May 20, 2022

Sanction Of The Victim Part 3

Thought Provoking Links

Socialism Coming Back To Haunt U.S.

America is more than a country; it is the ideal of liberty. In economic terms, liberty translates into the entrepreneurial spirit of hard work, risk taking and self-reliance. And this spirit has made America rich beyond compare.

Unfortunately, over the past four decades, much has been undone. Under the guise of a new, “social” justice, political leaders have turned our native ethics upside down. Profit-taking is now seen as gouging; success is greed; businessmen are predators. This creeping socialist transformation of our culture has finally broken the back of the American economy.

What happens when half a century of socialism catches up with the “shining city on a hill”? Start with America losing its Triple-A credit rating, then the dollar free-falling, then interest rates rising into double-digits as a last-ditch effort to restore faith, which may lead to civil unrest — and certainly widespread misery.

Some thoughts on the risks to American liberty based on economic decline and why Asia will become the dominant economic power.

Xanax Nation Beats A Panicked Nation Any Day

May 15 (Bloomberg) — Economic historians like to put some distance between themselves and the events they’re writing about. The Founding Fathers come up for a scholarly re-look a few times each century. The Civil War and the economics of slavery provide endless fodder. The Great Depression is still hotly debated 80 years after the fact.

With any luck, by 2088 we should have a good handle on the Panic of 2008: the causes, cures and curiosities surrounding the subprime collapse that was heard, and felt, ‘round the world.

What will the current crisis look like when viewed through history’s telescopic lens? We can only imagine.

Some good insights into the financial crisis and why government always winds up fighting the last war.  The risks of emotional decision making under panic conditions is examined.

As President, Obama Is Unafraid To Disappoint His Allies

Through much of last year’s campaign, Barack Obama enjoyed the acclaim of a politician who seemed adept at making himself all things to almost all people. Liberals, moderates, even some conservatives, Democrats, independents and even some Republicans all found in Obama change they could believe in.

That was the mark of a skillful candidate who leaves enough unsaid to attract the maximum support possible. But it isn’t possible to maintain that posture once presidential decision making begins and choices have to be made.

Typecasting Obama has also proved difficult. His ambitious domestic policies lean decidedly left (unless he turns out to be the deficit hawk he says he wants to be).

The decisions underscored an important facet of Obama’s decision making, which is his capacity to rethink positions and to change his mind as he learns more or conditions change. And he tends whenever possible to seek consensus. Those on the left and right often overlook this aspect of his governing style, though it was one of the factors that drew many people during the campaign.

The other reality that last week’s decisions highlighted is Obama’s willingness to disappoint his allies, which suggests that he feels he owes no group or groups unduly for his victory.

A President cannot rule successfully from the extreme right or left.   The capacity to rethink positions based on changing circumstances is better leadership than reacting to events based on some inflexible ideology.

Why Pelosi’s Hypocrisy Matters

By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, I wrote a column outlining two exceptions to the no-torture rule: the ticking time bomb scenario and its less extreme variant in which a high-value terrorist refuses to divulge crucial information that could save innocent lives. The column elicited protest and opposition that were, shall we say, spirited.

Even John McCain says that in ticking time bomb scenarios you “do what you have to do.” The no-torture principle is not inviolable. One therefore has to think about what kind of transgressive interrogation might be permissible in the less pristine circumstance of the high-value terrorist who knows about less imminent attacks.

My column also pointed out the contemptible hypocrisy of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is feigning outrage now about techniques that she knew about and did nothing to stop at the time.

My critics say: So what if Pelosi is a hypocrite? Her behavior doesn’t change the truth about torture.

But it does. The fact that Pelosi (and her intelligence aide) and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss and dozens of other members of Congress knew about the enhanced interrogation and said nothing, and did nothing to cut off the funding, tells us something very important.

Our jurisprudence has the “reasonable man” standard. A jury is asked to consider what a reasonable person would do under certain urgent circumstances.

On the morality of waterboarding and other “torture,” Pelosi and other senior and expert members of Congress represented their colleagues, and indeed the entire American people, in rendering the reasonable person verdict. What did they do? They gave tacit approval. In fact, according to Goss, they offered encouragement. Given the existing circumstances, they clearly deemed the interrogations warranted.

So what happened? The reason Pelosi raised no objection to waterboarding at the time, the reason the American people (who by 2004 knew what was going on) strongly re-elected the man who ordered these interrogations, is not because she and the rest of the American people suffered a years-long moral psychosis from which they have just now awoken. It is because at that time they were aware of the existing conditions — our blindness to al-Qaeda’s plans, the urgency of the threat, the magnitude of the suffering that might be caused by a second 9/11, the likelihood that the interrogation would extract intelligence that President Obama’s own director of national intelligence now tells us was indeed “high-value information” — and concluded that on balance it was a reasonable response to a terrible threat.

Pelosi is not thinking clearly about what she is saying.  High minded moral discussions are fine when imminent threats are not present.  One of the government’s primary functions is to provide for the common defense.   Defending a nation sometimes involves tactics that are we may not normally condone.  If  Pelosi cannot do what must be done in a crisis to avoid the needless death of Americans by our enemies, she is not fit to hold elected office.

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