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Walmart makes ISIS flag cake, refused Confederate flag cake.

by 1389AD ( 178 Comments › )
Filed under Censorship, Free Speech, History, Iraq, Jihad, Political Correctness, Syria at June 28th, 2015 - 5:00 pm

On YouTube:

(h/t: BlueSky)

Published on Jun 26, 2015 by Chuck Netzhammer
On 06/25/15 I attempted to get an Edible image cake printed with the confederate flag image on it at Walmart. It was denied. The next day I had them do the same for the ISIS battle flag image I brought to them. They cheerfully did it. and sold me my ISIS cake. WTF Walmart! ISIS is beheading Christians, selling little girls into slavery, and is currently a terrorist org at war with the United States……..but you can’t buy the General Lee toy car at Walmart? It’s a damn shame.

Mr. Netzhammer commented further:

Sent this to Walmart’s ethics department. I’m a loyal customer who requested an edible printed cake with the image of an Confederate flag. It was refused, but I was able to to get the ISIS battle flag image printed on my cake at a different store.

I am highly offended, distraught, and in tears over the fact you pull American history off your shelves, but allow the offensive battle flag of terrorists, sex slavers, be-headers of Christians, burners of gays to be made in your store.

You also allow offensive Rap music which sings about cop killing, degrading women, drive-by murder, drug use, selling drugs, prostitution and repeatably uses the highly offensive word “nigger”.

But you can’t buy a beloved children’s toy car with an Confederate flag on the roof?

Freddy Gray Autopsy Report Deals Blow to Murder Charges

by Iron Fist ( 166 Comments › )
Filed under Crime, Democratic Party, DOJ, Progressives at June 25th, 2015 - 6:29 am

Speaking of Civil Wars (I just did a vitriolic Facebook status report about the Left’s seeming lust for a new Civil War to kill or enslave the South), we have this missive from the Baltimore Front:

Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby has withheld the autopsy report on Freddie Gray from defense counsel and the public for nearly two months. It is the report on which she relied to file murder and other charges against six police officers, even though the investigation into Mr. Gray’s death was not close to being complete. Now, just two days before Friday’s court deadline for the state to disclose the report to the defense, it has been leaked to the Baltimore Sun. The Sun’s story makes it easier to understand why Ms. Mosby wanted the autopsy kept under wraps. It raises additional disturbing questions about her case — a case in which she has already had to dismiss false-imprisonment charges, the untenable nature of which I explained when Mosby filed them. It turns out that Mr. Gray “tested positive for opiates and cannabinoid.” Moreover, he carried on wildly when initially placed in the police van. It had previously been widely reported that he was not belted into his seat, a violation of recently adopted Baltimore police policy that Mosby dubiously makes the plinth of her case. The Sun’s latest dispatch, however, indicates that Gray was making matters difficult for the police: “yelling and banging, ‘causing the van to rock,’ the autopsy noted.” The van made several stops during its 45-minute ride. At the second one, six minutes after the arrest, Gray was reportedly “still yelling and shaking the van.” Police thus removed him and placed him in leg restraints — ankle cuffs, to go along with the handcuffs that had already been applied. Gray was “then slid onto the floor of the van, belly down and head first,” according to the autopsy report, which gingerly adds that he was, at that point, “still verbally and physically active.” It’s now easier to understand why Mosby wanted the autopsy kept under wraps: It raises additional disturbing questions about her case. It was after this, the medical examiner concluded, that Gray suffered a severe spinal injury (which led to his death, a week later). At some undetermined point during the van’s journey, he was catapulted by the force of its deceleration and crashed into the interior. The injury is likened to a “shallow-water diving accident.”

An accident. Not murder. Mosby has way over-charged this poor man. He may indeed be guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but he is not a murderer, and the autopsy proves it. Mosby charged murder to placate the mob. She is sending the message that rioting works. It gets results. Therefore, when another unfortunate incident occurs you are much more likely to see more rioting. Mosby is on the side of the mob in this case. She is not on the side of the State, and she is certainly not on the side of Justice.

We Have Officially Reached Peak Leftism

by Iron Fist ( 106 Comments › )
Filed under American Exceptionalism, Democratic Party, Politics at June 24th, 2015 - 6:13 am

This is a good article, and I think you will enjoy it:

A progressive panic attack begins as the Obama era wanes. If it seems to you that the Left has, collectively, lost its damned mind as the curtain rises on the last act of the Obama administration, you are not imagining things. Barack Obama has been extraordinarily successful in his desire to — what was that phrase? — fundamentally transform the country, but the metamorphosis is nonetheless a good deal less than his congregation wanted and expected. We may have gone from being up to our knees in welfare-statism to being up to our hips in it, and from having a bushel of banana-republic corruption and incompetence to having a bushel and a peck of it, but the United States of America remains, to the Left’s dismay, plainly recognizable as herself beneath the muck.

Ergo, madness and rage. We have seen an extraordinary outburst of genuine extremism — and genuine authoritarianism — in the past several months, and it will no doubt grow more intense as we approach the constitutional dethroning of the mock messiah to whom our progressive friends literally sang hymns of praise and swore oaths of allegiance. (“I pledge to be a servant to our president” — recall all that sieg heil creepiness.) There is an unmistakable stink of desperation about this, as though the Left intuits what the Right dares not hope: that the coming few months may in fact see progressivism’s cultural high-water mark for this generation.

I hope that he is right in this estimation. I have come to the realization that the Left is truly Evil, actually Satanic in its madness. I had thought them to be well-meaning, but wrong and confused. I am the one who was wrong. They are not well-meaning in the least. I have come to realize, as like a great Epiphany, that the clearly awful results from Leftist policies are deliberate. They are not an unintended consequence. They are the GOAL. The Left want to cause the poverty and dependence. They want to cause the misery, suffering, division, and riot. These are the ends they are working towards, and that it pure Evil, distilled, as it were, 200 Proof. This was a very frightening revelation. To realize that Barack Obama wants to be worse than Adolf Hitler is something that should terrify even the strongest of souls. He isn’t quite going to accomplish his goals, but it will be a near thing. We still have almost two years of opportunity for him to make things worse than they are, and I fully expect him to try to do that.

If there is desperation, it probably is because the Left is starting to suspect that the permanent Democratic majority it keeps promising itself may yet fail to materialize. The Democrats won two resounding White House victories but can hardly win a majority in a state legislature (seven out of ten today are Republican-controlled) or a governorship (the Democrats are down to 18) to save their lives, while Republicans are holding their strongest position in Congress since the days of Herbert Hoover. The Democrats have calculated that their best bet in 2016 is Hillary Rodham Clinton, that tragic bag of appetites who couldn’t close the deal in the primary last time around. “Vote for me, I’m a lady” isn’t what they thought it was: Wendy Davis, running for governor of Texas, made all the proper ceremonial incantations and appeared in heroic postures on all the right magazine covers, but finished in the 30s on Election Day. With young people trending pro-life, that old black magic ain’t what it used to be.

For the Left, it feels like time is running out. So it isn’t sufficient that same-sex marriages be legalized; bakers and florists must be locked in prison if they decline to participate in a gay couple’s ceremony. It isn’t sufficient that those wishing to undergo sex-change surgery be permitted to go their own way; the public must pay for it, and if Bruce Jenner is still “Bruce” to you, you must be driven from polite society. It isn’t enough that the Left dominate the media and pop culture; any attempt to compete with it must be criminalized in the name of “getting big money out of politics.” Not the New York Times’s money, or Hollywood’s money, or the CEO of Goldman Sachs’s money — just the wrong sort of people’s money. Every major Democratic presidential candidate and every Democratic senator is on record supporting the repeal of the First Amendment’s free-speech protections — i.e., carving the heart out of the Bill of Rights — to clear the way for putting all public debate under political discipline.

The Democrats of today are the exact reason the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in the Constitution. I still hope that we can win this Cold Civil War at the ballot box, but if the Democrats keep pushing, if they ever look like they are going to triumph, then the time has com e to move from the ballot box to the cartridge box to defend our God-given Liberty.

The Pantheon of Hipster icons

by Husky Lover ( 186 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hipsters, Humor, Progressives at June 17th, 2015 - 7:00 am

Since its rise in the late 90’s as a result of the Tech boom, the Hipster movement has reshaped the popular culture and the politics of this nation. Like all movement, they have a pantheon of heroes who in other times would have been considered losers or evil men.

Barack-Obama Chavez cnn_nr_deray_150525a-800x430 Jay Z Johar

FILE - This Nov. 30, 2011 file photo shows television host Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in New York. The 18th edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," has just been released, the first for the electronic age and a chance to take in some of the new faces, events and catchphrases of the past 10 years. General editor Geoffrey O'Brien says he has expanded upon the trend set by his predecessor, Justin Kaplan, of incorporating popular culture into an anthology once known for classical citations. Shakespeare and the Bible still reign, but room also has been made for Steve Jobs, Madonna and Michael Moore, Justin Timberlake and Jon Stewart. (AP Photo/Brad Barket, file)

FILE – This Nov. 30, 2011 file photo shows television host Jon Stewart during a taping of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in New York. The 18th edition of “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations,” has just been released, the first for the electronic age and a chance to take in some of the new faces, events and catchphrases of the past 10 years. General editor Geoffrey O’Brien says he has expanded upon the trend set by his predecessor, Justin Kaplan, of incorporating popular culture into an anthology once known for classical citations. Shakespeare and the Bible still reign, but room also has been made for Steve Jobs, Madonna and Michael Moore, Justin Timberlake and Jon Stewart. (AP Photo/Brad Barket, file)

Liz Warren

©Lou Jones/ZUMA Press/MAXPPP - Jun 01, 1995; Somers, CT, USA; Inmates waiting for execution on Death Row. Prisoner MUMIA ABU-JAMAL formerly Wesley Cook, conviced of shooting a Police Officer in a controversial trial. December 18, 2001 Federal judge threw out the death sentence, citing problems with the jury charge and verdict form. The judge upholds the conviction.  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Lou Jones/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 1994 by Lou Jones

©Lou Jones/ZUMA Press/MAXPPP – Jun 01, 1995; Somers, CT, USA; Inmates waiting for execution on Death Row. Prisoner MUMIA ABU-JAMAL formerly Wesley Cook, conviced of shooting a Police Officer in a controversial trial. December 18, 2001 Federal judge threw out the death sentence, citing problems with the jury charge and verdict form. The judge upholds the conviction. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Lou Jones/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 1994 by Lou Jones

rachel-dolezal-2 Russell Brand Stephen-Colbert-shaves-off-his-Colbeard-in-preparation-for-Late-Show-debut Trayvon Martin

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Victor Davis Hanson warned about the Hipster movement and despite defeats in the culture and 2 Presidential losses, many on the Right do not take the Hipsters seriously. Underestimating this movement has enabled it to spread its tentacles into many facets of American society.

People who laugh at Hipsters, do so at this nation’s peril.

Update: How could I have forgotten to add a picture of one of the most beloved martyrs in the Hipster pantheon, St. Pancakes!

rachel_corrie

Update II: How could have I forgotten the ultimate Hipster icon for the ages, the original cool and hip Latin revolutionary, Che Guevara!

che-guevara_127812

Mars Attacks: The Department of Education Must Go

by Mars ( 146 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Barack Obama, Blogmocracy, Climate, Communism, Democratic Party, Education, Environmentalism, Fascism, Free Speech, Global Warming Hoax, government, Guest Post, Liberal Fascism, Marxism, Political Correctness, Progressives, Regulation, Science, Socialism, Technology at June 16th, 2015 - 7:00 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/06/09/the-government-is-helping-fund-a-minecraft-style-game-for-teaching-kids-about-the-environment/

The government is helping fund a Minecraft-style game for teaching kids about the environment

Minecraft is a cultural phenomenon. The block-based exploration and crafting game was snapped up by Microsoft for $2.5 billion last year and has helped inspire competitors from giant toy companies like Lego.

Even the government is interested in building on Minecraft’s success: The Department of Education is helping fund a project known as “Eco” that looks a lot like Minecraft, except with a few added twists: There’s a looming ecological disaster and players must band together to make a community — agreeing on laws and living in harmony with the environment.

If they fail, the world dies forever. Strange Loop Games, the company behind the game, describes it a “global survival game” and says failure results in “server-wide perma death.”

Eco is designed to help teach middle school students about environmental science and was awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the Department of Education last month. It has completed a test phase where 60 students in five classes tried it out, according to the grant contract. The prototype for that test run also received a DOE grant of around $150,000.

Here’s what the game prototype looks like in action:

The latest grant will help build out new features, including a teacher dashboard, and let researchers figure out how effective the game is by collecting data on 150 students in 10 classrooms. Half of the classes will use the normal environmental teaching plan, while the other half will supplement the curriculum with Eco — letting the developers see if the game actually helps boost students’ understanding of ecology.

Minecraft itself is already used by some educators for things like building replicas of ancient Roman apartment buildings and teaching problem-solving.

Understand, Minecraft is a phenomena amongst the younger crowd. It is a huge sprawling creative sandbox that allows the children to experiment with construction and even computer design and programming. This atrocity is something else entirely. It is also designed for programming, programming children to become Eco-nuts. It is developed using a gameplay that the kids are familiar with and enjoy, but adds in all of the Eco nonsense that you could ever hope a future generation of children would need to become good little “citizens of the world”.

Minecraft meets ecology simulation in an open-world educational game

By Charlie Hall on Jun 09, 2015 at 3:30p @Charlie_L_Hall
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Veteran studio Strange Loop Games is embarking on an ambitious project to create a new kind of open world multiplayer game where the survival of every player on the server depends on careful management of in-game resources. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Eco hopes to become a platform for teaching middle school students about ecology in a communal, cloud-based game world.

Strange Loop calls their project a “global survival game.” In Eco’s fiction there is an impending disaster looming over humanity — an event like a meteor strike, a drought or a flood. The clock is ticking, and players must work together to prevent the onrushing apocalypse or risk “server-wide perma death.”

The tools at players disposal are familiar to anyone who’s played Minecraft. Eco’s world is a lush paradise, modeled after the Pacific Northwest, filled with plants and animals. But unlike Minecraft, real ecological forces are at play in the background.

“Resources are finite,” states the game’s website. “Chop down every tree and fail to plant more? They won’t be growing back. Hunt every elk for food? They’re now extinct. Pollute a section of land with mining runoffs? Your crops are poisoned. This ecosystem is your only lifeline in a race against time.

“You’re facing two existential crises simultaneously: an external threat that you must avert, and the threat of causing your own destruction. A rock and a hard place.”

But the game doesn’t want to be preachy, it just wants to attempt to simulate the real forces at play on our planet, give players a sense of ownership and empower them with the tools the make change.

“In Eco the goal isn’t to save the environment,” said studio head John Krajewski earlier this year in the YouTube video above. “The goal is to build. The goal is to create a civilization.”

In the background the game is constantly keeping track of real complex data, which allows players to see the changes being felt by in-game populations in near real time. While players on the server will be given free choice, the entire community will also have the opportunity to vote on laws that will change how they’re allowed to interact with the environment.

“Every law in Eco needs to be backed up with scientific documentation,” said Krajewski, “that’s based on the actual data that’s coming from the game.”

The game will run on a server in the cloud, which will allow players to access the game from anywhere — including at home or in the classroom. Teachers will be given a toolset to allow them to tailor individual worlds to meet their educational needs, effectively letting them create specific scenarios and influence the game world in real time.

“The classroom time is the chance to have the council meeting. … That’s where we see the role of the teacher is very important.”

The promise of the game has even captured the interest of the U.S. Department of Education, which has given Strange Loop Games a two year, $900,000 grant to develop the game. There is also a Kickstarter expected later this year.

“Eco is possibly the first video game where your character can actually save the world,” says the website, “because the alternative is for once possible.”
http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/9/8752973/eco-minecraft-ecology-simulation-strange-loop-games

The overarching themes of “save the world” is worrying enough, it’s when you get into what the game is designed for is when things get really terrifying. They have actually set it up where you “design laws” for your enviro friendly civilization.

This is blatant programming of children, you take something kids are already enjoying, you change it around to fit an agenda and then you force feed the kids the final result in the school system. If a company tried something this blatant they would be shut down and the heads would probably be thrown in jail. Your federal government at work. Changing hearts and minds, by mandate.

With Objective Truth Rattling Off Its Final Breaths, Let Us Rejoice In the Bizarre, “One-Upsmanship,” That Will now Follow.

by Flyovercountry ( 143 Comments › )
Filed under Humor, Progressives at June 15th, 2015 - 10:46 am

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So I woke up to something that had me laughing for a good little bit this morning. Apparently, somewhere in the Liberal Mecca known as the Left, or West Coast, depending upon who your favorite cable news service happens to be, there exists a chapter of the NAACP who’s President happens to have been born with a lighter shade of pigmentation than one would expect for someone holding that position. Now, I’m not one for identity politics, and indeed I find the whole concept to be not only exasperating, but down right destructive to our national soul. I get that racism exists in American in some fashion, and I get that this is fundamentally wrong. I’ll go a step further and say that any decision or preconception based upon some shallow concept does more harm to the person clinging to that shallow compass that those at whom such idiocy is directed. With that being said, and I can not stress this point enough, it is every American’s God given right to be shallow. Allow me to repeat that. It is every American’s God given right to be shallow.

Now, let’s take this a step further. The only result of any of the social justice remedies designed to legislate away such forays into the world of politically incorrect thinking is that the economic cost of such idiocy will be reduced to zero. Ultimately, the Social Justice warriors are guilty of creating and magnifying the very problems they claim to care so much about. The lens of history has been crystal clear on this point, and we only have a few hundred real life examples of what happens when Democrats get their way in any community for decades, unchecked by those who are sane. Detroit, Saginaw, Chicago, Washington DC, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Pontiac, Cleveland, Flint, Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston, Philadelphia, Patterson, Newark, are just a few examples of once nice cities which have been turned into cesspools after decades of unchallenged rule by the political left. Such is our lot in life however my fellow Conservatives. Our ideas and economic systems will always be compared to Utopia, and theirs will draw comparisons to Hell on Earth. Never mind that Hell on Earth often looks better than Detroit, St. Louis, or Washington DC, Social Justice dictates that all must be equally miserable.

Give them enough time however, and they’ll find a way to destroy themselves, along with everything else that they touch. Now, we’ve had our share of chuckle at them moments, like Ward Churchill being outed as a fraud, living the hard life of academic non-reality, preaching to the young skulls full of mush about how his Native American Heritage was a cruel cross he had to bear, watching the white man rape and pillage his ancestral homeland, decrying every sports franchise and NCAA member university that sported a culturally insensitive mascot. Of course, he turned out to be a whiter than snow phony, with not even a slim trace of DNA that couldn’t be traced to Europe’s least culturally diverse Gene Pools. Then we had Elizabeth Warren, who also used the Affirmative Action Laws to secure herself a couple of cushy gigs suckling off of the tax payer’s teat found within the system of academia, based upon her Native American Heritage, which of course was always a complete fabrication.

But maybe we have this all wrong. Maybe there is a mental disorder out there, where whiter than snow flake white people feel as though they’re black people trapped inside of a white body. I mean, there are way too many, “lesbian bloggers,” that have turned out to be straight male college professors just pretending to know about the struggle, and were believed by the way, to not see that maybe, something is afoot here. I mean if Bruce Jenner can bravely come forward and allow the entire population of adult and adolescent humans who possess the skill of reading to witness in real time his complete and utter departure from reality, (which I’m sure has not one gosh darned thing to do with the cool half billion bones one marketing guru has declared this exercise in public mental illness to be worth,) by declaring himself to be Caitlyn trapped in the body of a former Gold Medal Winning Decathlete, then a white girl who’s name should be Whitey McWhiterson could very well be a strong black woman trapped in a whiny brat’s weakling white body.

Bruce baby, (I refuse to call him Caitlyn until he changes his name legally, and further refuse the female pronouns until he finalizes his transformation,) this is for you.

I found this gem on Twitter today.

Embedded image permalink

the possibilities here are literally limitless. This, is just the tip of the iceberg, and the only question now that we as a society have decided to start celebrating lunacy as something to which people should aspire, is how far and how quickly this thing will take off? I was born an Earthling, and I feel like a person from the planet JM27qrxpjspacemodulator trapped in an Earthling’s body. We’re just getting warmed up here. I’ve always felt like a dolphin myself. Yes, South Park already did that one.

But why stop at other ethnic groups, planets of origin, or even disparate animal species? I read a seriously written article last week in which people felt that they deserved some sort of handicap, because they just didn’t feel right with both arms and both legs. I believe that I read transcapable or transhandicapped as the politically correct name for this particular psychotic break. There may be some poor soul among us who feels that he or she should have been born as a potted plant, or a Timex Watch. I mean now that truth itself is all relative anyhow, and each of us gets to have his or her own reality, where exactly are any lines to be drawn? Dan Rather’s fake but accurate news reporting, (and I still say he deserves more than the ubiquitous ‘gate’ appended to his name,) makes perfect sense in this Serlingesque dimension. The question we need to ask ourselves, and ask sooner rather than later, is do we really want to live here?

A world where objective truth has no more meaning than anyone who demands such will now be identified as a big meanie, comes with some pretty horrific consequences attached. A place where laws are interpreted by a factious subordination of various victim classes, and applied according to the whims of those who feel emotionally aggrieved at any particular moment, is also a world where the Bill of Rights, and more to the point, natural rights granted by God and not a central government, simply will no longer exist.

Please enjoy this video clip of Rachel Dolezal, President of the Spokane NAACP and recently outed as white by her parents, describing in full detail some of the various hate crimes allegedly perpetrated against her and her children, her struggles as a black woman facing racial hatred daily, (in the liberal mecca known as Washington State by the way,) as the reporter leads her straight to the payoff, about 7 minutes and 50 seconds in.

Exit request to God: Please let me see this woman appear on a stage with Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Mia Love, Janice Rogers Brown, Clarence Thomas, et al., and discuss with them the fact that she knows, better than they, the true black experience of growing up as a person of color in the United States of America.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

“We’re all from the African continent.”

by Husky Lover ( 118 Comments › )
Filed under Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Hipsters, Humor, Multiculturalism, Progressives at June 12th, 2015 - 9:58 am

An NAACP leader named Rachel Dolezal was trying to pass herself off as Black. It turns out she’s White. Rachel when confronted about her false claims about being Black, responded by saying we are all Africans!

Controversy is swirling around one of the Inland Northwest’s most prominent civil rights activists, with family members of Rachel Dolezal saying the local leader of the NAACP has been falsely portraying herself as black for years.

Dolezal, 37, avoided answering questions directly about her race and ethnicity Thursday, saying, “I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation” before engaging in a broader discussion with the community about what she described as a “multilayered” issue.

“That question is not as easy as it seems,” she said after being contacted at Eastern Washington University, where she’s a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program. “There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.”

Later, in an apparent reference to the origins of human life in Africa, Dolezal added: “We’re all from the African continent.”

Honestly, this situation is hysterical and makes for a good laugh. People should not get worked up about Rachel Dolezal and instead have good laughs at her claims of being White. It is possible she’s an avid follower of Mr. Toot (Charles Johnson) who also thinks he’s Black.

An insiders account of Obama’s Israel hostility

by Speranza ( 183 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians at June 11th, 2015 - 8:14 am

Israel needs to realize (I think they actually do) that Obama’s frosty feelings about them have little to do with what Israel does on this or that issue but that he generally “is just not into them”. Obama is a natural Israel ajhter not that he is an anti-Semite (which I do not think he is) but he is a Third World supporting ideologue and an Islamophile. By the way I highly recommend Michael Oren’s book “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

by John Podhoretz

When it’s released June 23, the new book by bestselling historian Michael Oren is going to be the talk of Washington and Jerusalem — not to mention everywhere people take an interest in the relations between the United States and Israel, which is to say, in many if not most places on the planet.

It’s called “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” and I’m not sure that in the annals of diplomatic history there’s ever been anything quite like this astonishing account of Oren’s four years (2009-2013) as Israel’s ambassador in Washington.

[…..]

It’s not that there’s lots of breaking news in “Ally” that will startle people. Rather, it makes news on almost every page with its incredibly detailed account of the root hostility of the Obama administration toward the Jewish state.

What makes the details especially credible is that Oren is no flame-breathing Israeli right-winger but very much (and at times distressingly) an Establishment creature and one, moreover, who makes it clear he drank the Obama hope-and-change Kool-Aid in 2008. (Indeed, he now serves in Israel’s Knesset not as a member of Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud but of the new centrist Kulanu party.)

On major matters, the administration seemed to hold Israel accountable for problems it had nothing to do with.

Example: The Palestinian Authority made moves toward seeking a declaration of statehood at the United Nations in 2011, which would’ve triggered a law shutting down their US mission and suspending all aid to the PA and to UN agencies that recognized Palestine.

In response, Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides called Oren into his fancy Foggy Bottom office and screamed at him: “You don’t want the f - - - ing UN to collapse because of your f - - - ing conflict with the Palestinians, and you don’t want the f - - - ing Palestinian Authority to fall apart either.”

To which Oren replied that Israel didn’t want the United Nations to collapse, “but there are plenty of Tea Party types who would, and no shortage of Congress members who are wondering why they have to keep paying Palestinians who spit in the president’s eye.” He reports that Nides “slumped into his Louis XVth chair.”

Oren also writes about bizarrely petty offenses. In 2010, Obama left Israel off a list of countries he mentioned as having helped in the wake of the Haiti earthquake when it was the first nation in the world to dispatch relief teams and get them to the disaster sites — because the president was angry about something having to do with the peace process.

Even when the administration is acting friendly, Oren senses it is doing so not out of genuine fellow feeling but to keep Israel close — hugging it to prevent it from acting, especially when it came to Iran’s nuclear program.

Only when Israeli diplomats were at risk of being killed by rampaging Egyptians during the Arab Spring, and when Israel’s north was engulfed by forest fires, did Oren witness acts of unmitigated support from the Obamans. And note, in both cases, that they came when Israelis were powerless or ill-equipped to act on their own.

Throughout his tenure, Oren believed he was uniquely well-equipped to explain Israel to Americans and America to the Israelis. But how to explain a president who recently said that the Israel he admires is the Israel of kibbutzim and Golda Meir — a ludicrously rosy and unrealistic image of the Jewish state on par with wanting to look like Disneyland’s Main Street USA?

There was and is no good way to explain the views of the man in the White House on this matter except to use ones Oren never uses but implies throughout:

For ideological reasons, Obama doesn’t like the Israel that exists. Period.

 

Read the rest – A new inside account of Obama’s Israel ire

Rumsfeld: Democracy in Iraq was a mistake

by Husky Lover ( 7 Comments › )
Filed under George W. Bush, Iraq, Progressives, Special Report, Tranzis at June 10th, 2015 - 8:47 am

Although the Iraq War was justified as is any war against any Islamic entity is, the aftermath was just plain stupid. In a bout of Naivete the Bush administration led by Wilsonian Progressives actually believed that Iraqis wanted Democracy. As it turned out, the Shias wanted an Iranian puppet regime and the Sunnis eventually threw in with the Islamic State. Donald Rumsfeld admits trying to install democracy in Iraq was a mistake.

Washington (CNN)Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld insisted in an interview with CNN Tuesday that his recent comments about being skeptical about creating a democracy in Iraq did not contradict his previous positions about the Iraq War.

Rumsfeld also called the Times of London’s report over the weekend — which suggested his views were critical of his old boss, President George W. Bush — “ridiculous.”

“When we went in (to Iraq), my view — and I thought it was a broadly held view — was that the goal was to have Saddam Hussein not be there, and to have what replaced Saddam Hussein be a government that would not have weapons of mass destruction, that would not invade its neighbors, and that would be reasonably respectful of diverse ethnic groups — meaning the Sunni, the Shia, the Kurds,” Rumsfeld told CNN in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “And that was kind of the understanding I had and I thought everyone had.”

In a story titled “Bush was wrong on Iraq, says Rumsfeld,” Rumsfeld told The Times that “the idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words … I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories.”

[….]

Rumsfeld, who served as Bush’s defense secretary from 2001 to 2006, also told The Times that removing former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was a mistake because it destabilized the region.

Sadly many in both parties particularly the GOP think imposing Democracy should be done at all costs.

NYT: Dems Too Far Left?

by coldwarrior ( 215 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Open thread at May 27th, 2015 - 7:41 am

Its something that has been said ’round these parts for some years now:

 

Have Democrats Pulled Too Far Left?

AMONG liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.

This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right. On most major issues the Republican Party hasn’t moved very much from where it was during the Gingrich era in the mid-1990s.

To see just how far the Democratic Party has moved to the left, compare Barack Obama with Bill Clinton. In 1992, Mr. Clinton ran as a centrist New Democrat. In several respects he governed as one as well. He endorsed a sentencing policy of “three strikes and you’re out,” and he proposed adding 100,000 police officers to the streets.

In contrast, President Obama’s former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., criticized what he called “widespread incarceration” and championed the first decrease in the federal prison population in more than three decades. Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has chosen to focus on police abuses.

One of the crowning legislative achievements under Mr. Clinton was welfare reform. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, loosened welfare-to-work requirements. Mr. Obama is more liberal than Mr. Clinton was on gay rights, religious liberties, abortion rights, drug legalization and climate change. He has focused far more attention on income inequality than did Mr. Clinton, who stressed opportunity and mobility. While Mr. Clinton ended one entitlement program (Aid to Families With Dependent Children), Mr. Obama is responsible for creating the Affordable Care Act, the largest new entitlement since the Great Society. He is the first president to essentially nationalize health care.

Mr. Clinton lowered the capital-gains tax rate; Mr. Obama has proposed raising it. Mr. Clinton cut spending and produced a surplus. Under Mr. Obama, spending and the deficit reached record levels. In foreign policy, Mr. Obama has shown himself to be far more critical of traditional allies and more supine toward our adversaries than Mr. Clinton was. Mr. Obama has often acted as if American strength is a problem to which the solution is retrenchment, or even retreat.

Another bellwether: Hillary Rodham Clinton, in positioning herself for the 2016 election, is decidedly more liberal than she and her husband once were on illegal immigration, gay marriage and incarceration. She has called to “end the era of mass incarceration” and spoken about the importance of “toppling” the wealthiest 1 percent. She has remained noncommittal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the free-trade agreement that has drawn ire from the left.

The Democratic Party, then, has moved steadily to the left since the Clinton presidency. In fact, since his re-election, Mr. Obama’s inner progressive has been liberated. (An exception is the administration’s conditional approval of oil drilling off the Alaskan coast, starting this summer.) Other examples are his executive action granting temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, his claim that gay marriage is a constitutional right, and his veto of legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Democratic Party is now a pre-Bill Clinton party, the result of Mr. Obama’s own ideological predilections and the coalition he has built. Liberals will argue that the Democratic Party has benefited from this movement to the left and cite the election victories of Mr. Obama as evidence of it. The nation has become more liberal, they say, and the Democratic Party has wisely moved with it.

In some respects, like gay rights, the nation is more liberal than it was two decades ago. On the other hand, it is more conservative today than it was in the mid-1990s. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that Republicans have opened substantial leads over Democrats on dealing with terrorism, foreign policy and taxes. They’re competitive on the economy, and a good deal more competitive than in the past on traditional liberal issues like immigration and health care. Self-identified conservatives significantly outnumber self-identified liberals.

One can also plausibly argue that the Republican Party is the governing party in America. After two enormous losses by Democrats in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, Republicans control the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are currently 31 Republican governors compared with 18 for Democrats. Republicans control 68 of 98 state legislative chambers and the most state legislative seats since the 1920s. Nearly half of Americans now live in states under total Republican control. The Obama years have been politically good for Mr. Obama; they have been disastrous for his party. That is a problematic legacy for a man who envisioned himself as a Franklin Delano Roosevelt-like transformational political figure.

Those who insist that the Democratic Party’s march to the left carries no political risks might consider the fate of the British Labour Party earlier this month. Ed Miliband, its leader, ran hard to the left. The result? The Conservative Party under David Cameron won its first outright majority in Parliament since 1992. Before the election, the former Labour prime minister Tony Blair warned his party against letting the election become one in which “a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result.”

Mr. Clinton acted on a lesson Democrats learned the hard way, and moved his party more to the center on fiscal policy, welfare, crime, the culture and foreign policy. Progressive figures like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Bill de Blasio are the politicians who electrify the Democratic base.

For demographic reasons, many Democrats believe that they are riding a tide of presidential inevitability. They may want to rethink that. They are placing a very risky bet that there are virtually no limits to how far left they can go.