CHIVALRY IS DEAD, LADIES: AND IT’S (PARTIALLY) YOUR FAULT!

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11aAs a paid-consultant on “masculinity” (yep, that’s right: hired by the Miller-Coors Brewing Company to help them reach-out to today’s masculine market) I consider myself something of an expert on men. I have, after all, been one most of my life. That aside, I have led what most would consider an enviably active and adventurous life; leading some of my friends to call me the “REAL most interesting man in the world” (forget that aging Latin lothario!). So it is with some degree of authority and an even greater degree of disgust that I say: I am sickened by my fellow men today.

As a man raised by a WWII veteran with a strong sense of chivalry (particularly toward women), I am disgusted with what passes today for manhood. So many men are mere shadows of what their gender represented in generations past. Military service members excepted (which include an amazing collection of very fine young men) most men today aren’t fit to carry the water of the “Greatest Generation”, my father’s generation; much less the dauntless knights who originally defined “chivalry”.

Where have all the Gary Coopers gone?

Now, I suspect, this has always been the case. Every generation laments the declining standards of the next. You just know that the very first cavemen sat around looking at their sons sitting around the fire; and complained, “Look at these wimps, cooking their meat with fire! We didn’t have fire! In our day we ate it RAW!”

But I digress.

My point is that men aren’t what they used to be. My father fought World War II; then got a Master’s Degree on the GI Bill while working nights and supporting a family. Me? If I have to balance my check book and go to the store on the same day, I need a nap!

But I was strongly reminded that by modern standards I am a veritable John Wayne compared to most men today; by what happen on 13 January 2012; when the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Tuscany.

When this occurred we were treated to the sickening sight of men elbowing women and children aside in their frantic, rat-like scurry for the life-rafts. When the first of these life boats arrived on shore, aid workers were expecting to see them filled with women and children. Right? Instead, they saw lots of burly Tony Soprano-wannabes accompanied by their well-dressed wives and “goomahs”! Damned the women and children, it was every man for himself!

Think how things have changed in the 100 years since the Titanic catastrophe.

When RMS Titanic went down in the icy waters of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, that ship’s women and children boarded the life rafts first; the crew strictly enforcing this custom. Captain Edward Smith was the last to leave the ship, and that after all lifeboats had been launched.

It is telling that although the First Class passengers comprised the very elite of 1912 “Society” (including some of the richest men in the world); more men from the First Class section chose to “go down with the ship” and die that night than did women of the underprivileged Third Class section (67% and 92% of First and Second Class men, respectively, died that night; as opposed to only 54% of Third Class women; and only 3% of women from the First Class section). Clearly, gender counted for more than wealth and privilege on that bitterly cold “Night to Remember”.

Captain Smith told his crew: “Men, you have done your full duty. You can do no more. Now it’s every man for himself.” One witness recalled seeing him, probably washed overboard, clutching a child in the water as the Titanic disappeared beneath the waves. A member of the crew always believed it was Captain Smith’s voice he heard from the water after the Titanic was gone, urging him and others on: “Good boys! Good lads!”

How different that is from the Costa Concordia captain, Francesco Schettino, who along with other young brutes apparently launched himself and his Moldavian 25 year old bimbo into one of the lifeboats early on, elbowing women and children aside!

capts

Today the cry of “women-and-children first”, has become “brutes andn bimbos” first!

Too many young men don’t respect women. They don’t seem to respect much of anything. I see it every day in the way men treat their ladies. Or any woman, or the old, the young, or the infirm: the only thing they hold in esteem seems to be what hangs between their own legs; and what they can do with it.

When I look at today’s young men I see a bunch of pierced, tattooed, slovenly louts. These are not men: they are “manlings”. Boys that never grow beyond their toys.

A beautiful 29 year old acquaintance of mine complains that her husband spends much of his time at work (in his parents Real Estate business) playing online poker. He then comes home, eats the dinner she has prepared for him, and then flops down on his Lazy Boy and plays X-Box most of the night! Never mind that his very sexy wife has needs of her own. When he is too tired to continue playing, he goes to bed and passes out.

Not a man: a manling.

But women must accept at least some of the blame for the current deplorable, degraded state of modern manhood.

Not to blame the victim here, but consider: Its women, after all, that raise men (all too often without a man in the house). It’s mostly young female teachers that teach our boys in their most formative years. And, ultimately, its women who accept and give themselves to “manlings”; rewarding thuggish, uncouth behavior by going out with and marrying such cretins.

Were women to choose wisely in their mates, picking the “nice guy” over the “bad boy”; then the old adage that “nice guys finish last” wouldn’t be so sadly true. Were women to demand that the men in their lives not treat them like slutty sex objects; but instead commit to them and family before mating, than many more boys would have involved fathers providing male role models in their lives.

Were mothers to raise boys to be gentleman with a sense of honor, they would grow up into men those mothers could be proud of.

Feminist politics, political correctness, and (most importantly) lack of male role models has left this generation of men with no clue how to behave as MEN!

When the ship is sinking and no one taking charge, wouldn’t it be nice if men were made of the same stern stuff the men aboard the Titanic were; when women and children really did come first, and men went down with the ship?

I will leave you with the immortal words of Rudyard Kipling, poet laureate of the British Empire; someone who knew more than a few “real men” in his life:

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Richard Milhous Obama

 

(Reposted from Real Clear Politics)

By Carl  M. Cannon – May 20, 2013

He’s compared himself to Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, evoked nostalgia for John F. Kennedy, sought to emulate Ronald Reagan, (belatedly) praised George W. Bush, and enlisted the assistance of Bill Clinton in his 2012 re-election effort, but as his second term stumbles along, the president with whom Barack Obama finds himself being compared is Richard M. Nixon.

My father, Lou Cannon, covered the White House with distinction for the Washington Post for many years, beginning in the Nixon administration. He employed an easy rule of thumb when fielding phone calls from anonymous tipsters:

If the caller said, “I have a story that will make Watergate look like a picnic,” Dad would hang up on him.

In the past week, Nixon’s name has been invoked often, and not in a way that pleases the current president or his loyalists. Unless it’s a reference to his dramatic 1972 visit to China, Nixon is not the president any of his successors enjoy being likened to — especially when the suffix “gate” is attached to it.

Barack Obama was only 13 years old when Nixon resigned from office one step ahead of the posse. This is old enough to know that correlations between himself and the 37th president should be contested, which Obama has done.

“I’ll let you guys engage in those comparisons,” he replied when asked at a rainy Rose Garden appearance Thursday how he felt about the Nixon parallel. “You can go ahead and read the history, I think, and draw your own conclusions.”

This response echoed language employed earlier in the week by Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney. “I can tell you,” the White House press secretary told reporters, “that the people who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history.”

Fair enough. Carney was a colleague of mine in the White House press corps during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush years, and he summoned a pretty good institutional memory about the beat. Nixon’s presidency unraveled on the shoals of widespread criminality with no precedent in American politics. So, yes — by all means, let’s leave Watergate out of it.

Yet, I can’t help but think that Nixon and Obama have more in common than either man’s devotees might imagine.

Richard Milhous Nixon was thin-skinned, felt persecuted by the opposition party, had a penchant for classifying political adversaries — and journalists — as “enemies,” and tried to control his image so fiercely that, ultimately, zealous aides committed illegal acts to further his re-election.

But even before that had happened — and before Nixon himself began directing a coverup — truth had become a casualty of his administration. This is the parallel between Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.

No evidence has been unearthed connecting Obama, or anyone under his direction, to illicit activities. But the absence of criminality isn’t the only test here. Nixon’s “enemies,” at least in his mind, also included vast swaths of the Fourth Estate. That apparently is how the current president operates, too.

Barack Obama often displays contempt for the proper role of news-gatherers and, by extension, for the value of reporting that seeks to be unbiased. Often, officials in his White House or re-election campaign seem uncomprehending of the concept of straight reporting.

In their Manichean world, there are liberal news organizations (good) and conservative outlets (bad). Some of the news business does work this way — more than when Nixon was president, for sure — but what Obama and his political advisers and White House press handlers have done is graft their own hyper-partisanship onto the media.

In the Obama administration, it’s not uncommon for a White House press official to scream profanely over the phone at journalists whose stories they dislike, plant questions from friendly media outlets, and deny access to briefings to reporters who ask tough questions. This administration has aggressively used the Justice Department to ferret out news leaks, declared open season on a media organization out of sync with his philosophy (Fox News), and routinely questioned the professionalism of reporters and the patriotism of the opposition political party. That disquieting sound you hear is an echo from the Nixon years.

And though the current administration’s evasions about last September’s attacks in Benghazi, the partisan 2010-2012 activities by IRS, and the unprecedented scope of the Justice Department’s snooping into Associated Press phone records are all unrelated controversies, there is a common thread.

Those who work for this president have a fetish for stage managing the news. They never simply trust the facts; or maybe a better way of saying it is that they don’t trust the American people to be able to handle the facts. Washington has been consumed in recent weeks about who, exactly, massaged the administration’s “talking points” on Benghazi.

The underlying problem is that there were talking points at all. The phrase was popularized in the 1970s in the State Department. Originally the practice ensured that government officials were employing the precise, but opaque, language required in the field of international diplomacy. But the phrase soon migrated to politics, where it meant something quite different: Talking points were the lines of the day to be employed in interviews by partisan political operatives either to defend their position or attack the other side.

Benghazi represents the merging of two uses of the term. Four government officials were killed and a U.S. facility was attacked. Yes, some Republicans wanted to use that for partisan gain, but most Americans simply wanted to know what happened, and why. They still have not been told.

All politics is local, famed Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill is known for saying. Under Obama, all foreign affairs is domestic politics.

Concerning the IRS scandal, there is no evidence that Obama unleashed tax collectors on opponents, as Nixon did. But after years of comparing congressional Republicans to terrorists and hostage-takers, and characterizing the Tea Party as racists and extremists, what message did the president or the leaders of his party think they were sending IRS managers?

Obama is never content to simply say he thinks he can show how wrong-headed Republicans are about the federal budget. No, he says they should put “country ahead of party,” thereby suggesting they are deliberately hurting the economy to hurt him.

This, too, is Nixonland.

On June 29, 1972, Nixon was talking to Henry Kissinger in a taped conversation about the Democratic Party platform. “These people are so revolting that they have to be smashed,” Nixon tells his national security adviser.

“I don’t mean just beat them,” Nixon adds. “It’s good to beat them. But I mean smashed. They must be, they must be, disgraced, driven right out of public life.”

No tapes are available to know how Obama speaks about Republicans in private. But tonally, he’s not that much different from Nixon when speaking in public. Last week, even after the Benghazi, IRS, and AP controversies crested on the White House steps, Obama found time to blame Republicans at a New York fundraiser.

“What’s blocking us right now is a sort of hyper-partisanship in Washington that I was, frankly, hoping to overcome in 2008,” the president said. “My thinking was when we beat them in 2012, that might break the fever, and it’s not quite broken yet. But I am persistent. And I am staying at it. … If there are folks who are more interested in winning elections than they are thinking about the next generation, then I want to make sure there are consequences to that.”

Get all that? The Republicans don’t merely have a difference of opinion with the president. They are rabid, and craven, and willing to sacrifice their own children’s futures to win elections. This Nixon-esque attitude constitutes a toxic brew: whining, boasting, and name-calling all overlaid with persecution-complex and a profound contempt for his opponents — along with a determination to make them pay.

Like Nixon, Obama also fancies himself a press critic. Although the man received press coverage in 2008 and 2012 that Nixon would have killed for, there are considerable irritants out there, including radioman Rush Limbaugh, but primarily Fox News, which Obama and his aides have attempted to delegitimize by name.

In so doing, Obama has actually gone places in public Nixon only dared go in private.

As I write this piece, I am looking at a memo written on July 30, 1972, by President Nixon to White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman. That morning, The Washington Post had published a story by Lou Cannon headlined “Nixon Running Scared.”

That article apparently got under Nixon’s skin. His memo to Haldeman runs for three pages. His premise is that the Washington Post “is totally against us.” Making no allowance for the possibility of objective reporting, Nixon starts by telling his top adviser that he understands campaign aides must deal with “media representatives that we know are antagonistic to us.”

Nixon’s second point is that they should not “waste time” with such outlets at the expense of “turning down interviews with media representatives who are our friends.” This seems to be to a false choice, but Nixon — who would win re-election in 1972 in a landslide — is just warming to his main point:

“Third, even when our most intelligent people are meeting with people like Cannon they must constantly keep in mind that they are confronting a political enemy and that everything they say will, therefore, be used against us.”

We don’t know if Obama or his minions also keep enemies lists, if only in their heads. But we do know that they view the media with the same with-us-or-against-us mentality that Nixon fostered. And though that attitude can help win elections, it surely impedes good governance.

Richard Nixon thought liberals were out to get him. Guess what? Many of them were. Likewise, Barack Obama thinks the Republicans want him to fail in office. Many of them do. But it’s a poor excuse for bad behavior.

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Editor for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

NEWSWEEK PREDICTS CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

Newsweek, April 28

Bureau Reporter Peter Gwynne    

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. “Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data,” concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. “Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.”

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases – all of which have a direct impact on food supplies.

“The world’s food-producing system,” warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, “is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.” Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

—PETER GWYNNE with bureau reports

NOTE FROM WORDWARRIOR:

This story actually ran in Newsweek onApril 28, 1975 !!  

Of course none of the predictions of massive food shortages and global famine came to pass. What famine there has been in the last 50 years has largely been the product of civil war caused food dislocation, or governments starving their own (often rebellious) people. 

 

 

 

OBAMA’S BENGHAZI PERFORMANCE FOUND WANTING, SUPPORT ERODING

Richard Nixon knew he was in trouble when he lost the confidence of his own side, theFile:Howard Baker 1989.jpg Republicans. It was Senator Howard Baker (R-Tennessee) who asked the now famous question regarding Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate break-in: “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

In today’s Washington, that kind of honest non-partisan approach to holding our leaders accountable is notably absent. There are no Howard Bakers anymore (and way to many Howard Deans!). Beginning with the multiplicity of scandals during the Clinton Administration, in which Congressional Democrats and the Washington Press Corps not only ignored malfeasance on the part of the Executive, but worked to protect “their guy” from any blame or consequence; running interference for one’s guy from “partisan” attacks has replace honest fact-finding and watchdog oversight in our national politics.

President Obama, though, just might be feeling the rug being pulled out from under him; as he appears to be losing support on the Left, his traditional bastion of support. Here, imbedded in her piece on Clintonesque cover-up deja vu, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd (no Republican sympathiser) is scathing in her criticism of the President and his Administration’s handling of the Benghazi fiasco.

Remember, Nixon did not have a direct hand in the Watergate break-in. What sunk the Nixon Presidency was the President and his aides’ attempt at a cover-up. It was lies and obfuscation that nailed the lid on Nixon’s coffin.

But only because principled Republicans sided with Democrats in Congress in demanding a higher standard of accountability from our Chief Executive.

Obama is not yet in trouble. As long as the national press and Congressional Democrats are willing to shield him, he can survive any scandal. But if Dowd’s example is just the beginning of an erosion of support from his base (the Left-leaning press), then Obama may find his Presidency on very shaky legs.

When Myths Collide in the Capital

By 

Published: May 11, 2013   

THE capital is in the throes of déjà vu and preview as it plunges back into Clinton Rules, defined by a presidential aide on the hit ABC show “Scandal” as damage control that goes like this: “It’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true, it’s old news.”

The conservatives appearing on Benghazi-obsessed Fox News are a damage patrol with an approach that goes like this: “Lies, paranoia, subpoena, impeach, Watergate, Iran-contra.”

(Though now that the I.R.S. has confessed to targeting Tea Party groups, maybe some of the paranoia is justified.)

Welcome to a glorious spring weekend of accusation and obfuscation as Hillaryland goes up against Foxworld.

The toxic theatrics, including Karl Rove’s first attack ad against Hillary, cloud a simple truth: The administration’s behavior before and during the attack in Benghazi, in which four Americans died, was unworthy of the greatest power on earth.

After his Libyan intervention, President Obama knew he was sending diplomats and their protectors into a country that was no longer a country, a land rife with fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Yet in this hottest of hot spots, the State Department’s minimum security requirements were not met, requests for more security were rejected, and contingency plans were not drawn up, despite the portentous date of 9/11 and cascading warnings from the C.I.A., which had more personnel in Benghazi than State did and vetted the feckless Libyan Praetorian Guard. When the Pentagon called an elite Special Forces team three hours into the attack, it was training in Croatia — decidedly not a hot spot.

Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Chris Stevens were rushing to make the flimsy Benghazi post permanent as a sign of good faith with Libyans, even as it sat ringed by enemies.

The hierarchies at State and Defense had a plodding response, failing to make any superhuman effort as the siege waxed and waned over eight hours.

In an emotional Senate hearing on Wednesday, Stevens’s second-in-command, Gregory Hicks, who was frantically trying to help from 600 miles away in Tripoli, described how his pleas were denied by military brass, who said they could not scramble planes and who gave a “stand-down” order to four Special Forces officers in Tripoli who were eager to race to Benghazi.

“My reaction was that, O.K., we’re on our own,” Hicks said quietly. He said the commander of that Special Forces team told him, “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more” chutzpah “than someone in the military.”

The defense secretary at the time, Leon Panetta, insisted, “We quickly responded.” But they responded that they would not respond. As Emma Roller and David Weigel wrote in Slate: “The die was cast long before the attack, by the weak security at the consulate, and commanders may have decided to cut their losses rather than risking more casualties. And that isn’t a story anyone prefers to tell.”

Truth is the first casualty here when competing fiefs protect their mythologies. Some unhinged ideologues on the right cling to the mythology that Barry and Hillary are out to destroy America.

In the midst of a re-election campaign, Obama aides wanted to promote the mythology that the president who killed Osama was vanquishing terror. So they deemed it problematic to mention any possible Qaeda involvement in the Benghazi attack.

Looking ahead to 2016, Hillaryland needed to shore up the mythology that Clinton was a stellar secretary of state. Prepared talking points about the attack included mentions of Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group, but the State Department got those references struck. Foggy Bottom’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, a former Cheney aide, quashed a we-told-you-so paragraph written by the C.I.A. that said the spy agency had “produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to Al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya,” and had warned about five other attacks “against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British ambassador’s convoy.”

Nuland fretted about “my building leadership,” and with backing from Ben Rhodes, a top White House aide, lobbied to remove those reminders from the talking points because they “could be abused by members” of Congress “to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?”

Hicks said that Beth Jones, an under secretary of state, bristled when he asked her why Susan Rice had stressed the protest over an anti-Muslim video rather than a premeditated attack — a Sunday show marathon that he said made his jaw drop. He believes he was demoted because he spoke up.

Hillary’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, also called Hicks to angrily ask why a State Department lawyer had not been allowed to monitor every meeting in Libya with Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who visited in October. (The lawyer did not have the proper security clearance for one meeting.) Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, has been a rabid Hillary critic on Fox News since the attack. Hicks said he had never before been scolded for talking to a lawmaker.

All the factions wove their own mythologies at the expense of our deepest national mythology: that if there is anything, no matter how unlikely or difficult, that we can do to try to save the lives of Americans who have volunteered for dangerous assignments, we must do it.

Islam: Violence Emanates from its Core

By Word Warrior and Russell Farris

The Boston Marathon bombings, by a seemingly “average” college student and his more obviously troubled and radicalized older brother has led to discussion on our policy towards Muslim immigrants; and our Visa policy regarding foreign students in general. What it should also trigger is a meaningful policy discussion on the nature of Islamic violence. Because unlike any other religion in the world, violence is an integral part of Islam.

The problem lies within the Quran itself.

The Quran is no easy read. It is also not a gentle book of enlightening prose. The “Prophet” was no Kahil Gibran, and the Quran is not “The Prophet“. It is the hodge-podge mumblings of a mean old pedophile. Muhammad’s words were collected during his epileptic-like seizures (according to Philip Schaff, during his revelations Muhammad “sometimes growled like a camel, foamed at his mouth, and streamed with perspiration.” [1]). A study of the book (a task for only the most perseverant) leads to the inescapable conclusion that believers are repeatedly directed to convert, enslave, or kill all non-believers (in that order).

I will grant that most educated Muslims (particularly American Muslims) choose to ignore those instructions; or try to explain them away. They are the nice face of Islam. When explained by such spokesmen, “Jihad”  becomes an internal, spiritual struggle; rather than holy war against the infidel. Islam becomes a religion of peace, ignoring the fact that the Muslim World (and all other lands with a large Muslim minority) are the most violent, non-peaceful places on earth. Since 9/11/01, there has been an average of 5 attacks a day by Muslim terrorists!

But to the truly dedicated, observant, fundamentalist Muslims these more cerebral (nice) Muslims aren’t really Muslims at all. To the ones we call “radicals”, a real Muslim has the Allah-given task of converting, enslaving, or killing the rest of us.

“Good Muslims” are commanded to kill other Muslims who stray from the path.  Consequently, the nice Muslims have to keep their mouths shut. This slows down the spread of the nicer varieties of Islam; while the radicalization of Mosques (or “cells” within those Mosques) goes unabated.

This week has seen even dedicated liberals, like Bob Beckel, call for a slowing of Muslim immigration and a reexamination of our Student Visa policy. But the real problem is how do we distinguish the nice Muslim immigrants from those that want to kill us and subvert our democracy (which they consider Satanic)? The oath of allegiance taken by naturalized citizens, to the country and constitution, should weed out the bad ones. Except that the swearing of false oaths and other means of deceiving the infidel are an integral part of Islam, when deemed necessary in the defense of Islam. And as we see in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers, even seemingly nice Muslims can change into bad ones.

Progressives have a pathological need to ignore the differences in people. Though profiling is a proven, effective tool of law enforcement, liberals consider this tantamount to racism. David Sirota, for example, objects to us treating white, non-Islamic terrorists differently than non-white or Islamic terrorists (“Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American”; Salon, Apr 16, 2013).

But there are almost zero white non-Islamic terrorists. Those few that did exist in the recent past, such as Germany’s infamous Baader-Meinhof gang, the Irish Republican Army, or our own Weather Underground (compliments of the President’s friend Bill Ayres) were leftist radicals or a part of nationalist liberation movements; and have mostly faded away after the fall of the Iron Curtain. If any white, non-Islamic groups should commit acts of terror they should indeed be treated just like non-white or Islamic terrorists. (The speedy trial and subsequent execution of Timothy McVeigh demonstrate that we, in fact, do  just that; undermining Sirota’s contention to the contrary.)

Most horrible things done today by white non-Muslims are not acts of terrorism: they are individual manifestations of deranged minds. White, non-Islamic killers are almost never parts of larger groups that brain-wash them, train them, or finance them. That is, at this point in history, a manifestation of radical Islam.

Religiously, it is unique to Islam. There are no Christian terrorist organizations or movements, financing and sponsoring terrorism in the name of Christ. Nor are there any such Buddhist nor Hindu groups.

Liberals hate the idea of evil. But radical Islam is as evil in the 21st Century as Christianity sometimes was in the Middle Ages. And Islam has no prospect of getting any better, of internal reformation because the evil in it comes from its most fundamental tenets.

The evil in Christianity came from ignoring its fundamental tenets.

[1] Schaff, P., & Schaff, D. S. (1910). History of the Christian church. Third edition. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Volume 4, Chapter III, section 42 “Life and Character of Mohammed”

IS OBAMA ALREADY A LAME DUCK? OR IS HE JUST LAME?

The opposing party always gets on the phone or gathers in what used to be Georgetown dens to denigrate the new guy and vow to fight him to the end. That’s how blowhards blow.

by Peggy Noonan

The Wall Street Journal: May 4, 2013

I  think we’re all agreed the president is fading—failing to lead, to break through, to show he’s not at the mercy of events but, to some degree at least, in command of them. He couldn’t get a win on gun control with 90% public support. When he speaks on immigration reform you get the sense he’s setting it back. He’s floundering on Syria. The looming crisis on implementation of ObamaCare has begun to fill the news. Even his allies are using the term “train wreck.” ObamaCare is not only the most slovenly written major law in modern American history, it is full of sneaked-in surprises people are just discovering. The Democrats of Washington took advantage of the country’s now-habitual distractedness: The country, now seeing what’s coming in terms of taxes and fees, will not be amused. Mr. Obama’s brilliant sequester strategy—scare the American public into supporting me—flopped. Congress is about to hold hearings on Boston and how the brothers Tsarnaev slipped through our huge law-enforcement and immigration systems. Benghazi and what appear to be its coverups drags on and will not go away; press secretary Jay Carney was reduced to saying it happened “a long time ago.” It happened in September. The economy is stuck in low-growth, employment in no-growth. The president has about a month to gather himself together on the budget, tax reform and an immigration deal before Congress goes into recess. What are the odds?

Republicans don’t oppose him any less after his re-election, and Democrats don’t seem to support him any more. This week he was reduced to giving a news conference in which he said he’s got juice, reports of his death are greatly exaggerated. It was bad. And he must be frustrated because he thinks he’s trying. He gives speeches, he gives interviews, he says words, but he doesn’t really rally people, doesn’t create a wave that breaks over the top of the Capitol Dome and drowns the opposition, or even dampens it for a moment.

Mr. Obama’s problem isn’t really the Republicans. It’s that he’s supposed to be popular. He’s supposed to have some sway, some pull and force. He was just re-elected. He’s supposed to have troops. “My bill is launched, unleash the hounds of war.” But nobody seems to be marching behind him. Why can’t he rally people and get them to press their congressmen and senators? I’m not talking about polls, where he hovers in the middle of the graph, but the ability to wield power.

The president seems incapable of changing anything, even in a crisis. He’s been scored as passive and petulant, but it’s the kind of passivity people fall into when nothing works. “People do what they know how to do,” a hardened old pol once said, meaning politicians use whatever talent they have, and when it no longer works they continue using it.

There’s no happy warrior in there, no joy of the battle, just acceptance of what he wearily sees as the landscape. He’d seem hapless if he weren’t so verbally able.

So, the president is stuck. But it’s too early to write him off as a lame duck because history has a way of intervening. A domestic or international crisis that is well-handled, or a Supreme Court appointment, can make a president relevant. There are 44 months left to Mr. Obama’s presidency. He’s not a lame duck, he’s just lame.

*** Which has me thinking of two things that have weakened the Obama presidency and haven’t been noted. One was recent and merely unhelpful. The other goes back, and encouraged a mindset that became an excuse, perhaps a fatal one.

The recent one: In the days after the 2012 election the Democrats bragged about their technological genius and how it turned the election. They told the world about what they’d done—the data mining, the social networking, that allowed them to zero in on Mrs. Humperdink in Ward 5 and get her to the polls. It was quite impressive and changed national politics forever. But I suspect their bragging hurt their president. In 2008 Mr. Obama won by 9.5 million votes. Four years later, with all the whizbang and money, he won by less than five million. When people talk about 2012 they don’t say the president won because the American people endorsed his wonderful leadership, they say he won because his team outcomputerized the laggard Republicans.

This has left him and his people looking more like cold technocrats who know how to campaign than leaders who know how to govern. And it has diminished claims of a popular mandate. The president’s position would be stronger now if more people believed he had one.

What damaged the Obama presidency more, looking back, was, ironically, the trash-talking some Republican leaders indulged in after the 2008 campaign. It entered their heads at the Obama White House and gave them a warped sense of the battlefield.

In a conference call with conservative activists in July, 2009, then-Sen. Jim DeMint said of the president’s health-care bill, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Not long after, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was quoted as saying that the GOP’s primary goal was to make Mr. Obama a one-term president.

The press hyped this as if it were something new, a unique and epic level of partisan animus. Members of the administration also thought it was something new. It made them assume no deals with Republicans were possible, and it gave them a handy excuse they still use: “It’s not us, they vowed from the beginning they wouldn’t work with us!”

But none of it was new. The other sidealways vows to crush you. Anyone who’d been around for a while knew the Republicans were trying to sound tough, using hyperbole to buck up the troops. It’s how they talk when they’re on the ropes. But the president and his staffers hadn’t been around for a while. They were young. They didn’t understand what they were hearing was par for the course.

Bill Clinton’s foes made fierce vows about him, the enemies of Both Bushes did the same. The opposing party always gets on the phone or gathers in what used to be Georgetown dens to denigrate the new guy and vow to fight him to the end. That’s how blowhards blow. When Reagan came in they vowed to take him down, and it was personal. Speaker Tip O’Neill called him “ignorant” and a “disgrace” and said it was “sinful” that he was president. He called Reagan “a man who has no care and no concern for the working class of America” and said: “He’s cold. He’s mean. He’s got ice water for blood.” Chris Matthews, an O’Neill staffer, says he once greeted Reagan in the Capitol with the words: “Mr. President, welcome to the room where we plot against you.”

They did. Reagan knew it.

Yet he had no problem dealing successfully with O’Neill. He didn’t moan, “Oh they hate me, it’s no use!”

Note to the next White House: There’s always gambling at Rick’s place. It’s never a shock and not an excuse. It’s business as usual. And if you’re a leader you can lead right past it.

 

WHY SMART PEOPLE (INCLUDING ME! ) DO DUMB THINGS

Like many of you, I often reflect on seminal (or merely embarrassing) events in my life; 1aand shake my head in disbelief. How could I have been so dumb?

In 2000 I started my own company. This was my second attempt in 3 years, after having worked 15 years in a certain industry and rising about as high as could working for someone else. Over the next 5 years, I made a lot of money and the company was poised for true success.

Then, in 2006, it all came crashing down.

A “perfect storm” of bad circumstances and bad decisions on my part left me broke and nearly emotionally broken. I was able (barely) to salvage enough of my company to sell it off to a partner for enough money to survive on.

Much of what went wrong for me that year can be found in the list below.

Smart people (and most who know me would describe me in those terms) do dumb things. Maybe not as often as truly dumb people; but more often than we would like to admit.

Business aside, we make a lot of our worst mistakes in our personal lives and choices.

As example, I just got out of a 10 month relationship with a young woman less than half my age. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work out.

1Now, she was very mature, smart, witty, pretty, liked a lot of the same things I did, and really appreciated and preferred older men. Sounded promising, right?

All of my male friends gave me two thumbs up. Most were at least mildly envious. One advised me to “put a ring on her finger” ASAP!

My female friends saw things far more clearly. From the beginning, my very best friend (a wise woman indeed) described it as a slow-moving train wreck; one she just couldn’t bear to watch. Most others just looked at me with that “you poor dumb shmuck” look, smiled sadly and shook their heads.

I tried telling one that though “weird”, our relationship weirdly worked. She scoffed at that openly, replying, “You just THINK its working!”

Of course, she was right.

This wasn’t the first or worst bad decision I’ve made regarding my choice of feminine companions; just the most recent. Being pretty wise when it comes to analyzing other people’s relationships doesn’t make me any less stupid when it comes to my own…

We all make mistakes, even the smartest of us. But its often surprising when really smart people make really dumb mistakes. Here is a list of the Top 10 reasons that they do:

Top 10 Reasons Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

  1. They’re too close to the situation. Lack of  objectivity or perspective is probably the most common reason, but not the only  one, by any means.
  2. They’re in uncharted territory. People tend to forget  that intelligence or  experience doesn’t necessarily translate from one situation or company to the  next, as we discussed in Carol Bartz and the CEO’s Dilemma.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
  3. They’re distracted. They’ve got other things or  priorities on their mind and they’re just not paying attention. Sometimes, it’s  that simple. Like Occam’s Razor says, all things being equal, the simplest  solution is usually the right one.
  4. They’ve made up their mind based on limited data. Ever  try to have an objective, intelligent discussion with someone who’s already made  up his mind about something? Didn’t turn out too well, did it?
  5. Their assumptions are flawed. As a really smart high-tech CEO once said to me, most  mistakes are the result of bad assumptions. It’s true. Every conclusion and  decision is based on assumptions. The logic can be perfect, but if the  underlying assumptions are flawed, all bets are off.
  6. They feel like it. People have a nasty habit of  connecting behavior and decision-making with thinking, reasoning, and logic.  That’s just not the way it is. Both  thoughts and feelings play a role in everything  we do, and the split varies constantly. So, a smart person can do a dumb thing  if the mood is right, so to speak. That’s usually followed by a smartass like me  saying, “He should have known better.”
  7. They’re panicking. Emotion to the extreme, usually  fear or anxiety, drives the fight or flight response and, sometimes, behavior or  decision-making that may, in hindsight, prove unwise, to put it nicely.
  8. The second law of thermodynamics. In the physical  world, entropy tends to increase. People are no different. Even biological organisms obey physical laws. Smart decisions tend to bring order to chaos; dumb  decisions tend to have the opposite effect. Thus, smart decisions are less  likely and harder to achieve. In other words, s**t happens.
  9. People change. People age, things change. Our ideals,  goals, motives, mental state, and of course, behavior and actions, all change  over time. Chrissie Hynde of  the Pretenders calls itTime The Avenger:  “Nobody’s permanent; everything’s on loan here.”
  10. They’re off their meds or their rocker. What, you  think I’m kidding? You think really smart people can’t have psychological  problems, temporary mental lapses, brain farts?  Haven’t you ever said  someone’s “lost his mind” or is “off her rocker?” Then there’s the whole meds  thing. They can be just off them or just on them? Either one can trigger erratic  behavior.

(Read more:  http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-09-24/strategy/30197335_1_assumptions-ceos-smart-people#ixzz2ROtn5AVD)