Direction Question – Direction As In Where Are We headed?

This is a Simple Question. Answer should be in the How and Why?

What Direction are we headed in?
a. Right direction
b. Mis-directed with no clear signals
c. Flat out Wrong direction
d. Into a total population control
e. Totally Distracted with disguised wrong direction indicators

This is not a POLL.

Two articles to consider:
Ukraine Crisis: Just Another Globalist-Engineered Powder Keg

Ukraine: The Endgame : Personal Liberty

And No, Blu didn’t put me up to this.

From Around the Blogroll

On the Victory Girls, Jennifer Davis writes about Arne Duncan and Common Core.

Sister Toldjah noted that just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new health insurance marketplaces enrolled as of last month.

Surviving cross at the World Trade Center.

William Teach wrote about the atheist group trying to exclude the steel-beam cross which was found at the demolished World Trade Center site from the 9/11 museum. One of the judges asked whether similar treatment would be needed in a place like the Holocaust Museum, a museum that includes Jewish artifacts but would not be considered an endorsement of Judaism. Looks like someone has some common sense.

Patterico mocked the New York Times editorial which claimed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was doing good by forcing people “to buy new (and better) policies on the health care exchanges.” The notion that people ought to be able to take their own decisions about what is best for them seems to have escaped the editors, but it all falls into line with what I have said many times before: the left are pro-choice on exactly one thing.

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain is at the Conservative Political Action Conference and wrote several articles, including this one.

Donald Douglas points out Forbes‘ article, “Party Schools — Years Of Fun Mostly At Other People’s Expense, But Not Much Learning.”

Laurel Conrad of Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion wrote about a strange fate to anti-Semitism progressivism, pointing out that “faculty, not students, are leading the anti-Israel charge on campus,” and that “The Jewish Press reported that pro-Israel counter-events outnumbered IAW events.”

L D Jackson wrote about the Romeike family, legal immigrants from Germany, who asked for asylum because German law denies them the right o home school they children. An immigration judge granted asylum, and an appeals court overturned that. If they are sent back to Germany, they could have their children taken away from them because they chose to home school.

Hube mocks both the Wilmington News-Journal and the Delaware Liberal for their apoplexy over Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) vote not to invoke cloture on the filibuster against President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, noted the Infernal Revenue Service’ diligence when it comes to checking up on TEA Party related groups, but it seems that they aren’t quite as cautious when hiring people, like Mohammad Weiss Rasool, whom the FBI busted last decade for tipping off an al-Qaida terrorist suspect, reportedly now works for the deputy IRS chief financial officer as a financial management analyst, drawing a lucrative salary at taxpayer expense.

On Protein Wisdom, Darleen Click takes the Associated Press to task for rotten reporting, failing to note that, shockingly enough, Governor Jerry Brown’s program for releasing lower-level felons to reduce prison overcrowding, is generating a record increase in the number of second felony convictions for those who already had a prior conviction for a serious crime.  Mrs Click wonders why the AP is surprised that criminals are still criminals, even if they have been released.

Rip it up!

One of my high school classmates, a pretty woman but a rip-roarin’ liberal, shared this picture from the Lost Kos:

And my response is, yes, please, please! shred that social contract! Tear it all to pieces! Why should those of us who work hard for a living have the government take food off of our tables to feed people who won’t work?

The social contract to which the esteemed Mr Moyers refers is one which has enabled millions of able-bodied people to sit on their lazy asses, with a roofs over their heads, food on their tables, cars in their driveways, cell phones in their pockets, and cable for their televisions, while the rest of us have to work harder, for less, so that those able-bodied people can keep doing that! The fact that we are basically importing Mexicans to do what are entry-level, low-skill jobs tells us that those able-bodied Americans could work, but won’t work.

I’m sure that it’s all George Bush’s fault!

From Gallup:

More Americans Worse Off Financially Than a Year Ago
Yet most expect to be better off within a year
by Andrew Dugan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.

These results come from Gallup’s annual “Mood of the Nation” poll, conducted Jan. 5-8. Gallup has found that Americans’ economic confidence, self-reported consumer spending, and perceptions of job creation improved in 2013. Despite Americans’ more positive views of the overall U.S. economy in 2013, nearly two-thirds believe their personal financial situation deteriorated or was stable over the past year.

Though down from mid-2013, the percentage of Americans saying they are financially better off than a year ago is nearly in line with the historical average (38%), spanning 1976-2014. On the other hand, the share of Americans saying they are financially worse off compared with a year ago is, by historical standards, high — eight percentage points above the average. The record high of 55% occurred in May and September 2008, the year (and, in the latter case, the month) of the global financial meltdown.

More at the link.

Barack Hussein Obama has been President of the United States for 5 years, 1 month and 15 days, so, naturally, if Americans believe that they are worse off today than just one year ago, it’s all still George Bush’s fault, right?

Another new #Obamacare regulation?

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is having the regulations rewritten to require health insurance plans to provide complete coverage for this, with no required copayments:

Scientists Build Orgasm Machine For Women
March 5, 2014 11:59 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Scientists have patented a new machine that will provide orgasms for women at the push of a button.

A little smaller than a packet of cigarettes, the machine is designed to be a medical implant that uses electrodes to trigger an orgasm. The device would help some women who suffer from orgasmic dysfunction.

During the operation, a patient would remain conscious so that a surgeon could correctly pinpoint the right nerves to fit the electrodes in a patient’s spinal cord. Then, a signal generator would be connected which would be most likely implanted under the skin of a patient’s buttocks.

Stuart Meloy, a surgeon at Piedmont Anesthesia and Pain Consultants in Winston-Salem, N.C., came up with idea by accident.

“I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically,” he said to Newscientist. “I asked her what was up and she said, ‘You’re going to have to teach my husband to do that’.”

More at the link. :)

Judge Strikes Down NDAA, Rules Obama MUST Obey The Constitution

Well, BO has lost another round. In his attempt to SILENCE DISSENT, a Judge said NO, it’s AGAINST the Constitution. Well, what will BO do now? Reinstate it by Executive Order. Just Ignore it? Or pout like a child. Tha Marxist lost one.

Judge strikes down NDAA, rules Obama must obey Constitution

In a considerable setback for a president eager to ravage the due process rights of the American people, Federal Judge Kathleen Forrest granted a preliminary injunction on Wednesday, striking down those sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 which sought to provide Barack Obama the power to indefinitely detain citizens without benefit of their 5th Amendment rights.

Signed very quietly into law on New Year’s Eve, the controversial Act has been roundly criticized as unconstitutional by groups on both the political left and right. Of greatest concern was Section 1021, which grants the United States military authority to exercise police powers on American soil. Upon order of the president and at his sole discretion, agents of the military are empowered to detain “until the end of hostilities” anyone the president believes to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces.”

Judge Forrest concluded that the Section “…failed to ‘pass Constitutional muster’ because its broad language could be used to quash political dissent.” In a statement clearly directed to lawmakers, she added, ”Section 1021 tries to do too much with too little – it lacks the minimal requirements of definition and scienter that could easily have been added, or could be added, to allow it to pass constitutional muster.” That is, Congress failed—perhaps deliberately– to define “substantial support” of terrorist groups or describe those activities which might be construed as crossing the legal line. And no law may be enforced if those to whom it applies are unable to clearly understand what a violation of that law entails.

More goodies here:

The Editors of The New York Times and Middle East peace

I caught the blurb on The New York Times’ website: Does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have an alternative to a two-state solution? And the link went to the main editorial:

Israel’s Choice
By The Editorial Board | March 5, 2014

In Washington this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel sounded two different notes about peace negotiations with the Palestinians, which are nearing a critical juncture. In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, he enthusiastically advocated a peace agreement as a means to improve Israel’s ties with its Arab neighbors and “catapult the region forward” on issues like health, energy and education.

But at other moments, a more familiar skepticism was apparent. He demanded that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state with “no excuses, no delays.” In response, a senior Palestinian official, Nabil Shaath, accused Mr. Netanyahu of putting an end to peace talks because Palestinians have already rejected that designation. (Palestinians recognize Israel as a state, but not as a Jewish state because they believe that that would undercut the rights of Palestinian refugees.) And, on Monday, at the White House, Mr. Netanyahu asserted that while Israel has worked hard to advance peace, the Palestinians have not.

How much of this is posturing before the two sides face tough choices in their negotiations is unknown. But as President Obama noted in an interview with Bloomberg View, time is running out, and not just because the Americans will soon release a set of principles that are to serve as a framework for further talks on a final peace deal. Mr. Netanyahu and the Palestinians will have to decide whether to move forward on the basis of those principles, negotiated over months with the mediation of Secretary of State John Kerry, or reject them.

More at the link. But the editors continue along with the same solutions that we have all known about since the end of the 1967 war: a split-the-differences, two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state, next to an independent Israel. Foreign Affairs and the other scholarly journals are full of such plans, by political scientists, by government leaders, by top diplomats, all of them the same in a general sense, with just a few differences on the details. Everyone knows what the structure of peace will have to be; what few seem to understand are the conditions of peace.

Well, the conditions for peace are simple: both sides have to want peace more than they want to fight, and both sides have to realize that military victory is no longer an option. While there are some Israeli irredentists who still dream of a “Greater Israel,” including all of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights,1 few Israelis seem to hold on to such visions as being even remotely realistic these days. While the Israelis could have simply expelled all of the Arabs from the lands they occupied following the Six Day War, if they had done so in 1967 or 1968, and consolidated that Greater Israel dream, it was not done then, and is no longer an option. Most Israelis, these days, would be very willing to accept a peace agreement which left Israel with control over their pre-Six Day War territory, and no more . . . though East Jerusalem might still be too much of a sticking point.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Palestinians. Israel is a democratic nation, and the will of the public is, in the end, controlling. If a majority of Israelis are willing to accept a peace agreement — and they are — the government will eventually have to go along with it.

But the Palestinians, despite some democratic forms, cannot truly be said to be a democratic nation, because the men with guns have a hugely outsized voice, and it is the men with guns who have yet to give up on the idea that they can achieve a military victory, can eventually push the Jews back into the sea. Whether the majority of Palestinians believe this is really unimportant; what is important is that the people who do believe this are effectively in control of the situation.

And that is the problem that the Editorial Board simply do not understand. The Editorial Board are good, highly educated men, men who are (mostly) sympathetic to the state of Israel, but they suffer from the same problem as do so many Westerners: they are almost wholly unable to understand that peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not dependent upon getting the details of an agreement right, but on an attitude of peace, on all sides, becoming prevalent . . . and so far, it has not.

  1. The land encompassed by the Greater Israel dream is somewhat inconsistently defined, and means different things to different people; I have used the most common current definition.

Rip Van Washington Post Awakens From FIVE Year SLUMBER

The far Left Rip Van Washington Post, at least for today, broke itself away from the BO love fest, after a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG Five Year Slumber to wake up and smell the DEAD ROSES. This is a REAL We told you so. We on the Right have been screaming from the rooftops that BO is just a lousy inexperianced President. From DAY 1 the country has gone DOWNHILL. The MSM’s Love Affair was the strangest thing to watch since they backed every mistake with Excuses. Well, it looks like today, and it may only last one day until the Post resumes its slobbering Love Affair with all things BO.

1 rose-colored-glasses-300x175

Washington Post: ‘Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Based on Fantasy’
Amy Payne

March 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

President Obama has lost The Washington Post’s editorial board with his disastrous foreign policy. (DUH)

In a hard-hitting editorial today, the Post’s editors declared Obama’s outlook a “fantasy” and said that “For five years, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality.”

They described Obama’s fantasy world:
It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past

This is exactly what Heritage’s James Carafano and Kim Holmes warned about early in the Obama presidency.

“The tenets of the Obama Doctrine… do not reflect history or the threats we face,” said Carafano, the E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Holmes, author of Liberty’s Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st Century. “They will serve to undermine America’s strengths and make it more difficult for friends and allies to figure out where we stand or how we might act in critical times.”

Moron The Washington Post Here:

Western intellectuals and the misunderstanding of power

From The Wall Street Journal:

U.S., Europe Threaten to Punish Putin
Russia’s Crimea Incursion Sparks Demand for Withdrawal, Talk of Sanctions; ‘They Are Settling In’
By Jay Solomon, Carol E. Lee and Stephen Fidler | Updated March 2, 2014 10:25 p.m. ET

The U.S. and its European allies vowed Sunday to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin and punish his nation’s economy, demanding he withdraw what they called an occupation force from Ukraine’s Crimean region.

Washington began canceling joint economic and trade initiatives with Moscow, including preparations for the summit of the Group of Eight leading nations scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia, in June.

Senior U.S. officials said the administration was also beginning discussions with Congress on implementing targeted economic and financial sanctions on Russian companies and leaders if the Kremlin didn’t begin pulling back from Crimea.

“Russian forces now have complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula, some 6,000-plus airborne and naval forces, with considerable materiel,” a senior official said. “There is no question that they are in an occupation position in Crimea, that they are flying in reinforcements, and they are settling in.”

Officials in Washington and around Europe were searching for penalties to impose on Moscow, while acknowledging military intervention wasn’t among the possibilities.

More at the link.

As you’d expect, with military action off the table, all that remains available are diplomatic and economic sanctions. But, as we noted here, Russia is the largest oil, gas, uranium and coal exporter to the European Union, and the second and third largest producer of natural gas and oil in the world, respectively.  It’s kind of cold right now for the Europeans to risk Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin turning off the gas for a while.  As for diplomatic sanctions, what are they?  We won’t allow Russia to participate in the G-8 summit?  We might call home our ambassadors?  Ooh, now those are scary!

Russia, of course, is one of the five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, and can veto any Security Council resolutions President Putin doesn’t like.

The Russians already know what the West’s righteous indignation amounts to:

“They talk and talk, and then they’ll stop,” Oleg Panteleyev, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said Saturday, noting that the West had made threats that came to little when Russia waged wars in the past in Chechnya in the early 2000s and Georgia in 2008.

Yup, that’s about right.

Ukraine’s economy was already in shambles, and Russia’s was not all that strong, but Russia still has the huge economic hammer in this, with the ability to embargo the flow of natural gas and oil to Europe. Not only would it take time to replace those hydrocarbons from other sources, leaving many Europeans shivering — it is still winter, and Berlin, for example, is projected to have highs in the low fifties, with lows near freezing, for the next week — and many industries shut down, but the eventual replacement would result in skyrocketing prices for oil and natural gas, greatly damaging the Western economies. Russia could bear the economic consequences better, because those consequences would be slower to hit Russia.

The problem for the West is that we like to think that we are oh-so-evolved, with Secretary of State John Kerry whining:

You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text. It is serious in terms of sort of the modern manner with which nations are going to resolve problems.

I’m sorry, Mr Kerry, but President Putin — a former officer in the Комитет государственной безопасности — understands what you do not: in the end, the game is all about power. One would have thought that Secretary Kerry, along with President Obama, would have learned this, considering the failure of the liberal idea of “Smart Power” in dealing with people like Bashar al-Assad and the Taliban, who don’t have the first bit of respect for anything other than strength.

Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration, is credited with coining the term in an article in Foreign Affairs entitled, “Smart Power: Reclaiming Liberal Internationalism“, in 2004:

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, conservative foreign-policy makers have united behind a clear agenda: combating terrorism, aggressively preempting perceived threats, and asserting the United States’ right and duty to act alone. Progressives, in contrast, have seemed flummoxed. Stuck on the sidelines, they advocate tactics that differ sharply from those of the Bush administration. But they have not consistently articulated a distinct set of progressive U.S. foreign policy goals.

This is a mistake. Progressives now have a historic opportunity to reorient U.S. foreign policy around an ambitious agenda of their own. The unparalleled strength of the United States, the absence of great-power conflict, the fears aroused by September 11, and growing public skepticism of the Bush administration’s militarism have created a political opening for a cogent, visionary alternative to the president’s foreign policy.

To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war. Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership — diplomatic, economic, and not least, military — to advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Unlike conservatives, who rely on military power as the main tool of statecraft, liberal internationalists see trade, diplomacy, foreign aid, and the spread of American values as equally important.

After September 11, conservatives adopted the trappings of liberal internationalism, entangling the rhetoric of human rights and democracy in a strategy of aggressive unilateralism. But the militant imperiousness of the Bush administration is fundamentally inconsistent with the ideals they claim to invoke. To reinvent liberal internationalism for the twenty-first century, progressives must wrest it back from Republican policymakers who have misapplied it.

Progressives must therefore advance a foreign policy that renders more effective the fight against terrorism but that also goes well beyond it — focusing on the smart use of power to promote U.S. interests through a stable grid of allies, institutions, and norms. They must define an agenda that marshals all available sources of power and then apply it in bold yet practical ways to counter threats and capture opportunities. Such an approach would reassure an uneasy American public, unite a fractious government bureaucracy, and rally the world behind U.S. goals.

A lot more at the original. But, as Mrs Nossel condemned Bush Administration policies, telling us how well the use of progressive ideas and Western liberal notions would work around the world, she came up with this statement:

Much of the world still buys into the ideals of liberal internationalism. According to the July 2003 Pew Global Attitudes Project survey, even in Muslim countries such as Lebanon, Morocco, and Pakistan, most people believe that Western-style democracy could work well for them.

That was ten years ago, and in the interim we’ve seen just how well liberal internationalism has worked in Lebanon, Morocco — which avoided the so-called “Arab Spring” through a strong monarchy — and Pakistan. We’ve seen the Islamists take over in Egypt, and then, themselves, get kicked out by the Army, we’ve seen bloody civil war in Syria, we’ve seen the failure of any real democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the utter failure, over nearly two generations, of the Arabs to pay more than lip service to a diplomatic solution to their conflict with Israel.

Mrs Nossel’s vision of “smart power” was one which was willing to use military force if necessary, though it had a definite bias in favor of other forms of power.  The naifs of the Obama Administration, despite still being engaged in the war in Afghanistan, seem to have forgotten the military power aspect of it, and have put such an emphasis on economic methods — primarily, the promising of American aid — and diplomacy as to have forgotten that there are other people out there who do not share the same goals and values as Westerners; they seem to have forgotten that there are strongmen in the world who got their positions by being strong men.  What “Western style democracy” has mean has been mostly a tool to be used to obtain power, and is then quickly abandoned once that power has been obtained.  “Western style democracy” is just what the Islamists despise, because it is so opposed to Islamic fundamentalism and shari’a law, and what President Putin used trickery to sidestep, to enable him to rule Russia for over 14 years, with another 4 years remaining in his term.

It looks like Robert Stacey Stacy McCain was on the same track, noting:

Walter Russell Mead at the Public Interest:

Politico report calls it “a crisis that no one anticipated.” The Daily Beastreporting on Friday’s US intelligence assessment that “Vladimir Putin’s military would not invade Ukraine,” quotes a Senate aide claiming that “no one really saw this kind of thing coming.”

Op-eds from all over the legacy press this week helped explained why. Through the rose tinted lenses of a media community deeply convinced that President Obama and his dovish team are the masters of foreign relations, nothing poor Putin did could possibly derail the stately progress of our genius president. . . . Headlines like “Why Russia Won’t Invade Ukraine,” “No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine,” and “5 Reasons for Everyone to Calm Down About Crimea” weren’t hard to find in our most eminent publications. . . .

American experts and academics assume that smart people everywhere must want the same things and reach the same conclusions about the way the world works.

How many times did foolishly confident American experts and officials come out with some variant of the phrase “We all share a common interest in a stable and prosperous Ukraine.” We may think that’s true, but Putin doesn’t.

One hates to wear out the Munich analogies by overuse, but this was in fact exactly the attitude of British supporters of appeasement in the 1930s: Reasonable civilized people simply cannot get it through their heads that there are people in the world who are neither reasonable nor civilized, and who can only be deterred by force.

The elites who run our government and the elites who run our media share the same kind of blindness, an acquired blindness that one can only obtain by attending the finest universities.

Well, perhaps not solely by attending our finest universities; I’m sure that such attitudes could be just as easily inculcated at places like Jacksonville State University as at Harvard.

The problem is a tremendous intellectuocentrism, to coin a word. For too many people, whether the elites or otherwise, there is a real failure to grasp that notion that not everybody else thinks the way that they do. I have harped written about this many time in the past, noting all of the scholarly articles in Foreign Affairs, presenting some (usually slight) variation on a good, solid, reasonable plan for peace between Israel and the Arabs, all of which try to somehow split the differences between the sides, all of which make absolutely perfect sense to Western intellectuals, and none of which have the slightest recognition that not everybody is a Western liberal.