Twice The Shame, McCain's Clear Cowardice
That McCain was more shaken up by the South Carolina voters in the 2000 GOP primary being upset with his ad tying Bush Jr to Clinton, instead of the "anonymous" attacks on his own adopted daughter Bridget, and then made peace with those same scumbags who slimed her, all for political gain, shows McCain does not have the character, integrity or honor to be President. The full picture comes from two articles, one about the attacks on his daughter, the other about losing the 2000 SC Republican primary.The anatomy of a smear campaign
By Richard H. Davis | March 21, 2004Every presidential campaign has its share of hard-ball political tactics, but nothing is more discomforting than a smear campaign. The deeply personal, usually anonymous allegations that make up a smear campaign are aimed at a candidate's most precious asset: his reputation. The reason this blackest of the dark arts is likely to continue is simple: It often works.The premise of any smear campaign rests on a central truth of politics: Most of us will vote for a candidate we like and respect, even if we don't agree with him on every issue. But if you can cripple a voter's basic trust in a candidate, you can probably turn his vote. The idea is to find some piece of personal information that is tawdry enough to raise doubts, repelling a candidate's natural supporters.All campaigns do extensive research into their opponent's voting record and personal life. This so-called "oppo research" involves searching databases, combing through press clips, and asking questions of people who know (and preferably dislike) your opponent. It's not hard to turn up something a candidate would rather not see on the front page of The Boston Globe.It's not necessary, however, for a smear to be true to be effective. The most effective smears are based on a kernel of truth and applied in a way that exploits a candidate's political weakness.Having run Senator John McCain's campaign for president, I can recount a textbook example of a smear made against McCain in South Carolina during the 2000 presidential primary. We had just swept into the state from New Hampshire, where we had racked up a shocking, 19-point win over the heavily favored George W. Bush. What followed was a primary campaign that would make history for its negativity.In South Carolina, Bush Republicans were facing an opponent who was popular for his straight talk and Vietnam war record. They knew that if McCain won in South Carolina, he would likely win the nomination. With few substantive differences between Bush and McCain, the campaign was bound to turn personal. The situation was ripe for a smear.It didn't take much research to turn up a seemingly innocuous fact about the McCains: John and his wife, Cindy, have an adopted daughter named Bridget. Cindy found Bridget at Mother Theresa's orphanage in Bangladesh, brought her to the United States for medical treatment, and the family ultimately adopted her. Bridget has dark skin.Anonymous opponents used "push polling" to suggest that McCain's Bangladeshi born daughter was his own, illegitimate black child. In push polling, a voter gets a call, ostensibly from a polling company, asking which candidate the voter supports. In this case, if the "pollster" determined that the person was a McCain supporter, he made statements designed to create doubt about the senator.Thus, the "pollsters" asked McCain supporters if they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child who was black. In the conservative, race-conscious South, that's not a minor charge. We had no idea who made the phone calls, who paid for them, or how many calls were made. Effective and anonymous: the perfect smear campaign.Some aspects of this smear were hardly so subtle. Bob Jones University professor Richard Hand sent an e-mail to "fellow South Carolinians" stating that McCain had "chosen to sire children without marriage." It didn't take long for mainstream media to carry the charge. CNN interviewed Hand and put him on the spot: "Professor, you say that this man had children out of wedlock. He did not have children out of wedlock." Hand replied, "Wait a minute, that's a universal negative. Can you prove that there aren't any?"Campaigns have various ways of dealing with smears. They can refute the lies, or they can ignore them and run the risk of the smear spreading. But "if you're responding, you're losing." Rebutting tawdry attacks focuses public attention on them, and prevents the campaign from talking issues.We chose to address the attacks by trying to get the media to focus on the dishonesty of the allegations and to find out who was making them. We also pledged to raise the level of debate by refusing to run any further negative ads -- a promise we kept, though it probably cost us the race. We never did find out who perpetrated these smears, but they worked: We lost South Carolina by a wide margin.The only way to stop the expected mud-slinging in 2004 is for both President Bush and Senator Kerry to publicly order their supporters not to go there. But if they do, their behavior would be the exception, not the rule.
Richard H. Davis is president of the Reform Institute and a partner in Davis Manafort, a political consulting firm. He was a fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics in 2002. He was campaign manager for John McCain in 2000 and has worked in every presidential campaign since 1980.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
October 19, 2007
The Long RunConfronting Ghosts of 2000 in South Carolina
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
CHARLESTON, S.C. — When Senator John McCain and his wife campaign in South Carolina these days, people pull them aside to apologize for what happened during the presidential primary here in 2000.With its early date, Southern location and reputation for road testing conservative credentials, the South Carolina primary is a proving ground for any Republican who longs to be president.But as Mr. McCain seeks the Republican nomination again, the state is also a painful symbol of the brutality of American politics, the place that derailed his 2000 bid and, ultimately, helped reshape him into the candidate he is today.“He would tell you he’s the same guy and they’re over it and I think on many levels they are,” said John Weaver, Mr. McCain’s former chief political strategist. “But it changes you.”A smear campaign during the primary in February 2000 here had many in South Carolina falsely believing that Mr. McCain’s wife, Cindy, was a drug addict and that the couple’s adopted daughter, Bridget, was the product of an illicit union. Mr. McCain’s patriotism, mental well-being and sexuality were also viciously called into question.In the years that followed, many around Mr. McCain said, the South Carolina ghosts were not easily exorcised for Mr. McCain or the people close to him. Just a few months ago, at the onset of this campaign, Bridget, now 16, summoned Mr. McCain’s aides and asked them to explain in detail what had happened in South Carolina and to give assurances that it would not happen again.Mrs. McCain was also unsure about another run. The ultimate decision was in her hands, she said, and she was deeply influenced by the feelings of Bridget, who only learned about the events of 2000 when she Googled herself last year.“She was a very important part of the process in deciding if we were going to run,” Mrs. McCain said. “She wanted to know the whole history of it.”On the campaign bus, Mrs. McCain spoke recently of the people from across South Carolina who had made a point of apologizing to her about the pain her family endured in 2000.As the McCains traveled throughout the state that year, they began to feel, aides said, as if they were being pelted by hail from an underground whispering campaign of unknown origin — a telephone call from a push pollster here, a nasty anonymous flier there — that they could barely keep pace with each attack.“But we’re past that,” Mrs. McCain said, catching her husband’s eye. “We’ve moved on.”Mr. McCain, in a recent interview, said that after losing the South Carolina primary he felt sorry for himself and was angry.“You know, How could this happen? Woe is me!” Mr. McCain said. “Then, after a couple of days, I thought, Look, I’m the senator from Arizona; the people of Arizona expect me to represent them in the Senate, not feel sorry for myself because of something that happened in a political campaign.”In his efforts both to fight back here in 2000 and to reconcile his loss to George W. Bush, Mr. McCain saw his reputation as a reformer and an outsider — one he had solidified in his stunning victory in the New Hampshire primary just weeks before — lacerated.The bruising episode left him rancorous toward Mr. Bush, yet schooled in what it takes to win. Mr. McCain fell into a “very dark place,” in the words of one acquaintance, re-emerging as a more pragmatic, traditional Republican who now regularly reaches out to many of Mr. Bush’s allies, speaks comfortably to religious conservatives and has all but abandoned the maverick story line of 2000.“He regrouped, and he dug real deep to figure out how to make the best of that situation,” said the acquaintance, Ed McMullen, who heads a South Carolina public policy group.Several top campaign aides cited a single moment that marked a turning point in the South Carolina campaign, and in Mr. McCain himself. In an effort to fight back, the McCain campaign had gone negative, broadcasting a television advertisement that accused Mr. Bush of twisting the truth “like Clinton,” a reference to President Bill Clinton.At a town-hall-style meeting in Spartanburg after the advertisement ran, a woman stood up, her voice shaking. She recalled how her 13-year-old son had received a phone call from a push pollster calling Mr. McCain a liar and a cheat.“‘A man got on the phone and talked about how dishonest you were,’" Mr. Weaver recalled her saying. “‘My son had admired you, and now he doesn’t know what to believe.’”Afterward, on the bus, Mr. McCain, who was shaken by how negative a turn the primary had taken, instructed his staff to pull the negative advertisements and “stop trying to defend ourselves,” Mr. Weaver said.“We tried to talk him out of this,” Mr. Weaver said. “But John was so impacted by that woman’s comments, we just did it.”Nancy Snow, a volunteer on the McCain campaign, was at that meeting, too, and remembered seeing the life drain from Mr. McCain’s face.Ms. Snow said of Mr. McCain’s expression: “He looked like he felt terrible, and terrible for that boy, because he knew he had so many young people supporting him before that. It was kind of like the air had gone out of the room.”In the process, Mr. McCain changed from an underdog Republican seemingly determined to remake his party in his own image — one that would be divorced from religiousness and without dogmatic socially conservative notions — to a candidate who now claims that he prefers a Christian in the White House.Right after his bitter loss in 2000, Mr. McCain stood before an audience in Virginia and said defiantly: “We are the party of Ronald Reagan, not Pat Robertson. We are the party of Theodore Roosevelt, not the party of special interests. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, not Bob Jones.”The latter was a reference to Bob Jones University, where Mr. Bush had kicked off his South Carolina campaign and which, at the time, did not permit interracial dating on its campus.Last year, by contrast, Mr. McCain said he would consider speaking at Bob Jones University. Further, while Mr. McCain denounced Jerry Falwell in 2000 as one of the United States’ “agents of intolerance,” he eagerly accepted Mr. Falwell’s invitation last year to be the graduation speaker at Liberty University, which Mr. Falwell founded.And Mr. McCain, who always seemed uncomfortable in 2000 making statements about his own religious beliefs, recently told a reporter he would prefer a Christian as president of the United States over someone of a different faith, saying the affiliation would be “an important part of our qualifications to lead.”As the South Carolina primary loomed in February 2000, aides to both Mr. McCain and Mr. Bush were regrouping from the outcome of the contest on Feb. 1 in New Hampshire. Mr. McCain won by an astonishing 18 points.The Bush team, stung by the New Hampshire blowout, knew that South Carolina could not be lost, and while the McCain campaign was celebrating, the Bush team was shifting into high gear.Even as Mr. McCain’s plane was aloft over the state from New Hampshire, Bush supporters had taken to the airwaves, accusing Mr. McCain of having accomplished little as a senator and suggesting he was out of step with conservative South Carolina.“I remember thinking,” said Roy Fletcher, who was Mr. McCain’s deputy campaign manager, “these people knew they were going to get their butts pounded and they already had this attack planned.”Evidently unnerved, the McCain campaign stumbled. Addressing the issue of the use of the Confederate battle flag — a subject of passionate debate in South Carolina — Mr. McCain vacillated. He called the flag “offensive” and a “symbol of racism and slavery,” but later backed off those remarks, referring to it as “a symbol of heritage,” the same language flag supporters used in explaining why it flew over the statehouse.“I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary,” Mr. McCain later conceded. “So I chose to compromise my principles.”Perhaps most significantly, though, an underground campaign was bubbling all around.People in some areas of South Carolina began to receive phone calls in which self-described pollsters would ask, “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”It was a reference to Bridget, who was adopted as a baby from an orphanage in Bangladesh and is darker skinned than the rest of the McCain family. Richard Hand, a professor at Bob Jones University, sent an e-mail message to “fellow South Carolinians” telling recipients that Mr. McCain had “chosen to sire children without marriage.”Literature began to pepper the windshields of cars at political events suggesting that Mr. McCain had committed treason while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, that he was mentally unstable after years in a P.O.W. camp, that he was the homosexual candidate and that Mrs. McCain, who had admitted to abusing prescription drugs years earlier, was an addict.“You had a sense of besiegement daily,” said Mark Salter, a longtime aide to Mr. McCain.The McCain team had trouble nailing down the origin of the dirt.“One time in Hilton Head, we chased these punks down the block who were handing them out,” said State Representative James H. Merrill, the Republican state majority leader, “and when we got to them and asked them where they got them, they said some guy in a red pickup truck said, ‘Hey do you wanna make $100?’”Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s political adviser, and the entire Bush team strongly denied involvement, though it was clear Mr. Bush was the beneficiary of the campaign. When the McCain camp did fight back, it chose Mr. Bush as the target — and a method that backfired.After promising a positive campaign, Mr. McCain’s campaign put together two negative advertisements, including the one accusing Mr. Bush of twisting the truth “like Clinton.” The advertisement offended many Republicans in the state, who considered a comparison to Mr. Clinton, then president and unpopular among Republicans here, beyond the pale.“We pulled the pedestal right from under him,” recalled Dan Schnur, a spokesman for the campaign in 2000. “That negative ad turned him into just another career politician. Once we took that halo off of him, there was no way to get it back.”Charlie Condon, a former South Carolina attorney general who supported Mr. Bush in 2000 and is now co-chairman of Mr. McCain’s South Carolina committee, said the downward spiral the contest took was not surprising.“Our primaries have a way of doing that,” Mr. Condon said. “There is a tradition of it, it is accepted behavior, and frankly it works.”He added, “There are no regrets about 2000. To this day I don’t have one. If someone did those things, shame on them. But I did see that there was a need for bringing up issues.”
Michael Cooper contributed reporting.
Labels: McCain's Cowardice
Double The Stupidity, Double The Fun
has a new racket, planning to kidnap politicians.Ex-G.I. candidate finds election battle all too real
Updated Monday, July 28th 2008, 2:44 PMRetired Army Lt. Col. Allen West thought he'd left behind the specters of Iraq when he decided to run for Congress in Florida
. But a recent interview request lead him to suspect he was a target for kidnapping.
West's combat instincts flared a few days ago when his campaign office got a call from a young woman who identified herself as a booker for the Al Jazeera network's English-language channel.
"She told my staff that she wanted to talk about the perceived uptick in violence in Afghanistan," West tells us. "I found that strange, since I haven't been in Afghanistan in eight months. There are a lot of other people better qualified to speak to that subject.
"But my b.s. flag really went up when they said they wanted my address, to pick me up at night. They said they would send a car but wouldn't tell me where it was going.
"I don't know if it was a kidnapping attempt," says West, who is challenging first-term Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in the Sunshine State. "But I am not going to entrust Al Jazeera with my life. I said, ‘Cancel the interview!'"
West believes he has every reason to be wary. In 2003, while he was serving in the Sunni Triangle, his unit was targeted for an ambush. West's controversial questioning of a suspect (he fired his pistol next to the suspect's head) helped foil the assassination plot. After facing a possible court-martial for the mock execution, West was allowed to retire with a full pension.
"We were concerned about a link to the Iraq incident," says West's press secretary, Donna Brosemer. "I spoke with the FBI, and they said we were right to have alerted them."
Molly Conroy, a spokeswoman for Al Jazeera English, called the kidnapping scenario "outlandish" and said the call was legit, though she says the network never ordered a car.
West is happy he bailed. "I was not about to be a puppet for Al Jazeera," says the candidate, whose district includes fellow conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Ann Coulter. "You know they are going to pull some tricks. I will not validate their network, which has helped torment our men and women in uniform."
"AJE makes every effort to report all sides of the story," contends Conroy, noting that past guests have included Republicans John McCain, Karen Hughes and Michael Chertoff. "It is unfortunate that the individuals making allegations against the channel have clearly never taken the opportunity to watch it."
Mayor Langford refuses to do interview with Al-Jazeera reporters
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
JOSEPH D. BRYANT
News staff writerBirmingham Mayor Larry Langford Tuesday refused to be interviewed by reporters from Middle Eastern news network Al-Jazeera English because he opposes the group's coverage of terrorist activities and its graphic display of hostages.Reporters were in town to do a story about Langford's plan for a four-day work week for city employees. The new schedule, set to begin next week, involves most of the city's 4,000 employees. That plan already received national and international attention soon after it was announced last month.Al-Jazeera English is the 24-hour English-language news channel, headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Al-Jazeera has been criticized for its news programming including coverage of American military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan and its broadcasting of taped messages from terrorist leaders including Osama bin Laden. "I refuse to give an interview because I don't know how that interview will be interpreted 10,000 miles away," Langford said. "This country comes before personal ego. This is bigger than all that. We have enough people damaging America without me joining them."Langford, who served five years in the Air Force, said he could not participate in an organization that showed little regard for American lives in its coverage.Langford's staff said the network contacted City Hall Monday telling them of plans to attend today's council meeting."They were told in advance that the mayor would not do an interview, and they came anyway, which they have the right to do," said Deborah Vance, Langford's chief of staff. "The Council Chamber is a public chamber."The mayor today did interviews with reporters from CNN and ABC News for stories on how the nation is handling $4-a-gallon gas prices. Langford had already been featured on the Fox News cable channel and "ABC World News Tonight" after announcing the new work schedule.While Langford did not talk to Al-Jazeera, Councilman William Bell did. Bell said he was asked by Council President Carole Smitherman to talk to the crew. The interview lasted a few minutes and included basic questions about energy conservation and what people are doing to save on rising fuel costs."I didn't detect any hidden political agenda," Bell said. "I just answered the questions that were given. It is what it is. We are going to a four-day work week, and the reason we did that was the cost of transportation."While the mayor disagrees with the organization's ethics, he has a responsibility to represent the city and his policy by talking to them, said George Daniels, assistant professor of journalism at the University of Alabama.In addition, Daniels said, if the mayor is serious about landing the Olympics for 2020, then he must be open to the international press."If you're talking about making the city an international city, a city that's going to attract the attention of the world, it would seem to me that you would be willing to talk to the media from around the world," he said.
Labels: Double Dose Of Stupidity
GOP Youth Having A Tough Time, Pity Party Ensues
Well Boo-Fucking-Hoo, cry me a fucking river.Young Republicans, Blue About the Prospects AheadGen-Nexters Are Feeling Left Out of the Party
By Krissah Williams Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 22, 2008; C01
David All glanced around Top of the Hill bar and saw the future of the Republican Party. It looked dim. A who's who of young conservatives had gathered, but they were few, and they were frustrated.
Here were the executive director of the Young Republicans, and the 20-something who helped steer Fred Thompson's Internet operation, and the young woman who put Mitt Romney's Web site on the map, and the 24-year-old staffer for Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future, who had brought them all together to cry in their free Blue Moon beer. The crowd was mostly white and mostly male, dressed in slacks and starched shirts. For most of them, Ronald Reagan and the good times he personified for conservatives were not even vague memories.
"When Reagan was president, I was 9 years old, doing cannonballs and watching 'Rambo,' " says All, 29, who prominently displays the requisite grip-and-grin photos of himself with President Bush in the office of his own L Street consulting firm. He recalled that first Republican presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California; it was a veritable Reagan love-fest, with each contender claiming to be more like the conservative icon than his opponents. They sounded like old fogies and intoned the icon's name at least a dozen times.
"For me, I don't even know what that means," All says. "The Republicans are sort of talking down to Gen-Nexters, not bringing them in."
"You don't hear Barack Obama going around saying, 'I'm John F. Kennedy.' He's saying, 'I'm Barack Obama,' " All says. "There's a reason for that. He's inspiring an entire generation, and it's a generation that's trying to change the world in 160 characters or less through text messages."
And John McCain? His campaign has never sent All a text message, he complains. It's the little things like that, along with poor communication on the big issues such as Iraq and the economy, that have caused the GOP brand to slip with younger Americans, even as they have grown more political.
Voters under 30 are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as Democrats, according to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
All and his friends bravely offer bromides to fight off despair:
"I think the Republican Party is staring down a very long, dark, quiet night," All says.
"It's always darkest before the dawn," says Mindy Finn, 27, who ran Romney's site.
"It's a challenging time right now, and I think there's a lot of people searching for a new identity, new leaders," says Robert Bluey, 28, a blogger who is editor in chief of the Heritage Foundation's Web site and director of its Center for Media and Public Policy. "Sometimes it will take some cleansing before it gets better."
Republicans haven't always been so disconnected. A quarter-century ago, Reagan charmed young voters and won 59 percent of their vote in 1984. In 1992, on the heels of the Reagan Revolution, voters under 30 split their allegiance about evenly between the two major parties. But every presidential cycle since then, Democrats have gained ground. This year, according to the Post-ABC poll, 44 percent of those under 30 call themselves Democrats, and only 18 percent identify as Republicans.
Both parties had a tendency to shrug off the youth and young adult vote, because as a group they have been the least reliable to turn out on Election Day. But this year, record numbers have registered to vote and shown up at the polls. In the swing state of Virginia alone, 90,000 people under age 34 recently joined the voter rolls.
"Conservatives haven't been in the right place to get the message to young voters," Austin Walne, 22, says, sipping his beer. "Young people who just got into the workforce don't care about the tax rate, but they have to fill up their gas tank and turn on the AC in their studio apartment. Energy is a big winner for us if we can communicate it well."
Walne, just one year out of the University of Tennessee, helped staff former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson's Web site and now works for a small PR firm in town. He has taken some teasing from Democratic friends, who predict this year will see a tidal wave for their party. He nudges back at them. "Congress's approval rates are [approaching] 19 percent, so nobody's thrilled," he says. "People that didn't grow up under Jimmy Carter don't remember the stagflation of the '70s or the Iran standoff. Our job is to educate them on the failed policies of the past."
Like their elders, the young Republicans have mixed feelings about their party's presidential candidate. Some worry that McCain is not conservative enough on core issues such as immigration reform and lowering taxes, on which he has departed from the party line. Others admire his lifelong service to the country and heroism while imprisoned during the Vietnam War. If McCain can convey his straight-shooting independence and show his authentic sense of humor through compelling YouTube videos and smart interaction via the blogosphere, he can pull in Gen-Next and millennial voters, says All.
The campaign intends to do just that, stepping up its presence on Facebook and MySpace and other social networking sites. McCain will continue to make the rounds of shows like "Saturday Night Live" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
"Over the next couple of months, you will see John McCain talking to young voters across this country about the major issues confronting our country. We view the youth vote as very competitive, and we will campaign aggressively," says McCain spokesman Joe Pounder. "The vision [McCain] has outlined for this country addresses such challenges as global warming, energy independence and ensuring peace for future generations. Those issues appeal to young people."
Still, many of the party's newbies are preparing for the worst. Matt Lewis, 33, is hoping a trouncing in November will force the old guard aside and give his generation a shot. He was one of the committed young conservatives who came to Washington during the Bush administration, eager to push the politics of limited government and compassionate conservatism. He worked for the Leadership Institute, which teaches youngsters about the principles of classic conservatives such as Edmund Burke and Frederic Bastiat, as well as William F. Buckley Jr. and Barry Goldwater. He now blogs full time at the conservative Web site Townhall.com.
He's happy with Bush's Supreme Court picks but disappointed by the administration's failure to curb the ballooning deficit and bloated government.
"When everything is working well there is no hunger for new ideas," Lewis says. "Maybe there is room for some new up-and-coming thinkers to get a shot now. There is a bright side to seeing the Republican Party go through travail."
And there is a depressing side, too. Tim Cameron, 24, the Gingrich staffer who sent out the mass e-mail bringing everyone to the bar to mingle, is now saying, "We don't care what the electoral map looks like." He cut his teeth on local races in South Carolina and worked on online strategy for conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), but being out of power forces a different tactic.
"I'm focused more on solutions than partisanship," Cameron says. He began working for Gingrich's nonpartisan group last month, pushing the former House leader's "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less" campaign to advocate for drilling off the coast of Florida and in other domestic oil fields. Cameron sent out a ton of e-mail promoting a "Drill Now" online petition and promoted a YouTube video of Gingrich discussing his plan. The petition now has more than 43,000 signatures. That got a few nods of approval at the Top of the Hill bar.
David All points to a page on McCain's Web site as more old-fogy branding: The candidate is extolling his regulatory policies as friendly to small business, and the accompanying photo shows an old-time Main Street barbershop in the background. The young Republican techie, who raises money online for McCain, would have used the image of a young high-tech entrepreneur instead, someone to whom teenagers could relate. Seventy percent of high school students say they want to be entrepreneurs, according to a recent Gallup poll.
"But," says All, "they're not talking about opening a barbershop."
Polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.
Labels: GOP Pity Party
Of Course More Guns=Less Violence
These gun nuts think they'd be like Dirty Harry in a sudden eruption of gunfire, while it's much more likely they'd be more like Barney Fife, fumbling about with his one bullet. It's also likely that even more innocent victims would be killed by their supposed "protectors".http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-opencarry7-2008jun07,0,849912.story
From the Los Angeles Times
Packing in public: Gun owners tired of hiding their weapons embrace 'open carry'
Those who wear their guns in full sight are part of a fledgling movement to make a firearm a common accessory.
By Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 7, 2008
PROVO, UTAH — For years, Kevin Jensen carried a pistol everywhere he went, tucked in a shoulder holster beneath his clothes.In hot weather the holster was almost unbearable. Pressed against Jensen's skin, the firearm was heavy and uncomfortable. Hiding the weapon made him feel like a criminal. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FOR THE RECORD:Gun laws: An article in Saturday's Section A about people who openly carry handguns said the practice was permissible in California only if the firearm was not loaded. In cities within the state, publicly displayed guns must not be loaded. In unincorporated areas, loaded guns can be carried openly unless a local ordinance prohibits it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Then one evening he stumbled across a site that urged gun owners to do something revolutionary: Carry your gun openly for the world to see as you go about your business.In most states there's no law against that.Jensen thought about it and decided to give it a try. A couple of days later, his gun was visible, hanging from a black holster strapped around his hip as he walked into a Costco. His heart raced as he ordered a Polish dog at the counter. No one called the police. No one stopped him.Now Jensen carries his Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants and shopping centers. He wore the gun to a Ron Paul rally. He and his wife, Clachelle, drop off their 5-year-old daughter at elementary school with pistols hanging from their hip holsters, and have never received a complaint or a wary look.Jensen said he tries not to flaunt his gun. "We don't want to show up and say, 'Hey, we're here, we're armed, get used to it,' " he said.But he and others who publicly display their guns have a common purpose.The Jensens are part of a fledgling movement to make a firearm as common an accessory as an iPod. Called "open carry" by its supporters, the movement has attracted grandparents, graduate students and lifelong gun enthusiasts like the Jensens."What we're trying to say is, 'Hey, we're normal people who carry guns,' " said Travis Deveraux, 36, of West Valley, a Salt Lake City suburb. Deveraux works for a credit card company and sometimes walks around town wearing a cowboy hat and packing a pistol in plain sight. "We want the public to understand it's not just cops who can carry guns."Police acknowledge the practice is legal, but some say it makes their lives tougher.Police Chief John Greiner recalled that last year in Ogden, Utah, a man was openly carrying a shotgun on the street. When officers pulled up to ask him about the gun, he started firing. Police killed the man.Greiner tells the story as a lesson for gun owners. "We've changed over the last 200 years from the days of the wild, wild West," Greiner said. "Most people don't openly carry. . . . If [people] truly want to open carry, they ought to expect they'll be challenged more until people become comfortable with it."Jensen and others argue that police shouldn't judge the gun, but rather the actions of the person carrying it. Jensen, 28, isn't opposed to attention, however. It's part of the reason he brought his gun out in the open."At first, [open carry] was a little novelty," he said. "Then I realized the chances of me educating someone are bigger than ever using it [the gun] in self-defense. If it's in my pants or under my shirt I'm probably not going to do anything with it."As Clachelle pushed the shopping cart holding their two young children during a recent trip to Costco, her husband admired the new holster wrapped around her waist. "I like the look of that low-rise gun belt," he said.The Jensens' pistols were snapped into holsters attached to black belts that hug their waists. Guns are a fact of life in their household. Their 5-year-old daughter, Sierra, has a child-sized .22 rifle she handles only in her parents' presence.Clachelle is the daughter of a Central California police chief and began shooting when she was about Sierra's age. She would take her parents' gun when she went out and hide it in her purse because the firearm made her feel safer."I love 'em," Clachelle said. "I wouldn't ever be without them."Kevin Jensen's first encounter with guns came when he was 11: His grandfather died and left him a 16-gauge shotgun. The gun stayed locked away but fascinated Jensen through his teen years. He convinced his older brother to take him shooting in the countryside near their home in a small town south of Salt Lake City."I immediately fell in love with it," said Jensen, a lean man with close-cropped hair and a precise gait that is a reminder of his five years in the Army Reserve. "I like things that go boom."Jensen kept as many as 10 guns in the couple's 1930s-style bungalow in Santaquin, 21 miles southwest of Provo. In January 2005, he decided to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, mainly for self-defense."I'm not going to hide in the corner of a school and mall and wait for the shooting to stop," he said.When Jensen bought a Glock and the dealer threw in an external hip holster, he began researching the idea of carrying the gun in public and came upon OpenCarry.org.Its website, run by two Virginia gun enthusiasts, claims 4,000 members nationwide. It summarizes the varying laws in each state that permit or forbid the practice. People everywhere have the right to prohibit weapons from their property, and firearms are often banned in government buildings such as courthouses.According to an analysis by Legal Community Against Violence, a gun control group in San Francisco that tracks gun laws, at least eight states largely ban the practice, including Iowa and New Jersey. Those that allow it have different restrictions: In California, people can openly carry only unloaded guns.Utah has no law prohibiting anyone from carrying a gun in public, as long as it is two steps from firing -- for example, the weapon may have a loaded clip but must be uncocked, with no bullets in the chamber. Those who obtain a concealed-weapons permit in Utah don't have that restriction. Also, youths under 18 can carry a gun openly with parental approval and a supervising adult in close proximity.Most of the time people don't notice Jensen's gun. That's not uncommon, said John Pierce, a law student and computer consultant in Virginia who is a co-founder of OpenCarry.org."People are carrying pagers, BlackBerrys, cellphones," Pierce said. "They see a black lump on your belt and their eyes slide off."Sometimes the reactions are comical. Bill White, a 24-year-old graduate student in ancient languages at the University of Colorado at Boulder, wears his Colt pistol out in the open when he goes to his local Starbucks. Earlier this month a tourist from California spotted him and snapped a photo on his cellphone."He said it would prove he was in the Wild West," White recalled.But there are times when the response is more severe. Deveraux has been stopped several times by police, most memorably in December when he was walking around his neighborhood.An officer pulled up and pointed his gun at Deveraux, warning he would shoot to kill. In the end, eight officers arrived, cuffed Deveraux and took his gun before Deveraux convinced them they had no legal reason to detain him.Deveraux saw the incident as not giving ground on his rights. "I'm proud that happened," he said.Cases like this are talked about during regular gatherings of those who favor open carry. At a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, more than 40 civilians with guns strapped to their hips took over a corner of the restaurant, eating pasta and boisterously sharing stories.Hassles with law enforcement were a badge of honor for some.Travis White, 19, who has ear and chin piercings, congratulated Brandon Trask, 21, on carrying openly for the first time that night. "Just wait until you get confronted by a cop," White said. "It'll make you feel brave."Having pistols strapped around their waists made Shel Anderson, 67, and his wife, Kaye, 63, feel more secure. Longtime recreational shooters, they began to carry their pistols openly after a spate of home-invasion robberies in their neighborhood. The firearms can serve as a warning to predators, they said."I decided I want to have as much of an advantage as I can have in this day and age," said Kaye Anderson, a retired schoolteacher.Nearby, Scott Thompson picked over the remains of a salad, his Springfield Armory XD-35 sitting snugly in his hip holster.The gangly graphics designer grew up in a home without guns and didn't think of owning one until he started dating a woman -- now his wife -- who lived in a rough neighborhood. One night last year, a youth had his head beaten in with a pipe outside her bedroom window. The next day, Thompson got a concealed-weapons permit.Thompson found out about open carry last month while reading gun sites. He's become a convert. He likes the statement it makes.Glancing around the restaurant, as armed families like the Jensens dined with men in cowboy hats and professionals like himself, Thompson smiled."I love this," he said. "I want people to be aware that crazy people are not the only ones with guns. Normal people carry them."The Jensens' daughter, Sierra, and newborn son, Tyler, began to get restless, so the couple bundled up the children and pulled the manager of the restaurant aside to thank her for hosting them.A patron appeared at Jensen's side and began to berate him. "What you guys are doing here is completely unacceptable," he said. "There are children here."Jensen said that everyone in the restaurant had a legal right to carry. The man didn't back down and the Jensens left.Days later, Jensen was still thinking about the reaction and the man's belief that guns are unsafe."People can feel that way and it doesn't bother me," he said. "If they have irrational fears, that's fine."nichola
Labels: Idiocy Unbound
Really, Voters Want MORE Republican Policies
The GOP's Socially Conservative wing refuses to acknowledge just how unpopular their policies and ideas are for the majority of voters, which will make their upcoming political woes even more devastating.
Now is NOT the time to be running as the reddest of Republicans.
bypass registration with this Bug Me Not
May 20, 2008House Conservatives to Offer Ideas for G.O.P. Message
By CARL HULSE
WASHINGTON — Conservative Republicans in the House plan to urge their colleagues to rally behind a new manifesto that mixes antispending initiatives and tighter restrictions on government benefits as the party seeks a fresh message after a string of election defeats.Leaders of the Republican Study Committee intend to use a closed-door party meeting on Tuesday to present a seven-point proposal calling for a constitutional limit on federal spending, a new simplified income tax alternative and a proposal to require recipients of food stamps or housing aid to meet work requirements.“Clearly, we have been sobered by three special election losses in a row,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the group of more than 100 Republican lawmakers. “We are sobered by the massive cash advantage that Democrats have to get their message out.”Mr. Hensarling said that getting off the political defensive would “take unity, and it is going to take unity behind a handful of messages.”The proposal from the group of conservatives is likely to be just one of the ideas circulated at the session as Republicans look for ways to right themselves heading into what is promising to be a difficult election year.The party leadership in the House has already begun to roll out its own agenda under the rubric “The Change You Deserve,” but some lawmakers have said the party needs to be more aggressive. Others are skeptical about overreacting to the elections or embracing too strong a conservative theme.A spokeswoman for Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 2 Republican in the House, said the leadership was open to constructive suggestions from lawmakers.“It’s healthy and good for our members to weigh in and put forward ideas,” said the spokeswoman, Antonia Ferrier. “That’s how we get the energy leading into November.”Several Republicans have said it is not their goal to force changes in the House leadership team. Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said Sunday that he intended to remain in his position.Some of the ideas from the conservatives have been circulating for months, including an immediate moratorium on seeking money for the pet home-state projects known as earmarks. But other Republicans have rejected that idea, arguing it is a chief responsibility of representatives to win federal aid for local initiatives.A draft of the conservative agenda calls for the endorsement of a constitutional amendment to prohibit federal spending from growing faster than the economy except in times of war or national emergency. The plan seeks support for an income tax overhaul that would provide a simplified flat tax and allow people to choose between it and the current system.The conservative proposal seeks tax credits for buying health insurance, more domestic energy production and a streamlined terrorist surveillance program. The draft also said that House Republicans should extend existing welfare work requirements to food stamps and housing assistance “so that those who are not old, young or disabled are either working in the private sector or serving in their community.”Mr. Hensarling said his group was emphasizing fiscal policy because polls and recent electoral experience showed that voters viewed Republicans as having strayed too far from the party’s tradition on spending restraint. That approach could also mesh with the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the party’s presumed nominee, who has made his opposition to excessive federal spending a central theme.“We have to get back to our core identity,” Mr. Hensarling said, adding that “there is work to be done.”
Labels: GOP Willful Ignorance
Refusing To State The Obvious
This PNAC letter doesn't use the obvious word "draft" in its text.Letter to Congress on Increasing U.S. Ground Forces
January 28, 2005Dear Senator Frist, Senator Reid, Speaker Hastert, and Representative Pelosi:The United States military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume. Those responsibilities are real and important. They are not going away. The United States will not and should not become less engaged in the world in the years to come. But our national security, global peace and stability, and the defense and promotion of freedom in the post-9/11 world require a larger military force than we have today. The administration has unfortunately resisted increasing our ground forces to the size needed to meet today's (and tomorrow's) missions and challenges.So we write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps. While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.There is abundant evidence that the demands of the ongoing missions in the greater Middle East, along with our continuing defense and alliance commitments elsewhere in the world, are close to exhausting current U.S. ground forces. For example, just late last month, Lieutenant General James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, reported that "overuse" in Iraq and Afghanistan could be leading to a "broken force." Yet after almost two years in Iraq and almost three years in Afghanistan, it should be evident that our engagement in the greater Middle East is truly, in Condoleezza Rice's term, a "generational commitment." The only way to fulfill the military aspect of this commitment is by increasing the size of the force available to our civilian leadership.The administration has been reluctant to adapt to this new reality. We understand the dangers of continued federal deficits, and the fiscal difficulty of increasing the number of troops. But the defense of the United States is the first priority of the government. This nation can afford a robust defense posture along with a strong fiscal posture. And we can afford both the necessary number of ground troops and what is needed for transformation of the military.In sum: We can afford the military we need. As a nation, we are spending a smaller percentage of our GDP on the military than at any time during the Cold War. We do not propose returning to a Cold War-size or shape force structure. We do insist that we act responsibly to create the military we need to fight the war on terror and fulfill our other responsibilities around the world.The men and women of our military have performed magnificently over the last few years. We are more proud of them than we can say. But many of them would be the first to say that the armed forces are too small. And we would say that surely we should be doing more to honor the contract between America and those who serve her in war. Reserves were meant to be reserves, not regulars. Our regulars and reserves are not only proving themselves as warriors, but as humanitarians and builders of emerging democracies. Our armed forces, active and reserve, are once again proving their value to the nation. We can honor their sacrifices by giving them the manpower and the materiel they need.Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution places the power and the duty to raise and support the military forces of the United States in the hands of the Congress. That is why we, the undersigned, a bipartisan group with diverse policy views, have come together to call upon you to act. You will be serving your country well if you insist on providing the military manpower we need to meet America's obligations, and to help ensure success in carrying out our foreign policy objectives in a dangerous, but also hopeful, world.Respectfully
Peter Beinart Jeffrey Bergner Daniel Blumenthal
Max Boot Eliot Cohen Ivo H. Daalder
Thomas Donnelly Michele Flournoy Frank F. Gaffney, Jr.
Reuel Marc Gerecht Lt. Gen. Buster C. Glosson (USAF, retired)
Bruce P. Jackson Frederick Kagan Robert Kagan
Craig Kennedy Paul Kennedy Col. Robert Killebrew (USA, retired)
William Kristol Will Marshall Clifford May
Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey (USA, retired) Daniel McKivergan
Joshua Muravchik Steven J. Nider Michael O'Hanlon
Mackubin Thomas Owens Ralph Peters Danielle Pletka
Stephen P. Rosen Major Gen. Robert H. Scales (USA, retired)
Randy Scheunemann Gary Schmitt
Walter Slocombe James B. Steinberg R. James Woolsey
Labels: Wingnut Neocons
People This Stupid Should Be Heeded Just WHY Again?
Some articles are too important to not showcase every word of, in this case, the pure willful ignorance/unbelievable paternalism shown by O'Hanlon & Taspinar needs to be harshly mocked and shredded by as many of the public as possible, like the "bad taste in the mouth" that people show when the name Joe McCarthy is brought upTime for Kurdish Realism
By Michael O'Hanlon and Omer Taspinar
Saturday, February 9, 2008; A15Increasingly, Iraq's Kurds appear to be interfering with efforts to foster political accommodation among their country's major sectarian groups. Since Iraq's future hinges on establishing such a spirit of compromise, this trend has potentially grave implications for Iraq, its neighbors and the United States.Two key issues stand out. First, Kurds are beginning to develop oil fields on their territory with foreign investors but with no role for Baghdad, claiming cover under Iraq's 2005 constitution. But the relevant sections of the Iraqi constitution (articles 109 through 112, among others) state that future oil wells will be developed by Iraq's provinces and regions in conjunction with the central government.Second, Kurds want to reclaim the city of Kirkuk and its surrounding oil fields, which may hold about 15 percent of Iraq's total reserves. Kurds claim, with considerable justification, that many properties in the city were taken from them under Saddam Hussein's "Arabization" programs. Kurds want the homes back. More broadly, they want to control the politics of Kirkuk and environs, up to and including the possibility of Kirkuk and its oil joining the region of Iraqi Kurdistan (which many Kurds hope will ultimately become independent). Because of these ambitions, it has been difficult to hold a referendum on Kirkuk's future; a referendum was supposed to have taken place by the end of 2007.The Kurds are making a major mistake. They should rethink their approach both out of fairness to the United States, which has given them a chance to help build a post-Hussein Iraq, and in the interests of the Kurds and their neighbors. Baghdad needs a role in developing future oil fields and sharing revenue; Kirkuk needs to remain where it is in Iraq's political system, or perhaps attain a special status. It should not be muscled away into Kurdistan.It is hard to be sure, but the Kurds seem to believe that if Iraq fails, they will be okay. Under this theory, even if the country splits apart, the United States will stand by its Kurdish friends, establish military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan, and ultimately ease the way toward its independence. Several prominent Americans give occasional endorsement to this dream, further convincing Kurds that it could become reality.We strongly doubt it. Kurdistan is an inland, mountainous region within the broader Middle East. Its neighbors are Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Two of the four are nemeses of the United States; all have their issues with Iraq's Kurds; none will be eager to tolerate the kind of American military overflights that would be needed to sustain bases in Kurdistan if Iraq was breaking apart. Nor would they necessarily let Iraq's Kurds export oil through their territories and ports.Why would the United States even want bases in Kurdistan? If it ever goes to war against Iran, numerous other countries are better positioned, being adjacent to international waterways and airspace. Those countries may not all be as pro-American as Iraq's Kurds, but if the threat posed by Iran grows, some will probably make common cause with the United States.To be sure, many Americans admire the democratic, prosperous, resilient Kurds. Americans also feel a moral debt after allowing Hussein to oppress the Kurds so many times in the past. But after protecting the Kurds since 1991 and spending hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives in Iraq over the past five years, that moral debt has been partially repaid. If the Kurds will not now help the United States in stabilizing Iraq, is there really a sense of common purpose, and a set of shared interests, between the two peoples?Instead of pursuing a maximalist agenda in Kirkuk and a dream of independence, the Kurds should opt for realism. This means recognizing that if Iraq falls apart, they will be on their own. It also means recognizing that Turkey, with its 15 million Kurds, is very nervous about Kurdish independence. Yet the Kurds of Iraq should also know that a Turkish-Kurdish war is not destiny. In fact, with visionary leadership in Ankara and Irbil, Turkish-Kurdish economic, political and military cooperation -- starting with joint operations against the terrorist Kurdish group, the PKK -- could lead to genuine friendship. After all, Turkey is the most democratic, secular and pro-Western of Iraq's neighbors, attributes that Iraqi Kurdistan shares.Iraq's Kurds have a remarkable future almost within their grasp. But they face a crucial choice: They can attain that future by compromising with their fellow Iraqis, forming a partnership with Turkey and strengthening their bond with the United States. Or they can continue to pursue their own agenda in a way that ultimately shatters their country and destabilizes the broader region.
Michael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Omer Taspinar is a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings and a professor at the National War College. The views expressed here are their own.
Labels: Stupidity Unleashed
Forget "What If?", The John Podhoretz Wish List
TOO NICE TO WIN? ISRAEL'S DILEMMA
07.25.2006 | New York Post
JOHN PODHORETZJuly 25, 2006 -- WHAT if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?What if the universalist idea of liberal democracy - the idea that all people are created equal - has sunk in so deeply that we no longer assign special value to the lives and interests of our own people as opposed to those in other countries?What if this triumph of universalism is demonstrated by the Left's insistence that American and Israeli military actions marked by an extraordinary concern for preventing civilian casualties are in fact unacceptably brutal? And is also apparent in the Right's claim that a war against a country has nothing to do with the people but only with that country's leaders?Can any war be won when this is the nature of the discussion in the countries fighting the war? Can any war be won when one of the combatants voluntarily limits itself in this manner?Could World War II have been won by Britain and the United States if the two countries did not have it in them to firebomb Dresden and nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki?Didn't the willingness of their leaders to inflict mass casualties on civilians indicate a cold-eyed singleness of purpose that helped break the will and the back of their enemies? Didn't that singleness of purpose extend down to the populations in those countries in those days, who would have and did support almost any action at any time that would lead to the deaths of Germans and Japanese?What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything? Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of the sectarian violence now?If you can't imagine George W. Bush issuing such an order, is there any American leader you could imagine doing so?And if America can't do it, can Israel? Could Israel - even hardy, strong, universally conscripted Israel - possibly stomach the bloodshed that would accompany the total destruction of Hezbollah?If Lebanon's 300-plus civilian casualties are already rocking the world, what if it would take 10,000 civilian casualties to finish off Hezbollah? Could Israel inflict that kind of damage on Lebanon - not because of world opinion, but because of its own modern sensibilities and its understanding of the value of every human life?Where do these questions lead us?What if Israel's caution about casualties among its own soldiers and Lebanese civilians has demonstrated to Hezbollah and Hamas that as long as they can duck and cover when the missiles fly and the bombs fall, they can survive and possibly even thrive?What if Israel has every capability of achieving its aim, but cannot unleash itself against a foe more dangerous, more unscrupulous, more unprincipled and more barbaric than even the monstrous leaders of the Intifada it managed to quell after years of suicide attacks?And as for the United States, what if we have every tool at our disposal to win a war - every weapons system we could want manned by the most superbly trained military in history - except the ability to match or exceed our antagonists in ruthlessness?Is this the horrifying paradox of 21st century warfare? If Israel and the United States cannot be defeated militarily in any conventional sense, have our foes discovered a new way to win? Are they seeking victory through demoralization alone - by daring us to match them in barbarity and knowing we will fail?Are we becoming unwitting participants in their victory and our defeat? Can it be that the moral greatness of our civilization - its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all - is endangering the future of our civilization as well?
jpodhoretz [at] gmail.com
Labels: Bloodthirsty Lunatic Neocons
Atkinson's Sick Take On "A Declining Society", Pt III
Pt 1 is HERE
, Part II is HERE
-the same link works for Atkinson's name. Definitely hit the link for this Atkinson effort showcased here, at this time, it takes the reader to more of Atkinson's pearls of wisdomHow Can A Declining Civilization Be Saved?
by Philip AtkinsonMental Decay Has Already OccurredIf you were to observe your aging mother attempt to boil water by placing an electric kettle on a gas cooker, you would immediately know that she was losing her mind. And that it would be futile to try and remedy her mistake by instruction or demonstration. The act would be unmistakable evidence of mental decay for which there is no possible treatment (the loss of memory means loss of brain tissue), and her condition would only get worse. And what is true for the individual is also true for the community. The behaviour that reveals social decline is undeniable evidence that the communal mind has already decayed.Decline Is Communal SenilitySocial decline is the impact of a growing deterioration in the understanding of the community; the community is losing its mind along with its strength and becoming senile:1. Growing Communal Dementia is because of increasing public confusion as a result of the widespread abandonment of the community's founding morality along with its associated beliefs, which are the wisdom of society.2. Faltering Communal Strength is a direct result of the growth of selfishness among its citizens, for a community's strength is built upon its members' willingness to make private sacrifice for the common good.Impossibility of repairA senile community is like a senile person, though the mind is rotten the body may appear intact, still have strength and vitality, and so lend itself to the notion of being able to be cured. But the simple truth is the understanding that occupied the body is now dead. Nothing can bring it back. It is possible in theory for a diseased brain to be repaired by replacement of some or all of that organ, but this would not return the lost memory or lost personality and would create a new understanding; a treatment that could only be done by another intact understanding. Though such an option may be open to a senile person among friends and relatives, it is unavailable to a senile community.Wisdom and strength permanently lostThe impact of senility, increasing mental confusion and decreasing strength, which must become fatal to the community, are impossible to repair:1. Wisdom cannot be restored because it has to be founded upon a morality, which no longer exists. And inspiring a people with a morality can only be the accidental work of events because it must precede understanding. This means that just as a man cannot choose his morality nor can a community, so once lost a morality can never be regained.2. Strength cannot be restored because it needs a pool of unselfish citizens who no longer exist, and it is impossible to change the existing selfish into unselfish people.Nothing Left To SaveWhen the symptoms of social decline appear the people who gave the civilization energy, intelligence and made it an asset to humanity, no longer exist in any numbers. Their place has been taken by a race of foolish cowards, who can only dissipate the accumulated wealth and wisdom they have inherited. Though the true character of these new citizens will initially be disguised by the restraints imposed by their inheritance of customs, manners and beliefs, these will be rapidly discarded by the impatience of subsequent generations.Can Only Promote Lies And InjusticeTo attempt to assist such a community is to aid and abet people who hate truth and justice. Those citizens, who feel their duty impels them to try, are taking grave risks for no purpose. Their individual efforts cannot make up for the shortcomings of their society, but they will be punished for their attempts, and this is demonstrated in no uncertain manner by contemporary and historical examples.By 2000 Most Citizens Of Western Civilization Are FoolsOur civilization has been declining since the late Eighteenth century (see "A Study Of History" by Professor Arnold Toynbee), which means that since then the majority of citizens of western civilization have been selfish — for selfishness is the influence that rejects moral restraint, along with its associated beliefs. In place of the guide of tradition the selfish rely upon feelings to recognise right from wrong and fact from fancy. Now, after more than two centuries of discarding and reversing traditions, most citizens are fools who can neither tell right from wrong nor fact from fancy.Only Changes For the Worse AcceptedNaturally it is possible to persuade contemporary citizens to accept change, but all such change must appeal to an understanding guided by feelings not reason. So regardless of any claim the public may make to the contrary, they will be unable to resist the compulsions of their instincts; the terrors of the fearful are beyond appeals to reason, which is why the threat of Global Warming is so popular and withstands all attempts at debunking. Any citizen who persists in denying that Global Warming is a real threat is either ignored or persecuted. So any attempt to curtail the unnecessary costs and limitations imposed in the name of Global Warming will be resisted, whereas further increases to such costs, or extension of restrictions, will be accepted as a required imposition to save the world.In the same way, those parents who indulge their offspring, and so create odious citizens, are also impossible to change, except for the worse. Anyone who dares point out to a modern guardian the inadequacies of their child raising technique, or that their progeny are spoilt brats, risks unpleasant repercussions for no good reason. The proud parent will remain an adoring parent regardless of any argument advanced to the contrary. Modern parents will reject any imposition of discipline upon their favourites that could improve their child's character, but will accept any and every move that panders to their charges, even though it further weakens their offspring's character.Nowhere is the urge to self-destruction more obvious than in the way the general public respond to unemployment. Despite the fact that our community is being slowly impoverished by unemployment enforced by an irresistible tide of automation, the public resist any attempt to alleviate the problem. Politicians still find it increases their popularity by increasing the restrictions on paying the dole, even though this must make everything worse for everybody. Whereas the notion of paying the dole to every citizen without a wage is treated as an anathema, despite the fact that this could only benefit everyone. The unemployed do not eat money but hand it on to others by spending it. An act that is repeated throughout the community so supplying extra money to everyone. This simple effect is ignored because of the feelings of the community towards the unemployed. Regardless of the truth, the community will only accept changes that punish the unemployed even though this makes everybody poorer and further accelerates the plunge into communal poverty.This means that the decaying understanding that is impoverishing and deluding our community is beyond the ability of its citizens to repair, for they will insist upon making things worse.
Labels: Wingnut Neocons
Gushing W -Lackey Supreme Philip Atkinson In His Own Words Part II
Pt 1 Of Atkinson's repellent mindset is HERE
, this is much more entertaining as a result of Atkinson's complete clueless, self-defeating nature, posting it here in case he decides to yank this autobiographical profilePhilip Atkinson
Author of A Study Of Our Decline
Send a comment
or E-mail email@example.comPhilip Atkinson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, on the 7th June 1947, the result of a wartime marriage between a state registered nurse and a Captain in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps. His father had been educated at Cambridge University before working for some years for the foreign office in Africa; he was an ardent supporter of George Orwell and a socialist, so after being demobbed and winning the position as lecturer in History at Kings College, Newcastle, he decided to plant his family among the proletariat, the heroes of Nineteen Eighty-Four. This meant his middle-class wife and three children lived for the next fourteen years on a new council estate in the company of resettled slum dwellers. And this action, inspired by inverted snobbery, had a lasting impact upon his spouse and offspring, especially his middle-child.Like all children I wanted to be accepted by my peers and be part of the gang of small boys who lived in the street. They were my heroes, I hung on every word they said, and I did everything I could to win their approval. Their contemptuous treatment of me I accepted as only natural because I was the youngest and weakest. They were tough and clever while I was puny and inexperienced. But one day this all changed. To my delight, a boy who was smaller and younger than me, moved into the street, and I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I could demonstrate my superiority to the newcomer. And when the gang resolved to have a boxing competition, I felt that this was my chance. Previously I would have been omitted from such a competition as being too weak to match in a fight, but now there was a possible partner, and as the gang split up into matched pairs I was pitted against the new boy. And when it was our turn to box, I gently, but firmly, displayed my clear superiority. Alas, when the judges, the oldest boys, declared the result, it was not me, but the new boy, who was deemed the winner. I was stunned.For some time afterwards I struggled to understand this decision. I knew that I had won the fight, but this was not enough; it was not my stature nor strength but some innate personal quality that condemned me. It was clear that regardless of what I did, I would never win the respect of my peers, so I stopped trying. But I also knew the judges had lied, so to understand their motive I started to look closely at my erstwhile heroes and began to see their undeniable flaws. They were not rational; they had rejected me out of prejudice. While they were all larger than me, I found they only presented a threat as a group. Alone, they not only left me in peace, but seemed a little nervous at my presence. And in games that required strategy, I found it was easy to best them. My esteem for my peers became replaced by contempt, and planted the seed of suspicion in my mind that my whole community was of the same calibre —foolish cowards. A notion that experience rarely confounded but often confirmed, so insensibly I became a social exile.This was just as well, for in a declining community any citizen who retains respect for the truth must become alienated from the majority of his fellow citizens because they hate the truth. Inevitably I could only ever be a social outcast, but being freed from the need to win social approval also meant being freed from social prejudices, and being able to see my community more clearly; a detachment that is essential for any student of society.As an adult it is easy to understand why the other boys in the street hated me, I was from a different class. My father was an honest, educated man, who didn't smoke or drink, and would never dream of striking his wife, but he was surrounded by drunks, thieves and wife-beaters. Our family enjoyed money, comfort and stability, unlike many of those around us. Not only were we the only family in the street to have a car, but also we were the only family in the whole suburb to have tea on the lawn. Everything about us was different, and we were naturally resented. While the neighbouring adults never confronted my father, their children were delighted to bully his children. My siblings and myself became social half-castes, accepted by no class and despised by all. The result in my case was an initial bitter resentment of my community, along with the traditional notions that I should pursue a university education then a career; so I dropped out of school to take a job as a bus conductor. And to escape this dead-end job, I emigrated, arriving in Australia in 1969, aged 22, with a pregnant wife, two small children, 30 pounds sterling, no job and no qualifications other than an incomplete public school education.With determination, skill and a little luck I forged a career in computers before being forced into retirement in 1991; a fate that brought as much relief as anxiety. No more salary, little chance of ever getting a job, but no longer having to pretend that the community and its administration were sane. And I was fortunate that my second wife, an Australian by birth, was happy to work so her husband did not, and for the first time in my life I was blessed with leisure. Not only did I not have to toil, but also I did not have to worry about paying the bills, which is another essential qualification for any student of the community.Of course I could have restarted the education that I abandoned in my teens, but by then the true nature of universities had become obvious; they were no longer centres of learning pursuing truth but centres of profit pursuing customers. Inevitably striving for popularity with youth has made universities bastions of Political Correctness, and full of the kind of people who wanted to burn Galileo for daring to question that the sun circled the earth. So I spent my enforced idleness applying the skills acquired as a system's analyst to discover why my society is disintegrating into delusion and impotence. An effort resulting in a simple theory which outlines the process of communal rise then decline, an explanation that seems to have eluded mankind despite the regular and inevitable cycle that has always been present.In January 2000 I became an Internet publisher, placing a variety of books 'online' at my own expense, in an attempt to preserve some of the vanishing wisdom of humanity.Early in 2004 I realized that not only did my theory clarify the subject of civilization, but it also clarified that of Philosophy, so ever since then I have considered myself a philosopher.
Labels: Wingnut Neocons