Website www.golden-retriever-picture.com has lots of GR-goodness!
I think Biden is way overrated on Foreign Policy.
I am not the only one:
In 2004, I was astonished to hear Biden doing his own bit of America-bashing in front of an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The US, he claimed, had no moral authority to preach democracy in the Middle East. “We don’ have much of a democracy ourselves, ” he said mockingly. “Remember our own presidential election; remember Florida!”
Biden has the experience of more than three decades in the US senate, at least two of them dealing with foreign affairs and defense. But experience is no guarantee of good judgment. And Biden has been wrong on almost every key issue.
* In 1979, he shared Carter’s starry-eyed belief that the fall of the shah in Iran and the advent of the ayatollahs represented progress for human rights. Throughout the hostage crisis, as US diplomats were daily paraded blindfolded in front of television cameras and threatened with execution, he opposed strong action against the terrorist mullahs and preached dialogue.
* Throughout the 1980s. Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s proactive policy against the Soviet Union. Biden was all for détente – which, in practice, meant Western subsidies that would have enabled the moribund USSR to cling to life and continue doing mischief.
* In 1990, Biden found it difficult to support President George Bush’s decision to use force to kick Saddam Hussein’s army of occupation out of Kuwait.
* A decade-plus later, the senator did vote for the liberation of Iraq from Saddamite tyranny. But as soon as terrorists started challenging the new democratic system in Iraq, he switched sides and became a critic of the whole war effort. He claimed that the Iraq war was lost and suggested that the US partition the newly liberated country into three or more mini-states.
Biden’s misreading of the situation in Iraq shows that experience is no substitute for judgment. He judged the situation on the basis of headlines and CNN footage – not the long-term, geo-strategic interests of the United States. In short, he lacked what President Harry Truman called “strategic patience.”
And most devastatingly:
Had Biden had his way, “the Evil Empire” would still be around and Saddam Hussein still in power. The US would still be begging the mullahs of Tehran for forgiveness of unspecified “past sins” – and more American hostages would be seized in the Middle East while the mullahs celebrate their first atomic bombs.
By choosing Biden, Obama, the candidate of hope, has transformed his promise of change, into a back-to-the-future pirouette – back to Jimmy Carter.
I posted this at TDAXP a few days ago:
It has been a long time since Cuban soldiers were causing trouble in Africa, Central America, and South America.
The bets thing the US could about Cuba is end the embargo, open up relationships, and let democracy, trade, capitalism, tourism and culture take their course.
The next prez should about Jeb Bush as amabassador to the gov or Cuba to deal with that level.
He should also appoint Gloria Estafan or Gov. Arnold Schwatzenwhatever as Ambassador to the people of Cuba.
A totalitarian Cuban gov doesn’t stand a chance against that.
Cuba should be a good trading partner (goods, services, culture) not a “problem” to deal with.
I look forward to when cruise ships can stop at Havana and I smoke a Cuban cigar legally in my back yard.
WTF is this?
Sociologist Kristin Aune claims that Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is responsible for young women not attending church.
Of course, you have to wonder about her finding, that is that 50,000 women a year are skipping church on Sunday because they’ve been empowered by Buffy. The book contends that Buffy makes Wicca more popular and, therefore, lures girls from the church.
To say that this reasoning is a stretch is an understatement. By her reasoning, the fans of Buffy should all be signing up for witchcraft classes, believing in vampires and fighting evil in their own backyard. It’s a leap of faith to say the least.
[Link: TV Squad]
Rubbish. In the mythology of the series, when Wiccans where shown (heh…in season 4 episode “Hush”) they were presented as a joke, as pretend witches as nothings, as just clueless 20 year old girls who Willow ends up avoiding.
I guess this is what postmodernism and academia have come to – spewing nonsense.
Note: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite tv shows ever!
Don’t mess with Buffy!
This started out as a comment at Soob, but quickly grew in length.
I did a very short post on this once before. Let me go into more detail.
Let me be clear: I am not a Republican. I consider myself an Independent. I have mostly voted Dem in the past. The first time I voted for a Republican for President was 2004, though if I could vote again, I would have voted for Reagan in 1984 (and Bush in 2000 – update). I was 18 and surrounded by liberals and communists. I had always had strong pro-national security beliefs and much to the horror of those all around me, I was OK with Reagan calling the Soviets the “Evil Empire”. I also had the pleasure of being denounced in front of a room full of people (mostly fellow travelers and useful idiots) as an American-stooge by a Pro-Soviet Afghan Communist in 1988 (a proud day for me).
As far as policy, I am future oriented. I have no policy nostalgia for small family farms or big manufacturing industry and their labor unions or other such things. I love reading history and exploring retro culture and I am a big early jazz fan (real jazz, not smooth jazz), but that does not carry over to policy.
I am for a strong national security but I don’t think the Dems are anymore. On national security, the Dems are the party of McGovern, not the party of Roosevelt, Truman, and JFK. I am not deluded by “yes we can” and “change, change, change” into thinking otherwise.
That all said, America must continue to develop and exercise its other elements of national power besides that of military (which needs to keep developing and advancing too). US diplomatic and intelligence capabilities are pretty bad considering the money spent on them. Also, US Influence Warfare capabilities are atrocious. Right now, the US is really the only western country willing act. The lesson in that is we have to keep our expeditionary capability…and we can’t count on “allies” for support.
I am pro-globalization economically (big yes on global free trade) and pro-strong international state system. I favor strengthening the state system, not continuing to weaken it.
I am anti-Global Governance. Global Governance institutions (and the movement itself) are mostly non-democratic, and do not serve to protect the fundamental rights of Americans and frankly other humans. Governance bodies are unelected non-democratic (and often anti-democratic, anti-American) bureaucrats often serving their own purposes and see themselves in opposition to to USA. It would be dangerous to invest to much of America’s and the world’s future in their hands.
I am pro entrepreneurial capitalism, pro-growth, pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-higher productivity and progress. This is possibly the most important thing for the American System. The unleashing of human capital through entrepreneurialism (business, social, cultural, heh and political) will continue to make us economically and cultural rich. The rest of the world is better off for this too.
Domestic policy should be changed to increase, support and create incentives for this activity. This mean changes to the legal and financial systems. It also means a pension system not tied social security and long-term single employer employment. It also means a health care system not tied to a particular employer or type of employment (this does not mean government run national health care though). All Americans should should have a stake in and profit from the success of the American System. Also, the American K-12 education system is obsolete and needs to replaced with something best summed up as “vouchers, charters schools, and mass customized education for all”.
I am moderate on social issues with libertarian leanings. I am all “equality of opportunity”, not “equality of outcome”. Most government handouts and social programs do harm in that the create bad incentives and they don’t really accomplish their goals (other then making some do-gooders and politicians feel good about themselves). All of the “feel good” programs should be examined and if found lacking, abolished (and maybe replaced with something new or something like vouchers or a negative income tax system).
I was also raised Catholic and I tend to be a bit of a prude on moral issues when pushed. Mostly though I have a sort of libertarian attitude – “don’t ask, don’t tell”, and “if its weird do it in your house and don’t shove it my face”. Don’t mess with children though – they are off limits for indoctrination into the weird.
I am not gay but I have had gay friends and I don’t like the idea of them being pushed around or being denied normalcy. I may find homosexuality uncomfortable at a certain broad intellectual level, but not when interacting with homosexuals as direct real individuals. Love is hard enough to find in this world, I am not going to stand in the way nor support policies to do so.
I care nothing for elites or the eastern establishment. They do great harm to this country.
I am pissed off by the continued presence and influence on society by Marxists/Marxism and socialists/socialism under what ever labels they hide under. I don’t buy into “Global Warming” because the science isn’t there and the supporters all seem to be Communists or their contemporary useful idiots.
I don’t like paying taxes on wasteful things and bloated bureaucracies, but I don’t mind paying them for efficient government activities. That being said, the tax system is too complex, costs too much and has too many bad incentives and loopholes. I favor switching to a flat tax system for individuals based on either income or consumption. I favor switching to a flat tax of cash flow system for C-style Corporations (if we are still going to tax C Corps, that is). This can be revenue neutral, but will have the positive effects of costing less in compliance and regulation, and will reduce the distortion of economic activity.
There is more detail of course. This should give you an idea of where I come from though. I may update this or add links occasionally.
Updated: grammar and spelling fixes.
Update: If you think I am an Islamaphobe, read this including the comments.
Update: Here is a quick hit on Federalism.
Update: I am mostly in sync with the Tea Party principles (as I understand them).
(Photo scraped from Fox News).
Update: HotAir has a good summary.
Update: These folks are pretty happy.
Update: Thunder Pig has video and interviews.
Update: Zenpundit points out she is weak on National Security. Yep. McCain has that covered. She covers his weakness: Business, Entrepreneurship, and Executive Leadership. I suspect she will learn from McCain and will have her own National Security Advisor (i.e. Tutor). Keep in mind, Obama has 0 National Security experience…and Biden’s “expertise” I think is a joke.
Update: Wizards of Oz likes it.
Update: “Governor Palin has spent her time in office shaking up government in Alaska and actually achieving results — whether it’s taking on corruption, passing ethics reform or stopping wasteful spending and the ‘bridge to nowhere.’ Senator Obama has spent his time in office running for president.”
Sure, Sarah Palin is “less experienced” than the other potential Vice Presidential picks McCain had in front of him. But she has so many things going for her, not the least of which include:
* Working to clean up corruption
* Being a political outsider when it comes to Washington D.C. politics
* A real track record of accomplishments in Alaska
* A positive energy to bring to the campaign and the country
And yes, she happens to be a female. But if you’re so naive to think that’s the only reason (or even the primary reason) McCain picked her, you’re nuts.
Maybe. She would be right on technology, entrepreneurship, business and economics. I don’t know anything about her security policy-wise. While she has never had elected office,she has proven successful executive experience. It would be an intriguing choice.
I watched and took notes that I meant to blog on last night. I decided not to and went to bed after the speech.
Here is a short version from memory:
1) The Greek Obamapolis thing was over blown. The stage and set looked fine. I don’t know what the fuss was about.
2) “Enough! – Obama shows he can be an angry messiah
3) The polices are mostly just standard liberal/leftists stuff.
4) Does Obama think Bush and McCain don’t want to kill OBL? Does Obama think he knows where OBL is?
5) “Change” – how vapid is this. It is a way to to capture peoples hopes…with out being specific. I hate this word now.
6) “The party of Roosevelt and Kennedy”. Obama’s rehtoric aside, the Democrats post-LBJ are the party of McGovern as far National Security stuff goes. The have keopt the mild-socialism and anti-business tendencies of Roosevelt (who though was a great war time President). This is what has consistently driven me from the Dems my entire adulthood.
7) The camera cuts to weeping O-cult members is pathetic. I would be embarrassed if any of them were my friends.
8 ) I liked the small girls dancing around and playing with the confetti at the end (Obama youngest and one of Biden grandkids perhaps). That was the feel good moment of the night for me.
9) Obama’s rhetoric was not over the top. I liked that he didn’t just stare into the camera, that would have looked silly.
Well, my impression hasn’t changed of Obama. He is a leftist (keeping that stuff soft-spoken). He is wrong on security, economics, entrepreneurship and domestic policy.
He seems like a nice enough guy to have over for dinner.
He has strong anti-business, anti-entrepreneurship and anti-science tendencies.
The fact that he a is a legalistic fundamentalist christian preacher is also a big negative for me.
I’d rather him over for a beer and a brat then Romney though.
SM: Is there a Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.?
Mohamed Habib: I would say yes. There are Muslim Brotherhood members there.
SM: Then what are they doing there?
Mohamed Habib: No, there are already existing institutions; there
are laws and a constitution that they operate under in order to have a
role in serving the American society. They are part of the American
society and they want to an active positive role in it, and a part of
that is to spread a positive image of Islam along with its values,
culture, history and teachings.
SM: This is naturally very important. Who represents you in the US?
Mohamed Habib: Well, there are there those who do represent us, who do that role.
SM: But it’s not CAIR, right? The Council for American Islamic
Relations? Many people say that they are your front. Other people say
that its ISNA. But back to CAIR, some people from the Muslim
Brotherhood have denied having a connection with CAIR. Do they really
Mohamed Habib: Ehh, this is a sensitive subject, and it’s kind of problematic, especially after 9/11 …
SM: For them to say that there is a relationship between you two?
Mohamed Habib: Yes. You can say that.
That’s not a denial.
Mohammed Habib is the current #2 (and a possible future Supreme Leader) of the 4GW/5GW Muslem Brotherhood.
On Tech Dirt, I saw this – “FBI Asks Congress To Ignore The Whole ‘Probable Cause’ Part Of The 4th Amendment” :
So, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the text of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Pretty straightforward and reasonable, right? Except we’ve seen an awful lot of erosion of that recently, what with Congress’s decision to allow warrantless wiretaps and the Department of Homeland Security insisting that probable cause isn’t needed to search your laptops at the border. Well, if it’s not needed at the border, why is it needed at all?
At least that seems to be the theory being pushed by the Attorney General, who is asking Congress to approve a plan that would let the FBI begin an investigation and surveillance on someone without probable cause — actually “without any reasonable basis” at all. That would seem to be in direct violation of the 4th Amendment, but apparently, ignoring the 4th Amendment is all the rage in Washington DC these days.
This is just bullshit in so many ways.
This is really a debate over what the word “unreasonable” means in this context.
Obviously, from the comments on this post, most people are ignore or skimming past that word, or implicitly believing that no search is reasonable, and therefore all searched require warrants.
I for one don’t have a problem with with the Feds listening on overseas calls that only “enter” the US by a quirk of technology. When I hear people call that “domestic spying” I generally ignore anything they else they say or write and mostly likely to be further nonsense.
Anyways, surveillance (public observation) is not covered by the 4tgh amendment. Starting an investigation is not covered by the 4th amendment.
While the author of the post says the 4th amendment is “Pretty straightforward and reasonable” he sure seems to be confused by it.
As I think more about this, this really isn’t a constitutional issue. This is part of an on-going fight by one part of American Society against the rest that is in this case attacking the legal system in order to weaken the parts of it used to investigate and pursue criminal actors and anti-security actors (e.g. foreign agents, terrorist).
The author isn’t dumb. He clearly misspeaks on the constitution (quoting a section about searches, then applying it to something different) hoping to riles up the masses. Given that only 3 of 56 commentators do not seemed fooled, he was successful.
BTW, here is the dictionary.com definition of unreasonable:
1. not reasonable or rational; acting at variance with or contrary to reason; not guided by reason or sound judgment; irrational: an unreasonable person.
2. not in accordance with practical realities, as attitude or behavior; inappropriate: His Bohemianism was an unreasonable way of life for one so rich.
3. excessive, immoderate, or exorbitant; unconscionable: an unreasonable price; unreasonable demands.
4. not having the faculty of reason.
[Origin: 1300–50; ME unresonabel. See un-1, reasonable]
—Synonyms 1, 2. senseless, foolish, silly. 2. preposterous, absurd, stupid, nonsensical. 3. extravagant.
Of course, the Fourth Amendment is quiet on Surveillance or on criteria for starting an investigation.
Some of the previous years (2002 through 2011) can be found here.
I noticed there is no mindset list for my graduating year. I may have to make one and/or a personal mindset list. That might make a good “Meme” post.
Somehow I missed this great post by A.E. at Dreaming 5GW when it came out.
In it he brings out lessons for 5GW from the Soviet experience:
So what lessons can we take from the Soviet example?
- 5GW operations on the operational level will consist of deception operations designed to sow confusion among the enemy, influence decision-making, and undermine the enemy’s unity.
- 5GW organizations will utilize pseudo-operations as a countermeasure against opponents seeking to use penetrate their organizations.
- The perquisites for defense against 5GW are holistic thinking, avoidance of mirror imaging, and a healthy—though skeptical—patriotism.
I made a comment but it seems to have been marked as spam :-(.
Here is that comment:
“If it still retains operational secrecy and surprise, the 5GW organization may simply create a dummy front that can be used as a kill vehicle. Once entrapped within the dummy front, enemy operatives can either be misdirected or liquidated. “
I like this idea. I think misdirection might be better then liquidation. Dead bodies might lead to further investigation by the 5GWers adversary.
“The Soviet Union’s main covert strategy involved in use of “Active Measures”—extensive attempts to undermine the West’s unity and influence its decision-making. The battlespace was truly worldwide…”
I think “Active Measures” is a good example of how states can apply 4GW (4gw is more than just evolved guerrilla warfare + info war). It is also a going to be a big carry over to 5GW. There is a book out there from an ex-soviet intel officer called I think “The World Was Going Our Way”. The officer claims that the Soviet active measures where working in turning the third world (and much of the first world) against the US. I think the vibrations of these campaigns are still felt today. Interesting, you could claim that the Soviet “Active Measures” driven 4GW was defeated by the 5gw that Anti-Soviet Western 5GWers created in the form of institutions that continued to oppose the Soviets even as the world turned against them and their own populations lost the stomach for the Cold War.
Another security control the Soviets successfully built in the west is that anybody point out the “Active Measures” would often be dismissed as a (pick your favorite): Right-Winger, John Bircher, McCarthyite, Conspiracy-monger, red-baiter, etc. This fits in quite well with 5GW theory .
The Soviets Active Measures were long-term focused, they were not trying to defeat the US/West with one broad stroke. They were willing to try lots of little actions tailored to different groups as needed. That all fits in with my view of one of the essential properties of 5GW .
This is a great post. I can’t believe I missed it when it came out.
Any other thoughts?
For the first time in my life, I used the phrase “lickity split” in an email a few minutes ago. I don’t know what my brain is thinking.
I couldn’t find anything on wikipedia on the term. I did find this response to somebody else wondering about the origin:
LICKETY-SPLIT – ” adv. 1859, American English, formed from earlier (1817) ‘lickitie’ very fast (irregular formation from ‘lick,’ n., used dialectally in the sense of fast) + split, n.”From “The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology” by Robert K. Barnhart (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1995). Another source gives a first use as 1831 and lists these variations: lickety-brindle, lickety-cut, lickety smash, lickity-switch, lickoty-liner, and so forth. “Dictionary of American Regional English,” Volume III by Frederic G. Cassidy (1996, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England).
I wonder how long I have had that phrase stuck in my brain waiting to be used?