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2013 August « Rogue Politics

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Exploring Homeschooling Options

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning’s online curriculum in exchange for an honest review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so come back and read about my experience! Learn how to use it for homeschool, as an afterschool study program or for summer learning.   . . . → Read More: Exploring Homeschooling Options . . . → Read More: Exploring Homeschooling Options

SYRIA? SERIOUSLY?

I don’t read newspapers.

There are only so many bytes of memory left in my hard drive, and I don’t want to waste them on the trash that passes for news these days.

Once in a while I slip. Got ahold of a Wall Street Journal when visiting a friend. It was full of stories about Syria. The lead article was sheer, unabashed propaganda.

“Unnamed sources at the Pentagon,” “a high government official,” “sources close to the White House. ” Two full pages of speculation about how and when and why the President of the United States will be committing an act of war against Syria.

Article I, Section 8 of the constitution of the United States says that the Congress shall have the power to declare war.

Article II, Section 2 says that the President is the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. Nowhere in the Constitution is the President given the power to declare war.

O.K. He can’t declare war. But that is not the question, is it? The question is: Can the President start a war? The President is the Commander in Chief. That means he can give orders to the Generals and the Admirals. Did the framers of the Constitution intend to give the President the power to invade Canada or Mexico or any place else?

James Madison reported that in the Federal Convention of 1787, the phrase “make war” was changed to “declare war” in order to leave to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks but not to commence war without the explicit approval of Congress.

We’re not talking here about repelling an attack. Or even about responding aggressively to an attack. Although remembering the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Harbor all involved actual declarations of war by the Congress.

No, the question here is, “Does the constitution authorize the President to start wars?

I don’t think so. I don’t think that the Founders of our nation intended to empower the President to embark on military adventures or prosecute geo-political warfare. And I am morally certain that neither the American people nor their Representatives in Congress would approve of committing American lives and fortunes to the Syrian civil war.

The preamble to the Constitution which the President is sworn to protect and defend announces that its purpose of to “provide for the common defense.”

There’s nothing about spreading democracy or Christianity or capitalism or freedom all over the planet.

Three days before he left office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the American people. His final farewell is often remembered as the speech about the military-industrial complex.

What Ike said that day bears repeating and remembering. He noted that, in his time, the United States had developed a huge armaments industry. His words:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

When a prestigious newspaper carries unattributed puffing in favor of military action, when nightly news programs host a parade of retired generals to ruminate about strategy, when the Secretary of State and the Vice President publicly herald the launching of missiles, I have to ask the obvious question:

Who will profit?

. . . → Read More: SYRIA? SERIOUSLY? . . . → Read More: SYRIA? SERIOUSLY?

SYRIA? SERIOUSLY?

I don’t read newspapers.

There are only so many bytes of memory left in my hard drive, and I don’t want to waste them on the trash that passes for news these days.

Once in a while I slip. Got ahold of a Wall Street Journal when visiting a friend. It was full of stories about Syria. The lead article was sheer, unabashed propaganda.

“Unnamed sources at the Pentagon,” “a high government official,” “sources close to the White House. ” Two full pages of speculation about how and when and why the President of the United States will be committing an act of war against Syria.

Article I, Section 8 of the constitution of the United States says that the Congress shall have the power to declare war.

Article II, Section 2 says that the President is the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. Nowhere in the Constitution is the President given the power to declare war.

O.K. He can’t declare war. But that is not the question, is it? The question is: Can the President start a war? The President is the Commander in Chief. That means he can give orders to the Generals and the Admirals. Did the framers of the Constitution intend to give the President the power to invade Canada or Mexico or any place else?

James Madison reported that in the Federal Convention of 1787, the phrase “make war” was changed to “declare war” in order to leave to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks but not to commence war without the explicit approval of Congress.

We’re not talking here about repelling an attack. Or even about responding aggressively to an attack. Although remembering the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Harbor all involved actual declarations of war by the Congress.

No, the question here is, “Does the constitution authorize the President to start wars?

I don’t think so. I don’t think that the Founders of our nation intended to empower the President to embark on military adventures or prosecute geo-political warfare. And I am morally certain that neither the American people nor their Representatives in Congress would approve of committing American lives and fortunes to the Syrian civil war.

The preamble to the Constitution which the President is sworn to protect and defend announces that its purpose of to “provide for the common defense.”

There’s nothing about spreading democracy or Christianity or capitalism or freedom all over the planet.

Three days before he left office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the American people. His final farewell is often remembered as the speech about the military-industrial complex.

What Ike said that day bears repeating and remembering. He noted that, in his time, the United States had developed a huge armaments industry. His words:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

When a prestigious newspaper carries unattributed puffing in favor of military action, when nightly news programs host a parade of retired generals to ruminate about strategy, when the Secretary of State and the Vice President publicly herald the launching of missiles, I have to ask the obvious question:

Who will profit?

. . . → Read More: SYRIA? SERIOUSLY? . . . → Read More: SYRIA? SERIOUSLY?

Syrian Showdown

On page 261 of The Audacity of Hope, Barack Hussein Obama wrote, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” . . . → Read More: Syrian Showdown . . . → Read More: Syrian Showdown

This is the Feast of Victory for our God. Martyrdom of John the Baptist [altar guild].

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist [Altar Guild Opening Divine Service] St. Peter Lutheran Church [chapel] Revelation 6:9-11, Romans 6:1-5, St. Mark 6:14-29 August 29, 2013 “This is the feast of victory for our God, Alleluia!” We didn’t sing “This is the Feast of Victory for our God” today.  We sang, “Glory be to God […] . . . → Read More: This is the Feast of Victory for our God. Martyrdom of John the Baptist [altar guild]. . . . → Read More: This is the Feast of Victory for our God. Martyrdom of John the Baptist [altar guild].

Obama Threatens To Go It Alone On Syria

Ah, yes…President Obama is steaming mad since the Brits and French backed out of his little Syrian adventure, and he saying he’s fully prepared to go it alone.He even sent another American ship towards Syria, a destroyer escort.The Russians already h… . . . → Read More: Obama Threatens To Go It Alone On Syria . . . → Read More: Obama Threatens To Go It Alone On Syria

Scientsts Being Pushed Out of the GOP

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that GOP representation in the ranks of scientists has dwindled to just 6 percent. In some ways this is surprising. The actual positions held by the Right are more reasonable than the left. The reasoning behind most Con… . . . → Read More: Scientsts Being Pushed Out of the GOP . . . → Read More: Scientsts Being Pushed Out of the GOP

About That Slate Article…

[…] . . . → Read More: About That Slate Article… . . . → Read More: About That Slate Article…

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Barack Obama (Surprisingly) Is Not the Biggest Spender of All

I got involved in a bit of a controversy last year about presidential profligacy. Some guy named Rex Nutting put together some data on government spending and claimed that Barack Obama was the most frugal President in recent history. I pointed out that Mr. Nutting’s data left something to be desired because he didn’t adjust […] . . . → Read More: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Barack Obama (Surprisingly) Is Not the Biggest Spender of All . . . → Read More: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Barack Obama (Surprisingly) Is Not the Biggest Spender of All

Liz talks Delbert Belton on The Black Sphere

In case you missed it, Liz Harrison was on The Black Sphere on Tuesday, August 27th. The topic was her article about Delbert Belton on PolitiChicks.tv. You can listen to the podcast here. Liz is on the final hour, so … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Liz talks Delbert Belton on The Black Sphere . . . → Read More: Liz talks Delbert Belton on The Black Sphere

“Hopeless, But Not Yet Certain”

Life is Stories, some last only a moment, others have legs. Be one with legs. . . . → Read More: “Hopeless, But Not Yet Certain” . . . → Read More: “Hopeless, But Not Yet Certain”

The French Bow Out Of Syria Strike

France's President Francois Hollande reacts as he delivers a speech during the annual Conference of Ambassadors at the Elysee Palace in Paris August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool

I love imagining what Monty Python would do with this.

President Obama has lost another team mate on Syria. The French are following the Brits and bowing out of the Syria strike.

France’s Socialist President François Hollande has decided that, non, La France is not going to punish Basher Assad as he said earlier.

Instead, he’s now cautiously talking about the need for a ‘political solution’.

“France will give all its aid – political, but also humanitarian and material, and we will use all the influence we have in the Gulf Arab countries so that this can be organized,” Hollande told reporters.

In other words, no French military. Instead, he wants the Saudis and the Emirates to do it. Notably, the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is still docked in Toulon, although a cruiser, the Chevalier Paul apparently sailed…although not necessarily towards Syria. That would tell me that even if there is any French involvement in Syria, it will consist of standing safely off shore and firing a few missiles and shells..if that.

Hollands reportedly met with the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed Jarba before bowing out. The SNC, by the way has almost zero boots on the ground in Syria and are mainly based in Qatar.

“Assad’s regime has complete support from Russia, Hezbollah and Iran. We have nothing. Our allies have given us none of what we have asked for. We need real support,” Jarba complained to Le Parisien afterwards.

Ah, est-ce vrai, pauvre monsieur…Quel dommage!

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. . . → Read More: The French Bow Out Of Syria Strike . . . → Read More: The French Bow Out Of Syria Strike

Braves-Gamecock: Johnny Football, Jim Thorpe and Ending Elitist Amateurism

This is the eighth annual Braves-Gamecock Ode-to-Leonard’s-Losers College Football Kickoff column. Before addressing yesterday’s whitewash (albeit welcome, given recent alternatives) of elitist amateurism’s latest unconstitutional restriction of an adult U.S. citizen’s right to sell his own private property, let us preview the first week of the 2013 college football season which kicks off this evening when my beloved Carolina Fighting Gamecocks host Research Triangle (north | Read More » . . . → Read More: Braves-Gamecock: Johnny Football, Jim Thorpe and Ending Elitist Amateurism . . . → Read More: Braves-Gamecock: Johnny Football, Jim Thorpe and Ending Elitist Amateurism

John Fitzgerald…Reagan?

Neil Cavuto, on his Fox News Channel show “Your World with Neil Cavuto” played this video of JFK, a Democrat, calling for across the board tax cuts.  And Neil points out that Kennedy just didn’t talk about tax cuts and tax reform for all th… . . . → Read More: John Fitzgerald…Reagan? . . . → Read More: John Fitzgerald…Reagan?

The Men Who United The States by Simon Winchester

Winchester’s latest book is organized around what could have easily been a contrived theme. Apparently the author recognized the danger he was in and so backed off, making it a rough organizing principle, rather than forcing the issue. Winchester’s wife is Japanese, presumably enamoring him at least to some extent with eastern culture. Perhaps that is the source of the book’s strange organizational framework – the five classical elements. Unfortunately, Winchester’s political comments and innuendos detracted immensely from what was, on the whole an interesting and well-written book. However, instead of finishing the book with a positive impression, this reviewer was left with a sour taste in his mouth. . . . → Read More: The Men Who United The States by Simon Winchester . . . → Read More: The Men Who United The States by Simon Winchester

Syria

I’m stealing this from Ace of Spades HQ, it’s too short to do anything else, and it’s the best description I’ve seen of this mess. Leaked: Last Message Out of Damascus from the U.S. State Department Crisis Team. Not sure what this means, but I’m sure it’s nothing serious. Benteen Come On. Big Village. Be […] . . . → Read More: Syria . . . → Read More: Syria

The Saudis Look At Dumping Obama And Changing Sponsors

Two weeks ago in my piece, “What the Media Won’t Tell You About What’s Really Going On In Egypt”, I let you in on the fact that the chief of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar, spent 4 hours closeted with none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 31st.

As I revealed back then, part of the conversation involved Saudi client Egypt and Egypt’s General al-Sissi finding a new arms supplier and best friend in the Kremlin in response to President Obama’s threats.

Putin would sell Egypt arms in a heartbeat and would love nothing better than to get another warm water Mediterranean port for the Russian navy.

But more was discussed than just that. The Saudis are fed up with President Obama and his clueless, duplicitous antics, especially his dithering on Iran and his shilling and enablement of the Muslim Brotherhood at every turn. And they’re willing to discuss a deal for the Russians to become what members of the Mob refer to in these situations as ‘a new sponsor.’

Let me briefly reiterate our relationship with the Saudis and the other GCE countries to spell out what this is important before we get to the grim details.

The Arabs sell us oil, which they make sure that OPEC continues to delineate in US dollars. They also spin a certain amount of that money back at us in the form of buying our debt, rewarding U.S. politicians who see things their way with lucrative business opportunities, investments in businesses and funds owned by influential Americans, the funding of presidential libraries and foundations, six figure speaking fees and honorariums, anything you can imagine. More importantly, by making sure that oil continues to be traded in dollars, they import a certain amount of our inflation, which they cover to some extent by raising wholesale prices on crude…but not too much, just enough to keep everyone happy and keep certain politicians doing their best sabotaging energy creation here in America unless in involves green energy scams never intended to work in the first place run by well connected political donors, or electric cars that are ultimately powered by oil, which is what powers the plants where most of the electricity to power them comes from.

In exchange, we protect them militarily, sell them arms and look after their interests,including the promotion of Wahhabi Islam here in America.

Needless to say, OPEC members like Putin, the Iranians and Obama’s late unlamented BFF Hugo Chavez screamed bloody murder about this for years because they were getting nothing but a financial loss out of this arrangement.

What the Saudis are discussing with Putin is changing this arrangement, if a few deal points can be worked out.

The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir has a piece worth reading that they’re representing as a basic rundown on what went what on. Some of it appears to be fairly accurate, at least in terms of the subjects that were discussed, especially in light of a few details I’m aware of but some of it is also highly unlikely, which we’ll get to. You have to keep in mind that As-Safir is a Lebanese paper and thus a paper that exists as part of the Iran/Syria/Hezbollah bloc…which colors their coverage.A free press and the Muslim world don’t exactly go together.

Here’s the main, most important part, and the part I would say is 100% accurate:

The Saudis are offering to partner with Russia in essentially fixing the price of crude and controlling it. The article doesn’t say this, but it’s obvious that the Saudis are asking, essentially is that Russia sponsor them as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a group long time members of Joshua’s Army may recall me mentioning.

The SCO is basically a partnership consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan make up the group, which was founded five years ago under Chinese leadership to foster regional security and economic cooperation.

Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia and India all have observer status.

The six member states control 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world’s people. With observer states included, its members account for half of the earth’s population. It also offers an alternative bloc to western democracy and to using the U.S. dollar as reserve currency for energy dealing (they’re working on putting together a gas cartel) and other joint development projects.

Turkey has been banging on the SCO’s door for quite a while, and Erdogan would happily leave NATO and sell out its secrets to get into this club .

The Saudis joining the SCO would give the group more stability and control over a huge part of the world’s energy, and of course, the prices. And it would end the use of the U.S. dollar as the currency used in energy trading, with some interesting results on our currency, at least until we got our own act together energy independence -wise.

Syria and Iran were almost definitely on the agenda.

As-Safir says that Prince Bandar told Putin that he had spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any deal the Saudis and Russians made on a diplomatic solution to Syria. This is almost definitely not true, since Putin would have laughed at it and Bandar knows it.

Putin has not trusted President Obama since the two of them first started to attempt to work out a diplomatic solution on Syria and Putin found out that President Obama sent 1,200 Marines to the Jordanian border via the USS Kearsage without telling him.

The article quotes Putin as saying, “During the Geneva I Conference, we agreed with the Americans on a package of understandings, and they agreed that the Syrian regime will be part of any settlement. Later on, they decided to renege on Geneva I.”

It further quotes Putin as saying “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters.”

I doubt Putin said that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bandar and Putin discussed the outlines of a diplomatic arrangement that would leave Assad in power in exchange, perhaps, for arms deals with the Saudis and Russian help with the Iranians, since the Saudis know by now President Obama will do nothing to stop them from going nuclear.

However, if President Obama hits Syria, any tentative arrangement Bandar and Putin might have come to is history.

As-Safir says that when Bandar mentioned Iran’s nuclear program as a problem, Putin replied, “We support the Iranian quest to obtain nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And we helped them develop their facilities in this direction. Of course, we will resume negotiations with them as part of the 5P+1 group. I will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Central Asia summit and we will discuss a lot of bilateral, regional and international issues. We will inform him that Russia is completely opposed to the UN Security Council imposing new sanctions on Iran. We believe that the sanctions imposed against Iran and Iranians are unfair and that we will not repeat the experience again.”

The parts on Iran and Syria are almost certainly fabricated to a large extent.

Putin has been violating the sanctions since day one, and Russia has a veto on the UN Security Council even if our Dear Leader decided to actually impose real sanctions. He copuld care less about them except as a talking point at the UN. The conversation with Putin over Iran probably dealt more with what safeguards the Russians could put in place to stop the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons and threatening the GCE countries…if Russia in fact became the Saudis new sponsors.

Bottom line, the Russians and Saudis are now considering serious cooperation on energy and perhaps even on arms sales, and studying the mechanics of what proposals were advanced.

Syria and Iran remain issues that are problematic but are still under discussion. Could Russia and Putin finesse this by working as a mediator to end the Sunni-Shi’ite war in the Middle East and provide certain guarantees to the Saudis? With the leverage Putin has on Iran and Assad’s Syria, anything’s possible. And the idea of collaborating with the Saudis on the energy trade would be a powerful incentive for Putin.

Of course, if that happens, America’s influence in the region will be over.

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. . . → Read More: The Saudis Look At Dumping Obama And Changing Sponsors . . . → Read More: The Saudis Look At Dumping Obama And Changing Sponsors

Gov. Dayton learns lesson from ABM

If there was any question whether the Alliance for a Better Minnesota had negatively affected him, this article is proof that ABM has changed him: Dayton said the machinery tax repeal is the only other issue he would like discussed in the one-day session, adding that he would like to see the tax refunded retroactive […] . . . → Read More: Gov. Dayton learns lesson from ABM . . . → Read More: Gov. Dayton learns lesson from ABM

Wrong Way

Probably should be the name of my blog . . . → Read More: Wrong Way . . . → Read More: Wrong Way

Ten conservative myths about Black America

Today, everyone on the internet wrote something or other about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech. This includes Conservatism Inc., the well-funded network of professional conmen that exists… . . . → Read More: Ten conservative myths about Black America . . . → Read More: Ten conservative myths about Black America