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Cliven Bundy and Conservative Cognitive dissonance

The new cause celebre of the Tea Party movement is a Nevada rancher by the name of Cliven Bundy. Bundy in the last month or so, sent out a call for help against federal officials who, I believe, were attempting to stop the illegal grazing of federally owned lands by Bundy’s cattle. According to the federal government, Mr. Bundy owes the Bureau of Land Management fees for illegal grazing. Bundy not only hasn’t paid the fees, but he is also continuing the illegal grazing of lands. In order to stop Mr. Bundy, the BLM sent out federal agents to apparently seize the cattle and in the process there was a fight between them and Bundy family members.  This encounter apparently enraged the Tea Party and other conservative groups as another example of the Obama administration’s “abuse of power,” and how America is unrecognizable under this un American administration etc, etc.
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The Tea Party at 5.

This weekend, I think, marks the fifth anniversary of the Tea Party movement. As someone just told me the Tea Party is five! I’ve always believed that most members of the Tea Party were children, I just didn’t realize they were all 5 year olds. Anyway, the other night on Bill Maher’s show, Bill Krystol of the Weekly Standard angrily rejected the notion that the Tea Party’s opposition to Obama was purely based on account of the President’s race. “Bullshit,” an indignant Krystol shouted at Maher’s suggestion. I found the whole thing comical since I can’t say for sure what motivates an entire group of people, especially the Tea Party.
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Are Nuclear Weapons Necessary?

Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons, by Ward Wilson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Pp 206.

On August 6th, 1945, an American B-29 bomber flew over the historic city of Hiroshima with the World’s first nuclear weapon.  The Americans hoped that this new weapon would force Japan to surrender unconditionally thus ending the bloody four year struggle for the Pacific between the United States and Japan.  Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t fear China’s rise.

Why should I, or more broadly speaking, the West, fear the rise of China?  In China, we have a country that is rising by under developing itself, which seems counter intuitive. But if you think about it, the shocking story to come out of the country two weeks ago, of thousands of dead farm animals floating down its rivers, is a microcosm of the environmental degradation Beijing’s swift economic policies are having on the country.  China has grown exponentially in the past thirty years, yet, at the same time, has done more to harm its future development with the lax environmental regulations than any other developing economy in the world.  So again I ask, why should the west fear China’s so called rise?

Maybe the answer to this question is that our saintly think tank scholars believe that China’s ascendency on the global stage is a threat to America’s dominance.  Which is a valid fear if China could project its power beyond the Asia-Pacific rim.  Unfortunately for our scholars, China doesn’t have the influence America does, nor will it ever achieve it. In reality, the scholars sounding the alarm bells of China, are nothing more than harbingers of a new cold war.  These saintly scholars, policy wonks, whatever you want to call them, seat at their desks, write papers on how America should contain China’s rise in the hope that one day, their recommendations have the same impact on policy the way George Kennan’s long telegram shaped America’s containment strategy after World War 2.  After all, what good is a PhD in international relations for these scholars if their recommendations aren’t acted upon?

Another baseless attack against Obama. “He hates Israel.”

I’m not an Obama supporter, not by a long shot.  And recently I have been very critical of his administration’s policies on economics, health care,  national security, foreign policy and the on going “War on Terror.”  But reading  and listening to the criticism of Obama’s Middle East peace speech from Conservatives and the Conservative media today, I sometimes wonder if they just like to attack Obama for the hell of it;  or if Conservatives in general have comprehension problems.  In his speech today, Obama said the following: 

[W]hile the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.

No big deal.  Afterall reasonable people have in the past suggested that a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians include negotiations that would bring Israel’s borders back to the pre Six Days war lines.  The statement made by Obama in his speech, is a statement that have been made in the past by Israeli politicians, American negotiators and diplomats and students of international relations.  Yet that doesn’t stop the child like pundits on the right from making absurd and idiotic statements that that particular paragraph in the President’s speech means that ” Obama is now ready to advocate the next step of his plan to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.”  Sure, because that is what Obama really wants to do, wipeout America’s only ally in the region.  There should be serious criticism of Obama’s policies, but serious criticism means mature and compelling counterarguments, or counter-policies to those proposed by the administration, not the stupidity you see daily from Conservatives on Fox News and  the rest of the Conservative media.

United mistakenly uses flight 93 and 175.

United flight 93 and 175 briefly reappeared on United’s automated flight designation system today, sparking a bit of controversy between the airline and the unions representing pilots and flight attendants.  United said the error was due to two Continental flights being designated as flights 93 and 175.  The company has now said it has permanently retired both flight designations.  Mistakes happens.

Gov. Christie just doesn’t know.

Governor Christie of my state of New Jersey, apparently thinks local school boards can decide if evolution or creationism can be taught in public schools.  Luckily for those of us who are informed–unlike the Governor–already know the issue was decided a long time ago by the United States Supreme Court…well away from Trenton.  By the way Mr. Governor, the teaching of creationism is unconstitutional.

Supreme Court sides with warrantless search.

Here is a disturbing case out of Kentucky, where a man was arrested after the police stormed into his home without a warrant because they smelled marijuana.  The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the police in Kentucky had acted reasonably, and reversed the Kentucky Supreme Court’s decision by an 8 to 1 vote.  The lone dissent from the court was made by Justice Gingsburg, apparently the only one on the bench that still understands the 4th amendment to the Constitution. 

This is an incredibly bad ruling from the court, which would give the police basically more powers to enter a home for any reason they could deem as an “attempt to destroy evidence” by the occupants of a dwelling.  The police in this case where not in an emergency, nor where they chasing down the occupant of the home, who was just smoking a marijuana joint.  But apparently, the smell of marijuana and the “belief” of that evidence could be destroy is enough for the police to trample on the 4th amendment.

You can read the case here.

Contrite Posada apologizes.

It didn’t take long for Jorge Posada to apologize for his actions yesterday, before the Red Sox/Yankees game.  Posada attributed his actions to a “bad day,” and that the team was more important than “Jorge Posada.”  Well, I’m glad that Posada acknowledged that his actions were wrong, but for him not to realize that before the fact, with his team struggling to score runs and win games, makes Posada look very foolish.

But Posada shouldn’t bear the sole responsibility for yesterday’s drama.  The Yankees are just as culpable for what happened yesterday, and this goes back to the winter when they announced that Posada would be the everyday DH knowing full well that he would be uncomfortable in that role with the team.

In a way, the Yankees’ front office should stop using kid gloves when they are dealing with the so-called core 3, and realize that sometimes the franchise has to move on.

Newt Gingrich supports Poll Tests.

I’m truly shocked that Newt Gingrich, the new Republican candidate for President in 2012, is proposing Jim Crow era like poll tests for newly naturalized American citizens.  Shocking I tell you…ok, not really shocked.  Poll tests, vote caging and other illegal tactics have long been supported by Republicans to supress the vote, including the vote of racial minorities, so the fact that Newt would support such a tactic isn’t much of a surprise.   Afterall, this is the same Newt Gingrich that said President Obama was the most successful “food stamp President,” an obvious shot at poor blacks that do depend on food stamps in order to get by. 

Obviously, this type of rhetoric doesn’t bother me anymore.  What does bother me is that when people like Gingrich are called on such statements, they act as the victim of some sort of liberal plot to brand all Conservatives as racists.  I think the media should stop being afraid of Conservatives, call these types of statements racist and put people like Gingrich on the defensive for their obviously ridiculous statements. 

But for a moment, lets agree with Newt on the issue of poll tests.  Before an American citizen votes he or she must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of American history.  If that is the case, then I welcome it, since it would disqualify the entire Tea Party and their supporters from voting in American elections!