A STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH STRANGELY DETACHED FROM REALITY.

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A psychiatrist once told me that the difference between a neurotic and a psychotic is that while the neurotic merely “makes castles in the sky”, the psychotic lives in them!
By that definition our President might be psychotic; or at the least deeply delusional. He painted a verbal picture of a world security situation that exists only in his mind; in which he has solved every problem, and only global warming and the Republican Congress are a threat on the horizon.

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Oddly, President Obama failed to say a word about Al Qaeda or Islamic fundamentalism. Nor the collapse today of the friendly government in Yemen to Shia rebels loyal to the Ayatollahs in Iran. Yemen was a country he touted in last year’s State of the Union Address as a model for his anti-terrorist strategy of “soft power”. (This is an Administration that has forgotten that “soft power” only works when backed by the credible threat of “hard power”.) He declared Russia as defeated in its ambitions to dominate its neighbors, ignoring both the Crimean annexation and the ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine. He calls the economy strong, while work-force participation is at an all-time low (meaning less able-bodied adults have jobs than ever before). He said unemployment is low, but if you figure in the work-force participation numbers the real unemployment is at about 11%.

“The state of our Union is strong”, he claims; at a time when we have a deeper racial and political divide than I have ever seen since the 1960s.

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Obama takes credit for reducing the deficit more than any previous President. He fails to point out that the reduction was largely because of sequestration; and process he has vilified the Republicans for frequently in the past. Nor did he mention that he will, by the time he leaves office, have increased the national debt by more than every other President in history, combined.

You would think, listening to his speech and demeanor, that he had just won a landslide, mandate election. Instead of being wholly repudiated at the polls just a few months ago. No mention was made of the seminal domestic event of the year just passed: the most sweeping Republican victory since 1948. As he looked out over that joint-session of House and Senate, I wonder if the President understood the irony, that there were 80 more Republicans staring back at him than on his first State of the Union; and as many less Democrats. Since taking office and attempting to implement these very policies he continues to herald, there are fewer Democrats in Washington or in the various State Houses and governorships than at ANY time since the 1920s.

Obama has been a gift to the Republicans that just keeps on giving; and a disaster for both his party and our country.

The President will continue to live in a world of his own imagination; and for two more years we will all have to live in that world as well.

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HYPOCRISY DOES NOT NEGATE HISTORICALITY OF PARIS MARCH

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While some 40 world leaders came together Monday in Paris to lead a massive march through the streets, in solidarity against terrorism and for the freedom of the press, a London School of Economics student named Daniel Wickham watched with scorn and amusement; all too aware of the hypocrisy on display. Here were leaders or representatives of governments whose policies towards the press have not been without blemish, to say the least. Deciding to “shame them” (how sweetly naïve are the young: we old folk know politicians know no shame!) he tweeted the records of many of these nation’s records regarding freedom of the press; perhaps attempting to turn this moment of tragedy into one of farce.

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The kid is right, of course: the world is full of hypocrisy. That’s why the UN Human Rights Commission is Chaired from time-to-time by such notable champions of HR as North Korea, Iran, and Sudan. Hypocrisy in politics (and the world in general) is old as history itself.

But so what?

This was still a historical occasion, when 40 world leaders marched arm-in-arm in solidarity with some 1.6 million more behind them, against terrorism (in total, some 4 million marched Monday through the streets of various French cities). Included in the Paris march was a descendent of “The Prophet”, the King Abdullah II of Jordan; as well as the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. When the lion lays down with the lamb, that is time for history to take note.

Will it make a difference in the long run? Only time will tell. At worst the world will move on as before. But this could be the moment when the world as a whole really does act as a community, and collectively says, “ENOUGH”! When the tipping point was reached and the civilized nations of the world decided that Islamic fascism must be combated, not ignored.

But even if nothing comes of this, that makes this moment no less historical.
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Where was the leader of the “Free World”? Where was President Obama?
Kicking back at home, watching Football games.
Lame Duck presidencies are nothing new; but this may be the lamest on modern record. With half of his second term just beginning, President Obama seems disinterested in most aspects of his job. Like the part where he is supposed to lead the world.
He should have been leading that parade of leaders. At the least, he could have sent Joe Biden (what else does a Vice President do when he isn’t chewing on his foot?); or Secretary of State John Kerry, already in Europe. Even Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in Paris Monday, was not dispatched to represent this Administration.
Could it be that the President doesn’t want to focus any more attention on terrorism than he can help? After all, his narrative for the last two years is that the War on Terror is over. So, as other world leaders are declaring war on terrorism (as France did yesterday), Obama is pointedly ignoring them instead of embracing and leading them.
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If this does prove to be a turning point in the tides of history, historians will record that America missed the boat; a rudderless ship whose captain was asleep at the helm.
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Jon Stewart’s satirical take on this event, the hypocrisy and Obama’s absence.