July 23, 2014

Press Ignores General Amos’s Criticism of U.S.’s Poor ‘Leadership’ and Inadequate ‘Courage’

It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.

Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops’ departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been “the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage” in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on “Amos Iraq” (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly’s related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump (HT to a longtime emailer):

(more…)

July 22, 2014

Politico’s Simon: Perry Sending National Guard to Border ‘To Shoot Small Children’

Roger Simon “joined Politico as its first chief political columnist” in 2006. A couple of items on his resume include being “the only person to win twice the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award for commentary,” and a 2013 National Press Club humor-related award. Judges for that award said that “Simon’s writing is witty, specific and based on sharp observations of politics and the media.”

Perhaps, but at least one of his recent tweets is bitter, loony-tunes leftist rubbish. Proving once again that it only takes a slight scratch beneath the surface of a supposedly mainstream liberal journalist to find a hardened, vitriolic radical who hates (yes, that’s the correct word) those who dare to disagree with him or her just screaming to come out, Simon tweeted the following in response to news that Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling up 1,000 National Guardsman to serve at his state’s border with Mexico (HT RedState):

(more…)

July 20, 2014

D’Souza’s Next Film

“America” was great, but he needs a follow-up.

___________________________

This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

___________________________

Sunday evening, I ventured to a local theater to see Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her.

It is an outstanding effort by a man who clearly loves his country and is deeply concerned that everything unique about it is slipping away — to the detriment of the entire world.

D’Souza correctly calls out and identifies the pieces of an orchestrated, five-front attack by those who wish to remake these United States. To do so, they must first convince enough of us to disregard and denigrate this nation’s accomplishments and its exceptional and unprecedented contributions to human well-being and dignity. That campaign, much of it embodied in Howard Zinn’s execrable textbook, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, a publication scandalously used in thousands of schools, is an attempt to shame each and every one of us into stifling our patriotic instincts, forgetting our national pride, and memory-holing any positive elements of this country’s founding. D’Souza correctly notes that liberty’s enemies cannot accomplish their desired transformation without tearing down what is already present.

The following, while no substitute for seeing the movie, summarizes the five themes of the left’s attack. The rebuttals which follow are largely D’Souza’s, but some are mine — so you’ll have to go to the movie to see which is which.

We stole much of our land from the Indians. As seen in the title of Zinn’s book, the revisionists’ narrative goes back to Christopher Columbus — which is pathetic, given that Christopher Columbus never landed in the U.S. More substantively, Indian tribes were continually remaking the U.S. map by conquering and either driving out or enslaving other tribes — but our doing so, which did not involve genocide or enslavement, was apparently the only malign enterprise.

What horse manure. D’Souza notes that the Sioux have turned down a $1 billion reparations offer because they will settle for nothing less than getting “their” areas of the Upper Midwest back. Somehow, we’re supposed to ignore the fact that they took that land from other tribes. The Indians, like virtually the entire rest of the world, subscribed to the “conquest ethic.” The U.S. was among the first, if not the first, nation on earth not to automatically impose colonialism, tyranny or worse on those it defeated in war.

We stole half of Mexico. Actually, we conquered Mexico, gave half of it back, and made American citizens of everyone living in the American Southwest — something the conquest ethic-driven Mexicans under Santa Ana would never have dreamed of doing had they somehow turned the tables.

Slavery stole the labor and lives of Africans. Slavery is indeed this country’s original sin. But our Founders, who knew that they could not have formed a full union at the time of the Constitution’s adoption unless they allowed the practice to continue, nevertheless sowed the seeds for its destruction in the nation’s founding documents. No less than Frederick Douglas declared that the Constitution was hostile to slavery.

The abolitionists, including Abraham Lincoln, capitalized on this disconnect when they sensed that the nation’s moral compass could be moved. It was, but not until a horrible, four-year war — a war D’Souza says is the “first time in history” a war was fought to end slavery — took the lives of over 300,000 Union and over 200,000 Confederate soldiers. My opinion: The impossible task of “reparations,” if ever undertaken, would have to include payments to those who whose relatives died to end slavery, or it would be objectively unjust.

Our military adventures have been about plundering the world for its resources. For starters, if that were so, there would be no Japan Inc., Korean corporate giants like Samsung (MacArthur had to retake almost all of what is now South Korea, which had been lost to Communist troops), or independent German corporations. We would have taken those countries over and run their industries ourselves. Today, Iraq’s oil would exclusively be our province. None of this is the case.

Until Vietnam, when a left-dominated U.S. Congress deliberately chose to abandon before it could become self-sufficient and self-defending, the best thing that could happen to any country in the long run was to lose a war with or be successfully defended by the U.S.

Capitalism is theft. The left seems to understand that much of this core argument no longer works. That’s because capitalism obviously creates wealth where none formerly existed — it apparently required high-tech liberals to prove this obvious point beyond doubt — and continues to lift people out of subsistence-level lives around the world at an astonishing rate. Their backstop is the ”you didn’t build that” argument made by the likes of President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. D’Souza reasonably asks, when businesses and their owners flourish, if they end up getting more in public benefits than those who don’t own or never built businesses. The answer, unless they engage in the cronyism game, is obviously “no.” So why should they be expected to hand over even more than the wildly disproportionate share they provide to fund public services?

D’Souza then moves to recent political history, particularly chronicling the influence of Saul “Rules For Radicals” (with an admiring nod to Lucifer) Alinsky. I wonder how many left-leaners might begin to question their beliefs if they realized that many of the strategies Alinsky developed arose from his acknowledged first-hand observations of the inner workings of the murderous Chicago mob?

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are indisputably disciples of Alinsky. Obama’s allegiance is plainly seen in his governance. Thus far, Hillary’s has been primarily visible in her college thesis, which proposed taking Alinsky to a new level. Then-Ms. Rodham believed that instead of radicals toiling as perpetual outsiders trying to coerce governments to do what they believe they should do, radicals needed to become the government.

Though I understand the limitations of time, this is where D’Souza fell down a bit. A friend who has seen the movie noted, and I agree, that many people leaving America will believe that “restoration,” D’Souza’s one-word theme for what genuine reform-minded Americans should be focusing on in the coming years, will be far more likely if Obama is somehow prevented from doing critical damage in his final years in office, and a Democrat, be it Mrs. Clinton or Lizzie Warren or anyone else, fails to win the White House in 2016. At best, that only slightly improves the odds.

In case anyone has missed it, a significant portion of the federal government’s bloated bureaucracy, whose interests have historically been job preservation and perpetuation, now sees its primary mission as carrying out the Alinsky agenda from within. Thousands of apparatchiks with the mindsets of Lois Lerner, Tom Perez, and Al Aremendariz pervade this government. There are no meaningful checks and balances on their actions and dictates. There never will be unless a massive downsizing of their size and influence takes place.

Recognizing current and future political dangers is important, and America does a great job of that. But it’s far from enough. We need a way out of the regulatory tyranny we see flexing its muscles virtually on a daily basis — and we need someone like D’Souza’s to cinematically expose its ugliness and suggest solutions.

July 18, 2014

Latest PJ Media Column (‘D’Souza’s Next Film’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

July 13, 2014

Salon Author: Let’s Make Google, Amazon and Facebook ‘Public Utilities’

Richard (RJ) Eskow, ”a writer, consultant, and Senior Fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future,” is a certified “respectable” lefty. So as much as the idea which follows may seem laughable, it shouldn’t be dismissed as the unhinged rant of someone with no influence engaging in some isolated “thought experiment” which isn’t shared by others in leftyland.

Eskow, in a Tuesday column at Salon, advocated regulating Internet titans Google, Amazon and Facebook as “public utilities.” His justification is that they “define our lives,” they’re “close to monopolies,” and besides, employing a breezy myth still held by many in the press, “Big Tech was created with publicly developed technology.” Read on (the headline overstates Eskow’s position; bolds are mine):

(more…)

July 12, 2014

Postivity: Iraqi Veteran’s Home Remodeled For Him While He Was Away

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From SUISUN CITY, California (HT Daryn Kagan):

From mid-June, 2014

There was a homecoming in Suisun City on Tuesday. The family moving in came from the military. They arrived home in a limousine. And having moved so many times before they said this is it, no more, they’re done. But there was a twist to this story.

It was not just a twist, but a surprise. The surprise began with flags adorning the lawn and home. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo wasn’t expecting the flags when he got home, but it was very appropriate considering he spent 21 years in the Marine Corp. Another surprise was the condition of the house when he returned home.

He didn’t want a limo and he never expected the media. After a long trip home from his posting in Okinawa, all that newly retired Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo wanted was an In-N-Out burger.

“We did it for you brother, alright?” said Sgt. Bernardo’s friend, Jeremy Epperson. “We did it for you.”

The newly retired veteran was speechless while looking at a home that was completely upgraded from the one he and his family bought in Januray, and had expected to see.

“We chose it because it was the only thing we can afford, sir,” said his wife, Julie Bernardo.

Sgt. Bernardo added, “I knew it would take a lot of time and a lot of effort and money.”

And it did, but not by him. Instead thank Epperson, his old boot camp and Marine pal, who took one look at the place and deemed that no retiring Marine should return to such a mess.

He rounded up volunteers, money, and put $70,000 worth of work into the house as part of a program he’s calling Homecoming Heroes.

Go here for the rest of othe story.

July 11, 2014

Chuck Hagel Must Resign

Filed under: National Security,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 2:14 pm

No Secretary of Defense with a conscience would allow this.

From the New York Post:

In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers — many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan — will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed.

Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains — the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments — were told they’ll be retired from the Army.

While they’re still in harm’s way, these soldiers now have to worry about how they’ll feed their families once they return.

The honorable thing to do would be to give them the requisite 60-90 days’ notice when they return.

But from here, it looks like the Pentagon is saving money by starting that clock while soldiers are still on the battlefield.

Imagine the blowback if Bush 43 had done this, which of course he never would have thought of doing.

Chuck Hagel must resign — Even if he somehow didn’t know about it. If he won’t do so voluntarily, President Obama must demand his resignation and get it — or fire him, now. If he doesn’t, the presumption has to be that Obama is fine with treating combat troops this way.

July 8, 2014

Do You Agree, Brian? Williams Says Shevardnadze ‘Admitted That Too Much Democracy Was a Bad Thing’

On Monday evening’s NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams used a perhaps revealing verb to describe a belief held by former Soviet foreign minister and Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who died on Monday at 86.

It would be good to look back and learn how Shevardnadze came to say what he said a decade ago before getting to how Williams framed it. As reported in Doug Martin’s obituary at the New York Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):

(more…)

July 5, 2014

Positivity: Louis Zamperini, World War II hero and Olympian, dies

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

Do not fail to read the story of this amazing, inspiring man.

From Los Angeles (HT Patterico):

Seventy years ago, the world was convinced that Louis Zamperini was dead. There had been no word of the track star and former Olympian since his World War II bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The military told his parents he was dead, and an annual collegiate track competition named one of its races in his memory.

But Zamperini was alive, and very much so. After surviving 47 days in a life raft in shark-infested waters and enduring two years as a Japanese prisoner of war, Zamperini was liberated in time to attend the second running of the invitational mile that had been named in his memory. It was a story fitting for a man who lived a life on the edge of endurance, an ordinary man who did extraordinary things – all while sustained by a hope and strength that at times seemed superhuman.

Zamperini, a war hero, Olympian and the subject of a celebrated book and upcoming movie on his harrowing story of survival against all odds, died after a long battle with pneumonia, his family said Thursday in a statement. He was 97.

Zamperini outlived almost all of those who watched him weave his way through his remarkable life, but the outpouring from those who came to know and love the man in his later years was as immediate and intense as the life he lived. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 4, 2014

CNN’s Tom Cohen Baffled by the Obama Popularity ‘Disconnect,’ Holds Real Answers Until the Very End

A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation’s trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen’s Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama’s unpopularity.

After all, Cohen’s headline crows that under Obama we have “more jobs” and “less war” (!), so there’s a “disconnect” which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words “immigration,” “scandal,” or “contraction” (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN’s embedded headline links to another story (“Obama to Republicans: ‘So sue me’“) openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the “disconnect” in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):

(more…)

July 3, 2014

Press Largely Fails to Note Or Downplays That New VA Director Was Forced Out of P&G

The identity of President Obama’s nominee to head the scandal-plagued, bloated mess known as the Veterans Administration was known on Sunday.

Very few news outlets (the Fox news item just linked is an exception) noted that Obama’s pick was particularly odd because McDonald’s run as CEO at Procter & Gamble was not considered a success. He was essentially forced into retirement after four years at the helm in May 2013.

(more…)

June 18, 2014

Dick and Liz Cheney: Obama Has ‘Betrayed Our Past and Squandered Our Freedom’

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (bolds are mine):

The Collapsing Obama Doctrine
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

As the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threaten Baghdad, thousands of slaughtered Iraqis in their wake, it is worth recalling a few of President Obama’s past statements about ISIS and al Qaeda. “If a J.V. team puts on Lakers’ uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant” (January 2014). “[C]ore al Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated” (August 2013). “So, let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding” (September 2011).

Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is “ending” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America’s enemies are not “decimated.” They are emboldened and on the march.

The fall of the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul and Tel Afar, and the establishment of terrorist safe havens across a large swath of the Arab world, present a strategic threat to the security of the United States. Mr. Obama’s actions—before and after ISIS’s recent advances in Iraq—have the effect of increasing that threat.

On a trip to the Middle East this spring, we heard a constant refrain in capitals from the Persian Gulf to Israel, “Can you please explain what your president is doing?” “Why is he walking away?” “Why is he so blithely sacrificing the hard fought gains you secured in Iraq?” “Why is he abandoning your friends?” “Why is he doing deals with your enemies?”

In one Arab capital, a senior official pulled out a map of Syria and Iraq. Drawing an arc with his finger from Raqqa province in northern Syria to Anbar province in western Iraq, he said, “They will control this territory. Al Qaeda is building safe havens and training camps here. Don’t the Americans care?”

Our president doesn’t seem to. Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

… The tragedy unfolding in Iraq today is only part of the story. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent across the globe. According to a recent Rand study, between 2010 and 2013, there was a 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist terror groups around the world. During that same period, the number of terrorists doubled.

In the face of this threat, Mr. Obama is busy ushering America’s adversaries into positions of power in the Middle East.

At some point, it becomes reasonable to believe that all of this is whawt Obama wants to see happen. Cheney posits the possibility:

… Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists’ takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.

Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent and they present a security threat not seen since the Cold War. Defeating them will require a strategy—not a fantasy.

President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.

If this government won’t abandon its fantasies, the people in it shouldn’t be there.

As ISIS Nears Baghdad, US Press Snoozes, But AFP, UK Telly Are Covering

At roughly 8 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday morning, the wire service AFP (Agence France-Presse) had a story entitled “Fighting nears Baghdad as UN warns crisis ‘life-threatening.’” AFP reported that “Militants pushed a weeklong offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq to within 60 kilometres (37 miles) of Baghdad Tuesday.” A Skynet video found at Gateway Pundit tells us that “ISIS Terrorists Surround Baghdad From Three Sides.”

Meanwhile, as of 12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday only one of the three Iraq-related stores (here, here and here) at the Associated Press refers — and even then only in a very late paragraph — to how ISIS (or ISIL, using AP’s preferred acronym) “overran Mosul then stormed toward Baghdad.”

There is a news outlet which has been liveblogging from Baghdad for at least the past four days. No, it’s not AP, even though it has a bureau in Baghdad. It’s the UK Telegraph. Its lengthy and enlightening June 16 liveblog is here; June 17 is here). Bloomberg News, in a story which seems completely invisible (I only stumbled upon it in the course of doing another post) has a sobering interview with someone who is there (bolds are mine):

(more…)

June 17, 2014

AP Pair Continues the ‘No WMDs’ Lie, Defines Anyone Who Doesn’t Support Military Action in Iraq Now As a ‘Dove’

The Obama administration doesn’t have a plan for dealing with the crisis in Iraq. The left apparently believes it’s up to obviously out of power “neocons” to have a plan.

Though he has dispatched 275 military advisors to that country, his virtual ultimatum to that Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — no angel by any stretch, but still a better alternative to a civil war or an ISIS-run terrorist state — that he must negotiate with all parties involve before the U.S. will even think about making a meaningful military commitment seems destined to allow matters to deteriorate further, perhaps to the point of no return. Despite all of this, Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, implied in a Tuesday afternoon dispatch that anyone who doesn’t support plan-free military action now is some kind of hypocrite — except for Democrats who say that their support of going to war in 2002 was a mistake. The AP pair also falsely asserted that weapons of mass destruction “were never found” in Iraq.

(more…)

No One Else Cares? CBS: ‘Republicans’ Warning of Future ’9/11-Like Terror Plot’

Following the insulting trend of tagging every objection or concern raised about Obama administration policy and conduct as exclusively the province of Repubicans and conservatives to an outrageous extreme, Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News opened her Monday story about whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might plan terrorist acts in the U.S. as follows: “Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad.” Really, Rebecca? No one else is worried about that? Wanna bet?

Kaplan also seemed to believe that it would calm readers’ nerves if they learned that it will be “at least a year before ISIS might pose more of a serious threat to the U.S.” If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn’t work. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):

(more…)