Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buffett would profit from Keystone cancellation - Washington Times

Buffett would profit from Keystone cancellation - Washington Times

Breitbart.tv » Newt: Sarah Palin Will Play Major Role In My Administration

Breitbart.tv » Newt: Sarah Palin Will Play Major Role In My Administration

The Perils of Obama’s Foreign Policy

The mystery remaining about the Obama administration’s foreign policy is not whether it has worked, but whether its failures will matter all that much. That is no rhetorical question, given that it is hard to permanently damage, in just three years, the position abroad of the United States, given its vast military power and enormous economy.
The Obama administration’s policy was predicated on three assumptions. First, world tensions and widespread dislike of the United States were due to George Bush’s wars and his cowboyish style. Therefore, outreach and reset would correct the Bush mistakes — given that unrest did not really antedate, and would not postdate, the strutting Bush. The unique personal narrative and heritage of Obama and his tripartite name, of course, would earn America fides in inverse proportion to Bush’s twang and evangelical way of speaking about God.
Yet most problems really did transcend Bush, and so reset accomplished little. Hugo Ch├ívez is more hostile to America than ever, whether symbolically by accusing the Obama administration of spreading cancer among Latin American leaders or concretely by entertaining Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is no new warmth from Cuba or Nicaragua — as there never could have been from their Stalinist heads of state.
Putin has as much contempt for Obama as he did for Bush. Our policies remain the same: trying to encourage Russian reform without causing a war or neo-Soviet adventurism.
The decision to reach out to Assad with recognition and an embassy failed; Syria became more unhinged and violent, not less. The verdict is still out on the Arab Spring; the Obama administration stopped taking credit for it once the illiberal Muslim Brotherhood began its ascendance. The Palestinians are now talking of a third intifada, and they hope that, when the shooting starts, their new friend the United States will hector Israel in a way it did not under Bush.
Outreach to Iran was a disaster; the serial face-to-face talks and the quiet neglect of the Iranian dissidents did not work. Now we are reduced to the sort of catch-up sanctions that would have earned Bush the charge of warmongering from the Left. Unofficial U.S policy seems to be a silent hope that tiny Israel does the unthinkable that a huge United States would not, while Saudi Arabia expands its pipelines to nullify the value of the Strait of Hormuz in a way we are refusing to do at home with Keystone.
Obama likes Prime Minister Erdogan even more than he hates Prime Minister Netanyahu. But what he thinks the Israelis have done to the Palestinians pales in comparison to what he must know the Turks have done to the Kurds, Greeks, and Armenians. It is open to question whether Erdogan will be calmed by such affability or will find it useful should he wish to settle old scores with the Kurds, on Cyprus, or in the Aegean.
Lecturing China while borrowing ever more money from it does not work.
I don’t think Japan and South Korea feel any safer with Obama in office — despite claims of a new focus on Asia at the expense of old Europe. The more Obama talks of eliminating nuclear weapons, the more both these neighbors of North Korea will probably consider acquiring them.
There is no need to review the reset flip side of estrangement from the Czech Republic, Britain, Israel, and now Canada — allies who believe in staid things like democracy, human rights, and alliances in times of peril. It is hard to calibrate U.S. policy toward the EU, since the entire enterprise is unraveling, and the Europeans seem puzzled that we are emulating the very failure they are learning from. Mexico is more violent and unstable than ever before, and more emboldened to sue U.S. states in American courts of law. Fast and Furious, promises not to deport any more illegal aliens, and the administration’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona did not have a warming effect on our relationship.
The second Obama idea was the dream of reenergizing the United Nations and working to eliminate all nuclear weapons. But the likelihood is that the atomic club will be larger, not smaller, when Obama leaves office. The madness of North Korea transcends the U.S. presidency, although for now it is playing out in ridiculous matters of succession.
Obama claimed he was doing U.N. work in Libya; but in truth he exceeded a U.N. mandate for humanitarian help and no-fly zones by stealthily bombing “from behind.” How odd that by ignoring the U.S. Congress and the War Powers Act and instead championing but not obeying the United Nations, Obama snubbed both in a way his cowboyish predecessor never had. Restricting oil leases on federal lands by 40 percent and stopping the Keystone pipeline did not translate into a gas-guzzling America’s doing its fair share to lower world oil prices and protect the global environment from careless new Third World exploration and exploitation.
Third, Obama promised to win the good war in Afghanistan, and to end the bad war in Iraq, in addition to junking or amending the supposedly unconstitutional and counterproductive war on terror. Here there is some confusion. He got out of Iraq, but on the Bush-Petraeus timetable long ago negotiated with the Iraqi government. In Afghanistan no one believes the situation is better — four commanders and three years after Bush left office. Obama tweaked the war on terror in cynical fashion, mixing euphemism and realpolitik. Rhetorically, we learned of overseas contingency operations and man-caused disasters, while mention of Islamic terrorism became taboo.
Yet Obama, in fact, embraced or expanded all of the Bush-Cheney protocols — from Guantanamo and tribunals to renditions and Predator drones — on the apparent tripartite and correct assumption that (1) these measures were both lawful and vital to the security of the United States; (2) opposition to them had been entirely partisan and would evaporate once he put his own brand upon them; and (3) the Republicans would be flummoxed, unsure whether to damn Obama for his blatant hypocrisy and the damage he had done through his earlier opportunistic attacks on the very policies he would come to expand — or to be relieved that a liberal Democrat was continuing the Bush war on terror and employed its tools, which brought such dividends as the end of bin Laden and the Predatorization of top Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders.
Did the Obama setbacks matter all that much? So far, in the very short term, perhaps not.
Few envisioned that the Arab world and the European Union in their own respective ways would implode, quite apart from anything the United States did. The recession has put China on the defensive, and heightened the contradictions between free markets and closed minds. Russia is in serial crises from demography to democracy. The tsunami reminded the world how vulnerable an aging and shrinking Japan really is.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., fracking and horizontal drilling redefined our oil and gas outlook, despite, not because of, the Obama administration. The insolvency of Mediterranean Europe has taken attention from the near insolvency of the U.S. Treasury. The EU pact, and styles of governance in China, Russia, and the Arab world, remind us that the U.S. Constitution remains exceptional. And the stagnant American economy has muffled domestic objections to vast cutbacks in defense and our new follow-rather-than-lead foreign policy.
In other words, we are back to the deceptive quiet of a 1913, 1938, or 2000, consumed by internal problems, suspicious of the world abroad, assuming that foreigners’ challenges are worse than ours, and convinced that no one would be so stupid as to start a stupid war.
Let us hope no one does. But if someone should be so crazy, others might follow. Then we would learn that our old allies are now neutrals; our new friends are enemies; and the old deterrence will be as hard to regain as it was once to acquire.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

According to Darb: Guns Save People, Again | Godfather Politics

According to Darb: Guns Save People, Again Godfather Politics: Guns Save People, Again Godfather Politics

When Is Racial Profiling Wrong

When Is Racial Profiling Wrong?


Culture, Immigration, Islam, Law, Racism, Terrorism




racial_profiling
In whatever area of the country you lived, you knew that there was a group of people from a specific nationality or religion that were posing a danger or committing crimes, would it not make sense to target them in your investigation?
If you were the police in New York City after the 9/11 attack and you were informed that there were other Muslims in your area that were planning other attacks, would it not be prudent and proper to investigate and monitor the Muslim community in general?  You would want to know who is saying what about possible attacks and the only way to gather that information is to focus your investigation on Muslims.  This could be defined by some as racial profiling and thus an illegal practice.
If you were the police in a southwestern state and knew that 95% of the illegal drug traffic was being carried out by Hispanics, wouldn’t it make sense to focus your investigation towards Hispanics crossing the border?  And if you knew that thousands of Hispanics were illegally crossing the border into the US, wouldn’t it make sense to focus your border protection efforts on Hispanics in the area?  This could be defined by some as racial profiling and thus an illegal practice.
If you were the police in a city that had a predominantly black population and you had information telling you that a rash of crimes were being committed by young adult male blacks, wouldn’t you need to focus your investigation against male young adult blacks?  This could be defined by some as racial profiling and thus an illegal practice.
If you were the police in an area that was experiencing a rash of home break-ins and sexual assaults and you had information that they were being committed by a gang of teenage white males, wouldn’t you focus your investigation towards teenage white males?  No one would consider this to be racial profiling, rather it would be proper police work.
This is a growing concern for law enforcement agencies around the nation.  Where is the dividing line between proper law enforcement procedures and illegal racial profiling?
In Arizona, the federal government is going after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for racial profiling against Hispanics, when in truth they are responsible for the majority of crimes in the area.
In New York City, Muslim clerics are boycotting the city’s interfaith breakfast because of supposed racial profiling that has taken place since 9/11.  In fact, the NY police department with help from federal agencies has thwarted 14 Muslim terrorist plots and arrested or killed 44 Muslim terrorists in the process.  How many lives have they saved by their racial profiling?

Civil liberties groups have gone to extreme measures to make proper law enforcement measures more difficult to carry out because someone who was innocent was offended for being stopped and questioned.  People want a safe country but at the same time they don’t want law enforcement agencies to be able to conduct the necessary investigations and surveillance to provide for that safety.
Well, I’m a white male and when I was a teenager, I and my three best friends were detained by the local police for breaking and entering into a home and stealing guns, television and other items.  We fit the profile of four white teenage males in the general area.  Yes, I was scared to death as I was being threatened with jail for crimes I didn’t commit.  Before the police finished booking the four of us, two other officers arrested 4 teenage white males in the process of burglarizing another house.
Had we been black and the description was of four black teens, civil rights advocates would have been at the police station screaming racial profiling.  But since we were white, the issue never came to anyone’s mind.  I harbor no ill feelings towards the police department for arresting us as I probably would have done the same thing had I been the police officers.
It seems that the charge of racial profiling only applies to non-white and non-Christian groups.  It’s okay to use race and religion to profile whites and Christians, but not anyone else.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that there needs to be some


Read more: When Is Racial Profiling Wrong? | Godfather Politics http://godfatherpolitics.com/2903/when-is-racial-profiling-wrong/#ixzz1iciYqqPo

VDH....Goodbye, 2011....Great Reading

It proved as hard to break up the bankrupt European Union as it was to create it. For all the hundreds of stories predicting the imminent end of the union, insolvent Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain still hung in. Apparently if these debtors keep promising to end their spendthrift ways, quit calling the historically sensitive Germans bad names, and welch only on serial billion-euro loans — rather than default all at once on massive trillion-euro obligations — the Germans will keep doling out enough money for the EU to whimper on a bit longer.
Meanwhile, the world’s failed states, such as Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan, just keep on failing. Getting the bomb and acting crazy are about all these pariah nations can do. Otherwise, who would care that the adolescent-looking Kim Jong Un just took over North Korea? How else can we explain giving away billions each year to anti-American Pakistan? Without monotonous threats of acquiring nuclear weapons and closing the Strait of Hormuz, would anyone pay attention to the nutty theocracy in Iran?
#ad#If tottering states can keep convincing successful nations that they are willing to suffer a lot to make their betters suffer a little, then they win a little political clout, some small influence — and a little more time to cause others misery. What is needed for these volatile countries to survive another year is to occasionally test a nuke, shoot off a missile, or threaten to obliterate a neighbor. Kidnapping some foreigners or sending out terrorists works, too — any sort of occasional taunting just short of provoking the United States and its allies into a full-fledged war. Only with many enemies and lots of crises can these sick regimes hobble on for a bit longer.
Solyndra, Climategate II, and the massive new finds of American gas and oil have for now postponed the promised era of the government-subsidized windmill and solar panel. In 2011, there was no more talk of cap-and-trade and new public/private green companies, but instead discoveries of oil and gas in unlikely places such as the Dakotas and Ohio. None of this was supposed to happen: Energy Secretary Steven Chu had dreamed of $9-a-gallon, European-priced gas to soften our carbon footprint. Candidate Barack Obama had long ago promised that our electricity bills would skyrocket. We are still supposed to buy Chevy Volts and not incandescent bulbs. But for now, American entrepreneurial ingenuity may have cooled our new government-run green lifestyles.
The great story of 2011, however, was crushing public debt and how it was incurred — and how it is to be paid back. The imploding European Union, the contrast between blue-state California and red-state Texas, and the record $16 trillion in American debt offered lessons that even the most zealous Keynesians could not explain away. Whether in the case of European state jobs, California pensions, or out-of-control Medicare and Social Security costs, the results of voters voting themselves entitlements were all too familiar.
So were the common patterns of blaming “them” for our own self-created messes. Abroad, the insolvent European nations faulted the thrifty Germans as too greedy. Here at home, the “1 percent” — millionaires, billionaires, corporate-jet owners, and fat cats — were supposedly responsible for making too much money at the expense of others. But even if the 1 percent of top earners paid half, rather than nearly 40 percent, of all income taxes, we still could not afford to spend as before. Relief will not come from printing more money or explaining away the debts as an accounting problem, but by tightening our belts and encouraging individuals to create wealth for themselves, and in the process for others, too. Paying back each billion in debt will prove far slower and harder than was eagerly borrowing each trillion we now owe.
In 2011, President Obama expressed a desire to be reelected on the grounds that he inherited a mess from George W. Bush that he needed more than four years to clean up. That story requires believing that growing the government, putting far more regulations on businesses, and forgoing new sources of gas and oil are making things better rather than worse. But Barack Obama’s last federal budget was almost $1 trillion larger than was Bush’s in 2008. We owe over $4 trillion more than we did in 2008. And the unemployment rate for the last year of the Bush administration averaged 5.8 percent, but in 2010 averaged 9.6 percent. Never have more Americans been on food stamps. Presidents are rarely reelected on the grounds that “otherwise it could have been worse.”
The year 2011 taught us that when things logically should not go on, they usually don’t — though they end not with a bang but with a whimper.

Goodbye, 2011...Victor Davis Hanson

It proved as hard to break up the bankrupt European Union as it was to create it. For all the hundreds of stories predicting the imminent end of the union, insolvent Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain still hung in. Apparently if these debtors keep promising to end their spendthrift ways, quit calling the historically sensitive Germans bad names, and welch only on serial billion-euro loans — rather than default all at once on massive trillion-euro obligations — the Germans will keep doling out enough money for the EU to whimper on a bit longer.
Meanwhile, the world’s failed states, such as Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan, just keep on failing. Getting the bomb and acting crazy are about all these pariah nations can do. Otherwise, who would care that the adolescent-looking Kim Jong Un just took over North Korea? How else can we explain giving away billions each year to anti-American Pakistan? Without monotonous threats of acquiring nuclear weapons and closing the Strait of Hormuz, would anyone pay attention to the nutty theocracy in Iran?
#ad#If tottering states can keep convincing successful nations that they are willing to suffer a lot to make their betters suffer a little, then they win a little political clout, some small influence — and a little more time to cause others misery. What is needed for these volatile countries to survive another year is to occasionally test a nuke, shoot off a missile, or threaten to obliterate a neighbor. Kidnapping some foreigners or sending out terrorists works, too — any sort of occasional taunting just short of provoking the United States and its allies into a full-fledged war. Only with many enemies and lots of crises can these sick regimes hobble on for a bit longer.
Solyndra, Climategate II, and the massive new finds of American gas and oil have for now postponed the promised era of the government-subsidized windmill and solar panel. In 2011, there was no more talk of cap-and-trade and new public/private green companies, but instead discoveries of oil and gas in unlikely places such as the Dakotas and Ohio. None of this was supposed to happen: Energy Secretary Steven Chu had dreamed of $9-a-gallon, European-priced gas to soften our carbon footprint. Candidate Barack Obama had long ago promised that our electricity bills would skyrocket. We are still supposed to buy Chevy Volts and not incandescent bulbs. But for now, American entrepreneurial ingenuity may have cooled our new government-run green lifestyles.
The great story of 2011, however, was crushing public debt and how it was incurred — and how it is to be paid back. The imploding European Union, the contrast between blue-state California and red-state Texas, and the record $16 trillion in American debt offered lessons that even the most zealous Keynesians could not explain away. Whether in the case of European state jobs, California pensions, or out-of-control Medicare and Social Security costs, the results of voters voting themselves entitlements were all too familiar.
So were the common patterns of blaming “them” for our own self-created messes. Abroad, the insolvent European nations faulted the thrifty Germans as too greedy. Here at home, the “1 percent” — millionaires, billionaires, corporate-jet owners, and fat cats — were supposedly responsible for making too much money at the expense of others. But even if the 1 percent of top earners paid half, rather than nearly 40 percent, of all income taxes, we still could not afford to spend as before. Relief will not come from printing more money or explaining away the debts as an accounting problem, but by tightening our belts and encouraging individuals to create wealth for themselves, and in the process for others, too. Paying back each billion in debt will prove far slower and harder than was eagerly borrowing each trillion we now owe.
In 2011, President Obama expressed a desire to be reelected on the grounds that he inherited a mess from George W. Bush that he needed more than four years to clean up. That story requires believing that growing the government, putting far more regulations on businesses, and forgoing new sources of gas and oil are making things better rather than worse. But Barack Obama’s last federal budget was almost $1 trillion larger than was Bush’s in 2008. We owe over $4 trillion more than we did in 2008. And the unemployment rate for the last year of the Bush administration averaged 5.8 percent, but in 2010 averaged 9.6 percent. Never have more Americans been on food stamps. Presidents are rarely reelected on the grounds that “otherwise it could have been worse.”
The year 2011 taught us that when things logically should not go on, they usually don’t — though they end not with a bang but with a whimper.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Take Heed

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
~ Ronald Reagan