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Belmont Club

The Destroyer of Words

June 10th, 2013 - 3:30 pm

The latest scandal story about the State Department coverup of a US ambassador who was allegedly soliciting prostitutes in a public park brought two things to mind. The first, unbidden and unsupported, was that factions in the bureaucracy were at war with each other and the target of the one faction was Obama and the target of the other was She Who Must Not Be Named.

But that was speculation. The more tenable line of thought was a reminder that humans are fallible and often corrupt. This has always been true so how do we live with ourselves? At first simply by surviving the worst we could do to ourselves.

For much of history our ability to harm ourselves was fortunately limited by the crude nature of our means. But by the dawn of the 19th century it became obvious that the lack of technology alone could not forever protect us. Men were inventing more and more lethal devices. Dynamite, when it was first introduced, produced almost the same fear in futurists as the atomic bomb. It is widely believed that Alfred Nobel endowed the ‘Nobel Prize’ to assuage a guilty conscience.

In 1888 Alfred’s brother Ludvig died while visiting Cannes and a French newspaper erroneously published Alfred’s obituary. It condemned him for his invention of dynamite and is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary stated, Le marchand de la mort est mort (“The merchant of death is dead”) and went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Alfred was disappointed with what he read and concerned with how he would be remembered.

The same kind of apocalyptic powers were ascribed to the machine gun, poison gas and the bomber. In 1932 Stanley Baldwin wrote “the time has now come to an end when Great Britain can proceed with unilateral disarmament … the bomber will always get through.” But it remained for J. Robert Oppenheimer to put the thought in its iconic form. Looking on his own creation Oppenheimer described how he was mentally transported back to ancient battlefields of the Bhagavad Gita to face the inevitable fruit of his inventiveness: “I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds”.

That was nearly 70 years ago and the world is still here. What happened to keep it going?

The answer, ironically, lies in corrupt, sinful and foolish man himself. Somehow he found a way till now to put his creations under control. What he has not managed to achieve is to uninvent knowledge. We know how to make better explosives than Nobel, more efficient automatic weapons than Maxim and now even the Pakistanis have their own Destroyers of Worlds. But we have also found ways to deal with them.

The paradox is that those who hate the West believe that its science destroyed Paradise. In their minds the most destructive moment in human history came when iron-armored men armed with guns set foot on the unspoiled New World.  And their efforts since have been to uninvent technology, an impulse that lives in the Green Movement.  ”We are stardust, we are golden. And we’ve got to find our way back to the Garden.”

Except that perhaps the Garden was always full of weeds, and snakes too, lost the moment men — wherever they might have been — first discerned the difference between Good and Evil and chose Evil. And it is perhaps an even greater paradox that cafe leftism thinks even greater progress on the road back to Paradise can be obtained by purging the West of its remaining sense of the numinous. Kill morality and you kill evil. Perhaps they’ve got it backwards.

It truth the sense the numinous is all that stands between us and destruction. The deep dark secret of the disarmament movement is that it never relied on the control of arms. It has always relied on the control of men. And the control of men relied upon the acceptance of taboos; in the submission to a kind of accepted set of values, in the belief in the odiousness of betrayal.  The key to controlling the nuclear bomb lay in governance. It lay in the accountability of the possessors of these things to the general public.

There are dozens of nuclear-capable states in the world today. Canada, most of Western Europe, Australia, South Korea, Japan. But we are not worried about those countries, or worry only a little, because we trust them. They possess legitimacy, which is a mixture of popular acceptance, perceived responsibility and the sense that they’ll keep their word.

The problem of North Korea is not a problem of technology. It is a problem of legitimacy.

In recent weeks the world has become aware of yet another wonder weapon. The full power of information technology has been revealed by reports detailing their use to capture nearly every aspect of modern communications. We have now glimpsed the virtual counterpart of the Destroyer of Worlds — the Destroyer of Words. And yet a moment’s reflection must reveal that we always knew that technology could do this. What we had not suspected was that the Obama administration would do this.

Many of those who are concerned about national security are appalled by the actions of the whistleblower now hiding in Hong Kong. Yet the damage he caused was not in revealing capability. Edward Snowden’s explosive payload was in ascribing intent. The warhead on the tip of the revelations was Barack Obama, or more precisely, Barack Obama’s lack of credibility. To understand this, we have to go back to Benghazi.

Prior to Benghazi, when Obama’s reputation for honesty was relatively unscathed, Snowden’s expose might have been treated like Julian Assange’s. “America has great power, but so what?” The President might still have escaped at that point by saying ‘trust me’. All that began to change with Benghazi.

The coverup of that incident, followed in quick succession by reports the Associated Press was wiretapped en masse, the IRS persecutions, the secret-email shennanigans, the EPA nonsense, etc. had progressively and perhaps fatally eroded the President’s credibility to the point that when the NSA was finally forced to admit to its activities it could not easily invoke legitimacy.

The government’s ultimate defense is to say “I work for you”. But that only works when people believe it. Unfortunately too many now believe the country works for Obama.

It was not ipso facto the NSA’s fault that the mistrust was so rife; their task is technical. The job of providing political acceptance and legitimacy belonged to the President, and more generally, to Washington in general.  By slow degrees Washington has kept losing that trust; and the system by keeping the surveillance programs black even in principle and perhaps lying about their very existence, bought the protection of secrecy at the expense of trust.

Washington forgot the main lesson from the nuclear age: that the existence such powerful weaponry can never be  protected by secrecy or technology. Their only defense in possession lies in legitimacy.

Snowden’s torpedo, unleashed perhaps by himself or by some third party, struck at the government’s most vulnerable joint, the weld between Washington and the governed.

Snowden said what many were already prepared to believe — even Obama’s liberal supporters — that the administration is a lying, corrupt, power-mad collection of unscrupulous men. Like a jilted woman, people didn’t believe Snowden because they knew him; they believed in Snowden because they knew Obama. The sense of betrayal may have even been more acute on the Left. In Snowden’s words: “I believed in Obama’s promises”. And how many of those said to themselves, ‘so did I and chose poorly.’

The solution to the current crisis of privacy is not technical. It is political. It cannot be found in uninventing the computer; only  in creating institutions the public can trust to control such power; in the same way it trusts certain governments to control nuclear weapons.

Returning to the example with which this post started, the problem of ambassadors soliciting prostitutes cannot be solved by expecting human nature to change. Rather it must be found by accepting that we have to watch each other; and if the President can watch the people, then the people must reserve the right to watch the President.  For there will always be ambassadors out for action in the park. The only question is whether there is a  State Department that cares about stopping it.

The Founders knew this from the outset. A government will always be made up of men. And these men must never be allowed to become so powerful, so exalted or considered so irreproachable that they are left alone to do as they please. Only one thing can stop the Destroyer of Words. Accountability has to be restored to the system. The principals responsible must go. If legitimacy is ever to be restored those who have no more credibility can no longer lead it. That is inevitable. What remains is to watch it play out.


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Wretchard,

You write brilliantly about this being a crisis of legitimacy. I see even Cavuto with Ben Stein shouting down a Democrat spokesperson who pushed the party line that this was only 'metadeta' nothing to see move on, as if a full list of numbers callled (as the ACLU correctly points out) could not itself be used for political blackmail purposes if said list of numbers contained gay/straight escort services, suicide prevention hotlines, or another man's wife (even if the call was innocent). I see Mike Savage criticizing even israeli companies for assisting the NSA with setting up the spy grid and Fox News babes he dismisses as 'lipstick' saying -- what do we have to worry about if we've done nothing wrong? Savage even said on his program that Snowden might even seek asylum from the Russians and he would still be an American patriot. My jaw just about hit the floor. Perhaps Emannuelle Goldstein can only be protected from the clutches of Oceania by defecting to Eurasia or Eastasia. I pray to God it hasn't reached that point.

The dam has broken and the tide that's surging will not only sweep away Obama's legitimacy to rule by anything but bribery or force, it will also deluge the neoconservatives and all who are excessively, even slavishly deferential to the military industrial complex on the Right. The Constitutionalist small government sheep are truly being separated from the big government Right goats as we speak. I've seen too many people -- including the fanatical groupies around the certain University of Houston professor with pals at the State Dept. who jets to Istanbul shortly before the demos start -- raging that the 'extreme America hating Left has now duped the libertarian Right'. One might as well have raged that FDR sought to ally with Stalin to crush Hitler, we have a common enemy and must meet the most imminent threat before settling accounts later. Funny these furious tweeters are more upset about Glenn Greenwald and Snowden's actions and more keen on giving his military discharge or GED a microscopic viewing than what the hell the NSA has been up to and whether it's spied on THEM.

As the facts are being laid bare none of this can any longer be dismissed as the ravings of an Alex Jones or a Glenn Beck or the soft-hearted, naive isolationism of crazy old Uncle Ron Paul. Not when the apparatus constructed in the name of protecting us from the jihadists has been turned against the American people.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"That was worth something to someone. It was Kennedy’s war before it was Johnsons war but the left would make you believe that it was Nixon’s’ war."
-- Annoy Mouse

This goes to a more subtle point. Obama is experiencing an accelerated version of what happened to Bush. Recall that Obama consciously participated in destroying the legitimacy of the War on Terror.

Ike by contrast did not destroy the legitimacy of Truman's containment policy but built on it, as did every President till Reagan. Throughout the Cold War, while the Presidents may have differed from each other, it was clear the Sovs were the enemy. Each intuitively understood the need to stand on the foundations of the previous.

But Obama trashed Bush, almost as if Ike had demonized Harry Truman. And having destroyed GWB's legitimacy he pulled a hat trick and destroyed his own. In this he needed no help, unless you want to count the feeble and desultory efforts of the Republican Party.

GWB, while he never named the enemy, more or let us told us who he was with a wink and a nod, a process that Obama later would attack as hate speech. But at any rate Obama went a step further and declared the war -- which never had an enemy -- over, like Ike or JFK would have said, "what was that all about?"

As a result he has successfully dynamited and demolished his foundations as thoroughly as anyone humanly could. He blowed it up good. We now have no enemy, but we are spying on everyone. There is no one to fear, so why are we doing this? He has managed, in the words of one commentator, to put the whole US tech industry under a cloud of suspicion. He was in charge of everything and responsible for nothing.

But it all began, as you say, with "Nixon's war". People still believe that Nixon started Vietnam. I think it was at that point that the narrative emerged full blown on the scene, when they discovered they could sell chalk as cheese. Yet the price has been legitimacy. Obama has done job on himself, and maybe on America too.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Accountability has to be restored to the system. The principals responsible must go. If legitimacy is ever to be restored those who have no more credibility can no longer lead it."

How are we to remove the "principals", Wretchard, when we now live in a society where a majority of the voters and damn near half the country generally speaking don't care what evils and transgressions the "principals" commit as long as the magic checks keep showing up? I'm taling about both cohorts that form that plurality, those who would not ever be aware that the bad acts are being committed (LIV voters who listen to no news at all or get their "news" from the MSM and NPR/PBS) - and those who would actually not give a damn or may even cheer if they were aware that Nazi/USSR/Maoist atrocities were directed towards their neighbors and relatives for the crime of being in favor of limited government, or being a part of some authentically Christian church.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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Roughcoat2, you are prescient.

You said in your post a day earlier,

"If and when the Chinese hack the NSA database, and if and when they peruse the infinitude of emails and Internet activity by Americans, what will likely astound them most profoundly is the amount of porn Americans consume."


When I started work at a well-known arcade game manufacturer in the early 1990's, the internet was really just getting started. But the double-E guys - the engineers, who did the programming and artificial intelligence for the games - THEY knew how to find things and download'em. Mind, this was when a browser named "MOSAIC" was one of the leaders of the industry.

About the third month of my employment, company management put out a generally-distributed email (within the company ONLY):

"It has come to our attention that effectively ALL available memory on hard drives in the engineering department is filled with downloaded pornography.

Get Rid of it."


Seemingly, every engineer had a separate stash. Lots of duplications.

You'd think they would have been more efficient.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"people didn’t believe Snowden because they knew him; they believed in Snowden because they knew Obama"

Not only Obama: They saw what the rank-and-file liberal bureaucrats were capable of when they felt that they had a president who would approve of thuggery.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And these men must never be allowed to become so powerful, so exalted or considered so irreproachable that they are left alone to do as they please."

There are plenty of people in this country who want a Messiah or at least an El Jefe who will plow through all (democratic) opposition and make everything right. They don't understand that giving a man the power to do "good" means giving a man power - period.

It's a devil's bargain. Unfortunately, they no longer believe in the devil.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
While I mostly agree with the article, I think the author's dislike of Obama is holding him back from seeing the big picture. Our belief in the disdain and distrust our government holds toward its people goes way beyond Obama. This dates back to the Kennedy administration using the IRS to go after detractors; it dates back to Watergate. The reason that people are so jaded and are so wearily accepting of the situation is that we have grown up knowing that the government doesn't trust us. It's not about the individual administration or political party - oh hai Patriot Act - it dates all the way back to our founding fathers who said "These people are too stupid to vote for their own president. Let's put in an electoral college."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Margo -- Trying to be polite here, please "engage brain". Think about things. Don't just spout leftie talking points.

In the late 18th Century, mass communication was very limited. News could travel no faster than a horse could run or a ship could sail. How to choose a President in that situation, when we the people knew as much about the candidates as about a kid from Jakarta?

The Electoral College was a smart solution for the times. "We the people" choose someone local we know & respect, and send that person on the long journey to DC, empowered to review the candidates and make a choice on our behalf.

Of course, we have allowed our fascist Political Class to corrupt the system since then; maybe "we the people" are indeed stupid?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Electoral College is not an anachronism. It's a very bad idea to insinuate that if it is not true.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
As you point out, it's been a long time since the Electoral College was instituted, and yet it remains in place. There's a reason for that.

It's not a talking point, it's simple fact that both sides of the political spectrum have dispensed with legality when it suited them. The IRS has been misused since it was created. Watergate happened. Candidates on both sides want to gather as much power (in this case, information) as possible in order to accomplish their goals.

What I'm saying here is that these shenanigans with the NSA have been a long time coming; this has much further-reaching implications than just the impact of one single administration.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just like clockwork...

Our Speaker of House, John Boehner, who has had so much trouble clearly condemning among other things and actions:

• Obamacare
• Excess government spending
• Fast and Furious
• Benghazi
• the IRS and other abuses
• NSA Surveillance

has come out strongly for tracking down Edward Snowden and bringing him to Obama's justice. Boehner has called Snowden a "traitor", and you know what that implies.

At least now we know what really gets Ol' Johnny hot under the collar. You can abuse and even kill as many Americans as you want, but don't you ever go out and take on and discomfort the Big Government Surveillance Police State.

I would submit it is John Boehner who is the traitor and it is he who should be brought before a firing squad, not Snowden. He has to go. Boehner has blocked, purposely fumbled and effectively equivocated away opportunity to block, stop or prosecute any of Obama's many abuses. And now this.

Boehner for once and for all has been revealed as an agent of those who want to destroy America. He is no Patriot.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your hero got played by the Chicoms. Now there are reports that he may now be in their custody. So despite his protestations that he wouldn't harm legitimate US covert operations he may now not have that option after the Chinese version of the KGB gets their hands on him.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is a conundrum what to do with Snowden. But from the tone of your argument, I surmise you want Snowden drawn and quartered, and all those patriots ,who were just obeying orders, while abusing our Constitutional rights, I assume you want to be given some sort of pass or at best a light slap on wrist?

This is what happens when your government slides down that slippery slope of trading our rights for security. The question comes down to what is more important and thus worthy of prosecution: violating our Constitution or violating our security laws? It will be door A or door B - you can't have both in this case.

It's really messy and may upset law and order types, but if you don't prosecute the Constitutional abuse first and foremost, that abuse will only grow and pretty soon overwhelm you.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
'' ... Has that ever crossed you [sic] tiny mind. ... ''

Let's clean it up here; you may be revealing something about your own mind.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about prosecuting both? Has that ever crossed you tiny mind. Its's not either or as you seem to believe,

There are many avenues for someone to get the truth out that do not involve working with foreign intelligence services. For instance you can find out who on one of the Intelligence Committees would be only too glad to use the information to damage his political opponents. You could pass him the information without violating the law. But once again that thought would never pass your tiny mind either.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
A lot of anger out there. I can't speak for the Left, but I think the Right is angry because it's scared. After thinking about the Snowdon case for 24 hours, they've caught a glimpse of the abyss beneath them and heard the cracking of the dry branch they're clinging to. It's too scary, so they're retreating into the safety of "Law and Order!" and hauling out that rusty old term "treason"!

What's the abyss? It's the same one they retreated from in a panic after 9/11: the truth that they're facing an enemy who can't be placated, cajoled, reasoned with or jollied into harmlessness. Bush flinched from declaring war to the death on Islam, and today's establishment conservatives are flinching from the necessary war to the death on leftism. It's so horrible they want to pretend that it isn't true, that we're still in the happy old days when people picked sides on issues and then fought with speeches. They can't bring themselves to face the world that the Snowdon Affair is exposing: an America where there's no justice in the law, no protection from the powerful, an America people flee to escape persecution and vengeance. (That's the real insult, isn't it? That we can't look down on China, of all places. What kind of a world is it where America loses to China?)
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dr. Mabuse said:

" I can't speak for the Left, but I think the Right is angry because it's scared. After thinking about the Snowdon case for 24 hours, they've caught a glimpse of the abyss beneath them and heard the cracking of the dry branch they're clinging to. "

I'm both scared and confused. I was immediately conflicted when I first read the Snowdon story. My initial reaction was this being an example of Thoreau's civil disobedience, i.e."Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison". Obama is a demagogue and the political system is malfunctioning. The NSA's activity does represent an abuse of our privacy. Where it gets confusing is in trying to explain how Snowdon is different from Bradley Manning. Julian Assange is a classic sociopath and WikiLeaks represents a genuine threat against national security. Bradley Manning did something that was arguably treasonous when he leaked information to WiliLeaks (people died because of Manning's leaks). It's a tricky argument to make that Snowdon's actions were moral while Manning's were not.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see any resemblance between Manning and Snowdon. Manning's leaking was motivated by malice and carelessly exposed other people to danger and death. There was really no purpose for his actions other than selfish vanity - no wrong to be righted, no criminal conspiracy to be brought to justice. He was a classic mental and emotional screw-up acting out his resentment at his own abnormality and not caring who he injured when he lashed out. Snowdon was careful not to expose individuals to harm - he was like a Mafia insider outing a criminal conspiracy. I'm shocked and disgusted to see "conservatives" busily flipping through the rulebook to find pretexts to condemn this man; it's like when citizens are punished for trying to intervene and prevent a crime instead of waiting for the "proper authorities" to arrive and handle it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the politics of faction writ large. They WILL divide us all one from another. This IS the mark of the great deceiver.

Mark my words, the more you gather to fight 'the other' the stronger they will become.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
What you have to come to terms with is that our Rule of Law is broken. The preferred outcome that the punishment will fit the crime is rather remote here. Ya, it would be nice to say we could prosecute both and justice will be served, but both of us know it ain't ever gonna happen.

For one, we have entered a system of "selective' enforcement of the laws to fit the Ruling elite. The Obama administration now acknowledges it only enforces those laws it likes and violates at will what it doesn't. The sad truth is that this didn't really start with Obama. The Bush Administration regularly didn't enforce laws broken by the Left because it might be too politically confrontational, rock the boat, or might injure one of it's favorite cronies. This bad RINO habit has now become the way things work.

This ignoring of the law is now almost systemic within our government. I deal with local governments all the time. Violating your right is standard operating procedure. Only when some very well heeled, outraged well heeled victim comes forward with big bucks to spare to sue the hell out of the government does our government heed to the law of the land.

But what's even worse, there are so many laws now, that as one recent book put it, you break three Federal Felonies a day without even knowing it. And all these laws tend to reinforce the power of the elite.

You claim both can be prosecuted. Some Legal Scholars wonder whether or not the abusers at the IRS, EPA, FBI et al actually broke any laws at all, and most seem to think prosecution is unlikely for most of the bad guys.

Ain't it funny that we have all these laws controlling our every behavior, but clear corruption on the part of our federal officials somehow is not illegal?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have evaded answer the question. The answer is yes. It is done all the time. A criminal is charged and either by making a deal or through the investigation of his crime other crimes by other people are revealed.

But taking your post one step farther. Do you think that politicians like Wyden would never lie about their knowledge of the program. In my years in the business the Member screaming lie the loudest is the among those who knew the longest.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The answer is likely No.

Did Holder go to Jail for lying to Congress? No. Will he ever? Likely not.

Did anything happen with Fast and Furious? No.

Will anything happen with Benghazi? Likely not. There are 114 Congressman who have signed a petition to widen the Benghazi probe. King Boehner has shelved it.

Will any of the abusers at the IRS be put in Jail. Likely not. Not with this Administration, and not with Boehner in power.

Is the prosecution of Snowden likely ? Probably already tee'd up and ready to go for the max. Whistleblowers will be punished severely in this Administration.

Could Snowden have gone to a House or Senate committee member? Maybe, but then supposedly all of the key committee members had already been informed - so why hadn't these key committee members come forward earlier?
I believe also committee members are enjoined against revealing the NSA secret regime under the law, so that might not have worked, and then Snowden would likely have been prosecuted anyway.

Things are very murky with this FISA stuff. Supposedly the Obama Administration has been ruled in secret by a FISA court Judge to already have violate the bounds of FISA- but nothing happened.

The system is presently rigged to protect the entrenched Elite and that's likely how the prosecution of these crimes will go down. Our system of checks and balances has been over run, and there is very little check on the Elite's power.

Recent polling suggests 56% of the American Public doesn't care about the NSA surveillance, so to the Boehner Cronies, there is little reason to change a system that they already prefer and that benefits their interests . They probably figure they and the Obama Administration will again weather this storm, and their lock on power will only grow.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
if all the key members of the relevant committees were already informed than Clapper didn't lie and he was caught in game of gotcha, now wasn't he.

So Wyden is lying about his knowledge of PPIZM. Why am I not surprised.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agree. Now it's caving on immigration. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/11/us-usa-immigration-boehner-idUSBRE95A0H320130611

John Boehner-"Leading from behind."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"All your [data]base are belong to US!"
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our loss of language: ‘The chickens have come home to roost.’

We no longer know what peace is. Earning our daily bread should bring us peace. Saving for a rainy day should bring us peace. Educating our children with love, patience and morality should bring us peace. Buying our home and knowing that it is ours should bring us peace.

None of these things bring us peace. We don’t know if we can keep our home; if we can keep our daily bread; if we can educate our children or if we will be allowed to maintain our morality.

We are told that the TSA brings us peace; that the DHS brings us peace; that the Federal Reserve preserves our economy and brings us peace; that the EPA protects us and brings us peace and that labor unions defends our daily earnings and brings us peace.

It’s all of a piece.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
These days I am constantly reminded of the Three Great Lies: in between ''the check's in the mail'' and ''I promise I won't ...'' is ''I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.''

This joke's been around so long I can't remember when I first heard it and the part you always hear repeated is ''I'm from the government ... ''. It just keeps getting reaffirmed, over and over.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"At first simply by surviving the worst we could do to ourselves."

But Obama is out to "fundamentally change America."

And engineers know that you do not make any kind of a change to a system or even a component without affecting other aspects. Obama is no engineer; indeed, he has never ever had to actually make anything work.

In Chicago and New York and LA they can be confident that they can do anything they want and never have to worry about the food supply or the lights staying on, or the delivery of new Mercedes and BMW's. They do not have control of that aspect, especially not for the whole country or the whole world. So while the leadership of Chicago might dream of a country where the restrictions on gun ownership are as tight as theirs, and delude themsleves into think that will lessen their death toll, no Chicago politician would suggest they take over corn production in Iowa or wheat production in eastern Washington. Mayor Bloomberg may outlaw Super Gulps in NYC but need not fear that will cause the price of gas to go to $15.00 a gallon because the oil workers in Texas can't stay hydrated.

But Obama does want to do all of that - and still have all the good stuff work. The lights stay on - even though he has outlawed coal and nuclear and subsidized solar and wind power. Our military still respected and feared, even though he has manipulated that so it will not be. And no missiles to land on our soil because he has played reached out to certain people, not because of those "unproven missile defense systems."

And finally, people will accept what the cost of living turns out to be and go on paying higher taxes while still working just as hard and still enthusiastically innovating.

In other words, we should still be Americans except in the areas where he does not want us to be.

He does not realize that a "mythology" that underlies our success - and he wants to change that mythology to something quite different, but still have it work as well, if not better.


45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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