:  with one side willing war no matter what and the other willing peace no matter what, the warlike side becomes immediately the stronger and imposes its will upon the weaker.  Not diplomacy.

4.  When the USSR challenged the United States by putting nuclear missiles in Cuba, both affected parties were roughly equal in power and both sides were equally determined to avoid war.  Negotiations were tense and many fears were raised, but the fact of the matter is that as both were equally strong and no one was willing war, a deal was bound to happen unless some horrific accident took place.  The basics of the deal eventually agreed to were Russian nukes out of Cuba, American nukes out of Turkey.  That is diplomacy.

Now, why bring all this up?  Because as we have gone through the Ukraine crisis, no one is understanding that among all the varied things going on, diplomacy isn’t one of them.  Diplomacy will never be one of them – it can’t be as there aren’t two equal sides involved her.  Oh, to be sure, the power of the United States, alone, is enough to fight and defeat Russia…and the combined power of just Germany and France could probably make short work of Putin’s burgeoning empire.  But no one who dislikes Putin’s actions is putting on the table anything like the force necessary to give Putin pause and make him want to turn to diplomacy…which would, once again, be an adjustment of interests between equal powers and war as the price of failure.  It is my belief that Putin does not desire war – not with us, not with the European Union, not with anyone.  If there were power to match his power, he would climb down and negotiate a diplomatic settlement.  Such a settlement would, of course, have to grant Russia some of her desires – that is the thing about diplomacy: it is never a matter of anyone getting all they want.  It is a deal between equals and each gives a bit, because they don’t want a war which would be more costly than whatever it is they have to surrender to reach a deal.  But with a complete vacuum of power opposite Russia, there is no need for Russia to fear war, and thus no reason to use diplomacy.  Might as well grab all you can while the getting is good.

All the huffing and puffing of Obama, Kerry and the collective world won’t do anything.  To be sure, Putin might graciously agree to eventually sign something which will be hailed as a diplomatic settlement, but you can rest assured – unless there comes along a credible threat of war against Russia – that whatever settlement is agreed to will be entirely in accordance with Putin’s view of Russia’s interests.  In other words, he’ll merely take what he wants at the moment, leave an option to grab what he hasn’t got and attend an international conference to ratify what he’s done.  It’ll be a nice meal and pictures taken and his own press back home will laud him (or else!) as the greatest Russian in a century, etc.

Now that I’ve said all that, what do I think we should do?  Normally, I would advocate a vigorous American response to this but given our current condition and our current President, I’m saying that surrender isn’t so bad.  To be sure, its bad for the people who will come under Putin’s embrace, but I’m not so sure how a half-hearted and incompetently conducted military campaign leading to eventual American failure would help – and, of course, such a thing would actually harm.  As under Obama we are bound to have nothing but the aforementioned half-hearted, etc, I figure we just cut to the chase and make the best of a bad situation.  We can start to repair this in 2017 – hopefully under leadership which isn’t quite as bad as Obama’s.  It is a sad and distressing position for America to be in, but we have no one to blame but ourselves – we might be able to assign our 2008 vote to well-intentioned folly, but our 2012 vote was a gigantic mistake with sufficient facts clearly known.  Now we just have to pay the price for it.

Yes, I Wonder About This, Too

What he said:

John C. Wright ponders. Ponder with him.

“Perhaps, like me, you have wondered how it is that so many people, otherwise honest, can adopt without demur the Orwellian anti-language of Political Correctness; how it is that so many people, otherwise rational, can adopt without demur the paradoxes, self-contradictions and logical absurdities involved in relativistic morality, materialistic ontology, subjective epistemology, and the other nuggets of vacuous blather forming the foundations of modern thought; how it is that so many people, otherwise possessing good taste, can without demur fund and support and praise the blurry aberrations of modern art, praise ugliness, despise beauty; how it is that so many people, otherwise good and peaceful, can praise and support and excuse the hellish enormities and mass murders of figures like Che and Mao and Stalin and Castro; or can view with cold eye the piles of tiny corpses heaped outside abortion mills, and make such enemies of the human race into heroes; or can rush to the defense of Mohammedan terrorists with freakish shrieks of ‘€˜Islamophobia!’€™ and ‘€˜Racist!’ even thought to be wary of Jihadists bent on your destruction is rational rather than phobic, and even thought Mohammedanism is a religion, not a race; how otherwise happy, moral, reasonable and decent people can not merely excuse sexual perversion, but will be swept up in a fervor of righteous indignation even if someone points out the biological or Biblical reality of the situation; and likewise excuse lies in their leaders, and adulteries, and abuses of power, and abuses of drugs, and any number of things these otherwise ordinary people would never do themselves.

“And, finally, perhaps, like me, you have wondered why it is that these people who are otherwise civil nonetheless can neither explain their positions nor stop talking, and their talk consists of nothing, nothing, nothing aside from childish personal attacks, slanders, sneers, and accusation, accusation, accusation.   Why are they so angry? Why are they so noisy? Why are they so blissfully unaware of the vice, injustice, ugliness and evil they support?

More on this pondering here.  He has some very good insights.  Of course, a lot of them were insighted a bit back and can be read here (yes, its a whole book).  Main thing is that it is good to fully understand where they – our Progressive friends – are coming from.

Is Latvia Next?

A bit worrisome:

Last week, I warned that the next step for Russia after seizing the Crimea over the status of ethnic Russians would take place in the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia. All it would take, I argued, would be for Moscow to foment unrest in those ethnic-Russian communities, antagonize the governments in both states, and then insist that Russia had to intervene to protect them. More than a quarter of the population in both countries consist of ethnic Russians, while in Ukraine it only came to 18%.

Now it looks like Moscow will skip over the unrest pretext and demand the right to act as economic protector  in Latvia…

Russia is claiming – probably correctly, to a certain extent – that ethnic Russians in Latvia (as well as in Lithuania and Estonia) are not well treated.  Given the absolutely cruel and brutal treatment the Baltic people suffered at the hands of Russians under the USSR, this is no surprise, at all.

All three nations are NATO allies and members of the European Union – if Russia challenges the independence of these three, small nations, then it is our bound duty to defend them, even up to war.  We’ll see how this plays out – but our weakness (and the military impotence of the European Union) is encouraging Russia to get aggressive.  Of course, this new pressure on the Baltic front just might be a blind…Russia will, as part of a “deal” officially back down on the Baltic States in return for our backing down even further on Ukraine.  We’ll see.

A Constitutional Convention of the States

With the movement for a Constitutional Convention of the States picking up steam, in spite of being completely ignored by the MSM, this is a topic that is long overdue for discussion. Amazona asked that I re-post her comment from the previous thread outlining the constitutional amendments suggested by Mark Levin in his recent best-seller, “The Liberty Amendments.

“Mark Levin is proposing ten amendments to the Constitution. Each one is written in thoughtful language so as to preclude any ancillary problems:

1) Term Limits: He proposes limiting service in both the House and Senate to 12 years. Yes, we’ve heard all the arguments about elections being the best limit. But the past 100 year has proven that to be false. As someone who works day and night to throw the bums out, I can tell you that is nearly impossible to throw them out with the amount of money they raise – precisely for their abuses of power. Levin also proves that limiting time in office was a highly regarded proposal during the Constitutional Congress.

2) Repealing the 17th Amendment: Levin proposes repealing the 17th amendment and vesting state legislators with the power to elect senators so that the power of states is not diluted, as originally feared by the framers of the Constitution.

3) Restoring the Judiciary to its proper role: The Judiciary was never meant to be an all-powerful institution in which five men in robes have the final say over every major policy battle in the country. In order to end judicial tyranny, Levin proposes limiting service to one 12-year term, and granting both Congress and the state legislatures the authority to overturn court decisions with the vote of three-fifths of both houses of Congress or state legislative bodies.

4) Limiting Taxation and Spending: Levin proposes a balanced budget amendment, limiting spending to 17.5% of GDP and requiring a three-fifths vote to raise the debt ceiling. He also proposes limiting the power to tax to 15% of an individual’s income, prohibiting other forms of taxation, and placing the deadline to file one’s taxes one day before the next federal election.

5) Limiting bureaucracy: He proposes an amendment to limit and sunset federal regulations and subject the existence of all federal departments to stand-alone reauthorization bills every three years.

6) Defining the Commerce Clause: Levin writes an amendment that, while technically unnecessary, is practically an imperative to restoring the original intent of the Commerce Clause. The amendment would make it clear that the commerce clause grants not power to actively regulate and control activity; rather to prevent states from impeding commerce among other states, as Madison originally intended.

7) Limiting Federal power to take private property

8) Allowing State Legislature to Amend the Constitution: Although the Framers intentionally made it difficult to amend the Constitution, they did so to preserve the Republic they created. However, the progressives have illegally altered our Republic through a silent and gradual coup without using the amendment process. If we are going to successfully push the aforementioned amendments, we will need an easier mechanism to force them through. The proposed amendment allows states to bypass Congress and propose an amendment with support of just two-thirds of the states (instead of three-fourths) and without convening a convention.

9) State Authority to Override Congress: A proposed amendment to allow states to override federal statutes by majority vote in two-thirds of state legislatures. The last two proposals are rooted in the idea that the states only agreed to the Constitution on condition that their power would not be diluted and that all federal power is derived from the states.

10) Protecting the Vote: A proposal to require photo ID for all federal elections and limit early voting.

Taken as a whole, there is no doubt that these amendments would restore our Republican form of government. Every proposal is backed up by scholarly analysis of the Framers’ view on the proposal, an overview of what has changed since the founding, and the rationale for why the proposal is necessary. You should read the entire book. As someone who is busy reading all the current news every day, this is the only political book I made time to read all year.”

Remember When… Obamacare Was Not Going to Cover Illegals?

The relevant section of the law, also known as Obamacare, is Section 1312 (f)(3), which reads:

“Access limited to lawful residents. If an individual is not, or is not reasonably expected to be for the entire period for which enrollment is sought, a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States, the individual shall not be treated as a qualified individual and may not be covered under a qualified health plan in the individual market that is offered through an Exchange.

BUT, Obame promises illegals that their sign up data will not be used to deport them.

“Will we hear from you a pledge, a personal promise, that the information provided in the registration process will not be used for deportation purposes in this country?”

“Absolutely,” Obama said, putting his hand down for emphasis.

Wait…. I though Illegals are not eligible for obamacare?