Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Benghazi: The Dissembling Continues

In Opinion on October 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm

According to Secretary of Defense Panetta, the administration needed more information, otherwise we would have sent in reinforcements to help our countrymen in Benghazi.  (See NY Times for details of his explanation.)

And, if you believe that one . . .

Hmmm.  A few follow-up questions:

1.  Mr. Secretary, was it your or the President’s concern that an uprising caused by a video on YouTube would be carried out by miscreants in possession of weaponry and armaments that could or might overpower the US Army?  If so, does that cause you to reconsider the budget cuts contemplated by the sequestration that is part of standing law.

2.  Mr. Secretary, why didn’t you or anyone in the White House tell us before now that you considered sending help but decided against it?  Why does it take 7 weeks to find out what YOU did/didn’t do and why?  Who did you ask and may we question him?

3.  Mr. Secretary, why didn’t you (and/or others in positions to act) know more about what was happening on the ground?  Wasn’t Amb. Stevens there on official duty?  When DID you find out what was happening and what have you done about it since then?

4.  When a trained Navy Seal or a US ambassador calls for help, is it standard practice to assume that the situation is too dangerous to comply with the request, or was this an exceptional case?  Why?  In the future, will Navy Seals and/or ambassadors get different training or briefings on whether they should or should not expect assistance when they report that their lives are in danger?

5.  Mr. Secretary, was the President involved in the determination that we didn’t possess enough information?  Who else was involved?  What factors were considered?  Did anyone take notes?  What information did you possess that led you to believe there was too much unknown information to risk a rescue operation?

6.  The President has previously said that ‘the minute [he] knew what was happening’ he ordered that everything possible should be done to protect American lives.  When did he issue that order?  Was that order carried out, or was it ignored because of the risk associated with the lack of knowledge of the situation on the ground?  If so, when did you report to Mr. Obama that his orders had been reversed?  How did he respond when presented with that information?

Add your questions in the comment section.

Benghazi – Flushed Down the Memory Hole?

In Opinion on October 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

On September 10, 2012, the day before Ambassador Stevens died in Benghazi, the NY Times published a lengthy report on the failure of George W Bush to anticipate and prevent the attacks that occurred 11 years earlier.  Click here – NY Times

The next day, certain Americans in the White House watched as a CIA outpost in Benghazi was overrun by Islamic jihadists and four of us perished.

Today a search for “Benghazi” on the NY Times website (Here) returns a list of opinion pieces and several news pieces.  Not one of them contains any scrutiny of the sitting president’s actions.  Several of them criticize Republicans’ (Mr. Romney in particular) “politicization” of the tragedy.

Oh well.  Based on what I’ve read in the last few days on various news organizations’ websites and in comment threads, the Obama team and their hacks have concluded that this is the way to summarize the Benghazi situation:

“YouTube video started it, and GOP budget cuts made it worse. Obama knew immediately that this was terrorism, besides it’s a chickenshit, partisan issue and nothing more than another bump in the road. Hillary took the blame for it already any way, you jackass right-wing nut. Bush should have stopped 9/11/01 from happening too, because he had even more warnings about that than Obama had about this attack! And, we can’t comment until we complete the ongoing investigation to find out what Obama knew and when he knew it. No one is more interested in knowing what Obama knew than, um, himself. Are we clear for take-off to Vegas yet?”

That’s all clear.

Now, don’t let them flush it down the memory hole.  SCREAM LOUDER.

GM’s Alive. Rule of Law is Dead.

In Opinion on October 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

After last night’s spat over Mitt Romney’s OpEd (Let Detroit Go Bankrupt) I’m again doubly perturbed.  Mr. Romney did recommend ‘post-bankruptcy’ government guarantees, contrary to his opponent’s statement to the contrary.  He won the bogus ‘fact-check’ battle.

Since it’s against their nature to admit that their messiah made a mistake, Romney’s critics are saying ‘post bankruptcy’ guarantees would have arrived too late.  They thereby reveal their utter ignorance about finance – Mitt didn’t mean ‘let it happen and THEN provide guarantees’ – he meant that the government should have offered the guarantees up front as an incentive for private capital to do the bail-out.  Mitt makes a distinction without a difference. Mitt reveals his latent views that government can ‘fix’ things (ergo my ‘doubly perturbed’ state of mind).

So, Mitt was being honest about having recommended a policy proposal that was different only incidentally, not fundamentally.  In either case, the government would [wrongly] subsidize and perpetuate a failed business model.  [For brevity, I won’t address the flaw Romney should – the political, illegal recognition of the unions’ claims over those of the bondholders.] The market, millions of players making billions of decisions, and not political payola considerations, should have determined the right re-allocation of resources (plants, labor, technology, etc).

“GM is alive” and “private markets wouldn’t have done it” and other statist defenses of the GM bail-out reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of free market capitalism.  Instances where the government exercises the power to TAKE our money and risks it where we wouldn’t is the ultimate conceit of government power. The market doesn’t guarantee success or profit. It does guarantee an efficient, best possible (again, not flawless) allocation of capital that does not leave any of the losers (GM bondholders) wondering if political pull rather than merit and the rule of law are the cause of their loss. The market and rule of law are inextricably connected – severing that connection is tyrannical, unconstitutional and destructive.  The GM bail-out (both Obama’s AND Romney’s version) was an impeachable offense. It was antithetical to the Constitution and freedom.

So, regime risk – a horrible new term in our lexicon – is the darkest cloud hanging over our economy.  Though I’m not Romney’s most ardent fan, I grant that the specter of regime risk will be significantly reduced on November 7 in the event the current regime is fired.

I pray.

Who Is Giving The Orders?

In Opinion on October 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm

It appears that the BHO administration wants to engage in a debate about whether there was in Libya a spontaneous uprising or a planned terrorist act. That suggests that the guards at our embassies have orders to ask “Why are you attacking us?” when men show up with guns and start to scale the walls. And, I guess the rest of the orders go like this:

IF the attackers answer “We’re usually peace-loving, kind Muslims, but today we’re really mad about that mean video an American dude posted on YouTube, so this is a spontaneous uprising” then respond “Oh, OK, in that case you may shoot four Americans, including our Ambassador.”

IF they answer: “We are terrorists, you damned American infidel!” then defend the embassy and shoot to kill.

Is that how it works?  Is that why this man is dead?

Of course not – when attacked, “shoot to kill” should be the standing orders for those securing our embassies. They were either given different orders or were otherwise disarmed by our Commander in Chief (or someone who reports up to him) and that is an impeachable offense, end of discussion.

VP Debate – Forget Biden. Want Chains or Rope?

In Opinion on October 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

In the 2012 election, during the debate between the two candidates for VP, a reporter, Martha Raddatz, asked in a calm, level tone, “If your ticket is elected, which men shall serve others and who shall be master?”

Ok, her actual words were “If your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes and who will pay less?”  No one blinked, neither candidate flinched. There was no gasp, not even a peep in the room, after that question was posed during the VP debate.

Forget Joe Biden’s antics.  All we need to know about today’s political situation and our civilization’s downward spiral is in that question and the seemingly universal view that it is an appropriate one to ask. Both candidates dipped eagerly and instinctively into their standard rhetoric to tell us which man in their view is less free than his masters.  They knew, without pause or reflection, what portion of which men’s lives were to be sacrificed for the sake of their more deserving, needy neighbor.

Freedom is fragile, it is hated and will be attacked by politicians, meaning vile, puerile men who covet and then possess power over men. Vigilance is necessary to maintain our freedom, and we let down our guard at some point between the time one man wrote “We hold these truths” and another defiantly said, “Tear down that wall.” Now, our liberty is being crushed with our aid and consent.

The government constituted in 1789 to preserve and protect freedom and individual rights in America was not empowered to divide its citizens, not even based on their income. Yet, the men who have custody of that government ignore their duty to us and have arrogated unto themselves the power to pass one set of laws for group A and another for B. That is immoral and unjust by any rational standard that recognizes, as it must, the fundamental premise of our foundational documents – the sovereignty of the individual and his reign over his life. The rule of law is extinct, replaced by the rule of voting coalitions. Organized mobs rule your life.

If we don’t wince, shriek in fear – if we won’t revolt in protest to that power – we deserve the tyranny we get. To acquiesce to that power is the first step on the road to serfdom. To vote, to actively campaign in favor of one man or group having that power over any man, be he rich or poor, black or white, is to don the shackles ourselves, to slip the noose over our own head.

They think YOU are dumb.

In Opinion on October 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

Are you kidding me?! Is this the bottom? I think not. In the asylum, the inmates have given control over to the children.

This is how the Obama campaign thinks the voter should be treated.

And, it starts at the top.  He thinks OJ Simpson jokes are fit for Presidential campaigns.

And we’re supposed to think that elections matter? This is the level of discourse that the political class wallows in. The candidates, the people who run campaigns, staff Congressional offices, run lobbying firms, rush about the West Wing pretending to be busy saving the nation from the other side’s attempt to stop funding research of beetle dung – this is their language, this is their doodling, this is their LIFE.

Not sure Romney’s team is any better, but on the over/under bet, I’m taking over – but only betting a dime.

Bump in the Road

In Opinion on October 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

For days now, the administration has been busy telling us that the Susan Rice explanation of riots and murders in Libya (“spontaneous unrest caused by a YouTube video”) was based on early reports from intelligence community sources.  Uh, that’s either a (1) blatant lie or (2) all the evidence a sensible president would need to fire (a) ALL of the intelligence officers who reported such nonsense up the chain of command and (b) everyone up the chain of command who repeated it without any critical thinking.

I think we can conclude that it’s a lie and, as importantly, a smoke-screen.  Most of the public (especially in this case the Obama-loving media) gives great deference to ‘intelligence sources’ so as to not interfere with their dangerous work or expose them to harm by revealing their cover or techniques. The administration has made the bet that the ‘intelligence community’ will not be prone to much, if any, public scrutiny in this matter.  So the spies and agents are convenient scapegoats who will, in turn and for their own reasons, hesitate to deny any accusations of incompetence, particularly if no individual agent is the subject of the smears.  What a crock all around.

(It smells more of Hillary than Barack, but . . . she’s not on the ballot, he is.  Something specific, something other than the abject failure of his policy agenda, is being hidden by the smoke screen.)

Can anyone in the Romney camp see straight?  They’re stuck defending a supposedly ill-timed press release and Q & A session; why don’t they see the forest?