Tag Archives: United States

Opening the Obama Empire?

This is my first post in about 2 months, that is quite a long time and I apologize to my readers. Following the election and it’s aftermath, I was so burned out from blogging that I needed some time away to clear my head, purge myself of politics, and enjoy college football (way to go UTES!). I decided that I would get back to blogging on inauguration day and focus much of my writing on following Barack’s Presidency.

There are three striking observations that I have regarding the period of transition between President Bush and President Obama. The first observation is the cult-like fawning and love our media and many of our people have for Obama. I recognize that this is an historic election. I too am excited about our first black President and I am proud of our country. But the fawning is getting out of hand. I went down to DC a few weeks ago, bought a Metro ticket and the ticket had a picture of Obama printed on it. Are you kidding me?

People through the country are gushing, crying, and nearly worshiping Barack. It is getting out of hand. If I didn’t know better I would think that we are ushering the next emperor of the Roman Empire or the successer to Kim Jong Il in North Korea (have you seen the god-like environment he has created there? Crazy.) I don’t blame any of this on Barack Obama himself. I don’t think he has encouraged it, but it does appear that it may be getting to his head. It will be interesting to see.

The second observation is the extremely smooth transition provided by President Bush for the incoming Obama administration. I think it says a lot about the character of President Bush for the way he has handled the transition. It has arguably been the smoothest, most productive, and most efficient transition in our history, especially considering it is a transfer of party as well. I think President Bush really respects the office he holds and believes it should be held above partisanship. Regardless of what you may think of Bush, you have to admit that he has handled the transition well.

Finally, I have noticed with great interest that Barack Obama sure has been talking like a moderate-conservative. I am pretty well fine with his cabinet appointments. I am absolutely thrilled that he is leaving Secretary Gates at DoD, for example. Really I question only two appointments (that I have noticed) thus far, Tom Daschle at Health and Human Services and Leon Panetta at CIA. What? Leon Panetta will be serving as DCI? A man with zero intelligence experience? I am more qualified for that post than he is. Well, ok, I have more intel experience, but he has me on presidential employment, management, leadership, and all around good looks.

Anyway, Barack has undoubtedly moved to the right with his pre-inauguration actions and it is making the lefties who supported him very nervous. But I think the realities that face the President of the United States force any president to govern pragmatically and realistically rather than ideologically; at least in terms of major issues like security and economy. The most partisan impact a President has comes with lower-level issues like social issues and, sadly, education. Even President Bush (contrary to the mistaken beliefs of his haters) governed as a moderate. He was never a extreme right winger, an extreme right winger would never spend like Bush did for example.

All in all, Obama is off to a pretty good pre-start. It will be an interesting ride beginning today with his inauguration. Congratulations President Obama.

Mitt 2012!

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Providing Stability in the Congo

In the past few months tensions have flared again in the Western region of Congo. A lawless place with little to no government control, this region has often been called the “wild west”. Congo has consistently had problems with rebels in its western territories, especially since the Rwanda genocide in 1996. A few years ago, the region calmed down with the aid of the UN, AU peace keepers, and a cease fire with the rebels, but those tensions have flared again as the rebels have soundly defeated the Congo army.

Most significant is the tacit support that the rebels are reportedly receiving from Rwanda. Many speculate that the continued support is a continuing revenge response by the Tutsi’s against Hutu’s living in Congo.

While nothing that occurs in Africa surprises me anymore, I doesn’t make sense to me why the Rwandan government would stir the hornets nest of violence and rebellion right outside of their border. Their President, Paul Kagame, is a bright man, forward looking, and has done a lot of good restoring Rwanda and making it one of the brightest locales of freedom and relative economic prosperity in Africa. Mr. Kagame has been lauded by Western governments and has the full support of the United States and European Union.

I suspect that if this rebellion is being funded out of Rwanda, that the support is not coming from the top, but from either lower Rwandan government or military officials or from non-governmental groups. Regardless of the source of support, this poses a huge danger to Rwanda’s increasing prosperity.

As has been evidenced by multiple African wars and disputes in the last half century, wars quickly spill over into neighboring countries. If the issue in the Congo continues to escalate it is quite feasible that Uganda and Rwanda will be forced into it. This is the last thing those countries, Africa, and the world need.

So what is to be done? I call for an international peace keeping force lead by the UN in concert with the African union to deploy to western Congo. They should be given authority to engage in combat, but only when they are engaged upon and under orders. Their primary mission should be to be a presence of stability and encouragement for the millions of civilians who have been forced from their homes. They should have the authority to stop tribal violence where they find and be tasked with assisting the distribution of food, medical supplies, and building infrastructure (to a minimal extent).

This is one location where the example of America’s recent strategy in Iraq can be partially implemented. That is, there is strength in numbers and soldiers given proper orders and instructions and deployed to the appropriate areas can be a huge benefit to regional stability and development. It is highly unlikely that the Congo rebels would attack international troops, aside from the occasional skirmish, which would be inevitable. They know that if they did, they would likely have the muscle of the international community fall upon them.

Ideally, the troops who deploy there would be a fairly standard UN force. It would be unlikely the United States could provide any significant number of troops, but that does not mean the United States should be excluded. On the contrary, the U.S. would arguably be the most important player from the international community. The U.S. is the only country that currently has the ability to deploy rapidly and to maintain an effective logistical supply chain to anywhere in the world. The U.S. should provide a majority of the logistical support, to include the use of C-130’s and other supply aircraft. The U.S. can also provide a significant number of multi-purpose vehicles and aircraft that can provide logistical, medical, rapid deployment, and attack support; tools like the Chinook and the Bradley.

Sadly, this conflict in the Congo is just another “issue” with Africa. The cycle of violence is so common place that it is difficult to be optimistic that something positive can be done to alter it. It is very easy for us in the comforts of the West to just shrug our shoulders and say, “well, that is Africa”. But that is wrong. There are too many places in Africa that showing hope and development for us to turn a blind eye now. Places like Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya (despite the violence a year ago), Ghana, and even Liberia. The U.S., EU, Russia, and China should all promote those places and provide support where appropriate. Because in the same way that violence spills across borders, so does prosperity. With good governance and self-criticism and reliance, Africa can stabilize. It won’t be anytime soon, but there is hope and it should be built upon and encouraged.

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Romney’s Advice to Obama

In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Mitt Romney gave President-elect Obama some advice on the economic crisis we are now in. Perhaps the most profound advice he gave was that Obama “should forget about re-election and focus on helping the nation at a critical time. He should dismiss the people who helped him win the election and bring in people who are above politics and above party. He should surround himself with statesmen and economists, businesspeople and leaders.”   How true that is.  Besides if Obama took this advice and worked the economy issue, re-election would work itself out.

In further addressing the economy Mitt gave some great points:

  • Regarding unions:

The unions have helped Barack Obama. They will hope to be paid back. I’m particularly concerned that organized labor would call on Barack Obama to pass the card check program. This removes from American workers the right to the secret ballot in deciding whether or not to accept a union. This legislation would do more to harm America’s long-term competitiveness than almost anything I can imagine. It would be a partisan payback for organized labor but it would come with devastating consequences for the nation.

  • On the Auto Industry

Right now, the auto industry is on life support, and its prospects look extremely dim. But they don’t need to be. The industry could be turned around. There is no inherent reason why America can’t build and sell cars to Americans at least as well as the transplants are doing. Any effort to help the auto industry has to be made as part of a comprehensive strategy. Before the government issues loans to the auto industry, as has been authorized by Congress, it should insist on seeing credible and independent strategies that will return the companies to long-term sustainability. Government should not finance ongoing losses and declining market shares.

  • On the Global Economy

Far too little attention was paid to America’s long-term competitive position during the campaign. I see four major economic strategies at play in the world today: the first is ours. It combines freedom and free enterprise.

The second is China’s. It combines free enterprise with authoritarianism.

The third is Russia’s. No longer is Russia’s plan for dominance based upon industrial capacity but rather upon controlling energy throughout the world. Hence Russia’s cozy relationship with Iran and Venezuela as well as its belligerent entry into Georgia. Russia’s strategy is based on energy and authoritarianism.

The fourth strategy is represented by radical violent jihad. The intent of the jihadists is to cause the collapse of the other three, such that the “hidden Imam” or the Caliphate remains the last man standing.

The real challenge for America is how to strengthen our competitive position so that our economy outperforms those of the other three. If we’re successful, freedom will be preserved for the world. If we’re unsuccessful, the results are unthinkable.

  • On the apparent populist shift in American ideology

I can only hope the President abandons the populist current, which seems to be growing in our country. An effort to block foreign trade will only hurt America. Ultimately products in this country would become uncompetitive. Look what happened to the Soviet Union. Its cars, its watches, its goods became a joke.

The only way to remain the leading economy in the world is to be successful on a level playing field around the world. Some individuals, at the behest of special interests, seek to prevent trade with other nations by imposing America’s labor requirements and other peculiarities. That is a disguised form of protectionism.

And the GOP chose McCain!  What a bunch of idiots.  Mitt Romney is smarter than any of the candidates that ran in 2008.  And America lost when he did.  Anyway, enough of looking backwards, we need to get him in the White House in 2012, but I digress.

The fact is, on the economy he is right.  Capitalism and ‘free’ trade are what made America great and strong.  Our military might is a result of our economic might.  Our freedoms are because of economic freedom.   Protectionism and isolationism will fail every time.   The thing with capitalism is that it is not an easy pill swallow all the time.  Sometimes the market is booming and other times it is crashing, sometimes people succeed other times people fail.   But all of that is what makes capitalism great, everyone has an opportunity and everyone can pull themselves out of the “social class” they were born into.  While socialist and other economic models may succeed in bringing equality (though they never have yet), but if they do, they undoubtedly make everyone equally poor and miserable.  Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the best system in the world none the less and America’s movement away from it would be a danger to us and to the world at large.  Russia and China aren’t going to be as benevolent and nice as America and ultimately, those are the three countries that will determine the world’s future.   I would certainly rather live in a world guided by America.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

An Absolut World Through the Reconquista

No, what you see above is not part of an underground La Raza goal planning briefing, it is part of the new advertising campaign for Absolut Vodka in Mexico.  Obviously playing on Mexican nationalist sentiments, Absolut implies that in a perfect world, about 1/2 of the United States would be Mexico.  This advertisement completely makes a mockery of national sovereignty and potentially only feeds the building sentiment in the SW U.S. and in Mexico about the re-conquering of “Mexico territory”. 

I am not one that typically calls for boycotts or silly actions aimed at making a political point.  I thought the call for a French boycott in 2003 was ridiculous and changing the name Frech Fries to Freedom Fries was even more so.  Even in this instance I do not call for the absolute boycott of Absolut, although I would fully support someone who made that decision on their own.  For me, the choice is easy, I don’t drink so I basically boycott all alcohol. Nevertheless, whether or not one chooses to boycott Absolut, at the least all consumers should contact Absolut and vent their disgust at such an ad campaign.  It is completely inappropriate. 

Now I recognize that this is just an ad campaign.  I seriously doubt Absolut vodka actually support the reconquista.  I also would not be so concerned about an ad campaign such as this if it were not playing on a real issue with a real movement behind it.  If they did the exact same ad with Canada claiming the Pacific Northwest or with Norway claiming Sweden, I wouldn’t really care because they are not really issues with any movement. But the reconquista movement is moving forward and is a real threat. 

I recognize that anyone that dares make such a claim is automatically labelled as racist.  Fine, call me racist.  Personally, I couldn’t care less what race, color, creed you are;  I just care about my country and preserving her sovereignty.  But even there I am not as hard core when it comes to illegal immigration or border control as many off my peers on the right.  However, I do believe that groups like La Raza have the ultimate goal of seeing SW U.S. return to Mexico.   Signs of the reconquista movement are everywhere, they were around back in the mid-1990’s as well. 

One of my favorite bands and perhaps the largest influence on me becoming politically minded was Rage Against the Machine (even though we disagree on practically everything).  They regularly sang about revolution and dropped jabs about reconquista and Mexican nationalism. 

In addition to La Raza, who tries to downplay their nationalist tendencies, there is also the Mexica Movement, who calls for the complete reconquest of North America by her indiginous people and the National Will Organization that calls for the standard reconquest of the American Southwest.  

While I personally think the reconquista movement is not a major threat at the moment, the more I read about it the more I think that there is the potential for trouble in the future; almost Islamic-fundamentalist like trouble.  Since the 1970’s and 80’s people have been talking about flooding the American SW with hispanics from Mexico in order to facilitate such a revolution.  While I think that on an individual basis, legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico come here with the intention of providing a better life for themselves and their families, there are well-organized organizations who are encouraging these movements for more sinister purposes. 

Ultimately, I am not ready to make the full leap into the conspiracy of the Reconquista, at least as a major movement, but it is something to be watched and monitored.  Controlling our borders is essential, but not to keep Mexicans out, but simply because we have laws about entering our country and they need to be upheld.  For me the issue isn’t immigration it is legal sovereignty.  As many hispanics, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, Asians, etc can come to our country as can make it for all I care, I just want them to do it legally. We have a process for a reason, use it.

 Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin

P.S. The people living in the American SW would likely fight to death before allowing Mexico to take it over.  The SW is prosperous, modern, and generally well governed and free.  The last thing they want is a country with the poor leadership and infrastructure of Mexico taking it over.  Mexico can barely run the land they have, let alone attempting to take over a huge swath of the United States.  What a joke.

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Filed under Equality, Illegal immigration, Immigration, International Affairs, Politics, Progress, Progressive