Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Netanyahu-Obama conversation ?

Actually, even I, Obama disdainer that I am, do not believe it. But if it is true, Obama will have to be flayed.

This is the supposed transcript of a call between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Obama. If true, it amounts  to betrayal of Israel.

Obama: I demand that Israel agree to a unilateral ceasefire and stop all offensive actions — especially air strikes.

Netanyahu: What will Israel get for stopping the fire?

Obama: I believe Hamas will stop the rocket firing — quiet for quiet.

Netanyahu: Hamas broke all five previous ceasefires. It’s a terror organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

Obama: I repeat that I expect Israel to stop all its military actions unilaterally. The destruction pictures from Gaza are distancing the world from Israel’s standpoint.

Netanyahu: Kerry’s offer was completely unrealistic and offered Hamas military and political advantages.

Obama: Within a week after Israel stops its military actions, Qatar and Turkey will start negotiating with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, among them Israel’s commitment to lift the siege and limitations of Gaza.

Netanyahu: Qatar and Turkey are Hamas’ greatest supporters. It’s impossible to trust them to be fair mediators.

Obama: I trust Qatar and Turkey…Israel is not in a position to choose the mediators.

Netanyahu: I caution that Hamas will be able to continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks….

Obama: (cutting off Netanyahu) The ball is in Israel’s court and it has to stop all its military actions.

Impeach Obama?

Some among the American right are calling for the impeachment of President Obama. I think they are mistaken, for all the reasons Pat Buchanan advances in his article in Takimag. First because Obama has not yet acted illegally, and second because the Republicans do  not have sufficient votes in the Senate. Most because impeachment changes the subject from Obama’s ineffectiveness (the word “feckless” is appropriate) to the positive acts of the Republicans to remove him.

With the economy shrinking 3 percent in the first quarter, with Obama sinking in public approval, and with the IRS, NSA and VA scandals bubbling, why would Republicans change the subject to impeachment?

The effect would be to enrage and energize the Democratic base, bring out the African-American vote in force and cause the major media to charge the GOP with a racist scheme to discredit and destroy our first black president.

Does the GOP really want a fight on that turf, when they currently hold the high ground? If you are winning an argument, why change the subject?

My point is this: it is important to consider tactics and messages. The Republicans in the States need to win the next time. Given the demographic changes in the United States – ever less white, ever more Hispanic – the Republicans face a different population than existed even in the Reagan period. They need to let the Obama regime sink under its own weight of ideology and incompetence. The American electorate will come around to the Republicans only when they believe that Republicans will manage the affairs of the republic better than the next  Democratic candidate. The American electorate need to accustom themselves to what it feels like to live in the world where the United States does not lead and does not act in its own interest.

Let the lessons of Obama sink in. America has been in a  low estate before; it is in a low estate now. Let the Democrats bear the blame for what they have created. Do nothing to distract Americans from contemplating the wreckage Obama will leave behind.

I am not disappointed in Obama because, for some accident of personal disposition and education, I have never had the slightest belief he was anything but an over-promoted semi-intellectual academic parading as an African-American version of black man. I have always considered him 100% fatuous. A near nullity. More people are slowly coming to this view, as they abandon false hopes.

We will buy the F-35 when the Americans approve the pipeline

Steven Chase of the Globe says the government has put the purchase of the F-35 on hold.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed the item from the agenda of a recent meeting of cabinet’s priorities and planning committee to give ministers more time to deliberate and gather information, people familiar with the matter say. Priorities and planning is the main cabinet committee that provides strategic direction.

It is much simpler than that. Just approve the Northern Gateway  pipeline, Yanks, and we will buy your airplane. Is there  anything about this you fail to understand?

I thought not.

Harper will get the US defence industry to lobby for the pipeline.

 

 

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Are there other issues you feel are mysterious?

Dalwhinnie will be available for answering all your deep political questions, for a reasonable fee, of course.

US immigration policy

Senator Jeff Sessions is the first member of the political elite who, to my limited knowledge, has mentioned the needs of ordinary Americans in the context of immigration.

You can read nativist concerns at Vdare. But to read a US Senator actually speak for the people of the United States is a refreshing change.

 

The United States has the most generous immigration policy in the world. Each year, the US grants permanent legal admission to an additional 1 million immigrants who will be able to apply for citizenship, along with roughly 700,000 guest workers, 200,000 relatives of guest workers, and 500,000 students. These are overwhelmingly not farm workers as activists falsely suggest, but are instead workers brought in to fill jobs in every sector, occupation and industry throughout the US economy.

Overall, the number of people living in the US who were born in another country has quadrupled since 1970. And yet the Senate immigration bill doubles the rate of future immigration and guest worker admissions.

For too long, the immigration debate has been driven by the needs of politicians, business interests, and immigration activists who fail to appreciate that a nation owes certain obligations to its own citizens.

Consider immigration policy from the viewpoint of a middle-aged unemployed American who has to borrow gas money to drive to a job interview 100 miles away. Imagine how his or her life is affected when the company gives that open job to a temporary guest worker hired from 10,000 miles away. Imagine what any of the 58 million working-age Americans who don’t have jobs might have to say to the lawmakers and activists who claim there is a “labor shortage”.

The phrase “immigration reform” has been thoughtlessly applied to any legislation that combines amnesty with dramatic future increases to our record supply of labor. This is the singular vision championed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. It therefore falls on the shoulders of Republicans to stand alone as the one party representing the interests of everyday working Americans.

Seen in Grosvenor Square Park today

Grosevenor Square Park is the site of the US Embassy in Britain. It is guarded by serious looking policemen with Heckler and Koch sub-machineguns. So it is  indicative  of US policy concerns that, while a corner of Hyde Park (a half mile away)  was filled today with peaceful demonstrations of Iranians concerned with the situation in Iraq, for example, the US government is flying two banners of gay beside the  main doors of its British Embassy.

 

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I am all for sexual pleasure, and the freedom to seek it (within limits set by the needs of families for parental stability) but flying the banners of gay in this place of state pomp and republican government must surely strike most people as profoundly frivolous.

As my friend Duggan’s Dew remarked a few days ago, in connection with  the missing emails from Lois Lerner of the IRS, “they are not even pretending anymore. They are not even bothering with credible excuses.”

Two and half more years, folks. Obama’s playing golf while be seen soon as Emperor Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned. So what if Nero was only playing his lyre. The libel has stuck. So, I think, will Obama be stuck with the reputation that his was the equivalent to the reign of the Emperor Commodus, son of the great Marcus Aurelius. From the reign of Commodus it is generally agreed that the first signs were seen of irreversible Roman imperial decay.

Whereas the reign of Marcus Aurelius had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of Commodus was comparatively peaceful in the military sense but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperor himself. In the view of Dio Cassius, a contemporary observer of the period, his accession marked the descent “from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust”[3] – a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon, to take Commodus’s reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire.

All this inference from two banners beside the doors of the US Embassy in London? Alas, yes. The Emperor Obama has not yet decided to slay hundreds of wild animals in the Colosseum, or to style himself as Hercules, or to fight naked with gladiators, but in vanity, self-regard, indifference to the soundness of the currency, hostility to the rich, and overweening pride, coupled with troubles on the borders of Empire, there is a rich vein of comparison available.

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The Emperor Commodus (above)

 

Bergdahl – Taliban exchange

The exchange of the American deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders in Guantanamo Bay shows something new in the US political scene. Obama is not even bothering to pretend it is a good deal, (“some recidivism is expected”, he said of the Taliban cut loose) and his ass-lickers in the media are not even pretending that it was good for the country. They are forced to admit Bergdahl was a deserter. The country is not celebrating. The Congress will consider whether the President exceeded his authority by not notifying them 30 days in advance of the trade.

The Washington Post writes:

On the Hill, Democrats were more vocal than in previous days in expressing their concern that the White House did not notify Congress of the Guantanamo detainee release ahead of time.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 requires the administration to notify Congress at least 30 days before releasing a prisoner from Guantanamo. But Obama, in what is known as a signing statement, forecast that he may disregard the rule because he believed that it unlawfully restrained his presidential authority.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that deputy national security adviser Antony J. Blinken called her Monday night to apologize for failing to notify her of the release before it was disclosed publicly.

They apologized for not giving the Senator advance notice of their intention to break US law, not that they apologized for breaking it.

Fire on the Moon: the accomplishment gap

Norman Mailer wrote a book called “Of a Fire on the Moon“. It dealt with the first landing by men on the moon, in 1969: American, and men, and as it turns out, white. I steal this from Frank Kersey.

“Mailer writes of a party he attended in Houston while the three white astronauts were completing the journey to the moon.

“At the party, he encountered a usually loquacious black Ivy League professor (who espoused some form of ‘black power’ and mentored black students on campus), who was uncharacteristically laconic and drinking heavily. Mailer writes: “He was normally so elegant a man that it was impossible to conceive of how he would make a crude move – now, you could know. Something raucous and jeering was still withheld, but the sourness of his stomach had gotten into the sourness of his face. His collar was a hint wilted.” (p. 124)

“It is here Mailer unloads with the most masterful part of his book, observing the source of the black Ivy League professor angst:

“But there were other reason for drinking as well. America had put two White men on the moon, and lifted them off. A triumph of White men was being celebrated in the streets of this city. It was even worse than that. For the developed abilities of these White men, their production, their flight skills, their engineering feats, were the most successful part of that White superstructure which had been strangling the possibilities of his own Black people for years. The professor was an academic with no mean knowledge of colonial struggles of colored peoples. He was also a militant. If the degree of his militancy was not precisely defined, still its presence was not denied. 

His skin was dark. If he were to say, “Black is beautiful” with a cultivated smile, nonetheless he was still saying it. Aquarius had never been invited to enter this Black man’t vision, but it was no great mystery the Black believed his people were possessed of a potential genius which was greater than Whites. Kept in incubation for two millennia, they would be all the more powerful when they prevailed. It was nothing less than a great civilization they were prepared to create. Aquarius could not picture the details of that civilization in the Black professor’s mind, but they had talked enough to know they agreed that this potential greatness of the Black people was not to be found in technology. Whites might need the radio to become tribal but Blacks would have another communion. From the depth of one consciousness they could be ready to speak to the depth of another; by telepathy might they send their word. That was the logic implicit in CPT. If CPT was one of the jokes by which Blacks admitted Whites to the threshold of their view, it was a relief to learn that CPT stood for Colored People’s Time. When a black friend said he would arrive at 8 p.m. and came after midnight, there was still logic in his move. He was traveling on CPT. The vibrations he received at 8 p.m. were not sufficiently interesting to make him travel toward you – all that was hurt were the host’s undue expectations. The real logic of CPT was that when there was trouble or happiness the brothers would come on the wave. 

Mailer noted what the moon landing meant to the concept of black superiority and black power in a now forgotten book chronicling the Apollo 11 mission

Well, white technology was not built on telepathy, it was built on electromagnetic circuits of transmission and reception, it was built on factory workers pressing their button or monitoring their function according to firm and bound stations of the clock. The time of a rocket mission was Ground Elapsed Time, GET. Every sequence of the flight was tied into the pure numbers of the time line. So the flight to the moon was a victory for GET, and the first heats of the triumph suggested that the fundamental notion of Black superiority might be incorrect: in this hour, it would no longer be as easy for a militant Black to say that Whitey had built a palace on numbers, and numbers killed a man, and numbers would kill Whitey’s civilization before all this was through. Yesterday, Whitey with his numbers had taken a first step to the stars, taken it ahead of Black men. How that had to burn in the ducts of this Black man’s stomach, in the vats of his liver.

Aquarius thought again of the lunar air of technologists. Like the moon, they traveled without a personal atmosphere. No wonder Blacks had distaste for numbers, and found trouble studying. It was not because they came – as liberals necessarily would have it – from wrecked homes and slum conditions, from drug-pushing streets, no, that kind of violence and disruption could be the pain of a people so rich in awareness they could not bear the deadening jolts of a civilization on each of their senses. Blacks had distaste for numbers not because they were stupid or deprived, but because numbers were abstracted from the sense, numbers made you ignore the taste of the apples for the amount in the box, and so the use of numbers shrunk the protective envelope of human atmosphere, eroded that extrasensory aura which gave awareness, grace, the ability to move one’s body and excel at sports and dance and war, or be able to travel on an inner space of sound. Blacks were not the only ones who hated numbers – how many attractive women could not bear to add a column or calculate a cost. Numbers were a pestilence to beauty. 

There was something to be said after all for arriving on time. CPT was excellent for the nervous system if you were the one to amble in at midnight, but Aquarius had played the host too often.

“You know,” said the professor, “there are no Black astronauts.” 

“Of course not.”

“Look,” said the Black professor, “do they have any awareness of how the money they spent could have been used?”

“They have a very good argument: they say if you stopped space tomorrow, only a token of the funds would go to poverty.”

“I’d like to be in a position to argue about that,” said the Black. “Damn,” he said, “are they still on the moon?”

“They took off already,” said Aquarius. 

“No trouble?” 

“None.”

If the Blacks yet built a civilization, magic would be at its heart. For they lived with the wonders of magic as the Whites lived with technology. How many Blacks had made a move or inhibited it because the emanations of the full moon might affect their cause. Now Whitey had walked the moon, put his feet on it. The moon presumably had not spoken. Or had it, and Richard Nixon received the favor and Teddy Kennedy the curse? Was there no magic to combat technology? Then the strength of Black culture was stricken. There would not be a future Black civilization, merely an adjunct to the White. What lava in the raw membranes of the belly. The Black professor had cause to drink. The moon shot had smashed more than one oncoming superiority of the Black.  (p. 125-127)

 

Norman Mailer wrote this in 1969. Magical thinking by American black intellectuals persists (see Ta-Nehisi Coates below). It will not get them to the moon, it will not make manna drop from heaven, it will not stop them from killing each other in astonishing numbers. Nothing will, except the same virtues that every other people on earth, including other Africans, have used to advance themselves. Industry, thrift, chastity, family, faith, diligence, and learning. There is no magic in this, and that is probably a strong reason why the traditional virtues are of no interest to so many of them.

My injury gap needs reparations

The  American Negro  writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a long article in the Atlantic magazine, argues that black Americans are owed reparations from the American federal government for the American black experience of slavery.

To ignore the fact that one of the oldest republics in the world was erected on a foundation of white supremacy, to pretend that the problems of a dual society are the same as the problems of unregulated capitalism, is to cover the sin of national plunder with the sin of national lying. The lie ignores the fact that reducing American poverty and ending white supremacy are not the same. The lie ignores the fact that closing the “achievement gap” will do nothing to close the “injury gap,” in which black college graduates still suffer higher unemployment rates than white college graduates, and black job applicants without criminal records enjoy roughly the same chance of getting hired as white applicants with criminal records.

When you make an argument for special economic privileges on the basis of race, as Coates does, it is vital to brush aside all previous attempts to remedy the situation of American blacks, and to place the the issue in a territory of pure feeling. In effect, Coates argues that any measures that close the achievement gap will not resolve the injury gap, the felt sense of injury for which no economic or practical measure is or can be sufficient. My people are angry, my grievance is  permanent. Pay up.

The more the black intelligentsia insist on the existence of white supremacy, the more I am inclined to believe it myself.

Here is Jared Taylor’s eloquent dismissal of this tripe.

The idea of reparations has a hypnotic effect on blacks. Not only does it console them with the idea that black failure is someone else’s fault, it comes with the intoxicating fantasy that money will drop out of the sky.

Let me make something perfectly clear. American blacks are an ethnic group, not a race. Africans wherever they may be in the world are a race, a term we use for the fuzzy set of people more related to one another than to outer groups. Ghanaians, Nigerians, Barbadians, Ethiopians, and so forth, are some of the people whose ancestry is African. African-Americans, as they are now known, are an ethnic group, formed by the same processes of inbreeding by which every tribe and nation has ever been formed. Afrikaners, and  French-Canadians are tribes or nations that have come into existence in the course of colonization of new continents (for them). In the same way African Americans are quite distinct from more recent African immigrants to the United States, and if you ever want an interesting conversation, talk to an African or black Caribean immigrant taxi driver about their African-American fellow citizens. If you move gently and allow the conversation to open up, you may be astonished how much their views of African-Americans  resemble your own.

Cultures that invest time and effort into self-improvement do not have time for perpetual “injury gaps”.

 

 

Closing the book on Syria

It all started with Obama’s famous ‘red line’ on Syria’s chemical weapons which led to the Kerry-Lavrov agreement that was going to put an end to them.

Russia and the US agree on how to destroy Syria’s chemical arms, President Vladimir Putin said after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Bali. He also said peace talks on Syria should include major players from the Muslim world.

Where do we stand with that agreement today? NYT fills in the details.

France’s foreign minister said Tuesday there were strong indications that the Syrian government had carried out attacks using chemical agents, especially chlorine, as many as 14 times in recent months, despite its promise to renounce such weapons in joining the global treaty banning them last year.

The minister, Laurent Fabius, who met here Tuesday morning with Secretary of State John Kerry, also said that he regretted that the Obama administration had decided against using force to enforce its “red line” after a chemical weapons attack in Damascus last Aug. 21 that Western nations, led by the United States, blamed on forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Guardian provides more background to this.

Iran and its close ally President Bashar al-Assad have won the war in Syria, and the US-orchestrated campaign in support of the opposition’s attempt to topple the Syrian regime has failed, senior Iranian officials have told the Guardian.

In a series of interviews in Tehran, top figures who shape Iranian foreign policy said the west’s strategy in Syria had merely encouraged radicals, caused chaos and ultimately backfired, with government forces now on the front foot.

Now let us turn the clock back to Sept 12, 2013 where Obama fanboi Andrew Sullivan shared this with us.

President Putin’s op-ed in the NYT today is fantastic. It’s a virtual end-zone twerk, as this botoxed former KGB hack brags about restoring a more peaceful world order, basks in the relatively new concept of Russia’s global stature, asserts obvious untruths – such as the idea that the rebels were behind the chemical attack of August 21 or that they are now targeting Israel – and generally preens.

Good. And whatever the American president can do to keep Putin in this triumphant mood the better. Roger Ailes was right. If the end-result is that Putin effectively gains responsibility and control over the civil war in Syria, then we should be willing to praise him to the skies. Praise him, just as the far right praises him, for his mastery of power politics – compared with that ninny weakling Obama. Encourage him to think this is a personal and national triumph even more than he does today. Don’t just allow him to seize the limelight – keep that light focused directly on him. If that also requires dumping all over the American president, calling him weak and useless and incapable of matching the chess master from Russia, so be it. Obama can take it. He’s gotten used to being a pinata.

All this apparent national humiliation is worth it. The price Russia will pay for this triumph is ownership of the problem. At some point, it may dawn on him that he hasn’t played Obama. Obama has played him.

Yes, you read that right, “Obama has played him”. With cheerleaders like that, no wonder Obama thinks that he can do no wrong.