Saturday, November 27, 2010

Obama's police state

Obama's police state

President Obama is ENGAGING IN A RELENTLESS ASSAULT ON OUR FREEDOMS and constitutional government. The growing backlash against the new

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport screening procedures signifies that Americans finally may have had enough.

There is A GRASS-ROOTS REVOLT AGAINST STATE-SANCTIONED SEXUAL HARASSMENT. And who can blame the protesters? Children are stripped of their shirts, and their private parts are touched. Nuns and old ladies are groped by intrusive TSA agents. Breasts have been fondled. Men's crotches have been patted down. Full-body scanners show images of people naked - a clear violation of privacy and civil liberties.

THE ADMINISTRATION INSISTS THAT THE ENHANCED PROCEDURES ARE VITAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY. The rationale: Last year's underwear bomber nearly blew up a plane flying over Detroit. Hence, everyone's private parts are now the property of the federal government - at least when flying.


This along with the last story shows how out of touch Obama and his administration is. 

Liberals resort to conspiracy theories to explain Obama's problems

Following two years of poor economic performance and electoral repudiation, liberalism is casting around for narratives to explain its failure - narratives that don't involve the admission of inadequacies in liberalism itself.

For some, the solution is to lay the blame on President Obama. He hasn't been liberal enough. He can't communicate. "I cannot recall a president," Robert Kuttner says in the Huffington Post, "who generated so much excitement as a candidate but WHO TURNED OUT TO BE SUCH A POLITICAL DUD AS A CHIEF EXECUTIVE." Obama is "fast becoming more albatross than ally."

This is an ideological movement at its most cynical, attempting to throw overboard its once-revered leader to avoid the taint of his problems.

But there is an alternative narrative, developed by those who can't shake their reverence for Obama. If a president of this quality and insight has failed, it must be because HIS OPPONENTS ARE UNIQUELY EVIL, COORDINATED AND EFFECTIVE. The problem is not Obama but the ruthless conspiracy against him.

So Matt Yglesias warns the White House to be prepared for "deliberate economic sabotage" from the GOP - as though Chamber of Commerce SWAT teams, no doubt funded by foreigners, are preparing attacks on the electrical grid. Paul Krugman contends that "Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there's a Democrat in the White House." Steve Benen explains, "We're talking about a major political party . . . possibly undermining the strength of the country - on purpose, in public, without apology or shame - for no other reason than to give themselves a campaign advantage in 2012." Benen's posting was titled "NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE."

So what is the proof of this charge? It seems to have something to do with Republicans criticizing quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. And opposing federal spending. And, according to Benen, creating "massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system."

ONE IS TEMPTED TO RESPOND THAT IT IS $1 TRILLION IN NEW DEBT, THE PROSPECT OF HIGHER TAXES AND A COMPLICATED, DISRUPTIVE HEALTH-REFORM LAW THAT HAVE CREATED "MASSIVE ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY." For the purposes of this argument, however, it is sufficient to say that all these economic policy debates have two sides.

You read it on the liberal blogs and comments. It is one of the tenants of liberalism which shows how kooky they can get when things don’t go well.  I remember the dichotomy with President Bush.  He was a dunce but kept outsmarting the Democrats. 

Is Illegal Immigration Moral?

A very interesting piece on illegal immigration and going beyond the standard arguments.

But what is often left out of the equation is the moral dimension of illegal immigration. We see the issue too often reduced to caricature, involving A NOBLE, IMPOVERISHED VICTIM without much free will and subject to cosmic forces of sinister oppression. But everyone makes free choices that affect others. So PONDER THE ETHICS OF A GUEST ARRIVING IN A HOST COUNTRY KNOWINGLY CONTRARY TO ITS SOVEREIGN PROTOCOLS AND LAWS.

Special assistant for reality

What a president should ideally have, and what I think we all agree Mr. Obama badly needs, is AN ASSISTANT WHOSE SOLE JOB IT IS TO EXPLAIN AND INTERPRET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO HIM. Presidents already have special assistants for domestic policy, for congressional relations and national security. Why not a special assistant for reality? Someone to translate the views of the people, and explain how they think. An advocate for the average, a representative for the normal, to the extent America does normal.

If Mr. Obama had a special assistant for reality this week, this is HOW THEIR DIALOGUE MIGHT HAVE GONE OVER THE ANTI-TSA UPRISING.

President: THIS THING IS ALL GINNED UP, ISN'T IT? Right-wing websites fanned it. Then the mainstream media jumped in to display their phony populist street cred. Right?

Special Assistant for Reality: NO, MR. PRESIDENT, IT WAS MORE SPONTANEOUS. Websites can't fan fires that aren't there. This is like the town hall uprisings of summer 2009. In the past month, citizens took videos at airports the same way town hall protesters made videos there, and put them on YouTube. The more pictures of pat-downs people saw, the more they opposed them.

President: What's the essence of the opposition?

SAR: Sir, Americans don't like it when strangers touch their private parts. Especially when the strangers are in government uniforms and say they're here to help.

President: Is it that we didn't roll it out right? We MADE A MISTAKE IN NOT TELLING PEOPLE IN ADVANCE we were changing the procedure.


President: We should have pointed out not everyone goes through the new machines, and only a minority get patted down.

SAR: Mr. President, if you'd told people, "Hello, there's only 1 chance in 3 you'll be molested at the airport today" most people wouldn't think, "Oh good, I like those odds."


SAR: At the moment, according to some. BUT MOST AMERICANS DON'T FLY FREQUENTLY, and the protocols are new. As time passes, SUPPORT WILL GO STEADILY DOWN.

You probably should read this one, and so should BHO.

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