Dick Cheney The Ol’ Neocon Bastard

Leave a comment

Compare the philosophic differences in the following quotes:

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart….Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

John Quincy Adams, 4 July 1821

As quoted recently by Dick Cheney:

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, “If history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

One knows he is on the right track when neo-cons start up with their tired tirades. The two good things Obama has done in the last six years is to “end” our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and draw down the size of the Armed Forces. Regarding the latter, America has done so after every war before World War II. Yet after that war, we actually grew our military, to combat an imagined threat in the Cold War, thanks in part to Truman’s missteps and Ike’s missed opportunities to open up talks with the Soviets in the early-mid 1950’s.

Cheney seems to have forgotten that putting Iran into the Axis of Evil in the 2000’s nixed a reformist Iranian governmnet and brought Ahmadinejad to power. Does he also forget that Kuwait was carved out of Iraq by the British? Or that modern Near East states were created by the Allies post-World War I? How our loans to Saddam during the Iraq-Iran War collapsed an Iraqi economy that had been on the rebound before the war? That both reasons led Saddam to invade Kuwait? Does he remember we fed supplies and money into the Iraq-Iran war? Or what of Afghanistan – that we did the same to the Mujahideen and Taliban fighters to spite the Soviets?

Does Cheney, who views the surge with warm feelings because of its “success” understand it was necessary because Rumsfeld refused to understand the concept of invading with overpowering numbers? Would Cheney be able to honestly tell us he believes the American Way is not a cookie-cutter experience for all peoples in all places in all times? If not, I would suggest he read Orestes A. Brownson.

No, the clear evidence Dick Cheney sees he wrongly interprets. The world has not spoken any clearer in telling America to return to its Enlightenment principles. The world does not need another Imperal parent. Spurn Churchill’s desire and lay the British Empire to rest.

In Cheney’s view:

Tragically, [Obama] is quickly proving…that without American pre-eminence, there can be no world order.

As Marcus Aurelius tells Maximus in Gladiator, empire does not mean the end of war for there will always be someone left to fight. We should care to recall that the world was so ordered before America and will be so after America. What is world order other than individuals [nations] acting in their own best interests? Obama cannot be any more right in saying “[a]ny world order that elevates one nation above others cannot long survive.” As Brownson argues, America or any other nation, does not exist in and of itself, it exists as so Divinely created. Exclude the Divine to one’s own peril. What is peril other than to view one’s country as the benefactor of civilization and order?

I hope Dick Cheney’s march takes him straight to the insane asylum.

Advertisements

Confusion Thursday…

3 Comments

brought to us by the outstanding Senator from California, Dianne Feinstien.

Thesis:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) laid out the conditions of her proposed assault weapons ban Thursday, saying it would prohibit 158 specifically named military-style firearms.

Except:

We have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon. No weapon is taken from anyone.

The twist:

Instead, the bill protects hunters and sportsmen by protecting 2,200 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes.

Let me try to run the logic of this pretzel. We are proposing to uphold the Second Amendment via banning weapons [deemed unsuitable for law-abiding citizens]. But law-abiding citizens who already own high-capacity firearms can keep them because they are for certain specific purposes, i.e. hunting and other sporting engagements.

I would read into that last bit that Liberals will detach their proxy arm, PETA, to outlaw hunting and other similar sport through lawsuits at some point in the future.

Also, no hunting weapon has been used or ever will be used to commit a crime. There is no black market by which any citizen or non-citizen has or ever will purchase a firearm. Humanity is essentially good, perverted only through violent video games and movies. Non-citizens, such as Pancho Villa, have never committed a crime in the United States.

Okay. I think I understand their logic now.

Follow the same thought process to make sense of the following three oxymora. Feel free to add to the list:

Fixing illegal immigration by building a fence and/or passing new immigration reform laws and/or redefining the entire issue as a Path To Citizenship or Filling Jobs Americans Won’t Do.

Securing Pax Americana abroad by engaging in endless war, conspiracy and fomenting social and political unrest, particularly in the Near East.

Reducing spending by raising the debt ceiling.

All Roads Lead To Asia

7 Comments

I believe it is safe to say that most any consumer purchase made in the Western world, especially here in the States, comes directly from Asian labor. Anyone truly concerned about human rights within the Asian continent needs to take a long, difficult look at the manner in which we do business: the nirvana of cheap prices plus the monetary ability to buy just about anything produces a chilling nonchalance regarding the effects of those economic decisions.

The consequences are many. Obviously, we do not have the collective ability to elect politicians who put American ideals first, ie an individual’s hard work results in personal economic well-being and independence from government; that a nation addicted to government welfare inevitably leads to economic bankruptcy not only through higher taxes but also through the necessity to borrow foreign credit required to uphold a state of welfare. The business climate, too, suffers, with expatriated companies setting up shop overseas along with their profits and jobs.

Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions, but perhaps not. With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, there have been some excellent articles/commentaries on Jobs and the company he created. Suffice to say that our economic choices have dire consequences – is the high human cost in the Asian suicide rate and child labor practice worth our adulation of companies such as Apple and the genius of those like Steve Jobs? I would say not.

Yet this does not abscond the Asian continent from its own guilt and compliance in the matter. What I would like to say is the death of someone like Jobs should give us all pause towards how we choose to live, especially in economic terms. Charity begins at home. Our ability to manufacture and produce our own goods on American soil also greatly reduces the moral hazard we all face each day at the supermarket in what we purchase.

The Zuckster And The Relativity Of Privacy

2 Comments

Facebook, again, is admitting to having “mistakenly” tracked its site users via poorly written cookies. The catch? Users weren’t even logged into their accounts.

Chalk it up to my Libertarian bent, but enough is enough. This marks the nth time in just the last eighteen months wherein Facebook has outright admitted to, has been suspected or has been accused of issues revolving around privacy. In the immediate term, the question is simple: Why haven’t you deleted your Facebook account yet?

Over on Mashable, Ben Parr recounts Zucker’s own admission in January 2010 that

[P]eople have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.

Others have speculated in more eloquent opulence about the ghostly surrealism not only of actual privacy in our current age, but also the expectation of holding it within one’s grasp.

Humor lies within the irony of Facebook’s social relevance though the seriousness of the larger social picture dampens the mood. The fact of the matter is that the Zuckster tells us of the exact ill which plagues our society in plain language: People really have gotten comfortable sharing…infomation. In relation to the Facebook site, there isn’t much more than a passing late-afternoon yawn in our collective reaction. In and of itself, this might not be so bad. After all, the minute one connects to the internet, expectations of privacy are yesterday’s reality. ISP’s track us. Individual websites track us. Our preferences are warehoused and manipulated through banner-ads and, such as on Hulu, ads tailored especially for each viewer.

The trend of sharing information automatically passes into information collection and yet it still comes as a shock to the general populace when a company is “caught” or admits to the collection. The greater, and more depressing, issue is that we expect differently of our government, especially that one found in Washington, D.C. If people are comfortable enough to share their lives online, and soon with the new Facebook redesign, everything since they’ve been born, what right do we have to complain about traffic cameras? The criminalization of recreational drugs? ObamaCare?

I’ve heard many times the old adage that a republic is lost when the people discover how to vote themselves money. The antithesis is then perhaps that a republic is found where citizens’ privacy is of their utmost concern. After all, what is privacy other than how an individual chooses to live, though the coupling of choice and privacy is a double edge sword. For an individual cannot lay claim to either if his choice leads to the necessity of bureaucracy.

The Tea Party Debt Ceiling Vote

4 Comments

How effective is the Tea Party in Washington DC?

If we measure the answer in terms of debate, no more so than the typical Conservative movement. View it in terms of stymieing legislation and the Party has some success, though the establishment eventually gets its way. But in terms of real change in the status quo the Tea Party only appears to be a sizable minority spewing hot air.

I’ve put together a table (below right) of both House and Senate members who were elected riding the Tea Party fervor during the 2010 mid-term elections. As a guest mentioned on one of the top talk radio shows late last week, Republicans only control one-half of one branch of the Federal Government. Had all ten Senators, elected via Tea Party support voted against the bill, the Senate still would have passed the measure by a 70-30 margin. Therefore since the Senate is still largely controlled by Marxist Democrats, the focus of my analysis will be upon the House of Representatives.

The numbers don’t lie. In total, those members caucusing with Bachmann’s Tea Party along with incumbents and Freshman members, the Tea Party passed the Bill 60.2% to 39.7%. The numbers held roughly the same for the 2010 mid-term elected Freshman members, 65.3% to 34.6% in favor. Ironically, those members caucusing with the House Tea Party, which is comprised mainly of incumbents but also includes around a dozen Freshman members, the vote was much closer, 52.4% to 47.5% in favor.

In the picture at large the debt ceiling vote cast light on what was heretofore difficult to see – that the Legislative and Executive branches have lost all Constitutional manner and understanding of proper protocol and procedure. The net results and consequences for the future are rather scary.

Obviously, the government is now allowed to borrow yet more money that they seem intent on never paying back, leaving future generations the worry of the immediate consequences of today’s gluttony, vice, and national self-gratification.

Second, the separation of powers blurred even further, with Obama dictating what legislation should be written and passed, forcing the Legislative branch to do so not only through demagoguery and childish acts [leaving the table because he didn’t like what he heard] but also manipulating the electorate to bombard Congressional phone lines demanding a deal. Rome is naught but mob rule and Obama is the master Emperor of mob manipulation.

Third, the debate over raising the debt ceiling an unprecedented $2.4 trillion was, despite what all media outlets said, rather swift. Rather than the bill originating in the Lower House, passing to the Upper House and then given to the President, all three groups decided to work on the bill together.  Rather than allowing wisdom and prudence to rule as a result of lengthy debate, especially in the Senate where lengthy debate is supposed to be standard op, foolishness won out because Washington thought that something had to be made law.

Perhaps the scariest result of this new debt bill is the transference of corporate Legislative power into a tiny faction, comprised of a Committee, to determine where and what to cut in the future in order to ‘reign in spending’. Like the Department of Homeland Security and the invention of the TSA last decade, thanks to you George W. Bush, how draconian in the future will this new Committee become? To what extent will it hold the Legislative branch hostage in determining what bills actually pass and what is contained in them? How factious will the Committee become in the next five, ten, etc years in terms of Republican/Democrat membership?

So what do we conclude? Should the Tea Party continue as it did in passing the debt ceiling Bill, then it is simply another faction. The public outcry of 2009 and 2010 will have been for nothing.

I’ve always thought the Tea Party rallies were misguided expenditures of time, money, and energy. Washington tends to listen not only when the Mall is packed by crowds who refuse to leave until the government cedes them their wishes, but also when there is literal rioting and anarchy in America’s streets. Those identifying themselves as Tea Party folk should educate themselves on the plight of World War I vets demanding what Washington promised them. The Tea Party to me seems to be nothing more than citizens who may actually care about the direction of the country, but appear content to only listen to just words, just speeches of their favorite Populist personalities while waving little American flags made in China and holding up clever but utterly useless signage.

What a shame. The Tea Party and its House caucus could have actually begun to change things these last few weeks.

Tea Party Debt Ceiling Vote.wps

Links:
House Vote Record
Senate Vote Record

Book Review

2 Comments

The American Dollar today holds less than 5% of its 1913 value.

Ron Paul’s End the Fed is a timely book discussing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the mess it has created of the American economy during the Fed’s first century of operation. Paul is well known for wishing to return to the Gold Standard wherein money holds its value over time, something of which our paper-based fiat system is incapable.

Ergo, the Gold Standard is probably the best system known, as it has proven itself to work during the course of human history. However, there are still two problems which have the tendency to hamper any monetary system, which Paul stubbornly assumes cannot happen with the Gold Standard.

First, debasing the currency is still possible and governments will do so usually to wage war.  Though I do think Paul has a valid point in saying the United States’ entire foreign policy would have to be  severely reigned in should a Gold system be implemented. Second, governments can and do run up debt no matter the monetary system. England’s James 1 and 16th/17th century Spain are ready examples. The former led to new and inventive means of taxation; the latter saw Spain declare bankruptcy in 1557, -60, -75, -96, 1607, -27, -47, -52, -60, and -62. This even after Spain wholly emptied Latin America of its silver deposits in order to satisfy the monarchy’s gluttony towards spending.

Therefore, no matter what system is in place, power corrupts. Even more so and ever more quickly when an increasingly entrenched aristocracy rules supreme with either immorality or amorality as their guide. To this Paul says nothing, which is standard-op for any true Libertarian.

These are two minor objections I had towards a book which enlightens the average reader towards the abuses of the Federal Reserve System’s un-Constitutional power in its ability to “coin” money out of thin air and the consequences of such action. The coining of money is an enumerated power granted specifically to the Congress and so on this fact alone, the Fed should be abolished.

China & U.S. Debt, Briefly

3 Comments

I’ve taken a break from talk radio the past few months since the only thing being discussed is “Obama did this” and “Obama did that”. Enough already. I haven’t heard anything new about the man’s fault since he began his presidential campaign. He’s evil incarnate, I think we understand that now.

However, when I do tune in, the other topic of interest to me is the ballooning national debt and China’s ownership of one trillion dollars of that debt. I will step out on a limb and venture to say that no matter what one’s political bent, everyone would agree U.S. debt is out of control. I like to imagine that even Alexander Hamilton is dumbstruck.

I love the question talk radio throws around: What happens when or if China calls in the debt?

As bad as things are, that is the wrong question to ask. What we should asking instead is: What are the strings China’s attached us to? Because the rest of Conservative wisdom is right, that being so heavily in debt is a threat to national security like no other. Being tied down economically is the quickest way to render a nation enslaved in everything they might wish to do.

Think of how the World Bank dictates to its borrows how they must behave in order to receive or continue receiving loans. To me, the fear is the same – that the U.S. will never be able to repay what it has borrowed. That may be the true sum of all America’s fears. We fought a war of Independence so as to rule ourselves as we wish. If we do not repay in kind, we may as well be the dragon puppet on the hand of China, who can use us to do as they like on the international scene.

Older Entries