It is what it is

 

ISISIt seems obvious to me. Apparently, though, not to our current administration. I don’t fully understand why the current administration refuses to identify Islamic terrorists as such. Ok, maybe I do but just think it’s dumb. Worse, I see a growing percentage of our liberal population wanting to pick up that banner. After a recent Isis beheading, a social media response I read said “THIS IS NOT ISLAM” from someone who I really question how much they know about Islam. I’ve recently seen a series of things on social media from liberals separating these acts from Islam. Honestly, I don’t know that they’re liberals but it seems you’d have to be one to think that. Ok, so outside of someone’s desperate attempt to support the Obama administration, why go for this narrative? I tend to concur with Adam Carolla’s view “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but it seems all terrorists are Muslims.” Sure, you can throw Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympics at me, but what else? It seems the exceptions prove the rule. Anyway, this is not an attempt to start an argument, but rather, what I found out after a half-hour of Googling the subject.  I’ve not seen any logical arguments for why it’s not, but here’s some references for why it is. If you don’t click on any other reference, scroll down and read the one from the Atlantic.

 

We all know what the Taliban has done. Shooting women in the back of the head in soccer stadiums for infidelity, destroying all other forms of religion,

From the BBC on the Taliban

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-11451718

It is commonly believed that they first appeared in religious seminaries – mostly paid for by money from Saudi Arabia – which preached a hard line form of Sunni Islam.

The Taliban’s promise – in Pashtun areas straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan – was to restore peace and security and enforce their own austere version of Sharia, or Islamic law, once in power.

In both countries they introduced or supported Islamic punishments – such as public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers and amputations of those found guilty of theft.

Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the all-covering burka.

The Taliban banned television, music and cinema and disapproved of girls aged 10 and over from going to school.

It is commonly believed that they first appeared in religious seminaries – mostly paid for by money from Saudi Arabia – which preached a hard line form of Sunni Islam

 

Al Qaeda

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/who/alqaeda.html

 In approximately 1989, bin Laden and co-defendant Muhammad Atef founded “Al Qaeda,” ” an international terrorist group … which was dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and violence.”

“One of the principal goals of Al Qaeda was to drive the United States armed forces out of Saudi Arabia (and elsewhere on the Saudi Arabian peninsula) and Somalia by violence.”

After the attack on Charlie Hebdo, some information on the response of British Muslims. Why? Because it starts to get at the core of the issue.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11434695/Over-a-quarter-of-British-Muslims-have-sympathy-for-the-Charlie-Hebdo-terrorists.-That-is-far-too-many.html

This morning the BBC published detail of a major poll of the attitudes of Britain’s Muslims. The headline on the front of the BBC website linking to the research states: “Muslims ‘oppose cartoon reprisals’”. This of course relates to attitudes within the Muslim community towards the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks.

It’s a reassuring headline. It’s also wrong. Many Muslims – a majority – do indeed utterly oppose the murderous killings in Paris. But a very, very large number of Muslims don’t. Presented with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris”, 27 seven percent agreed with the statement. A further 2 per cent refused to answer the question. And an additional eight percent said they were unsure whether they had some sympathy or not.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/many-british-muslims-put-islam-first/

Thirty percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia (Islamic religious) law than under British law.

Sixty-eight percent support the arrest and prosecution of those British people who “Insult Islam.” When asked if freed speech should be protected, even if it offends religious groups, 62 percent of British Muslims say No, it should not.

Just for more perspective, here’s the story of an Islamic cleric arrested in Norway for comments in support of terrorists.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/norway-arrests-radical-islamic-preacher-who-praised-charlie-hebdo-killers/

A radical Islamic preacher has been arrested in Norway after praising last month’s deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris, police said Friday.

The Iraqi Kurd preacher known as Mullah Krekar said in a television interview broadcast on Wednesday that “those who draw caricatures of Mohammed must die”.

Krekar, who was only freed from prison late last month, was arrested Thursday night on accusations of inciting crime, police said.

“I am obviously happy with what happened in Paris,” the 58-year-old said in the interview with Norwegian channel NRK.

 A little on Boko Haram

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13809501

Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram – which has caused havoc in Africa’s most populous country through a wave of bombings, assassinations and abductions – is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors.”

Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.

This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education.

Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president – and it has extended its military campaign by targeting neighbouring states.

A story on ISIS from the Atlantic. Again, if you don’t click on any other reference, check this one out.

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

Finally, In a speech recently in his own county, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said this:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/06/africa/egypt-president-speech/

“I say and repeat, again, that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting on you. The entire world is waiting for your word … because the Islamic world is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost. And it is being lost by our own hands,” el-Sisi said.

“We need a revolution of the self, a revolution of consciousness and ethics to rebuild the Egyptian person — a person that our country will need in the near future,” the President said.

“It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”

Apparently the President of Egypt thinks Islam has something to do with it

 

My boss has a sign on her door. It says “Don’t come in here with a problem unless you’ve got a solution.” Well, I don’t have a solution. But my idea is to at least start by recognizing something for what it is.

Ok, so, there you go. Make your own conclusions. But, before you go screaming “this isn’t Islam,” spend a 1/2 hour Googling some shit, eh? Me, I think Islam has something to do with it.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 55: Burgers, Borscht, and Bad Decisions

As Ancient Rome burned, Emperor Nero sat on a hill and whittled away a piece of wood. Times have changed of course. Now it’s the world that’s burning, literally, and Nero President Obama doesn’t whittle, he goes for burgers. Big goings on this week and we cover it all, or at least a small portion of it. Plus resident “Legitimate Rape” guy Todd Akin has an epic appearance on MSNBC where he tries to man-splain his comments. Click the link, be informed.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 55: Burgers, Borscht, and Bad Decisions

Or find us here: http://unfilteredunfettered.podhoster.com/

Or go to iTunes and search Unfiltered Unfettered. Find the UF/UF icon, click, and enjoy every episode from season 1 and/or 2.

Then tell us what you think, ask questions, argue with us, mock us. Do it in the comment section below or the show’s email: theunmail@yahoo.com

On to the tease…

Hey! A world leader has to eat. #amiright!

Hey! A world leader has to eat. #amiright!

I’ll have the big fat nothing burger.

The President was on a fund raising trip to Delaware when the Malaysia flight was shot out of the sky, killing all 300+ people on board. Instead of making a statement, he went to a burger joint recommended by Crazy Joe Biden. The Prez’s only thoughts on the matter, “I think it will be a terrible tragedy.” Then he said , “And super size my fries.” (not really)

 

 

The world his oyster? Sure seems that way at the moment.

The world his oyster? Sure seems that way at the moment.

I’ll have the Crimea, with a side of Kiev, oh and some Borscht!

Comrade President Putin started this mess in the Crimea. Is he to blame, no matter who shot the plane down? With so many troops massed on the Ukraine border is he long from invading the entire country and taking the capital city of Kiev? Does he really eat borscht? That stuff is nasty.

 

 

 

Yes Todd Akin, he's talking about you.

Yes Todd Akin, he’s talking about you.

Hey Cletus, watch this!

Who had a worse Wednesday; the Michigan woman who shot herself in the face with a shotgun after slamming the butt to the floor trying to emphasize her point or Todd Akin, former Missouri Congressman who tried to explain why he said women don’t get pregnant from legitimate rapes because their bodies can, “Shut that whole thing down.” We report you decide!

Plus Tony and I dissect AG Holder’s comments about racial animus hindering the Obama Presidency, in our old segment “Is That Racist?”

Click link. Get smarter.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 55: Burgers, Borscht, and Bad Decisions

Then tell us what you think, ask questions, argue with us, mock us. Do it in the comment section below or the show’s email: theunmail@yahoo.com

Make a run to the border, Mr. President, you can get fourth meal after shooting pool

open24

The border, that is.

 

 

 

Presidents visit disaster sites. It’s one of the things they do. Do they accomplish anything, physically? Of course not, that’s not why they’re there. They’re there for several reasons that all serve one purpose. Is it symbolic? Of course. Does it matter? Of course it does.

  • Clinton visited Arkadelphia, Ark., after a tornado
  • Clinton visited Del City, Ok., after the horrific tornado in Moore Ok.
  • Bush visited New Orleans and Biloxi after hurricane Katrina.
  • Bush went t0 Americus, Georgia, after a tornado ripped through that town.
  • Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush visited Galveston, Texas after hurricane Ike.
  • President Obama visited fire-damaged homes in Mountain Shadow of Colorado Springs, Col. after wildfires there.
  • President Obama visited New Jersey after hurricane Sandy.
  • Of course, who can forget when George W. Bush visited Ground Zero after 9/11. Regardless about what you think of the rest of his presidency, those words spoken that day lifted us and gave us hope.

The list would go on and on. I know this is different, but it’s a crisis, and people are suffering.

I remember the picture of George W. Bush in the plane after hurricane Katrina, looking out the window, and how much grief he took for that picture. People said it showed him being disconnected and aloof. That mattered to people, and he even visited the place later.

They visit these places because they are the leaders of our country. It shows interest, engagement, involvement. It shows people that they are there, ready to lead and help the country work through the problems. To some, it provides solace, to others it shows the commitment of the government that the leader is there, interested and ready to play a part in the solution. No one thinks he’s going to start digging ditches or picking up boards.

Some of those in your own party have practically begged you to go.

Your speech about it basically amounted to “Tell Congress to approve the money and this goes away.” Really? You simply want 3.8 billion dollars, and you won’t take a few hours to even visit?  Well, I have no trust that you even have a clue how to go about it. Your administration has shown no administrative skill in problem solving to this point.

A huge humanitarian crisis, and he won’t go. In his comments about it, he says “it’s not about a photo op.” Well, Mr. President, yes it is, that’s a big part of it. And this is coming from a President who’s never, ever, shied away from a photo op. He appears on TV more than “Law and Order.” All this on top of the fact that You’re In the State Fundraising!! Yes, you’re right there, dude. A couple hours away. You know, playing pool, having fun. Take a couple of hours and show the rest of the country you give a damn. People are suffering.

His failure to go there is duplicitous. I don’t know how or why, but I know it when I see it.

It’s called leadership. Show some.

people crossing the river

Mr. President, this isn’t the community pool. It’s people in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. Maybe you could be interested.

On the other hand, why would you start now.

 

April Fools, Obamacare, and BS

surgical glove

When you hear the glove snap, it’s time to bend over.

 

 

 

 

April freaking fool’s day. Yes, I’m angry. For reasons I will write about later. For now, let me just state this. Bureaucracies, over time, simply exist to support themselves. Of course, some bureaucratic BS is necessary to run the world. However, if you don’t know that about bureaucracies, you haven’t given it much thought.

I’m on the White House mailing list, and today, I received the letter from the President telling us how much better life is because of Obamacare. Sorry Nancy, I’m still going to call it that.

Just to start out, if you’d like to read the entire letter, I’ve linked the White House blog to the bottom of this post. And, whether you support Obama or not, you know all the numbers are fabricated. Bad guesses at best.

Normally, I cite sources. I’m not going to tonight. (Except for Goldberg’s’ column and the White House blog post) If you need sources, you’ve not paid a bit of attention in the last two years, and it’s not my responsibility to provide them. Surf the internet for God’s sake. This has been a disaster from what’s her names “We have to pass the bill so we can know what is in it.” I mean, seriously, how has this women not been thrown out on her ass? This is how we govern in America?

Obama is citing “millions” of Americans, young adults, yada yada like he has a clue what he’s talking about. Read the following excerpt from Bernard Goldberg’s latest column, and I’ve linked the entire post at the bottom. I can’t say it any better.

 Too bad the White House forgot to tell the American people how great ObamaCare is.  An AP poll taken right before the six million number was released showed that only 26 percent of Americans support the president’s signature piece of legislation.  That’s the lowest approval rating since ObamaCare became law. (In fairness, the poll may be way off base since it wasn’t conducted of “registered voters” or “likely voters” but simply “adults” – anyone, in other words, with a pulse.)

I don’t want to be a party pooper but there are a few things we don’t know.  We don’t know how many of the six or seven million actually paid their premium.  If they didn’t, they’re not covered — and so they don’t count.

We don’t know how many fit into the key demographic – young and healthy, the ones whose money is desperately needed to keep the plan afloat.

We also don’t know how many already had health insurance but got cancellation notices before they signed up for a new plan they didn’t want.   For all we know maybe only a million of those supposed six or seven million got medical insurance for the first time.

And there’s something else we don’t know.  We don’t know if the numbers the White House is putting out are even close to accurate.

Because, as Goldberg goes on to say, it’s not like Obama’s lied to us about anything else? And by-the-way, our “long broken healthcare system?” Sounds like you’ve been watching too many Michael Moore mockumentaries.

Anyway, if you had to sign up for Obamacare, good luck. You can’t pick your doctor, you can’t pick your healthcare plan. And, if you had something before, what you have now is probably more expensive. But don’t fret, he’s trying to raise the minimum wage.

 

 

http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/7-million-sign-obamacare/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog

Spooks, spies, and the most important story you’ve probably not read about

svs

Spies

 

The story, as many do, starts a long time ago.

At this time, however, here’s how it goes.

Diane Feinstein, who has defended the CIA for a long time, has turned on them. And, rightfully so. Diane Feinstein is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and has been for quite a while. From its website, here’s the purpose of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mission:  The Committee was created by the Senate in 1976 to “oversee and make continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government,” to “submit to the Senate appropriate proposals for legislation and report to the Senate concerning such intelligence activities and programs,” and to “provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

Until recently, Feinstein defended the CIA and the NSA staunchly.

She’s in a process of investigating CIA enhanced interrogation activities during the post 9/11 Bush administration. However, what happened at that time was much worse than any of us know. If you’re unaware of that, well, you need to read about the rendition programs. It’s linked below. Rendition programs have existed for years. We sent people to Syria, and took people from Iran. The enemy of my enemy is my…well, you get it.

But all of a sudden, Feinstein is the target of the CIA. The target of the intelligence community. The CIA is screwing with her and her staff. The CIA is hacking their computers, etc. She is saying that the CIA is out of control. Are you getting this? This is movie-type stuff. One of the biggest defenders of the intelligence community is saying “Hey, they’re out to get me.” It’s like a Schwarzenegger movie.

The problem is that the Senate intelligence committee wants to release a report on those activities, and the CIA doesn’t want the report released.

Feinstein said “I have grave concerns that the CIA search may well have violated the separation-of-powers principles.”

A lot of senators, from both sides of the aisle, have weighed in on Feinstein’s defense.

John Brennan is the head of the CIA. He’s not happy over what Feinstein has said. He said “If I did something wrong, I will go to the president and I will explain to him exactly what I did, what the findings were, and he is the one who can ask me to stay or to go.” On Tuesday, Brennan strongly denied Feinstein’s allegations, claiming “nothing could be further from the truth” while rolling his eyes.

Brennan was nominated by Obama. His nomination was held up by the widely reported filibuster given by Rand Paul over the use of drones.

Obama, when asked about it on Wednesday, said:

“With respect to the issues that are going back and forth between the Senate committee and the CIA, John Brennan has referred them to the appropriate authorities and they are looking into it and that’s not something that is an appropriate role for me and the White House to wade into at this point.”

So, this is a little like Santa saying “Christmas? Not my business, the elves can figure it out.”

This is amazing. The head of the CIA is rolling his eyes at the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee is saying this is a possible constitutional crisis, and the President is saying he’s going to ride it out and see what happens? That it’s not appropriate to get involved? Obama’s exactly the person who should get involved at this point.

Whether you’ve supported Obama or not, whether you’ve stuck with him through all the other scandals, this one is hard to get by. He has to do something. Once again, when leadership is called for, he is standing on the sidelines. If you’re supporting him through this, you should ask yourself why.

Admittedly, I’m not doing this story the justice it deserves. Do yourself a favor, and at least read the story from “The Hill” linked below.

 

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-feinstein-cia-terrorist-interrogation-20140320,0,2080855.story#ixzz2x1OLtuOH

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-feinstein-cia-terrorist-interrogation-20140320,0,2080855.story#axzz2wzn2OaHB

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/feinstein-cia-searched-intelligence-committee-computers/2014/03/11/982cbc2c-a923-11e3-8599-ce7295b6851c_story.html

http://thehill.com/news/senate/200657-cias-brennan-faces-uphill-fight-in-taking-on-sen-dianne-feinstein

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/05/a-staggering-map-of-the-54-countries-that-reportedly-participated-in-the-cias-rendition-program/

http://www.thenation.com/article/178814/feinstein-versus-cia-moment-truth#

http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/index.html

 

spy

A bear in a cage is still a bear (or, Crimea river)

russian bearI have no doubt that being the President of the United States is a hard job. I also believe that running for president and being the president are very different tasks. In Obama’s case, he is very good at running for president. But, again, being the president is a very different thing. For one thing, being the president is so unique. There simply aren’t that many of them. And, I believe, there are things about being the president that you won’t know, and simply can’t know, until you are the president.

Foreign policy is an area I can imagine that this is true. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that once you get elected president, you start finding things out that, had you known them before, may have made you feel very different about your predecessor, or may have made you realize that things you were campaigning on weren’t very realistic in the first place. Things like “foreign policy will change under my administration.” I’m sure Obama’s not the first to learn this.

So the Ukraine is in a meltdown. To be clear, the whole thing is quite unclear.

In a recording that’s been leaked between assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, ambassador to Ukraine, while discussing the Ukrainian situation, Nuland says “Fuck the EU.” (I guess they thought they were exempt from everything being recorded?) The recording is linked below. While the conversation received press because of her use of the F word towards the EU, the conversation’s value really lies elsewhere. The topic of the call is who they intend to support coming to power in the Ukraine. If anything good could be said to come out of the Snowden incident, it should be that we can certainly say we don’t know what’s going on in our government, and we don’t know what they’re doing.

In spite of the administration’s stance, the point is, we’re very involved. The point is, we’ve been involved. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, eh?

We, the American citizen, have no real way to understand who the good guys and the bad guys are. Remember, the deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, was democratically elected. He is, however, a bad guy. When you fire on your own people, you’re a bad guy. There are some real bad people on the other side as well. Regardless of who we, the United States, decides to support, our track record on supporting good guys isn’t that good. We supported a lot of good guys who turn into bad guys.

Part of the reason we have no way to figure it out is the sorry state of our media today. We’re not going to get any decent investigative reporting on the situation. What we’ll get will be packaged for what we like. We’ll get packaged news. Once the politicians determine who we’re for or against, (and they already have) then that’s what we’ll get.  So, if you’re just reading straight American media, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox, you’re not going to get the whole story. You’re getting packaged American news.  Make no mistake, there are some very bad guys on both sides of this situation.

Let’s talk about the Russians for a second. If the Russians were mucking about in, let’s say Mexico, or Panama, or, let’s say Cuba, how do you think we’d take that? Probably not very well. Make no mistake, Putin’s a bad guy. But we haven’t hesitated to back him in a corner since the end of the cold war.

American foreign policy hasn’t really changed in about 50 years. However, the execution of the policy is a different story. The current administration seems to not only be bad at it, and in the case of Benghazi, unable to read the current tides, but then lie about things when they go bad.

Biden, in case you’ve forgotten, repeatedly ripped Obama on his knowledge of foreign policy when they were both running for president. Yea, you could overlook it as campaign talk if you want. Robert Gates in his book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” is not particularly complimentary to Biden on foreign policy, nor is he complimentary of Obama towards the military leadership. Obama, among other things, has said “there will be consequences” if Ukraine “crosses the line” with the protestors. He’s also said “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” At this point I believe that is simply rhetoric.  I hope it is.

I know our own country has been willing to engage in military action we have felt necessary. Not everyone in the Ukraine is unhappy about the Russians being there. It’s a diverse country separated by culture, religion, geography, ethnicity, you name it. So now we’re calling Russia’s actions “an invasion” because they’re the bad guys.

Sergiy Aksyonov, the leader of the autonomous Crimean region, last week issued the statement “I call on the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to provide assistance in securing peace.”

I don’t know anything about foreign policy. I’d like to leave it to smart people, I just don’t know who they are. If you want to learn about what’s going on in the Ukraine, you can’t just stick to American news outlets. That’s a shame, but I believe it.

If you want to listen to something interesting, click on the “Democracy Now” link below and listen to the interview with Stephen Cohen.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, an opposition leader, concluded an interview last week by saying “Ukraine is in a big mess.” Yes. A mess Indeed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/02/19/obama-on-ukraine-there-will-be-consequences-if-people-step-over-the-line/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/07/eu-us-diplomat-victoria-nuland-phonecall-leaked-video

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/20/a_new_cold_war_ukraine_violence

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/28/politics/ukraine-obama-statement/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26397323

The Benevolent Dictator

obamas hopeI was watching the president’s weekly address, in which he is discussing raising the minimum wage. I’ve already posted about minimum wage once, you can read it here. To sum up, there’s two sides to every argument. Yes, it will help some people by raising their income. However, it will cost some people their jobs, no denying that. It will cost some small businesses in terms of profitability, or perhaps in some cases, even their ability to stay in business. Either way you go, somebody’s getting screwed. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve done enough reading to know that you can find enough experts to defend your position on either side.  So, if you disagree with that summation, it’s either because you don’t know anything about it, or you’re so buried in your own political dogma you refuse to concede that there’s two sides to the issue.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the President’s message. He starts out with the statement “Restoring the idea of opportunity for all, requires a year of action from all of us.”  I disagree with the premise of the statement. Who said “opportunity for all” needed restoring? If it does, you’re the one who’s been in charge for a bit, maybe you should have been thinking of that already, maybe you should have been thinking about the jobs your administration has cost the country.  And how does minimum wage restore opportunity? It does not. If it was just political rhetoric it wouldn’t be so bad. However, I think he may actually believe his own hype.  “Opportunity for all” is built into the system.  The “land of opportunity” and all that.

He goes on to refer to the Gap’s decision to raise their minimum wage, stating “It’s good business, and it’s good for our economy. It reduces turnover, and boosts productivity, and it gives folks some more money to spend at local businesses.”

Well, this is just ignorant. I’m sorry that he’s using these selling points. First, in terms of reducing turnover and boosting productivity, while this may be true in the immediate short-term, long term it’s just not true. In the long run, if you’re flipping burgers or cleaning a building, a raise may make you feel better for a little while, but 2 months from now, you’re still flipping burgers or cleaning a building. This is a basic theory, Herzbergs’ two factor theory, that motivation comes from intrinsic factors, like recognition, achievement and personal growth. Hygiene factors, like physical working conditions and money, prevent dissatisfaction, but do not inherently provide motivation. It’s old and just a theory, but if you apply it practically, it makes sense. Anyone that’s worked a personally satisfying job can attest that “it’s not about the money.” There’s supposed to be a reason to aspire to do more. Ok, so we’ll just excuse that one to political rhetoric.

But, here’s another one that gets me. He goes on, later, to talk about how many Americans will get higher wages, and states that this can happen without “…requiring a single dollar in new taxes, or spending.”

I just don’t get the connection. Why, exactly, did he invoke taxes and spending? Why would this be part of the minimum wage discussion? Well, apparently it’s because he believes he can raise taxes, and wants you to know that this won’t involve raising taxes. It’s the basic problem I have with democrats in general and liberals in particular. They’re always wanting to tell you what’s good for everybody.

I’m reminded of a quote by C.S Lewis.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
— C. S. Lewis

When people want to do things to you for your own good, they do so without respect to logic, common sense, or any ideas about basic human dignity.

People made fun of George W. Bush because he had a common, often mistake-ridden way of speaking. But he never talked down to people, as if they weren’t as smart as he was. I preferred that.

Mr. President, you’re not as smart as you, or your supporters, think.

A benevolent dictator is still a dictator.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/