Saturday, August 31, 2013

Believing His Own BS ... J. D. Longstreet

Believing His Own BS
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


Oh, this is embarrassing! Our wimp of a President trying to fit into the hat of the Commander-in-Chief.  Geez!  He could at least take the "Kick Me" sign off his back.

Look.  This is what you get when you put a guy in an office for which he is not suited, not ready for, and does not have the cahones to make hard decisions.  And believe me, Mr. Obama is decision averse!  He hates making decisions of any kind but he hates hard decisions the most dragging his feet hoping he can outlast the problem, run out the clock, and not have to make a decision at all.

I've known other people just like that.  It strikes me that the people who delay making decisions are the very same people who condemn the final decision maker if the slightest thing goes wrong. 

See,  here's where I am having an immense problem with Obama's feckless behavior.  Our national honor is now at stake and he, Obama, has caused it to be called into question and that just stinks!

We have this expression down south that covers situations like this.  It is something like this:  "It's is really bad to run a man down and THEN HAVE YOUR BUTT WHIPPED!"

Mr. Obama's mouth has written a check his butt cannot cash!  The man is folding like a wilted suit before the gaze of -- NO -- not Assad!  Putin! 

Anyone running their mouths as often as our motor-mouth President must be prepared to stick his foot in it fairly often.  Occasionally, he may step so deeply into it, that he must be willing to fight to back up his spoken rhetoric.  If he isn't willing to go all out to preserve his honor, and the honor of those he represents, well then, he isn't much of a man.

The thing is this:  You cannot take a nation like the US to the brink of war with threats unless you are willing to carry through.  Apparently Obama, as is his wont, believed his own BS.  He apparently believed that his just uttering the words would so fill the hearts of the enemy with fear and dread that they would shut-up and slink away with their collective tails between their legs. 

Didn't happen. 

Those of us who live out here in the real world never thought it would and said so publicly. All he has accomplished is to make America look like a paper tiger -- a reflection, perhaps, of its leader.

Oh, and he has emboldened our enemies the world over.   By his feckless action, or lack there of, he has made the situation exponentially worse. 

Whereas, a few days ago, a pinprick, surgical, strike might actually have served a purpose, done some good,  (The operative word in the preceding sentence is "MIGHT.") now, however, a pinprick, surgical, strike will do absolutely nothing besides provide a propaganda victory to the enemy. 

Now, the US Forces must make a major strike, seriously damaging the command and control centers of Assad's government, his airfields, his harbor(s), his transportaion modes, his communications, take out his air forces, his navy -- in other words,  we have to throw that ole "shock and awe" at Assad, or -- do nothing at all.

Oh, dear reader, how many times have we reminded America that liberal's have no understanding of military force nor its application.  You are seeing it play out right before your eyes today.  No matter how this Syrian adventure of Mr. Obama's plays out, it will not be good for the US.

Normally, I would say that calling off the attack would do the US less harm than if we carry through with a strike so surgical as to be perceived as a face-saving slap on the wrist.  Not now. 

Our national honor has been laid upon the alter of Obama's over inflated vanity by his words, vacuous words that demonstrated a distinct lack of intelligence or thought; that were, in fact, stupid and even silly  It is a sacrifice we cannot afford to make.  No nation can.

Obama made this bed, now America must lie upon it.

Personally, I didn't want this war.  I can find no definable US interest in Syria. Frankly, it appears (to me) to be more of a "micturition contest" between Obama and Putin than anything else. 

Obama has brought us to the stage at which anything less than a full scale attack will be interpreted by the remainder of the world as turning tail and running. Sorry, folks, but that's the way it is.

As a conservative commentator has said so many times:  "Words mean things."   A President has a responsibility to measure his every utterance. 

Someone once said: "A man is never so empty as when he is full of himself."  I am very much afraid we have a Commander-in-Chief who has suddenly found himself backed into a corner by his own rhetoric.   Unfortunately, he has forced the country into the same corner with him and that is unacceptable in the extreme.

© J D. Longstreet

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Domestic Barbarians Destroy America ... J. D. Longstreet

Domestic Barbarians Destroy America

The Barbarism Within
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

“We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.”   …   Hilaire Belloc

How many times have you heard someone say that when liberals are out of power their antics are funny …  but when they are in power they are dangerous?  My guess is you have heard it many times.  Most of us are quite familiar with it, in fact.

Today America is living the nightmare … disguised by the Left as the American dream.  It has been pathetically named "The New Normal."   It's not new and it's NOT normal.

“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
— Edward Gibbon

Mr. Gibbon could easily have been describing modern day America rather than ancient Athens.  America’s coffers are empty largely to provide Americans a comfortable life.  And, just like the Athenians, we are losing everything, our security, our comfort, and most important, our FREEDOM. 

We have a government ruled by those barbarians America used to laugh at.  And they are solidifying and tightening their grasp on the throat of America’s freedom squeezing it out of existence. Viewing the constitution as nothing more than a speed bump, they are determined to drag America from the pinnacle to the cesspool -- and they are enjoying great success in their strivings!

In a recent commentary I noted how the peoples of a number of states have become so alarmed at the Obama government that they are harkening back to their rights as sovereign states and employing state nullification laws to countermand federal mandates intended to yoke them with federal laws to which they disagree and find overbearing, and massive financial costs they cannot bear.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of America, said the following:  “Whenever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”  He was there, at the birth of this nation, so he ought to know!

Thomas Paine, one of America’s great pamphleteers, author of “Common Sense,” and certainly one of the great rabble-rousers of all time -- and in many ways responsible for the American colonists’ revolution against Great Britain commented thusly: “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worse state, an intolerable one.”  No truer words were ever spoken. 

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), the renowned French historian, in writing about what we call today “Big Government” said the following: “It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

After reading de Tocqueville’s words above your brain happens to form the words “OBAMACARE” on the TV screen of your mind… then you, sir/madam, GET IT! 

Today we have first-hand knowledge of the destruction out-of-control big government can levy on a nation – even the most powerful nation on the globe.  Americans are weighted down, yoked to government as oxen were once yoked to the plow. Heads down, shoulders hunched forward we are pulling the weight with the near debilitating knowledge that our efforts only make the yoke stronger and will, eventually, end in our demise.

"And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.”  Thus wrote Frederic Bastiat a French economist, statesman, and author in the 1800’s.

Freedom is slowly being crushed in America.  As an American, now in my eighth decade of living in America, I can tell you, with no hesitation at all, that I am not nearly as free as I was only a decade or two ago. Freedom, once lost, is nigh impossible to regain.  That’s why free peoples should fight every attempt to take from them even the smallest and seemingly least important freedom.

The man who has done more to diminish America and set her on a course to becoming another third-world dung heap asked Americans for -- and received -- four more years in which to complete the job.  Unbelievable -- but true.

I remain convinced nothing short of divine intervention can halt the wholesale destruction of a free America led by Barack Hussein Obama.

© J. D. Longstreet


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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Removing All Doubt ... J. D. Longstreet

Removing All Doubt
Obama's Syrian Slip-up
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


"It is better to remain silent and allow others to wonder if you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." ... A. Lincoln, President of the United States.

Mr. Lincoln was making an attempt at  paraphrasing the Bible, Proverbs 17:28 to be exact, which says: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

It seems to me that the US President would do well to take to heart Proverbs 17:28 -- especially after his "Syrian Slip-up."  

I have often thought , and said as much, that our President talks to much, far too much. 
For most of my working life, I was paid to talk.  Not for showcasing my, uh, brilliance, but for the ease with which the ability to express myself seemed to come.  I can report to you now, that it did not come easy for me.  It was LEARNED BEHAVIOR. See, I figured out, as a kid, that a fellow with a good vocabulary and the power to,persuade -- plus the ability to speak in public would never go hungry.   I've been hungry.  Believe me, well-fed is much better.

So, where am I going with all this?  I expect you can guess. 

Our President doesn't know when to shut up! 

Look, there are two things you can always count on:  One, you will not always be the smartest fellow in the room, and two, there will always be someone ready, willing, and able to call your bluff.

Oh, and there is a third thing (when dealing with despots and terrorists.)  You can't bluff a person willing to lay down his life for his belief.  He has nothing to lose and, he BELIEVES, anyway, that he has everything to gain by dying.  Therefore, you cannot defeat him.  Yes, you can deconstruct his organization, demonize his cause, and kill him.  But you cannot defeat him. 

Endeavoring to totally defeat terrorism is akin to squeezing a balloon only to see it bulge in another location.  Squeeze that bulge and another appears.  Thus it is with terrorist organizations.

You would think that after nearly five years of the Obama administration we would no longer be surprised at the administration's amateurish efforts at foreign policy.  About the time we thought we were immune to any more infantile like surprises, Obama went and drew a red line and dared Assad to step over it.  Of COURSE,  Assad stepped over it.  Hell, he had to.  It is basic psychology.  When you are a "strongman" leader and you are challenged, you MUST rise to the challenge. Otherwise you risk being dispatched by your own people and replaced with another strongman who WILL rise to the challenge.

Obama should never have drawn that red line.  However, being the amateur that he is, he did, and now we have no choice but to back it up by going to war (in the middle of a civil war) in a country where there are no US interests and where the outcome, no matter what it is, will not be advantageous for the US.   It doesn't get much crazier than than this.

I can't speak for you but, I must tell you, I am fed-up with my country involving itself in "nation building" especially in the Middle East where it is a lost cause from the git-go. 

(By the way, this is a glimpse into what the entire world would look like under global governance.  Constant, never-ending war.)
But, the red line has been crossed and Obama must, repeat, MUST strike.  If he does not follow through,  all the implied threats, going forward, will be seen as hollow, worthless, gestures made by a country that talks big but hasn't the cahones to carry out it's threat. THAT will loose all sorts of mischief on the globe.  US foreign policy, such as it is today, will be a laughing stock. (Not that it isn't a laughing stock today.  Only MORE people will be laughing and a lot louder!)

One must consider what Russia and Iran will do the moment the first US missile or bomb slams into Syrian soil.  Personally, I expect terrorist attacks on Americans in diverse places around the globe.  There have already been rumors that orders have been given for Islamic terrorists to take American hostages forthwith in the event of US military action against Assad.  

It is also likely, there may be some jostling of Russian and American naval vessels and combat aircraft. 

Oh, did I say AIRCRAFT?  I did.  Once we learn that cruise missiles can't get the job done alone, expect US manned aircraft to be launched against Assad's forces. (If bomber aircraft are not a part of the original raid.)  There are reports, unconfirmed by this scribe, that US bomber aircraft have been seen flying into British air bases in the immediate area.

Some sources have made much of the fact that the US has not sailed an aircraft carrier into the eastern end of the Med.  It isn't necessary.  The British have military bases, including airbase(s) on the island of Cyprus just off the coast (Approx. 100 miles) of Syria. 

Another question:  Will Obama be able to withstand the withering criticism bound to come rolling in over the deaths of civilians as a result of our bombing and missile strikes?  Does he have the steel to stay the course once he has committed our forces to the task?  All we know of Obama's military prowess so far is his ability to retreat, as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the bottom of all this mess, I feel sure, is that damnable UN initiative of "The responsibility to protect" designed to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.  Of course, it is just more leftist feel good policy which doesn't do anything toward alleviating the problem, but cost a great many lives of US servicemen and women.

Obama has climbed way out on a limb with his Syrian adventure.  It is almost impossible for it to end well.  Look how Libya ended. Syria stands to be far worse than Libya.

All America can look forward to from our Syrian adventure is more flag draped coffins ... and for what?  No, I mean -- FOR WHAT?

© J. D. Longstreet

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cold War Lessons ... Alan Caruba

Cold War Lessons

By Alan Caruba

Some very interesting realignments are taking place in the world, often between nations one would think have little in common. The threat of fanatical Islam in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda related groups has produced unexpected outcomes.

Russia, China and Iran are supporting Syria which is under attack from Islamist forces while the Saudis are eager to see the regime overthrown, apparently for the same reason. The United States is likely to use its military assets to demonstrate it is no paper tiger, having largely been in retreat in the Middle East since Obama took office.

At age 75 I lived much of my life during the Cold War from 1946 until 1989, some 43 years which culminated two years later in 1991 with the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Throughout that era it was, in the words of Ronald Reagan, the “evil empire.” Presidents from Harry Truman to George H.W. Bush had to base their decisions on what the Soviets and their satellite states were doing. At times it turned hot as in Korea and Vietnam.

It was the U.S. development of the atomic bomb and later the hydrogen bomb that dictated what occurred because neither nation wanted to engage in a nuclear war. Having stolen our nuclear secrets, the Soviets were able to develop their own and, later, Red China had the bomb as well. Other nations, too, would acquire their own. What emerged was the fear of “mutually assured destruction.”

This fear worked, but now the world is facing the prospect of an Islamic nation, Iran, having nuclear weapons (as does Pakistan) and, at that point, all bets are off. Islam embraces death as martyrdom and the gateway to paradise. In Iran, its leaders believe that massive human death and destruction is necessary to secure the return of the Twelfth Imam, a mythical figure, but one that is real to them.

In an excellent history, “The Cold War”, by John Lewis Gaddis, published originally in 2005, the reader is taken on a journey back to that era, but a goodly portion of the present U.S. population has little or no recall of it. Anyone age 24 or younger has no experience with the Cold War and likely no knowledge of it. The Korean War was fought in the 1950s and the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

The single lesson of the Cold War was that Communism could only exist if the governments that embraced it were led by despots and the full power of the state was used to maintain it. In the case of Russia and China, literally hundreds of millions died as a result. The closest example of Communism is Cuba, just ninety miles off the shore of Florida.

Other nations such as Venezuela and Nicaragua are essentially Communist, but the good news is that, during the course of the Cold War and in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union, many new democracies have emerged. What occurred was the “globalization of democratization.” Gaddis notes that “By one count, the number of democracies quintupled during the last half of the 20th century, something that would never have been expected at the end of the first half.”

What Americans are witnessing, however, is the effort of the Obama administration to “transform” America into a close approximation of a Communist nation as more and more of its structure has come under the control of the federal government. It has been a long process that began at the beginning of the last century, ushered in with the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917 and manifested here with a vastly expanded federal government and the creation of various “entitlement” programs that comprise some 60% of our annual budget.

Americans have become accustomed to a government that has extensive control over many sectors of its economy and other aspects of our lives. The educational system has been transformed into a form of politically correct indoctrination and one that consistently fails to teach the most fundamental skills, least of all the ability to think independently. The emphasis has gone from self-reliance to self-esteem.

These days, one in five households in America is on food stamps. Despite four years of failure to reverse the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, the nation remains mired in the longest non-recovery in its history since the Great Depression.

At the end of World War Two in 1945, in response to the Soviet Union’s takeover of Eastern Europe and the need to put Western Europe on a firm economic footing, the United States had to remain on a virtual wartime footing. Our troops would remain in Europe where the Marshall Plan was implemented to aid the recovery of our allies as well as West Germany. This was followed by the creation of NATO to provide military support against a possible Soviet invasion.

The U.S. had to lead the effort to force the North Koreans back across the 38th parallel. Later it would attempt to do the same thing to maintain South Vietnam. The former was a stalemate that exists to this day and the latter was a defeat.

During this period, the Soviet Union remained the focus of U.S. attention. The CIA was created by Truman to monitor and respond to Soviet efforts to extend its influence such as the Communist takeover of Cuba in 1959. The expansionist efforts led to a fearful confrontation in 1962 when the U.S. demanded the removal of nuclear missiles that the Russians had placed in Cuba. The Russians backed down.

All during this time, from Stalin to Khrushchev, the real story of the Soviet Union was the continuing failure of Communism. Gaddis noted that “By 1971, the Soviet Union’s economy and those of its East European satellites were stagnating. By 1981, living standards inside the U.S.S.R. had deteriorated to such an extent that life expectancy was declining—an unprecedented phenomenon in an advance industrialized society. By the end of 1991, the Soviet Union itself, a model for Communism everywhere else, had ceased to exist.”

After the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Union would be led by a succession of aging dictators until events required that a far younger leader, Mikhial Gorbachev, was installed in 1985, but it was too late and he came on the scene when powerful leaders, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John-Paul were positioned to resist.

Today, we have a President who told his Russian counterpart that he would have more “flexibility” after his reelection and, having imposed the takeover of the nation’s healthcare system, the expansion of federal power over the economy, and the vast expansion of its surveillance system, every American is learning what it was like to live under Communist domination.

Historically, the Cold War is over, but if the chill relationship between Putin’s Russia and Obama’s America is any indication, it still endures.

It doesn’t look to end anytime soon and the destruction of the U.S. dollar and our economy, a communist goal for decades, is well underway.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 2.7 million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find Alan Caruba on both Facebook and Twitter as well.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

American Paranoia Sets In -- Big Time! ... J. D. Longstreet

American Paranoia Sets In -- Big Time!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


Have you noticed your friends speaking a bit lower and standing a bit closer as they speak to each other recently?  Have you observed, or thought you observed, whispered exchanges between people you know to be friends or even fellow employees?  And have you noticed these exchanges in what is sometimes referred to as neutral locations -- ie -- not the work place or the home?

I'll bet you have.  I have.  Yeah, most of us have IF we take a moment and think back over the past few days.

So, why do I bring this up?  What's the point?

My point is, dear reader, America is changing -- and changing big time -- and it is all happening right before our eyes and we don't seem to recognize the metamorphosis.

Why?  What's happened?

America is no longer a free country. Yeah, I know that is a strong statement.  I intended it to be strong.  I want to shake you up, to get your attention, to pry your eyes away from the TV screen, the computer screen, the cell phone screen, and every other type of electronic device we have today ... long enough to point out that the very thing you are holding in your hand, or sitting in front of and staring at -- has sold you out.

Every time I sit down at the keyboard to write a commentary, I am conscious that I have a captive audience.  I know for certain the US government is interested in every word I say, or type, or transmit.  I am conscious that every time I use certain key words or phrases, little metaphorical red flags go up where ever the heck my commentary is being received by the government.  I must tell you it is more than a little chilling.  Of course, that is one of the side effects of  living in a "surveillance society" such as the United States of America.  Our privacy is gone, zip, kaput!  Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all, every single one of us, is now under close observation by the US government. 

"Oh," you might say, "Longstreet, you're being paranoid!"  EXACTLY!  That's my point -- EXACTLY!

The entire country is becoming paranoid.  Americans are now carbon copies of the people who used to be citizens of the old Soviet Union.  We're even beginning to LOOK like them.  Their mannerisms have been adopted and then adapted to fit 21st century Americans. 

No, we don't have Gulags.  But some SWEAR we DO have FEMA Camps!  (Actually, there are two, uh, camps on the FEMA Camp controversy.  Personally, I'll hold my opinion on that until I can see a camp for myself.) 

Peggy Noonan, in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, said our loss of privacy will likely change Americans.  She said:  "The end of the expectation that citizens' communications are and will remain private will probably change us as a people, and a country."  SOURCE:

In her article, Ms. Noonan relates how 88 year old Nat Hentoff, a renown journalist and civil libertarian, spoke to a group of students at Harvard.  She said:  "About a year ago he went up to Harvard to speak to a class. He asked, he recalled: "How many of you realize the connection between what's happening with the Fourth Amendment with the First Amendment?" He told the students that if citizens don't have basic privacies—firm protections against the search and seizure of your private communications, for instance—they will be left feeling "threatened." This will make citizens increasingly concerned "about what they say, and they do, and they think." It will have the effect of constricting freedom of expression. Americans will become careful about what they say that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, and then too careful about what they say that can be understood. The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship."  SOURCE:
Please pay careful attention to the last line above:  "The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship."  I can tell you, as a conservative writer myself, Mr. Hentoff is "spot on."  All conservative writers, commentators, and such, writing today with a progressive Marxist/communist administration looking over our shoulders 24 hours a day and eavesdropping on everything we say, or write, would be a fool not to be concerned.   Regardless of what we may say publicly, it DOES have a chilling effect upon our writing.  That, dear reader, is NOT an unwelcome effect so far as the current administration is concerned.

Until fairly recently, Americans were a breed apart. We were a free people who governed themselves.  We constructed and then we lived in a free republic.  That has now changed.

The republic that we once had is now unworkable. It has crashed and burned.  Why? Because the government is no longer answerable to the people.  The constitution no longer constrains the government. 

The US government now has only one branch functioning.  Originally designed for three coequal branches, the Legislative, the Judicial and the Executive,  the powerful Obama Executive Branch has either shuttered or co-opted the other two.  What we have today is not constitutional, but it doesn't matter as the constitution itself no longer applies.
There is an expression:  "When someone is out to get you, paranoia is just damned good thinking!"  While it IS true, the political left in America seeks to use our paranoia against us by insisting it is a weakness.   It is they, of course, aiding and betting the usurpers in our nation's capital in the soft despotism that has so quickly stripped America of her freedom and liberty and set her on the road to imminent destruction as a Marxist/communist society. 

But then, you shouldn't pay too much attention to my ranting.  I'm paranoid, you know.

© J. D. Longstreet

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Democracy Is Dangerous ... J. D. Longstreet

Democracy Is Dangerous
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


I look at the utter mess in Egypt and I think: THIS is what democracy has wrought!

OK.  Before you climb all over me for my seeming put-down of democracy, hear me out.

I am now more convinced than ever that some people, some nations of peoples,  simple cannot handle democracy.  They are not ready for it.  Some never will be.   The grandiose idea that we, the US, can spread democracy throughout the world has proven to be America's bite too big to chew, and certainly, too big to swallow.

You would think after serial failures in the Middle East, notably, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Egypt, the US would recognize the utter futility of establishing an American style representative republic in any of those lands where Islamists hold sway. 

Freedom is scary and it is dangerous.  Even here in the land of the free, America, where a sizable portion of the citizenry's ancestors had freedom handed to them one hundred and fifty years ago, have yet to learn how to handle it. A century and a half later they still require help from the government that purportedly freed them. Being free is not easy. 

In the Muslim countries of the Middle East, their definition of freedom is quite different from our definition.   They have found their freedom within the confines of Shariah Law.  True freedom, such as we enjoy in America, cannot exist in a state in which it must compete with Shariah Law.   If you doubt that, look at Egypt today.   It is a roiling inferno of religious passion, hate, lust for power, despotism, and control.

Imad Eddine Adeeb, an Egyptian columnist, in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat has said:  "We lack the culture of democracy, and our institutions are still outdated, corrupt and decaying, operating with the same old administrative structures and tattered values and moral codes, all of which have nothing to do with democracy."

There are considered to be fourteen countries in the Middle East.  Only two of those countries are electoral democracies.  ONLY TWO.  They are, of course, Israel and Turkey.

It seems that those of us in the west are just beginning to realize the unique challenges of bringing democracy to tribal societies.  We are learning, much to our chagrin, that there are, in fact, some cultures that are simply not, repeat -- NOT,  capable of creating a harmonious society of any kind, democratic, tribal, or otherwise.  

A free election does not guarantee the voters in the newly democratic nation will not vote themselves a new dictator.   We've already seen this happen.

My guess is that when all the smoke finally settles in the Middle East and the so-called Arab Spring has finally sprung, the world will be right back where it started -- or very near it.  I expect "strongman" rulers in all the Muslim nations now in turmoil.   Why?  Because the people of those nations are just not ready for a government in which they, themselves, take responsibility for their government.  Maybe in another century or two, but certainly, not now.

In the meantime, the US ought to stop meddling.  Let them alone.  If they want to fight and annihilate each other, more power to them.  Let them have at it.  If, and when, they strike out at us, smack them down -- hard. Otherwise, leave them alone. 

Look, it is just extremely difficult for me to become concerned when I see the enemies of my country busily, and industriously, slaughtering each other.  And it seems utterly nonsensical to me for elements within the US government to insist that we supply weapons to help one side, or the other, thereby inserting the US into the middle of a civil war that is, in fact, working to our advantage by decreasing the numbers of our enemies.

One has to wonder if Israel would not be better served if Assad's forces eventually win the ongoing conflict in Syria.  Israel and Assad's governments know and understand each other -- and they know just how far one can push the other.  A new Islamist dictatorship in Syria will almost certainly lead to war with Israel.

As we have seen, democracy did not lead to peace, love, and joy in Egypt.  Why in the world would we think it would do so in Syria should the forces in rebellion to Assad win and decide democracy is the way to go for them, as well.

Yes.  Democracy IS dangerous.  Even a limited democracy, such as our constitutional republic can be dangerous.  With all the checks and balances we have in the US, we have seen how ignorance can produce a socialist/Marxist government in America, the citadel of democracy, itself.

I am of the opinion that we Americans need to clean up around our own doorstep before we go meddling in other nations conflicts.  We have enough problems to keep us occupied for at least a few decades.

© J. D. Longstreet

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Left's Guilt is Weighing America Down ... J. D. Longstreet

The Left's Guilt is Weighing America Down
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


I am absolutely convinced that had America had the government we have today back in oh, say, the late seventeen hundreds and eighteen hundreds we would never have grown into the world power we became and, in fact, were - up until the Presidential Election in 2008.

Never in my life on this earth, as an American, have I seen the people of America so morose, so depressed, so completely whipped, as I see today. The ‘spirit” has almost gone out of the average American.  In biblical terms: our “countenance has fallen.”  In other words, our self-esteem has fallen through the floor - and then some.

The average American has watched as his job has fled from him, his home has been foreclosed upon, his car has been re-possessed, his president went traveling around the world, early in his first term,  apologizing for doing all the things that made America great, making the average American look and feel like a fool. Yes, Americans have a right to feel let down.

If I were a young man and had fewer responsibilities, I’d pack-up and move to Australia.  I am hearing more and more young American men uttering those words today than I have since the 1960’s, when a number of middle aged Americans took their families and fled to Australia.

But, you see, this is what socialism does to a people.  This is what socialism does to a country.  It guts it. It eviscerates a country and that country’s people.  It smothers their motivation.

There is little reason to feel any of that HOPE Obama preached about during his first campaign for the presidency. Oh, we got the “change” all right.  Yep!  Everything changed for the worst.  But, there simply is NO HOPE. Even if there was, the average American is without the energy to grasp even the proverbial straw.

Just a few short months ago America had limitless horizons. Today the American horizon lies just in front of the toes of his shoes. Americans find themselves  beaten down by a relentless government grown so big it sucks the air out of any project it touches. Once Obamacare goes into full effect, the US government will have, indeed, touched everything in America.

The average American’s nerves are strained so they are virtually vibrating as we are hit with a continuous parade of one crisis after another, many man-made and formulated, in my opinion, in the offices of the West Wing.  For the first time in the history of the United States, Americans speak of their government in hushed voices and in guarded tones for fear that someone friendly to the Obama Regime may overhear and report them to whomever one reports such things.  There is genuine fear of our government in America these days and, unfortunately, those in power have found they like it when Americans fear them.

Those of us accustomed to speaking out with our honest opinions about our government and what our government is doing have now found that we must weigh our words even more carefully, especially when the words we speak and scribble are not complimentary of the Obama Regime. Our speech, our actions, our affiliations, are all carefully scrutinized by the Obama Regime.

Unused to this fearful atmosphere many Americans are confused and disoriented and unable to combat the all out attack of socialism on our democracy.  The use of “thugocracy” to defeat democracy in America is an altogether new experience for most Americans, especially those of us who live outside the urban areas where the practice of strong-arm politics has been known for a hundred years.

Here in the hinterlands the aforementioned  “atmosphere of fear” will last only so long. There WILL be a backlash.  Fear will turn to anger. Americans will demand the return of their birthright of freedom and liberty, and they will not be denied.

Already Americans in the so-called “fly-over” country are well ahead of their brothers and sisters in metropolitan America in making the transition from fear to anger. Unwilling to live under the yoke of slavery lain across their shoulders by the politburo of Obama’s socialist Central Committee, they will not quietly accept the desecration of their constitutional rights. 

There are among us many who believe America may not survive.  I think she will.  But – America will never, I repeat, America will NEVER be the same as she was prior to the Obama Regime.  The doubt, the guilt liberals carry around like lead weights on their souls has now been draped onto the shoulders of this country.  It will drag us down.  Much as an athlete running the hundred-yard dash with weights tied to each leg, America will find she cannot distance herself from the pack as she has in her meteoric past.  Now she is a part of the mediocrity of the pack and there is no real future for a nation as an “also ran.” 

America was a leader.  No longer. That distinction has been stripped from us by the political left whose feelings of guilt for being superlative strangles the desire to excel.

Limits on America’s potential are imposed by those among us who preach “fairness” in all things. Fairness may provide a warm feeling but it throttles the ability to excel in those whom God has endowed with special abilities exceeding those of their fellow Americans.  America was a special place because she dared to  BE special.

Americans today are restrained by their government and by their fellow Americans by laws, the purpose of which, we are told, is to save the earth. Creativity and innovation, formerly the hallmark of American society will be, in fact already are, restraining the country from meeting standards of excellence that come naturally to a free people. And therein lies the key.

In the paragraph above I mentioned “a free people.”  People must be free to accomplish the truly marvelous things America has accomplished in her brief history.   By voluntarily giving up that freedom, that liberty, in 2008 America began her meteoric crash into the dustbin of history and relegated herself to the bone yard of once great nations.

© J. D. Longstreet   

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

I am Tired of Being Called a White Racist ... Alan Caruba

I am Tired of Being Called a White Racist

By Alan Caruba

I don’t know when it occurred to me that I had gone from having shaken hands with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to being called a white racist, but apparently I was not paying attention.

Neither were a lot of others of my generation who had welcomed and supported the Civil Rights movement only to discover we were not going to hear a word of thanks. Younger generations have suffered the same indignity.

On Saturday, August 24, the NAACP is sponsoring a march in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. King’s famed “I have a dream” speech given on August 28, 1963. One wonders if the first black President of the United States will put in an appearance, but the White House did not have anything scheduled on its website.
The whole nation went through the trial of George Zimmerman, the “white” Hispanic who shot Trayvon Martin, apparently the epitome of the virtues of black youth despite having been suspended from school several times and guilty of infractions that often put others his age in jail. Had Zimmerman not shot him, Trayvon would surely have gone to jail for assaulting him.

Although the rate of juvenile incarceration has dropped 41% from its peak in 1995 and is down among all racial groups, black youth are nearly five times more likely to be incarcerated as their white peers. Latino and American Indian youth are two to three times more likely to find themselves behind bars as white boys and girls.

I have heard all the sociological explanations about blacks and the criminal justice system. I am concerned that too many within the nation’s “African-American” population simply do not grow up with or absorb “white” attitudes about staying in school, getting a job, and raising a family; not all, but not enough.

To all the blacks who stayed in school, went to college, married and are raising a family in the suburbs, my apologies for seeming to lump you in with those who did not and thank you for not adopting victimhood as your mantra.

There is good news about blacks in America. U.S. Census statistics as of 2010 counted 2.4 million black military veterans that year. In 2010, 82% of blacks 25 and older had a high school diploma or higher degree. Indeed, 18% of that cohort had a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 1.5 million had an advanced degree. In 2010, there were 2.9 million blacks enrolled in college, an increase of 1.7 million since 1990.

And then there is the bad news. Blacks represent 13% of the population, but according to a fact sheet of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, blacks “now constitute nearly one million of the total 2.3 million” Americans behind bars.

In New York City, the successful “stop and frisk” police procedure has been deemed prejudicial by a judge who ordered that it be stopped. It is prejudicial if you parse the word and find it means to “pre-judge” an individual or situation that you may deem a potential danger.

Everyone profiles everyone else all the time.

The NAACP’s super sensitivity about the one HALF of the President’s racial identity that is black was recently demonstrated when a rodeo clown donned an Obama mask as part of entertaining the crowd. This device, using presidential masks, has been commonplace for decades, but the particular incident had the Missouri NAACP demanding that the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies investigate it as a “hate crime.” The President hasn’t spoken a word about this absurd charge.

Indeed, in 2008 when Obama was first elected, we were all assured that the nation was entering a “post racial” period in which whites and blacks would join hands and put the past behind them. Despite the growth of the black middle class and other examples of the benefits that flowed from the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other protections, the ugly truth is that too many blacks seem trapped in a 1960’s time warp with the same accusations and resentments still being expressed.

How much progress has been made?

Since the Zimmerman trial it is now common knowledge that 97% of the murders of blacks are by other blacks. Less known are the many black-on-white attacks that occur routinely throughout the nation. Colin Flaherty has been making news ever since he published “White Girl Bleed a Lot.” He continues to document this vastly under-reported problem. Thomas Sowell, writing in the National Review, said ”Reading Colin Flaherty’s book made painfully clear to me that the magnitude of this problem is greater than I had discovered from my own research. He documents both the race riots and the media and political evasions in dozens of cities.”

Speaking solely for myself I am extremely disappointed by the failure of too many black Americans to simply admit that there is something terribly wrong in a community that has too many abortions, too many fatherless children, too much exploitation of welfare systems, too much drug use and trafficking, and too much blame on white racism for these and other ills.

Instead of seeing evidence that the black community in America is mounting an effort to address its problems what I and others see and hear are the same tired race hustlers, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and others, spewing the same “blame whitey” rhetoric.

It needs to be said that racism cuts both ways, but too much black racism gets a pass. Whites are not to blame at this point. One hopes the Saturday march in D.C. will reflect Dr. King’s generous and hopeful speech of fifty years ago. I doubt that will happen.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 2.7 million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find Alan Caruba on both Facebook and Twitter as well.

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Where Are America’s Heroes? ... J. D. Longstreet

Where Are America’s Heroes?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
DEFINITION of HERO:  A man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility
and strength 
This country, America, needs some heroes.  Badly.

Have you noticed that we have none?

In my youth heroes abounded.  There were, first and foremost, the military heroes, then the sports heroes, even the guy down the block who saved the neighbor’s cat by climbing up the tree to retrieve the cat, he, too, was a hero.  But it is not so, anymore.

Humans need heroes.  Heroes remind us that there is a better side to us.  Heroes remind us that we DO have it in us to be better than we are… to accomplish what was thought to be the impossible, and that we do have it in us to defend those things most precious to us, like our families and our homes and even our country. 

But today there are no heroes.  America is so bereft of heroes that Hollywood is turning to made-up, comic book heroes to create stories around upon which to base films or movies.  THAT, dear reader, is pathetic! 

Military heroes went out of style during the Vietnam War.  Although many, many, Vietnam veterans came home as a heroes, they were not accorded that status by their fellow Americans.  Many were reviled and even spat upon.  Men who had answered their country’s call and gone to war, and had every right to be accorded the status of heroes were, instead, shunned by American society.

When I was a boy, there actually were sports heroes.  Oh yes.  No any longer.  Professional athletes tell us they have no desire to be a ROLE MODEL, A HERO, if you will. And they aren’t.  Many we would silently think of as heroes turn out to be abusing drugs, which brings into questions their athletic triumphs.   So, we no longer have sports heroes. 

Well, you may ask, what about the neighborhood guy who climbs trees and rescues felines for the neighbor’s children?  What about him, huh? 

Well, that cat is stranded now, for good and all, except in the rare case where the local fire department will agree to come rescue the critter. 


Well,  the neighborhood guy is concerned that if he should climb that tree and break a limb, some environ-nut group will sue him.  If he should accidentally harm the kitty, while in the attempt to rescue her, then the animal welfare groups might sue him, and if the kitty scratches the kids he returns it to, he might well be sued for allowing those children to play with a dangerous animal.

See the direction America has taken… and why, there are no heroes today?  It is, indeed, far too risky to be a hero today. 

And then there is the “Moral Relativity” problem.  Here in America, the Moral Relativity adherents rule the day.  Now known as “political correctness”, we are indoctrinated, from day one, that all men are created equal.  Well, one can easily put the lie to that… if one wanders into the shower room of any military barracks in the world, or walks down a crowded beach in July.  All men are NOT created equal.  All men are guaranteed an equal shot at life and its abundance here in America by the constitution, but that is as far as it goes… or at least, that is as far as it SHOULD go. 

Now, if you believe that all men are equal then you cannot have heroes.  Because the very nature of heroism means that one person has exceeded the level playing field of equality and has become better than his fellow man in some way. 

We used to understand that, in this country, and we celebrated our heroes.  Look back at Audey Murphy (right), the most decorated soldier of the Second World War.  A tiny little fellow, unimposing, but the man had the heart of a lion. He was a true hero. 

And there was The Duke.  Yep, John Wayne.  So far as I know Duke never served his country in uniform.  Except that, actually, he did.  He portrayed such heroes, so often, and so convincingly on the American movie screen, that he became one.  He played role after role of a hero in different uniforms of our military service. Those western characters he portrayed paid homage to the early days of America on the frontier.  He became a hero.  The thing with Wayne was that “what you saw was what you got”.  Off screen, he was the same man he played on screen.  And that came through, clear as a bell, in the characters he portrayed.

Say what you will about the Duke, but he taught, at least one generation of American men, what it meant to be a man… and even more importantly what it meant to be an American man.

Heroes provide us with role models. “We don’t need role models,"  you may argue.  Oh, but we do, I would counter.  Role models teach our children important lessons about who they are and of what they are capable.

When I first reported for military training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, back on July 5th, 1959, I had no idea what I was capable of.  None.  I thought I did.  But, boy, how wrong I was.

I weighed approximately 126 pounds ... and that was soaking wet! And then they took us up to a place known then as “Tank Hill”.  That’s where you went, in those days, when you reported to Ft. Jackson to be whipped into shape as an American soldier.  Eight weeks later, having survived pure hell, I left that Army post a brand new American soldier, believing I could lick the world and, if necessary, single handed.  

How did it happen?  One important factor of that training was that there were genuine heroes training us.  The instructor cadre were men who were veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War.  Men who had seen the worst the enemy could throw at them and they rose above it… and won! 

We had a First Sergeant, with an Irish name, and all the accoutrements, including the blue eyes and red hair.   Never saw him that he didn’t have a bayonet scabbard hanging from his web belt.  Never. He was a sergeant in the manner of old first sergeants. That guy was something to behold.  When he walked into a room, or onto a training field, all the noise became muted and all eyes were on him.  He commanded respect.  For those of us un-initiated, at the time, there was one huge question we all wanted to ask and that was… “Why”?  After a few weeks, I screwed up enough courage to ask one of the lowly buck sergeants what it was about the Top Kick that brought all that respect.

The sergeant pointed to the Top Kick’s bayonet.  “You see that,”  he asked? I assured him I couldn’t miss it.  The sergeant went on to say there was a story behind that bayonet.  He told me that even though he didn’t know all the details he knew that the Top Kick had saved his squad, in Korea, by charging an enemy machine gun nest with nothing but that bayonet in his hand.  He over ran that enemy gun emplacement and put the machine gun out of action and saved the lives of his men.  For his actions the Army had award him a medal. His fellow soldiers had awarded him something far more precious… their respect.

As I listened in awe, I came to understand the awe, in which his men held him, that day. And… I had something of an epiphany, and that was that… even heroes need heroes.  The men training me were genuine war heroes, and yet… they looked up to the Top Kick as THEIR hero.

It is the nature of the human beast.  We need “markers” to show us what we can achieve.  Those who rise above the rest ARE those “markers” and we call them heroes.

America has become a nation in limbo.  Having no markers, no heroes, to look to we are wandering about in a sea of disillusionment, not knowing who we are. Ofttimes we are discouraged from accomplishments, which exceed the norm.  We are told it is better to remain a non-entity than to accomplish more than one’s neighbors, and rise above them, for in so doing we make those who seek to remain equal feel ashamed, or less important than we.

To that I say… “Tough!”  It is that kind of thought that is killing the American spirit. It is that kind of thought that is killing America… period!  It is that kind of thought that is ushering in socialism in America with Mr. Obama at the point of the socialist spear.

America used to be a “can do” nation.  Now we are a “can you do it FOR me?” nation.  We have not yet recognized that those who willingly “do it” for us will soon reign over us.    

Regardless of what you may think, or you may have been taught, there are persons among us who are heroes.  These are persons who have risen above and simply not been recognized by a society that has chosen to hide itself in the mire of equal aspirations based upon our society’s lowest common denominator.

 We desperately need a hero to lead this nation through the dark decades ahead.  We are facing an enemy, which wants us dead and will stop at nothing to wipe us out.   We need a leader who is not afraid of taking the tough stands, and making the hard decisions, which may lead to the deaths of countless numbers of our enemies, but, in the end, save the USA.

But can a man, such as that, be elected in America anymore?  Probably not.   Can a man, such as that, be found among us?  Oh yes!   But I must warn you… they are few and far between.  You see… some say America stopped producing “real men” in the 1960’s.  And those of the male persuasion, who survived the ‘60’s, are now teaching our male children what THEIR definition of a real man is and, dear reader, it is far from what nature created the human male to be.

So what are America’s options?  Frankly, I don’t see any.  We, as a nation, are destined to ride this train to the end of the line.  You see, when a people, voluntarily, choose to emasculate themselves, they must pay the price.  America has only begun to pay that price.

© J. D. Longstreet

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