HItch, if you and I turn out to be wrong and the believers are right, and worse, the vilest points of their retributive theology true, at the very least you can greet Henry when he arrives in Hell, and torment him for all eternity.
What could be worse for him than endless eons listening to your mellifluous, effortless prose, spoken with no effort, so different from Henry’s Teutonic drone and labored volumes of leaden denseness signifying nothing but his amoral vanity?
“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World” – Sir Halford Mackinder, 1919
Vice President Biden :”The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China.”, speaking to Rachel Maddow (That explains a lot.) on Tuesday .
So Obama has done what so many others have attempted and and failed to achieve. In three short years he’s trumped Alexander of Macedon, and even aced out the heaviest hitter of them all in the global domination hall of fame, Genghis Khan.
Like a colossus, he bestrides Europe and Asia from the Baltic to the south China Sea, from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Black Sea.
I sure wouldn’t want to play “Risk” (TM) with this guy.
Of course, I’m taking this out of context so as to have a little fun. Biden was speaking of the stunning success of the Obama administration its dealings with Iran. His claims are only slightly less grandiloquent than the ones that open this piece.
Here’s a more extensive quote in which the Veep expands on the administration’s overwhelming victory in diminishing Iranian strength, or at least the perception of such power.
“The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China. In continuing to ostracize and to isolate Iran. So the truth is, and I really mean this, Rachel, the talk about the projection, the capacity of [Iran] to project power in the Gulf is actually diminished. They are less feared. They are less — they have less influence than they have had any time, I would argue, in the last 20 years. And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”
Nothing like the possibility of an EU study to bring the world to the brink of war. China is
clearly totally panicked.
Now, the President is widely praised for being tech savvy, but one has to ask if Joe has a Blackberry, or an iPhone so he can check this stuff out before he goes on? Does he understand the term “key word search”?
And sadly, it may also be appropriate to question the state of his short term memory, as in this Tuesday Interview, he appears to have forgotten the President’s risible plea on Monday for the return of the U.S. drone lost in Iran.
Biden refers to Iran’s ongoing rumblings about closing the Strait of Hormuz as of little concern, but Tehran was not listening, as it reiterated the threat on Wednesday. No one for a moment, not even the Iranians think the Islamic Republic is any match for the U.S. Navy, but they are confident enough to make the threat, and not surprised by predictable hand wringing in the West, and the unconcern on the part of their trade partners, Russia and China.
Vice President Biden’s long term memory is also in question:
And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”
No kidding. Remember a fellow named Moqtada Sadr, his Mehdi Militia, and the Shia – Sunni civil War of 2007 in Iraq?
Iran and Iraq: Not allies, true. The correct term for Iraq in the not so distant future would be “vassal state.” Think Iran and Assad’s Syria, of Hezbollah and what’s left of Lebanon.
This is in no way to advocate further involvement in Iraq. The war was an act of colossal hubris, or manic optimism, at best. This administrations weak grasp of the realities in the Middle East and its unfounded confidence in positive outcomes there are the same sorts of sentiments that brought on the neocon disaster in Iraq, and are equally as dangerous . They may yet prove even more costly.
As a child, living in an oil camp in Sumatra, it was kind of nice to hear the evening prayer call from across the river. President Obama, too, was referring to the evening prayer. He didn’t mention the brutally early morning prayer which comes well before dawn.
Mr. Obama grew up in a far poorer, and much less Islamic Indonesia. Nowadays, with the availability of cheap electronics , and a kind of arms race in ostentatious piety in Muslim neighborhoods( and pretty much anywhere you find a mosque or prayer room, Muslim majority neighborhood or not), the earsplitting cacophony of hundreds of different amplified calls to prayer would drive one insane without a coping mechanism.
I’ve know some folks to use industrial grade noise reduction headgear. Turning up the TV helps. One’s mind does adjust: I found that in a deep enough sleep, the call became incorporated in to my dreams, so that I would wake thinking I had just dreamt of a concert length version of “Stairway to Heaven,” when in fact some mysterious brain function had morphed the morning prayer call into something bearable.
It is evening here, and rather than a prayer call, I hear birds, a bar or two of gamelan music floating on the wind,and children playing.
I like it that way.
Sometime last week, an RQ-170, CIA operated drone crashed, landed in, or was somehow hijacked by Iran, and they have been gleefully showing it off since.
As reported in the BBC and elsewhere, President Obama, in the course of a Monday press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the U.S. has asked for its wayward drone to be returned. You know, like you might ask a grumpy neighbor to give you your ball back. When it comes to dealing with our enemies and adversaries, this administration’s playbook appears to be “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
As the President is rather busy, he perhaps had not been informed that Iran had already said that it was not giving the drone back, and in fact intends to reverse engineer the fallen spy-craft and then mass produce it. This may overstate their engineering and industrial capability, but Iran competing with Israel on the international arms market would be better than the apocalyptic scenario the Islamic Republic is currently pushing. This was reported by ABC and Al Jazeera, among others. We all know the daily intelligence briefing the President (and this has been the case for quite a while, long before Mr. Obama took the job.)receives is just a rehash of what is on the networks, but one would think the collators could be a bit more timely,
CNN quotes Iran’s Fars New Agency reporting that on Sunday, Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of Iran’s military said”No nation welcomes other countries’ spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin.”
Hossein ( a variant of Hussein) Salami! How great is that? I could proceed with various bend over, hide the salami jokes, with reference to the President’s middle name, but I won’t, because the general’s name, in this context, is the only thing funny about this disaster.
That the president appears,weak, ineffective, and just plain dumb in this matter is summed up by ABC’s lead in: “Obama: Hey Iran, Can We Get Our Drone Back?”
The use of drones for both surveillance and attack has been key to the president’s tactics in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, and has yielded some spectacular successes. Were he expanding this approach to Iran, he would find much support across the political spectrum.
This, unfortunately is unlikely, given the President’s ongoing reluctance to confront Iran, dating from before his lack of enthusiasm for the abortive 2009 “Green Revolution ” in the Islamic Republic.
So the question that remains is Why was the drone not destroyed on the ground( Indeed, why don’t they have a fail-safe “kill-switch’? Or if they do, why wasn’t it used?
The blogosphere is replete with accounts that Obama nixed actions to destroy, or retrieve the drone, fearing that such action would be regarded by Iran as an act of war.but I cannot find much reporting on this in what are considered reliable sources, at least among Mr. Obama’s supporters.
Typical of such reports is this in the UK Daily Mail:
A senior U.S. official confirmed it was the drone earlier today. ‘Yep, that’s it – it’s intact,’ a source told Fox News. ‘This is a big prize in terms of technology.’
Meanwhile the official added that President Obama decided not to retrieve or destroy the drone because that could have been seen as an act of war.( I know, the Daily Mail quoting Fox: must be a lie, right?)
One would not doubt that such discussions occurred, however, and the question remains: why was nothing done? Similar reports appeared at the time of Bin Laden’s killing, but whether or not the President was reluctant to make the call, he did give the word.
On the Internet, those who see President Obama as a Fanon style-anti imperialist, and /or jihadi sympathizer closet Marxist Internationalist Manchurian candidate go so far to say the drone drop might have been a set up. or at the very least, the President simply doesn’t mind much if Iran gets a break
Newt Gingrich was called a racist for Saying the President’s world view derived from his Kenyan roots, but it is difficult to explain both his actions and lack of action with out reference to his origins and upbringing: An African socialist father( for more on African socialism,look into Julius Nyere) advocating taxes of up to 100 per cent of income on the rich, a mother who saw much virtue in the developing world, and little in America, and grandparents who were decidedly to the left of most in their native Kansas.
In a conflict with non-western nations, Obama will almost always give the benefit of the doubt to the victims of long gone imperialists, with the Usama takeout a salient exception.
The President has demonstrated that he does not fear war. He was willing to bomb Libya, ruled by a regime with which we had had amiable relations for some, time, because he thought it would benefit the Libyans. He was not willing to bomb the drone on the ground because that would have been of no benefit to any party other than the U.S.
Mr Obama is not a Manchurian candidate, but a product of his background and our universities,. He has no grand plan, as many fear, to “take down: the U.S. ” At best, he does not see America as a discrete entity, distinct from the world which he wishes to heal,
Although I oppose almost everything this President does and thinks, at times it is possible to feel sorry for him. Historians may well cast him as a tragic figure, someone whose very nature precluded him from being the post racial ,non-ideological unifier that the country wanted him to be,
Mr. Obama is among us. but the cannot be of us.
( For a detailed look at Mr. Obama’s background, see Dinesh D’Sousa’s “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” A caution, however: this work is not up to the standard of some of Mr. D’Sousa’s other efforts, in my view. He seems to be aiming for an edgy, hip style that would resonate with Huffington Post Readers, and it not only misses that mark, but falls flat.)
Not yet a full-fledged recall….but according to a widely quoted AP story( which, curiously, I was unable to find on the AP site or as a search result), GM, while insisting the cars are safe, will buy them back from worried customers, and may consider recalling the entire fleet.
So, we have a largely State owned company, the new General Motors (Us Treasury along
with the Canadian and Ontario governments). Well, there are the unions, and the bondholders from the old GM( the stockholders were hung out to dry), in other words a union of government, labor and capital, in classic Mussolini style corporatism.
And this company manufactured a vehicle using a power train technology that the government chose.
The technology choice was an act of faith: a good work in service of the state religion of Global warming, Anthropogenic GlobalWarming, Climate Change, or whatever they decide to call it next week.( I guess: how do you charge the thing if you don’t have any coal or natural gas to run the power plants; we wont talk about nuclear or hydro)
The result was predictable. A politically correct ( a term with origins in the old Soviet Union) automobile fails in the market place. There is no third way: command and control can only work in economies where you can command people to buy stuff.
Really, the old East bloc way made more sense They just made crappy cars because that was the best they could do.
We aren’t lost yet: there were never any recalls for Trabants or Moskiviches.
Whether there is a timely perestroika in the U.S. before statism calcifies, is another question.
Now we find out the Pesident digs Nascar.
And it gets better:
Playing catch up after neglecting Easter( but not the recent Eid ul Adha Islamic hoiday) perhaps because he was busy carrying out his presidential duty fighting negative stereotypes of Islam as he undertook to do in his Cairo speech, the president found time to make a speech on the significance of the Christmas holiday to Christians and the world.
While theologically and textually shaky, the speech was more inclusive than the kind of stuff that went down n the Reverend Wright’s church, and the reference to his Christian faith will reassure those who have seen the video of an 2008 interview with George Stephanapolous in which Obama first referred to his Muslim faith, um, that is Christian faith. It can be confusing to be from a multi-faith background.
Personally, I’d like to see an atheist in the White House, so we could be really impartial about religion. But that’s less likely than any miracle in any scripture.
So what protean surprise can we expect next from Obama 2012?
Perhaps we will see the First Family out on the shooting range soon.
Confederate flag displays are possible.
The Obama administration isn’t the first to call on the black arts to bend the unyielding laws of the dismal science. Reagan’s policies were called voodoo economics by Bush the elder. Voodoo, however, worked a lot better than the conjuring tricks the Democrats are dazzling us with now.
It’s magic! First Jay Carney, and now, Labor secretary Hilda Solis, another wise Latina, assure us that unemployment benefits create employment, and they aren’t talking about jobs for the government folks who administer the program. No, jobs for people like you and me.
According to Jay the the Republicans have nothing more than gorilla dust, so we should stick with the Democrats’ pixie dust.
Here’s how it works: You have a dollar in your left pocket. Take it out, put it in your right pocket. You now have TWO dollars
No dollar in the left pocket? Borrow one from China.
This is of course, in the view of many, a gross oversimplification. There is the “multiplier effect,” which, while reading up on it will lead you to pages of arcane formulas composed of weird symbols, Greek letters and very few actual numbers, can be fairly simply stated as “spending begets more spending,” so that if all goes well, economic activity will increase, and output grow, if somebody will just throw some cash into the game.
And common sense will show that there is some truth to this. Way back in eighth grade, one of my teachers gave the class an example of a new car purchased for a thousand dollars, and showed how it would generated thousands more in economic activity, what with repairs, maintenance and resales.
These were transactions in the private sector, but the the multiplier effect is bedrock to Keynesianism, wherein the first dollar is borrowed by government. Here as far as the general public and the academic/media /government complex are concerned, the science has long been settled.
Until it stopped working, if it ever had: an examination of stimulus programs will show many instances when economic activity had been picking up before the stimulus, No, I don’t have citations, but I can remember the 40-60 billion dollar stimulus packages of the 80s and 90s that lumbered through Congress, and then spread goodies around various constituencies long after recessions had ended.
You don’t need to be an econometrician, or economic historian, but merely to have had decent high school U.S. history course to know that Keyensian stimulus did nothing to end the Great Depression. Believers argue, just as socialists do, that there wasn’t enough of it, and point to the Second World War as the ultimate stimulus, This has long been debated, and probably always will be. One could ask if being the only country with massive and completely untouched industry and agricuture base might have had something to do with the post war resurgence,
But let’s return to simpler, less academic concepts. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you still have one rich guy and one poor guy, and if the government is holding the gun some comes off the top,
But hey, what do I know? Ms Solis holds degrees from Cal Poly and USC, and Mr Carney went to Yale( after Lawrenceville, I have to add: preppies always at least look like they have money, so they must know something.) Ms Pelosi went to to a catholic college, but better than an an ivy credential,she has decades of legislative experience and she is also really rich, and has been getting richer.
So why not give it a try? Let’s give a whole lot more people food stamps and unemployment benefits, thereby creating heaps of jobs which the unemployed can then take. How many more people? I dunno, just keep going. If we run out of working people to put on unemployment and food stamps, we can move to the next step, the thermonuclear option: Give everyone a government job.
And at living wages, of course.