How Many Shoes Are Left to Drop?

Basically now we’re getting a scandal a day. When will America wake up to what is happening?

Daniel Henninger at the WSJ articulates my concern and disgust better than I can:

Cynics say presidents have always sicced the IRS on opponents. Perhaps. But those were simpler times. The IRS audit scandal and the NSA’s metadata surveillance may be apples and oranges, but for many the distinctions aren’t so obvious. We live today inside a constant torrent of big government and big data. No one should be surprised if a political backlash, however inarticulate, forms against both for inconsistent reasons.

Consider what people are asked to absorb in the news flow now—some of it political, some not. Beyond the IRS audits and NSA surveillance we have a Department of Justice penetrating press activity protected by the First Amendment, stories about Iran’s hackers accessing the control-room software of U.S. energy firms, China hacking into everything, reports last month of cyberthieves siphoning millions of dollars from ATMs, rivers of email spam that fill inboxes alongside constant warnings to protect yourself against phishing and malware by storing industrial-strength passwords on encrypted flash drives, stories in this newspaper about social-media apps that exist mainly to collect your personal data for sale to advertisers.

Books have been written about governments using Web technology to censor and control their populations. What’s good and evil, helpful and menacing, comes at us with equal force from the same technologies. “Dual-use” was formerly a phrase used mostly in the military. We’re all living in a dual-use world now.

Electronic sophisticates say it’s all good. Sun Microsystems’ former CEO Scott McNealy famously said: “You have zero privacy. Get over it.” That’s what he thinks. This is a sum-of-all-fears environment tailor-made for eventually producing a public backlash. It’s already in the water, with Sen. Rand Paul offering a Fourth Amendment Restoration Act, which he says would stop the NSA’s data-mining program. That would be the one protecting us all from homicidal Islamist bombers.

Without giving away the farm, I will admit my entire career has been IT, with many years in information security, so I understand all the ins and outs of these arguments. But there has to be a line drawn somewhere, and it shouldn’t be where Americans queue themselves up to live in a police state.

At the end of the day, Julian Assange had a point.

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

Tasty NY Karma

Alternate title: Aren’t the Internetz fun?

Take a couple days off for the holiday and what happens? Some lefty newsrag* up in New York decides to publish the names and addresses (along with a handy interactive Google map) of all the handgun owners in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties, just north of New York City. Evidently their playbook includes the rationalization that abusing the memory of dead children just to push some liberal point is completely acceptable, especially during the time frame of a hated Christian holiday. I see what you did there – double bonus points!

Hilarity ensues.

So, in an equally fair gesture, Christopher Fountain publishes the names and addresses of all the newspaper employees, including the Facebook and Twitter feeds of the editor. Which she typically and promptly closed down and/or deleted.

Now that Insty knows, the whole Internetz knows, hence the alternate title above. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. A “free press” works both ways, sport.

Initial thoughts:

    1. Hey, criminals, these people have guns, so go steal them (if you can).
    2. Hey, criminals, these people don’t have guns (at least registered ones), so they will be easy pickings.
    3. Just because information is legally available to anyone who asks the right questions, doesn’t mean it should be broadcast. By the way, how’s your sister’s herpes treatment coming along?
    4. This editor and publisher just outed themselves to millions of red-blooded Americans who could care less about their politics. They are firm believers in The Republic regardless of their status of gun ownership, don’t care what the news says, don’t even read the Internetz, but by golly, they will not tolerate your foolishness.
    5. You started it. There are no do-overs. This is not the Kobayashi Maru.

—Note to self: Circle back in a few months and track down crime statistics for these three counties.

Christopher deserves a big, digital High Five for the yeoman’s work. And the feeding frenzy he’s about to endure.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out American Thinker’s take.

Of course, the rag’s real motivation is obvious: it wants to “out” firearms owners. The thinking is, “Hey, you want to own a gun? Then we’re going to put you in the pusillanimous people’s pillory, where all things manly and traditional belong.” Hence the title of the Journal piece, “The gun owner next door,” which could be followed with “The pedophile next door” or “The terrorist next door.” Ooh, scary. I’m more worried about the journalist next door. [Emphasis mine]

—–
* The Journal News and lohud.com are owned by Gannett. Gannett has a Georgia presence, owning two television stations in the Atlanta area, WXIA and WATL, and WMAZ in Macon. Just sayin’…

All Your Emails R Belong to Us

…meaning the US government.

NSA whistleblower William Binney explains how our imperial government has been storing ALL our emails for years (so don’t freak out and delete everything now, because it’s already copied and stored and indexed, hee hee, ho ho). How do you think they had access to Gen. John Allen’s 20K emails within hours of the breaking Patraeus/Broadwell scandal?

If that doesn’t scare the ever-loving stuffin’ out of your Christmas bird, then consider this – your DVR and/or cable box is watching AND listening to you. Supposedly for targeted marketing, but can you really be sure?

It brings an entirely new meaning to “making and list and checking it twice,” doesn’t it?

Clear as Mud, and Other Thoughts on the New Reality

I suppose, like a great part of this nation, I’ve been grieving and haven’t realized it. There the usual signs and stages: lack of sleep, lack of appetite, malaise, disinterest, dull and lingering pain, anger, shock, despair.

The scriptures about ‘rejoicing in trials’ keep running through my mind…

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. “
(James 1:2)

“There is cause for rejoicing here. You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears.” (1 Peter. 1:6-7)

Along with the ones about ‘gird yourself’…

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Get that… “fearlessly?” Fearlessly, Fear–less–ly. Behavior that is the exact opposite of what the newly re-elected regime expects of the populace.

Don’t be fooled – this current Bread and Circus hides hideous facts that the White House DOES NOT want the American people to hear.

What we’re seeing with the Petraeus sexcapades is a classic magician’s misdirection. Two months past the attack on Benghazi, which resulted in the death of an American Ambassador and three others — an attack we are told the White House watched while ordering no response; an attack the mainstream media helpfully blacked-out, at first, then allowed to be spun — we are now being served The Prestige, where all of reality is being turned on its head, and the audience isn’t even sure what it’s seeing, so it simply becomes giddy, and content to be led.

If the nation is content to forget the image of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ naked body being hauled away by a crowd “taking him to the hospital where he later died”; if the nation is completely fine with a truly heinous story of government malfeasance, depraved indifference to human life, political calculation and incompetence being turned into bread and circuses for the mobs, well, then shame on the nation, for choosing to be entertained, once again, by the people who know that all the mob really wants is a show, and is quite pleased to give it to them.

In the meantime, Dear Leader is no longer constrained with the pretense of caring what his constituents want. He’s following the playbook – almost to the letter.

[…]Paula Broadwell’s father asserted “this is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out. There is a lot more that is going to come out. You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.”

That something else has to be bigger than Petraeus; common to all the mysteries of this most impenetrable of presidencies. News under the Obama administration has become coded to a degree unknown outside the annals of Soviet Russia and Mao’s China. In those regimes people talked about numbers, flowers and calendars to indirectly reference what could only be spoken of openly in whispers.

Nothing was what it seemed.

The “The Three-Anti (1951) and Five-Anti campaigns (1952)” were “ostensibly aimed to root out corruption, embezzlement, waste, though they also served to purge opposition to the new Communist government.”

The “Hundred Flowers” (1957) campaign encouraged critics to speak up — so that they could be identified by the State Security apparatus.

The “Destruction of the Four Olds” (1966) is not, as one might think, a scrappage program involving cars made by a division of General Motors but “call to burn and destroy cultural artifacts, Chinese literature, paintings, and religious symbols and temples. People in possession of these goods were punished. Intellectuals were targeted as personifications of the Four Olds, resulting in their persecution.”

The 6521 project is the most recent, occurring only in 2009. It was a “nationwide operation … to ensure ‘social stability’ by suppressing potential dissidents during anniversaries of political significance. The campaign’s name refers to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, and the 10th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong. ” And there you have it: 6521.

There were wheels within wheels; layers beneath layers; matryoshka dolls within matryoshka dolls.

These innocuous sounding Chinese names were in fact shadow plays aimed at sending a fascist message couched the most innocuous sounding terms. The sheer vagueness of the campaigns lent an edge of terror to them. Nobody knew what they were about and that imbued them with a sinister and crepuscular menace.

Democracies are creatures of the open day. The procedural mechanism of constitutional republic exists to ensure that all the cards are dealt above the table. That the lights always shine. The sign democracy is working is that everybody basically understands what is going now; when things are really about what they say they are about.

By contrast autocracies are thronged with secrets, secret passages, star-chambers and cabals. The characteristic of a conspiratorial political system is that nobody knows who’s next.

Secrets within secrets, all conveniently swept under the rug until after the election.

Wow. So if Broadwell was right — and obviously, she was in a position to know — then either (a) the Obama administration was secretly violating its own announced policy [remember, the President Obama EO in 2009 banning secret CIA prisons?? – admin], or (b) some in the CIA had gone “rogue,” and the deliberate obfuscation of what happened in Benghazi was a cover-up of this secret violation of the president’s executive order.

If so, then it bears a resemblance to the Iran-Contra scandal, and if it turns out that things went wrong in Benghazi because the folks in charge were too busy chasing poontang to do their actual jobs, then this story is a long way from being over.

Trouble is on the way. America, at least the America that wants to live as free citizens, needs to prepare. Educate yourself, especially on things you’d never thought you’d need to know. Create a safe haven/safety net, if you don’t already have one. Have a plan. Have multiple plans. Connect with other like-minded patriots. Get ready, for the future will be here before you know it.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

And So We Wait

…for the fate of the United States of America to unfold.

God Bless America! Sic Semper Tyrannis!

That Debate Thang

Last night’s debate was certainly more entertaining than all the previous ones. Plus, Stacy and Crew are having way too much fun.

While there are lots of armchair pundits weighing on what who said when and how and why it matters, Sunshine State Sarah has the most entertaining round-up, complete with visual aids. (h/t Da Tech Guy)

What did I think? In a nutshell, Perry did better (still not thrilled), Herman survived the second pile-on, Santorum and Bachmann need to just go home. Newt continues to prove he is the smartest guy in the room, electable or not. I’m curious if his polling numbers will go up. I especially liked his answer to the Latino gentleman’s question and about whether a candidate’s faith should factor into a voter’s choice.

COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, you agree with that? [Cooper had asked Santorum, “Should voters pay attention to a candidate’s religion?”]

GINGRICH: Well, I think if the question is, does faith matter? Absolutely. How can you have a country which is founded on truths which begins we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights? How can you have the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which says religion, morality and knowledge being important, education matters. That’s the order: religion, morality and knowledge.

Now, I happen to think that none of us should rush in judgment of others in the way in which they approach God. And I think that all of us up here I believe would agree. (APPLAUSE)

But I think all of us would also agree that there’s a very central part of your faith in how you approach public life. And I, frankly, would be really worried if somebody assured me that nothing in their faith would affect their judgments, because then I’d wonder, where’s your judgment — how can you have judgment if you have no faith? And how can I trust you with power if you don’t pray?

(APPLAUSE)

Who you pray to, how you pray, how you come close to God is between you and God. But the notion that you’re endowed by your creator sets a certain boundary on what we mean by America.

Yes, I know I dismissed Newt early on, but this is just so much fun to watch. He has nothing to lose so he is able to keep his cool and score some points with his well-thought out answers.

Oh, I forgot to mention Romney. I think he’s going for that Don Draper mussed look…

Frodo Succeeds, Remember?

Walter Russell Mead’s take on Jeffrey Toobin’s Clarence Thomas article in The New Yorker is just outstanding.

Here’s a few snips –

Remember, Frodo and the rest of the nasty hobbiteses save the world from evil.

In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state.

Justice Thomas is the greatest thinker on the Court, despite what the media and the loony left want you to believe.

oobin, who disagrees strongly with Thomas about most matters constitutional, political and cultural, does a good job of showing why Thomas is a formidable judicial thinker. The interpretative concept of “originalism” is sometimes confounded with a simplistic literal interpretation of the words of the Constitution. Thomas argues that to understand what the Constitution meant to the framers, one needs to do more than read the words on the page and look to see how Samuel Johnson and perhaps Noah Webster defined them in their dictionaries.

Thomas is not a fundamentalist reading the Constitution au pied de la lettre; the original intent of the founders can be established only after research and reflection. The Eighth Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” can only be understood if one understands the thought of the period, the types of punishment then widely used, and the political and cultural traditions that shaped the thinking of the founders on questions of justice and punishment. One then takes that understanding, however tentative, and applies it to the circumstances of a given case today.

It is not the only possible way to read the Constitution, but it is a very interesting one and it may be the only politically sustainable way for the Court to read it in a contentious and divided country. Without some rule of interpretation that the average person can understand and accept as legitimate, the Court gradually loses legitimacy in the public eye. The originalist interpretation, whatever objections can be made to it intellectually and historically, is politically compelling. It resonates with the American propensity for commonsense reasoning. To say that the Founders meant what they meant and that the first job of a judge is to be faithful to their intent is something that strikes many Americans as sensible, practical and fair.

Wonder why regular ol’ Americans are interested in biographies of Jefferson and Madison and Jackson? Turns out we’re not the only ones hoping for guidance.

Nevertheless, the Jacksonian populism behind the Tea Party and associated movements connects with some deep seated American preferences. The public is suspicious of clever legal theories that run counter to ‘obvious’ ideas about what the Constitution means. Just as populists like mandatory sentencing rules that reduce the discretion of judges in criminal matters, they like ways of interpreting the Constitution that reduce the ability of judges to base their decisions on anything beyond the clear meaning of the text. Andrew Jackson’s populism drew energy from his opposition to the (elite backed, constitutionally questionable) Bank of the United States and his firm stance against John Marshall and his usurping Court. Governor Perry’s attacks on Fed Chairman Bernanke are not unlike Jackson’s attacks on Nicholas Biddle; the platform being hammered out in Texas has a distinctly Jacksonian feel.

Read the whole thing. We may survive this Obamanation yet.

Quote of the Day

From the excellent exchange of letters between Roger Simon of PJM and Salim Mansur:

…I expressed my fear of how a culture of narcissism (as Christopher Lasch called it) and political correctness (as Allan Bloom laid bare in The Closing of the American Mind) have contributed to the present situation in American politics that you and I deplore. What I implied is that America’s retreat from its role as leader of the West will mean an absence of an effective check to the malady that has brought ruin to the Muslim world, and that this affliction will spread. An isolationist America and a weakened West, its Enlightenment values irreparably corroded, is ominous for everyone who loves freedom.

The first letter is here. Food for thought amongst our crumbling walls.

Erick Erickson Interviewing Herman Cain

Erick Erickson, newly minted evening talk show host on WSB Radio, editor of RedState, editor emeritus of Peach Pundit and all around great guy is interviewing Herman Cain, potential candidate for the 2012 on WSB RIGHT NOW.

[It was a great interview. Herman sounded downright Presidential.]

Please, Herman, say YES!

You can listen here. Fabulous!

UPDATE: You can listen to the podcasts -
Hour 1
Hour 2

What He Said

I love me some Don Surber. And this post makes him King for a Day.

For a decade, from the election of Bush 43 forward, the Left has lied and cheated as it tried to return to power. Al Gore made a mockery out of the American electoral system by being a spoilsport over Florida, which Bush indeed won by 537 votes. Dan Rather forged a document to try to derail Bush’s re-election. Twice Democrats stole U.S. senators from the Republicans. After voting to support the war to get by the 2002 election, many Democrats quickly soured on the war. The profane protests were cheered by liberals who misattributed “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” to Thomas Jefferson; the words belong to the late historian Howard Zinn. [cough-Commie-cough]

Once in power, liberals were the opposite of gracious.

For two years now, I have been called ignorant, racist, angry and violent by the left. The very foul-mouthed protesters of Bush dare to now label my words as “hate speech.”

Last week, the left quickly blamed the right for the national tragedy of a shooting spree by a madman who never watched Fox News, never listened to Rush Limbaugh and likely did not know who Sarah Palin is.

Fortunately, the American public rejected out of hand that idiotic notion that the right was responsible.

Rather than apologize, the left wants to change the tone of the political debate.

The left suddenly wants civil discourse.

Bite me.

Ok, so I added the Commie part. But it’s true.

Read the rest. And join the rest of us “uncivil” patriots.

Ok, Pretend I’m a German Soldier Hiding in the Brush When I Say…

Very in-ter-rest-tink.

While most of America shakes their collective head over the Democrats electing the most toxic political figure in modern American history to be their leader again, another story is beginning to emerge. A story that sounds just like something the underhanded Pelosi would pull.

From Anthony Martin, at the Conservative Examiner,

New allegations raise suspicions concerning the near-miraculous election of Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader in the 2011 Congress, which is set to take office in January, leading to the question, did Pelosi blackmail the White House to get the post?

[…] Is it lack of courage, perhaps, that led to the Democrats’ questionable move? Or is there a more sinister reason? One person suggests blackmail. And the charge is not too far-fetched.

Ulsterman reports today that White House sources have alluded to information Pelosi has on the President — information that could be so damaging to Obama that his Presidency would be sent into a tailspin. So fetermined was Pelosi to keep her position of leadership in the House that sources suggest she used that information to put pressure on the White House, which then put pressure on House Democrats to vote in favor of Pelosi for Minority Leader.

This Ulsterman had a discussion with a White House insider, who, shall we say, spilled a LOT of beans.

Insider: Ok, so if I’m being told this, being told repeatedly that Speaker pelosi has had it with the White House, has had it with the president, is gonna help send them all packin’ Away to political has-been street, and then she actually stays on as party leader, that means something happened. Something changed from what I am being told. Or somebody got it wrong – and either way, I can be -expletive- over on this whole thing. Do you realize how powerful a Speaker of the House really is? And Pelosi is about as tough a Speaker as I’ve seen. Tough-though lady. Not someone you wanna make an enemy of, right? So…if-if…if she stays on as party leader, that means she was got to. That means she made a deal. And if she was gonna help crack heads over at the White House, that means she probably made a deal with them, right? And that means this information she was supposed to help leak out there to the rest of us, to others, will probably disappear.

Ulsterman: But the Republicans will control Congress. Pelosi won’t be Speaker. Seems like that information would still get out there. Why wouldn’t it?

Insider: Because the only way the White House would agree to a deal is if they were given that information to keep for themselves or had assurances it as no longer available. They are not going to just allow Pelosi to keep holding it over them. You see, the White House was sending out strong signals that Pelosi must go. I know this. I heard it first hand from members of Congress. She is gone. So if she all of a sudden stays, and stays as leader of the party, that means the White House stopped pushing for her to be gone. And that means a deal was made. And THAT means I’m left scrambling for cover in all of this. And so is everyone who has been talking to me. The Republicans don’t take over until 2011, right? Whatever information Pelosi has on Obama – and she has it. Don’t you doubt that. She’s got it. Well, that information could easily be no more by January. Bye-bye, gone. Replaced, misplaced – never was, never will be again. That -expletive- happens all the time. I mean all the time.

If this is true, and it does sound like something these scoundrels would pull, how can we stop it from happening? Pelosi claimed she was going to drain the swamp when she was elected Speaker, instead she’s become the swamp. This is treason. They all should all go to jail.

I Would So Get One of These!

Via Paco,

Be the toast of the next neighborhood block party! Have your greenie, tree-hugging, non-leaf burning, CFL bulbing, hybrid-driving, multiple-plastic-recycling neighbor frothing at the mouth every time you drive by! Fun for all ages!

Smitty to Deploy

Chris Smith (aka Smitty) of The Other McCain is deploying to Afghanistan next month. While he promises all the fretful moms out there that he will always be out of harm’s way, we still need to pray a hedge of thorns around him until he is safely returned to us.

Ever the wordmeister, he leaves us with a QotD:

Liberty ain’t cheap, and rejecting Progressivism may resemble pain for a while. That’s not pain. That’s Socialist weakness leaving the country, and don’t let these liars sell you otherwise. Stand and deliver, the way a Progressive cannot, for, at heart, modern Progressivism is a synonym for cowardice.

God bless you, sir. You will be sorely missed. Be sure to invite me to the welcome home party.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Remember Why America is Exceptional

The rebirth of America begins today.

UPDATE: The Anchoress

We must repeat, over and over, that liberty is the means by which we created creatures are meant to live and to grow and be; that liberty lives in truth spoken forthrightly, and not in circuitous spin; that liberty thrives where people can speak without fear of injury or reprisals; that liberty is sustained only when the press is free and unencumbered; that liberty flourishes when people refuse to be intimidated into silence or acquiescence, but becomes a fragile thing, easily diminished, when we refuse to acclaim it for ourselves.

Perhaps it was easier to tap into the quietly honorable intentions of America at its founding, when oppressed people understood what the opposite of freedom was and resolved to reject it as they rejected empire, or subjugation. Succeeding American generations pursued liberty for others – agreeing always to lead, but never to rule, and ready to return to their own quite ordinary lives when their role was played out.

Today’s balloting seems poised to deliver a hard pull-back from the perceived “mandates” of only two years ago, and a stinging rebuke to public servants who began to believe they were meant to rule, rather than represent – who moved too far against our understandings of consent, and of ourselves and our sacred honor.

Nastiest Election Evah? Try Cracking a History Book.

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