Monday, February 27, 2012

Clinton Nannies Assad

This is from Bloomberg of 28 March 2011: “‘No’,” [State Secretary] Clinton said when asked on the CBS program ‘Face the Nation’ if the U.S. would intervene in Syria’s unrest.”

This is what State Secretary Clinton said in Rabat, Morocco, on 26 February 2012: “Syrians in the military and business who still support President Bashar al-Assad should turn against him. The longer you support the regime’s campaign of violence against your brothers and sisters, the more it will stain your honor.”

She apparently went from making a statement in a press conference to speaking directly to selected people in Syria, about 3,000 miles away, much as a schoolmarm might have done in a one-room school out in the boondocks circa 1905. She had dropped in on official business (groundbreaking for a new embassy) in Rabat after starting yet another “tour” in Tunisia and also hitting Algeria in an apparent effort to further lionize the “Arab Spring” uprisings of last year, which began in Tunisia.

While the secretary continues her life as guest of the U.S. Air Force, spending about as much time being pandered-to in their huge planes as on the ground most anywhere but Washington, she represents what probably 99% of the people in the Muslim world (maybe the whole world) would call the “ugly American.”

The idea that she should lecture anyone in Syria concerning violence is her way of telling the Syrians that they’re too dumb to remember that her president, without any constitutional or otherwise legal authorization declared war on Libya last March (same month she was sanitizing Assad) and began systematically killing Libyan women and children ostensibly because Qaddafi was doing what Assad is doing, i.e., trying to protect his turf in the only way Muslims expect, to wit, killing other Muslims, with victory going to whoever is left standing.

This would be comedic if it weren’t so serious. One has the feeling that everyone from tinhorn dictators throughout the world to Olde-Europe’s well-educated but unbelievably misled bureaucrats/citizens is laughing behind Clinton’s back and wondering why her president spends about all his time campaigning (enjoying the almost daily hospitality of Air Force #1 at taxpayers’ expense) instead of showing his presumed superior intelligence by actually impressing…just anyone, or getting anything done about the miserable recession that’s still in place.

Obama and Clinton are in a box built by themselves regarding Syria, all their words now, as the apostle Paul would have it, as “sounding brass.” Libya had an army of 76,000, a pushover for a few units of SEALS. Assad has 295,000 active troops. If Obama was not willing to put “boots on the ground” (just kill ’em from the air) in Libya, does anyone believe he will wax serious about Syria? Of course not, but in predictable inane utterance he has told Assad that he has to go. One suspects he is not willing this election year to con NATO into more atrocious behavior while “leading from behind” in order to make that happen.

With Americans being shot in their respective backs by Afghan soldiers, he’s busy apologizing to Karzai when he ought to have the guts to tell his military advisers to form plans immediately for precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, whether declaring victory or not and notwithstanding anything his military gurus tell him about “winning.” This won’t happen, of course, especially since Senators, McCain, Graham and Lieberman might call him a sissy. Making war is one thing, but allowing supposed “friends” to work their will on Americans like “shooting fish in a barrel” is unacceptable.

Obama has the strange notion that civilized people can parley with uncivilized people, blatantly exhibiting this trait in glibly insisting in his campaign years ago that he would sit down with Iran’s Ahmadinejad and just make things “all well.” Muslim governments are made up of bloodthirsty uncivilized leaders who do not take a back seat to even the equally uncivilized Japanese sadist-leaders of World War II, to whom animal behavior against defenseless POWs and Chinese citizens was considered normal. Think the “Rape of Nanking” of 1937-38, with half the Chinese city’s population murdered (300,000 souls) in cold blood. Shades of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who wasted 400,000 fellow Muslims, though it took him a bit longer!

The Obama/Clinton axis is mired in ignorance of how the Muslim jihad-mind works. Both would have been much better served in the last three years by keeping their mouths shut about the Middle East and let nature take its course, something that will happen anyway no matter how much they caterwaul. They seem to have tongues tied in the middle and loose at both ends, constantly telling this or that foreign leader exactly how to govern and exactly when to get out of Dodge.

In Obama’s case, he decided to pull a “shootout at the OK Corral” with respect to Libya, except that his side had all the guns. Disgusting!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 24, 2012

Obama's Inconvenient Mouth & Syria

It’s been interesting to watch an obviously worn-out State Secretary Clinton and others in the administration caterwauling and otherwise expending great efforts at verbosity in attempting to work-up some sort of worldwide animus toward Syria, particularly its president, Bashar Assad, whose army and air force are decimating parts of the Syrian populace, mostly in Homs (Hama), the city virtually demolished in February 1982 by his father, Hafez al Assad, when he was president.

Bashar Assad is acting in retaliation to insurrectionists as was the case with his father in 1982, when armed Islamic militants tried to take over the country. The death toll in Hama was somewhere around 20,000 by the time the dust cleared. Hafez Assad himself came to power in 1970 by undermining the then government, just as Saddam Hussein did in Iraq in 1979, as well as the ayatollah Khomeini in Iran the same year. Conclusion: This is the way things are routinely done in Muslim-dominated governments, the rest of the world’s condemnation notwithstanding.

So far, the report is that some 7,000 have died in Syria, not that this figure can be trusted. Secretary Clinton classified Bashar Assad as a reformer as recently as last year, so her bona fides for expressing any opinion are questionable. Actually, his father brought about significant reforms, too, and even supported the UN-sanctioned Gulf War in 1991. In the process, he also avoided assassination attempts, interfered in Lebanon, and, of course, maintained a hatred for Israel, all the while hoping to get back the Golan Heights, lost to Israel in 1967 when he was Syria’s defense minister.

The long-and-short of the matter is that this administration hasn’t any more clue about the Muslim countries than Jimmy Carter had in 1978-80, when he allowed American hostages to rot in Tehran for 14 months. Barack Obama showed his extreme ignorance this week in apologizing to Afghanistan because a bunch of Korans got burned by mistake, the upshot being an Afghan soldier murdering two American GIs in cold blood.

Instead of apologizing, Obama should have enough sense by now to understand that the Muslims consider an apology a sign of weakness. He should have warned Karzai and Mullah Omar that drastic measures would be taken if such a thing should happen again. But, apologizing to especially Muslim countries is a fine art with the president, raised a Muslim and showing it. Can anyone imagine action like that taken in this country if a gaggle of atheists burned some Bibles?

Contrarily, they would probably have been applauded by the mainstream press for having such mental acuity and courage, with the president chiming in on freedom of speech. One remembers the outright lie reported by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff in 2005 regarding the flushing down the toilet of Korans at Gitmo, the upshot being that 15 Afghanis were killed, apparently Afghans killing Afghans in a blind rage at the U.S. Of course, Isikoff, instead of being hounded out of his profession for such a colossal and sanguinary blunder (as Dan Rather eventually was), now works at NBC, Obama’s prime propaganda-arm.

Never realizing that the end would be worse than the beginning, as anyone with a smattering of understanding knew at the time, Obama publicly encouraged the so-called “Arab Spring” last year and even called for the replacement or murder of some Middle East despots. The results in Egypt, for example, have been disastrous, with the loss of a valuable ally and the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the country, i.e., if the army ever lets go. The people riot in the streets and continue in whatever suffering (or worse) than they had before the great awakening.

Assad has watched this and understands that the militant (Sharia-Law-driven) Islamic boneheads (yep…in Hama again) mean to take over his country, not that his chief ally, Iran, is any improvement. He’s wily enough to get China and Russia on his side, thereby being able to thumb his nose at Obama, who has become the laughing-stock of the world for his unpredictable antics and mindless apologies all around.

Who would have thought that an American president, for instance, would be dumb enough to bypass Congress entirely and take up war against Libya, population 2 million less than that of New York City, for absolutely no identifiable reason at all, except that Qaddafi was mean to his people, just the same as Assad? Flash forward to now and find the whole world looking to Obama to set Syria straight just like he did Libya, in which there is now no identifiable government.

This is from the Associated Press of 18 August 2011: “In a stinging written statement, Obama says Assad has overseen a vicious onslaught of his people as they protest for freedoms. He says the Syrian people should decide their country’s future and Assad is standing in their way and must go.” This is what he said about Qaddafi before personally attacking Libya and killing no telling how many Libyans. So…what’s stopping him from carrying through in Syria, since he obviously has decided to run that part of the world while he’s apologizing to it and running his inconvenient mouth at the same time?

Two American soldiers are murdered in Afghanistan and the U.S president is apologizing? Obama is a disgrace and has absolutely no understanding of the Middle East, Muslims, or even his Constitutional responsibilities, such as those regarding how war can be made. To its eternal shame, the Congress is even more pitiful than Obama.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Professor & the Slave-mongering Republicans

The Lexington [Ky.] Herald-Leader seems to pick a University of Kentucky professor about each month or so to deliver a liberal/anti-republican/rant about something-or-other (doesn’t matter much just what…anything goes). In the 17 February issue, history professor Ron Formisano was the agitator du jour, using as his subject (at least in the headline) “states rights.” Of course, “slave past” also appeared in the headline, so one could see where this was going, especially during “black history” month.

In the H-L of 21 December, UK professor Robert Olson delivered the rant du jour, making the statement that four million people died during the Civil War to save the Union. They were located in the North, of course, which had a population then of 22 million, meaning close to a fifth of the Northerners died at a ratio of about one white northerner for each freed slave. Olson’s field of expertise is the Middle East, so perhaps he could be cut some slack as a history revisionist, such activity being in vogue on campuses these days. I’m still laughing, though.

Formisano: “During the decades before the Civil War, the slave South became obsessed with states' rights and stepped up its demands to limit Congress's ability to regulate the spread of slavery. … This [current] obsessive outcry, located primarily (and ironically) in the Republican Party, recalls the posture of the slavery-dominated antebellum democracy.”

A caveat is in order, to wit, my great-grandfather and two great-uncles arrived in Kentucky from England in 1857, could not by law be drafted, owned no slaves and volunteered in the Union army. My resentment, as a white person, at being constantly blamed for slavery because of my forbearers – especially during the month of Washington and Lincoln, now known as “black history month” – knows no bounds.

My great-grandfather was wounded once and critically ill once, affording him a pension. Moreover, the consensus probably is that only about 26% of all households in what Formisano calls the “slave South” actually included slaves. So, that other 74% of confederate soldiers were actually fighting for states rights, Formisano’s denigration of them notwithstanding.

Formisano: “The conservatives among the nation's founders wanted a strong central government. But these nationalists, in crafting our constitution, realized that widespread opposition to what contemporaries called ‘consolidation’ existed throughout a new republic born in rebellion against an empire.” The first part of that rant is patently untrue, as proven by the second part. Revising history is ugly on its face but Formisano is not much good at it.

The last thing the founders wanted was inordinate power in the hands of the few in federal government. All one has to do to discover this is read Article I, Section 8, and all of Article II of the U.S Constitution. The federal government was designed to provide for taxes, currency, foreign affairs, interstate issues, courts, and especially defense (the vast preponderance of the section) and little else. Amendment 10 awarded the responsibility of about everything else to the states (states rights, in other words).

Formisano is s-o-o-o unoriginal. When folks want to denigrate an entity, they sometimes juxtapose it/him/her with Hitler. Formisano used this tactic in comparing the evil Republican Party of today with the “slavery-dominated antebellum democracy” or with the “slave South.” One wonders why he didn’t throw in Mao-Tse-Tung while he was at it, or maybe Barack Obama, who by executive order last March started his own massacre in Libya, announcing it on his vacation in Brazil and then leading from behind. That’s real class.

Inordinate centralized government has become such a problem now that the big news of the week happened in North Carolina, when a government agent blew into an elementary-school cafeteria for a spot-on inspection of lunches the pre-school children had brought from home. A four-year-old was guilty of having only a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice, which sounds quite nutritious but the intrepid inspector insisted that the girl eat three chicken nuggets. At least she didn’t have to eat two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a pear tree.

It would be hard to make this stuff up but the government czars in Washington are running just about everything now from how much salt can go into a hamburger to legalizing light-bulbs to the proper procedures to follow in helping old codgers decide when they’ve had enough and would just as soon opt out, part of the wondrous Obamacare.

The federal government is overwhelmingly too big now, not least because it’s run mainly by career politicians, not statesmen, as was the case with the founders. The solons made sure in Amendment XXII in 1951 to limit the president to two terms, but made just as sure not to do that for Congress-people, whom they (especially themselves) deemed to approach near divinity status, not to mention greedily grasping great salaries and unbelievable perks, which they and their followers in the august halls have awarded to themselves.

Federal responsibilities in the Departments of Education, Energy, HHS, and HUD could be far better handled on the state level. The “No Child Left Behind” fiasco is a good example of just how the federal government can completely botch an enterprise. For good or ill, Kentucky has been granted an exemption from that or some form of it. The damage has been done, of course.

One suspects some of the students at the university can read Formisano and also read between the lines, discovering fringe-lunatic liberalism, the socialist approach championed by Obama, for the subversion it is.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Horsy Set" Rides Again!

Governor Beshear and all the other members of the “horsy set” have made it as a prime objective of the drive to legalize Kentucky casinos the huge infilling of the state coffers with taxes generated by the gambling industry and confiscated by the state. This is a bunch of baloney, of course. These folks have it in mind to make boatloads of money for…yep…members of the horsy set.

Yeah…there will be some revenue as the state “empowers” the operators to make some bucks off the backs of the “gamers,” as Beshear would call the suckers, but make no mistake about it. The main objective is the protecting and enlarging of the horse industry, which, according to the horsy set, employs 100,000 people, as if anybody in his right mind actually believes that. These track folks couldn’t turn up 100,000 names – at least legal names – if they had to.

Most of those 100,000 folks would be employed in the Bluegrass and the so-called “Golden Triangle” bounded roughly by Lexington, Louisville and Covington/Newport. Somehow, one believes the economy in this area would be far different if those workers actually exist. In any case, they wouldn’t be doing much better than minimum wage, if that, so even if the numbers were true, they represent negligible amounts of income taxes to the state. Compare the average hourly wage at Georgetown Toyota – at least $30 plus perks that up it to about $48 – and see the difference. The UAW folks in Louisville come in at about $69 per hour total.

The proof that the horsy set has its collective mind on money for the horsy set is seen in the governor’s proposition for a Constitutional amendment as delivered through legislator Thayer – five casinos at the racetracks and two others not within 50 or so miles of a track. These two others, by virtue of cronyism, would likely belong to the horsy set, also, with the books out of sight, of course.

One presumes that even the horsy set must figure that casinos are not all that great since it recommends only seven for the WHOLE STATE! That’s only one casino for every 570,000 people or so. Even the horsy set would agree that alcoholic beverages cause more death and destruction than anything else in Kentucky but the group probably would not take issue with the fact that the stuff is sold in groceries and in establishments on virtually every street in much of Kentucky, with more localities legalizing booze practically every week. There are hundreds or thousands (who’s counting) of alcohol oases in the state.

So…why just seven casinos, which, of course, do no harm at all? After all, lottery tickets can be bought on every corner, so why not a casino on every corner. The “game” is the same and every sucker should be treated with respect. To disallow him the same privilege to lose his shirt as mostly just those who go watch the ponies while they lose their shirts is actually – DISCRIMINATORY, the vilest and most often used adjective in the lexicon these days.

The answer is obvious, of course, especially taking into account that graft and corruption are hallmarks of both the legislative and administrative branches these days. One has only to look at the redistricting fiascoes foisted upon the population recently to see just how crafty and cynical the solons are. Simply moving a legislator 200 miles from his district is not exactly what one considers copasetic, but then what does an average citizen know? Besides, that legislator’s former district included a (gasp) racetrack, though in fairness it must be said that his new district 200 miles removed (gasp) also includes a racetrack…such thoughtfulness!

This is not even to mention the shenanigans vis-à-vis the Congressional representation. That new map appears as what one would think a kindergarten finger-painter might deliver. It’s designed to keep a republican, at all costs, from getting his hands on the Sixth District…maybe even the Fourth, as well. The courts may be attacked by Truth and change things…but, who knows?

But one digresses! The horsy set knows that fairness would involve empowering all would-be casino-operators to have that privilege, about the same as the lottery folks. This means, of course, an inordinate, absolutely prohibitive diminution of racetrack proceeds since the vast majority of folks would not bother to drive out to racetracks when they could just truck on down to the nearest convenience store and play the slots or even get into an exciting game of blackjack that might amuse them for hours while they lose their shirts.

Just think what a mini-roulette operation might take in at a gas station while one’s car is being serviced. There’s much money in “them thar hills” just waiting to go to the operators…and the state, of course, to save the schools, or something like that…doesn’t really matter. The horsy set should get in line…or the guv and cronies should be forced to attempt putting on “straight faces,” though to do so might cause a massive number of jaw-breakers.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Editorialist & Procreation Politics

The uproar over “procreation politics” has been interesting, not least because it’s based by the liberal establishment on the fact that pregnancy is a disease and that birth control vehicles form the vaccine against it. This makes pregnancy a health issue, though births do not usually mean dire disease or death for mothers in probably 99% of cases. The cynicism of the left is pointed up by Lexington Herald-Leader editorial-writer Jamie Lucke (15 February).

In her final paragraph, Lucke writes (actually states the obvious) that “contraception is cheaper than paying for a pregnancy and birth.” Prior to that, she rails against the Catholic bishops for attempting to impose their will on the public…or at least the women of the public, comparing their position to Sharia Law, which is a tad more sanguinary in its treatment of women, just stoning or beheading them for whatever is the crime du jour, adultery, fornication and abortion being certain winners.

Well…Lucke has a point with regard to contraceptives and the government, the subject of her piece, though not about pregnancy as a disease but about pregnancy as an inconvenience, the termination of which can save billions of government dollars. In 2007, last available year for figures, there were 231 abortions for every 1,000 live births. The vast majority were to unmarried women (74% of whites, 82% of blacks), meaning (the poverty-stricken single-mom thing) that a huge number of both babies and single moms would be on the dole if not for the abortions.

This has been the case since especially 1973, the year of Roe/Wade, meaning that these folks have been living off the fruits of the labors of other people (taxes) for some 40 years now. The current numbers, however, don’t even approach the banner year of 1984, when there were 364 abortions per 1,000 live births. Just think of the savings since then. In 1970, there were only 52 cost-saving abortions per 1,000 live births, hardly worth thinking about. The dear little expendable fetuses might just as well have lived for all the good their demise would have done the government.

Abortions since 1973 number about 50 million or so, give or take a few thousand fetuses here or there but there’s more to it, as Lucke certainly knows with respect to savings. Just those abortions amount to a great deal but then the procedures have been in place for two generations, meaning that those aborted in the first 20 years would have been having their own families now at about the average U.S. rate of 2.1 children per family. So, add a huge mostly poverty-stricken- single-moms-and-babies percentage of another 40 million or so and…well, the savings have simply been astronomical.

The president may be emulating China in attempting to determine the proper family-size, albeit in a more sanguine way, i.e., not by throwing couples in jail for having more than one child. He’s attempting to give the taxpayers that option through mandated contraception – brilliant, as Lucke would probably agree. Deficit-reduction would be a cakewalk if he could do this, thereby disarming those mean-spirited republicans who are not in either his intellectual or morality league.

This is vintage Lucke regarding employer plans: “Because only women use prescription contraceptives [the vaccine], denying this coverage is gender discrimination.” Since men do not use prescription contraceptives but are forced to pay for the women’s use of same (insurance premiums or taxes), that sort of seems like gender-discrimination, too, but who’s counting?

As in the case of most liberal editorial-writers, Lucke misses the actual point, to wit, that any freedom, whether religious or otherwise and which does not harm another citizen, that is taken from a citizen is done in violation of the Constitution. A woman’s right to privacy was the big argument in Roe/Wade, but how does that play out with regard to the privacy of others? Abortion involved the physical aspect (freedom of privacy); however, mandates directly contravening doctrinal beliefs that have no adverse impact on others involves freedom of religion. This is more than dollars and cents, but editorial-writers may not have noticed.

Mandating healthcare gave the government direct control over the citizen’s right to life, let alone liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Mandating contraception-acquisition is in the same league. This is meddling with citizen freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, but that is precisely the agenda of Obama and the left, people like Lucke – getting rid of the Constitution as a governing document because it militates against centralized, federal control of every facet of a citizen’s existence.

It has been obvious from the beginning of his presidency that Obama intends to destroy Constitutional government, the thing that has made this country the envy of the world. The elections this year for both the presidency and the Congress will comprise a watershed development. Four more years to destroy the American way of life is unthinkable.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Obama & Constitutional Law

The worrisome thing about President Obama is that he was once a senior lecturer (accounted as a tenured professor) at the University of Chicago Law School and taught regular courses, not a full load since he was involved in other enterprises having to do with government or other activities, perhaps community-organizing. Obama referred to himself as a "constitutional law professor" during his campaign for the presidency.

That’s where the rubber hits the road. Was Obama a professor who was about as bright as a watermelon with regard to the Constitution, or did he then and does he now understand the Constitution and has decided it is too anachronistic or inconvenient to his agenda to be of any importance? Plainly, this is the case. During his campaign, he made it plain that the Constitution was remiss in that it did not allow for the proper redistribution of wealth, for instance.

Redistributing the wealth was the farthest thing from the founders’ minds. They were delivering the nation from a monarchy, which could be aptly be described as the penultimate governing agency in the matter of distributing as well as redistributing the wealth. They quite obviously meant that personal ownership – not serfdom to a king – was paramount in the new nation.

The founders were so intent upon establishing this fact that their design was to inculcate a small federal government that could not re-concentrate power to a small centralized cadre, while at the same time allowing for considerable emphasis on states’ rights, thus further diluting the power of Washington. They seemed to feel that the feds should mostly take care of foreign affairs, the currency, and provide a strong military to protect the citizens, and not much else.

A number of federal agencies have been brought on line since the 1780s, some necessary and some that ought to be deep-sixed as early as yesterday, like the Education and Energy Departments. Obama has added the new dimension called the czars in order to bypass a recognizable oligarchy in preference to un-elected or even congressionally un-investigated shadowy figures making key decisions affecting everything from oil-drilling to healthcare. The Cabinet secretaries are all in place but the czars call the shots.

Obama has circumvented the Constitution in other ways. The big deal currently is Obama’s budget. Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution: All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives… . Section 8: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence [sic]… .

Obama knows his “budget” is not worth the reams of paper on which it’s printed, especially since the House has already routinely passed budgets on which Senate Majority Leader Reid has not for nearly two years allowed a vote. Obama can’t inculcate a budget any more than an orangutan can, but he can blame the Senate republicans for stopping the process even though the democrats control the Senate (and controlled both legislative bodies 2009-11) and could pass a budget tomorrow. All the president can do is sign or veto, something that won’t happen before the elections in November.

The president’s most recent un-Constitutional power grab concerning the contraception issue and the churches is a First Amendment violation, to be sure, but it’s also a Tenth Amendment issue: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The president is not empowered by the Constitution to mandate what citizens and entities such as businesses must purchase. That is a power/privilege granted to the people.

The president can’t even make people get flu shots, much less affect far more important items. Obama, however, has directed employers and insurance companies and people, all as individual entities, to do what he says with respect to insurance and what it must cover. He’s even mandated/regulated that insurance companies provide services at no charge, meaning that the taxpayers will pick up the tab. This is an egregious violation of the Constitution, about which he’s supposed to be an expert.

Last year, the most egregious violation had to do with his slaughter of Libyans in a war he conducted by executive order when the Constitution is plain in Section I, Article 8, that only Congress can declare war, though Congress itself expanded rightly or wrongly on that provision with the War Powers Act, which Obama also monstrously violated.

On the basis of his presidency vis-à-vis the Constitution, Obama the Constitutional scholar has either proven his abject stupidity or he has an agenda which is demonstrably anti-American. Some people liked to call George Bush a cowboy but he was a piker when compared to Obama, who in the kindest terms can be classified as a bona fide loose cannon threatening American civil rights and the existence of sovereign nations.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 10, 2012

Endangered Constitution

Well…after all, what’s a president to do when a recalcitrant Congress thwarts his will at every point? On 06 February in an “interview” with NBC’s morning guru Matt Lauer, President Obama displayed dismay that he couldn’t force the Congress to do his bidding and blamed the Constitution for making that his problem. He specifically blamed the “fathers” who wrote it but claimed that he was getting better as he proceeds in his presidency. Getting better at what? Getting better at satisfying his base, of course, Lauer already having mentioned that the people who voted for him in 2008 were disappointed!

The president thumbed his nose big-time at the Constitution when he instituted his personal – purely personal – war against Libya in March 2011, an action that has resulted in massive bloodshed as well as a devastated, ungoverned country. Not to be bothered by a possibly disagreeable Congress was paramount in his considerations, especially since both Defense Chief Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen had publicly stated he was making a mistake.

They made those statements in a congressional hearing, providing even more reason not to go to Congress. Only Congress has the power to either by declaration or a timely proviso (War Powers Act) make war. His action was all the more heinous in that Libya was no threat whatsoever to this or any other country. Now, he faces the dilemma with “what to do” about Syria, a situation exactly like that of Libya, as if he can do anything other than command decent GIs to bomb innocent women and children, as they were commanded to do regarding Libya.

Lately, Obama has decided to tell the churches/denominations what they can and cannot do, wiggling every which way to make his un-Constitutional approach work. Plainly, he hates the U.S. Constitution because it stands in the way of turning this nation upside down economically, morally, and spiritually. By regulations no one has ever conceived, his czars are turning his healthcare legislation into a nightmare of bad consequences, obviously more intentional than not.

Not even during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when communists and socialists had their strong legal parties and tried to gain control of government, was the threat to personal freedom as pronounced as it is now. Proud, suffering Americans would have none of their poison then, when there were no “safety nets,” but under Obama and a Congress insipid beyond words, the nation is heading for “herd control.” Disgusting!

The Constitution Wins

He said the Constitution was a drag
And emphasized states-rights far, far too much,
When speaking of it, he sometimes would gag,
Dismissing it as too far out of touch;
He said it gave the Congress too much power
That limited executive fiat,
His thoughts about that daily grew more sour,
He felt constrained by every tittle, jot.

He campaigned toward the document’s demise
And felt that wealth should be distributed
By him because, of course, he was so wise
And voter’s thinking so inhibited;
The Constitution did not stand for that…
The founders felt that sloth would soon ensue
If those who worked and earned should give up that
For which they toiled…and soon be slothful, too.

He seems to favor courts to legislate,
The courts with nominees by him, of course,
Since with a pen-stroke judges can relate
To any group what it must do, enforce;
He thought the Constitution was unwise
In that it gave religion too much say,
Since he decided faith was his surmise
And that believers should just…well, obey.

He felt he could declare war when he chose,
Ignoring Congress as just too, too slow,
With teleprompters he could be verbose,
Inviting all the world to his war-show;
The Constitution does not give him leave
To undertake a war just on a whim
Or even if the Congress might believe,
Debate a declaration backing him.

His healthcare bill was fashioned on a theme
That bureaucrats decide when one is sick
And then decide for him a proper scheme
To heal him or let nature interdict;
And though the Constitution disallows
The government to mandate purchases,
His healthcare clearly disavows
That fact as arcane, simple silliness.

So…now his promised change is recognized –
Subversion of the founders’ wise edict…
He would be king, with Congress paralyzed,
No fortitude his scheme to just evict;
But citizens will not for long be conned,
This country’s way of life too precious…yes,
From office they can mandate he abscond,
The Constitution wins…he will confess.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Lexington Downtown - OKAY

The drumbeat goes on in Lexington by the movers and shakers who seem to be determined to change the downtown from what it is, essentially a repository for financial institutions, offices, entertainment venues, specialty shops, restaurants/bars, apartment/condominium buildings, and government facilities, along with the necessary parking garages. The objective: turn the downtown into a sort of fun-and-games tourist/convention attraction, complete with parks and anything else someone in the university classifies as aesthetic and therefore uplifting.

The attempt has been somewhat derailed by the uprising of some important folks, like UK President Capiluto, who insists that there are more pressing needs for taxpayer money such as the upgrading of the UK campus. The aesthetic-promoting cadre has concluded that some of Rupp Arena’s walls should be converted from solid building material to glass, never mind that the building is just fine as it is. One can only guess at the expense of keeping all those windows clean, the better not to offend visiting sports fans. This is just an example of the wackiness involved in the whole process.

The artists’ renderings of the new plans, including all sorts of new buildings, indicate that Vine Street will be closed from its intersection with Main to Broadway…in other words, the most important section of the street. This means, of course, that the plan requires that the downtown one-way streets must be converted to two-way, the better to enhance beauty, convenience, aesthetics, and, of course, turn the whole area into a gigantic gridlock, with left-turn lanes on a street that was clogged in the 1930s-50s an impossibility. When the attempt to close Vine was made a few years ago (and actually approved in one reading of the ordinance), the citizens would have none of it and screamed “No Way” so loudly that the commissioners’ ears were ringing for a week.

Figures in the hundreds of millions for financing the project(s) have been thrown around as if the money will just magically appear. No one has the foggiest notion of what the cost will be or how it will be defrayed. Two things are certain: (1) People interested in profits are the prime movers, not the citizenry, most of which avoids the area for obvious reasons; (2) Somewhere along the line the government will be tabbed for a huge slug of money. The new KFC Yum Center in Louisville, a sort of house that Pitino (or at least UL basketball) built is facing financial difficulties already. Sooner or later, Louisville taxpayers will get involved but not by choice.

There’s always been a mystery as to why businesspeople and/or firms shell out their own cash for building the malls and other retail areas/businesses, as well as manufacturing facilities, while somehow the citizens are supposed to cough up the funds to prop up anything that happens downtown. The reason people aren’t attracted to downtown is quite simple: the paucity of retail space coupled with the fact that parking is either impossible or too inconvenient to abide. Feeding parking meters is also a non-starter.

Imagine an actual full-sized grocery store anywhere downtown, for instance. Managing carts up and down the garage elevators is laughable on its face. This is not the 1930s-40s, when the population of Lexington was about 75,000, a fourth of what it is now. Even then, there were neighborhood groceries as was the case in even much smaller towns. I grew up in Danville then, when this was the case…two or three sizeable groceries in the business area, along with stores like Montgomery-Ward, and small groceries throughout the town. Now, the largest groceries in Danville are far from downtown, notwithstanding a population of only about 16,000. People go where they can park their cars conveniently and not line up and traverse multi-ramps in garages.

Lexington’s movers and shakers take bus trips to other cities routinely and return with glowing accounts of “how those people are so far ahead of us.” Balderdash! Lexington does not have a riverfront like Louisville or Newport or Minneapolis or a lake-front like Chicago, where a recreational/entertainment area is possible. It’s a locked-in city, quite attractive in its own way and also accommodates venues such as the Opera House, Kentucky Theater, Singletary center, Rupp Arena (among the finest in the country and newly refurbished), and the city-renovated and operated Lyric Theater, costing a cool $6 million to refurbish and $600,000 a year to operate. With the handful of one-way streets in use now, access to these facilities is a piece of cake.

The plan seems to be to completely isolate Rupp Arena from that to which it is attached now and apparently build other buildings on what is now Vine Street. Why? The center of downtown is a huge square-block cow pasture now (okay, paddock in horse country), with no actual hope for putting anything there in the near future. If the movers and shakers feel somehow compelled to just do something, why not attempt it on that perfectly located plot…but not with taxpayer money? There’s room for every kind of frill imaginable there…for the convention-goers, of course. Egad! The economy is in the tank, the city is broke, and the dreamers contemplate costly frills.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Obama's Middle East Incredibility

What a difference three years in a presidency can make! President Obama was very vocal last year in his approval of the so-called “Arab Spring,” giving about as much aid and comfort – actually just hot air – to the insurgents as possible in places like Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. The fact that there’s been little but violence in those countries since the events of last year, along with no recognizable governments except perhaps in Yemen, is a good indicator that the spring was not all that great.

The problem is enhanced when taking into account the fact that the worst of the Islamic terrorist groups, not to mention al Qaeda cells, are propelling themselves into governmental leadership roles. For instance, it appears that the Muslim Brotherhood will wind up running Egypt when the army finally relinquishes control. Mubarak may have been a greedy tyrant (aren’t they all?) but he was a U.S. ally and formed a critical protection of Israel. Now, the entire region is in an uproar and Israel is even more constantly under the gun.

This remarks a lesson not learned by president Obama. This is from the BBC of 19 June 2009: “Mr Obama said he believed Iranian voices should be heard, although he added that he did not want to be seen to be ‘meddling.’” This was during the uprising in Iran when the Iranian government was furnishing weapons to kill American GIs in Iraq and no telling what other kinds of “help” to the Iraqi insurgents and/or al Qaeda cutthroats.

The Iranian government was killing its people in the streets or trucking off protesters to prison for no telling what tortures and beheadings. The “people” in Iran, just as the “people” in Egypt, were attempting to change the government. It was the Iranian version of the “Arab spring” although the Iranis make no claim to being Arabs. The president might have at least awarded some hot air to the Iranis but he didn’t want to “meddle.” Now, the Iranian government has promised to bring turmoil to the nth degree to the Middle East, including with nuclear weapons.

Fast forward to March 2011. For actual reasons no one has yet figured out, President Obama decided to waste Libya, bypassed Congress and by executive order declared war on that benighted nation, dragging in NATO after the worst damage had been accomplished in the first ten days. It then took seven long months and over a billion U.S. dollars to completely wreck the country and bring about the killing of probably thousands – nobody knows the actual numbers, but American/NATO missiles were falling in Libyan neighborhoods, as well documented in the media.

Fast forward to the present. In the daily media, a bedraggled State Secretary Clinton is traveling the world damning Syrian president Assad for doing what all the other tyrants routinely do (Saddam offed 400,000 citizens), kill protesters in the streets. Early last year, she was talking about Assad as a “reformer,” certainly nothing like the horrific Qaddafi, Libya’s strongman. She indicated that members of Congress who had visited Assad considered him a “reformer,” ergo, leave him alone. One remembers the famous visits of Pelosi and Kerry, for instance, who might have furnished that incredibly wrong information.

Now, there are scenes shown on TV daily of Syrians calling for help as thousands are being wasted by Assad, not surprising since his father before him killed them like dogs in the street. Some say up to 25,000 or so and the uprising that precipitated the whole mess was conducted by the…yep…Muslim Brotherhood. The president’s credibility, and Clinton’s, stand at exactly zilch. They stamp their feet and send UN Ambassador Rice to stamp hers at the UN…for what? Obama established his bona fides as commander-in-chief by devastating Libya, population 2 million less than that of New York City, so the “Arab Spring” folks believe he should devastate Syria and hand it over to who knows whom, probably the…yep…Muslim Brotherhood.

But Syria is not Libya. It has an active military strength of 295,000 boots on the ground plus an air force. Moreover, though this sounds harsh, it may be to the final good to do whatever is necessary to see that the murderous Muslim Brotherhood does not capture yet another country.

Has the president learned anything in more than three years in office about foreign affairs? His statement in 2009 alone (just months after taking office) concerning Iran actually took him out of “meddling” anywhere in the Middle East, but that’s just what he’s done, along with Clinton, who looks worn-out doing virtually nothing but roaming the world (keeps her out of Washington’s hair). Now is the time for him/her to shut up and leave the Middle Easterners to their perpetual bloodbaths. The two misguided officials are an embarrassment and should not be in public un-chaperoned.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 03, 2012

Campaign Silliness -- Nth Degree

The quadrennial circus known as a presidential election-year has taken on new meaning this cycle insofar as triviality has been served. The nation has fallen to such depths economically and morally that it seems ungovernable anyway. The republican campaigns have dissolved into catfights and mean-spiritedness, while the president has dipped to a new low of using the annual prayer breakfast for political campaigning of his own.

One looks at all of this and wonders why the most accomplished politicians – in the best sense of that term – never seem to make the scene. In 2008, the democrats put on a show among their candidates that was capped by something as creepy as appearing in some sort of debate before the homosexual community. The following appeared in this space in August 2007:

Aquarius Candidates & the Protected Class

In popular culture, the expression "Age of Aquarius" usually refers to the heyday of the hippie and New Age "movement" of the 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps this is the reason that national politics and governance are as wacky as they are today with respect to both the Democrats and the Republicans, but more especially with the democrats. The folks in the drivers' seats now are those, such as the Clintons or somebody like Congressman Kucinich, who came of age politically during that era.

Never has serious business been as trivialized as it has been lately with the "sound-bite" debates, which are anything but debates, though the Democrats seem hell-bent on being the most profound trivia-freaks. The TV-debate the other evening staged before an audience of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-genders, or perhaps just those with no clue as to what they are was instructive. It followed on the heels of a similar debate staged at Soldier Field in Chicago before union-members, where Senator Clinton offered the most sagacious utterance when she told the assemblage that she was "their girl." Their GIRL! Egad!

The debate before the HBLT [actually LBGT?] gang was moderated by Melissa Etheridge (okay just a panelist, along with two others), a high-profile lesbian, naturally, and sponsored by MSNBC, naturally, the news network that masquerades as a propaganda outlet for the Democrat Party. Instead of standing behind lecterns or sitting at desks, the candidates were seated in stuffed, easy-chairs, no doubt the better to display the laid-back, in-your-face approach of the homosexual, bisexual, transgender communities. One expected a wigged and gaudily attired transvestite to take the stage (Los Angeles instead of San Francisco, strangely) and writhe through an appropriate performance (a la "gay" parade histrionics) at any moment during the clambake.

The affair was sponsored by something called the Human Rights Campaign, self-described as "America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality." In other words, the HRC considers its constituents as a victim-class needing special protection – a sort of endangered species, like the famous snail-darter of President Carter's day. These folks are so special in the minds of the Democrat Party that a unique "debate" had to be scheduled just to assure them that the big, bad republicans would be thrown out of office and thus no longer threaten their circumstances and peace of mind. Significantly, the republican candidates have also been offered the opportunity by HRC to "debate" before this assemblage, but took a pass. Now, that would have been entertaining, indeed, since truth might have attacked the gathering and turned the thing upside-down.

Also significantly, senators Biden and Dodd, democrat president-wannabes, couldn't make the scene, leaving the "solicitous six" [including Obama] to hog the whole show. In other words, they didn't get "sucked-in" to this obvious and cynical pander. The members of the audience were interested in "domestic partner" benefits, a euphemism for cadging from all levels of government the goodies that are lawfully and legally allowed those with enough sense of commitment to form and sustain families. The recent amendments to a myriad of state constitutions establishing marriage as the act necessary to effect the appropriate benefits has placed the homosexual community on notice that the "partners," whether stay-at-home or in the workplace, are responsible for their own affairs. This shouldn't be a hardship, anyway, since taking care of families requires infinitely more of everything, including finances, than just affording "shack-up" facilities.

Former senator Edwards, from the get-go of his campaign begun in a New Orleans backyard (instead of his home-state) last December, has pledged to make homosexuals acceptable in the military, thus doing away with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy former president Clinton was stuck with in 1993, when he tried the same thing. It won't work this time, either, and Edwards knows that. The other candidates have to fall in line, whether they like it or not, but the republicans – at least as a whole – will not promise that, if for no better reason the protection of the homosexuals themselves. [Obama now thinks it’s okay for two men to marry each other. What a phony!]

Perhaps the penultimate act of lunacy was committed by prez-wannabe Gravel when he said the other day in New Hampshire that homosexuals make the best soldiers because they understand – GET THIS – real love. Gravel is the only democrat candidate who has had military service (Dodd did six years in the Army Reserve during part of which time he attended law school) and either has to be a total nutcase or at least battling at the bulwarks of insanity. He's also the guy who helped in the divulging of government secrets (Pentagon Papers) when he was in the Senate. Gravel even hinted at the relationship in the foxhole by two soldiers who "love" each other. Disgusting!

At least Hillary didn't, as she had before the unionists, claim that she was the homosexual/lesbians/bisexuals/trans-gender's GIRL, though it might have been a barn-burner performance if she had just said she was their "SIGNIFICANT OTHER," and then jumped out of her recliner and into the arms of Miss Etheridge. What theater!

So…there you have it! One longs for the day before the primaries, when the nomination was determined at the conventions and the speeches meant something. Now, the name of the game is fund-raising, performing before the cameras (misnamed debates), and shoveling manure. Disgusting!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark