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Works and Days

Learning through Pain

December 8th, 2013 - 6:03 pm

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What will history make so far of our five-year voyage with Barack Obama? What will it make of hope and change — other than a sort of hysteria of 2008 that was a political version of the Pet Rock or the Cabbage Patch Doll derangement? Did we really experience faux-Greek columns and Latin mottoes (vero possumus) as Obama props to usher in the new order of the ages?

What exactly made David Brooks focus on trouser creases, or Chris Matthews on involuntary leg tickles? How could any serious person believe a candidate who promised to change the very terrain of the planet? Why would sober critics declare a near rookie senator “a god”?

Only as America slowly sobers up from five years of slumber can we begin to fathom Obama’s likely legacy — which is mostly wisdom acquired only from pain.

Liberals always had thought a right-wing bully president would erode civil liberties. How ironic that a charismatic, post-racial, self-described “constitutional law professor” has done more damage to our Constitution than has any president since Richard Nixon. Had the AP, IRS, or NSA scandals occurred during the Bush second term, congressional Democrats would have been calling for impeachment.

The old controversial presidential signing statements of the past are mere misdemeanors compared to Obama felonies of declaring settled law null and void, from the employer mandate to the implementation guidelines of Obamacare to exempting pet businesses and congressional staffs from the requirements of the law. A president can now decide not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, or grant pre-election, de facto amnesties. Why, then, pass laws in the first place? The idea of political opponents being audited by the IRS or critical journalists having their phones monitored will be Obama’s Nixonian legacy. After Obama, one of two things will happen: either the presidency will be redefined as a sort of super-executive that can both make and enforce statutes, or a constitutional reaction will set in, and Obamism will be cited as a danger to the republic that we wish in the future never to repeat.

Another legacy of Obama is the notion that there is no such thing anymore as a scandal. Obama labeled the IRS corruption as “outrageous” and then recently backtracked and berated progressive journalists for even thinking that the Tea Party was treaty unfairly by his administration’s IRS appointees. No one yet in the administration has confessed that a video did not cause the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. Nor is anyone contrite about the AP monitoring. That the president of the United States serially lied over Obamacare earns a “duh.”  The NSA mess warrants a “whatever.” Each time we witness something akin to the NSA, IRS, AP, and ACA machinations in the future, the supporters of the next untruthful or immoral president will no doubt offer in defense, “But Obama did worse and nobody cared.” Obama’s ethical legacy is the doctrine of medieval exemption: declaring that he is seeking exalted ends excuses the tawdry means of obtaining them.

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"Obamacare was a crass effort to extract cash from those who had health insurance. . .in order to give coverage to others."

That's part of Obama's simple-minded idea of the presidency: reward his friends, cronies and homies, and bash his enemies. I swear that's the only notion in his head about the job of President: bash England, Israel, doctors, oil companies, insurance companies, and others hated by him. And reward poor blacks who want mortgages, unions, Pigford frauds, students with loans, and other pets.

That's his only concept of the presidency. What a self-absorbed dunce!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
My admiration for VDH knows little in the way of boundaries. We share a birth year, but he so often seems the wiser older brother. There is much to agree with when he takes the time and effort to write.

Such is true again here.

However, his binary choice of the Republican leader having the utter lack of accountability or a sudden turnabout in accountability for a leftist Democrat...misses the ugliest truth of our Orwellian nightmare.

There are two separate rules and we are not playing the same game on a level playing field.

The IRS is a political weapon for leftists, the Financial Gestapo. The NSA is a spy agency like the KGB, spying on anything that moves outside the leftist orbit. The EPA is an enemy agent. The military is being taught to treat Catholics, Jews and White Christians as terrorists.

When radical extremists soil the landscape for decent human interaction and self-governance and replace it with corruption, tyranny, and brutal treatment against the people...it will NOT be cured unless the "favored" side rises in protest.

The reason that radical Islam continues it's brutality and criminal ways is not because effective countermeasures aren't employed, it is because of the silence and passive acquiescence of those who champion the "cause" it represents over a life of honor and integrity.

In the same way (and in collusion with radicals of Muslim and every other stripe), it is the silence of "liberals" in whose name these atrocities are being committed that allows, enhances and furthers the erosion of human decency and honorable governance of our mutual contract and covenant to each other.

If the "side" that "benefits" does not find their honor when abusers on "their" side loses every shred of restraint in power...the entire society crumbles. If you shatter all the china, you equally eat off the dirt.

The fact that "liberals" have and continue to remain silent is to their great shame. The fact that they are more invested in "winning" than in principle...means they no longer have the latter and are deluding themselves about the former.

Nobody wins in tyranny. And principles of convenience that evaporate when tested...are no principles at all. It is precisely when one's side crosses the line that honor is tested. The media has failed this test miserably. They have not merely cheapened their honor, they have abandoned it.

No, my dear cyber friend, VDH...we will neither see a Republican obtain an office wholly unaccountable as this cabal has been, nor will we see a repentant "liberal" base. That would presume an honor and fair play that is no longer present in people who call themselves "liberal".
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Morgan Freeman had charged the entire Republican Party and the Tea Party with racism for its opposition to Obama."

The Race Card is the most rapid-fire, all purpose, over used and abused, ad hominem and vapid weapon of smear, mass deception, diversion and greed ever conceived by man. It is a weapon under which the most wild eyed and feeble minds are severely crouched and can be played with the greatest of ease by even the most reason and integrity challenged, and in fact, was designed especially for use by them. It is void of justice. It is void of liberty. It needs no footing in rationality. It resembles a witch hunt and is, in plain and clear fact, similar to a lynching. At times it is the last refuge of hate filled and money and power hungry scoundrels and at other times the first as they attempt to mass murder intellect, justice and freedom of speech. It has no expiration date. It doesn’t even appear to have a half life. There are those who theorize that it may continue to exist indefinitely in some form even after time itself has come to an end.

Anyone who actually thinks that opposition to Barack Obama and his policies, and his serial mendacity and calumny, makes someone a "racist" is mentally ill to the point of near insanity and so filled with hate and slander, they can't even see straight, let alone think straight. Anyone who makes that claim but does not actually believe it is a liar and a smearier and a verbal lyncher. If I lived to be a million years, literally a million years old, I could not think of anything STUPIDER than "If you oppose Barack Obama and his policies, and don't believe everything he tells you, you are a racist!!!" It does not get any more mind numbingly STUPIDER than that and is all but a signed confession by Obama's most witless, and classless, and lynch mob like zombie sheeple that they can not rationally and honestly defend their feeble and failing demigod, the Mad Child Pharaoh. It is utterly rock bottom pathetic..
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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...otherwise brilliant policies...? And these are?

I was sorry to read the comparison with Richard Nixon. Who despite the myth of him as a danger to the nation created and propagaged by legacy media as handmaiden of the Kennedy wing of the "Democratic Party" cannot be compared IN ANY WAY with BH Obama.

Nixon was without doubt a "natural born citizen" with documents to prove. He earned his chops with military and civilian service to the nation. He was one of the more intelligent men to ever sit in the Executive Chair. AND he had experience on the ground. Was not born or cosseted by any special groups of socalled "elites", or "best and brigihtest".or other privileged wealthy of gated communities. He was "an ordinary American", who "worked his way up"..

That he was able to implement any of his policies with a hostile and recalcitrant Congress is just one sign of his abilities and competence for the job to which elected.

In addition there was never any question that Nixon respected the Law, the ethos of America as Constitutional Republic and was not intent on
any "FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION of the country.

However much the world has changed in the interim Nixon was one of the better and more honourable Presidents. And he loved the nationi. Was not intent to damaging her.

Two questions remain in sddition to those you have:

1. WHY DID THE PLUMBERS try to bteak into the Democratic Natrional Headquarters in the Watergate. WHAT did they expect to find there?
2. WHAT is the difference between Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden with respect to publishing government secrets?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
> Critics of Colin Powell’s flawed UN presentation were not tarred as racists.

The spheres on you.

Flawed? Was that what you said back in the day VD?

I can never decide if you're an idiot or a monster, perhaps a mix.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
''I can never decide if you're an idiot or a monster, perhaps a mix''

Nice satire, or maybe example, of the very flaw in Powell's UN presentation. Regardless of any after-the-fact critique, the mere fact of its controversy --individuals themselves 'can never decide'--is likely the flaw ('lingering confusion') to which your target refers.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is to Henry Reardon's comment below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union#Sluggish_schizophrenia

(a few quotes, ellipses between)

It was the diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia" that was most prominently used in cases of dissidents.[42] The leading critics implied that Snezhnevsky had designed the Soviet model of schizophrenia and this diagnosis to make political dissent into a mental disease.[43] According Robert van Voren, the political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR arose from the conception that people who opposed the Soviet regime were mentally sick since there was no other logical rationale why one would oppose the sociopolitical system considered the best in the world.[44]

...

The hypothesis implies that there are three main types of schizophrenia:

1.the continuous type that is defined as unremitting, proceeding with either a rapid ("malignant") or a slow ("sluggish") progression and has a poor prognosis in both instances;
2.the periodic, or recurrent type that is characterized by an acute attack followed by full remission with minimal progression, if any;
3.the mixed, or shift-like, type ("schubweise" — in German "schub" means phase or attack), a mixture of continuous and periodic types that occurs periodically and is characterized by only partial remission.[46]

This systematization of schizophrenia types attributed to Snezhnevsky[47] is still used in Russia[48] and refers sluggish schizophrenia to the continuous type.[49]
...

A carefully crafted description of sluggish schizophrenia established that psychotic symptoms were non-essential for the diagnosis, but symptoms of psychopathy, hypochondria, depersonalization or anxiety were central to it.[45] Symptoms referred to as part of the "negative axis" included pessimism, poor social adaptation, and conflict with authorities, and were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia with scanty symptoms."[45] According to Snezhnevsky, patients with sluggish schizophrenia could present as quasi sane yet manifest minimal but clinically relevant personality changes which could remain unnoticed to the untrained eye.[45] Thereby patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, or even persons who were not mentally sick, could be easily labelled with the diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia.[45] Along with paranoia, sluggish schizophrenia was the diagnosis most frequently used for the psychiatric incarceration of dissenters.[45]

...

In particular, the scope was widened by sluggish schizophrenia because according to Snezhnevsky and his colleagues, patients with this diagnosis were capable of functioning almost normally in the social sense.[44] Their symptoms could be like those of a neurosis or could assume a paranoid character.[44] The patients with paranoid symptoms retained some insight into their condition but overestimated their own significance and could manifest grandiose ideas of reforming society.[44] Thereby, sluggish schizophrenia could have such symptoms as "reform delusions," "perseverance," and "struggle for the truth."[44] As Vladimir Stayzhkin reported, Snezhnevsky diagnosed a reformation delusion for every case when a patient "develops a new principle of human knowledge, drafts an academy of human happiness, and many other projects for the benefit of mankind."[50]

===

That's enough to give the picture, but plenty more at the link.

I wish to high heaven it were otherwise, but i can find no reason to believe that, on their current path, this is precisely where this admin's brain trust is nudging you and I and a few million others.

BTW, in the sidebar at the link there is a short quote by Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

--shucks--virus scanner just kicked in and my mouse won't hi-lite --just go read it, it's only a sentence or three --45 seconds worth --


(show less)
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
..of course, that should've read, "no reason to DISbelieve".

And i could've edited the whole comment to the next-to-last para, and even to just this:

"...Symptoms referred to as part of the "negative axis" included pessimism, poor social adaptation, and conflict with authorities, and were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia with scanty symptoms."[45] According to Snezhnevsky, patients with sluggish schizophrenia could present as quasi sane yet manifest minimal but clinically relevant personality changes which could remain unnoticed to the untrained eye.[45] Thereby patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, or even persons who were not mentally sick, could be easily labelled with the diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia.[45] Along with paranoia, sluggish schizophrenia was the diagnosis most frequently used for the psychiatric incarceration of dissenters.[45]"

===

One could let out a low whistle, as did Yossarian when Doc Daneeka told him about 'catch 22'.

"That's some catch, that catch 22," Yossarian had said.

"Yep," the doc had replied, "...it's the best there is!"
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Recall Sir Thomas More's rebuke to English Parliament concluding his mock trial for Treason...(refusal to sign an oath of allegiance to Henry VIII as Supreme Head of The Church that he, in unbridled Apostasy and spiritual usurpation declared)...
QUI TACET CONSENTIRE~Silence implies consent.
Indolence,greed, envy and rank ignorance(comprising Saul Alinsky's cornerstone commandments/Rules for Radicals) are the ingredients of the miasma with which Obama and his racist minions and lackeys-- in Academe, MSM and pseudo-elites-- have poisoned the American polity. "What does it profit a man(or woman) to make $73/$75/$84/hour playing on a computer if he sell hisr soul (or COUNTRY) by distraction from distraction by distraction??? (turn-up the music by Lady Ga Ga)
As Orwell posited: IGNORANCE is STRENGTH (for the Totalitarians). And SLAVERY is FREEDOM...WOE to those who trade their freedom (and that of hard working citizenry) for the illusion of security and prosperity. Non Deus vult!

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now I know how the intelligent people in Venezuela feel.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Knowledge is gained by experience. Experience is gained by lack of knowledge."

I don't remember who said it, but it's so true.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone who voted for this imbecile, has permanently disqualified him/herself from any intellectual political discussion in the future....
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I finished reading his book, “Dreams from my Father”, my only comment was, ”wow”, what a load of unmitigated hubris, fabricated lies, and distortions. Then I realized that if this is the person who is going to lead the country, the country is in serious trouble. For five years, the train wreck that is recognized by Obama’s declaration that he was going to fundamentally change America has slowly unfolded into a nightmarish reality and the nightmare continues to haunt every concerned citizen except the 43% that has morphed into a majority and basically secured a permanent stranglehold on the country.

When Nazi Germany is invoked as an example of a country led by a narcissistic and messianic leader whose sole intent was to do the same thing Obama declared by changing the face of the country, anyone using the comparison is ridiculed and literally ridden out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered by the liberal media, Democrats, and the cult like following of Obama.

Maybe there is hope and maybe the country will eventually wake up but will it be too late? Obama has three more years to inflict more harm on the basic freedoms Americans once enjoyed. The liberal mantra has invaded every aspect of American life and nothing is sacrosanct any longer except the right to an abortion, the right to ridicule Christians, the right to demonize white males, and the right to blatantly lie to the people about Benghazi as a prime example. The ACA is a Gordian’s Knot of unrelated regulations that are open to interpretation by Sebelius and her word is final. Obama has made it a presidential right to arbitrarily allow exemptions to a law without going through congress first. Now, he is being encouraged by an ever growing number of liberals and leftists to ignore the Constitution altogether and make executive decisions to change or invoke any interpretation of existing law to comply with their wishes.

Lest we forget, once someone is given a free ride, if for one moment you believe they will vote for the person who is trying to take it away or even reduce it, then you do not understand the basic human nature of self-preservation. The liberals, Democrats, leftists, socialists, and communists decry capitalism and greed but they forget that greed cannot be assigned to the very wealthy since greed transcends all social and economic spectrums. I know too many people who are not wealthy but they do personify greed at its worst. Who is to say that the person receiving a monthly benefit check for not working and refuses to at least try is not guilty of greed and personal gratification? Do you think for one moment they actually want to earn the support they receive? Do you think the people who make up the core of ACORN who work the lower wage jobs do not receive benefits from the government well beyond what they say in public?

We are becoming what Obama promised, a fundamentally changed nation and it is happening at a much faster pace than I thought possible. But, it is a mistake to underestimate the lack of understanding of the every growing majority of people dependent on the government to make decisions for their life so they don’t or won’t have to.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eight years of economic incompetence and corruption is an expensive lesson, especially for young people starting out and those who were planning to retire during those 8 years. Now because of Obama and his lunacy, many business owners will probably never be able to retire.

The folly redistributionist schemes of Marx were recognized by a few, as being a disaster, when Obama first started posing for the public and reading from his teleprompter. Some of even had personal experiences with Wealth Redistribution and caring for the irresponsible: http://skooksjournal.com/?p=677
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
And so the pain will come. Perhaps if we had gone through the necessary catharsis in 2008, we would be finally on right track moving away from the terrible dependency that so many of our young adults are experiencing. A campaign ad for 2016 might be one that shows a young college grad in '08, bright eyed and confident, followed by a fast-forward to 2016, sitting unshaven, playing video games, and waiting for his unemployment check.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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